The Mark of Cain ‘Battlesick’ (Brisbane, QLD)

18 October 2019 at The Triffid

Australian booking agent Feel Presents, presents us with another total flashback by bringing The Mark of Cain to Australian shores for them to play Battlesick in its entirety.

Wandering into the old Airplane Hanger that has been so lovingly converted into The Triffid & one of my favourite venues in BrisVegas, the evening began with The Messthetics. Filling the domed room with their instrumental jazzy Jeff indie punk guitar rock. The adjectives I could use are many, as eclectic is the word for The Messthetics. Formed by two ex-Fugazi members – bassist Joe Lally & the incredible percussionist Brendan Canty. Who else hangs a school bell from their drum kit?  Completing the 3 piece is Anthony Pirog on guitar. If you are expecting Fugazi based tracks, they are not, but the expertise with different time signatures & precision as a tight knit unit they most definitely are. They released an album in September called Anthropocosmic Nest – which is a fantastic definition for their music. The intertwining of the music to the audience via energetic exchange of vibration. Catch the new album here

The Messthetics

30 years ago I was 17, last year of high school & the independent/alternative Australian music landscape was on FIRE! Battlesick was released from the Adelaide band The Mark of Cain, paving the way for this genre. With their military aesthetic offset by the heavy guitar driven syncopated rhythms – they were a precedent for many overseas acts such as Helmet, Fugazi & Rollins Band. I saw them at the Livid Festival many moons ago & here I stood tonight witnessing them again. They played the 1989 album in full, with an eager crowd packed from wall to wall. The Scott brothers – John on guitar/vox & Kim on the lowest strung bass I have ever seen, have stuck by their creation & have the support now of Eli Green on drums.  Still sporting the collared black emblazoned army shirts & short hair-do’s – they rock the dark side of indie rock. A couple of favourites in You Are Alone & LMAwritten for an old girlfriend of Johns that had passed away. The set brought back a lot of memories to those post punk days. They have 5 main LP’s the latest one released in 2012 Songs of the Third & the Fifth & various singles. Brisbane was the first show on the Battlesick tour so get out there & see a little bit of nostalgia.


Line-up: The Mark of Cain, The Messethetics

Reviewer: Tina Summers