Lost Valentinos – ’17 Deaths’
The begot Los begot Lost… so now we arrive at Lost Valentinos, a name change for the Sydney four piece to avoid a throng of lawyers syphoning money from them. It begs the question: what’s the big difference between “The Valentinos” and “Lost Valentinos”??
Along with the name change comes two things: a new drummer, replacing Dan Stricker (who’s now behind the kit for the Midnight Juggernauts), and a new single, ’17 Deaths’ produced by uber-rad UK-via-Berlin producer Ewan Pearson. He’s worked with bands like The Rapture and Goldfrapp, and that electro-dance element is noticable from the first few seconds when the rave synths kick in. It’s more of a progression for the band, whose popularity has plateaued somewhat since the release of their EP Damn and Damn Again.
You can only buy this one on iTunes and it’ll be on their album which will be out sometime – I don’t think the band even know!
A moodier and, dare I say, darker Crowded House return with ‘Don’t Stop Now’, the first song lifted from their new album Time On Earth, their first album in nearly 15 years and their first since the suicide of their fantastic drummer Paul Hester.
The Paper Scissors – ‘Yamanote Line’
Jagged funk and blues from Byron act The Paper Scissors, whose lazy tempo idles along beautifully until a burst of speeding rhythm takes the song in an entirely different direction for the final third. A catchy chorus of crowd holler and some sunny swift guitar work make an interesting mix early on, but I’m not sure about the shift – the rhythms are too late nineties drum ‘n’ bass for my taste.
I Heart Hiroshima - ‘Punks’
Don’t be fooled by the title: the brand new single from Brisbanites I Heart Hiroshima is the antithesis of punk. Jangly clean guitars ring beneath girl vs boy vocals that are delivered with a life-or-death urgency. Kind of like the way Win Butler from the Arcade Fire sounds like he’s singing every song from a podium, orating people who aren’t listening, trying to get the message out before it’s too late. Too late for what, you ask? Fucked if I know…
It’s kinda twee, in an Architecture in Helsinki kind of way, which everyone seems to love at the moment. Not that it’s bad, it’s just in vogue, and that’s cool. ‘Punks’ seems to belong in that casket, and there’s something about its simplistic nature that’s rather endearing. It’s the first taste of their new album Tuff Tuff which will be out soon. It’s not going to set the house on fire, but you won’t want to burn it down out of anger either.
Midnight Juggernauts @ Fabric, London:
So I’m in London having a look about the live stages here, and first on the Australian agenda is Australia’s electro outfit Midnight Juggernauts who played a late night slot in one of London’s most well-known nightclubs. Though it’s not my late night haunt of choice, it was 2am when the Melbourne duo plus ex-Valentinos tin-master came out on stage. On record, I think The Jugger’s have some killer dance tracks, but have yet to impress me live. In their defence, the mix wasn’t great, with the dials set at “blow your ear drums out with VOOM”, it was definitely a show for the ravers. Nonetheless, the UK kids seemed to dig it, and there were a few familiar faces in the crowd.
photo by Michael Curtis
Repeat Offender - ‘Amphetamine’ (mp3)
Anytime a band manages to notch up 190,000 profile views on MySpace with fairly limited radio play, it’s time to sit up and take notice.
Straight off the bat, there’s a lot of people who are going to loathe Repeat Offender: they’re a bastard mixture of rock, pop, punk and alternative sounds. But even if it’s not your thing, you have to admit that these guys are very good at what they do. They’ve got an extremely polished sound, which you may want to put down to studio trickery, but trust me these kids can pull it off live as well.
They’ve done some big gigs, most namely The Butterfly Effect and The Veronicas (weird mix I know, but one of the Repeat Offender dudes is shagging one of the Origliasso twins). The last thing they recorded was their EP To A Modern Love… and now that they’ve shed some weight off the lineup (they were once a five-piece, now they’re a four-piece), we should expect their debut album very, very soon.
They’re playing a bunch of gigs in their home state of Queensland soon, and some shows in Sydney as well, so if you dig ‘Amphetamine’, go and support them.
Crowded House – ‘Don’t Stop Now’
Perhaps not the indelible instant classic of past singles, ‘Don’t Stop Now’ still throbs with a great, sensitive heart and a unique charm; Neil’s voice as vulnerable and clear today as it was twenty years ago and the melody as energetically lovely. A sweet Phoenix.
The last clip made under The Valentinos moniker, and with Dan Stricker on drums (he’s gone to the Midnight Juggernauts). Next time we talk about these guys, we’ll refer to them as The Lost Valentinos.
I feel like I’m watching a video clip that The Clash or the Sex Pistols would have made for an infant MTV.