Cable Ties Cut Loose at Whammy Bar, February 28, 2019 (Concert Review)

Cable Ties kicked off their New Zealand tour at Whammy Bar last night, delivering an absolutely hypnotic performance, displaying musical precision and powerful, stamina-defying vocals. I can see feel every precise, hard-hitting guitar riff, bassline, and drum beat in my hands as I type this review. They were supported by the psychedelic, dark-surf 3-piece, Echo Ohs, and emotive-pop-punk duo, Carb on Carb.

Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Cable Ties are a 3-piece garage rock, post-punk band that stretch both genres into a state of near-exhaustion. Jenny McKechnie (vocals and guitar) seems to defy the limits of human stamina with her ability to sustain both the energy and ferocity in her voice with barely a moment to catch her breath between songs. Complemented with consistent and perfectly timed drumming by Shauna Boyle, and the unceasing tempo control of Nick Brown on bass, I felt by the end of the set it was Cable Ties giving us a break between songs instead of themselves.

Their opener, Channel 9, starts with lone vocals and rapidly dives into full-blown punk-rock intensity. Each note from the bass hits you hard in the chest, driven by precise and well-practised drums and McKechnie’s almost supernatural ability to sustain her voice and hit sharp notes across her guitar. It’s music that makes you want to move your entire body until you’re exhausted and delirious, and their next song, The Producer, showcases McKechnie’s ease at hitting high notes with vibrancy and clarity.

The officially untitled, Newbie, starts with a heavy instrumental performance by the band, before diving into a body-tearing guitar solo that works hard to match the clarity of the first songs’ vocals.

The rest of their set is just as electric, with Lani, Sandcastles, Same For Me, and finally Tell Them Where To Go / Choking to Choose proving this band can perform at the same level of intensity in their final, guitar distorting moments as they did in the opening few seconds of solo vocals.

As Nicole Gaffney of Carb on Carb said to the crowd shortly before the end of their opening set, there are so many good bands in New Zealand and Australia at the moment. Cable Ties are clear example of that sentiment. Undeniably energetic, musically hypnotic, and absolutely unmissable.

Tonight was Cable Ties’ first show on their New Zealand tour, with remaining shows on Friday, 1 March at YOT Club in Raglan, and Saturday, 2 March at MOON 1 in Wellington.

Oxford Lamoureaux