Twelve Foot Ninja, The Algorithm, Escape Syndrome - ANU Bar, Canberra, 27/03/14

As the 'Trollburger' Tour continues MaF editor Scott Adams encounters a band who are frighteningly good yet still nowhere near fulfilling their full potential...

It’s typical, no? A rare top-class midweek hard rock show in the Nation’s Capital and the weather stinks, just absolutely stinks. It's been pissing down for hours on and off when Metal as Fuck gets out of the office canoe and makes landfall at the venue, yet despite the heavy rain and cool temperatures the cognoscenti are here, in goodly enough number to create an atmosphere, and they are enjoying local hopefuls Escape Syndrome going through the early evening ice breaking process with a set of enjoyable modern rock that frequently sets the pulse racing due to the impassioned delivery and quality songwriting on offer. 

Whistles whetted musically, we head to the bar to do the same  to our parched throats. And then we  wait, beers in hand to see what French maverick The Algorithm has up his manche for us. We’re back in the bar two songs later. However impressive The Algorithm might be on wax (and their polydecibel progressive performances are rather alluring in recorded form, let us make no bones about it), watching a bloke with a Mac and a live drummer noodling around for an hour ain’t where it’s at in the live arena. Call me old fahioned if you must, but there you go. Faultless sounds, tedium in excelsis visually. But those who didn't join the exodus to the bar seemed to enjoy what was going on, so who am I to judge?

Thankfully some sort of rock normality is restored via the hard work of tonight’s main attraction, Melbourne heavy fusionists Twelve Foot Ninja. They are, of course, internet darlings thanks to some very inventive and highly amusing video clips (surely you don’t need a rerun on the staggering success of their crowd funded Ain’t That a Bitch clip?), but it’s pleasing to report that this isn’t just some sort of ‘virtual’ attraction here – TFN are very much the living, breathing real deal. I’m always worried when the word ‘fusion’ is bandied about – too often that soubriquet is just another word for lift music – but in this case it’s a perfect term as the band merges metal, funk, jazz, salsa – all the good stuff in other words – into one steaming, crowd-pleasing stew over the course of a long but never dull set. Powered by the supple guitar lines of Steve ‘Stevic’ Mackay and the soulful thrust of Nick ‘Kin’ Etik’s marvellous vocals, the band transcend the ‘baby Faith No More’ tag I’ve heard bandied about them to provide a powerhouse performance that proves this is a band undoubtedly on the up and up. Marvellous stuff.


The Trollburger Tour continues tonight and then through into April:

Saturday March 29 - Manning Bar, Sydney
Tix from /

Friday April 4 - 170 Russell, Melbourne
Tix from / / Corner Box Office Ph: 1300 724

Friday April 11 - The Gov, Adelaide (ALL AGES)
Tix from /
Saturday April 19 - Rosemount Hotel, Perth
Tix from / /