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Album Reviews

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 12:13pm

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Shining Bird’s second album Black Opal is a work of grand reveals and stunning moments that capture a band heavily influenced by their surroundings. Tapping into the Australian landscape through their wonderfully expansive and cinematic sound, the band relish in the potential nature offers and in the process explore sounds that will no doubt surprise many.
 
I...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 12:11pm

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The night bus from Canberra to Melbourne, taken right before you leave your teens, is perhaps the best time to listen to Julia Jacklin’s debut album. The setting is ripe for reflection, nostalgia and longing – themes that Jacklin eloquently draws upon and packages up with poetry. However, if the night bus can’t be arranged, listeners can still find much to fall in love...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 12:08pm

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Requiem, the third album by Swedish outfit Goat is by far the most accessible album to date. There's less of the droney kraut rock but the psychedelia still swirls on a bed of tribal drums as the collective continue to reach to the far corners of the globe for inspiration. There’s a cheerful demeanor to the album that is pervasive throughout, in a nutshell it's an upbeat...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 12:07pm

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Tiny Little Houses’ second EP Snow Globe pushes the band’s sonic boundaries, amplifying their trademark sorrow as they venture into darker, more tormented territories via lead singer Caleb Karvountzis’ bleak lyricism.  
 
Opening track Medicate Me is immediately more gritty and fuller sounding than the band’s previous output, with the line “I don’t want to...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 12:06pm

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Balance and Composure produced one of the best records of 2013 (The Things We Think We’re Missing), so Light We Made has high expectations to capitalise on that good will. Dreamier than their previous efforts, pained screams are swapped for echoed crooning and stumbling undercurrents. First single Postcard is an appropriate warning sign for the rest of the album, even if...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 12:05pm

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In pre-Enlightenment days, people who claimed they could predict the future were revered for their apparent magical abilities, condemned as crackpots or put to death as witches.  These days, add in a bit of trite economic analysis and corporate jargon and predicting the future of the market can make you an absolute mozza as a consultant, even if a flash suited consultant’s...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 12:02pm

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Is there a sound that’s as grating as the hissing and clawing of two warring cats in the early hours of the morning? It turns out the answer to that question is yes, and that sound is Breakin’ Outta Hell by Airbourne. In a contest of ten minutes of cats vs the full hour of this album, you’d choose the cats and save 50 minutes of your life.
 
The songs are...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:53am

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Shape Shift With Me is the seventh studio album from Florida punk rockers Against Me! and their first album since 2014’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues. With this being the second album released by the band since lead singer Laura Jane Grace came out as transsexual, it serves once again as a vehicle to vent frustration, anger and all the things that make punk music great....

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:52am

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The complete title of this recording is Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad. Even before you’ve pressed play you’ve read an essay and developed a headache wondering precisely which railroad line is the great one. Then commences the arduous journey of discovering the dustbowl of carefully constructed authenticity.
 
This collection...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:42am

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Treating your ears to Morgan Delt’s homegrown kaleidoscopic melodiousness endorses venerations of the influential ‘60s psychedelic era. Morsels of The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, The Misty Wizards and more recently Elf Power and The Babe Rainbow are exhumed to produce a captivating sound unique in this day and age. His 2014 self-titled debut album personified...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:41am

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Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea is the seventh studio album from acclaimed British singer/songwriter Mike Rosenberg under his stage name Passenger. The folk pop artist gained international attention for his 2012 single Let Her Go. Since then, Rosenberg has been trying to reclaim that level of fame with little success. Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea is his latest...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:38am

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The Pretty Littles Soft Rock For The Anxious harks back to a period in the last decade when Australian rock’n’roll was desperately honest and raw.
 
Opener Soda Pop is a 1:09 minute smear of fuzzed out rock’n’roll that sounds as though vocalist Jack Parsons has set his amp up out the front of his girlfriend’s window as he serenades her, “Well I don’t know if...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:36am

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 It may be a lonesome march for our erstwhile hero, but for the listener this is about as far from solitude as you can get without grafting yourself onto a neighbour. It's no surprise that Blacklock’s long-heralded debut is teeming with fascinating, frightening and flawed characters; with a Creative Writing degree under his belt, the sense of world-building is strong. By...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:28am

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Los Angeles-based Warpaint make bold new strides towards unexplored territory on their third album Heads Up, showing a surprising new side to the band while retaining their signature psychedelic infused sound. Long renowned for their dreamy soundscapes and haunting vocal performances, the band’s magnetism makes for a thrilling listen that commands with every note.
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Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 11:41am

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The linear explanation of Tranquonauts is a collaboration between Seedy Jeezus and Earthless guitarist Isaiah Mitchell.  It’s a single album with two songs, both of which come in just under the 20-minute mark.  There are drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, samples and some freakishly good guitar work.
 
The record is 30 seconds in before you can hear anything, the...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 11:40am

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It’s just over two years since Remi’s debut LP Raw x Infinity dropped, and in that time things have gone gangbusters for the man and his partner in crime Sensible J. National and international headline tours, universal critical acclaim. Oh, and then there was that little thing called the Australian Music Prize. No surprise then that Divas and Demons has been one of the...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 11:39am

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The first release under the name Preoccupations (formerly Viet Cong) sees the Canadian post punk quartet dial in on a newfound sonic identity. Where angular guitar streaks were massaged with beaming synth lines in their 2015 debut, ‘80s-era synth hooks and overarching melodies now take pole position in Preoccupations.
 
Viet Cong only became Preoccupations a...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 11:38am

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Plini is that rare kind of guitar virtuoso: the kind with utterly stunning technical chops that are rivaled only by their compositional sense. For some guitarists that means writing catchy songs with traditional forms but in Plini’s case it means every track evolves and grows like an orchestral piece or soundtrack.
 
On his admittedly short debut full-length...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 11:36am

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Regarded as one of the most exciting new additions to Australia’s rock scene, Harts has delivered the Smoke Fire Hope Desire you’ve been waiting for. A sound that is categorised by the psychedelic soul power of the ‘60s and the indie-rock incentives of a more recent time, Darren Hart holds nothing back when it comes to his debut album.
 
After being eased into...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 11:35am

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The Scientists was always about confrontation.  The three-chord snotty punk of the original Scientists – Salmon and fellow Perth punk alumni James Baker, Boris Sujdovic and Roddy Radalj – went against the grain of the tinny pop and lumpy ‘70s stadium rock that saturated the radio.  The re-born Scientists of the early 1980s settled in Sydney, choosing the primitive sonic...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 11:31am

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Jarrow is the pseudonym and solo project of 20-year-old Dan Oke. 2003 Dream is his debut album, self-recorded at his home in the western suburbs of Melbourne. 
 
You can read the nine-track album as a mixture between an introspective journal and a collection of short stories. It strikes a fascinating balance between funny, unique anecdotes of characters in Oke'...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 10:41am

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Memphis four-piece NOTS continue to make off-kilter music with a frenetic energy that moves from unrelenting to unsettling on Cosmetic, their second full-length album.
 
The title track feels reminiscent of Clockcleaner or Pissed Jeans, as it lurches along; deranged, wide-eyed and perched at the ready to move from the shadows to attack with feline-like...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 12:10pm

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Heavy Days was the first instalment of Jeff the Brotherhood’s spiritual trilogy, followed by We Are the Champions a couple after that. Five years later comes the concluding chapter, Zone.
 
The album opens in ominous style: a thundering beat, a heavy slacker vocal like Pavement on a diet of Quaaludes. “I’m totally dead, I’m totally cool.”  Everything’s just...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 12:08pm

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No matter what you think about the current political situation in the U.S, the best thing about it is that it has reunited one of the greatest political rock groups in history in Rage Against the Machine, albeit under a different name with different front men. With Chuck D (Public Enemy) and B-Real (Cypress Hill) now holding the microphones, because seemingly nothing and no...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 12:06pm

 

Oh boy, where to start with this pile of shit? If it wasn’t for Matt Berry, I wouldn't have touched this record with one of his ten foot ‘Maypoles’ (his band). My assumption was that his music was going to be an extended joke of his acting work, laughs and side splitters aplenty. Unfortunately, you’ll quickly realise this isn’t a joke. Which begs the question, can a comedian...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 12:04pm

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The Banks & Steelz story began five years ago, when Paul Banks of Interpol fame and Wu Tang Clan's head honcho RZA cut a demo together in between chess playing sessions. While the unlikely duo had never planned on releasing a full-length album, fate had different plans.
 
Listeners may initially be tempted to compare Banks & Steelz to Gorillaz. Banks'...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 12:02pm

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Already onto album number two, Melbourne’s Ceres have impressed with Drag It Down On You. This is a ridiculously great album. It’s an instantly accessible record that feels completely fresh yet contains a certain level of nostalgia about it.
 
91, Your House is raw with emotion, the chorus of vocalist Tom Lanyon screaming “I’m a piece of shit” resonating with...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 12:00pm

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Skeleton Tree is an un-album. It’s a record defined by loss, a chronicle of missing things, and its power derives as much from what it doesn’t contain as from what it does. Songs break and buckle under the weight of suggestion, and a host of known unknowns press down on the record with all the insistence of a brain tumour against the back of the eye.
 
The...

Posted 13 Sep 2016 @ 5:11pm

 

 
There's a fine line between resilience and stubbornness. Resilience is about preservation in the face of adversity - the tireless refinement of your skill set to improve and resist decay. Stubbornness has no such dignity. It's self-serving, hollow and ultimately futile. Braver Than We Are is the latter: a twisted mangle of formulaic misfires where Jim Steinman lazily...

Posted 7 Sep 2016 @ 4:16pm

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Towards the beginning of J.G. Ballard’s Crash, the book’s narrator finds himself in a horrendous car crash. But the experience isn’t a traumatic one; rather, it’s liberating. “After being bombarded endlessly by road safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident,” he says.
 
That sense of ecstatic pain – of trauma being...

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