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Words: Greg Phillips. Photos: Jason Rosewarne

It’s been quite a minute since we’ve been invited to a good old fashioned band launch, the way they used to make ‘em back in the day. The Toff in Town was the chosen launch pad, a small but funky Melbourne club in the heart of the busy Friday night post-covid CBD (well … covid is still out there but people have learned to live with it). The pre-gig hype levels were strong, thanks to the efforts of a trusted PR team, the kind who only involves themselves in quality talent. Legendary producer Mark Opitz was impressed enough to work on this band’s debut EP ‘Modern Mythology’ too, another hint that these guys are no slouches. Carefully selected media, band friends and family gathered in anticipation of experiencing the debut of a young, new 4 piece indie rock outfit from the south eastern suburbs … LIPSTEREO!

Melbourne club identity Les Toth took to the microphone occasionally to keep the pre-show energy flowing, while the city’s fave DJ Max Crawdaddy spun his usual mixed bag of long lost treasures, rock standards and fun obscurities. Canapes appeared and beers were downed.

Formed in 2019 but soon after impeded by the pandemic, Lipstereo took their time in tweaking songs, rehearsing the shit out of them, and working on their stage presence in preparation for their attack. In perfect timing, a first single ‘Stop’ had been sent to radio during the week and that’s the track the band confidently open up with at their launch show tonight. It’s a persuasive little rocker, timed at just 2:07 on the recorded version, motoring along with an energy that would put a smirk on Joey Ramone’s face. While they wear their musical hearts proudly on their sleeves, ie The Strokes, Weezer, and a dose of Brit rock, there’s more than enough of their own personality injected into the mix to create a unique rock ’n’ vibe that could easily cut through to a larger audience in the not too distant future. The band’s triple guitar frontage work in close quarters, feeding off each other and urging themselves on, with the result being a vitality that spills out into the crowd. In a salute to Phil Spector’s wall of sound, the band plow into a rockin’ version of The Ronettes ‘Be My Baby’. While playing around with the classic track’s tempo displayed an air of adventure, my preference would have been a more consistent full-throttle rock approach throughout. That’s where my nodding head was going anyway! Lipstereo’s dynamic rhythm section of Jesse Porter on drums and Tage Hosking-Gregory on bass provide a deep, booming background for lead guitarist Andrew Stainsby to paint his melodic licks all over, as lead vocals/guitarist Sam Stranges connects with his audience in a charismatic way. The band is currently working on a follow up EP, with plans to release it in late 2022. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing Lipstereo’s name on the bill of your favourite indie music festivals real soon.



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