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Album Reviews

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 12:11pm

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Welcome to the world Beach Baby, as they take their first tepid steps into the wide blue yonder from their student bedsit and the security of higher education.
 
 Limousine opens proceedings and suggests a quick ascent to bigger things. Yet that would paint a vulgar picture once the lyrics of risible behaviour are appreciated beyond the pop dynamic of the music...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 12:08pm

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Teeth & Tongue’s fourth album Give Up On Your Health is an electrifying move into synth based territory for Jess Cornelius and her band. As the sounds on the album get more experimental, the bolder Cornelius becomes as she invites listeners into the engrossing urgency of her vignettes.
 
Opening track Give Up On Your Health is Blondie meets Ladyhawke as...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 12:07pm

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On the whole, contemporary indie rock seems particularly prey to unfulfilled potential. Disappointingly often, musicians in the genre set up a situation or a sound that they then seem unable to bring to fruition, hinting at an emotional maturity that their fragile tunes bend and break under.
 
Georgia Mulligan is the exception to that particular rule. If...

Posted 26 Aug 2016 @ 11:11am

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Ball Park Music pulled out the classic of all classics with Bohemian Rhapsody at SITG 2014, and now with their fourth studio album Every Night The Same Dream, they have their own in the seven and a half minute epic Pariah. Starting out with a solo piano ballad, reminiscent of Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, the track builds into what is one of the many highlights on their...

Posted 26 Aug 2016 @ 11:10am

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How To Be A Human Being takes the Glass Animals sound in a slightly new direction while still keeping the core of what made their debut album Zaba an instant hit.
 
Opening track Life Itself immediately signals the up tempo change in direction. Think Glass Animals with a Miike Snow vibe. The whole album keeps up this energetic style while remaining true to...

Posted 26 Aug 2016 @ 11:08am

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The Veils’ fifth record quivers and shouts. It gets under your skin like a bad dream, feeding you a chain of maudlin metaphors and haphazardly drawn-out instrumentals. A stream of dark imagery underpins Total Depravity, as lead singer Finn Andrews’ voice careens between a defiant snarl and a meek murmur, giving the album an eerie, ‘60s horror film feel. Meshed wildly with...

Posted 26 Aug 2016 @ 11:06am

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After Alice Glass’ dramatic parting with Ethan Kath of Crystal Castles in 2014, it seemed the dream was over. But Kath is back with new vocalist Edith Frances, in a discomfiting simulacrum of what once was.
 
Crystal Castle’s schismatic brand of assaulting electro bares its teeth in bangers like Fleece and Enth, tracks that hint there may still be a pulse in this...

Posted 26 Aug 2016 @ 11:05am

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It’s not just the title – Sophie Hutchings’ Wide Asleep is, from beginning to end, a paradox. It’s somehow soft yet significant; gentle yet ginormous; an atom and the Earth. There is weight to the piece, tremendous weight, despite the fact that it requires surprisingly little of its audience. This is an album that is generous with its beauty, a record eager to impart its...

Posted 26 Aug 2016 @ 11:03am

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The third studio release from southern California rockers Young The Giant takes the band’s sound in an unexpected new direction. In some ways, it’s as though they’ve lost the playfulness, optimism and naivety that was so striking in their first release, Young The Giant, and gained a more cynical, serious edge.
 
Amerika opens the album and will grab your...

Posted 24 Aug 2016 @ 11:00am

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Mike Noga’s third solo album, King is an ambitious effort that boasts Something For Kate’s Paul Dempsey as producer and actor Noah Taylor as its narrator. That’s correct, the album has a narrator. It’s a concept album based on the 1830s play Woyzeck by German dramatist Georg Buchner, and Noga has spliced the songs between segments of Taylor’s narration, giving the record...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 1:13pm

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Comparisons and contrasts are at the heart of Fraudband’s split with cult UK prog-psych band The Bevis Frond. The comparisons set the scene: Fraudband, despite the band members’ extensive experience, are a relatively recent creation; the band takes its name from a pun-like observation on broadband technology. The Bevis Frond has been around for 20 years, a constantly...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 1:09pm

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Some years ago Stew Cunningham wrote a song under his Leadfinger rock’n’roll moniker that described the end of his tenure in Asteroid B-612.  An American tour in the late 1990s had started promisingly, before intra-band tensions boiled over into venom, spite and verbal recriminations.  Listen to the Greenback Blues live album on Off the Hip Records, and you hear the anger...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 1:07pm

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The Brotherhood Of Lizards aren’t simply a niche band. ‘Niche’ is to the Brotherhood as ‘ever-so-slightly driven by self-interest’ is to Donald Trump, and if you’re sitting there thinking, “Oh yeah, I know that band,” you’re either in a painfully slim minority, or you’re a liar.
 
And yet if anything seems ready to send the group lurching back into popular...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 1:03pm

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Of Montreal’s Innocence Reaches is a dance record for people who don’t like to dance, a collection of anthemic bangers crafted for you, the person who just read the phrase ‘anthemic bangers’ and involuntarily flinched away.
 
Innocence is the operative word. As ever, Of Montreal mastermind Kevin Barnes sings with a wide-eyed, unashamed vulnerability. To say his...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 1:00pm

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Since the release of their debut EP back in 2008, and over the course of a subsequent EP and superb debut album Silent Machine, Twelve Foot Ninja have consistently maintained their output.
 
Twelve Foot Ninja opens new doors to what the concept of rock music can be, through their seamless juxtaposing of heavy rock, metal, funk, hip hop, jazz, latin, pop,...

Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 12:58pm

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Perth based four-piece Nucleust  have produced a cracker of an EP, a short, sharp monster that gets in, makes a bold and brutal statement, and then gets the hell out again.
 
They do a hell of a lot with 19 minutes worth of music. This EP is absolutely choc-full of wild, weird and wonderful ideas, and is obviously the work of the very fertile minds.
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Posted 17 Aug 2016 @ 12:50pm

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J Mascis isn’t a talker – ask the artist about his art and you’re likely to find yourself making a neat turn into a dead end. Nor is he a therapist – though his music is full of a deeply downplayed kind of heartbreak, he’s seemingly unwilling to offer solutions.
 
He isn’t a poet either, though his lyrics are often filled with poetry. The new Dinosaur Jr album...

Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 11:35am

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Dynamic and emotive, And Then Like Lions begins with a reflection on the breakdown of singer and songwriter Israel Nebeker’s 13 year relationship, and ends with a tribute to his father, whose battle with cancer and death is much of the album's focus. Blind Pilot’s third album was written and composed over the course of three years amidst these difficulties in Nebeker’s...

Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 11:34am

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Douglas Mawson’s 1912 Antarctic expedition is an enthralling and harrowing story of human tragedy and endurance.  Weather conditions were brutal, the terrain treacherous.  With their bodies suffering the effects of malnutrition – a consequence of consuming the husky dogs enlisted to pull the party’s sleds, one of Mawson’s party went mad, and another fell to his death in a...

Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 11:30am

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Hockey Dad’s debut LP, Boronia, is exactly what you’d expect from a surf rock album. Named after the street that the duo - Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming - grew up on together, Boronia is proof that these NSW surf coast boys know precisely how to write a tune for this genre.
 
Boronia bursts open with the anthemic Can’t Have Them. Immediately grabbing your...

Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 11:29am

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Sin Will Find You sees Storm The Sky trying their hand at a whole range of sounds throughout the course of the album. From their expected metalcore stylings, to straight up and down rock, pop, punk, weird and wonderful atmospherics that are all their own (as in Lilac), sojourns into acoustic territory (In Vein), subtle electronica (Disappointed), and possibly the...

Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 11:26am

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The band formerly known as Andrew Jackson Jihad are back in the saddle with a new name, an album title that's a shoe-in for best of the year and a fresh half-hour of fighting the power attached to it.
 
Six albums in, it's safe to know what to expect from Sean Bonnette and co. as they blend folk-rock leanings with reckless punk abandon in one of the more potent...

Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 11:25am

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UK group The Veils have never been the type of band to stay in one musical place for too long, and for Finn Andrews and his crew, this habit stays the same on their album Total Depravity. Their first release since 2013’s Time Stays, We Go, Total Depravity manages to incorporate what feels like a million different ideas into just under an hour of album time.
 
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Posted 10 Aug 2016 @ 11:24am

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Melbourne duo Gypsy & The Cat are already an enigma, and with their final album are ensuring they're remembered as a phenomenon.
 
From the get-go, their third full length album Virtual Islands takes the listener on an idiosyncratic and deeply varied journey into pop music heaven. Opener I Took a Wrong Turn is almost industrial, this is offset by the sweet...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 12:13pm

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Given her dramatic rise it’s easy to forget that aside from a handful of singles Alex Lahey is yet to release a full body of work. Lahey’s debut EP B-Grade University explores the existential crisis most 20-somethings face, documenting the struggle to embrace the highs and lows of adulthood when you’re a broke uni graduate.
 
Ivy League arrives viafeedback and...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 12:11pm

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Afraid of Heights is the fifth studio album from Canadian punk band Billy Talent and the first album the band have released in the absence of original drummer Aaron Solowoniuk, who has been forced to take a lengthy break from music due to health concerns. That said, Jordan Hastings (Alexisonfire) is the one holding the sticks on this album and he doesn’t miss a beat....

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 12:10pm

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It’s best not to go into King Of The North’s new album, Get Out Of Your World, thinking this is going to be an exercise in musical banality and mindless frivolity. It all starts relatively innocuously with a few stray shards of guitar, some disparate Zep beats, a guttural blues voice and a ten-tonne LA rock riff in Rise.
 
Then there’s Get Out Of Your World,...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 12:08pm

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Long-term fans of Australian singer Kylie Auldist are unlikely to be surprised by her recent international chart-busting action. This Girl by Kungs vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners featuring Auldist’s eternally soulful vocals may be alerting the wider public to her unique suite of talents, yet she has always produced gold-standard performances both in the studio and in the live...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 12:06pm

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When you've made a name for yourself almost entirely off the back of your live reputation, how do you draw people into your music away from it? This conundrum is – at least, in part – the key to explaining the half-decade-and-change it's taken for Sydney-via-Austinmer's Totally Unicorn to put out their debut album.
 
It's taken a few different approaches and...

Posted 3 Aug 2016 @ 12:04pm

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Roses Always Die is a beautiful record that is shockingly sparse and sardonic in nature. Sarah Mary Chadwick, accompanied only by her own keyboard and what sounds like its factory setting drum beats, challenges the listener with her slightly tongue-in-cheek bleakness, coming across like Morrissey on ketamine and green tea.
 
Not to say the music isn’t heartfelt...

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