Fast, loud and unforgiving – there’s really no other way to describe what happened on Thursday night when the Dune Rats stopped by Geelong. The ‘stoner rock’ trio smashed through their set at the Wool Exchange, causing what can only be known as delightful chaos.
Following the release of their second full-length album The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit, which debuted at #1 on the ARIA charts in February, the Brisbane rockers toured the country punching out their infectious tracks to sold-out crowds. However, never ones to miss an excuse to party, the Dunies then announced the ‘Fuck Yeah Ledge Yew!’ Tour – a chance to get up close and personal with the screaming fans of regional Australian towns. Fortunately, Geelong was absolutely treated to the crunching adrenaline rush that we know and love as Dune Rats.
Opening with some of their earlier tracks, such as 2013’s ‘Red Light Green Light’, front-man Danny Beusa was dripping with a combination of sweat and beer, eyes almost bulging out of their sockets. His rough, whiney vocals somehow slammed through the tiered levels of the venue, driving each song with his chanting choruses. Even for those who didn’t know the lyrics, it was impossible to be there without making a sound, adding to the intimate house party-like atmosphere.
The Dunies ploughed through their set without a break, showcasing samples of surf rock found on ‘Don’t Talk’, and the slower guitar riffs of the head-banging ‘6 Pack’. The balance of cruising verses and powerful choruses is what really separates Dune Rats from other Australian rockers. It’s not a huge contrast, but there’s enough of a break to catch your breath before screaming the repetitive calls of the chorus, such as during their care-free hit ‘Braindead’. However, on Thursday night there wasn’t any chance of slowing down for the Dunies or the crowd – the only downfall was how quick the gig seemed to be finished. But that’s just what was expected; everyone knew we’d be left wanting more.
The biggest reaction was seen when the boys whipped out their track ‘Scott Green’ early in the set, which landed at #33 in triple j’s Hottest 100 of 2016. The driving bass-line paired with Beusa’s dry vocals to construct a harsh, anger-filled number riddled with complaint, as the band questioned (and the crowd echoed) “who’s Scott Green?” It’s an absolute banger, completely deserving of its high placing in the country’s favourite song countdown. Likewise, when the Dunies began crooning the opening line to their track ‘Bullshit’ – which placed #34 in the 2016 Hottest 100 – the crowd was immediately hyped. To be honest, it wouldn’t matter what the Dune Rats played that night, on guitarist Brett Jansh’s 26th birthday, because everyone was going to love them regardless.
Yet another highlight was when the boys dropped their 2014 hit ‘Dalai Lama Big Banana Marijuana’ – potentially the most repetitive song ever recorded. Nonetheless, the continual screaming of the song’s title could’ve lasted hours without any concern (aside from the venue security staff who seemed a little more on edge every time the crowd repeatedly roared “marijuana”).
A performance lathered with on-stage ‘shoey’s’ and countless crowd-surfing attempts (including drummer BC Michaels’ incredible feat of being carried to the bar and back) was the amazing night of semi-organised chaos that Geelong needed. Despite seeming like such a short gig, it was certainly jam-packed with the smashing Dune Rats flavour we’ve come to know and love – it was fast, it was loud, and nobody’s apologising for it.
Where: Wool Exchange Entertainment Complex
When: Thursday June 15
Special guests: Tired Lion & Pandamic
Reviewed by Zach Edwards