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.

New: Ace Romeo – Hyperdrive

The Fighting League are great. Nathan Roche is great. And Ace Romeo is great. All are connected through the solitary Andy Campbell. Except that the latter is just one man. ONE MAN! All by himself! A lone wolf, if you will, fighting the good fight, doing the good deeds. A Samaritan. A hero. A legend. Of the fall.

Ace Romeo released “Best Friend” a little while back, and he’s followed it up with “Hyperdrive”, a patriotic/paranoid track that comes off like if Husker Du did the soundtrack for a movie like Top Gun or Red Dawn. “Hyperdrive” jettisons along on a streamlined drum/bass combo and slow-breathing guitar that’s just waiting to explode like a planet the Death Star has had it’s eyes on for a while. Truly, Ace Romeo has earned his Hasselhoff-esque name. You go, Ace Romeo. You do what you gotta do, to save us all. Operate outside of the law, play by your own rules…just get the job done.

New: White Lodge – Split 7″

Wedged firmly between The Cramps and The Fugs is White Lodge. They are filthy mongrels drenched in fuzz and grime, wreaking havoc with thwarted, deranged psych-garage. Thrashing into their new 7″, which they split with US lawds The Gorlons, White Lodge pummel through just under 6 minutes of heart-clenching, seizure-inducing guitar repulsion. If you like yourself some Los Tones, early King Gizzard, or just plain want to have your world compressed and gassed with acidic garage muck, then shove this into your portable mp3 player.

New: Black Springs – Time To Go 7″

Oi, what are you up to tomorrow, you bloody drongo? Nothing? Well, you’d have to be a dickhead on par with the guy that didn’t get Netflix as soon as it became available in Australia to not head along to Black Springs’ launch of their new 7″.

In case you’re not reading this on Wednesday the 25th of March, 2015, and time travel hasn’t been invented yet (or has it? Doc, you got some ‘splainin to do bruh) then make sure you check out this 7″ and picture yourself throwing down a Resch’s at the Union to its’ sweet sounds. Somewhere between The Moles and The Hummingbirds, both sides of this 7″ are heavenly guitar-pop, the kind of thing that de-stressed your mind easier than a lemon detox and a Xanax overdose.

Make sure you check Black Springs play on Thursday the 26th, with Mope City and Miners. Free show. The Union Hotel. It’s the dream team, baby.

 

New: Spirit Faces – Adeline (feat. Lisa Mitchell)

“Adeline” seems purpose built to make you feel emotions harder than a Clockwork Orange-style viewing of the saddest moments of your life. Fed on a diet of raw, sparse piano, and Lisa Mitchell’s sobbing voice, this is a track that features lyrics like, “And by now you have moved on, and you heard my parting song/still I sing for you…does she know when I dream, I dream of her, and I can’t get to sleep”. How are you meant to return from this song with a dry cheek? It’s an impossibility.

Haunting isn’t the right word, because it’s not exactly sorrow here. It’s like a requiem for the most brutal and beautiful breakup, a remembrance and a cry out. And fuck, it makes little droplets of water that are definitely NOT tears fall down your cheeks. In the words of Mr. Lebowski: “Strong men also cry. Strong men. Also. Cry”.

Video: Ella Thompson – I Go Over

Even with this hard punk exterior, I’ve got myself a soft spot for the pop side of things, none more so than when GL released their triple-threat of “Won’t You See”, “Take Me Back” and “What Happened To Us”, and Dorsal Fins’ dizzying “Monday, Tuesday”. So, when an integral part of both groups, Ella Thompson announces that she’s got solo work, well fuck mate, I gotta check it out!

Part Catcall, part Grimes, Ella Thompson makes smooth synth music that sparks like a frayed power cord. But instead of being the kind of thing that leads to a six month absence and workers comp, “I Go Over” is soulful and wholesome, a real revitalisation of pop music.

New: Honey – Hey / Colony

Outta nowhere, Canberra! Living mighty close to the same weird neighbourhood as The Residents and Chrome, Honey are named after the sticky shit that comes out of bee’s butts, and yet we still apparently find delicious. Just like that fact, Honey coat the wall of your mind with sparse cowbells and blips from the radars of 1950’s spaceships. It’s something entirely strange, minimal and intoxicating. It’s pretty freakin’ essential actually.

New: Death & The Maiden – Death & The Maiden

Fishrider Records are a good starting point for a lot of Kiwi music, like Males, Opposite Sex and Trick Mammoth all signed, and they’ve just put out a band called Death & The Maiden. If it sounds like they could be an under appreciated late 80’s band from their name alone, and it follows through into their music. Only, they’re a current band, existing right now, so feel free to appreciate them even more. Using The Cure, Portishead and Depeche Mode as a base, Death & the Maiden build the pizza of post-punk by adding in some modern pop menace, the kind used in groups like Fever Ray or White Hex.

Video: Broadways Sounds – Sing It Again

Do you want to see a grown man lose his mind in the desert? Of course you do, you sick fuck! But do you want to see that experience soundtracked by Afrobeat? Take the spuritzy, exotic sounds of NO ZU or Andras Fox, and then dunk it ecstatic saxophone solos, and chuck in a video that is like Desert Storm for acid freaks. In what could be the strongest infomercial for boomboxes ever, Broadway Sounds give a video that’ll have as good a pop culture impact as ‘Point Break’. I don’t know that much more needs to be said.

Album Review: Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Other times I Just Sit

“Any of you guys hear of this Courtney Barnett character? Apparently, she’s a big deal? Or something. I dunno, I’ve been living under a granite object (aka “a rock”), for the past few years. But that doesn’t matter. I hate hype. Hate it with every inch of my soul. If there’s a blog that’s posting about you that has over 100 likes on the ol’ FB, I don’t want to know about you. If you’ve played a festival that’s isn’t located in a gutter, then I don’t want to hear your music. If, God forbid, you appear on some sort of television show, and bring millions of housewives to tears with a beautiful tune about house hunting, then you are practically Satan.” – Dickhead, 2015

Look, let’s put aside the fact that Courtney Barnett has led to a watershed moment for Australian music. She’s appeared on Jimmy Fallon and Ellen, played huge festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella, and she’s signed a deal with Mom + Pop Records in the US. All this, and she still rocks an East Brunswick All Girls Choir t-shirt. She’s a legend, for sure, straight up and down, representing Australian talent and potential whilst unleashing all her own remarkable talents upon the world. She’s a great songwriter, a fantastic guitarist, and she’s got The Drones’ Dan Luscombe onside. But is that what makes a great record? Like, you’ve got all these ingredients for a great recipe, but does that mean something half decent is gonna pop out of the oven? Fucking oath it does.

The best thing about Courtney Barnett is her ability to keep things exciting and diverse, her originality spread evenly throughout her record. Take “Pedestrian At Best” – call her what you will, but Courtney Barnett is nothing but self-aware. Shit, she’s dedicated her lead single to all the @h8rs out there, and it’s the angriest we’ll probably ever come to seeing her, not to mention one hell of a song. The passion gives her a platform to stand and shout from, to feign mediocrity whilst punching out a gut-busting riffs that rival any thing that Chisel came out with. It’s not the only time Courtney brings up her uncertainty, with “Small Poppies” appearing with fantastic lines like “Oh, the calamity, I wanna go to sleep for an eternity…Oh, the humanity, I wanna disappear into obscurity

Not that her newfound fame has given Courtney reason to move away from her most rewarding aspect, the ability to remark upon modern Australian life with a certain poetry that belies Banjo Patterson channeling Tennessee Williams. She told the small crowd gathered at her album preview that the track “Aqua Profounda” was about a local pool, and album standout “Depreston” is, at least superficially, about the struggling Melbourne suburb of Preston. But it’s all a facade – Courtney Barnett is talking to the average Australian, indeed the average global struggler. She might be plainly talking about the second best city in Australia (FUCK YEAH, SYDNEY!), but the pains of being constantly unsure aren’t reserved to places with shitty coffee. This is the kinda ideology that permeates the record and by the pubes of Brad Pitt, it works out well.

Courtney Barnett was always going to be making a fairly large statement with her debut album, and the pressure was enormous. And when watching her perform recently, there was a certain skepticism as to how the album would turn out. And sure, she hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but she’s done what she does incredibly well, and with the sort of casual intelligence that can only be applauded. Get on this fucking album. Get around it. Celebrate it. Enjoy it. Seek out her billowing guitars in “Elevator Operator” and “Dead Fox”. Cuddle next to her more-soothing-than-a-six-pack-of-Lozengers voice. Get comfortable with her, and settle in. Ironically, the last lines of the record are, “Lover, I’ve got no idea“. Yeah, well, I’ve got an idea Courtney, I’ve got an idea that you’ve kicked it outta the fucking park.

There seemed to be a few folks out there who have begrudgingly laid down their respect for Courtney Barnett, for the attention she’s brought to #realmusicdownunda. But this record gives the last remaining doubters the fuel they need to remove the ‘begrudging’ part of that sentence. We needed a champion, and CB pulled through with flying colours. ‘Sometimes…’ is a fucking great record, and any reservations can be stoically erased. Nup, get fucked, this is sick, fuck you all.

‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit’ comes out on Milk! Records on March 20th.