REVIEW: Underachiever bring catchy indie punk at The Lass!

Alyssa Hinton -


Underachiever at The Lass O’Gowrie Hotel 18 August

I’ll start this off with an admission on my part. I have lived in Newcastle my whole life, but I have never actually set foot into The Lass O’Gowrie Hotel; until Friday night that is. I’d heard the name, it’s a classic old Newcastle pub that everyone speaks of with love, and has been is known for its local trendy live music on the weekends.

So when I saw on Facebook that Underachiever were playing there I did what I normally do on a local Facebook music event and clicked interested. All in all I thought this would be a great way to spend my Friday night.

I was right. To watch this young 4 piece band perform was truly a good time all round. They set up after their last support band finishes up, do their sound checks and have a chat in amongst themselves and their friends in the front. Everyone is all smiles and the guys seem pretty excited to jam.

These guys are only fairly newly established, popping a few of their songs up on Triple J Unearthed late last year, and receiving some pretty good feedback at that, as well as one play on the Triple J unearthed station for their song ‘Cliché Sports Movie’.

I can see why, they kick off on their first song and they are pumped. Front man Daniel Foster is rocking the vocals and swinging his blonde curly hair back and forth with every chance he gets while he playfully swings his guitar side to side. These catchy indie punk songs seems effortless to perform for these four, with clean cut vocals, a hard hitting beat and a good riff, these guys have got it pretty down pat considering they’re somewhat newbies.

About halfway through their set they switch it up with a cover of Modern Baseball’s song, ‘Your Graduation’. Sam Gray, the lead guitarist and backup vocalist is taking on the cover himself as the lead. He mentions the fact that he saw another guy wearing a Modern Baseball shirt in the venue earlier and promises the gentleman he will try to do it justice.

He did just that. Clean and fiery, Sam was all over this cover and he was enjoying it too. Daniel also joined with the vocals and it was a brilliantly handled cover that had the audience bopping along.
“That’s it, that’s our best song.” Sam joked when it was over.

They went on to introduce a new song, no name that I could catch but Daniel mentioned they had only ever played it twice before, this being only the third time they would’ve played it.

Cool, I love this stuff. There’s nothing better than watching an audience’s reaction to a song they’ve never heard before. This song in particular was raw and relentless. It had everyone in the venue paying attention with a satisfying bridge and hard-hitting percussion, it was a well-rounded song that had everybody moving.

We cop another cover, this time from one of their named influences, Blink 182’s ‘Dammit’ with the bass player, Brandon Northam adding at the end;

“We really like Blink 182.”

We’re coming towards the end of the set and Daniel announces that there will be some new music coming our way very soon, so keep on the lookout for that.

The boys start to wrap the show up before they decide to play a last minute song, which they admit they actually had just forgotten to play earlier . A song that starts off about going out in Newcastle, fitting really. And a good way to wrap up what was a fantastic night watching the Underachiever perform at the Lass O’Gowrie Hotel.

If it's on in Newcastle, it's on Newcastle Live

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