Live review: We All Want To w/ Born Joy Dead @ Woolly Mammoth, 13.06.15

In certain circles, there are particular types of punters – and even musicians – who believe that rock is, or should be, the very young man’s (or woman’s) game. The sheer existence of We All Want To, a band born from Screamfeeder legend Tim Steward‘s solo project, is irrefutable proof that, with all due respect, those people are idiots.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Born Joy Dead, themselves all in their twenties, warmed up the sizeable crowd with utterly infectious guitar hooks and pop-rock sensibilities. Frontman Ben Dalton is unafraid of taking traditional song structures and turning them – pardon the pun – Upside Down, Inside Out. Since last catching the band supporting Pepa Knight at the Milk Factory last year, they’ve expanded their repertoire and become an even more irresistible live act, which is truly saying something.

For a band that has now released three critically acclaimed albums, the most recent effort being the sprawling, intense pop effort The Haze (which they’re launching on this eponymous tour), We All Want To are criminally under-recognised. Despite this, the Woolly Mammoth was decidedly packed out with a crowd of eager punters and industry moguls alike. WAWT absolutely ripped into their first song, the semi-cynical but somehow still affirming and anthemic Party Girls, showcasing their ability to go from zero to one hundred in no time at all. There simply aren’t enough bands that utilise female and male vocals, and for those that do, occasionally it can sound a little forced – not the case with We All Want To. Steward and fellow vocalist (slash multi-instrumentalist) Skye Staniford blend and play off each other perfectly throughout the night, from the jangly, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros levels of cute in Where Sleeping Ends to the power-pop battle cries of Mindless Damage. It wasn’t just the vocals that impressed – every member of the band got satisfyingly lost in their own world without letting go of the tight cohesion that makes a good band a great one. Steward’s energy alone when onstage is so dynamic and uncontainable; it makes him shake all over and burst out at seemingly random occasions into what looks like a full-on break with reality, feeding his otherworldly enthusiasm to his veritable vibe-sponge of an audience. That alone would’ve made the night spectacular, but as a whole unit We All Want To positively dripped with intoxicating drama that turned a docile-but-focused crowd into an entire room full of head bangs from people who looked like they’d normally be much too cool for that.

We All Want To’s The Haze launch tour ends on Friday, 19 June at The Spotted Cow in Toowoomba, but their website bio promises a “busy year”, so keep your eyes peeled.

You can purchase The Haze here.




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