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Music Reviews

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 1:56pm

7

 

Five years on from their last release, Infinity Overhead, comes Minus The Bear’s sixth LP VOIDS. Known for their smooth indie-rock guitar licks and for having song titles longer than Panic! At The Disco, Minus the Bear continue to live up to the hype, albeit a little toned down in parts.
 
Starting off with the bittersweet Last Kiss, the album promises more of...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 1:55pm

7.5

 

It’s clear that Hate hold nostalgia for the pagan beliefs that pre-dated the spread of Christianity to Slavic culture, as well as hatred directed at the spread of Christianity.
 
The hatred manifests through the relentless energy of the album. Tremendum is largely guitar-driven, with tremolo guitars of black metal heritage presenting a wall of sound,...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 1:49pm

7

 

Who cares about 2007, anyway? The eighth decade in the so-called ‘noughties’, it’s notable for little more than John Howard’s electoral defeat, which ushered in a decade of government prevarication, kindergarten-quality social media debate and cheapskate crystal egos.  2007 is to 1968 as fish-oil supplements is to Owsley’s acid.
 
But Jimmy Chang seems to care...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 1:46pm

8

 

Given its startling title, one might imagine that Aimee Mann’s Mental Illness is a slow slog through some distinctly difficult thematic territory. Certainly it’s true that Mann has earned her reputation as a peddler of grief, and her best songs are underpinned by a heady dose of the distraught. But even when the singer/songwriter is at her most moribund, she never seems to...

Posted 12 Apr 2017 @ 1:43pm

9

 

Following up a fantastic album is a task that may seem intimidating to many, however Future Islands have managed to pull it off with The Far Field. Lead single Ran provided a taste of things to come, and the rest of the album has matched the high expectations it created. The upbeat sound with haunting lyrics that Future Islands have so masterfully made their own shines...

Posted 7 Apr 2017 @ 1:04pm

Tucked away in the rolling, grassy hills of Bambra, you’ll find By The Meadow. Using some of Australia’s finest flora as a backdrop, the regional gathering – located just a few hours away from Melbourne – gave the festival herd an endless amount of music goodness to graze on all weekend long.
 
With a perfect blend of local community members, live music lovers and pure partygoers...

Posted 7 Apr 2017 @ 12:34pm

Ever wondered why Melbourne of all places hasn’t hosted a regular Twin Peaks trivia night yet? Anticipation around the long awaited third season premiere is at fever pitch and so The Carlton have taken it amongst themselves to give the people what they want.  
 
With the Twin Peaks universe spanning two previous seasons, a film and numerous books, it was a smart move for The...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 1:12pm

 

Entering the stage with little presence or assertiveness, locals Totally Mild lived up to their name with a set of apathetic soft rock. With little change in dynamic or pacing, the band’s clinical and restrained approach left little impression on the crowd or vibe of the show. Channeling the feeling of asinine boredom and musical conservatism, the band’s performance brought nothing to...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 1:12pm

What was a c]alm looking pub crowd for previous band Harmony (who were fantastic) became a rocking and rolling, sweaty mass of people by the time Batpiss were done with them. The mosh grew exponentially, people were on the stairs, on the balcony and would literally have been hanging from the rafters if they could get up there (although some crowd surfers did tear down the above stage fairy...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 1:09pm

Josh Cunningham recalled with a laugh The Waifs first gig review, in which they were labelled as “Backyard Sunday afternoon barbeque music.” The crowd clapped as he continued to recite the critics words, which he remembered perhaps a bit too well. 
 
Celebrating their 25th anniversary, the members of The Waifs were proud to announce they’d been together longer than the average...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:25pm

7.5

 

Diet Cig embodies a remarkable mix of fun, quirkiness, intensity and melancholy. Sixteen is the perfect example. Opening with the line “When I was sixteen, I dated a boy with my own name… it was weird.” This could come across as a novelty but feels sincere coming from lead singer Alex Luciano. Then that punk-riff tempo change turns it into something immediately catchy and...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:24pm

7.5

 

Lektrk’s debut album sees the Melbourne trio find their feet, blending elements of French house, disco, funk and deeper sonic textures into a sound all of their own. Opening track Whagastalk is what Daft Punk might have sounded like if they were human and embraced the organic. I Like takes that to another level, bringing funk and South American percussion.
 
...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:23pm

8

 

Hot 8 Brass Band are a collective of New Orleans-based musos who’ve taken the second-line band tradition – mixing up jazz with funk, soul and hip hop – and run with it. Although they’ve been around for 20-plus years with a revolving lineup (tragically, members haven’t just retired or moved on to other projects, numerous players have been shot dead, including in incidents of...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:21pm

9

 

Citizen kicks off with a bang, streaking guitars carry Bridge’s growls, send listeners into a frenzy. Colourwave begins with a gritty guitar, effectively paired with a swirling synth sound, but soon enough the heavy breakdown erupts and that’s when we know Northlane mean business. Bridge’s vocals in the chorus are infused with emotion, but this is only the beginning, because...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:20pm

7

 

Real Estate have a neat little niche carved for themselves, which they continue to serve up with latest release In Mind.
Despite a change in the band’s lineup, Real Estate are not looking to completely reinvent themselves. They rarely deviate from their classic recipe of folksy harmonies and guitars with a breezy kind of sadness, and it’s impossible to deny they do...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:20pm

8

 

The Cactus Channel and Sam Cromack deftly fuse elements of modern soul and quietly soaring widescreen indie pop rock on this addictive EP. Like UK band The Maccabees, this skilled combo whip up a cinematic sound that is both immersive and uplifting.
 
Ironically on I’m Not Ready To Relax the band generates a deeply relaxing groove that complements the chilled out,...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:19pm

9.5

 

Planning For Burial’s recent release, Below The House, shows a notable refinement for one-man band Thom Wasluck’s spacious blackened slowcore. While at times there appears to be a return to previously used pacing and chord progressions, Below The House’s strength comes through reworking these sounds.
 
One of the album’s main strengths comes from Wasluck’s...

Posted 5 Apr 2017 @ 12:17pm

Melbourne still has four seasons in one day, but it’s just that all of them are winter again.

 

Single of the Week:

Aldous Harding : Imagining My Man

Good, good grief, this is an absolute doozy. Aldous Harding puts the fun in funereal courtesy of a few disarming schoolyard shouts of “hey!”. It’s a masterful, bold piece of work, taking emotional hold without...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 3:39pm

 

Taking to the stage in a hail of hair flicks and spin kicks, Newcastle’s Introvert wasted no time capturing attention. Introverted, this band is not. Singer/guitarist Audie Franks has a killer scream and I’m sure there was some great songs in there but any integrity the band has was undermined by the phony The Story So Far-esque punk jumps, kicks, thrusts and spins (including the...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 2:58pm

Contemplating the meaninglessness of existence on any given Sunday afternoon, one can do well to decide that meaning can be created in the form of small experiences and pleasures like patting a fluffy dog or soaking up rays and sweet tunes at a rooftop gig.
 
Aussie independent record label Bedroom Suck presented Melbournians with an afternoon of local musical delights, hosted at...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 2:57pm

 

Outside the Athenaeum Theatre, flagged by velvet ropes and a red carpet, sat an off-white limousine complete with Canberra plates and Australian flags mounted on the hood. If there was ever any doubt that Client Liaison were here to bring it, it was erased before walking into the building.  
 
Inside, Luke Million had the crowd eating out of his hands. Million jumped...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 2:56pm

 

First to jump onstage was Lost Talk. Fierce frontwoman Amy immediately commanded attention with screamed vocals radiating sass, while the band upped the ante with a high intensity set. 
 
Next was Perth alternative outfit Childsaint, who showcased their gritty garage rock with plenty of passion, their melancholic lyrics reaching out to everybody in the room. Local garage...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 2:13pm

I hope the history books will forever show that Sarah Perkins is a premiership Crow and Tex Walker is not.

 

Single Of The Week

Hex : Page Of Pentacles

Sick licks and a sense of overseeing detachment come together for something pretty spesh coming from New Zealand trio Hex, concocting a mix that effortlessly blends sharp post-punk and sprawling desert rock...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:55pm

8.5

 

The New Pornographers have undergone metamorphosis since their last release with two long term members departing the band. Unobtrusive, the blend of three strong vocalists works well and builds a strong foundation upon which the band can rely for their consistent entry onto the North American charts. Whiteout Conditions doesn’t indicate that there will be any change to this...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:54pm

9

 

If there was ever any doubt from the more sceptical of critics as to the musical abilities of Steel Panther, these opinions are blown out of the water with new release Lower The Bar.
 
Steel Panther’s X-rated tendencies and flirtatious filth is still present lyrically, but they’ve done the opposite of what the album title suggests – Steel Panther have risen the...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:53pm

7.5

 

Someone at work referred to me as a hippy the other day.  I contemplated a bullying and harassment charge or even criminal defamation, before settling with an empty threat to illustrate my offence.  “Call me a hippy again and you’re dead meat,” I retorted, invoking the empty schoolyard language of my (not-at-all hippy) youth.
 
But as my once-hippie wife reminds...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:51pm

7

 

Exanimate sounds like the work of hairy Swedes with names akin to IKEA furniture – but it’s not. These guys are from Melbourne, though the melodic death metal they peddle is indebted to the Gothenburg scene of the mid ‘90s. If you’re a fan of At the Gates, In Flames, et al. pull up a chair and get acquainted with your new favourite melodeath crusaders.
 
They’ve...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:50pm

9

 

Australian indie folk music has a new queen. Her name is Domini Forster. Opening with Under Water, edgy xylophone melodies combined with softly picked guitar and the honey dripped vocals of Forster play out in a great opening track. Put it simply, she knows how to craft a folk pop gem.
 
Gentle and melodic, it’s easy to get lost in the sweeping sounds of Black Dog...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:48pm

8

 

The Waifs are warmly welcomed back to the Australian music scene with their new album Ironbark, a nod to their core influences – friends, family, a love of music and performing, and Australia itself. Most predominant in their new 25-track album is this Australis theme, a tribute to its nature and its people, essential ingredients in the extraordinary body of work the Waifs...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:42pm

9.5

 

More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me gets straight down to business with the fast-paced, punchy rock track Forrest kicking off the album, followed by the lighter, more reserved Birthdays. Here listeners learn this album is not going to be a fully charged, guns-blazing rock album but rather a concise and descriptive journey lead by the ever autobiographical Wil Wagner. Next...

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