New: The Zeds – Al Dente Moments

You ever seen a Z-movie? Not a B-Movie, or a C-Movie, but a straight up Z-Movie? Bruh. BRUUUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHH. These things are what make life worth living. ‘The Room’ for example – this creature of stunning idiocy is probably the closest thing to a caption of the modern condition that will ever exist.

Sydney’s The Zeds take that Z-Movie aesthetic of lo-fi basicness, but instead of creating a baffling subgenre that people love to hate, they’ve made an EP to love because it’s pretty rad. It’s casual, ramshackle guitar pop, four songs that don’t stretch for longer than a couple of minutes. Covering the usual subject of getting your heart beaten up, The Zeds defy their name with a case for the real goddamn catchy. Plus, old mate’s voice makes a strong stance to be the next Don “Thunder Throat” LaFontaine

Video: Death Bells – You, Me and Everyone In Between

Sure, it’s only their debut single, and they’re from Sydney, ‘Straya, and not Brooklyn, ‘Murica, but how the fuck is this not being released by Captured Tracks? The guys are falling perfectly into the vein of the amazing acts that that label pushes out so consistently, like Wild Nothing, Craft Spells, DIIV and Blouse.

This is just straight up excellent dream-pop brilliance. There’s no two ways around it, mate. This song is just straight up fucking gorgeous. Makes me want to find love, or better yet, take a shower. It’s been three days since I’ve put on pants and seen sunlight, and “You, Me & Everyone In Between” makes me want to return to being a normal human being.

Video: Pat Chow – Pleasure Unit

Pat Chow are gonna be huge. I can feel it in my loins. As soon as that grumbling bass belches “Pleasure Unit” into existence, you just have that innate knowledge that Pat Chow are gonna be big. Everything about this song is right. From the way that Pat Chow painstakingly build this sludgy grunge masterpiece into a squealing, untouchable masterpiece of angsty rock, getting every note, every ascent juuuuuuust fucking right…you know these dudes are onto something special. There’s a chemistry existing here, bubbling beneath the surface, that’s as vital, deadly and soon-to-be-as infamous as that of Walt and Jesse’s. They’re surely doing themselves some favours there with a (most likely unintentional) allusion to that pivotal desert scene in the first episode of Breaking Bad. And just like that mystical TV show, Pat Chow are going to take off into the highest echelon of pop culture. Watch ’em go, exploding like a badly-cooked batch of meth.

Album Review: JuliaWhy? – Wheel

JuliaWhy? ends with a question mark, but it’s not the kind of question mark that’s soft, and only mildly troubled. Instead, it’s a question mark that screams and stomps, and a threatening gesture of exasperation rather than kindly mentorship. It’s the response to the bratty child in the mall that won’t stop screaming, the frumpy teenager with a smudged frown and a bad haircut, the employee who would rather read dumb Sydney blogs than do any real work. JuliaWhy? have taken that frustrated scream, bottled it onto their long-awaited debut record and popped the fucking cork.

‘Wheel’ is a pleasantly surprising record that’s absolutely packed with pop-influenced raucous that contain enough blast-power to be used in Chilean mines.  The majority of the album slides by with powerful, gnashing punches, as frontwoman Julia Wylie ferociously thrashes her voice around an untameable maelstrom of guitar melodies. She is restless and unstoppable, moving through the record with a Kim Gordon-esque banshee squeal and sugary sweet verses that Kim Deal wish she thought of first.

Maybe it’s the short run-time of the overall product (18 minutes) and song lengths (the majority between 1-2 minutes), and that short time frame allows for JuliaWhy? to be as punchy as possible. But there are heaps of punk bands who can get uninteresting too quickly. Instead, it comes down to the fact that JuliaWhy? know how to shake things up, like a garage version of George Clinton. From the velvet, breathy “Turntable”, to the searing thumbing of “Painkiller” and “La La Love”, to the hilarious horny jangle of “Flowers”, it’s been a while since a record has moved around this much, and yet retained focus and remained so tight-knit.

What it comes down to is infectious and fantastic songs. They’re short knockouts that scrape away bullshit, and replace it with the kind of delirious, fuzzy pop that put Karen O and Sleater-Kinney on the map. Try not to get your feet stamping along to “Just One Night” or “I’m Not Gay But My Boyfriend Is”. It’s nigh impossible. ‘Wheel’ is well-executed in every fashion, a long-awaited but masterfully delivered snapshot of a band that’s not afraid to hide their great ability to write a song, nor terrified at the thought of smothering it in layer upon layer of frantic fuzz.

JuliaWhy? are gonna be launching ‘Wheel’ at Brighton Up Bar on April 5th, with support from The Cathys and Melon Melon Melon (the band so nice they named it thrice). See ’em off before they head to Canada, and pick up a copy of ‘Wheel’ at their Bandcamp!

Album Review: Sarah Mary Chadwick – 9 Classic Tracks

What defines a classic? Is it the fact that a whole bunch of wankers that once got to watch Mick Jagger jerk off backstage bequeath it that honour? Or is it personal? The fact that you get to decide what becomes a favourite of yours, and is therefore classic in your catalogue, and by your definition? Or is it classic if the songwriter just chucks that word in the title? I dunno, I’m one of the aforementioned wankers that gotta see Mick Jagger jerk off. Cha-ching! It was awesome, and now I get to lord my opinion over all y’all and tell you that you’re wrong about everything that you care dearly about. And I’ll start my slow domination of your opinions with this simple fact: the new Sarah Mary Chadwick record is magnificent.

See, we all get a little depressed sometimes. Maybe it’s a Monday, maybe you just watched Old Yeller. But Chadwick takes the blues to a new level, with a deeply heartfelt, poetic take on heartbreak and self-doubt that mimics the act itself perfectly. ‘9 Classic Tracks’ prolongs that feeling of desperation, captures it like a weak Pokemon seduced by the power of the Masterball, and hammers it all down to tape with plain but powerful emotion. The first words out of Chadwick’s mouth are “Too happy for the sad ones, too long-faced for the glad ones”, and the themes of hopelessness just extend from there.

You can’t simply jump into this record, hoping for the best, because the depth will drown you. Don’t be fooled by Geoffrey O’Connor’s masterfully production that recalls the death of a disco – this record draws you in with its sheer magnitude, or rather its quiet exuberance. It unfolds like the most complex chatterbox ever created in Year 2. But there’s no meticulousness, or calculating genius behind the control panel. Rather, the thing we end up bowing to is Chadwick’s ability to speak the kinds of things we all feel. No one does regret like Sarah Mary Chadwick, and no one delivers it with the kind of biting clarity that she is capable of. Take “Am I Worth It”, “Aquarius Gemini” or “Same Old Fires” – these are songs purpose-built to bury into the emotions of even the most hardened individual. Even Sergeant Hartman from Full Metal Jacket would have trouble not finding himself in the words of these songs.

The clear reasoning for this ability to harrow all with ears is Chadwick’s longing poetry and delivery. Chadwick’s voice and lyrics are serene, a wash of angelic melancholy delivered in the most gorgeous Kiwi accent this side of Karl Urban. The soft inflections do more than remind us that Chadwick comes from a foreign land that gave us some solid sheepskin jackets and The Clean. It provides a serene alien voice that fits well into the context of her work – many New Zealand songwriters, at least the one’s I’ve heard, seem afraid of utilising their accents. Just like her lyrics, Chadwick is naked with her voice, baring all in both a cathartic and damaging manner.

Although ‘9 Classic Tracks’ might suffer occasionally from fodder, and, at least upon immediate release, it couldn’t be classified as ‘CLASSIC’. But you can’t help but remark and marvel at the honesty of Sarah Mary Chadwick’s music, and its ability to move. It’s serene. It’s beautiful. It’s compelling. It simply exists as a document, and happens to be a document that feels both universal and intimate. Chadwick is speaking to both you, alone, and everyone in this entire universe, even those fuckwits in Parliament. Because sometimes, even Joe Hockey gets a little down. And when that time comes, he’ll be reaching for the new Sarah Mary Chadwick record, along with every other individual who needs someone to explain the shit that they themselves aren’t capable of understanding.

‘9 Classic Tracks’ is available on Rice Is Nice and Siltbreeze Records. Sarah Mary Chadwick will play a launch at Golden Age Bar and Cinema in Slurry Hillz on May 28th, show’s free, so I expect to see ya there.

New: Tenru – Oceans

It’s been a while since any electronic music has graced these hallowed pages, but Tenru picked me outta this slump of garage and punk rock, and plumped by overbearing carcass firmly back in the society of knob-tweak appreciators.

Hailing from Perth, old mate takes the love we all feel for Bonobo, and turns it into something even more sensual and seductive, turning our platonic friendship into something that can only be described as lust. Strong, earthy lust, the kind one feels after reading 50 Shades of Grey, or watching bootleg videos of Channing Tatum working out.

New: Leather Towel – Nacho Chips

There is nothing better than snacks. Straight up, snacks make life worth living. When you’re feeling down ‘n’ out, just chuck some finger food into your gob, and watch the world turn a little brighter.

Like kindred spirits/brothers Ausmuteants, Leather Towel take the ordinary, and skullfuck it into extraordinary. In less than two minutes, they squeal, solo and serenade their way into one of the loudest, in your face fuck-awfs since “In The Raw”. This is so young and dumb and brilliant, it feels like I’m watching Wayne’s World all over again. Fuck oath, get around this band, they’re fucking brilliant.

New: Destiny 3000 – EFFIE

I’ll never understand folks that reckon there aren’t any decent girl bands around. Get absolutely fucked! Most bands in Australia worth a go have girls in them, and some are all girls, like Destiny 3000. Five ladies that kick more arse than most dick-having dillweeds with guitars ever could. They will destroy your eardrums without a second thought, pummel you into the fucking dirt with their onslaught, and salute you with more fuzz than your tiny appendage can handle. Even in demo format, their new track “Effie” is a slaughter of noise and distortion that snarls with more menace than any cock-club could muster. Next time someone has a bitch and a moan over the “apparent lack of girl bands”, decapitate that dipshit with some Destiny 3000.

New: Rebel Tears – I Hate the Beach

“Oh, you’re from Sydney! You must go to the beach all the time!” Fuck no. I hate the fucking beach. If I wanted to get sunburnt, I’d go to fucking volcano, and dip my naked torso beneath the frothing lava. If I wanted to fill up my arsecrack with sand, I’d head to an S&M club in Jamaica. And if I wanted to fight tooth and nail for a square metre plot of land to hang out in a crowded wasteland of hopelessness with other fat, pale lards, I’d go to a Chet Faker show.

I feel like Rebel Tears understand where I’m coming from. Fuck the beach, let’s listen to depressed drum machines and morbid monologues.

New: Hockey Dad – Can’t Have Them

I’ve seen Hockey Dad at least 40 times in the past year, and only 38 of those times were transparent attempts to ogle at Zach and Billy’s heads. Fuck, they’ve got a couple of good heads. Like, really great heads, the kinds of heads that make you wanna give up all your ambitions and follow with unbridled passion. Hockey Dad have got the Pied Pipers of heads.

But those other two times, I was paying a shitload of attention to the fact that Hockey Dad have songs that are really something else. Fantastic is the word that comes to mind. They’ve been romping through this new one “Can’t Have Them” for a fair while now, and it’s always been a set highlight. Now in the recorded format for all the other punters out there who were too busy jacking off over Hockey Dad’s heads and actually see a show, “Can’t Have Them” sounds tighter and more anthemic than ever. An uproarious mixture of teenage hormones and longing, bolted down with some damn fine rock ‘n’ roll to boot. Get around these boys, they might be young and handsome, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be brilliant fucking songwriters as well.

You can catch them (believe me, you wanna catch them) at Brighton Up Bar on the 6th of Joon.