Germaphobes Beach Stage, Field ON, July 22
Published Jul 23, 2017Germaphobes delivered a confident and approachable set that ventured down the path of Talking Heads and their brand of new wave-y art rock.
If the vibrant quartet ever wanted to pivot to making children's music, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch. There's a telegenic quality to the band's music (2016 debut LP Fiji Whizz opens with the aptly-titled "Theme from Germaphobes") but live, the band embrace their cartoonish side — with plenty of funky patterned shirts to boot. Lyrics about life's mundanities (plus a spoken word monologue about bottling their own sweat and selling it) made the band's observational style endearingly relatable.
The band's current formation (fronted by Neil Rankin and Paul Erlichman, and this time featuring keyboardist Kirsten Dahlin Nolan and fill-in drummer Jesse Locke) dials back Fiji Whizz's rock sound in favour of bass- and synth-led new wave, largely thanks to Nolan's synth work. Germaphobes' confident embrace of their idiosyncratic impulses resulted in an entertaining set.