Hailgun @ The Brunswick Hotel (17/4/15)

By Tristan Robinson on April 18, 2015


A pint of Boags in hand, I sit at the bar corner opposite a squashed stage at the “Brunny” (iconic Brunswisk Hotel), thankful that I had survived the harsh Melbourne weather and public transport on my 2-hour journey. The atmosphere is warm and the faces are friendly, but the crowd begins to build as the guitarist plugs in his amp and unleashes a brash burst of feedback.

 This is Hailgun; the second band to perform tonight and in many ways the highlight of the evening. As a newbie to the world of hardcore punk, I can’t help but notice the variety of hairstyles on display – yet not a single mohawk in sight! And while listening to the band’s debut EP gave me a taste of what to expect, nothing prepared me for the sheer intensity of this classically-trained three-piece band performing in a live setting.

 Beginning with an explosion of noise, Hailgun latches onto you and doesn’t let go. With individual songs barely cracking 2 minutes in length, the ferocious pacing is tied together with ear-ringing feedback between tracks. Like a Minor Threat record played at 45rpm, Hailgun puts “fast” in fastcore. The drummer in particular was extremely impressive, keeping perfect timing with tempos so quick that the sticks left afterimages floating in the air.

 “Supercharged” is the most appropriate word I can use to describe the show – it left me feeling invigorated and completely taken aback. And while the other bands performing (Cosmic Kahuna, Coffin Wolf and The Tearaways) were quite enjoyable, they lacked the solid impact imparted by Hailgun.

Hailgun has toured New Zealand, Tasmania, South East Asia and Europe, and has recently returned from New Zealand where they've been doing some recording.

Catch Hailgun at the Bendigo Hotel, Friday May 22nd. Or if you’re just curious, feel free to check out their current discography available for free on their Bandcamp page.

A word of advice, though: this is a band that needs to be experienced live to be fully appreciated.