h

Music Reviews

Posted 27 Mar 2017 @ 12:30pm

Considering the current enormity of King Gizzard, it really strikes home how lucky Melburnians are to experience this incredible band in such an intimate setting. As an eclectic crowd of the eager punters jostled for a spot, The Gizz entered the circle to thunderous applause and adoration.
 
For the first half of their whopping double set, it was all about showing off the new toys...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 12:35pm

 

Supporting Huntly was Shouse; a local duo who make fun dance jams. Their smooth set was made even smoother by the addition of a live saxophone soaring over all the tracks. They had everyone moving to their addictively catchy beats.
 
Sandwiching Shouse was two DJ sets from disco queen Brooke Powers. Bringing the bouncy house tracks, she quickly had the whole sweaty room...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 12:25pm

Entering their 41st year as a band, UK punk rock innovators The Damned returned to Melbourne for the first time in five years. While the band’s original punk rock and proto-goth edge may have softened over the years, as most men pushing 60 do, the musical performance and energy was in top form.
 
Free of stage props and gimmicks, the set dived straight into classic after classic....

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 12:02pm

Gloom lords Departe opened the night, being the only Australian band on the lineup. The Tassie natives delivered sinister and expansive soundscapes, treating the crowd to a crushing wall of noise. Their first full-length Failure, Subside was met with monolithic acclaim last year, eerily balancing droning post-metal with shattering blast beats and reverberating vocals. One thing to be taken...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:57am

 

There was this fast bowler back in my high school cricket days, perhaps the quickest kid in the district. Facing up to him one Saturday morning, he pitched his opening delivery just short of a length. Like a python attacking its prey, the ball reared up sharply, honing on my rib cage. I fended defensively, somehow turning the wide of fine leg for a boundary. “Nice shot off the hip,”...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:42am

7

 

Spoon have come a long way since they emerged in the ‘90s as an indie-rock outfit delivering minimalistic, guitar heavy tracks, and after nine albums and 24 years, there has been a definitive shift in their sound.
 
Hot Thoughts sees Spoon’s progression from simplistic acoustic tracks to synth soaked beats complimented by funky twangs of bass guitar. The album is...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:42am

8

 

Sleaford Mods are unavoidably themselves: punk-rock laid bare, lean-muscle, restless and writhing. Jason Williamson’s sing-speak punk poetry is spat out in such a utilitarian way that – at first – you wonder what business the songs have being so damn good.
 
The truth is that the Sleaford Mods have the recipe: the songs are hooky-as-fuck, they’re executed with...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:41am

7

 

Songs Of Love And Death is much less skull crunching heaviness and more Robert Johnson toe-tapping at the crossroad, waiting for the Prince of Darkness so he can sell his soul. The inner demon of Adam "Nergal" Darski, the leader of Behemoth remains never far away throughout.
 
Me And That Man provide ample proof they can write stripped-back anthems full of...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:40am

8

 

Across much of Silver Eye, mood takes precedence over narrative. The preferencing of imagery over heavy-handed storytelling has always been key to Goldfrapp’s aesthetic. The absence of words is also used effectively: verses are often interspersed with instrumental breaks that help build momentum. Walls of synth rise with purpose, as if in slow motion.
 
Alison...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:39am

7.5

 

If a two-piece blues-rock band from Adelaide is an evil twin, is the good twin KC and the Sunshine Band, with its 16-member ensemble and AM-tuned pop repertoire? 
 
It really doesn’t matter, especially when you lend an ear to Evil Twins’ new album, Broken Blues.  It starts with I Don’t Mind, a growling meander through the Delta swamp, leans into a cocky denim...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:38am

7

 

Droplet – the musical project of singer/songwriter and producer Demi Papazoglou – is shaking up the Melbourne music scene through a tirade of minimalist electronica that’s hard hitting when it needs to be and encompasses raw emotion at its highest points.
 
Humanimal shows a haunting vocal prowess transitioning to buzzsaw synths. It’s clear Papazoglou shines the...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:36am

Folks I forgot to get Adele tickets and I’m willing to concede that was a major fuck-up on my behalf. Sorry.

 

Single Of The Week

Sui Zhen : Calm Winds

There’s a touch of deadpan in the title of Calm Winds, seeing as the track features extremely calming woodwind – reaching outside the palette shown on Sui Zhen’s 2015 album Secretly Susan, to great effect....

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:30am

8.5

 

Long before hashtag slogans became part of the lingua franca of social media, music fans did declare themselves #1 fans of the pop sensation of the moment.  Whether it was The Beatles, the Stones, Bay City Rollers or ABBA, there was always someone prepared to anoint themselves as the band’s most devoted follower.
 
The Pink Tiles play music that’s straight from...

Posted 20 Mar 2017 @ 5:31pm

 

Opening the show was Thy Art Is Murder, all the way from Blacktown, Sydney. Despite being a stone’s throw away from HillsongChurch, Thy Art Is Murder’s music is about as far away from worship as you can get. They presented their anti-religious and vaguely misanthropic message in the cloak of blast beats, breakdowns, and violently impassioned vocals, with more than a dash of...

Posted 17 Mar 2017 @ 10:03am

A Chain and the Gang show isn’t your standard gig, it’s a once in a lifetime experience to worship at the altar of Ian F Svenonius, one of the greatest rock icons and commentators of music in the last 30 years.
 
Testament to his engagement with music, Svenonius was up the front of the crowd taking photos of the support bands. Primo and Parsnip are two bands made up of some of...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 2:49pm

As always, the Port Fairy Folk Festival was jam-packed with an eclectic mix of musical treats.
 
Melody Pool showcased smoky, soaring vocals that were at times reminiscent of Stevie Nicks' dulcet tones. Among a brace of sparking originals, her rendition of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game was a poignant highlight in a gold-plated set.
 
The Jerry Cans featured fiery fiddle and...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 2:47pm

 

From the opening few bars of Teenage Fanclub’s set, it was evident that their current live show is fairly restrained. A far cry from Reading Festival 1992, but that was no surprise and no crime.
 
The initial lack of guitar-power in the mix was faintly worrying, and rendered both new and old material quite lifeless. The main issue being that the band’s approach, in both...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 2:47pm

Opening the night’s show was triple J Hottest 100 runner-up, Amy Shark. As the garden punters took a pew on their picnic rugs, the rising talent offered up a selection of her lesser known, yet equally impressive tunes. Included in the mix was Spit on Girls, a fitting addition to her set only three days after International Women’s Day. Picking up her guitar, Shark also shared Home, Deleted and...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 2:40pm

 

The last of the Zoo Twilight concerts was appropriately concluded by The Specials. An effervescent timeless group with an abundance of fun-time tunes delivered with a lyrical conscience.
 
They bounded onstage, replete with both old school and new school rude boy wear and the sold out audience was set for a riveting finale.
 
Aided by minimalist strings, the...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 1:22pm

7

 

The French Press is a little bit more of a slow burn than some of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever’s previous work. The title track features some bouncy guitar riffs to kick the record off. Julie’s Place is a little more subdued and the vocals fail to fire. Sick Bug combines an infectious riff and abrasive vocals that have a very raw feel. The kind that sound like they’ve...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 1:20pm

6

 

Though Sick Scenes marks their sixth studio album and their first in four years, significant change has apparently eluded Welsh indie-pop group Los Campesinos!. Don’t go into this record expecting some radical creative detour on the band’s part.
 
Los Campesinos! have always excelled in dispensing bittersweet, heart-on-sleeve witticisms and, pleasingly, they step...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 1:18pm

5.5

 

Remember when Less Than Jake were awesome? When they were really at their peak? Then they had a strange slump that’s lasted a few years. With their latest release, Sound The Alarm, Less Than Jake are like toddlers learning to walk, trying to find their feet again.
 
After more than two decades of delivering some of the greatest anthems in the ska-punk genre,...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 1:17pm

7.5

 

The amount of thought and attention poured into the four tracks on Songs In Your Name make it clear how dedicated Huntly are to their craft. The Melbourne three-piece make pop music with an electronic basis that is highly melodic but imbued with an uncommon emotional honesty and intelligence.
 
There’s a lot of space left in the tracks between the beats, synth...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 1:09pm

6

 

Depending on your personal tastes, you’re likely to regard this compilation as exhaustively comprehensive, or exhaustingly overblown. At 90 songs spread over four discs, it isn’t going to hold anyone’s attention for its entirety, but that probably isn’t the intention here.
 
Buster Brown’s 1973 version of Roll Over Beethoven (featuring Angry Anderson and Phil Rudd...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 1:07pm

7.5

 

Predicting what the next Brian Jonestown Massacre release will sound like is a foolish wager. The outfit have released 16 albums across an eclectic spread of style and technique – so what should you do this time? Do it all at once, apparently.
 
 
Anton Newcombe and co. have never retreated from experimentation – indeed, it's their entire modus operandi...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 1:04pm

What is Hugh Jackman’s favourite berry? Loganberry. (Please note this joke is less corny than the ending of Logan.)

 

Single Of The Week

Alice Ivy Ft E^St & Charlie Threads : Get Me A Drink

I’m a sucker for ripper opening lines, and “I’ve thrown up everywhere” is an absolute belter. Alice Ivy’s greatest strength is dexterity, cutting between lanes like...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 12:55pm

8

 

Like any musician breaking away from a band into the solo abyss, shaking the preconceptions and ideals of what came before can be a testing exercise. Nonetheless, Tame Impala’s Cameron Avery first solo effort is such a departure from the psych futurism embodying Kevin Parker’s creative behemoth that allowing prejudice to weigh you down could be rendered rebellious.
 ...

Posted 14 Mar 2017 @ 12:13pm

Once again we descend upon the small town of Meredith seeking entertainment, adventure and spiritual release. We arrived on site at the Nolan’s farm a little later than usual, and our beloved Bush Camp was already closed, but we quickly found a serene and shaded spot in the tree-laden area of Ringwood. Besides having to memorise an entirely new way to get home at night, this worked out well as...

Posted 10 Mar 2017 @ 10:04pm

International Women's Day was a fitting choice for the Unity concert, programmed as part of Brunswick Music Festival with an inspiring lineup of female vocalist and spoken word artists. Brunswick Music Festival has again succeeded in bringing culturally diverse musical talent to the 'people's republic of Moreland'. Even those not previously familiar with first performer Parvyn were clearly...

Posted 8 Mar 2017 @ 3:16pm

 

Deep Scene played to an already packed room, treating punters to their brand of melodic punk rock. If this was the bar to be set for the night, anticipation was already high.
 
The second band – and a highlight of the night – was Melbourne post-punk legends Bench Press. Aussie punk at its finest was showcased by frontman Jack Stavrakis. He radiated a palpable and nervous...

Pages