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Music Reviews

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:49pm

7.5

 

All You Need Is Music marks a departure from The Davidson Brothers’ previous offering Wanderlust, which highlighted the traditional bluegrass sound the brothers usually offer. The albumkeeps one foot in the bluegrass circle while the other steps into broader country territory.
 
If you’re a long-time Davidson Brothers fan, the bluegrass tunes on this record...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:48pm

9

 

Tamil Rogeon is an accomplished composer, violinist and producer. On this intricate album which was recorded in Rio, Melbourne, Paris, London, and Los Angeles, Rogeon sonically captures the tragedy of a real-life shooting that occurred in Rio de Janeiro in 2007.
 
Rogeon is clearly a supremely talented and highly energised individual as he wrote the music and many...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:46pm

5

 

Former-Stooges member James Williamson and Radio Birdman’s Deniz Tek re-interpret four songs Williamson co-wrote in the ‘70s, using only acoustic instruments.
 
Tek’s doing the lead vocals on this disc, and his voice is absolutely fine. But considering that Raw Power has truly demented vocals, these renditions sound quite smooth, which quickly becomes quite...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:44pm

10

 

It has been seven years since Gorillaz finished recording The Fall. After numerous accolades and truly one-of-a-kind tours, the band slid into a lengthy sabbatical. Now Murdoc Niccals (bass), Noodle (guitar) Russel Hobbs (drums) and 2D (vocals) have returned with their latest album Humanz. The recording comes via London, Paris, New York, Chicago, and Jamaica, to add a...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:42pm

8.5

 

Amaru Tribe refer to their style as Oceanic Cumbia, and there's realistically no better way to describe the delights of their debut album – a tightly interwoven offering of South American and Oceanic instrumentation wrapped around groovy, contemporary bounce. The tracks evoke the essence of reggae, R&B, alt-rock, dub and pop – often twisting direction once or twice in...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:40pm

8

 

In a recent interview, Adelaide born and bred Allday revealed his desire to work only with people he admires, and to never make music based on album sales – and after listening to his second LP, Speeding,it’s clear he’s achieved both wishes.
 
While staying to true to his signature style, Allday croons mellow yet meticulous musings about love and life for...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:39pm

9.5

 

Sun City White is an album you’d imagine listening to while cruising down a desolate American desert highway with the windows down in your black Cadillac. The LP weaves through subgenres, alternating between hard, dirty rock tracks and slower, melodic blues and roots ballads, all with a sprinkle of Texas flavour.
 
Fukushima Blues kicks off with a jumble of...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:37pm

8.5

 

Having refined their dark and light sound, Damage And Joy presents a delicious slice of brain pop for a new generation of The Jesus And Mary Chain fans. Ten years into their second coming, this is the first release of new material for nearly two decades. Clearly, the Reid brothers are not willing to go quietly. Amputation features their trademark fuzz and crackles of...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 12:22pm

The evening began with the quirky piano and loopy electronic stylings of BUOY. Her crisp voice, though heavily effected, pulling a good crowd before finishing off her set with the well-loved Clouds & Rain (no complaints here – that track is as infectious as it is groovy).
 
Like a Rae of singshine, Corinne Bailey Rae entered the stage, she was gorgeousness with a serve of...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 11:57am

 

When we finally set foot on Festival Hall’s venerable wooden floor, Barnett was in the midst of a Nirvana attack.  Punk rock angst without Kurt’s inner demons.  Loud and frenetic.  And then Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party, completewith re-purposed classic rock riffs. But when you’ve got Courtney Barnett and Patti Smith, somebody does care if you’re at the party....

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 11:50am

 

“I’m going to explain the format, I’d hate to get to the end and find you’d been confused this whole time,” joked Joe Henry. This was because this performance was not a typical Billy Bragg or Joe Henry show, rather it was an expanded version of their collaborative album Shine a Light; a collection of live field recordings made around, and about, the American railroad system.
 ...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 11:47am

As frontman of St Paul and the Broken Bones, Paul Janeway’s energy is the stuff of legend, with many pointing to his earlier aspirations to become a preacher as the start of his journey of showmanship.
 
But despite all of his best efforts, there was a small piece of the puzzle missing at the group’s Melbourne gig, following their Bluesfest appearance in Byron Bay.
 
It...

Posted 26 Apr 2017 @ 11:39am

 

The stage lights dimmed and The Doors 1967 track Light My Fire accompanied the infamous scenes of the Big Flood at Woodstock 1969 across the big screens of the Crossroads stage. Mixed in was footage of a 22-year-old Carlos Santana and band in the middle of playing their legendary set. Having never released a studio album before then, it was the energetic live experience of the Santana...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:41pm

8

 

The Remains packs one hell of a punch. The EP begins with All That Remains, a loaded track bursting with a heavy drum beat, hard-edged melodies and a clunky bassline. Frontwoman Kris Killriot’s beautifully raw and raspy vocals are delivered with a cool approach that manages to make even the screamed components seem marginally indifferent. This recurring theme makes the album...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:37pm

9

 

Destrends have created a distinctive reputation for themselves, infusing their music with a creative mixture of new wave sounds from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, along with a trace of gothic hysteria.
 
Opener Jack is layered with thrashing drums and streaking guitar blended with Matt Savage’s deep, dramatic vocals. The lyrics overlay the song with a comical tone...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:36pm

1

 

There have been plenty of old school legends throwing out new music of late and they've been pulling it off, reviving genres of the glory days and touring with massively popular reception – but Depeche Mode is not one of these bands.
 
Trying to rehash the electronics of the ‘80s with opener Going Backwards, the track rings out with the lyrics of a disgruntled,...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:35pm

9

 

With their sophomore album, Bad//Dreems sound as dusty as ever but with a little more fire in their belly. Johnny Irony is an instant pub classic; hard and fast, with enough lyrics to shout along to when you’re half-cut. Mob Rule has been copping a fair beating on radio but the energy never fades. Blood Love is full of frustration, while title track Gutful will resonate with...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:34pm

8

 

It's no surprise the Skegss boys are consistently on tour because with the easy-breezy, catchy hooks in Holiday Food it's the kind of release that caters for all palates and needs to be ceaselessly enjoyed.
 
The weather is cooling off but summer doesn't stop. Amidst the autumn changes, Spring Has Sprung bounces around with upbeat vibes and promises of positivity...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:33pm

9.5

 

DAMN. was kept in shrouded in mystery. The album name and track titles withheld, and suppressed until a convenient leak served to generate hype. Days before the albums due date all songs were also leaked and downloaded by rabid fans.
 
Unscrupulous downloaders hidden behind VPNs rushed to forum boards to speak of Kendrick Lamar’s new album – each comment adding...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 1:32pm

Threw my shoulder out trying to imitate Future Islands’ dance moves during the Coachella livestream. See you in court, Herring.

 

Single Of The Week

Spike Fuck : Greatest Hits (Suicide Party)

It’s a match that makes brilliant sense. Extending the themes present on last year’s Smackwave EP, Spike Fuck throws her cowboy hat into the realm of straight-faced...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 12:48pm

Downstairs at the Curtin the DJ was playing ‘80s classics such as Orange Juice’s Rip It Up and Start Again.  A long line of people snaked past the bar on a slow moving journey to the Curtin bandroom. 

 

Upstairs Endless Boogie were starting their set.  Endless Boogie don’t play songs.  They play grooves. Long, winding, elastic, rock riffs that hang out with John Lee Hooker in a...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 12:47pm

A host of influential young rap artists met at Ding Dong lounge for an exciting, adrenaline-fuelled celebration of hip hop. The WVS label showcase destroyed rivalries between cities, as emcees from all over the country bonded over their mutual love of music.

 

Kick starting the show was newcomer Poppy who dived into a seamless wave of rapid-fire raps, surprising the crowd with a...

Posted 19 Apr 2017 @ 12:45pm

Festival Hall was packed with exactly the sort of crowd you would expect to turn out for a Madness gig in Melbourne – the overall age bracket was decidedly over-40, with the dress code consisting of flat tops and novelty hats.

 

Aided by a three-piece horn section – which was lucky because Lee ‘Kix’ Thompson's saxophone was criminally low in the mix – and a percussionist, the...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 2:31pm

 

Ballarat’s The Second Sex is a four-piece riot grrrl band whose bark is far worse than it’s bite. If Neighbours or Home and Away were to have a character that joined a punk band, it’d be like The Second Sex. Vocalist Zarah slid effortlessly between Linda Perry-style wails and straight up hardcore screams but her pacing the stage and writhing around on the floor was contrived and over-...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 2:28pm

The sad truth of the music industry is that female and non-binary musicians are often overlooked and underappreciated, especially when it comes to the punk/rock scene, and Hysterical Records are on a mission to put an end to that. The newly founded record label plans to shift the spotlight onto Melbourne’s female and non-binary punk acts, so naturally their official launch at The Old Bar...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 2:25pm

The Croxton Bandroom was in seated theatre mode, arranged thus for the believers who had come to bear witness to a living legend. Roy Ayers holds a unique position in music, having achieved mainstream success in the late 1970s while bridging the gap between jazz, funk and disco in a style that was entirely his own. Now 76 years old, Ayers’ voice has retained its honey-like qualities, even if...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 2:22pm

 

It was an evening of bands sharing members, with Cough at the centre of the web. The first of three bands from Virginia, Sinister Haze opened the night, taking to the stage on short notice after Melbourne's Inverloch had to pull out due to a medical emergency. Sinister Haze features two members of co-headliners Cough, guitarist Brandon Marcey and live organist JK. Sinister Haze...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 2:19pm

It's only been ten months since Brooklyn-based neo-jazz fusion powerhouse Snarky Puppy last graced Melbourne with their presence, This time around, the nine-piece played two shows at the ultra-sleek Melbourne Recital Centre. Fans may have been constrained to their seats but this proved not to be a big issue. The acoustics of the room were a huge strength, and the “concert” nature of the venue...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 2:06pm

*Bill Shorten graphically shelves a pinger on live television* “Didn’t even double drop what a soft prick.”

 

Single Of The Week

Kirin J Callinan : S.A.D.

Halfway between demented ballad and demented pop anthem, S.A.D. (song about drugs) navigates its highs and lows. Jack-knifes between a dearth of inhibition into insular paranoia, barely holding it...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 1:58pm

6

 

Snippets of recent British stadium fillers such as Coldplay, Keane, Oasis and Elbow can be heard whilst the darker elements of Editors or Frightened Rabbit and ‘60s psychedelia  also share some airtime.
 
The EP’s four tracks are a clear attempt to condense this large, widescreen rock sound into easy consumable pieces. The Night Café clearly expect, or at least...

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