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The Single Malt Special – ‘Must Have Been High’

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The Single Malt Special – ‘Must Have Been High’ (mp3)

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I was about to write The Single Malt Special off as good enough for the crew at Triple J to mazz over, but ultimately a pale imitation of The Bamboos. ‘Must Have Been High’ is a good standard funk groove and I was ready to find a profile picture of the band, probably full of three-piece suits and superfluous hats.

All I could find was this picture of a gigantic octopus wearing headphones attacking a skyscraper. I’ll leave you all to make your own ‘killer octopus/must have been high’ puns.

Jinja Safari

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Jinja Safari – ‘Peter Pan’ (mp3)

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New band Jinja Safari debuted their impressive first live show in Sydney last month. Self describing their sound as ‘forest rock’ and ‘dancing music’, in a year when Vampire Weekend, Animal Collective and many other experimental indie bands shoned and found their place in blogging and mainstream circles, this band arrived with the right sound at the right time.

Jinja Safari – ‘Peter Pan’ from Jinja Safari on Vimeo.

Hot Spa

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Mysterious new band from Sydney with not a show under their name yet gave us this shades-of-summer track with accompanying home video montage, perfect for this freezing winter in Sydney.

Young Bloods #1 @ Legions Club, Brisbane.

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Brisbane music-scene do-gooders Brisbane Sounds and Starving Kids have teamed up to run a monthly licenced all ages club night in the Valley, with very young bands on the line-up. The result is Young Bloods, held at the Legions Club – a hole-in-the-wall RSL with a war museum in the basement and incredibly cheap bar prices. Of the four bands on the line-up, I caught sets by Bixby Canyon and Dirty Bird. Both bands were solid, but Dirty Bird were really something else – they brought the biggest crowd and said crowd was up and fight-dancing throughout the band’s entire excellent but weird set.

All in all, good times were had. There are a few hush-hush all-ages BYO venues in Brissy, but ideally it would be easier for venues to get a liquor licence so they didn’t have to sneak around risking fines. Thank goodness for RSLs and their loophole-strewn section in Queensland’s liquor licencing legislation.

Bixby Canyon

Dirty Bird

The venue had a war museum in the basement and a sizable library of first-edition Mills and Boon romance novels near the bar.

For more photos, see my Flickr profile.

Pockets – ‘Gun Shy’


Pockets – ‘Gun Shy’ (mp3)

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Sydney’s Pockets are tight. Their songs are short, punchy and well-produced – there’s not an ounce of sonic fat left to be trimmed. There’s a lot about this track that reminds me of Silversun Pickups – the tightly edited drums, breathy singing alternated with muted screams – but the aforementioned tightness saves them from the wank and effects pedal abuse rife in post-rock.

They’re playing in Sydney on Saturday at Jira Books with Japanese band Nim, Brisbane’s In Sepia and Hira Hira.

New stuff from PVT

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PVT – ‘Timeless’ (mp3)

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PVT is the new name of Sydney’s Pivot, so forced into changing because a horrible prog-metal act from the US registered the name ‘Pivot’ as a trademark, despite the band formerly known as Pivot having previously released music under that name in that terrtiory. Yeah, makes sense. Rather than pursue legal hassles (despite a pretty strong case), PVT just decided to change their name. I think PVT suits them better anyway. It’s more experimental, leaving out vowels and subverting capital letter conventions and such as.

Anyway, PVT are still the only Australian band signed to Warp, the famous UK electronic label that was home to almost every IDM band in the 90s/00s (Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Squarepusher, LFO). PVT didn’t exactly mine similar territory, but there was definitely a sonic lineage between their post-rock/ambient/laptop styles and that label’s more famous signees.

Their new album Church With No Magic is out soon (distributed locally via Inertia) and it sees a slight change in direction for the band. Perhaps ‘change in direction’ isn’t the right description – it’s more a tightening of their previous sonic preoccupations into more of a pop framework. No doubt, tracks like ‘Window’ (video below) will see them get more radio play, higher festival billing etc, which I’m cool with. Even though I loved PVT back when they were Pivot, I still really like the pop cut ‘Window.’ Their approach to production is still quite out there, but they’re just applying that approach to more conventionally structured tunes. On a blogging scale from 1 – Animal Collective, ‘Window’ could very well be there ‘My Girls.’

But Church With No Magic isn’t an entirely under-3-mins affair. There’s some deeper album cuts that totally rule. Check out ‘Timeless’ above for proof that these guys can still wig out like almost no one else in this country. The whole album is pretty boss and I recommend you check it out when it’s released next month.

PS. I’m not a superstitious guy, but when I visited their Myspace to grab the above link I was visitor no. 555555. That has to mean something, right?