Video: Taylor Swift-Trouble (Goat Version)

An awful artist. An awful song. The perfect solution. I won’t spoil this, but in short….too awesome for words. All I’ll say, is that it’s like the time Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift at that awards show, only this time, it’s totally warranted, AND DID I MENTION IT’S A GOAT THAT SOUNDS BETTER THAN SHE DOES! OK, I ruined it, but it’s awesome.

Video: ‘Blizkrieg Bop’-Fucked Up and Moby

Ok. This is the soundtrack to the life of a punk transvestite who secretly hordes electro-pop records under their bed. In 2008, while performing a 12 hour instore performance, (yes 12 hour, that’s like a million minutes or something, I don’t know, fuck maths), they decided to play an even faster version of The Ramones’ fastest song, ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’. It’s fucking intense. And it’s absolutely hilarious to watch everyone’s favourite bald DJ, Moby, (the guy previously best known as singing the ambient track ‘Porcelain’ ) absolutely thrashing it on guitar. Now, that is juxtaposition. For extra lol’s look for Fucked Up’s lead singer schlocking a fan in the face with his sweaty man boobs, as they scream in each others faces.

Album Review: Divine Fits-A Thing Called Divine Fits

Supergroups are a fickle thing. At best you have groups such as Them Crooked Vultures made from Josh Homme (QOTSA) John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), and Cream (you’re only lying to yourself if you say you don’t know Cream). At worst you have the shit sandwich that is Velvet Revolver, the ode to all things rawk and terrible, or Audioslave, which managed to make a Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden combustion sound very mediocre.

Divine Fits are an indie rock clusterfuck. Made up from Britt Daniels, lead singer and guitarist for love-anthemers Spoon, the always miserable Dan Boeckner from Handsome Furs and Wolf Parade, and interestingly, Sam Brown from trash punks New Bomb Turks. The story goes that Dan Boeckner was extra sad after his recent divorce, and the demise of him and his wife’s project Handsome Furs, so Britt Daniels thought he could cheer him up by singing miserable songs…together. Before you could say ‘Arcade Fire are sellouts’, they recruited Alex Fischel on keys and Sam Brown on drums, and Boom! Divine Fits were born.

The cover art is pretty representative of what the band offer. A small, but sweet and potent dose of indie rock with a little panache. It’s slick, snazzy, and best of all, it is palatable. The singing duties are switched between Boeckner and Daniels, and it gives the album a lovingly crooked feel of longing heartbreak set against the backdrop of irreverent indie-ness for the sake of being indie.

At first, opening track ‘My Love Is Real’ opens like your perfectly average Wolf Parade track: jazzy bass line, synth-tastic, head bopping and groovy, and of course loaded with cynicism and snarling regret over love. It’s a fantastic opener, and a dark-pop masterpiece, however it’s hard to figure out way it goes under the moniker of ‘supergroup’ and rather not ‘Wolf Parade V.2.0’. But, then straight away, Britt Daniel’s swoops in, causing a concaving, tongue lolling track in ‘Flaggin’ A Ride’. It’s quite a flat track, but I believe the point is for Daniel’s to try and initially empathise rather than steal the show. No, the show stealing comes later.

Would That Be Nice’ is the obvious stand out single. It’s got a grinding, shaking beat, equal parts Tijuana drug bust, and Las Vegas sleaze ball. It’s very oozy and gluttonous, and total endearing of the band, something that would only be possible with the combination of all the elements of the band. Yes, this is the perfect metaphor for the album, and further, the perfect supergroup. Another example, where the band slow down and let themselves convey themselves as a musical collective is the one-two punch of ‘Shivers’ followed by ‘Like Ice Cream’.

‘Shivers’ is an obvious Boeckner choice. Although it’s sung by Daniels’, it’s got all the elements of Boeckner guilty pleasures: suicide, hopeless romance, cigarettes, drugs, an overall junkie demeanour and of course…it’s a cover of The Boys Next Door (Nick Cave’s old band). It’s an absolutely amazing cover, no other words can describe the sheer personal pain elevating through Daniels voice, as his guitar clashes, sings and bellows throughout, and the vocals warble in grief. It’s a fucking spot-on reindition, actually beating out the original by a slight margin (purely my opinion, and only by a very slight margin). This lamenting track is immediately followed by an undoubtedly Spoon track: Like Ice Cream. It compares a man’s love for a woman as that for ice cream. Yes, it’s that simple. It’s almost ‘The Underdog’ with different lyrics.

So overall, it’s an absolutely fantastic album. If you like an sort of indie rock, then go get it. It’s got every element to make it fantastic, and best of all, it takes all the best parts of it’s members throws them together like a Texas high school orgy, and comes out with the best little indie rock gem in recent memory, and better than anything the members have released in their own respective bands in years.

Gig Review: My Bloody Valentine

Monday 18th February @ Enmore Theatre

Firstly, it’s time to clear up an enormous understanding that I don’t personally understand, but apparently a lot of people confuse My Bloody Valentine with Bullet for My Valentine. Yes, both bands have the word valentine in them, but lots of bands share the same word. Little Red and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers both have the same word (It’s the word Red!) in their names, but people seem to be able to distinguish them. Anyway, this is the gig review of the 90’s shoegaze revolutionists, not the Welsh hardcore crew who spend as much time on their hair as they do their music. So, if you thought this was reviewing their Hi-Fi show, feel free to stop reading, as My Bloody Valentine are the exact opposite of Bullet for My Valentine. And much better.

Anyway, the support came from Melbourne guitar-whisperers The Morning After Girls. After a brief stint in New York, the Aussies are back playing hometown crowds. Despite having a pretty fantastic song set, and definite whirring mastery of songcraft, their performance lacked any memorable moments. Sure, it was jam packed with neo-psych genius, a buzzing floating chorus of perfectly executed waifing, however nothing that made the band jump out from the stage. It would be forgivable if the band were a relatively new act, but they’ve been around since 2003. Surely, that’s enough to give your live show a bit of oopmh, especially after culling it in the cut throat streets of hipster New York. Their doing their own headlining tour right now for fucks sake! The Morning After Girls remain a band good in sound, but I certainly wouldn’t be clawing for tickets to go see their show.

After a mediocre warm up act, the crowd were desperate for some satisfaction. After 22 years of silence, My Bloody Valentine, the shoegaze extraordinares, had abruptly announced a new third album, finally getting around the following up their sophomore masterpiece ‘Loveless’. For those who couldn’t make it to the sold out return of All Tomorrow’s Parties, the Enmore show was the only chance to see Kev Shields and Co. blow the skulls out of our heads.

First thought watching the band walk out: Fuck me, Kevin Shields is fat. Like, man boobs fat. That thought faded into obscurity however, as the opening chords of ‘I Only Said’ rumbled, soaring and falling like a broken hearted bird. It was a seriously beautiful thing to witness, the softness of delight contrasted with the crushing gore of the guitars. The sounds all clanged together, sounds resonating out of one of the 30-odd assorted amplifiers on stage. It became impossible to focus on the physical whims of the band when such beautiful music was thrust into one’s face from a few metres away.

It was just a hit fest of My Bloody Valentine, each song leading into the other, delving into the bands richly vibrant but limited catalogue. They stuck mostly to tracks off ‘Loveless’ with a few from their debut ‘Isn’t Anything’ thrown in to please. The offerings of their latest ‘MBV’ were limited, however that was granted considering it was only released a week, maybe two ago. ‘When You Sleep’ was an enchanting delectable piece of craftsmanship, expertly executed with the skills of Picasso crossed with Da Vinci, and ‘Only Shallow’ ‘fucking went off aye’ as the tradies are want to say. ‘Soon‘ was a gorgeous, clenching drifter and ‘Lose My Breath’ transported the self to the clouds for a floating, churlish time. Accompanying visuals were of utmost quality, a violent blend of deep reds, yellows, greens, blues and violets, all crashing together in a virus of passion and exaggerating the explosion of the music.

Although it pains me to say this, there were a few things that sucked. Namely, vocals. Seriously, what the fuck Kevin/Bilinda? Turn that shit up. Like, I get that the effect is to turn the vocals down to a barely audible whisper to incite a yearning passion and total depression in the listener, but that doesn’t work when audible whisper becomes non-existent mouthing. All that could be picked up over the vicious churning of music was the general flow and pace of the vocals patterns. It was redeemed by the awe inspiring focus of the music, and the gut wrenching volume, but vocals have always been, though not essential, quite a moving part of My Bloody Valentine songs. So yeah, I didn’t think i’d be attending an instrumental gig on Monday, but that’s what happened.

Also, ‘The Holocaust’ which is the nickname for the chasm-opening sounds that were brought forth during their closer. Interrupting a seizure inducing thrashing ‘You Made Me Realise‘ , there was a literal 10 minute break in which the band played….and played…and played. However, it was simply a more or less mono tonal block of noise, barely shifting and excruciatingly painful. No doubt it was expertly and casually executed on stage, and the first few minutes were jaw dropping…but ten minutes of it? It became unbearable. With no tension, or reasoning behind it, it simply became apocalyptically loud noise for the sake of apocalyptically loud noise, and caused both a divide in the crowd and a souring to the gig.

Though ‘The Holocaust’ was a dour note, experience the genius of My Bloody Valentine is one that can only be cherished. It is a delicious grasping of inventive, experimental and soul-enveloping music. It swallows you whole, encapsulates the body, gives you a hug, then boots you back onto the street like the cold, worthless creature you are. And you feel honoured to be given the time of day by it’s holiness. Yep, My Bloody Valentine are that good. Better than Bullet for My Valentine anyway.

Valentine’s Day Playlist

Yes. This is happening. Deal with it. Your just sour because no one loves you.

If your in a relationship…

1. The White Stripes-Fell In Love With A Girl

2. Royal Headache-Eloise

3. Japandroids-The Night of Wine and Roses

4. Beach House-D.A.R.L.I.N.G

5. The Killers-When You Were Young

6. Holy Other-Love Some1

7. Hot Chip-Don’t Deny Your Heart

8. Boomgates-Hold Me Now

9. The Black Keys-Never Gonna Give You Up

10. Radiohead-Nude

If your lonely and bitter, and Valentine’s Day is like a total capitalist scam, man…

11. The Prodigy-Smack My Bitch Up

12. Hilltop Hoods-She’s So Ugly

13. Urge Overkill-The Stalker

14. Arctic Monkeys- R U Mine?

15. Pink-U And Ur Hand

16. Murder City Devils-Left Hand, Right Hand

17. Ween-Baby Bitch

18. FIDLAR-Whore

19. Beck-Loser

20. Akon-Lonely

Album Review: FIDLAR-FIDLAR

FIDLAR. Stands for: Fuck. It. Dawg. Life’s. A. Risk. This is a band that will fuck your shit up. Like, totally. You finish the first track totally exhausted, dripping with sweat, drenched in blood and missing a kidney. Imagine what listening to the entire record does to you. It’s a damn satisfying experience, and one that very few bands can pull off, especially on their debut.

For an initial point of reference think Anthrax crossed with Wavves. Or The Bronx mixed with some Dum Dum Girls. Or DZ Deathrays crossed with Dune Rats (that Dune Rats link is one of the funniest things ever, plus it’s a great song) if your all about Aussie pride. Basically, take some thrash, sprinkle some surf pop layers, and 60’s garage feel over the top, and then inject a heavy dose of drugged out antics. And when I say heavy dose, I mean heavy dose. Every song on the album is either about drugs, girls, surfing, skating and drinking. This is not an exxageration, I repeat, not an exaggeration. The very first track consists of a howling verse punctuated by a medley of thundering guitar, and a castrating chorus consisting of ‘I.DRINK.CHEAP.BEER.SO.WHAT.FUCK.YOU!’. Doesn’t that basically surmise how the rest of the album is going to pan out? When a chorus is just a shouting match of harsh words intended to insult the listener, and create riotous havoc, wouldn’t the rest of the album pan out in a similar fashion? A quick look at the track names would seemingly re-affirm this suspicion. ‘No Waves’, ‘Whore’, ‘Max Can’t Surf’, ‘Wake Bake Skate’, ‘Cocaine’. Do you see the theme emerging? It does seem as if this band is doomed toward an early ending of blending a mediocre, overdone genre, and pounding the audience over the head with a blunt hammer. The lyrics are dumb, repetitive, barely murmured glimpses of a dull, bonged out life, something that doesn’t take long to look for in garage music, or make yourself for that matter. So, does the album have any redeeming qualities?

Assault on the sense via music. A totalitarian wave of fuck-you-ness sweeps throughout the entire album, causing a catastrophe of humour and frenzied, wild-eyed chaos in it’s wake. It speeds down a highway, keeping one eye on the road, the other eye on the hooker doing coke in the passenger seat. It’s a rip-roaring uncertain ride, that is certain to end in an enormous crash of cymbals and exhausted ecstasy. Every single song ups the game and pace than the previous track, offering a new take on the thrash-surf rock that lifts the album. The wishy-washy guitars echo and pulsate, bouncing off the vocals, circling in the air above the head of the listener like vultures about to sweep. There are fun, carefree times on the album, ‘5 to 9’, ‘LDA’, apocalyptic times of horror, ‘Cocaine’, ‘Wake Bake Skate’, and a whole manner in between, ‘Whore’, ‘Stoked and Broke’ and ‘Paycheck’. The only common theme is a bouncy, half-angry, half-hallucinated/intoxicated humorously wistfulness approach to the way FIDLAR throw themselves into every note.

The lyrics might be dumb, the band might be too stoned to function, but the music is fucking exhilarating, and makes FIDLAR a band to remember.

THIS IS FOR JAHRA!

Video: Unknown Mortal Orchestra-So Good At Being In Trouble

Unknown Mortal Orchestra have come out of the gate and just fucking smashed it, with the latest single from their forthcoming and aptly named second album ‘II’. A few years ago, Ruban Nielson was scraping a living as the frontman for New Zealand howling post-punks The Mint Chicks. Now, he’s releasing ethereal, breezy tracks like the aforementioned ‘So Good At Being In Trouble’. It is the soundtrack to an afternoon on the beach, with the wave subtly crashing over whitewashed sand. And on the boulevard, McLovin is getting beaten up by a hippie cult. It all makes sense if you watch the video.

Album Review: Japandroids-Celebration Rock

As of now, I’m fucking furious. I just posted this fucking article, indulging my love for Japandroids, one of the best bands to hit the garage scene, and hit the popular music scene with a furious impact. Only instead of publishing, this fucked up site deleted the entire 1000 word entry. One hour of my life has been wasted. Well, not completely wasted as I got to analyze what makes Japandroids so great. But I’ve still got my angry voice on. THIS IS MY ANGRY VOICE, FUCK! Anyway, that’s my whiny bitching out of the way with.

In short, 2012’s release of ‘Celebration Rock’ was so celebrated because it was celebratory of all the grandeuse things that are now missing from rock. The wall to wall fuzz that used to coat songs, and wash away any sensibility. The poetic waxing that only sounds good when some people say it (for a bad example of poetic waxing, look up almost any country musician. That track is called ‘Hillbilly Deluxe, and it’s exactly as awful as it sounds). The drums that pound into your temple, and leave it ringing, even after you’ve put the headphones down for an hours. Try to go listen to Fiona Apple or Fleet Foxes after a Japandroids song. Go on, try. It’s damn impossible. The only thing that will suffice your thirst for Japndroids is more Japandroids. The ‘do-do’s ‘woaahh’s’ and ‘ahhhhs’ are all integral parts of the song, which minuses points for originality and forcing a breaking point, but pluses points for rawness and catchiness. Combining all these elements, and you have a decent rock song, and when executed by the duo of Brian King and David Prowse, it’s like the stars have aligned, the angels are singing, and God strapped on an electric guitar.

Although there are some influences worn on the sleeve, such as the fast paced buzz saw antics of The Sonics and The Buzzcocks, and there is some overly metaphorical bullshit going on with the music being representative of feelings and pain, such as Explosions in the Sky (I love the balls off that band). There is also a little Fugazi-ness to the shout in Brian King’s voice and the raw energy on display, and some early Spiderbait-ish antics going on with the overall slackly taught rhythm (that’s called a paradox). But it’s hard to label Japandroids as copycats, or borrowers, or even interpreters, as no matter how hard you try to connect their concoction with another cretin of crazed conundrum, they still have a completely unique element. Perhaps it’s the earnest development of each song, delivered at such a frenzied and genuine pace it might seem that every not were their last. Or perhaps it’s their ability to spread the album with a tasteful selection of varying types of tracks. There’s the purpose-built stadium belter/radio favourite ‘The House That Heaven Built’, and the slow burning opener ‘Continuous Thunder’ that rolls with booming claps of energy. There’s the teenager track of forlorn happiness in ‘Younger Us‘ and then there’s shout along chorus-centric of ‘Fire’s Highway’. Or perhaps it’s the lyrical prowess that’s developed since Japandroids first few EP’s and debut ‘Post-Nothing’. The adventurous and matured writing style they’ve adopted to purvey metaphorical images of happiness versus pain, and incorporating all sorts of intense imagery into their lyrics is so complex, yet speaks with clarity (<—-docuhebag alert). Personally, I think it’s their inability to make a shit album. True story: If you play the record backwards, and then scratch it at exactly the halfway point on ‘For The Love of Ivy’, a voice suddenly says ‘Sorry, we created a fucking masterpiece. LOL’.

Some may argue that ‘Post-Nothing’ was a better album as it showed a fresher, rawer and less-vulnerable side to the Japandroids. But that is not the case. Both albums are fantastic showcases of earnest rock being thrown around and regurgitated, however ‘Celebration Rock’ manages to come off as the older brother who gets to drink beer at the dinner table, even though their technically underage. It’s proven itself to be a worthy follower of ‘Post-Nothing’ and if anything, slightly better. The sound has flourished into a beautiful, well oiled machine of grinding guitars, gurgling feedback and quaking drums.

MGMT-All We Ever Wanted Was Everything (Bauhaus Cover)

Like all the greatest cover songs before their time, from Jimi Hendrix’s ‘All Along the Watchtower’ to Pulp’s ‘Common People’, MGMT have fucking nailed it, overlapping their own unique brand onto a previously great track, and turning it into something beautiful and unique. The accompanying animated video does the song justice as well, overlapping animations adding context over context with each layer added. It’s magnificent stuff.

February Playlist

After Laneway yesterday, there is going to be some indie bias in this list fo sho.

1. Flume-Left Alone (Feat. Chet Faker)

2. Electric Guest-Good Morning, Hypocrite

3. Jagwar Ma-Come Save Me

4. King Tuff-Screaming Skull

5. Japandroids-Wet Hair

6. Alt-J-Breezeblocks

7. Divine Fits-My Love Is Real

8. Cum Stain-Bachelor’s Life 

9. MGMT-All We Ever Wanted Was Everything (Bauhaus cover)

10. Tyvek- 4312

11. High Highs-Open Season

12. Holy Other- Feel Something

13. POND-Giant Tortoise

14. The Strokes-One Way Trigger

15. FIDLAR-Cheap Beer

16. Dead Owls-Final Thoughts

17. The British Public-Bears

18. Elvis Depressedly-I’m Never Going to Understand

19. The Vaselines-I Hate the 80’s

20. Darlings-Yeah I Know