EP Reviews: Oliver Tank + Naked Maja + Phondupe + Ghyti

EP stands for Ecstasy Powder, Exaggerated Power and Ethereal Porridge. It also stands for Extended Player, a phrase in the musical world that means the release is more than a single, but not quite an album. So usually, your going to get between three and seven songs. EP’s have a special place in the world of music, as they act as a form of showcasing a band’s talent. That’s the case with these stellar four releases from vastly different bands. And I’m going to review them. One by one. Oh yeah, can you feel the raw talent in the air? That’s Aussie music baby. Aussie fucking music.

Oliver Tank-Slow Motion Music

Once again, Sydney’s Oliver Tank is providing the sort of chilling, slowly twisting music that only Oliver Tank can deliver. Its like he takes all the emotional poignancy of a love story, say, The Notebook, and then slows it down and turns it into a ballet. You really can;t tear your eyes away from his music. On his new EP ‘Slow Motion Music’, he raises the stakes and turns the beautifully epic nature of his songs into a life and death situation. The opener ‘Stay (feat. Fawn Myers)’ is so fucking elegant, you’d think that it was a lioness raising its cubs in the wild rather than a song from an Australian producer. This theme of music that’s more graceful than an elederly enchantress  spinning magical spell continues throughout the rest of the EP. I feel as though if Standish/Carlyon lost their BDSM (note: I don’t want them to ever lose that, its what makes them so fucking great) they could sound a bit like Oliver Tank on this new EP. All in all, ‘Slow Motion Music’ is an elongated and beautiful collection of music that puts Beethoven’s ‘Best Of’ to shame.

Naked Maja-Disillusion EP

On the topic of Standish/Carlyon retaining their BDSM imagery, its the brand new EP from Brisbanauts Naked Maja, a band that like to get on the darker, more experimental side of nocturnal pop. Their music has always been suitably rife to freak out innocent six year olds, and their new EP ‘Disillusion’ is no different. Similar to Naked on the Vague, but with more of a ‘Born Slippy’ feel, Naked Maja are unique in the way their music can spread its fingers all the way down your spine and disturb you better than having Freddy Krueger jump out of your stripper cake. Four songs long, the ‘Dissolusion’ EP manages to be both incredibly sickly and damned beautiful. That sounds like an unachievable juxtapositon, but just take a listen to the opening track ‘#59’. Warped guitar scales higher and higher, whilst ghostly vocals creep along. The song is more brooding than Robert Smith engaged in an emotional battle of wits with Romeo. But the music of the song keeps the stakes elevated, so much so that it feels like an original Wes Craven horro movie is jumping out of your iTunes. Such is the concept of Naked Maja, and by fuck do they pull it off well. You can grab the entire EP for $5 from the link above, or head to Naked Maja’s Triple J Unearthed for a couple of freebies here.

Phondupe-Greenhouse EP

You may or may not remember Phondupe from their inclusion of the song ‘ the latest Hand Games mixtape that I know you definitely downloaded because it was too good to leave by the wayside. I’ve left a link there in case you’re a misguided youth and never got around to it. Anyway, Phondupe are like a mixture of the previous two artists, plus some melancholy, plus some Mount Kimbie influence. It’s dark and yes, again, brooding, but its stunning to listen to because some of the tracks on here are like watching a tiger sleep from an eyelash distance away. Specifically, I’m talking about the ‘Asena’, with its growling  synth chords and Medusa vocals that’ll turn you straight to stone. If Passion Pit were walking down a dark, dark alley in Bristol, and then were suddenly jumped by Tricky and stabbed beyond recognition, the last trickle of blood spilling through the cobblestone would stain itself into ‘Asena’. Although on initial view you might think that its a slow track, there’s a lot of dark and twisted magic bubbling beneath the surface, and that added danger makes it more seductive than a Die Hard marathon. The other three tracks on the EP are just as James Bond villain-esque, tranquil but vicious, and the more and more you listen to Phondupe, the more you fear that you’ll never be able to listen to anything else.

The Greenhouse EP hasn’t actually been released yet, which is why I’ve linked the single ‘Proxy’ up the top there. Enjoy the free download, and thank me later.

Ghyti-Life is Cheap EP

To quote the great Monty Python ‘And now for something completely different!’. After being slowly tugged into despair by the previous couple bands, its time to shake the fear loose with Radelaide dudes Ghyti. This one goes to out to fans of 90’s era Jebediah and Screamfeeder, which is basically anyone who liked guitar music and was older than 12 after 1995. From the very opening chords, there’s a pub rock styling established that hasn’t been done all that well in previous years, but is captured incredibly proficiently with Ghyti. Maybe all those years of listening to You Am I and Hoodoo Gurus paid off? Yeah, it definitely did, as Ghyti switch from catchy rock ‘To Gideon, All the Best, God’ and ‘Journal of the King’, to sincere ballads like ‘Sad Sack’. And the whole time, that Aussie demeanour is never dropped, which shows that Ghyti are the real fucking deal.

Album Review: Liquor Store-In the Garden

When you’ve got an album cover with a giant, multi-headed cobra, with a lightning bolt painted on its chest, lording over a city, the album in question is either going to be unbelievably badass, or a giant disapointment. Luckily for humanity, Liquor Store’s sophomore release is an unbudging ode to being awesome. If narwhals could fly and had laser beams attached to their unicorn horns, they still wouldn’t be as great as this record.

Firstly, lets look at the style of Liquor Store, and how, based upon this, they could probably never make a bad record. They simply channel the kings of punk and garage too much for it to be an experiment in failure. MC5, Death, The Stooges; all those mad Detroit bands that more or less breathed a gallon of fire up the stale butt of rock n roll back in the day, well now they are being interpreted in turn by some New Jersey folks. Regardless of how you feel abut the crown of punk being handled by a band from a town that spawned the most awful show on the planet and Bon Jovi, you have to admit that the prospects are mouthwatering.

And so they are! ‘In the Garden’ is a record that just keeps giving. Like Obits, Parquet Courts and our very own The UV Race, Liquor Store inhale the fumes of punk and then explode all over their record with high octane shouts of excitement and ferocity. On ‘Keys to the Face’, a incomprehensible chorus that will have you jumping out of your seat rollicks along in front of a battalion of guitar, bass and piano intermingling. Oh, and did I mention there’s a solo of all solos on there as well?

There’s also the fucking epic number ‘Pile of Dirt’, a song that gets even dirtier and down-to-earth than the title would suggest. Like old-school Mudhoney summoning a boatload of demon-spawn, piling one badass riff on top of the other one. If Radio Birdman were still around today, they’d probably make songs along the lines of this one. And how could one forget ‘Titty Was Loc’d’? With a song title that makes fuck all sense to the right-thinking human being, and a shambolic, eyes-half-closed, grinning-like-a-drunken-idiot Ramones vibe, there’s no way the rock n roll lover could skip past this song.

So, to summarise, Liquor Store have come up with a record that most definitely does justice to the album cover that adorns it. Listening to Liquor Store reminds people of all the shit that made New Jersey great. Stuff like Kevin Smith movies, The Sopranos and The Misfits all spring to mind whilst a shit-eating smile spreads across your face. Sure, ‘Kick Out the Jams’ and ‘Raw Power’ are never going to be replaced as the ultimate garage rock records of all time, but maybe, just maybe, maybe, maybe ‘In the Garden’ has a place in there somewhere.

Album Review: Major Leagues-Weird Season EP

Weird Season indeed! These Brisbane gals think they can just…invert and drain the colours of the cover of their debut EP?! What kind of travesty is this? Are we living in Cold War-era East Berlin? Are we under the domineering rule of some sort of tyrannical warlord? You can’t just…just…well, actually it looks pretty good. And the music on the EP is hella awesome. So, I guess Major Leagues get a pass on this one…but if The Lumineers try this shit, there will be hell to pay!

To give some background context, Major Leagues are a surf rock/shoegaze/dream-pop/delectable nearly all-girl band from Brisbane. And guess what? They rule harder than a My Bloody Valentine band having a rock showdown with a Pavement cover band. On a side note, wouldn’t that be great to see? Anyway, onto the topic of conversation that is more awesome than that musical duel to the death, this frankly gorgeous band ahve finally gotten around to releasing their debut EP, a record so chock-full of amazing music, they should just rename it the Ultimate Shoegaze Burger w/ A Side of Greatness EP

Opener ‘Silver Tides’ channels My Bloody Valentine like I channel garage-pop into my brain. Besides the droney guitar, there’s also a cutesy, wide-eyed and head-boppin’ chorus to offset the nauseating guitar lines in the verses. A teen-ballad to the core, its a track that would make both Kevin Shields and Best Coast very proud. After that opener, we’re introduced to ‘Feel’, a song that is Pavement/Guided By Voices-esque in structure. However, with that teenage vibe still going strong, and the feeling that this song was created after a really bad breakup and a really good surf, you lose sight of the influence, and can focus on the greatness of the track.

So far, so good. Onto ‘Endless Drain’, a track you probably know better as ‘Oh…Oh my god! It’s that song, turn it…turn it up, turn it up!’. Catchy like the fish-of-the-day at your local seafood joint, ‘Endless Drain’ rolls around and around in your head like that crush on that girl you’ve known since kindergarten. Next, it’s ‘Teen Mums’, a song title every parent fears and every high school unfortunately owns. Starting out longingly, and only getting more so, this is a track that everyone wishes they could write, but few actually can. That might seem like an overstep considering its basically just a ‘I wish he was my boyfriend’ shtick, but its because so many of those songs go through my head, and this one actually sticks out that ensure that ‘Teen Mums’ is a song to focus on. Last but not least, its ‘Creeper’, the loudest track on the EP, and a splashy, blasty and fun way to end out the EP. Dripping with some cool-as-Kim-Deal feedback and squelching its gumboots in every emotional puddle that the average teen goes through, ‘Creeper’ is the best way Major Leagues could have finished off their debut EP.

Overall, its hard to find any real fault with Major Leagues first major record. It follows in the footsteps that have gone before with the girly guitar pop, but it does it damn well. Besides Go Violets and Bloods, its hard to think of an Australian band doing what Major Leagues do to such a great degree. Awesome stuff!

Major Leagues are playing their last show in Brisbane for ages this weekend, so that’s a total bummer, however, to tide us over, they’ve politely put the last three tracks up on their Triple J Unearthed Page. So, enjoy that shit and wait in unhealthy anticipation for Major Leagues to tour again.

Video(s): The Creeping Ivies + Popstrangers + Alex Cameron + Buzz Kull + Touch Sensitive/Ego + Wave Racer

I don’t know about you, but the way I like to spend MY Friday nights is by watching music video after music video before falling into a tear-stained, square-eyed coma for up to twelve hours. Sounds pretty fun right? Well, now you can join in with me as I show off a bunch of music videos that are pretty great. The theme for this segment is ‘awesome’, and there’s the stream of thought that goes from rock n roll party soundtrack, down to the more introspective, and back up to some dastardly thumpers.

The Creeping Ivies-What Would Joey Ramone Do?

The Creeping Ivies are from Scotland, which is why its so damn weird that they sound like an inverted version of The Gooch Palms. Stand up snare? Check! Addictive, amateur guitar? Check! Snarled, simple and badass lyrics? Check, check, check!

Their brand of garage punk is a well-worn path, but The Creeping Ivies do it so damn well, and with such passion, that its better to let it go, and enjoy the flogging of brain cells and encapsulation of awesome that is The Creeping Ivies.

For the film clip, a bunch of old timers in exasperation get all up in arms at the question every punk has asked themselves: WWJRD. Would Joey Ramone piss on that business man minding his own business in the street below? Would Joey Ramone eat four-week old garlic bread? Would Joey Ramone go that Creeping Ivies show at [insert decrepit junkie shit-hole of a punk rock bar here]? Of course he would, he’s Joey fucking Ramone, and you should dare to follow in the footsteps of one of the greatest frontmen in history.

Popstrangers-Rats in the Palm Trees

The video for Popstrangers latest single has arrived, and as expected its as flourishing and hazy as their music. Popstrangers became well-known for their unique brand of fuzz that isn’t quite surf, isn’t quite noise and isn’t dream-pop. Instead, they threw out the rule book and combined all that shit for some gloriously good times. Their track ‘Rats in the Palm Trees’ is more catchy than a case of crabs at a Venereal Disease Convention. As for the clip, you can expect some gorgeous shots that you probably won’t be able to pull your eye away from. In fact, you’ll probably get straight up immersed. Yeah, I went there.

Alex Cameron-Happy Ending

Alex Cameron’s ‘Jumping the Shark’ is the Album of the Week, and hot on the heels of the release comes the video for one of the eight amazing songs on that album. Like the song itself, the video is orgasmically 80’s. Basically, if Kevin Bacon from Footloose became a nervous-wreck, he’d probably turn into the character portrayed in the ‘Happy Ending’ clip. But, true to its title, there’s a happy ending for the protagonist after all, as he shuffles his way to purple-tinted, smoky ecstasy.

Buzz Kull-Bedroom Highs

Finally, someone that agrees with me that sunshine is for freaks! The haphazard, Frankenstein-monster of New Order x The Cure that is Buzz Kull’s new video clip shows a distorted view of what will happen if you lay on a tanning bed for too long. A wheel of colour constantly flickering in the video’s spectrum, and drunken double-images will fuck with the viewer to no end. If this was the latest video clip for Kings of Leon or something, it’d be the final nail in the coffin. But for a doomy, melancholic track from a band at the forefront of the new noise scene, (graduates include The KVB and The Soft Moon) well, it couldn’t be more perfect.

Touch Sensitive & Ego-#VJuke

Look, I’m not even 100% sure what’s going on here, but I’ll try to translate to the best of my ability. I think  Touch Sensitive (‘Pizza Guy’) and the visual artist Ego teamed up to create a track based off of submissions from Instagram, all sourced from the hashtag #VJuke. Truly, a sign of our times. But all doubters must be cast aside, as this video is a testament of what can be created once a moustachioed wonder tells you to do it. The product in question is the extremely groovy and danceable ‘#VJuke’, a track that buzzes like a bee on cocaine. As for the video, well, its an audio-visual sensory experience. Who knew that a bunch of morphing, multi-coloured shapes could be so transfixing?

Wave Racer-Rock U Tonite

Finally, one of the most promising up and comers on the Australian dance music scene, its Wave Racer’s official clip for ‘Rock U Tonite’. A ball-busting, hip-thrusting, nail-biter of a track if you’ve ever heard one, ‘Rock U Tonite’ throws its weight around to an extraordinary degree. Basically, you can’t help but dance to this track. And when combined with the disturbing acid-dream regurgitation that is the video clip, the song has already become a staple in your mind. Those trickling beats combined with the pulsating, vibrant nightmare of a video? Too fucking good.

Interview: The Seabellies

A while ago, (and I do mean a while ago), I did an interview with indie rock crew The Seabellies, or more accurately, their frontman Trent Grenell. Unfortunately, I kind of got carried away with that whole HSC exam thing, and its taken me a fair while to get the interview up and running. However, it did provide quite a bit of insight into the recording of their new album ‘Fever Belle’, the hard work that goes into recording such a thing, and what it means to have stuck around for so long. Therefore, I present the full interview with Trent Grenell, frontman for Sydney indie rock darlings The Seabellies.

R: Hey man, how you doing? Whereabouts are you right now?

T: I’m in Bondi, just sorting out the promo stuff for the album.

R: Oh yeah, you must be pretty pumped about that?

T: Aww yeah, it’s been a long journey this album (laughs)

R: How long did it take to record?

T: Recording was well, it’s a bit of a weird one. Started recording in Sydney at the very start of last year. And then I had a bit of a freakout in my life, and I ran away from the record for quite a while. I had a bad break-up, so I ran away to Africa for a while. By the time I was feeling better, I had to go to Berlin with Berkfinger, the producer. He had a new studio, so we finished up the record then. It ended up being about seven months

R: How did you stick that out?

T: well, the studio time in the end was probably only about five weeks or something. Tracking was done in about two and a half weeks. But I wasn’t really ready to have another go at the vocals for a while, until about August that year.

It was really different experience to the first record, where everything was bookended in. This time around, the lyrics changed by the time we got around to doing vocals.

R: Did you want to have a more accurate reflection of what was actually going on in your life, as opposed to a year ago?

T: Yeah a little bit, there’s a couple tracks on there where the song lyrics are two-sided, not just a pure-loss thing. I wanted to show both sides of the coin. This time as well, it was the first time I’d written…not first person, but kind of out of body. Just imagining those kinds of scenarios, because I’d never experienced them. And then all of a sudden, they happened to me. So I was able to more accurately go back and capture what I’d been imagining all this time.

R: When I was listening to the record, it did seem very intimate and personal, so you’d say it was like that?

T: Yeah, all the songs are pretty personal. I still have this natural leaning towards making things a little surreal. But yeah, it is personal. Sometimes it might get a little flowery, but most of the songs are autobiographical.

R: There’s a dichotomy to the nature of the record, with these intimate songs, like ‘Its Alright’, and then you have these epic songs tying down the record, like ‘Paper Tiger’. Can you walk me through that?

T: Well, we’ve always been like that. We’ve always been a diverse band. Lots of different rhythms, lots of different melodies, lots of different shades. I grew up listening to a lot of Led Zeppelin, and on every album, they always covered a lot of ground.

So, yeah, we really wanted to have an album with dynamics. But in the writing process, it just sort of happened. It was never like, ‘OK, now we’re going to do that big song’, it was more like we’d knock one over and think to try something a little different.

(laughing) So, in the process we definitely tried a lot of stuff, some of it worked, some of it didn’t.

R: With the writing and recording, did you decide that you wanted to do something different all the time, and work your way up from there?

T: We locked ourselves in a room in Melbourne for five weeks, and we had a residency down there, at the start of 2011. We locked ourselves in a room and mapped out the bare bones.

But it always changes, I don’t think a single song we’ve ever written ends up like it started. We started working with Berkfinger, and everything changed from there. We also had this guy Tim Whitten producing as well.

R: How’d you meet up with Berkfinger?

T: I met Berkfinger after he finished up with Philadelphia Grand Jury. I met him at this marketplace in Berlin, and we just go chatting . I told him that we had this new bunch of songs we wanted to record, and he expressed interest, and we went from there. He rang us up and said, ‘How about a dual producer approach?’

He brought in Tim Whitten, who’s produced some of the best records.

Berkfinger wanted to sit in on us, and watch us play, and focus on our live performance, and Tim sat behind the control desk and made sure the sonics were great. That’s how we did it. Berkfinger tried all these crazy recording techniques and wired the studio, and Tim would just oversee it all. It really worked.

R: As the singer for The Seabellies, do you write all the lyrics, or is it a collaborative process?

T: I usually write most of them. My brother [Kyle Grenell] sometimes chips in, but usually the writing falls to me. With the exception of the last track of the record, which is a collaboration between Eddie [Garvin, the bassist] and myself, I did the lion’s share.

R: What about the music?

T: I think all the main ideas start from one person and then gradually filter through to the rest of the band. But its pretty much a group effort. Someone builds a piece, and then we build the rest of the song around that piece.

R: As a pretty big band [five members as of now], you’ve been going hard since 2006.

T: Yeah, we’ve done a lot of touring. With a little time off here and there, we’ve been touring straight for five years. We needed a bit of a rest to get re-inspired.

R: Sounds pretty rough, but do you enjoy the live aspect?

T: Yeah, we still love it. Just thinking about all the bands we’ve played with over the years, in the Sydney scene and Melbourne scene, and thinking about how there’s hardly anyone left. It feels like we’re the most stubborn band in the world.

R: Who do you think the best band you’ve ever played with has been?

T: I don’t know, probably The Pixies. We played V Festival early in our career, and it was the best lineup, had The Pixies and Groove Armada, it had everybody.

In terms of Australian bands, fuck I don’t know how I can answer that. I mean some bands we hung out with went on to do great things, and others just packed it in. Meanwhile, we’ve just been plugging away in the middle somewhere. We used to play with The Temper Trap quite a bit, and Tame Impala a few times. Those bands are just kicking so many goals at the moment.

R: So you’ve seen it go either way?

T: Yeah, well Sydney got really hard about four to five years ago. With all the venues closing, the scene definitely changed. The bands we used to play with all the time, like Parades, we used to get gigs with them all the time, and then everything just started falling away.

We understood though, we were really frustrated with the industry as well, the lack of funds and support. I don’t know what we were doing, but we managed to stick with it, and I’m glad we did because I really like this album.

R: There’s a lot of instrumentation on the record in the songs, like strings and that sort of stuff. How do you think that will go down when touring the record?

T: We’ve just started adding a few more songs into our live show on the last tour, and I’m sure we’ll implement that on the upcoming tour. We’ve figured out ways to cover some of it, but I think we’re going in with the attitude that the record is a different platform, and there are different sets of rules.

We wanna make the recorded version last forever, but the live show’s a different beast. We try to incorporate as much as we can, but its basically impossible for some of the songs. We do a lot of sampling and a lot of sequencing, but we’ll never be able to cover that spectrum of sound.

R: Alright, well finally, what does the future hold?

T: The immediate plan is to do a lot of touring for this record. We’ve got our biggest tour to date coming up, so that’s really ambitious. As for next year, we’ll be doing a lot of touring, and have our eyes on going back overseas.

R: Well that sounds amazing, good luck with the record and the touring!

‘Fever Belle’ is out now through Shock Records. The Seabellies are playing Good God, Saturday December 14.

New: Red Red Krovvy-EZ Video

Short. Sharp. Brutal as Fuck. These words describe Red Red Krovvy to completion. Listening to Red Red Krovvy is a fucking experience, because by the end of a single song, you’ll have your ears razed, your brain fried and your head an exploded mess. As your brain slowly drips off the walls, you’ll realise how much you love Australian punk music, and that Red Red Krovvy are at the forefront of that movement.

‘EZ Video’ is just one of the songs from an upcoming Red Red Krovvy 7″ that’s coming out on RIP Society. The song is like if The Slits were modernised and then disembowelled by a herd of banshees. But never fear, as they become Bruce Campbell-ised, gain a chainsaw arm and proceed to kick more ass than all three Evil Dead movies combined.

New: The Maryettas-Karoake Cowboy

Look, I’m not sure how you feel about country music, but I fucking hate it. Often, if someone asks me what I like, I say everything except for country music and Aussie hip-hop. But The Maryettas, they’re different. Sure, they’re singing about cowboys, harmonica is extensively involved and they are from the Great North, but it doesn’t feel like these guys are about to get racist any time soon. They’re simply singing along in this forlorn, amateur tune, a little bit hopeless and very, very endearing. Oh yeah, and ‘Karaoke Cowboy’ fucking rules as a track. Git R Done!

Video(s): Hockey Dad + Unity Floors + UBK + July Days

So, for the first time in quite a while, I’ve kind of caught up on the good music shit I need to spread to the people on the Internet who drunkenly stumble onto my website whilst looking for instrument-related porn. Hey, I don’t judge. But, instead of clicking back to the Google page so you can find a video of a bassoon going into a place it probably shouldn’t, check out these other awesome videos first, and then return to your quest of finding that rare copy of ‘Violinists Gone Wild Vol. 4: Uncut’.

Hockey Dad-Lull City

Hailing from the illustrious town of Illawarra, its the knights of fuzz and good-times, Hockey Dad. Y’know those fathers that stand on the sideline of five year old rugby games and scream, shout and fight with other like-minded dads until there’s at least a gallon of blood on the field? Well, Hockey Dad are the kids that had to put up with that shit, and grew up to make a badass band making awesome surf rock.

Their new single ‘Lull City’ sees the teenagers rock out in a room, as most up and coming bands are want to do. However, the difference between these dudes and your average stoners that own guitars, is that Hockey Dad know how to fucking shred, and that becomes very,very obvious on ‘Lull City’. Catchy as fuck hooks, a simple extended note, ‘wooo’ chorus, and enough fuzz to kill the average FIDLAR member, Hockey Dad are about to break onto very, very big things.

Don’t believe me? Check out/download previous single ‘Jump the Gun’ here, and wallow in a pit of surf rock-inspired despair, that you’ll never accomplish anything as great as this band.

Unity Floors-Once in a While

No prizes for knowing that I’m a big fan of Sydney slacker-duo Unity Floors. And you should be too, because they’re really fucking great. And if you even have a sliver of doubt, well check out the video for the single ‘Once In A While’. The song itself switches between catchy, head-bopping verses and a full-blown, self-doubting chorus that rings just a little bit too true for most of us.

As for the video…well the record is called ‘Exotic Goldfish Blues’, and these guys do play the best kind of slacker rock. What did you expect besides parades upon parades of goldfish?

UBK-I Got You

It might surprise you to know that UBK is actually a project from Isreal. Hell, I certainly didn’t expect that from the Franz Ferdinand-y pop/rock power riffs and damned delicious choruses that were made to strut to. But, the real gem here is the video. Beautiful women dressed in far-flung indigenous costumes, performing torturous rituals on our hero. Put that unique and captivating concept on top of a stark and post-apocalyptic background, then splash UBK’s riff-ready, Black Keys-inspired blues rock badassdom, and you’ve got a recipe for success.

July Days-Photos

The opening shot for the new video from July Days’ clip ‘Photos’ is of a phone booth, so its obviously taking place in Melbourne. I’m pretty sure that’s the last place in the world that still has public phone booths readily available. What follows is a long single shot following the band around the inner-North of Melbourne. Whilst the band mostly try to keep to themselves, it seems that the whole world is out to ensure they never reach their final destination, wherever that might be. There are more fights in this video than the average bout of WWE. Set to the pretty cool indie rock track of ‘Photos’ the video takes The Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ and Aussie-fies the fuck outta it.

Album Review: Alex Cameron-Jumping the Shark

There are heaps of ways I could introduce Alex Cameron’s debut album. One way would be to go on and on and on about his lucrative career as the frontman for electronic project Seekae. Another way would be to describe what the term, and subsequent album title, ‘Jumping the Shark’ means (idiom meaning that a project’s creative ideas are getting desperate for attention, derived from an episode from Happy Days when Fonzi literally jumps over a shark on waterskis). Even another way would be to talk about the fucking amazing website that Cameron set up for the project! Viagra ads and creepy face close-ups have never looked so appealing. But I feel as though the best representation for my introduction would be to talk about how this record was apparently rejected by ‘at least eight’ record labels. Taking even the quickest of listens to this album, that will come as a shock and a half to anyone who’s ever applied to the School of Good Tunes.

Reading through the website, you’d be forgiven for thinking Alex Cameron’s shambolic musings on the state of the Internet, e-mail and free downloads would at least filter into the album a little bit. Instead, the music listening public are left with a fucking fantastic album that manages to wallow in the mire and shine like the brightest fucking star in the galaxy.

The songs of ‘Jumping the Shark’ are a weird brand of electro-pop, jumping around with a strange energy, but held back from being Passion Pit-levels of exuberant by Alex Cameron’s voice. And what a fucking voice that is! It takes me by complete surprise that the guy held back this fucking gem from Seekae until just recently. His voice is hopeful, but there’s also a level of experience and wisdom in there that warns to shy away from being too optimistic. Think I’m reading into this too much? Well, fuck you, because the lyrics back me up in my hypothesis, such as in ‘She’s Mine’, when Cameron introduces the song with ‘Lovers having short careers, I wonder if they are but fears, of quickly gaining way too much, but slowly, slowly losing touch’. Put this in Cameron’s seductive, instructional tones and add a glittery synth line, and you’ve got a recipe for one of the best things you’ve heard all year.

‘She’s Mine’ is just the tip of the ice berg. Opener ‘The Comeback’ is the ultimate new-wave Rocky theme, even holding a chorus of ‘We’re gonna get my show back!’ over triumphant chords. ‘Real Bad Lookin’ holds a demented merry-go-round rhythm, whilst Cameron waxes poetic about ugliness, both on the inside and outside. And ‘Take Care of Business’ hits rock bottom, long pauses and subtle electronica, whilst Cameron basically cries out ‘she’s…takin’ care of business’ in the most heartbreaking inflection you’ve ever heard.

Alex Cameron’s debut effort ‘Jumping the Shark’ is memorable like watching dinosaur’s duel to the death. You can’t peel your eyes away from such a rare sight, and every fibre of your body is telling you that this is something that probably won’t occur ever again. ‘Jumping the Shark’ feels like a spiritual sequel to Rowland S Howard’s ‘Pop Crimes’, depressed but addictive music that feels like pop but could never be played on Top 40 radio.

‘Jumping the Shark’ is a hell of a fucking album, and its too majestic to go unnoticed. I’m actually going to be upset if this record doesn’t go multi-double-super-ultra platinum. Its too good to not be noticed by, at the least, the King of Nicaragua, if that position exists. However, because Alex Cameron is a super nice guy, for an undisclosed, limited amount of time, you can grab the album for free off his awesome, awesome website (I can’t get over how fucking great this website is). Get on it, because only Alex Cameron knows when the Alex Cameron record will become not-free!

New: Oisima-Everything About Her (Sweatson Klank Remix) (free download)

Okay, so we’ve heard the original, we’ve heard the Ta-ku remix, and now there’s the Sweaston Klank remix. And yet, we still wait and wait to tire of Oisimia’s ‘Everything About Her’. Surely, it will be a grave day in human history when we skip this song in our Itunes Shuffle.

This new remix from Sweaston Klank is subdued, and a little bit dangerous. It shuffles along like a Nicolas Jaar track, subtly clicking and grooving to its own beat. However, the remix also allows Annabel Weston’s vocals to shine through a bit more, and you can really appreciate how fucking great she sounds. Overall, an adept and different take on the stunning original track from Sweatson Klank, fantastic job.