Sound Awake - Karnivool


Saw these blokes live in Brisbane, on the last night of my study abroad there. I had a 30 hours of flying to do in the morning, but nonetheless, I got up and got at ‘em.  (Altogether too many people were wearing black, but that is neither here nor there. But it does give you an indication of who shows up to a Karnivool show.)

How best to describe Karnivool… they play a lot like Deftones, minus the screaming. The singer actually sings, and he does it pretty damn well. Otherwise, they’re a spot match: rough, thundering bass, screeching reverby guitars, and lots of feedback. I felt a bit like I was at the opening invocation for some cult, or something. The music that eerie.

I don’t remember how I found Karnivool. I think it was probably on OiNK or What. Who knows. I just remember almost blowing out my headphones listening late at night. When I saw them play at the Hi-Fi in Brisbane, the experience was similar. It is second-hardest show I’ve ever seen (the first by a wide margin being Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All aka OFWGKTA aka Odd Future, also at the Hi-Fi). I was not at all close to the front, and my ears were still ringing when we went to leave.

Going to the show with two guys I barely knew was, I suppose, a fitting cap to an Australian experience that was by and large typified by my near total lack of ability to forge any lasting friendships. I don’t blame Australians generally, or anyone at the College, or UQ, or anyone else for this. Most people were quite accommodating, generous, and sociable (much more so than I was, doubtless). Their way of life is their own, and I know they quite enjoy it. It just wasn’t for me.

I was at first apt to scrub myself of this personal failure. I tried to chalk it up to being an introvert in an extroverted (read: drunk) culture. “We’re just different,” I said. A few years removed, and I have a different take. It was cynical of me to throw out the baby with the bathwater. The fact that the general Australian College culture of drunkenness and rituals represented what I still consider to be a vapid and desolate way of life does not mean that there were no kindred spirits present; I just wasn’t looking for them. I gave up. It’s tough to win if you aren’t even playing.

Looking back on it all, I hope I’m better for it. I still haven’t read my journals from that time. I’m not sure I want to.

Wasn’t this supposed to be about an album?

Sounds like: loud music, quiet problems

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