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Music Reviews

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:46pm

 

Pensive, reverent, ceremonial and ultimately joyous, Archie Roach’s performance at the Melbourne Recital Centre perfectly captured the nature of his new album Let Love Rule, which boasts some stunningly beautiful tracks in lyricism and arrangement. 
 
The evening kicked off with local elders and Roach’s friends Aunty Caroline Briggs and Uncle Jack Charles, who delivered a...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:45pm

 

It was one of those gigs that had plenty of Melbourne’s cool kids excited – the neatly-sized Curtin bandroom hosting Oakland’s The Soft Moon, the brainchild of singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, Luis Vasquez. In classic Curtin style, the crowd formed just prior to the first note – it seemed there were plenty of ciggies and stubbies to be sucked down before any post...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:27pm

6

 

Less than nine months after Lonely Cities dropped in February, Sydney four-piece Tigertown have returned with Papernote. It’s an upbeat, four-track offering, holding to classic Tigertown pop vibes.
 
It’s no wonder the title track was picked to be the lead single - Papernote opens with a seriously funky guitar rhythm, instantly commanding attention. The track is...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:26pm

8

 

The Lemon Twigs are 19-year-old Brian D’Addario and 17-year-old brother Michael, prodigious multi-instrumentalists with an insane 1970s musical knowledge.
 
Take the weirdest elements of the Beach Boys and mix it with Wings, Todd Rundgren, baroque, power pop and of course, circus carnival music and you’re close to the ball park.
 
They are also...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:25pm

5.5

 

“This Christmas, my gift to you…is me,” says R. Kelly on his new album 12 Nights Of Christmas, and what a gift it is. If, like many others, you’ve been wishing R. Kelly would apply his smooth beats to songs about Christmas, all your prayers have been answered.
 
This album is exactly what you expect. It’s like Michael Bublé found a hip hop drum machine and...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:21pm

6

 

To celebrate being around for 20 years Placebo has dropped a two–disc compilation album of all kinds of great Placebo goodness. Radio edits mixed in with live cuts with a dash of redux versions and a new song in there too for good measure.
 
The only new thing here is the single Jesus’ Son, which fits in well with their existing stuff. While it isn’t the greatest...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:20pm

7.5

 

Dripping with lo-fi soul samples, while still maintaining his signature sound, Knxwledge is the absolute star of this project, churning out an array of instrumentals that are as smooth as they are sexy. While Anderson.Paak's intentions are well received and his raspy, eloquent vocals add a nice touch, his vocal melodies are devoid of experimentation and variety.
 ...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:17pm

8

 

On Never Twice, Nick Waterhouse throws back to the bluesy elements of his hometown’s roots, all the while withholding from sounding inauthentic or aged.
 
It’s Time is built upon jazzy key grooves and jingly percussive progression, on top sits a belting vocal performance. After taking in the hearty horn section of I Had Some Money (But I Spent It) and the...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:16pm

8

 

In the 17 years since American Football broke up, their first and only album has come to define an intricate, melodic strain of emo now widely imitated but rarely equalled. The album was buoyed by a handful of genre-defining songs but its enduring success is attributable to how well it captured a feeling. Alone among breakup albums, American Football traded melodrama to focus...

Posted 2 Nov 2016 @ 12:15pm

Big hearty hooroo to gun Beat editor Cara. Thanks for publishing my shit.

 

SINGLE OF THE WEEK

TWO STEPS ON THE WATER : A Little Bit Scared

An understated propulsion flows throughout A Little Bit Scared, cascading violin melodies conjuring a whirlwind. Here, Two Steps On The Water feel in control of chaos, surreptitiously exploding into throes of passion...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:56pm

 

The influences and references in Lisa Gerrard’s music are so scholarly and, at times, ancient that seeing her perform is akin to a history lesson in some forgotten language. Yet in spite of her radically obscure expression, she’s drawn a faithful following through work as one half of Dead Can Dance and as a solo act.
 
As part of The Arts Centre’s stellar Spring Music...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:55pm

 

It’s been ten months since the untimely passing of the iconic, one of a kind talent that was David Bowie. There are few artists who have had the same cultural impact as Bowie and so a tribute with a full orchestra and some of the country’s most loved singers certainly seems deserving. With an all-star cast featuring iOTA, Deborah Conway, Tim Rogers, Steve Kilbey and Adalita, each...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:52pm

The stately manner of the Tom Lyngcoln, Matt Weston and Dan McKay was on show as the Nation Blue trio greeted old friends and fans over on the quieter side of the room. This was a celebration of the band’s dual album releases Black & Blue but also their first Melbourne show in a long time as work and family responsibilities make it hard for these three men to tour.
 
Opening...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:51pm

 

Gone are the Smith’s days of Mozza as a wan youth. Evidently, he’s given his recent run in with cancer a hearty fuck off, because at 57 Morrissey’s a strapping bloke with charisma to spare. With key chains swinging from his waist and shirt unbuttoned to reveal a hairy, barrel chest, it turns out that Morrissey’s grown up to be louche and sexy, while still wielding a mic lead with more...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:26pm

8

 

Xylouris White’s second album Black Peak is the pairing of two virtuosic musicians and the union of two divergent musical styles. Greek folk music collides with Australian post-rock, resulting in an exploratory hybridised torrent of frenetic energy and palpable intensity. It’s a record simultaneously anchored in tradition and yet free; elemental and celebratory, a travelogue...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:25pm

8.5

 

Following from her infectious EP Switch Tape, TKAY somehow ups the ante even further. Always Been hits the ground running with a grimey, bass-heavy backing; quickly establishing the positive influence from producers Salva (young Thug, A$AP Ferg) and Dre Skull (Major Lazer, Snoop Dogg).
 
The lyrical flow within Afterglow is amazing, and first single Carry On...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:24pm

8.5

 

What a way to say goodbye. As Dillinger Escape Plan ride off into the sunset after this, their final album, they’ve left us all wondering, ‘Why?’ Why make an album this good and then disband? If they are working by the philosophy of ‘Always leave them wanting more,’ then they’re going the right way about it.
 
Dissociation hits all of the high notes in every...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:23pm

6.5

 

Since 2011, everyone’s been waiting for a follow-up to Joyce Manor’s energetic self-titled debut. The songs were fast and short, with the emotive punk energy of Jawbreaker and the lo-fi vibe and soul of Royal Headache. While their debut was firmly planted in the melodic punk/emo style, the raw punk energy set it apart from the genre’s explosive revival.
 
Cody,...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:22pm

6

 

Canadian electro-punks Duchess Says feature the crazed vocals of Annie Claude-Deschenes, whose sound is filled with deep displeasure throughout the entire crazy ride. The feral robustness of the band as they bash away in support of her, and then in spite of her, is quite riveting.
 
The propulsive rhythms and sonic theories Duchess Says try to explore are largely...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:21pm

4

 

The Best of David Gray begins – as every conversation about Gray should – with Babylon. It's not at all difficult to see why this song has been inextricably linked with the man – it's one of the most perfect examples of the good that came from the adult-contemporary pop crossover at the turn of the century; all electro acoustic beat-blending and lushly arranged folk harmonies...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 1:19pm

9

 

While it was just over a year ago that Dorsal Fins released their electrifying debut Mind Renovation, the prolific nine-piece aren’t taking any time to slow downbetween albums.It’s pretty damn amazing to sound like a different band on each release, let alone each track, but Dorsal Fins do this with relative ease.
 
Romeo is a mammoth opener that has Ella Thompson...

Posted 26 Oct 2016 @ 11:45am

With Lachlan Kanoniuk

 

BROADWAY SOUNDS : Ah Ring Ah Ting Ting

Broadway Sounds release a track that sounds pretty much like every other track they’ve released, diminishing returns hastened with some patois in the titular choral cry that’s a little bit questionable. I’d never let a press release affect a review, but the claim that their sound is “something that’s...

Posted 25 Oct 2016 @ 6:52pm

This series, From London With Love, gives you a glimpse of the London music scene from our on-the-ground music writer Augustus Welby.

 

Reviewed on Wednesday October 19.
 
Over the last 18 months, Jenny Hval has released two uniquely captivating LPs that both shirk easy classification. The latest of these, Blood Bitch, touches on cerebral avant-pop and electro folk...

Posted 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:57pm

 

The Substation, an arts centre in Newport, provided the perfect setting for XFRMR and Thomson’s Tesla coil. Established in 1882, the site was constructed during the initial phase of Melbourne’s electrical services scheme, inaugurating a new era of technology through power generation.
 
MESS artists Robin Fox and Byron J Scullin (who run the incredible non-profit electronic...

Posted 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:55pm

 

Walter Schreifels, with only an electric guitar to accompany him, was a solitary figure on the Corner Hotel stage. He didn’t command the crowd, instead he casually, slightly awkwardly captivated his audience. As a founding member of acts including Gorilla Biscuits and Rival Schools – with a musical history dating back to the late ‘80s– Schreifels is no stranger to the stage. From the...

Posted 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:53pm

 

If there was ever a time to go against the grain it would be at the final show of your sold out tour, smack bang in the centre of the Corner Hotel stage. Escaping the confines of the expected, Montaigne opened her show in an untraditional fashion with the lovable quirk of her 2014 single Fantastic Wreck. Also known as Jessica Cerro, the Sydney pocket-rocket joked afterwards with her...

Posted 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:51pm

Sydney’s beloved rock group have had a big year, with their third studio album dropping in February and a huge American tour planned for November – still, no matter how busy they never fail to bring it when they hit the stage.  Hayley Mary strolled out like the true performer she is, nursing what seemed to be a whisky-straight. It was clear she was ready to rock.
 
Stand &...

Posted 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:50pm

 

A Wednesday evening support act might usually draw an ordinary crowd, but when a night kicks off with the Cosmic Psychos, everyone’s there to stomp a foot and raise a stubby. Knighty, Macca, and Dean took the audience by the scruff of the neck with a couple of deadset classics in Pub and Nice Day to Go the Pub. Dean’s drumming was as effortless as ever, cruising through a repertoire...

Posted 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:33pm

Wake me up when AFL Trade Week ends.

 

BIG SMOKE : Wrong

Big Smoke find a huge clearing of space in Wrong, invoking a huge landscape. It sounds bloody great, something akin to The Cars meets The Triffids. It meditates on the “don’t get me wrong” refrain, each shift loaded with impact.

 

THE LEMON TWIGS : As Long As We’re Together

The...

Posted 19 Oct 2016 @ 1:26pm

9

 

No space for mincing words on Let Them Eat Chaos, this is by far the most potent, powerful LP release for 2016. For those unfamiliar with her work, Kate Tempest is a multi-awarded and much-lauded poet, playwright and spoken word artist hailing from South-East London.
 
Her appearance on Q&A earlier this year was incredibly affecting viewing, and that same...

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