Step-Panther have just released their latest single, ‘It Came From the Heart’, the second from their upcoming sophomore record Strange But Nice. Welp, for a bunch of Wollongong bros who like to shred, Step-Panther sure did a turn on us.
Although previous single ‘Nowhere’ and earlier tracks like ‘No Fun’ and ‘Maybe Later’ made Step-Panther stand out as snotty, high-octane punks, this new one is about as laid back as the band have ever been.
Don’t let the cruisy pace and note-plucking deceive you though, Step-Panther are still at their juvenile best. They combine lyrics about creatures from the swamp, intergalactic eye pulverisers and heartbreak into one intoxicating tune. Although they’ve turned down their guitars on this one, Step-Panther have lost none of their ability to write excellent songs.
Strange But Nice is out on 19 September through Inertia sub-label HUB.
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The thing I find most refreshing about Owen Rabbit’s sound is that it isn’t very trendy. Instead, it’s extremely direct – so sparse it’s a little gawky, like knock-knees or braces, but pop to the bone nonetheless.
The kid talks tough, of course: “Owen sounds something like Burial shoving Rufus Wainwright into a metal box,” reads his Soundcloud bio. Like a true lad, he was inspired to make music by the rave culture he grew up in, he draws on trip hop as much as indie pop and his first single is about being driven home in the back of a police car.
Owen Rees composes his tracks using a loop pedal, a drum pad, samplers and a variety of instruments. His patchwork percussion includes a number of household objects – matches, monopoly sets, tissue boxes. Debut release ‘Police Car’ features the clink and spray of an aerosol can. It’s a spare, confident track, led by vocals both melancholy and strident.
‘Police Car’ b/w ‘Homeless Dog Shelter’ is out now on 7″ vinyl, CD and digital via Catch Release Records. The last show of the ‘Police Car’ tour takes place at the William St Bird in Perth this Thursday, 21 August. RSVP on Facebook.
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Yeah, yeah. Ben Montero’s good with his hands. You might already know him as one half of Early Woman or from eponymous pop outfit Montero, the TM Band or the forever excellent Treetops (RIP).
Outside of music, Montero’s an artist. His work has appeared in the Huffington Post, VICE, Desktop Magazine and the Australian Book Review among others. Ariel Pink, Beaches and Pond have even recruited his stuff to sell their wares. Well, he’s just opened his first solo exhibition, ‘SKETCHES’ – featuring over 148 posters, sketches and various lampoonings of the local music scene which Montero’s been a part of for twenty years.
Montero recently worked up a comic for us which covers all the hard hitting issues like free beer, Fred Negro and ‘normcore’ – which should be enough of an incentive for you to get along to the show.
SKETCHBOOK is showing at Lamington Drive, Collingwood until the 30th of August.
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MAP is here for the month of August, Brisbane’s Blonde Tongues representing Australia this time around with their languid, ‘twee-gaze’ debut, ‘Seilu’.
Don’t forget to stream or download Robbie’s MAP podcasts via Soundcloud or iTunes. There’s a new MAPcast coming your way soon, focusing this month on the sounds of Mexico.
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 22-track compilation through Dropbox here.
Como Diamantes Telepáticos – Soñar Soñar
The name of the band comes from an Allen Ginsberg quote about the writings of his friend Jack Kerouac (“Each book by Kerouac is unique, a telepathic diamond”). This song by Como Diamantes Telepáticos is the first single from Dorado, their second studio album, in which they explore a more experimental psychedelic pop sound and mysterious lyrics. The album is available in physical format and as a free download from Bandcamp.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Blonde Tongues – Seilu
Seilu, the new single from Brisbane’s Blonde Tongues, is a piece of dream-pop with serious emotional pull drawn from slow-build instrumentals and spacey flares of lead guitar. A track about contradictions, thought patterns and lines of friendship, Seilu is coy and seductive rather than brash. There’s no doubt Blonde Tongues still have plenty more depths to reveal in their sound.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Banda do Mar – Hey Nana
Banda do Mar is a project by Marcelo Camelo (former singer of Los Hermanos, one of the biggest Brazilian bands from the last decade), Mallu Magalhães (Brazil’s biggest hype from the MySpace era) and Fred Pinto (Portuguese musician, member of Buraka Som Sistema and Orelha Negra). Hey Nana is their first single, bringing summer early with a catchy melody and some beachy vibes.
CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Slight Birching – Currency
Sean Travis Ramsay makes neo-folk tunes under the name Slight Birching. His latest single Currency reveals a slight eerieness created by a haunting pedal steel and unique guitar twangs as Ramsay ponders a larger meaning in life.
A few weeks ago Melbourne venue the Tote played host to the launch of Geoffrey O’Connor’s ’Her Name on Every Tongue’. The track is the second single from his sophomore solo album, Fan Fiction - ‘eleven adult contemporary disco hits’, out now on digital, CD and ‘deluxe gold vinyl’ via Chapter Music.
Supporting him were White Hex, a handsome duo whose latest album Gold Nights melds Italo-disco with proto-punk; Terrible Truths, a Melbourne-via-Adelaide post-punk three-piece, who will release an album via Bedroom Suck later this year; and newcomers Gold Class, doing their finest Ian Curtis impersonations.
Terrible Truths’ own Stacey Wilson (Rites Wild, Regional Curse), who also heads underground label Heavy Lows, took some photos for us on 35mm film. Check out Terrible Truths’ new single below, and eyeball more of Stacey’s work on her website.
Many Things are a London-based group led by a familiar Aussie face. If you, like me, got caught up in the whirlwind surrounding Yves Klein Blue a few years back, then you will instantly recognise Many Things’ vocalist, Michael Tomlinson. Now living in London, Michael has spread his wings not just geographically but musically, too.
‘Chains’ is the new single from Many Things. It’s a heartbreaking take on obsession and an inability to let go of past loves. This tune is a proper rollercoaster, starting slowly but swelling to a bombast that parallels Tomlinson’s passion. He’s angry, he’s miserable, and it feels like he’s trying to pour every molecule into this song in the hope that he can contain it all there.
Take note, this isn’t a solo outing. Many Things is a group of talented musicians who create a strong foundation for Tomlinson’s voice. The small details are the most interesting. Listen close for the odd voicemail snippet – they add a level of personal sadness to the picture of obsession already being conveyed.
The newly released video for ‘Chains’ is a warped, VHS-style clip that features a bare-chested Tomlinson, his image distorting every time he begins to break apart.
Many Things will be releasing an EP, What We Are, on 22nd August through Dew Process.
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