New: Bad//Dreems-My Only Friend

I’ve heard this song about a million times, because I’m a) better than you, and b) it’s the second track on Bad//Dreems double A-side 7″ they released a couple months back. They’ve also played the shit out of it at their last few gigs, and it always goes down a fucking treat, like scotch and ice cream whilst watching a sneaky episode of The Wire on a Monday night.

On record, as opposed to the Baddies always thrilling, high-octane live show, ‘My Only Ffriend’ allows for some raspy as sandpaper on a sore throat vocals, whilst morbid guitars plug the track throughout. Goddamn, if you think you’re having a bad day, just chuck this on, and let ‘My Only Friend’, a song that’s got its head stuck permanently in the neck of its tenth beer, run its course through you.

Video: Weak Boys-Hangovers

About fucking time! Sydney anti-beatsmiths aka jangle poppers aka Matt Banham x Craig Lyons x Chris Yates aka Weak Boys, have just released their debut single ‘Hangovers’ through new label Strong Look Records. Weak Boys + Strong Look Records = a happy middle ground of average physicality.

The song is, simply put, fucking delightful, the perfect tune you’d want to listen to when reaching for an aspirin and glass of cold water on Sunday. It’s simple strumming and basic drumming, all at tongue-lolling, head-stuck-out-the-car-window pace. Oh, and there’s lyrics about how much harder it is to drink when you hit that mythical +20 age. Mixing beers with lemonade? At this glorious point of 18, that pretty much amounts to blasphemy. However, the song’s so goddamn happy-go-lucky, I’ll let the shandy manoeuvre slide. But seriously, if your head ain’t nodding by the 0.003 second mark, there’s something intrinsically wrong with you.

The video to this is also bloody top notch. It is literally a dramatisation of my Saturday night: ginger with a band t-shirt hits the champers in a park, loses all stability, dances like no one’s watching to same crazy-ass tune, followed by severe regret the following morning. When I say literally, I mean literally. Packets of Cheetohs don’t stand a chance when I’m a few beers in and the munchies start calling.

 

SPLINTER!

 

Can everyone get the fuck over Splendour in the Grass? Besides Parquet Courts, Danny Brown, DZ Deathrays, Violent Soho, Courtney Barnett, Future Islands, Skaters, The Preatures and Interpol, there’s not a whole lot going on in the lineup.

That’s where SPLINTER comes in. Originally titled SPLINTER IN YOUR ARSE, it’s the perfect remedy for mediocrity. And instead of forking over $500 bucks for 10 good bands, you can splash out the extravagant price of $15 for 11 AMAZING BANDS! And it’s at the Chippendale Hotel, a place with 100% more carpet that smells like piss and beer than Splendour.

Bands-wise, you couldn’t ask for a better lineup of ball-tearing, mind-wrecking brutality and intrigue. There’s Dead China Doll headlining, who will guaranteed fuck your ears up. There’s Yes, I’m Leaving, who have time and time again blown my ear drums and my mind. Cull and Roku Music (Brissy) are here to represent the shoegaze element, bringing a smorgasbord of pedals and feedback to ensure you won’t hear right. Narrow Lands will brutally destroy your will to listen to any other band again, and Bone (Melbs) are going to infatuate you with punishing guitars.

The legendary Bare Grillz and Scul Hazzards are drifting from their homes of Newy and Melbourne, respectively, to ensure you’re given the biggest punk fix of your entire goddamn life. And relative newcomers Thorax, Lovely Head and Tanned Christ will lob off any expectations that you bring into the small Chippendale Hotel.

Priced at the drop-dead ridiculous price of $15, all these bands could be yours. If you like music weird, heavy, fucked up and glorious, do everything in your power to ensure you’re at SPLINTER!

Tickets here, and FB event here. SEE YA THERE, YA DRONGO!

Album Review: Jonathan Boulet-Gubba

Up until a few months ago, the name Jonathan Boulet was synonymous with better than average indie-pop tunes that soundtracked my Year 10 days, and the vicious hardcore of Snake Face and Top People, which soundtracked my Year 11 days. Basically, one form of Jonathan Boulet was present during my high school years.

Anyway, that changed dramatically when I was chillaxing in the FBi offices around 2 in the morning. Whilst I gorged myself on some delicious chicken sandwiches, I saw that Jonathan Boulet had a new single out, called ‘Hold it Down’. I was mildly interested, as he’s a talented, multi-faceted guy whom I knew would have something intriguing to display. Pop in the blank CD, press play, expect some nice, clean tones to emerge. What occured next was of a similar effect as trying to stop a T-Rex from clamping its jaws down on top of me. Thick, gooey saliva drips on top of my head, as razor sharp guitars massacre every inch of my soul. I was flung around by the sheer power and torrential force of Mr. Boulet’s new sound. It was brutal, sneering and the best post-punk to present itself since Eagulls pulverised my ears slightly earlier this year.

It seems that the time in Berlin has completely changed Boulet. He’s switched labels from Modular to Popfrenzy, removed the beard, and plunged headlong into a weird spectrum of music that you’d never have thought would be attached to his solo moniker. As iterated before, he’s been in some crazy awesome hardcore bands, but it never seemed that he’d remove his pop stylings for the chainsaw murder ballads that make up ‘Gubba’.

‘Gubba’ is brilliant, because it shows a musician that can effortlessly change his style, and lose none of the momentum. If anything, the shift showcases Boulet moving on to greener pastures. This isn’t me being a snobby dickhead, who is knocking off Boulet’s previous albums, and simply praising him because he’s now in a genre that appeals more closely to me. As someone who’s followed Boulet since the first record, he sounds more confident and passionate than ever before.

‘Gubba’ is easy to lose yourself in, even with the haphazard filler tunes thrown in, like the ‘Don’t Call Me Champ’ intro, and the minute long ‘Derros’. The songs are sharp and vicious, squalling guitar thrashing next to Boulet’s cut-throat vocals. There’s a good mix of sounds to discover in here, from the King Gizzard-meets- Ty Segall-meets-Electric Wizard of ‘Is Anybody Dooming’, to the spine-shattering paralysis of ‘Creeper’. There’s a pants-shitting terror-plague displayed on ‘Traveler’, and ‘Alright’ does an impression of a QOTSA song, but then runs it through the blades of a lawnmower, as the maniac villain of Boulet raises his head to the sky and cackles with icy glee.

Look, you want to say that Boulet has matured on this album, but that wouldn’t even be remotely the right word. Maturing implies that you can cook five meals by yourself, and pay the bills. Jonathan Boulet has taken the most twisted parts of music and society and revealed them to the world here. Of course he had to do a 180 on his previous music; there’s no way that the fear Boulet wants to impart could be translated through that music. Instead, the rampant rampaging of his music, as showcased on ‘Gubba’ is the sign of a mad man completely losing it, and loving every second of it. ‘Gubba’ shows that Jonathan Boulet is more than any one genre, undefinable and yet completely reliable in being able to deliver amazing songs.

Go and fucking see Jonathan Boulet melt your face off, Raiders-style, when he launches the album on August 21st at GoodGod, with Unity Floors in support!

New: Bearhug-Borderlines

On their debut album, Bearhug channelled the shit out of Dinosuar Jr., coming up with broad, churning strokes of the feedback paintbrush. The product was a fine, if a little underwhelmed album with a few fantastic songs (‘Over the Hill’, ‘Angeline’, ‘Cinema West’, I’m looking at you)

They’ve just released the first single from their upcoming sophomore, and the Dinosaur Jr. influence has flipped to ‘You’re Living All Over Me’ era Mascis and co. There’s an element of hammering sadness as guitars clash with more guitars, creating something that would have Jim O’Rourke in tears. ‘Borderlines’ manages to be understated, and yet incredibly moving, and the fact that it’s purely instrumental only adds to the glamour of Bearhug’s capabilities as musicians.

New: Courtney Barnett-Pickles From the Jar

Oh, Courtney, can’t you release a shitty song so that it makes you seem a little more human? Actually, that’s a paradox – the reason we, Australia, love Courtney Barnett is her overwhelming normality, which she translates into gorgeous songs.

It’s been a while since we heard an original from the Melbourne wonder, and the fact there is new material makes me froth at the mouth like a rabid dog with a pre-release copy of Courtney Barnett’s debut album (I seriously can’t wait for that album to be released).

This new track ‘Pickles in the Jar’ channels the best of the Violent Femmes, a stringy guitar that wraps itself around Courtney’s festival-ready lyrics. You can more than easily picture a call and response scenario, 50,000 fans gleefully shouting back, ‘I say Hugh, you say Grant/I say pot, you say plant/ You’re from Adelaide, I’m from Hobart!’ Stay awesome Courtney!

Video: White Hex-Paradise

‘Paradise’ remains one of my favourite songs of the year, an overwhelming pop song, with laced gothic inflections and soaring synth lines that scale the heights of melody like those zombies from World War Z. And just like World War Z, there’s the handsome-as-Brad-Pitt vocals from Tara Green ricochetting loveliness everywhere.

The film clip goes for a dark path, imaging the synth duo as robbers, human runways replete with the most fashionable home invasion suits since The Italian Job remake. The video is stark and sexy, combining the images of near torture and with the obvious affection between Green and her partner Jimi Kritzler. Suave as hell, this is a narrative that brilliantly matches the glorious tune that is ‘Paradise’.

New: Snowy Nasdaq-Lopsided Smile

First things first, Snowy Nasdaq has the best goddamn album artwork in Australia. He’s also one of the hardest working guys, working in numerous bands like Mining Boom, Ciggie Witch, The Ocean Party, Pencil, and Jack Lee’s backing band, amongst about a million others. Deal with it.

Besides providing sick beatz for those other bands, Snowy mucks around with his solo project, which is pure, unadulterated pop music for your ears to orgasm to. He’s taken up a pretty goddamn ambitious project of releasing a new single every month for a whole year. The past six months have seen some glorious tunes, but this new one is probably my most thumbs-up worthy (insert Facebook like symbol here).

‘Lopsided Smile’ is the kind of tune that Duran Duran would’ve made if they moved to Berlin, and Giorgio Morodor showered them with coke. Smothered with plenty of those weird synth sounds that only Snowy can make, the man’s sounding pretty damn glorious on this one.

New: SPOD-SPOD’s Last Dance

The day that Sydney legend SPOD stops partying is a day that I don’t want to be around to witness. Seriously, the guy is like the Einstein of partying. People did it before, sure, but SPOD added the element of not-giving-a-shit-amazingness. SPOD is the reincarnation of all three Beastie Boys battling it out for party supremacy inside the one body.

That’s why a ten year retroactive re-imagineing of SPOD’s debut ‘Taste the Radness’, entitled ‘Taste the Sadness’, comes with a salty lick of trepidation. Apparently, SPOD is an ‘adult’ now (the fuck does that mean?) and he’s thinking about life. Actually, good on him! I accept SPOD’s creative evolution, especially if there’s heartbreakers like this in that brain of his.

‘SPOD’s Last Dance’ works as a sequel to ‘Letz Dance!!!’. Whilst the ‘original’ was bounding with energy, Round 2 is like watching Jack from Titanic slip off the doorframe (that totally could have fit him) on repeat for eternity. It’s shattering to think that the guy who invented entertainment in Sydney is dripping lyrics like, “It’s the last time to get our dance on, as the sun grows long, and I’m singing my song…it won’t be long before I’m gone”, whilst strings and tearstained piano leads us to our inevitable breakdown. God bless you SPOD, in all your forms, both the rager and the muse.

New Electronic Music: Young Franco + Bon Chat, Bon Rat + Andrei Eremin x Fractures + Tenru

Bleep bloop motherfuckers, immerse yourself in some hella cool electronic tunes from all over ‘Straya that go down smoother than velvet scotch:

Young Franco-Close 2 U (ft. JOY)

Young Franco is a guy on the rise, a Brissy producer who makes funky ass beats like its no one’s business. This a new track of his that resounds with a clubby, Touch Sensitive/Kilter vibe, fluctuating beats hammering down next to the luscious vocal talents of JOY. It’s pretty easy to see this one doing well in the Cross, but that doesn’t stop it from being purely electric and decently enjoyable.

Bon Chat, Bon Rat-Escapism

If you’re a fan of Oscar Key Sung, it’s hard to imagine you won’t be frothing over the new Bon Chat, Bon Rat track. A lush song that sounds like a sparse urban jungle, with steeled instrumentation dropping like rain pellets all over the tune, as stunning male vocals sing a song of pain. It really is a song that you can escape into.

Andrei Eremin x Fractures-Ghosts

This song equates to total zen. The vocals of Andrei Eremin are flawless, very similar to the neo-soul of Chet Faker but without the cracks in the voice. Meanhwile, Fractures is at the top of his game, providing a subtle, moving portrait of piano-lad electronica, in the style of I’lls and Ghoul. Basically, Andrei Eremin and Fractures are equalling themselves to the Greek myth of sirens, beautifully moving things that’ll break your goddamn heart and drag you to the bottom of the ocean, and kill you with the exposure to the stunner that is Ghosts.

Tenru-The Way She Moves

There are a heap of amazing producers coming out of Perth. Ta-ku, Lower Spectrum, and now this guy Tenru. This song is absolutely jaw-dropping, sexier than a lap dance from Zac Effron. The ambience is key to ‘The Way She Moves’, hush tones colliding at a glacial pace for MAXIMUM IMPACT! Tenru stirs his sounds with his vocals, creating this potent potion of sounds that would make Snape think about handing out an A+. And Snape’s a dick, so imagine how crazy us normal folk will go crazy over it.