Surf rock has been well represented over last few years in Australia. Bleeding Knees Club, Dune Rats and Step-Panther are all bands that are representative of the success felt when a couple o’ guys can get together and bust out a killer riff.
Right now, there’s another band that is gunning to similar heights. A band with the enthusiasm of a grommet on his first Al Merrick, the reckless endangerment of an average day at Shipsterns. That’s what Brisbane’s Doom Mountain are going for.
Previous singles ‘Thrill Seeker’ and ‘(I’m So) Wiped Out’ point towards the laid back vibes of Melbourne bands that have been infected by a rabid 6-foot swell, like Bachelor Pad and Ross De Chene Hurricanes. However, their new track ‘Lonely Child’ shows a more, brooding post-punk side to the band, with a looming guitar line that I’m sure The Murlocs are kicking themselves for not thinking up first.
Dark Fair is guitarist Ramona Moore and drummer Ellie Dunn, and they make rock’n’roll music. I mean properly: leather jackets and Chrissie Hynde hairdos. The pair met in Brisbane – where presumably they grew up on a strict regimen of Hole and Magic Dirt – on the live circuit, playing together in Ramona’s band Kate Bradley and the Goodbye Horses.
Via their own circuitous routes, both ended up in Melbourne in 2012 and promptly recorded the debut Dark Fair EP, Penny Universe. Second release, You Shouldn’t Be Mine, is due out in May, and they’ve just dropped the single ‘Poison’.
A driving ballad led by Ramona’s frayed vocal and insistent open strings, ‘Poison’ is punctuated by a sharp bass cameo from pal Adalita – who’s championed the band since catching them live at Yah Yah’s about a year ago. Check out the track below.
Dark Fair are launching the new EP at Old Bar in Melbourne on Saturday, 31 May. You can also catch them playing the final show of their April residency at the Tote tomorrow night, alongside Ohms and tinsmoke.
Love hath no better form than Fraser A. Gorman toting his IRL pet chicken, ‘Detective Greggs’, around Melbourne’s northern suburbs (dubbed by Fraser as the ‘Bonsoy Belt’). The new video for ‘Book of Love’ also features cheery cameos from Courtney Barnett and band, members of You Am I, Money For Rope and King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. The clip was directed by Sunny Leunig, who also plays guitar in Jimmy Tait. I’m certain all of the above have shook on some kind of blood pact to appear in each other’s music clips, partaking in recreational activities (biking, tennis etc). But after being quelled to compassion by Gorman’s poultry pal, not even sure who needs convincing anymore.
Fraser launches ‘Book of Love’ at the Workers Club in Melbourne this Thursday, 24th of April with Mojo Juju and Palm Springs.
Sydney trio Adults was formed in mid-2012 by former members of Step Panther and Joystick, and debuted last April with the coarse blues of lead track ‘Ominous’. A year later they have followed up with their first EP, Gronk City, which is out now on Bechamel Records – a Popfrenzy offshoot specialising in 7” releases and run by Adults’ own Greg Clennar.
The band’s sound sits somewhere between post punk and C86 jangle, the twee vocals underwritten by scouring guitar and a rhythm section that’s forever to the point. Thematically, Adults embrace a punk notion of the intellectual degenerate. On the lurching peripatetic fantasy ‘Freight Ship’, for example, the protagonist, stowed away with criminals and lunatics, has a taste for the high brow: ‘got me a copy of Rimbaud/got me a copy of Miller’.
In their mix of aesthetic threat and thoughtfulness Adults resemble the gentle punk of Television Personalities. Closer to home, their music has an affinity with the Stevens’ concise interpretations of the Dunedin sound – a relationship that’s particularly clear on Gronk City highlight ‘Rain’.
There’s some genre hopping on the EP, which skips from the twee pop of the opening track to aggressive closer ‘Snail Woman/Women’ with its Sonic Youth-inspired interludes. Adults’ work, however, is extremely satisfying in its bare bones construction, tunefulness and wit.
Stream Gronk City in full after the jump, along with the video for first single ‘Ominous’.
Wrap your ears around ‘Out of Mind’, the new single from Brisbane’s Naked Maja.
If the bottled-up, experimental tumult of last year’s brilliant Disillusion EP was a restless savant – then the first taste of the band’s forthcoming EP, The Vagrant, is its calmer, neutral-decision making, Moog toting, younger brother.
We’ve heard Restless Maja (‘Soft Hands’), Dismembered Maja (‘#59′) and Wandering Maja (‘Take’). ‘Out of Mind’ may be a gentle Eno coax over from their other musings, but the band aren’t flailing everything on the line. Naked Maja have always been discerning in their generosity; careful with their sound. That’s rarely a bad thing when experimental pop too often lands overcooked. Even when their angular samples and tense guitars have taken precipice, the band haven’t been quite tipped over the edge.
The synth direction on ‘Out of Mind’ is sustained, the lead vocal never tethers too far from the moonlight. And perhaps in that, this temperance keeps the band’s vision where it needs to be.
The video for ‘Out of Mind’ (see still above) was directed by Megan Cullen and will also be released in the next few weeks. Naked Maja are playing a number of dates soon, see below for details.
Sat 26 April – The Underdog (Brisbane) supporting Gazar Strips w/ The Steady As She Goes
Thurs 22 May – The Underdog (Brisbane) EP Release w/ Keep On Dancin’s + No Sister + Ultra Material
The band’s forthcoming EP The Vagrant, is set for an independent release next month.
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!
Looks like the Eurovision panel felt a little sorry for our tiny, insignificant island in the middle of the Pacific by choosing to ‘include’ us in Eurovision this year. Who needs Jess Mauboy? If we had it our way, we’d have sent off Dianas to Copenhagen instead.
Scroll down to hear our track by the Perth trio, and more tracks compiled by our bro/sis blogs around the world.
Speaking of global roaming, Robbie our MAPcast podcast host is out travelling in Thailand for Songkran – the country’s best water festival or biggest wet t-shirt competition. Before he returns with the photos, he’s taking a break from the usual podcast this month and will be back soon.
Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 27-track compilation through Ge.tt here.
This band from La Plata usually cites British rock acts such as The Kinks, Blur and The Stone Roses as their main influences. However, this track from The Plasticos’ new album, Kilómetros, is one of our favorites because of its grungy sound that reminds us of the new Argentine rock movement from the late 90s. You can listen to the album on Bandcamp.
There are moments when all you want to do is kiss the guy who invented the internet. Such is the case when one Bandcamp tag after the other, we stumbled upon Dianas, a trio from the distant city of Perth. Dix is a dreamy drone-pop tune with all those floral notes typical of Scottish indie; kind of like what Camera Obscura might have sounded like on a hot summer’s night in Western Australia.
Sort of a sad waltz, Tudo Em Volta De Mim Vira Um Vão is taken from Isaar’s new album, Todo Calor (roughly translated as “All The Heat”). Originally from Recife, one of Brazil’s most prolific cities, Isaar shows her strong influences of local culture such as frevo, maracatu and manguebeat, but also flirts with pop music and other contemporary artists like Siba and Orquestra Contemporânea De Olinda.
Hybrid hip-hop rockers Zoo Legacy are from Ottawa but have a world-conquering sound. Blending indie-rock, R&B, hip-hop and pop, it’s impossible to pinpoint which element is the band’s focus, and that’s exactly what they’ve intended. Lines blur and genres blend, but Zoo Legacy’s gift will always be musical alchemy.