Tempura Nights are a Brisbane three-piece made up of the power combo of members of Go Violets (who bummed us all out a couple of weeks ago by breaking up), Major Leagues and The Good Sports. They’ve been pretty quiet since the release of first single ‘Cocky’ early last year, but this song shows that they mean srs bsns for 2014.
‘R.I.P. Chix’ is kinda getting pushed under the category of dream pop, but that label doesn’t quite do justice to how likeably tough singer/guitarist Alice Rezende comes across in the verses. Her lyrics about those romantic, over-privileged girls in their own own perfect worlds that we love to hate (and sometimes straight-up hate), are delivered in a downbeat monotone which is nicely dark and understated.
There’s stuff in here that you’ve heard before, from influences like Speedy Ortiz and Joanna Gruesome, but Tempura Nights are approaching the style in a different way, messing with form and structure to make a super cool sound that never seems derivative.
‘R.I.P. Chix’ is the first taste of Tempura Nights’ White Whine EP which will be out in the middle of the year. It’s also available for free download. Woop!
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Tape/Off are a Brisbane band who’ve been around for quite a few years making consistently rad, dingy rock music. Maybe part of the reason these guys are so good is that they’ve all got other ‘projects’ and shit to do. Recording, producing, radio announcing and, of course, plenty of other bands keep the members busy enough that they’re free to make music that’s unpretentious and loose. Tape/Off always sound like a mostly fun and recreational band, though they’re still serious as hell about making great songs.
Their latest single ‘Pedestal Fan’ was released ages ago, but the video has just been put out so if you haven’t checked it out yet now’s your chance. The clip is shot in black and white and features a relaxed approach to road rules; band members shredding and singing and smashing drums in an old van (which apparently was put out of its misery by a medium sized hill not long after this shoot). Usually clips that just rely on one idea like this get boring halfway through, but this one is fast and frantic and totally watchable until the last second.
Tape/Off’s first full length record Chipper comes out in June, but you can check out their two previous EP’s (and also get ‘Pedestal Fan’ as a pay-what-you-like download!) on Bandcamp.
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Is it just me or does everyone wish they were in a band after a breakup so you could write a song like this? ‘Dumb Ideas’ from Adelaide’s Bad//Dreems is packed with barbs that are filed to a point by grinding rhythm guitar, accented with that trademark caustically catchy lead. “Thought that you were somethin’ but you’re just another dumb idea” Ben Marwe sneers, voice scratching at the edges in a way that lets you know that at least part of this cruel kind of bravado is a front.
This band gets a lot of old school Aus rock comparisons, but they’re way more than just conduits for the unearned nostalgia of 20 year olds; they’re one of the strongest bands in the country right now, and a full length release can’t come soon enough.
You can hear ‘Dumb Ideas’ on Youtube right now, and there’s a digital release scheduled for April 14th.
To support this track, and celebrate recently being snapped up by Ivy League Records, Bad//Dreems are doing a few ‘intimate’ shows in independent record stores around the country, a prospect that anyone who’s ever seen them live will find both really exciting and just a bit bloody scary. In good way.
Dates below. Tickets at baddreems.com.
Saturday May 17 – The Exeter / Title, Adelaide
Friday May 23 – Black Wire Records, Sydney (All Ages)
Saturday May 24 – Music Farmers, Wollongong (All Ages)
Saturday May 31 – Record Paradise, Melbourne
Saturday June 7 – Rocking Horse, Brisbane (All Ages)
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I like to imagine that the conversation around this video clip, from Christchurch three-piece T54, went something like this: “Hey man, we’ve gotta do a video for this clip, whaddaya reckon?” “How ’bout we just go down to those sweet mountains past mum’s house and stand around and throw rocks and shit?”
And it totally worked, thanks to the casual beauty of New Zealand and the casual excellence of this song. There’s something sweetly strange about the video; the camera lingers for awkward close-ups on band members who are obviously finding it very hard to keep a straight face, and any attempts to look brooding are fruitless.
The song itself is that very popular mix of distorted rhythm guitar, pretty lead melody and high vocal, but these guys pull it off by keeping the track short and packing it with plenty of hooks and different parts so it never gets boring or repetitive. It also feels like the kind of track that would go off way more live, if its droning, dreamy fuzz tendencies were let off the leash.
And what do you know! They’re coming to Australia for three shows, with dates below:
Thursday March 20 – The Old Bar, Melbourne (w/ Claws and Organs, Glaciers and Popolice)
Friday March 21 - Yah Yah’s, Melbourne (w/ The New Pollution and The Sunday Reeds)
Saturday March 22 – Grace Darling, Sydney (w/ Contrast and Miniatures)
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Oh, you’re bored of shoegaze are you? Well suck it up for five minutes because Brisbane’s Blonde Tongues have released a couple of tracks that might just bring you back round to the dark, reverby side.The two singles, ‘Wedding Bells’ and ‘Kisses’ work well as teasers for a forthcoming album. Sure, they’re a bit rough, but both tracks are a clear indication of a band with strong ideas and the guts to back it up (if that seriously wacky lead guitar in ‘Kisses’ is anything to go by.)
Lead single ‘Wedding Bells’ is dense and strangely uplifting – building and then crumbling, with melancholy vocals buried under the rubble.The band have also adopted the genre ‘twee-gaze’, which is definitely one of the more fun arbitrary labels I’ve seen recently. A cool and worthwhile addition to a maybe-not-just-yet saturated scene.
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There’s something about Adelaide that just breeds a kind of toughness. With Adelaide bands like Bad//Dreems and Summer Flake bringing their sound into the spotlight, it’s clear that Australia’s most maligned city is punching well above its weight.
Horror My Friend (surprisingly not a terrible grindcore band) have joined the fray with their latest singe ‘Nothing’ – a tricky, hook-laden track that lands just on the right side of pop punk. This is only their third single in three years, but judging from the amount of well-crafted riffs crammed into this three minute song, they’ve been spending that time wisely. The production on this track is also great – the vocal cuts through all that shredding without being too clean, and some high tension drumming builds excitement till the very end of the song.
With a few headline shows coming up, it’ll be interesting to see if Horror My Friend can maintain this kind of energy live – and if we’ll see more frequent releases from them in the future. Dates for the band’s upcoming shows are below.
Feb 21 - The Captain Cook Hotel, Sydney
Feb 22 – The Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, (Tiki Bar) (w/ Maids, Archers and Model Youth)
Feb 27 – Trainspotters at the Grand Central Hotel, Brisbane (w/ Columbia Buffet, and Cactusdemondoom)
Mar 1 - The Loft Chevron Island, Gold Coast (w/ Dead Books, Take Me North and Pirates of the Tempest)
Mar 13 – The Rosemount Hotel Perth
Mar 14 – The Beat Nightclub, Perth
Mar 15 – The Swan Hotel, Freemantle
Mar 21 – Cats at Rocket Rooftop, Adelaide (w/ Pretty City, Archers and The Sunbirds)
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Curlew is a brand new project from Brisbane musician Sam George-Allen, who’s previously turned heads from behind synths with space hippies Mega Ogre and hardcore punks Low Season (who also perform this song live, though very differently).
Curlew is not much like either of those bands. ‘Blood Disease’ is built around George-Allen’s vocals, with low synth that growls and pulses while the beats stay upfront. It’s not until the vocal loops come in that you get the true impact of this track, with aching harmonies where George-Allen shows effortless control over her subtly interesting voice.
There’s something here that reminds me a little of Kid A. Or maybe in what seems like a sacrilege to say, what I refer to as the ‘pling plong’ synth. This is an excellent debut from an artist who’s sure to keep impressing.
‘Blood Disease’ is available as a pay-what-you-want download from Curlew’s Bandcamp, where you can also check out a very pretty cover of The Drones‘ ‘They’ll Kill You’ too.
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