New: The Ocean Party – Guess Work

It feels like every 15 minutes there’s something new to post from The Ocean Party camp. But instead of going for the King Gizzard route, The Ocean Party remain consistent in their excellence. There will be no 10 minute jizzy-james – there will only be greatness for miles around.

For their fifth record, The Ocean Party have thrown a few potential spanners in the works, a change to the formula. The boys have moved out of their ramshackle bedroom studio, and taken shelter in in an actual professional studio. WHAT THE SHIT? Can they do that? Are they allowed to do that? There must be some sort of stipulation in their contract, right? FOR FUCK’s SUCK, THE WHOLE DOLEWAVE UNIVERSE IS FALLING APART! WHAT THE HELL IS A WHITE SUBURBAN KID MEANT TO BELIEVE IN NOW?

Well shove this down your trembling throat, because “Guess Work” is tremendous. With opening lines concerning murder, saxophone intrusions, and a triumphant guitar solo, it feels like The Ocean Party are finally going to become the bouncers at the jangle-pop nightclub. Congrats, guys, I’ve got a VIP section waiting for ya.

The Ocean party are coming through Sydney to launch the single with Beef Jerk! It’s happening at The Vic on the Park in Marrickville on the 25th of July. BE THERE!


Best Albums of 2015 So Far (That I Missed)

I’m human. Believe it or not, the pinnacle of dickhead that is I am prone to fucking up. I can only pump out one horrible 500 word review every now and then, and as such, have missed out on some pretty incredible records. Other sites offer up the #content, sure, but I feel bad that I haven’t been able to personally deliver a small, spelling-error-stuffed, profanity-laden review of some amazing records that I think others should hear about. For some reason or other, I never posted about them at their time of release, and I’m genuinely bummed that I didn’t offer my two cents whilst the iron was hot, or whatever the phrase is. So, basically, here’s the good stuff that I missed that you shouldn’t:

1. The Living Eyes – Living Large

2. Screaming Females – Rose Mountain

3. Heart Beach – Heart Beach

4. Love of Diagrams – Blast

5. Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

6. METZ – II

7. Jess Locke – Words That Seem to Slip Away

8. Dollar Bar – Hot Ones

9. Twerps – Range Anxiety

10. Marlon Williams – Marlon Williams

11. Sharon Van Etten – I Don’t Want to Let You Down EP

12. Grenadiers – Summer

13. Clowns – Bad Blood

14. Blur – The Magic Whip

15. Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter

16. Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated At Last

17. Superstar – Table For Two

18. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love

19. Kangaroo Skull – Palace of Nothing

20. Oh Mercy – When We Talk About Love

New: Sleepy – The Ride Up

Guide By Voices fans – you gotta face the facts. The band have broken up (again), and the club doesn’t appear to be open anymore (sorry). Robert Pollard is getting older and grumpier by the day. The albums they did release when GBV reformed were mostly forgettable affairs peppered with some decent songs. The glory days are ashes, and you’ve gotta open up your skulls to some fresh faces. Don’t worry, they’re not witches, just bored little children (still not sorry).

Those bored teenagers are Sleepy, Sydney legends who’ve taken the lessons taught by Pollard and co., sprinkled on some Smudge and harder edged Pavement, and stomped on a few fuzz pedals to make a damn fine single. If your attention span lasts around two minutes, and you have hang ups about previous relationships, and have always wanted to combine those two loves into a furious little single, then sink your teeth into this!

Sleepy will be playing at The Vic in Marrickville next Thursday!

Gig Review: Brighton Up Bar 3rd Birthday

Saturday, 4th July @ Brighton Up Bar

The Standard is dead. The Lansdowne is dead. The Imperial is dead. All the venues where bands could cut their teeth in moderate rooms before lambasting the Enmore Theatre 12 months down the track – deader than my dreams. It’s not all doom ‘n’ gloom, but. There’s still a few champions out there. A few pockets of beer-soaked mayhem, where the crowds sing with dement, and the bands play with broken guitars and wonky keyboards. Where the beer is relatively cheap, and the dickheads are minimal. And that place celebrated it’s 3rd bloody birthday on Saturday.

I’ve swooned about the Bells of Death before, and that’s because they’re incredible. This – THIS – is a band, I tells ya. Get around, hear them, LISTEN TO THEM. They serenade a packed room with songs equally influenced by stony pre-Brit Pop (New Order, Stone Roses) as they are the finest exports of Brooklyn (Wild Nothing, DIIV). They’re a special breed, five young guns who put everything into their performance, swelling at their peaks and bottoming out in their troughs. They lower a fierce grip over the audience, belting through a manic set, including the highlight of “You, Me & Everyone In Between”. Fair warning, you’re gonna be giving this a thrashing if you press play. And you’ll also be desperate to get along to catch them. The real deal, mates, the real deal.

The Pinheads follow with a set of deep-fried Nuggets rock ‘n’ roll. All seven members are in attendance, and the shedding of layers is imminent. This shit is sweaty, sweatier than an American preparing to tell you why the USA is way goddamn better than your shithole. The Pinheads are deep fried garage rock, hurtling through a tight, loud set of two minute rip snorters. Frontman Jez is particularly admirable, a bopping mass of hair and muscle who desperately wants to fuse the flamboyance of Marc Bolan with the reckless endangerment of Iggy Pop. The man is everywhere, soaring over the top of his band’s increasingly intense shenanigans.

Conquering the stage soon after are everyone’s favourite local troupe Big White – the five piece immediately set about laying down some of the most romantic guitar pop songs to worm their way into the ears of every audience member. A conglomeration of all the best pop bands in Sydney (High-tails, Jack & Elmo, New Lovers, Cody Munroe Moore etc.) Big White were always going to be doing fantastic things…but this was something else! We’re chowing down on their songs like it’s a $5 schnitty deal. The tri-guitar attack is heavenly, and songs like “You Know I Love You”, “Dinosaur City” and “EOFY” are pop sluggers, and force every single mop of hair in the room to bounce like they had just discovered the joy of the pogostick for the first time. Seeing Big White was just a really happy experience for everyone involved, off-kilter excellence served on a beer-soaked, joy-drenched platter. Even those two grumpy shits from The Muppets would’ve been giving two thumbs up!

Melbourne’s Mangelwurzel came next…look, A for effort. They’re obviously making the exact type of music that they want to make, a weird sort of gremlin punk. But it just didn’t seem to be anyone’s thing. Sax and guitars…you’re getting dangerously close to ska, the worst genre of all time. It was a cool thing to watch, but it was a burger filled with exotic ingredients that didn’t really make up for the absence of the basics. Why add radishes and caviar when you’re missing the burger patty?

Brisbane’s The Creases closed out the night. The eyelids are closing, the mouths are developing into yawns, everyone’s checking their watches a bit more frequently. But these guys, they knew bring it all back into the party gear. They’re a group bound for the biggest of things, that’s obvious enough to see. They write excellent songs, they play with enthusiasm, they’ve got weird earrings. It’s the triple threat.

Seriously though, go and check out The Creases. They feel like a pretty big band, but ya know, some are a bit slow on the uptake. An amalgamation of Primary Colours-era The Horrors, The Vaccines, Palma Violets…the NME hit-list really…it was a set of shimmering, invigorating guitar pop that had the floorboards creaking and the kids violently excited. Someone knocked my beer, and I wasn’t even that mad. Now that’s an accomplishment and a half. Get around The Creases!

There have been some good times had at Brighton Up Bar. Excellent times, quiet times, disgusting times where my head has been so repugnant that it’s a surprise they let me in the place/palace. The fact that little 120 cap room hunkered down on the Hyde end of Oxford has been home to so many excellent gigs is no mean feat. From Donny B to Ms Barnett, all the best come through Brighton Up’s precarious staircase, and proceed to demolish the place. Such was the case this night, and such will the case be on many nights to be. This esteemed little venue has plenty of life left, and love to give, so get the fuck down and watch a band!

Album Review: Golden Pelicans – Oldest Ride, Longest Line

I have absolutely no idea what Golden Pelicans are about. I have no idea who they are, who they sound like, what their favourite cereal is. None of that shit. All I know is that they’re from Florida, and they kick ass. Serious ass. They kick more ass than Steven Seagal in the mid 90’s. They kick more ass than AC/DC doing a private show for you and your buddies whilst in the midst of the Bon Scott-era. Shit, Golden Pelicans kick more ass than AC/DC kicking Stevan Seagal’s pudgy ass on the set of Under Siege 4. They’re fucking awesome.

Now, Golden Pelicans have released a fair bit of material, and all of it is essential. Their new album is no exception. ‘Oldest Ride, Longest Line’ is a descent into the bowels of riff-hell, a ride into the place where only Brian James, Blackie and Ron Asheton dare to tread. Golden Pelicans own debauchery in the same way that John Howard owns the bushy eyebrows/NOT BALD combo. They put themselves in reckless endangerment with every vocal and chord they are capable of shoving out of their mouths and fingers.

The end goal for Golden Pelicans is to be as raw and offensive as possible, and they achieve with honours. Take tunes like “Kunckledragger”, “Maggots” or “Low Fallutin” – the band blaze through these songs like they’ve been possessed by the souls of The Damned or The Boys circa debut album. Every song sounds similar, but every song contains the same type of disembowelling riffs that no other band seem capable of pulling off, so what’s the bloody problem? They unleash the kind of vitriol and spite that is usually only found in the fighting pits of Guatemala. It’s a dangerously foreign concept to bring to middle class ears, but goddamn don’t we need to hear it. The biting riffs bestow their power and fury with unrelenting passion, and whoever the fuck is singing has made it his mission to tear your ear off, Mike Tyson-style. There’s a couple Poltergeist-esque moments where Golden Pelicans reach beyond the speakers and practice their incendiary punk right in your very own living room, bellowing each chorus to unethical proportions.

Although this album doesn’t even break 20 minutes, it’s enough to make you shit the bed…twice. It’s fucked up and incredible, and if you’re eardrums haven’t blown out by the time those 17 minutes and 40 seconds have dried up, then you’ve screwed up somewhere along the way. This album is as essential as downing one of those Pizza Hut monstrosities with the Four ‘n’ Twenty Pies littered in the crust like swelling pimples ready to blow. If you need your face melted, you need this album.

Golden Pelicans rule, this album rules, Total Punk Records rules. Grab it here, or head to Repressed Records, pretty sure there’s some copies over that way.

New: MEZKO – Golden

WHAT A SONG! Oh happy days, a new psych band actually worth getting excited about! After wading through wave after wave of rudimentary potheads who crave to replicate Tame Impala to the note, someone worthy of the title has knocked it out of the bloody park with a bubbling brook of pscyh-pop worth getting rabid over.

This ain’t MEZKO’s first rodeo, but it certainly expresses the potential that they have been pointing to for so long. Now with a more solid focus on builds and atmosphere than before, MEZKO show that they’ve got a really firm grip on how to ensure their songs blossom into something enveloping and special. Like Richard In Your Mind hanging in an ashram with Panda Bear,  “Golden” draws you in like one of M.C. Escher’s murals – sucking you into a forever repeating pattern that’s both alarming and calming at the same time.

“Golden” is awesome. “Golden” is great. “Golden” is fucking serene.

New: Miles Brown + Taipan Tiger Girls

Two tracks that prove it Records are the bees knees!

Miles Brown – Apparition

Jesus, would you look at this dark, brooding icicle jab to the heart! With a twirling snarl as sinister as Scar from the Lion King, and assisted by some very cool stalactites of sound, Miles Brown knocks it out of the park with a soundtrack that’s like Scooby Doo meets the X-Files. The elongated alien whirrs that this singular entity is capable of is freakish, the way they’re stretched into ghoulish haunts are creepy, and the whole thing reeks of spot on dark wave musicality.

Taipan Tiger Girls – Motion

Here’s one that’ll split the crowd like Moses split the red sea. Some folks out there are gonna hate this like ol’ Tone hates equality. But then there’s the people worth hanging out with, and they’ll love this. Taipan Tiger Girls bring the drone, twisting their undulating noise at a frantic rate, with live drums spurring the process into some sort of heated debate between the instruments. This stuff, it fucks with your mind! It’s brilliant, and sickening, both at the same time! It’s all a bit strange, and thwarted, but would you really want it any other way? Can’t wait to hear this in the album format!

New: Bad//Dreems – Hiding to Nothing

There’s no secret that there’s a lot of love between myself and Bad//Dreems. Who could resist four Adelaide blokes that have more hair between them than the average Yeti?

But it’s music first. The music always comes first, and their new single, shit, it’s good for these winter nights, tell you that much. “Hiding to Nothing” is a belter, one that’s been a staple of Baddies live set for a while now. It’s as warm as the beers they serve at the SCG, but has the opposite effect i.e it’ll knock you the fuck over. It’s got that swooping Chisel chorus, which wrestles with a huge body of dominating melody, crushing riffs played at a stampeding, roughneck pace, and Ben Marwe’s earnest bellow sailing over the top of it all like John Cena in the final moments of a bodyslam.

This thing is peak rock dogness. It is so huge and awesome. It is a bombast of white knuckle garage. It’ll dislocate your jaw with a sloppy jersey punch, and then shout you a beer at the post-match piss up. It’s both nodding its head in deep appreciation to the past, and ploughing into the stadium to plaster the next round of punters. It’s a fucking gem.

New: Blank Realm – River of Longing

It’s a dark, dark day when the news of fresh Blank Realm goes right underneath my all-encompassing gaze. I mean, fuck, these guys are incredible, and other people (OTHER. PEOPLE.) have been pumping fists to the latest from Blank Realm’s wondrous skulls.

Lawrence English of the forever intriguing Room40 label has taken over production for Blank Realm’s first album made in a studio, which seems like a really smart tradeoff. You give a little but stepping away from the DIY recording, and going into a studio, but you keep it weird by enlisting by one of the smartest guys who’s got a knack for moulding freaky sounds.

But let’s focus on the stars here – Blank Realm. All their albums have been fantastic, and “River of Longing” shows the band are looking to maintain that consistence. Sprawled out over four queasy pop minutes, Blank Realm begin with a jugular splicer of a post-punk chord, and then moves into the slanted, jangly bittersweet serenading that has marked their previous music so distinctly. After a swooning chorus that will dry out your tear ducts, Blank Realm unleash their hidden secret of jamming as much glazed noise into as crammed a pace as possible, and ramming all that colourful clammer into a dizzying finale.