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SLØTFACE brought a night of feminist punk and pop culture references to Howler

Clearly grateful for their fans, SLØTFACE passed a disposable camera through the crowd for people to take photos of each other and urged everyone to head to the merch desk after for a chat saying, “We give pretty good life advice”.

Having slayed at BIGSOUND earlier in the week, the debut Melbourne show for Norwegian feminist punks SLØTFACE was much anticipated.
 
Thursday night gigs are always tough, but local five-piece BATZ got things moving early on with one of their livelier tracks, B.A.T.Z.
 
Frontwoman Christina Aubry’s vocals were reminiscent of Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at times, particularly during Darlin’.
 
One of the best things about BATZ is they don’t take themselves too seriously. Aubry was enigmatic throughout the set, screeching like a wild animal, and dancing around the stage like a woman possessed. Some in the crowd were equally as lively, with an energetic dancer down the front being gifted a beer for his efforts.
 
BATZ ended their set with a massive, instrumental jam, well and truly waking the sleepy mid-week crowd up.
 
Walking on stage to a sweet, ukulele-driven song, SLØTFACE opened with Magazine, the ultimate anthem for those of us who are sick of the ridiculous standards society holds women to. Although there were a few teething problems with the sound levels early on, it didn’t detract from the energy onstage.
 
Frontwoman Haley Shea’s spirit throughout the set was unrelenting and contagious, moving those who were just bopping along to start jumping around. The transition from Bright Lights to the super-relatable Pitted – about being convinced by your friends to go out even though you want to stay in and watch Netflix – livened the crowd up even more.
 
Their mid-set banter was playful, teasing the audience with tales of how good the reception they got in Sydney was, and urging them to not make the band feel like they’d wasted their long plane journey. Before launching into Take Me Out Dancing, Shea encouraged the crowd to “say fuck it” to work in the morning, and party like it was a Saturday night.
 
While Pools and Backyard delivered a taste of what’s to come when their debut album Try Not to Freak Out drops, widely praised Sponge State was met with loud cheers and a huge singalong.
 
A rare moment of calm came when Shea shared vocals with bassist Lasse Lokøy, responding to the crowd’s applause by saying it was her favourite part of the show, too. Clearly grateful for their fans, SLØTFACE passed a disposable camera through the crowd for people to take photos of each other and urged everyone to head to the merch desk after for a chat saying, “We give pretty good life advice”.
 
Leaving one of the best until last, they closed with the lively, High Fidelity-referencing Empire Records, giving Shea the chance to crowdsurf, and well and truly justifying the hype surrounding them.
 
Highlight: The mass singalong that erupted form the crowd and band when Teenage Dirtbag came on after the show.
Lowlight: Being too unwell to join the fun in the mosh.
Crowd favourite: Sponge State.