Tropical Fuck Storm is a band that one must experience live in order to understand it completely. The music is an unhinged mix of garage rock, art-punk and psychedelia manifested through detuned guitars, collective howls, intoxicating bass lines and pounding drums. They sing heart-wrenching love songs with passionate hopelessness interspersed with acid socio-cultural and political critiques—and it all comes together with feral energy when they are on stage. TFS are wild musical beasts that swoop you off your feet hundreds of feet in the air and don’t let you land until the roaring feedback they’ve left behind swiftly brings you down to earth.
Tropical Fuck Storm is fronted by Gareth Lydiard (The Drones) in the role of a modern-day punk pirate—think Mad Max in a dystopian future. He is accompanied by an all-women crew comprised of Fiona Kitschin (also from The Drones), Lauren Hammel (High Tension) and Erica Dunn (MOD CON, Harmony…) who share equal responsibilities in the shaping of the sound and even singing of their songs. Their only Los Angeles show brought them to a packed Bootleg Theater where they offered a well-balanced variety of songs from their second full-length album, Braindrops (released just last week), as well as older tracks, mainly from their debut, A Laughing Death In Meatspace. Their sarcasm and irreverent attitude were reflected in their sound, their grooves and their powerful stage presence. The crowd, as if in an intoxicated trance, kept asking for more.
As their name implies, TFS are a high risen middle finger, not only to the "system", but also to rock & roll conventions. Just look at the cover artwork for Braindrops; it’s like a mad carnival, absurd and ruinous in equal measure. This band is deranged in all the right places. Their brand of riotous rebelliousness has a rare artistic depth to it rather like the British post-punks of the moment, Idles, although the package is more akin to their Melbourne buddies Amyl and the Sniffers. They respond to the bizarre times we live in with a sonic assault on our senses.
Now more than ever we need a band like Tropical Fuck Storm: A whirlwind which swirls us all up in the air with laughter and defiance, and passionately brings us crashing down with conviction and devotion, and yes, maybe something to think about.
Head over to their site and connect with them.
They’ll be touring North America throughout September before going back home for their Australian tour in October. You can check out all their tour dates here.