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Music Reviews

Posted 18 Jan 2017 @ 10:20am

 

The Toff was packed tighter than a can of John West sardines before Californian hardcore punks Trash Talk hit the stage. Word of the free show had gone viral and every hardcore kid and his dog had squeezed into the modestly sized venue the instant doors opened. Beers were chugged and beads of sweat rolled down necks as punters grew impatient lingering in the sticky humidity. Trash...

Posted 18 Jan 2017 @ 10:18am

 

170 Russell played host to hordes of thrash punk and nu-metal fans as Every Time I Die brought their boundless energy and solid lineup to the stage.
 
Melbourne band In Trenches kicked the night off and demanded we pay attention with their sludgy hardcore metal. Canadians Counterparts burst onstage and refused the crowd of any kind of reprieve as their music whipped the...

Posted 18 Jan 2017 @ 10:17am

 

Upstairs at Bar Open, Yarbles tore a new orifice in the brutalised corpse of punk rock.  The lead singer paced and prowled in front of the stage.  His vocals pierced the crowd’s cerebral cortex.  The band thrashed like a crocodile wrestling its prey in a death roll. It was chaotic, but it held together. 
 
The set finished, and I walked over to Old Bar where Parsnip were...

Posted 16 Jan 2017 @ 1:11pm

9.0

 

After a handful of singles and EPs over the last seven years, we finally get a long player from Melbourne DJ and producer Tornado Wallace – aka Lewis Day – and boy was it worth the wait.
 
Day’s nostalgia-fueled production style has matured and been realised in the form of seven gorgeous tracks. Crunchy ‘80s drum machine beats cruise along at a leisurely pace...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:43pm

“You need a higher education to understand this music,” joked Ausmuteants guitarist Jake Robinson, “Lucky we’re doing this at a university.” The Geelong punks then proceeded to blister through tracks about extreme apathy and the cathartic power of having sex with cops. Robinson’s quip was one of several bits of banter from the DIY-minded lineup that seemed equal parts thrilled and bemused to...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:38pm

 

One year on from their set at the Corner, it was a huge jump for Modern Baseball to 170 Russell. Foxtrot started off the evening with an adequate set, but there wasn’t much to write home about. Their drummer gave it a hell of a go though and his fills gave the band technical precision that didn’t seem to make it on the drawing board for their lead singer.
 
Hometown...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:34pm

 

After hearing of underwhelming shows on his last tour, punters could be forgiven for entering with slight trepidation, but those fears were quickly cast aside. Jamie T moved commandingly around the stage and used that traditional British rockstar arrogance to get the crowd dancing in no time.
 
Opening with crowd favourite Power Over Men, the set started with maximum...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:29pm

 

Fortunes were up first. Conor McCabe’s honey-smooth vocals were the clear highlight, the frontman strutting the stage, bouncing gently on his toes, doing his best to stimulate the crowd. Producer Barnaby Matthews manned a modest station, each instrumental detail a result of his electronic wizardry. That seemed to be the idea, anyway. It was so difficult to detect just how much input...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 1:27pm

The good-vibes bar was set high early as Christopher Port broke-in the growing crowd with a track of warm swelling synths, tight garage, two-step and soulful vocal samples. The enthusiasm seemed to reverberate around the room as the set progressed and was very well-deserved. Port’s set had a spontaneous feel to it, and the surging bass and percussive breakdowns made good use of Howler’s system...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:21pm

7.5

 

Another degustation of boundary-bending electronica from dance chef Arbez-Nicolas, AKA Vitalic. There's some interesting, hip-dipping, foot-stepping fare between the lively amuse-bouche of opening track, El Viage and the syrupy celestial chillaxing of the last track, Don't Leave Me Now.   
 
Waiting for the Stars (featuring David Shaw and The Beat) is the chart-...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:18pm

8

 

Anyone familiar with Tim Evans’ work with Sea Scouts, Bird Blobs and Degreaser will be well versed in his particular brand of fetid psych-swamp nastiness, a style that can be traced back to the ‘80s and Australia’s rock underground.
 
This time, accompanied by his finger-picked acoustic guitar, Wretched Wings embraces another direction, while retaining much of his...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:17pm

8

 

With I See You, The xx come soaring back into our collective consciousness with their first album in almost five years.
 
There’s a great mix of the calm, reflective xx of old, and a new, more upbeat sound which permeates through the whole album, and showcases just what Jamie xx was talking about when he said this album was going to be "more outward-looking, open...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:07pm

8

 

Why would the Stones release another album after 11 years, and risk the band’s legacy?  Because the Stones still care about the blues. 
 
Blue & Lonesome is the Rolling Stones’ Zen album, the recording that sends the band back to where it all began: to the dirty blues of the American south.  Along the way the Stones check in on Howlin’ Wolf (Commit a Crime),...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:06pm

6

 

Unlike most artists his age, Neil Young has a lot to show in terms of new material output in the 2010s alone. Not all of it's great, given – in fact, some of it is flat out bizarre – but it's also brought us such fascinating ventures as a 30-minute Crazy Horse song and a covers LP recorded entirely within a 1940s recording booth (2014's A Letter Home). You have to hand it to...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:05pm

8

 

The release of Chisel’s third and arguably best, studio album, East, heralded the band’s evolution from Adelaide boogie-blues outfit to hard-edge rock’n’roll band.  It was this incarnation of Cold Chisel that graced the stage of the Manly Vale Hotel on Saturday June 7, 1980. 
 
The setlist ranges across the band’s three studio albums.  There’s the obligatory...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:04pm

9

 

Swim Team’s debut, Holiday, is a fitting soundtrack with which to banish the dismal fog of twenty-sixteen. And who couldn’t use a smidgen of ‘90s lo-fi indie pop about now, amirite?
 
Holiday is an exuberant affair infused with bold self-reliance, bruised romanticism, and a palpable sense of frustration. The EP benefits from the energetic live recording as it...

Posted 11 Jan 2017 @ 12:03pm

I haven’t reviewed any singles since last year! #LOL

 

SINGLE OF THE WEEK

MIGOS : T-Shirt

A woozy, relatively subdued taste from Migos’s upcoming Culture, T-Shirt marries impossible cool with eerie detachment, refining the ATL trio’s sprawling influence of recent years, continuing with purpose on the path of their own carving. The Migos are playing chess...

Posted 9 Jan 2017 @ 3:42pm

 

As a musical microcosm, Beyond The Valley exemplified the inherent passion and thrill within supporters of the industry that will never, ever die. In many ways, enthusiasts have potentially been tested in this past year, be it through the closing of live music venues, the relentless cancellation of long-standing festivals and the passing of several beloved musical icons. Punters are a...

Posted 5 Jan 2017 @ 11:37am

It seems ignorant to begin a review of Falls Festival Lorne without acknowledging the tragic culmination of factors that led to the injury and emergency treatment of over 80 festival goers, with 20 hospitalised, and countless more attendees, friends and family at home traumatised.

 

To all music lovers, harness the lesson to be learned,...

Posted 2 Jan 2017 @ 12:07pm

"I'd like to call Bob Murphy to the stand, you deserve Single Of The Year more than anyone mate."

- Lachlan Kanoniuk

 

Single Of The Year

Spike Fuck : Guts

Can’t think of a way to say it without coming across as hyperbolic, so I’ll just come across as hyperbolic. I listen to Guts and I think of the songs venerated in the Australian songwriting canon...

Posted 2 Jan 2017 @ 12:01pm

There were many great albums to come out in 2016, but the Beat team have cut down the list to pick our favourites. 

It was tough, but someone has to make the big decisions.

 

Album Of The Year:

Big Smoke : Time Is Golden

Editor's Note: In the face of tragedy, Time Is Golden shines —...

Posted 31 Dec 2016 @ 4:02pm

 

There are only two things certain in life: death and Xmas Even being solid as a bloody rock.
 
As worn out Melburnians limped to the end of the year, Even decided to slap them awake and celebrate the 20th anniversary of their seminal debut record Less Is More. There was plenty of nostalgia in the air when ‘90s gents Header played a lively set of dad-tastic tunes – singer...

Posted 31 Dec 2016 @ 3:57pm

 

Ah, Christmas. The old upright piano pulled next to the crackling fire; the whole family gathered around singing carols while father belts out a few choice chords; and eggnog aplenty as the dog runs around joyously in reindeer antlers. Yeah, nah. Thank god The Bennies were in town to save us all from the cheesy nightmare.
 
Coming off the back of a huge year conquering the...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 1:47pm

 

If you're going to bill a show as “An Evening with…” this is how you do it. Watching longtime mates Josh Pyke and Bob Evans rattle off hits and stories to an adoring crowd was a great highlight in a year that was desperately in need of some.
 
There was no backing band, just a couple of guys and their guitars. Pyke and Evans walked onto the stage and launched straight into...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 1:46pm

 

When a local Australian artist to be supported by two internationals, it shows the absolute magnitude of the performer, raising expectations to dizzying heights. Not to say that Flume is a strictly local artist. He’s been kicking goals since the release of Skin playing a shows across Europe and the US, with Aria wins and Grammy nominations to boot.
 
Melbourne’s leg of the...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 1:40pm

 

Kicking off the night was new outfit Hearing who offered up twee and droning garage pop. Beneath the low ceilings aglow with fairy lights, the crowd swayed in unison to the sweetest kind of sad jams. 
 
Next up was Truly Holy, who recently released their newest single, One Thousand Years. The four-piece provided expansive, shimmering soundscapes, culminating in crashing...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 1:19pm

7

 

‘Tocka’ is a Russian word for which there is no direct equivalent in English, designed to describe the strange feeling you get when you start missing something you never actually had – that odd, confused absence that nothing seems able to satisfy.
 
Anatomy Class’ Tell Me What You See is the melodic translation of that phrase, a record defined by an inescapable...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 1:17pm

8.5

 

Underground metallers Devilskin capture everything great about the genre in their second studio release – sultry vocals, bittersweet lyrics of the dark variety, and everything else you’d expect from a band of this ilk.
 
Only there’s something different about them – they’re shockingly addictive. The structure of their songs is like a drug, giving you the best of...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 1:14pm

8.5

 

In the wake of Leonard Cohen’s death it might be looked upon as a commercial move to re-release this live collection at this time – suspiciously and simultaneously – with Leonard Cohen’s final release. Fragments of a Rainy Season contains the definitive cover of Hallelujah (there’s a new video to go with it) and is a song that should now be confiscated from every busker...

Posted 21 Dec 2016 @ 1:13pm

6.5

 

The Baudelaires take their name from French poet and essayist Charles Baudelaire.  To generations of university students, Baudelaire cloaked alcoholic indulgence in poetic elegance, “It is the hour to be drunken. To escape being the martyred slaves of time, be ceaselessly drunk.”
 
Baudelaire also said that “To handle a language skillfully is to practice a kind...

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