The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Hairmageddon & Dark Karma Live at the Rocket Room 2013





14 FEBRUARY 2013



I first saw ‘Hairmageddon’ in an earlier incarnation as ‘Rockstar’ and band that at the time included both Ragdoll’s Ryan Rafferty and vocalist Luke Meyers. It’s been a while though since we last saw Luke live and the absence seems to have inspired him: tonight he’s a ball of energy and the consummate front-man.





For those out there who aren’t familiar with the band they are Perth’s and possibly Australia’s answer to Steel Panther, reliving those glory days of eighties rock where ‘fun’ was an integral part of every show and everyone went home with a smile on their dial. Tonight’s launch of the new range of DETHTONE guitars is a party like we had back in the day, replete with some great original music from debutants DARK KARMA, dancing girls, giveaways and a soundtrack of the best the eighties rock scene had to offer both from DJ Perry Ormsby and Hairmageddon.





Tonight is also support act Dark Karma’s official first show and if there were any nerves on the part of the band it’s hard to tell as the set went down very well with the crowd. Jessica Rutten has a voice that can propel this band forwards quickly, it inhabits the ground somewhere between Australia’s own Chrissie Amphlett and America’s Pat Benatar and with a presence that can command an audience (last time we saw her was duetting with Steel Panther’s Michael Starr on the Perth date of their 2012 tour) things are bound to grow. 



Sonically DARK KARMA is a band that manages to sound both modern and retro. There’s clearly a big eighties rock influence but it doesn’t weigh the down at all (and Corey Hodgetts' Bang Tango shirt even wins bonus points). Having heard the early demos it’s great to see the music really come alive and ‘Eyes’ and especially ‘Tell Me Why’ attract all the right sort of attention from the crowd. There’s also a good smattering of new songs that show a lot of promise and a healthy amount of real potential.





It’s heartening to hear Modern rock that hasn't forsaken melody and doesn't think the eighties are a dirty word. Songs like ‘Such a feeling’ (?) and last song ‘Sister’ (?) particularly stand out: the latter with a killer Buckcherry-like groove. It’s amazing to thing this is their first real show. Definitely a band to watch out for.  


The interval in true eighties hedonistic fashion sees the ladies from the gentleman’s club upstairs gyrating their stuff on the bar, which is a bonus for some and a distraction from the music for others: and with the crowd packed in tight tonight it’s both a successful launch for the DETHTONE guitar brand and great to see so many people we know supporting the local bands.





Hairmageddon enter proceedings looking like Steel Panther’s thrift store cousins, it’s more cheese and less slick than the LA masters but just as much fun. Starting off with a song by the Panther themselves which leaves no one wondering how subtle they will be,  as they march through a rousing ‘Death to all but Metal’: a song that pretty much sets the tone for the fun tonight.  There’s a nice cover of Gunners ‘Jungle’ before one of the highlights for us which sees Luke Meyers hitting pretty much every note in a faithful cover of The Darkness’ best loved song: ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’.



From then on it’s all a mess of hair an excess (God bless the ozone layer) as a manic Gene Simmons fixated (and very good too) Craig Skelton powers into Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ to pump up the crowd. And then it’s a game of name that classic tune as Jamie Page leads the band through the kitchen sink collection of eighties rock: from Poison’s ‘Good Time’ to Europe’s ‘Countdown’ and Jovi’s ‘Prayer’, the latter song being Meyer’s only slight hiccup – but then who can do Jon?



We do of course get Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ but for every obvious choice there’s a gem, like WASP’s ‘Wildchild’ add a dab more Steel Panther, mix with a dash of Twisted Sister and some ‘Metal Health’ and you have a classic cocktail that spits and fizzes and which you aren’t sure if you should be drinking, but hey it’s a party right? Meyers has lost none of his ability to command a stage (no matter how small) in his few months off and it’s great to see him back enjoying himself.





If the boys are a little rusty it’s a very decent first hit out and the rare slip is lost in the fun of it all. It’s great to see Perth’s own Graham Greene get up to show us mere mortals how it’s done on guest guitar for ‘Poundcake’ before we get into the home stretch with Leppard’s ‘Sugar’ and Warrant’s ‘Pie’, there’s even time for a couple of Motley songs who are in town next week, in ‘Girls’ and ‘Kickstart’ before a rare version of Kiss’ ‘Take it off’ (who are in town with them).



Surprises of the night though had to be WASP’s tender love ballad and first single ‘Fuck like a beast’ and an immense version of Steelheart’s ‘We all die young’. If you need a great night out get out and get yourself some Hairmageddon…



all words and photos by Mark Diggins