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PREMIERE: Bad Vision – ‘Goons’ video

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bad vision goons

A few weeks back, Melbourne’s Bad Visions released the first single from their upcoming album, Turn Out Your Sockets. At first, it felt like a far cry from their early days of eyeball-gouging album art and music to match. The thrash had been replaced with something that could almost be described as country – closer to bluegrass than torrential garage dissonance. But the fear quickly dissipated. Bad Vision have broadened; changed, but stayed the same where it matters. They’ve still got what it takes to lay a garage rock smack down.

‘Goons’ now features a video to accompany its story of teenage mall terrorists: a tracking shot that features all the foosball, record fondling and band practice on the patio that a young punk could dream of. This is the real life of Bad Vision, and their ode to goons – the type of person with a passion for everyone’s favourite sack of cheap wine. The kind of folk who shove good advice to the curb, just so they can say they did things their own way. A person who can spend an entire day on a street corner, people watching and snickering at what they don’t want to be. ‘Goons’ is a love letter, delivered with jangly guitar lines and a raucous chorus. The kind you can lean into in your leather jacket, knowing only half the words but with the courage to yell them like you wrote the thing.

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WATCH: Snake & Friends – ‘Missus and the Masses’

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al montford

If you’re kicking about checking out local Melbourne bands on a regular basis you’ve probably been (metaphorically) touched by the talented hand of Alistair Montfort. Dick Diver, Total Control, Lower Plenty, UV Race – the list of groups Montfort puts his name to rolls on and on. Now a new one’s set to join: Snake and Friends.

With what seems to be their first music video, a song called ‘Missus and the Masses’ has shown up on Montfort’s teeny tiny YouTube channel, and you can watch it below. It’s going to be showing up again on Snake and Friends’ debut LP, which, as far as I can tell, doesn’t have a name, date or any other info attached.

‘Missus and the Masses’ is about as scrappy as Montfort’s efforts in UV Race – though it’s perhaps not as unabashedly messy as the stuff that showed up on Homo. ‘Missus and the Masses’ teeters on the edge of acceptable standards of production, but you’ve gotta take the Montfort with the Montfort and love it for what it is. Always one to appreciate the simpler parts of Australian life, Al describes his video as “an ode to a couple frothy ones”, kicking off with a ne’er do well chant of “sink more! sink more!” and closing out with an elastic synthesizer screw-about.

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LISTEN: Alex Lahey – ‘You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me’

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alex lahey

DO! YOURSELVES! A! FAVOUR! Yes, the caps is necessary, and yes, each exclamation mark is justified. Alex Lahey is a gift to Australian music in the same way that a serving of gourmet Italian pizza is a gift to someone who’s been eating Dominos their entire life. Although she’s only released two solo tracks, they’re endlessly listenable – guiding your hand to the repeat button like Darth Vader is Force-choking your index fingers.

Her first single, ‘Air Mail’, was a simple guitar pop number lamenting a long-distance relationship; it was irreverent, light and catchy, like Feist mixed with some Courtney Barnett. Now, for her second single, ‘You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me’, Lahey has stepped up the guitar crunch enough to snap the neck of a Bon Iver fan.

But, even with the pedal board lit up like Kings Cross pre-lock out laws, Lahey still maintains her signature wit and earnestness. The song begins with, “All I want to do is drink clean-skin wine and watch Mulholland Drive with you”, a line that’s sure to be grinningly repeated by the legions of Lahey nerds who are bound to pop up over the next few months. Then the chorus come on, catchy but still driving, with Lahey’s familiar openness and that smidgen of real pain which separates her from the pack.

‘You Don’t Think You Like People Like Me’ is a hell of a lot louder than Air Mail’, but both songs are like enormous arrows pointing to a future in which Alex Lahey has established herself as one of our country’s best young songwriters. DO! YOURSELVES! A! FAVOUR!

Alex Lahey will be playing some shows soon:

23 March – Old Bar, Melbourne w/ DIET. and Max Quinn’s Onomatopenis

26 March – The Hills Are Alive Festival, Gippsland

1 April – World Bar, Sydney

2 April – Shady Cottage Festival, Trentham

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PREMIERE: Totally Mild – ‘Today, Tonight’

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Totally-Mild

When you release a debut album as good as Down Time, you earn the right to gallivant around Europe for two months playing in basketball courts and sharing stages with Terrible Truths. That’s what Totally Mild did; graciously capturing a trio of live tunes to for their latest EP Alive In Denmark, which is released this Friday (including two new songs absent from the band’s 2015 debut).

While ‘The Next Day’ and ‘More’ have had their time in the sun either on record or live, ‘Today, Tonight’ is pretty unheard within Totally Mild’s repertoire. Lyrically, it’s not uncommon ground for lead vocalist Elizabeth Mitchell. She airs her anxieties of impending loneliness as a constant hurdle in living life as a functional adult – “I am strong and sensible but I don’t want to be alone”. The song borders on balladry, accompanied by a single guitar swooning away under her vocals.

Totally Mild have reasserted their dominance for bold album artwork, with some Spike Milligan ‘Ning Nang Nong’ levels of microworld artistry happening here. Whether ‘Today, Tonight’ is material from some upcoming studio work or not, it’s good to see the Totally Mild wheels turning.

Alive in Denmark is out this Friday via Bedroom Suck Records.

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LISTEN: Clever – ‘Your Eyesore’s Sweet’

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clever kewdi udi

When you’re kinda into punk music you get to hear a lot of bands that sort of play at being aggressive – in a posey rock’n’roll way – but it’s rare to hear something that legitimately shakes you up. Brisbane’s Clever have got me shook right up. Once I saw them play at a bowls club in the middle of the day next to bain maries full of make-your-own taco ingredients and it put me on edge for hours before I even touched one drug.

You can hear that charged-up brutality on the band’s first ‘single’, ‘Your Eyesore’s Sweet’, from their debut record Kewdi Udi, out 11 March on Homeless Records. It’s in the jumpy drums and bass, and Mitch Perkins’ relentlessly menacing vocals – I’ve listened to this song 10+ times (it only goes for 2 minutes) and can’t hold on to a word he’s saying. Fred Gooch from the Wrong Man holding this whole aural tyre-fire together with that sawing, immovable guitar.

If you’re a certain kind of person, hearing that Clever is made up of members and ex-members of Sewers, the Wrong Man (as mentioned), Psy Ants and Per Purpose is gonna be enough. For everyone else, this is powerfully – purely – sick stuff.

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LISTEN: Velcro – ‘Velcro’ LP

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velcro velcro

This Velcro record was recorded in 2013 and released just last week. I’d say ‘finally’ released, except I thought this came out ages ago and I’d already listened to it – so for me it was more of a pleasantly confusing surprise (REAL FANS may feel differently).

I guess because of that it reads as a testament to the things that never change. You still know what it’s like to not wanna go outside, to float around, to think about moving interstate – even though you know ‘green grass won’t last forever’, as singer & songwriter (but not singer/songwriter) Curtis Wakeling of the Ocean Party reminds himself on the lush ‘Sydney’. All I remember about 2013 was a feeling of profound boredom and restlessness –you know, like every early/mid/late-20s middle-class Australian. This is the ultimately relatable territory that this record claims.

The whole things is super matter-of-fact. Even when Wakeling sings about being hard to be around, or ruining things and watching people leave, it never feels like he’s trying particularly hard to make you feel one way or another – it is what it is. Comparatively, that nice’n’easy pop guitar skips along underneath (and sometimes on top of) the low-key, downbeat words. Ashley Bundang from Totally Mild backs Wakeling up for a few tracks, sounding like she was recorded while walking around the house singing to herself – intimate and unaffected.

Are there standout hits? Nah, it’s all pretty good – I like ‘Victoria’ for the chanty vocals and that plinky keyboard, which sounds so sunny against lines like, ‘it’s not easy to make friends / when everybody judges me / and I’m hard to be around’. The back-to-back combo of ‘Stranger’ and ‘Whine’ works well; both romantic tracks in an anxious, doomed kind of way.  Maybe your fave will be the slinky and gently-paced ‘Neglect’, or the almost-hopeful closer ‘12 Hours’. It’d be cool if this release meant Velcro were clearing the way for more recording. If so, see ya in 2019. If not, still pretty cool.

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PREMIERE: Great Earthquake – ‘Thought Broadcasting’ video

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great earthquake

Guys called Noah always seem to be pretty extraordinary. There’s indie director Noah Baumbach, who co-wrote a bunch of Wes Anderson movies, and Noah Taylor, the incredible Australian actor. And then, buried in East Brunswick, between the vintage stores and coffee shops, is Noah Symons – aka Great Earthquake.

Great Earthquake has a full-band sound, with intricate parts emanating from every instrument. This makes it all the more surprising to find out that Noah is the sole contributor. From splattered snares to smoky guitar lines and sprained keys, knowing it’s just him behind every sound makes the end product that more impressive. Play this stuff to a friend, let them soak in the songs, then drop that little golden nugget of information and wait for the inevitable, “Whaddya mean there’s not a team of Mozarts behind this masterpiece?”.

His latest output is a video for the single ‘Thought Broadcasting’, from last year’s EP of the same name. Hazy guitar chords spill from the track, finding ways to gel with the song’s many layers, while a subdued Symons murmurs “We have lost our way”. The video emphasises the track’s collage-like style, blending instruments, hands and colours into one hypnotic audio-visual smorgasbord.

Great Earthquake will play a free show at the Vic on the Park Hotel on 27 February, with support from Alyx Dennison. Details here.

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