Posts By Nicholas Kennedy

LISTEN: Witch Hats – ‘Deliverance’

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Witch Hats

You can sense the muscle on some songs. It’s easy to visualise tendons gripping bone, the fibres stretching and tearing as the tune gives itself a good working out over and over again as you whack it on repeat. They just get beefier over time, the technique behind the brawn revealing itself; this one ain’t just a dumb banger, it’s got brains up top too.

Melbourne-based Witch Hats’ ‘Deliverence’ feels this way: a simple snare crack to start proceedings and then then the bass is there, swinging like a pendulum covered in treacle it’s so goddamn thick, trudging across the no man’s land the song sets us in, while guitar leads warble and flutter their way behind frontman Kristofer Buscombe’s sneering rasp of a vocal delivery.

“And I would lose it all/to watch your body fall/to see ya pissed down the drain”. Hate runs all the way through ‘Deliverence’. Not a misunderstood, hot-blooded hate, though; hate with purpose, with vision, like the hate of hell, Buscombe proclaiming “Hallelujah” before each chorus.

It’s been a fair few years since their last one, Pleasure Syndrome. In that time Witch Hats have stripped away the velvet curtains and lamplight that populated videos for songs like ‘Hear Martin’ and replaced it with the post-punk simplicity of black silhouettes and fire. The mechanical bounce of the band against the projections of destruction that makes up the majority of the video for  ‘Deliverence’ is hypnotic, like being presented with the inner workings of a well-oiled machine. It’s worlds beyond the slightly self-regarding nature of their older work.

Witch Hats have stripped away most all the finery and shine; and that don’t matter anyway, they still got teeth.

Witch Hats’ album Deliverence is out 1 July and available to preorder on vinyl and digital.

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WATCH: Terrible Truths – ‘Uptight’

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terrible truths

Terrible Truths have been kicking about on the well-deserved wave of eyes and ears since they put out their self-titled debut LP late last year. Laurels most definitely have not been rested on though, as they have this cool new video clip for one of the bouncier tunes off of their past album, ‘Uptight’. In it, disembodied hands get all touchy feely with a bunch of random stuff and it makes me want to walk barefoot around on different surfaces just to see what it feels like.

Terrible Truths play the Shadow Electric on 24 June as part of Bedroom Suck’s ‘Label of Love’ showcase.

totally terrible

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Free Time Announce Australia-wide Tour

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free time

Melbourne-based guitar pop dudes Free Time have announced dates for a couple of shows across Australia, kicking off in June. Their second album In Search of Free Time came out in April and it’s a riotous little gem of loose guitars and meandering vocals that sounds damn fine live, so you should really head on down to your local designated Free Time outlet on one of these dates to catch them. Check out all the info below, and RSVP on Facebook. You can also check out the new video for the song ‘All Four Seasons’.

Thursday, 2 June – The Bird, Perth with the Spunloves & Silver Hills

Saturday, 4 June – Mojo’s, Fremantle with Peter Bibby, Kitchen People & Regular Boys

Saturday, 25 June – The Union, Sydney with Straight Arrows and Tim & the Boys

Friday, 15 July – The Tote, Melbourne with Beaches

Saturday, 16 July – Trainspotters, Brisbane with Cannon

 

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WATCH: Chelsea Bleach – ‘Public Safety’

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chelsea bleach

“What’s mine is mine” states lead vocalist Emily Gayfer on the long drawn wailing choruses of Chelsea Bleach’s latest single ‘Public Safety’. Chelsea Bleach have been working their feminist riot grrrl punk stylings in a ‘legit’ sense since late 2014 (unless of course you count the various impromptu gigs and house party performances), and they’ve carved out a beautiful little niche for themselves making punk music for anyone who isn’t a straight white male.

You can watch the brand spankin’ new video for ‘Public Safety’ below, produced by Sorcha Mackenzie; but if you really want to get a taste of beautiful 90s punk nostalgia, you ought to head along to the tune’s official launch at the Old Bar on May 20th (where you can also enjoy the wonderful talents of Wet Lips, Two Steps on the Water, and HABITS going off at the DJ booth).

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LISTEN: Hollywood Models – ‘Fare Evade’

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hollywood models

It’s the kind of conversation you’ve seen played out hundreds of times over social media or during shit small-talk at parties where you don’t know anybody. Fuckin’ MYKI, mate.

Like the time when you got done for having your feet on the seat, and spent the rest of the day trying to fathom why anyone would make it their job to police that sort of thing. Or when they introduced on-the-spot fines but the bloke that got you before you could jump off at Vic Park to touch on neglected to mention the new system, positively bursting with righteous glee as he slapped your ignorant ass with a $233 fine.

Don’t worry though, Hollywood Models feel your pain; they get it. Melbourne natives all (with some members of punk outfit Chelsea Bleach), they’re a kind of novelty garage pop outfit that’ll remind you of something like the B-52s. On their debut track, ‘Fare Evade’, they extoll the pitfalls of being a poor uni bastard with a written-off car, using up 20 percent of their pay check to even get to work in the first place.

It’s pretty clear from the first mashed organ chords and fumbling bass that Hollywood Models aren’t necessarily trying to be ‘good’ in the same way most other bands working in Melbourne right now – and truth be told, that uniqueness stretches out to virtually every element of the Hollywood Models experience. Just take a look at their Facebook page: FILTH PITT on vocals? GLENN STEFANI on the mysterious ‘guitar twang’? Who the fuck are these people?

‘Fare evade on Christmas, fare evade on Easter, fare evade on New Years Eve,’ sings backing vocalist Svetlana Del Ray, as a sort of catch call holding the whole thing together.

Hollywood Models aren’t the kind of band you’re going to be linking your friends in your *~ V-SERIOUS AND COOL MELB SCENE MUSIC ~* Facebook group, though. They’re clearly more of an exercise in ridiculous aesthetic and stereotype than anything else – the tradie drummer, the beatnik bassist (?), the dorky scientist on keyboards and pads. Plus, they write songs about fare evading, so there’s that, too. Seeing the whole thing explode into life live is the right way to go – and you can, at their single launch on 29 May at the Workers Club.

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PREMIERE: Ciggie Witch – ‘Walking the Tracks’

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Ciggie Witch - Walking The Tracks

‘I’m not gonna try and make everyone happy anymore,’ conclude Ciggie Witch on ‘Walking the Tracks’, the latest single from their forthcoming sophomore effort, Classic Connection.

Ciggie Witch have never really been the kind of band to wrap themselves up in flowery lyrics or attempts at depth via metaphor, and ‘Walking the Tracks’ is no different. It’s a snapshot of a decision: a moment when someone makes the choice between whether they want to live for themselves or everyone else.

While frontman Zac Denton (also of the Ocean Party, mainly) sits most of the actual ‘issues’ he’s facing here (aside from the flu) behind a vague, tried-and-true mantra of getting your shit together, there’s a refreshing willingness to simply follow a meandering trail of thought to its conclusion in his lyricism(‘I should be getting fit from all this walking/have been doing it four times a day/if my parents could see what I’ve been doing/they’d be onto me like vultures to the dead’) – something that often gets swept away in his more grandiose work with the Ocean Party.

The laidback instrumentation – provided by the likes of Ashley Bundang on keys (who you might recognise out from behind the drumset of Totally Mild, as well as her own project, Zone Out) and Joe Foley on lap steel – sways along in the usual Ciggie Witch style, closing out with twinkling keyboard and Denton’s whispered conclusion.

Classic Connection is out 3 June via Lost & Lonesome and Osborne Again.

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WATCH: Snake & Friends – ‘Missus and the Masses’

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al montford

If you’re kicking about checking out local Melbourne bands on a regular basis you’ve probably been (metaphorically) touched by the talented hand of Alistair Montfort. Dick Diver, Total Control, Lower Plenty, UV Race – the list of groups Montfort puts his name to rolls on and on. Now a new one’s set to join: Snake and Friends.

With what seems to be their first music video, a song called ‘Missus and the Masses’ has shown up on Montfort’s teeny tiny YouTube channel, and you can watch it below. It’s going to be showing up again on Snake and Friends’ debut LP, which, as far as I can tell, doesn’t have a name, date or any other info attached.

‘Missus and the Masses’ is about as scrappy as Montfort’s efforts in UV Race – though it’s perhaps not as unabashedly messy as the stuff that showed up on Homo. ‘Missus and the Masses’ teeters on the edge of acceptable standards of production, but you’ve gotta take the Montfort with the Montfort and love it for what it is. Always one to appreciate the simpler parts of Australian life, Al describes his video as “an ode to a couple frothy ones”, kicking off with a ne’er do well chant of “sink more! sink more!” and closing out with an elastic synthesizer screw-about.

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