Gig Reviews

Gangrene Dream at Cherry Bar, Melbourne

Gangrene Dream served up fuzzy Aussie dysfunc rock at its best at their release show at Cherry Bar in Melbourne.

Gangrene Dream, Unscored and Derrotonin at Cherry Bar, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 16th March 2024

The Cherry Bar is a legendary Melbourne rock bar with cheery staff, sticky floors and loyal customers. The ground-floor bar has an upstairs performance space where they regularly put on shows. Early on in the evening on this hot March Saturday, an overly excited young man dropped a pint of beer on the floor to ensure we had an appropriately sticky floor to dance on. This evening, suburban psychedelic fuzz punk rockers Gangrene Dream put on a release show for their excellent new single “Can’t Surf”. Gangrene Dream is a terrifically awkward band, and, true to form, they released their single in a cassette format via Dweller Records. The equally splendid “Ratlicker” is the B-side on this two-track transparent toxic green cassette.

Of the evening’s two opening acts, Derrotonin and Unscored, I particularly liked the straightforward high-energy punk rock of Derrotonin. It is honest punk for proper people. Unscored was less straightforward. It is an interesting band, playing something best described as emotional alternative rock performed by troubled young men who listen a tad too much to Radiohead and Joy Division.

When Gangrene Dream entered the stage the local audience was more than ready. They were up for it and helped the band deliver a terrific show. There was an out-of-place looking Flying V guitar, a guitarist performing barefoot and a seemingly angst-ridden but brilliant frontman doing most of his singing from among the punters on the floor in front of the stage. The band is gloriously dysfunctional to the bone and bloody brilliant. They have terrific songs and put on a great performance with an in-your-face show. No compromises. It is fuzzy Aussie dysfunc rock at its best. I loved the show. Obviously “Can’t Surf” was the peak of the show – what a fantastic song! – but the band’s show was consistently good. It was an enjoyable hour of sheer dysfunctional brilliance.

▶︎ Can’t Surf | Gangrene Dream (