Drab Majesty + Franck Vigroux and Antoine Schmitt + Corin – ΩHM 2024 Brisbane Powerhouse [Live Review]

Review: Nev Pearce + Jack Price


The Brisbane ΩHM festival 2024 is a showcase of extreme art, expression and musical icons which has boasted a lineup of Yothu Yindi, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, Boris and more.
One of the acts included on this year’s instalment is Drab Majesty, who have returned Down Under for the first time since their exclusive performance at Dark Mofo in 2023.

This show on the other hand, was something that we weren’t used to covering, as tonight’s performances are more experimental ones more than the typical rock show we are used to attending. But since I am personally a big fan of Drab Majesty, I was keen to go along and keep an open mind to what the evening might bring.
Opening the show tonight is Corin whose cinematic sci-fi hellish landscapes are captivating and beautifully unsettling.
The visuals on the screen behind her move and contort as though the soundwaves from her synth driven atmospheric soundtrack are manipulating and bending to her will.

Throughout her set we are treated to captivating imagery, distorting and organic in nature, morphing from ethereal depictions of a strange being garbed in cloth swarmed by serpentine creatures, to strangely ornate rock formations spewing water into the void of darkness, to otherworldly carvings of glistening pink ivory far too detailed to be carved by human hands.
Corin’s set was quite an experience and something that was carefully crafted for those game enough to journey down the dark path with her.
Up next is duo Franc Vigroux and Antione Smitt whose heavy distorted beats and glitches remind me of what I image throwing a computer into a black hole would sound like.
The tension and intensity of their sounds reverb and shake the venue as the projections behind them show shapes and blocks being blown and torn apart as if said computer was being warped and reconstructed as it’s falls deeper into the abyss.
These guys should definitely compose the soundtrack to the next Tron movie, what a trip!
Now I’ve seen Drab Majesty twice before, once opening for Greg Puciato’s The Black Queen and the other time for their headline show in 2020 on the Modern Mirror tour.
Both times were incredible with each gig having me walk away a bigger fan as I was before, so I was excited to be seeing them again in this setting with a different performance planned than what they are used to be playing.

Deb and Mona walk on stage and take a seat at their instrumental set up to the left as the 1980’s movie The Arrival is projected onto the massive screen in all its low budget glory.
Created by the eccentric UFO group the Unarius Academy of Science, the film has maintained a cult following since its release in 1980 and has been stated by the band to be a massive influence on their music.

While I had seen snippets of the movie throughout the years, I have never actually sat down to watch it, initially being put off by its terrible acting and below low budget sets and costumes.
This is where the magic of Drab Majesty comes in, their improvisational soundtrack has given new life and depth to this low budget tv film about a prehistoric man on a spiritual journey through his past lives shown by the extraterrestrial space brothers into a companion art piece to their own style and genre that is strange and captivating.

Drab Majesty have proven that they are more than just a great musical duo who can write incredibly catchy tunes, but also amazing composers who should be writing scores for films and should seriously consider adding that title to their resume.

As much as I would have loved to have heard a couple of classic Drab songs thrown in or even after the set, that experience was unique and something that I’m glad I witnessed and I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment.
As a fan it’s exciting to see how they will incorporate this into their future projects and how it will shape bands musical journey, either way I’m here for it.
Top show, come back soon!