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Music Reviews

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 12:47pm

9.5

 

Graciously sharing this tasting plate of tracks that were written around the same time as those that made it onto Skin, Flume keeps fans’ hunger for new music satisfied with an aural smorgasbord of decadent and cerebral ear-candy.
 
Opening with Trust, there's a dreamlike nostalgia and memories of childhood in the use of the Kalimba sample that weaves its way in...

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 12:45pm

Aiming to cram a year’s worth of exercise into Sheila E’s Meredith set. Wish me luck.

 

Single Of The Week

Various Asses : Hood Team

I kinda regret listening to this at home on headphones before hearing it live. I wanna hear it in a crammed club with a hundred or so people cutting sick at the song’s plot twist (which I won’t spoil here). But you know what,...

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 11:21am

 

Unfortunately both James Moloney and the Mad Dog Harrisons and Grenadiers fell victim to some of rock’s greatest pitfalls. Rather than ambition, it was illusion that propelled the Mad Dog Harrisons’ sound: Moloney’s voice was a contrived, punk groan, shredding solos offered no other purpose than to slap on additional rock factor, and each song ended with a crashing, epic jam when it...

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 11:19am

 

Having released one of the best albums of the year, it’s no surprise most of the crowd for Angel Olsen have arrived early and made a beeline for the front.
 
Supporting Olsen is Jack Ladder, who reworked tracks from his Dreamlanders project for a rare solo performance. It’s a testament to his talent that Ladder had plenty of presence without a band, offering an interesting...

Posted 7 Dec 2016 @ 11:16am

Melbourne’s Enlight opened the festival on the Ice Stage. Driven by the angelic vocals of Rachael Graham, the quartet’s mix of fragile harmonies and chugging riffs drew a humble crowd. Qlaye Face lit up the Fire Stage with skittering rhythms tied to ethereal croons, before Bear the Mammoth summoned sprawling instrumental post-rock akin to bands like Explosions in the Sky; their densely layered...

Posted 2 Dec 2016 @ 10:16am

 

Julien Baker is the kind of performer who makes you feel at home. Bursting with talent and heart, it was something incredibly special to watch her hold down just one of the many sold out shows she’s playing on her debut Australian tour. Treating her fans Down Under to songs from her 2015 Sprained Ankle EP as well as some newies, the 21-year-old from Memphis proved beyond any shadow of...

Posted 2 Dec 2016 @ 10:08am

 

The stage name The Tallest Man on Earth is like a private joke between the performer and his fans. At 1.7 metres tall Kristian Matsson wasn’t even the tallest man on stage, but everything else about him, from his voice to his stage presence, was huge.
 
Four years from his last stint in Australia, The Tallest Man on Earth is still undoubtedly one of the most exciting and...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 1:44pm

 

Openers The Ocean’s take on progressive metal went down smoother than whisky on the rocks. Lead vocalist Loïc Rossetti pulled a Maynard James Keenan to begin with, gently crooning from the back of the stage before shifting forward to steal the limelight with his angelic howl. Firmament’s tribal meanderings simmered and bubbled before rising up into thunderous metallic grooves, Damian...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 1:41pm

 

Her voice is dreamy and gentle, her harmonies are gorgeous, her folk swagger commands the attention of every person in the room: Julia Jacklin is a force to be reckoned with.
 
In the soldout Howler bandroom, Jacklin unleashed her album Don’t Let The Kids Win, in her own words, “the album straight up, no surprises.” The setlist was strong, featuring what seemed like hit...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 1:38pm

 

Paradise’s fourth installation continued the trends that solidified its place as a treasure in Melbourne’s music scene. Featuring a lineup that shifted between pop, heavier electronic and indie acts over three music hubs, along with stunning natural surrounds and near freezing temperatures, the event continued to boast a truly individual camping experience, much to the pleasure of...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 1:36pm

 

After teasing their new single Death to the Lads during their last Aussie tour, The Smith Street Band opened the set with the roaring anthem against dickheads, the packed room already singing along word-perfect with the ever-lovable Wil Wagner. Suffer was a brand new and never played taste of their upcoming album, doused with heavy vibes, with dense riffs and Wagner’s quintessential...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 1:35pm

 

At a time in history when it feels as if the world may be hurtling to hell in a hand basket, it's reassuring that in its 20th year the Queenscliff Music Festival has maintained its inclusive, eclectic and convivial atmosphere.
 
The weekend began with the rich vocals and assured guitar licks of Jordie Lane & The Sleepers. Lane was in fine voice and displayed a warm and...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 1:29pm

 

The night began with Sydney group The Art taking to the stage to get the audience nice and warm. Having just released their latest album All In The Mind, The Art played a few of their older tracks laced with some of their new.  There were big vocals and some even bigger biceps, as their topless drummer attacked the skins.
 
Bathed in violet lights The Cult entered the...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 1:06pm

Failed to get picked up in the AFL Draft again, so looks like I’m doing this column for at least another year. Sorry.

 

Single Of The Week
Hi-Tec Emotions : Look Around

This feels like a comprehensive overload, but at the same time, leaves you fangin’ for a whole lot more. A bit like the most cyclonic moments from Blank Realm, supercharged into blown-out extremes...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 12:56pm

7.5

 

The Festival Records vault has been scraped bare for this cut-price primer of coolness for all those with more than a passing interest in punk and allied rock. The comprehensive nature of the selection guarantees that those professing a vast and intimate understanding of this music will now increase disproportionately.
 
The usual suspects are present - New...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 12:54pm

7.5

 

Lewis Cancut’s newest release Indoor Rainforest is pristine, tropical house music from a rave inside a video game.
 
The influence of Japanese and anime culture is strong throughout the record (the cover art is perfect) and the bouncing synths, treated Japanese woodwind sounds and kicking percussion only compound the eccentric high-energy.
 
 Cancut...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 12:54pm

7.5

 

It’s around Belconnen in the suburbs of Canberra when the news started to come through: Trump was winning the election. The air was thick with hyperbolic predictions and apocalyptic economic scenarios. On the Internet, embarrassed political commentators tried to slash through the impossible hubris of imperial promise, while grinning ideologues declared the triumph of normal...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 12:51pm

9

 

“I thought by the age of 25/I’d have this figured out alright,” James Moloney sings, surmising the fears of any twenty-something. “Maybe I’m bound to be another rat living in the city/Whose only real dream is to find something to eat.”
 
James Moloney and the Mad Dog Harrisons’ latest offering, Raleigh St manages to pin down the sound of the Northern Suburbs in...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 12:49pm

5

 

Pop Svengali, Bruno Mars makes the shift towards a complete R&B sound in his third, very short, studio album 24K Magic. Mars claimed he had initially wanted to make a movie and 24K Magic was to be the vehicle through which the mood and time were set for the narrative. This film never came into fruition and what we are left with is a 33-minute album consisting of nine...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 12:48pm

8

 

Drawing influence from pop, soul, jazz and lo-fi genres, Owen Rabbit masterfully draws listeners in with hauntingly heartfelt lyrics, pairing them with truly cinematic production work. Experimental plays with sound effects come aplenty in this release, alongside Owen Rabbit’s signature use of miscellaneous items to make his music.
 
Oh My God, drops an incredibly...

Posted 30 Nov 2016 @ 12:47pm

9

 

“Spread your arms if you really need a hug,” said Q-Tip in 1990, and on their first album in 18 years, A Tribe Called Quest look out at their country and decide that this sentiment is needed more than ever. Released days after the U.S. election, the group come charging out of the gate with Space Program, a song about the continuing marginalisation of African Americans, “a...

Posted 29 Nov 2016 @ 3:37pm

Tankerville eased punters into the night with their short sharp heavy fuzz. Their between song banter was great, and their humorous take on punk certainly kept fans keen. They had plenty of songs to play and few of them crept over a minute.
 
Shepperton Aeroplane, provided a weird sense of familiarity – that could be because two thirds of the Peep Tempel were acting as the rhythm...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 2:35pm

Nestled perfectly in the hustle and bustle of Melbourne Music Week, Face The Music successfully united musicians, industry professionals and lovers of live performance under the same roof, and gave The State Library Of Victoria a rare, exciting buzz.
 
The two day conference held a diverse number of panels, but one topic seemed to prevail throughout all of them - the rise of online...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 2:31pm

It felt somewhat mischievous watching bands in the ornate confines of the State Library. Drug Sweat smashed out a vociferous set, the usually silent halls of the library now disrupted with the band’s bratty and boisterous noise. Excellent.
 
Terry have really come into their own lately, playing a few spanking new songs which were first-rate. Tom Hardisty from NUN joined them...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 2:31pm

 

Swamp rockers Local Coward ripped through their set. Kate Alexander spat vitriol in So Sick Of Your Voice, and Jess Zubkevych’s guitar skills were kickarse. SpinningRooms sound is an aberration. Saxophone caterwaulled like some Mephistophelian daemon from a Lovecraft dimension. 
 
A low rumbling signalled the arrival of The Peep Tempel. The sold out Corner was well sauced...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 2:27pm

As an iconic Melbourne venue with one of the largest capacities in the city, it was easy to predict the magnitude of The Corner's 20th Birthday fiesta. With the newly refurbished rooftop revealed just in time for the first taste of summer, the venue pulsed with cheery though slightly sun-scorched punters. To keep everybody guessing, The Corner hosted a delightfully mixed bill of performers...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 2:21pm

Providing a funky and energetic start to this night of nostalgia were the newly reformed Down to Size, who had last toured with Superheist at the turn of the century.    
 
Next, Sydney Oz metal legends Segression proved once again that they're not ones to ever run out of steam or deviate from their core sound to fit the times. In fact, this year marks Segression's 20th...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 1:36pm

7

 

In a Tokyo rock’n’roll bar recently, a middle-aged tattooed German punk rocker told me about a mod revival happening in Indonesia.  The image of Indonesian youths wearing heavy green parkas decorated with Union Jacks, riding Vespas on the smog and humidity-laden streets of Denpasar was too fascinating to ignore. Surely this is globalisation in its ideal subcultural form?...

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 1:36pm

8.5

 

Opener Bondi’s Dead has Al Montfort contribute an effortlessly ebullient number. “I was the best at undermining civil unrest,” is delivered in a way that is both nonchalant and self-assured. Peculiar in its sentiment, the line really sticks. The music is so approachable that the lyrics shine, and as oblique as they are, they tend to linger long after they’re uttered....

Posted 23 Nov 2016 @ 1:34pm

7.5

 

Napier describe themselves as “raunchy rock’n’ roll” and they certainly do rock the roll, channeling some old-school vibes with each guitar driven track. And they’re getting some pretty great reviews from their live shows as well.
 
I don’t know if it’s due to the EP title Sundance Romance; whether due to my first-time listening to it on a stanky hot Melbourne...

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