Amodus (ah-mode-us) is an Australian heavy-ish rock band that owns my heart. Our affair began in early 2010 in a tiny pub in Sydney, the kind of establishment where your senses are overpowered by the stench of stale beer and the soles of your sneakers stick to the timber floorboards. It was dark and dingy and absolutely perfect for what I was about to see and hear.
When I go to a live rock show, I want the music to be heavy, loud, fast and furious. I want my ribcage to rattle from driving bass lines and pounding double kicks. I want every joint in my entire body to shake from the excitement of the noise, heat and power that radiates from the stage. And when the last song is over, I want to be left feeling as hot and sweaty and dirty as the room I’m standing in. Amodus’ live performance has that effect on me every time.
The first thing that caught my attention, and most likely yours, is the band’s unique gender mix. We’ve got three hard-hitting, heavy-riffing girls on the instruments and a guy behind the mic. I’m a sucker for female instrumentalists in general and on the occasion when those instruments are played hard and fast, I come completely undone. These girls — Rose (guitar), Melina (bass) and Sarah (drums) — really know how to rock out. Between them they create an epic wave of sound that picks you up and refuses to let go until well after the final song. When the guitarist runs her fingers up and down the fret board so fast that it doesn’t even look like they’re moving, it’s hard not to stand open-mouthed in awe.
Although favorites on the local metal scene, Amodus’s music is more aptly classified as heavy melodic rock. Their debut album, Smokescreen, features the perfect balance of sweet melodies and big rock sounds. The chuggy chugg of the guitars and the heart-thumping drums give the music plenty of grunt, however, on those tracks where frontman Michael sings instead of screams, it is almost angelic.
Check out the live clip for Amodus’ first single “Negative.” Given that I essentially stalk this band around Sydney, I appear in this video no fewer than five times. It’s like Where’s Waldo? but more difficult because everyone’s wearing black.
Sydney folks can catch the band live at the Smokescreen album launch — Sat Feb 18 at the Red Rattler, Marrickville. See you there.