I had vague 1990s memories of the Melbourne-based band, Paradise Motel: noir, cinematic, slow, heroin-tempo soundscapes. But on the recommendation of a mate I took a proverbial punt and caught them last night on their Hobart leg of a national tour. They were a chakra-opening revelation.
The experience was supported by the venue decor: Sirens Ballroom up on the second floor in a wedding cake ceiling-rosed, vinyl-floored ballroom with plastered roof trusses, and a secreted balcony looking onto the stage area all creating a 1930s ambience, Berlin-esque. The support act was negligible: uninventive, melancholic, folk strains that suffered from a lack of guitar figures that broke from dull repetition.
The Paradise Motel, however, launched into "German Girl", building their soundscape slowly, seductively, before a spine-opening, crystalline shock entered the ballroom. I was smitten. At times they sounded like a acid doused waking dream. At others like the warm rocking of the womb.
As if the Triffids ran headlong into the Bad Seeds in the court of Nico.