Written by Thea Martin
I first heard about Idle Suburbia through a post on Facebook that I actually mistook for that of another band. They had just released their new track ‘Headrest’ and upon seeing the title and the lyric video thumbnail containing the words “friends” and “drugs” I (as the mildly obsessed fan I am), immediately assumed it was something to do with one of my favourite bands Car Seat Headrest (check out their track Drugs with Friends for reference). Alas, I soon discovered that I had been mistaken, but it turned out to be a pretty great mistake to make. Idle Suburbia’s track ‘Headrest’ makes me feel somehow nostalgic for times I’m yet to have, mixing a surfy sound with pop-punk, at times reminding me of bands like Remo Drive. As this isn’t a track review, I won’t spend too much time talking about how great this song is, but it did provide an excellent gateway into this Mildura band’s sound.
After some intensive research (also known as clicking around Facebook for a bit) I discovered Idle Suburbia were playing at the one and only place to be on a Wednesday night in Adelaide, the Cranker, accompanied by locals Cosmic Fossil and Burjon. With the promise of cheap drinks and good music insight, I decided to go along and discover some new bands.
Up first was the trio that makes up Cosmic Fossil, and what a way this was to start the night. They seamlessly transitioned between moments of groovy funk to heavier alternative rock in an extremely tight performance. The interesting changes in tempo were flawlessly executed making for a dynamic performance, with other highlights including some ad-lib beatboxing that was thoroughly appreciated by the crowd. Their loud and punchy cover of the classic ‘Blister in the Sun’ by the Violent Femmes was another standout moment, as well as the last track in their set. Having never attended a Cosmic Fossil gig myself I was unaware of this song’s impact, and soon discovered that it is clearly regularly played as the crowd were very vocal in showing their approval. Entitled ‘Angus’ I have been informed by an unconfirmed source that this song is in fact about a certain Labrador of the same name. Cosmic Fossil provided a strong, sonically interesting and extremely enjoyable start to the night and I’ll definitely be back to check out more of their music in the future.
Idle Suburbia ended up playing second in the night due to the bassist from Burjon having to attend another gig, as, like so many musicians in Adelaide, they’re all probably in six or so other bands. After Idle Suburbia’s set, I overheard someone comment “that was loud and noisy and good” and I think that’s a pretty fair summary of how this band sounds. It seemed as though the boys had been thoroughly enjoying the $3 schooners and they seemed very happy to be there. Tracks such as their most recent single ‘Grief’ translated very well live and seemed to have more emotional impact as the slightly heartbreaking and earnest lyrics were belted out by lead singer Kyle.
It’s safe to say that their cover of banger ‘Are You High’ by Fidlar was well received, and the crowd quickly went from a few girls dancing in the back corner and one guy in the centre of the room headbanging along to the whole crowd really getting into the set. The covers Idle Suburbia chose to play fit seamlessly into their set and seemed to be more than just “here’s a song everyone can sing to” but instead showed a lot of lyrical and thematic similarities. I was even introduced to a band I haven’t heard before that the band seemed to hold in very high regard called Sorority Noise, through their cover of the song ‘Using’.
I couldn’t quite tell if this was an intentional feature of the gig or just to fill time as the drummer Tyler fixed the drum set (probably the latter), but midway through the show, we were treated to what sounded like some Mongolian throat singing? A didgeridoo impression? A music reference that went over my head? I have no clue what it was, but it was pretty bloody excellent. Idle Suburbia is definitely a band to watch with a lot of great songs out on streaming services as well that I would definitely recommend checking out.
The last band of the night was Burjon. I believe this band performs in a variety of configurations, sometimes being as large as an 11-piece. At this particular gig, they performed as a 6-piece, and the sound was huge with double the keys and double the guitars. Their performance was ridiculously high in energy and it was a very feel-good set filled with a unique mix of sounds and songs. I found the jazz elements embedded in their sound to be very interesting and I spent a good amount of the set being a bit of a music nerd as I listened to and tried to pick apart the music they created. Burjon were joined on stage by local musician Erin Mo (check out her stuff here!) who provided crystal clear vocals and beautiful harmonies on tracks such as Touch of Time. Stand out moments included a cover of Nirvana’s ‘In Bloom’ and Ciara Ferguson on keys taking an absolutely smashing solo, both of which epitomised the flexibility and expansive nature of Burjon’s sound.
Photo by Abbey Matson Design
And finally, with glasses stacked high next to the speakers side of stage, another Cranker Wednesday sesh had come to an end. As a whole, this night felt like a wonderful celebration of good musicians and in turn, their appreciation for good music. Idle Suburbia continue their “Idle and Friends Road Trip” tour with a few more dates coming up in October throughout Victoria, details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/idlesuburbia/events/?ref=page_internal
It’s definitely worth checking out all these great local bands, they’re each delivering something unique to the scene and have a number of upcoming dates where you can catch them live!