Brutal Truth @ The Manning Bar (Sydney), December 21st 2009

Legendary New York grindcore merchants Brutal Truth hit Sydney alongside some of Australia's finest grinders for an evening of grind and some other interesting entertainment.

Over the past few years, Australia has had an influx of bands touring our fine country, ranging from the very popular to the more underground. Falling more into the underground category of grindcore, the legendary Brutal Truth graced Australia's east coast for a whirlwind visit supported by some of Australia's finest grindcore bands.

Unfortunately, due to arriving a bit late and the show starting right on doors-opening time, Beyond Terror Beyond Grace had just finished up. It was a bit of a shame because these young guys from the Blue Mountains always put on a good performance and are only getting better with time.

Next up were legendary Sydney grind merchants Ebolie who were about to play one of their last shows, if not their final one. Being known to deliver their own style of grindcore infused with a sense of humour, they put on a solid performance in front of a small but dedicated group of fans; they blasted through some of their material such as the cleverly titled Smackdonalds, Death By A Thousand Dusters, and the humorous jazz fusion jam/interludes before grinding back into insanity, while at times while lying on their backs. It is a shame this was their final show as they were always good value and were able to create some of the sickest grind - and were also able to make you laugh at the same time.

After a quick changeover, the mighty Captain Cleanoff hit the stage and proved why they are lauded as one of Australia's finest grind bands, delivering their Napalm Death styled grind mixed with a bit of an old school metal/hardcore vibe. Their set was mostly comprised of material from their latest release Symphonies Of Slackness and really got the crowd going - especially their bass player, who really got into it. Going in never having heard them before, I have to say it was quite an impressive performance and they are worth checking out.

The room really started to fill up as Blood Duster started to get on stage and, as always, they put on a memorable performance. They playedcuts like 3070, Pornstorestiffi, Drink.Fight.Fuck, Pissstomper, Kill, Kill, Kill, Knee Deep In Menstrual Blood, Long Toxic Death, among others. Even if you are not a fan of the band, it's hard not to enjoy their set and their tongue in cheek humour/pisstakes are always quite funny.  The band has never been this tight on stage, helped along by the inclusion of Psycroptic drummer Dave Haley in the ranks, who absolutely nails it live.

A strange incident happened on stage when two male punters jumped on stage completely nude and danced around. (See the gallery here - Ed.) Among other things, many punters found it funny, but it was still quite an odd and strange thing to see; but, it was a Blood Duster set, so nothing was a total surprise there.

Not too long after Blood Duster finished their set, the New York grindcore legends Brutal Truth hit the stage. Being totally honest, prior to seeing them, I had not heard them before, so I was not too familiar with what songs they played.

However, their live show is proof of why they are so iconic. They are very tight live, with precise execution of the parts even after their 12-year hiatus. From a visual standpoint, they can be quite funny on stage without actually trying to be funny; a perfect example is that drummer Rich Hoak is a killer player, but he has some of the funniest drummer faces when he plays live. It is really hard to explain but some of the expressions on his face were that hilarious, it was very hard not to laugh.

Frontman Kevin Sharp is a very charismatic frontman, he knows how to get the crowd going and seemed like he really enjoyed himself on stage with the big grin that rarely left his face. Guitarist Erik Burke played some sick riff work, and legendary bassist Danny Lilker of S.O.D and Anthrax fame tore his instrument to pieces while looking like a stoned human mop of hair on stage.

As good as they are, the material tended to sound the same after a while; but the crowd did not really care. There were some rabid Brutal Truth fans on the floor moshing and windmilling with each other.

None the less, Brutal Truth definitely know how to put on a live show. They played quite a few tracks within their hour-long set, and were able to send their hardcore fans home happy. The support bands were well chosen, and a fine cultured evening of grindcore was enjoyed by all.