New Music

PREMIERE: Cool Sounds – ‘Headset’

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Melbourne sextet Cool Sounds come from that wonderful part of the world (read: Brunswick) that gave us Ciggie Witch, Zone Out, Velcro and the Ocean Party. Predictably, lad-about-town Liam Halliwell – aka Snowy Nasdaq – has got a piece of the pie, joining the band on saxophone.

In August Cool Sounds released their debut LP, Melbourne Fashion – a title that, like the band name, suggests these guys aren’t entertaining any self-aggrandising ideas. In their own words, Cool Sounds are ‘jangle enforcers’ producing ‘stadium dolewave’. They write about all the big issues – Degrassi Junior High, Katie Holmes movies, friends having babies, friends going away for the week, ‘cringe-y’ love stories. Their latest track is a blow-by-blow account of waiting on hold to speak to a telco operator.

‘Headset’ is the first single from Cool Sounds’ forthcoming record, Healing Crystals. It’s brighter and cleaner than the washed-out tracks of Melbourne Fashion, but it’s still got that heat-shimmer effect – sustained by layers of vocals, sax and whammy bar.

Healing Crystals will be out on 9 January through Beko Disques, the French label that’s put out material from locals Day Ravies, Nathan Roche, Parading and Wizard Oz. (Check out their recent compilation of Australian jangle, Oz Do It Better!).

Cool Sounds have a bunch of shows coming up in support of the new album, including a Sunday afternoon residency at the Tote for the launch of ‘Headset’. Details below:

20/12/14 @ The Shadow Electric, Abbotsford w/ Dan Kelly, Civil Civic (UK) and Bayou

02/01/15 @ Purple Hen Winery, Phillip Island w/ The Ocean Party

04/01/15 @ The Tote w/ Juicy Lolstar (Lucas Heenan) & Ciggie Witch

11/01/15 @ The Tote w/ Crepes & Good Mornings

15/01/15 @ Phoenix Bar, Canberra w/ TBA

16/01/15 @ The Record Crete, Sydney w/ Black Springs

18/01/15 @ The Tote w/ Full Ugly

25/01/15 @ The Tote w/ Palm Springs & Tam Vantage

04/04/15 @ Boogie, Tallarook

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Not to be confused with kids at zoo, a search for which will inevitably lead to compilations of kids laughing and pointing at a chimp that hates itself, Kids of Zoo are a Melbourne punk band that sound like something your mum would absolutely hate. They’re loud, brash and more sneering than I imagine Tony Abbott would’ve been when making his cuts to those hippies at the ABC and SBS.

Kids of Zoo have been around since early 2009, when their first 7″ was released, and they’ve had a constant stream of material since. They’ve just put out second album Welcome to Parrot Eyes on legendary punk label Every Night is a Saturday Night Records (Batpiss, the Spinning Rooms, Bad Vision).

But classic Green Day puns are not all that’s amazing about Kids of Zoo. Welcome to Parrot Eyes boasts one-and-a-half-minute punk bliss, straight up ragers – like Refused compressed to an even more frantic pace. If Eddy Current Suppression Ring wanted to be Die! Die! Die!, they would’ve tumbled into what Kids Of Zoo are now. They fit in well with the current scene of thrashers in Australia, such as Us the Band, Heads of Charm and Super Best Friends.

Songs like ‘Drop the Penny’, ‘A Clean Shave’ and ‘Young Children’ are punk rock revellers, brutal and impassioned, but still incredibly fun. For those who have their necks switched to permanent headbanging position, Kids of Zoo are perfect.

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LISTEN: Pool Shop – ‘Lower Now (demo)’

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Pool Shop is the solo project of Major Leagues guitarist Jamie Fryer, and though it’s been a thing for a couple of years now (lucky Melbourne people have even had a couple of chances to see her live since Fryer moved from Brisbane in mid-2014), this demo is the first track she’s recorded. ‘Lower Now (Demo)’ is lo fi and sparse but full of promise and crystalline beauty.

The down-and-out sweetness of the vocals is ‘Lower Now’s most immediate element, drawing you in from the first breath. Fryer’s delivery is clipped and restrained, hinting at some pretty deep hurt below the surface, but never really letting you in. She also gives us a taste of her talent for beautiful, shoegazey guitar lines with a drawn-out riff that comes in towards the end of the song and fades out far too quickly. Everything about this track seems designed to make you want more, so let’s hope this is a sign of great things to come rather than just a lovely one-off.

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INTRODUCING: Claire & the Cops

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Claire & the Cops have an interesting story behind their name, one that every garage band has surely (and sorely) experienced – that of the piece-of-shit neighbour. In this case the neighbour is Claire, who called the cops on this Sydney trio for playing loud rock’n’roll music in their garage. It feels like Claire’s the kind of person who would call up the Free TV Australia hotline after hearing someone say ‘Damn!’ on a program before 6.30.

Fun-hating sticklers aside, Claire & the Cops brandish a bratty, loud brand of garage music that’ll probably blow out some eardrums along the way. They lean very closely to Ty Segall and other lo-fi idols such as White Fence and Straight Arrows (whose frontman Owen Penglis mastered Claire & the Cops’ debut EP). While their vocals sit low, deep and more chilled than Matthew McConaughey in Surfer, Dude,at an instrumental level the songs bellow with a forthright fuzz that sets them alight. Basing your band name on a prudish neighbour may seem slightly passive aggressive, but at least there’s history there – and these guys make the kind of balls-out garage that forces you to pay attention. Check out their latest single, ‘Need Ya’, below.

Catch ‘em playing Jitterfest alongside the Girl Fridas, Piss Factory and the Nuclear Family on Sunday, 7 December at Sydney’s Captain Cook Hotel.

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INTRODUCING: Ha the Unclear

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Ha the Unclear, a set of Dunedinites formerly known as Brown, specialise in a densely worded style of alt-pop with a distinct southern drawl.

Led by Michael Cathro’s unique vocals and sharp, dark wit, the band are unlike any band you’ve heard before. They weave hilarious tales of anxiety and frustration, give intimate emotion to inanimate objects and raise questions about religion and morality within almost a single breath.

Cathro’s lead is complemented perfectly by lush backing vocals and a seemingly endless supply of hooks. The songs have a great sense of restraint that anticipates a glorious grand release – most notably on album closer ‘Mortality (A Million Years Ago)’.

Ha the Unclear have just released the lyric video for ‘Secret Lives of Furniture’, which you can check out below. Their new album, Bacterium, Look at Your Motor Go, is full of hooks and quirks. Get it right now on Bandcamp.

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BEHIND THE SCENES: Teen Sensations – ‘Monster Beach Party’ video

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Maddie and Froz were invited along to take some snaps at Teen Sensations‘ ‘Monster Beach Party’ video shoot a couple of weeks ago in Brisbane. Jeremy Neale’s new band of heart-throbs (Georgie Sensation, Corky Sensation, Your Sensation and Jerry Sensation) are launching their debut 7″ on an east coast tour beginning tomorrow night in Brisbane. Dates and more pics after the jump.

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We’ve got another Paradise Festival mix for you today (only two days to go!). This one was sent in by Melbourne’s own Darcy Baylis, whose debut EP, ‘How Can I Live?’/’Ecstasy’, is out now through Downtime. Currently studying composition at VCA, Baylis was only just out of high school when he released his first album, Celestial Love, under the nom de guerre Naminé. He produces nostalgic dance music with a whole lot of heart, his introspective vocals dealing with depression, heartbreak and delusion.

Baylis has made us an exquisite mix of deep house, post punk and atmospheric techno, including excellent showings from locals Amateur Dance and Total Control. Check it out below, and don’t miss his set from 3.00 to 4.00 this Saturday night in Club Land.


Track list:

01. Function & Vatican Shadow – A Year Has Gone By

02. Amateur Dance – Room For Improvement

03. Blue Marble Tech – D

04. Caspian Joseph – Love My Luv

05. Ital – Dancing

06. Total Control – Bloody Glass

07. Hieroglyphic Being – The Seer of Cosmic Visions (Original Version)

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