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white dog

How angry is that name? How aggressive is it? It’s a snarl, a bark, not afraid to tear out your throat. This Sydney band is vicious, rabid, brutal – all things that punk bands should be. Like the great Siberian husky of olde, White Dog will bleach your soul with a song so ferocious, you’d swear Freddy Krueger was directing your personal nightmare into a grotesque orchestral maelstrom.

Whether blaring away on record or putting on one of their fierce live shows, White Dog can’t help but impress. They give off the same aura of primal carnivorousness that made bands like Lubricated Goat, Cosmic Psychos, and The Birthday Party so exciting. You get the overwhelming feeling that WHITE DOG are going to explode out of whatever speaker system you’re listening to and immerse you into their cult of noisy oblivion.

Although they only have three songs to their Soundcloud, the standout, ‘No Good’ points to a band that will soon lord over Australia’s basements and pubs. A combination of the hardcore stylings of Red Red Krovvy and the immersive ockerism of Low Life, White Dog extend upon that with lunging bass lines and snarling fuzz. Furthermore, the band aren’t afraid of an aneurysm-inducing guitar solos, adding a Stooges-esque flavour to their Jesus Lizard/Pissed Jeans indebted growls.

For the fans of uninhibited punk that refuses to drop below a bludgeoning, White Dog are your new favourite band.

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PREMIERE: Primitive Motion – ‘Same in the Same’ video

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Brisbane artists Sandra Selig and Leighton Craig have been collaborating since 2003, when Craig began creating soundtracks for Selig’s art installations. They’ve since played together in a number of experimental outfits, including Deadnotes and Fig., making music based around improvisations and delighfully arcane instrumentation. (Over the years, the liner notes to Primitive Motion records have listed contraptions ranging from the stylophone to euphonium and flugelhorn).

‘Same in the Same’ is the latest single, and one of the loveliest moments, from Craig and Selig’s second LP as Primitive Motion, Pulsating Time Fibre. Taken from the record’s fleeting A-side – the pop half of this gorgeous and eccentric collection – the track clocks in at a succinct 1 minute and 14 seconds. Like most Primitive Motion songs, ‘Same in the Same’ exhibits the playful DIY impulses of early post-punk, circa the Raincoats or Young Marble Giants, as well as the lush expansiveness of electronic pioneers like Laurie Spiegel.

The track’s title is drawn from a poem Selig wrote several years ago – a verse (quoted by Craig in this 2011 interview) that seems to contain the seed for the pair’s entire creative project: “the primitive motion phenomena, the same in the same, left to chance”. This, in a nutshell, is the science of a Primitive Motion track – perpetual iterations of a melodic motif, recorded imperfectly, live, bubbling and warm.

‘The Same in the Same’ is accompanied by a video directed by Selig herself, a woozy meditation on the play of movement and light.

Primitive Motion are launching Pulsating Time Fibre on Saturday, 18 July at the Skukum Lounge in Brisbane. RSVP on Facebook.

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WATCH: Silicon – ‘God Emoji’

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Silicon is the latest musical incarnation of psych multi-instrumentalist madman, Kody Nielson. Following an instrumental solo release and an unsettlingly lengthy period of inactivity, Nielson returns to the world of pop for weirdos previously he touched on with Opossom. The first release under his moniker Silicon, ‘God Emoji’ hears Nielson venture his ever-present love of vocoders to icy new depths to the tune of lush mid-tempo future funk.

Teetering between reverential and remorseful, Nielson creates a sound not unlike a robotic reconstruction of a 70s disco track. While the tune is more of a head-nodder than a dancefloor filler, its syncopated stabs of vocals are no doubt catchy and provide plenty to love.

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The subsequently music video sees the blank-faced, blue eyed vector mask which was recently featured at the project’s debut shows.

The debut album from Silicon will be out later this year through Weird World.


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INTRODUCING: Rolling Blackouts

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Look, Australia has always been a hotbed of incredible jangle-pop acts, especially in recent years. Twerps, Dick Diver and the Ocean Party have provided a wealth of consistent and reliable guitar pop, ensuring that any arts student within hearing distance can bop their head along.

But Rolling Blackouts have been around for a number of years, and the lack of attention regarding this band is astounding. They’re incredible! Subtle, nonchalant brilliance taking place in our own backyard, how about that?! Maybe it’s the fact that these guys have been caught up in their more successful – and decidedly different – projects, which include Graveyard Train and Cash Savage & the Last Drinks. But with the recent release of their first fully-fledged EP, 2015 is shaping up to be the year of the Rolling Blackouts.

The Melbournites do everything right: their hooks are catchier than an addiction to meth after 10 minutes in Walter White’s laboratory. And although the riffs are consistent, the Talk Tight EP ranges from the alt-country finger-picking of ‘Clean Slate’ to the long-faced ‘Wither With You’, a spiritual descendent of the Go-Betweens/Triffids/Even As We Speak. Wherever you press play on this EP, you’ll be greeted warmly by a bright guitar and simple lyrics.

As a sidenote, on standout ‘Wide Eyes’, between shimmering waves of shoegaze, there are a few nods to various Sydney locations – like South Dowling St and Clovelly. Could this be an extending of the olive branch to end the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne??? Time will tell – all that needs to be done now is wait for Rolling Blackouts to release their next masterpiece.

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Kucka – ‘Recovery’

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Despite recent collaborations demonstrating her ability to nail a pop hook, with ‘Recovery’ Kucka (aka Laura Jane Lowther) has created a tasty slice of experimental pop. The first track off her next EP shirks structure for melodies and off-beat rhythms that run into each other and then disappear, as Lowther poises her characteristic industrial electronic samples for collision with her warped fairy vocals.

The instrumental break (sans-instruments) of ‘Recovery’ is a gnarly structure of broken glitch that shoots you right through to Kucka’s candied syllables towards the end of the track. Syllables is as much as I can confirm because I can’t be 100% sure that she’s saying real words – not that it really matters. The point is that Lowther has somehow made a song for riding Nyan Cat across a dark portal of pixelated unicorns and menacing rainbows into another dimension – a journey that would definitely require recovery. Maybe that’s what it’s about?

We’ll be seeing a lot more of Lowther in the coming months, with a run of free shows across the country kicking off in Brisbane at the end of May.

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PREMIERE: Beast & Flood – ‘Abie Poe’

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Beast & Flood are a Sydney trio who make music that sounds like protest – that is, if you can protest a sinking feeling in your stomach. Listening to their knotty, anguished rock, it’s clear these guys feel there’s something broken. The guitars are menacing and the drums punch and stagger, while the vocals swing from dissonant dissertations to an outright wail.

Beast & Flood have been gigging in and around Sydney for more than three years now, but they’re yet to put out a full-length album. They have four releases under their belt so far – three EPs and a blistering single, ‘Amber’. A number of these tracks have now been collected and re-recorded, along with some new material, to form the band’s debut LP, Laguno, which is out 22 June through No Safe Place.

‘Abie Poe’ is Laguno‘s second single, following last month’s ‘Look at the Fish Swimming’. (An exuberant little number in it’s own sharp-edged way, ‘Look…’ might be Beast & Flood’s first properly ‘pop’ song). They’ve spent a lot of time in the studio with this stuff – starting recording in July last year and finishing up in February – and it shows. These tracks are sprawling, composed of several movements, and landing in intensity somewhere between post-hardcore and ’90s emo.

‘Abie Poe’ (named after a character of the same name from Nick Cave’s And the Ass Saw the Angel) opens with swooping chords and chiming harmonics, like Sonic Youth in one of their more melodious moments, before drifting into harsher twists and turns, screams and then release.

Beast & Flood will be touring the new album across the east coast from June to August. Catch them at one of these dates:

25 June – Rad, Wollongong

26 June – Blackwire, Sydney

9 July – Rics, Brisbane

10 July – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane

11 July – Beatdisc, Parramatta

16 July – Phoenix, Canberra

17 July – Metro, Adelaide

18 July – Vice Bar, Melbourne

24 July – The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart

1 August – Hamilton Station Hotel, Newcastle

7 August – The Boatshed, Manly

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LISTEN: Tempura Nights – ‘Mr Tone’

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The only note I took on first listen to this song was ‘PIXIES’– cause although Brisbane four-piece Tempura Nights have shown varied influences in their short life span, this track sits firmly in the late-’80s, early ’90s alternative territory. The wordiness of Rezende’s verses also recalls a bit of Speedy Ortiz, more in the way the lyrics sound than the words themselves. Just have a listen to that abrasive guitar tone and how low the bass grinds along, and tell me you get anything other than 90s teen movie angst.

It’s never a good idea to say what YOU think a band is writing about, you almost always end up looking like a moron, but if ‘Mr Tone’ isn’t about that weird old white guy who eats whole onions on the TV, then it should be. Cause there’s plenty of spite here. It’d be cool to see Rezende get more fired up, break through that smart snarky voice that she does so easily and really get into a bit of yelling. But you get the point anyway: Tempura Nights have no time to take shit.

Though they do seem to have a lot of time to spend in the studio – Tempura Nights work on songs for ages. This can often be a bad sign, cause there’s nothing worse than good music being way overworked and picked over. Thankfully, on ‘Mr Tone’ the band have stayed away from anything too tricky (though it could do without the gang vocals at the end – sounds like PNAU or something) and brought us an extremely solid single from a group that’s delivering on its promise.

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