Soundstalker - WHITE SUMMER


To be honest, I wasn’t keen to go to the Espy. I was so hung over my face felt like a twisted sandshoe, and my bank account was starring but a lonesome “purple one” but my mates were super keen to “get frothed and dance on the beach yo”. So, like a good dog, I bundled my sobriety into a maxi cab and somehow survived a 25-minute cab ride with 101.turban FM and the woozy vapours of Passion Pop circling my nostrils - sickening. Increasingly frustrated and vowing to bail as soon as I’d downed a pint of gold, we all flowed inside to the dirty Esplanade Hotel – a venue famous for its live acts, grungy 70’s interior and clientele as varied as Kurt Russel’s doppelganger to googed out Lebanese boy hip hopping to a solitary song playing only in his head. It was fairly empty, everyone was fairly drunk, and I was pretty fucking over it.

Time to bounce.

As the sweat dried off me with the soothing St. Kilda’s seaside breezes - I was suddenly overcome with an aural manifestation of harmonious glory echoing from within the Espy. A sweet, solid bass line. Though grumpy and tired, the bass was then joined by a confident drum and with that I was lured back in, and, consequently the next half an hour of sugar coated riffs and beats sky-rocketed my mood and sent me bouncing off the sticky floors, swinging my beer around and dancing with the wife-beaters and leather jackets for the rest of the night.

But who am I to thank for this dramatic change in vibe? Introducing...White Summer. 

Sexy, savvy and grungy three piece from Melbourne town whose sound reminds me of “metal with meaning” – progressive rock and blues infused with some kooky glam-ridden guitar licks that scream salty air tinged with scotch and tits in bejeweled black bikinis. The kind of shit you whack on when you’re getting stoned at your beach house with your emo sister, or you wanted to jack off nice and frustrated, wiping it into a Black Keys t-shirt. Their opening that grabbed my ear drums was a big track with an unmistakable air of confidence – the drummer thrashing his kit with a heart wrenching solidness, bassist throwing his locks around straight out of Wayne’s World and guitarist keeping them all in time with his ultimate precision.

Interestingly, it’s the drummer with those handsome pipes-  his vocals leading with a sort of generic soft rock voice – almost yelling but with a hint of twang – something commercial and likeable but still keeping to their distinct dirty rock vibe. Though the vocals aren’t particularly articulate, (don’t bank on being able to sing along) as the set went on, the sheer musical talent of the group was shown in their fearsome instrumental technicality, swift changes in tempo that were noticeable (in the good way) and their ability to scream, dance and sweat all at the same time.  At the beginning there were but two people floating around the stage but by the end the band had everyone head banging along to their well executed and compacted grooves.

Think the The Kills infused with the Kings of Leon – that reverberating voice with an almost piano like guitar sound layering over heavy bass and powerful percussion. They’ve got what a lot of metal flavoured bands lack, the ability to project light and catchy songs despite the stereotypical heaviness of their cross over genres – making for a unique and thoroughly enjoyable live music experience. 

These guys often rock the Espy, but the next gig you can catch these crooners at will be at the Ding Dong Lounge supporting Winter Moon. 

The only criticism I could offer is that the drummer didn’t so much bat a lash at me when I gave him a cheeky hair flick – damned musicians.