Aussie Rules

An announcement by the Bloodstock equivalent of a compere, said that Bloodstock's first Australian Band 'Tourettes Syndrome' were delayed and wouldn't be performing on the Main Stage, instead they would be squeezed into the Darwin Suite later in the day. Sworn Amongst probably couldn't believe their luck as they were suddenly promoted to the Main Stage in Tourettes Syndrome's place. This was perhaps all for the best because Tourette's style of aggressive, huge riffing, grindcoring punk suited the enclosed, stifling atmosphere of the Darwin Suite.

The band had drawn a crowd, but I suspect this was out of mere curiosity than actual fondness of the band. The Bloodstock audience waited to see what the four-piece, female fronted Aussie group were all about. Female fronted metal usually means lethargic, all too safe, generic goth rock, so it was a surprise to see Tourettes Syndrome instantly go for the musical throat with some shit heavy Pantera style riffing.

Powerful female growling isn't a new thing, but it's certainly rare. I think many of the audience were taken aback by singer Michele Maddan's aggressive vocal style. Those familiar with bands such as Arch Enemy and Otep would have heard such similar shouting before, but those to which such a violent voice is a new thing, may have been thinking, 'what the hell is this?' It only took about fifteen minutes before the novelty wore away and you realise that Maddan is superb at what she does. Scream, growl, sing, spit, Maddan is a vocal force to be reckoned with. As a frontwoman, she is excellent, putting a heckler in his place within seconds and instantly winning the respect of the whole room.

Bass player Ross Empson tried to muscle his way into the mid-song banter, but like every band who has a musician who tries his/her hand at communicating with the audience, he fell flat and the whole scene looked fairly amateurish. Michele is an asset to the band and quite capable of keeping the crowd amused and entertained.

I must confess Tourettes Syndrome did little for me for the first ten minutes, but tracks such as 'Circus' and 'Diatribe' soon won me over, and by the end of their criminally short set, I was really enjoying the band, and I think that can be said for most of the audience. If you're after something a little different but with attitude and gargantuan licks, then Tourettes maybe what you're looking for. Check them out at http://www.tourettes.com.au/

And I managed to do the whole review without swearing!.........wanker