Kirin J Callinan
St James Church Crypt
12 April 2013
I wonder if the church had listened to Callinan’s music before letting the anti-Christ play in the House of God. Maybe that’s why his new single was only released that morning.
A projected hand beckoned the sold-out audience to walk into the underground crypt of St James’ Church; it was a matter of following the electronic echoes bellowing from the barren passages. As your eyes adjusted to the dark, only the flickering, acid-drenched images on stacked television screens lit the way to center of the crypt.
Opening with the anti-Christian morals of ‘Thighs’, you could feel Callinan’s sharp guitar dynamics reverberate off the stone church walls and into what was left of your soul. The title track from his upcoming release Embrasism is raw, dark and physical as the rest of his work. Currently available as a free download, you should definitely get involved.
Surrounded by his ritualistic semicircle of guitar pedals, the small lights glowed like candles at the shrine of Callinan. Occasionally dropping into a hunched mindless stare while performing, the only aspect that remained human was his strong Australian accent.
As the second performance that evening, Callinan confessed to having a tough first crowd. This motely crew, however, were a lot more vocal. A glitter snorter behind me couldn’t help but express his lust, which was only partially subdued by Callinan using the concertgoer to hold his guitar lead in place.
Lifting his outstretched arms to shoulder height, a characteristic Callinan pose, the artist entered the surreal. The dry ice machine went into overdrive as the crypt filled smoke so thick that you couldn’t see the person next to you. Completely disorientated, your only bit of reality was narrowed down to multicolored strobe lights and the sound of Callinan’s droning guitar.
Raging into a dramatic rendition of ‘Way to War’, the SXSW-worthy performance clarified why Callinan was targeted as one to watch. Bellowing “God is in the water / and hell is right here on earth”, the windows of a cappella within ‘Landslide‘ will find no better home than in the crypt of St James.
Turning offstage to meekly crouch behind an amp out of sight – an eager audience was replied with Callinan’s love of suspense. Callinan builds you up into a state of madness, but there is no release.
Originally published on thebrag.com