Rock Album Reviews, Pt. 1: White Summer + Designer Mutts + Hari & the Karis + Lightsabres + Almighty Rhombus

I’ll admit it. I’m a massive knob. My e-mail has been stockpiling record review request after record review request, and I’ve been sitting here, trying to do something about it. Except, instead of doing stuff about it, I went to a bunch of gigs and focused on not fucking up my new job. But to quote The Big Lebowski, ‘Sometimes, there’s a man…and even if he’s a lazy man-which Ryan most certainly was….aw, I’ve lost my train of thought’. Anyway, here’s a bunch of review of the albums that I thought were pretty badass. Apologies to the artists that I couldn’t give them an original piece, it is simply a matter that I would probably end up in the morgue from finger blisters. Enjoy my shitty descriptions, then go buy these albums.

White Summer-What I’ve Been Waiting For EP

The White Summer are a rock band from Melbourne. If you typed that sentence into Google, you’d probably get an infinite amount of search results, but goddamn if this isn’t one paying attention. Right off the bat, their tunes will worm their way into your ears and set up a permanent residence. If The Black Angels spent some time getting guitar lessons from Dan Auberach, and there was a vocal morphing of Ian Kenny and Matt Bellamy, you could get something with the power and balls of White Summer. If you don’t believe that description, think its lame or whatever, listen to ‘Head in the Sand’, and feel the wrath of wrongness.

Designer Mutts-A Day At the Wauchope Races

Despite the fact that I’d never head of Mauchope before this EP crossed my path (it’s a small town in the Mid-North Coast of NSW, whoever said reading shitty music blogs wasn’t educational), I did know a bit about Mark Spence. The dude was in a band called Royal Chant that I adored and saw a couple times back in Year 10 when I first found out that there was something to listen to besides Mix 106.5. Designer Mutts is a side-project from Royal Chant, and the EP that Mark has released is great. Every track on the EP is a solid rock track, something that you could easily find yourself singing along to down at your local inner West venue. A special standout track is ‘High Low’, a song that will make you want to ride down a highway, top down and shouting at the top of your lungs, so fucking stoked with the track that you’ll completely ignore all the abundantly cliche nature of your behaviour.

SUPER SPECIAL BONUS REVIEW: Royal Chant-New Nowhere. Starting off with an acoustic strumming, the song soon envelopes and matures into a full-blown, catchy-as-REM-on-steroids rock track. Download for free, and enjoy with a side of breakfast in Surry Hills, because with the money you’ll save on good tunes with ‘New Nowhere’, you’ve earned an expensive early-morning treat.

Hari & The Karis-Hari & The Karis

Let’s just say that if you include an old-school Black Keys cover that you completely nail with boogie-woogie infection, then you’ll get an all-star review on my website that means fuck all in the spectrum of things. However, Hari & The Karis, a garage swamp band from New York that put the rock back in defrockingingly badass, have more than enough tunes on hand to back that prematurely biased evaluation. Just take a listen to ’24 Hours’, a song that screams and squirms, bursting out of the normal with a chorus that goes ‘All we have is 24 hours, all we need is a miracle!’. Sound familiar to anyone who’s done an assignment, ever? Anyway, all the songs on these guys self-titled record are spaced out boogie monsters that will cling to your brain like a Facehugger, switching between schizophrenically wild to gooey macabre, and a whole spectrum of other emotions as well. At the least, you’re brain is going to explode all over the room from being wildly entertained. If Velociraptor (the band, not the villain) toured with these guys, the world would probably combust from the charisma.

Lightsabres-Demons

Stoner rock from Sweden has always been a little pet-love of mine. I never knew that much about it, and it seemed hard to delve and find any more  information about it short of moving to Stockholm, but let’s just say Dozer have always been a constant reminder to me of how great that nationalistic sub-genre is. However, the new band Lightsabres has sought to rectify that gaping hole in my life. There’s nothing not to love with Lightsabres. Firstly, their name is from the most badass weapon in Star Wars, something most people that have visited this website will know I love. Secondly, they’re a stoner-rock band from fucking Sweden, something I’ve already established is almost as badass as lightsabres themselves. To clarify, their riffs are a murky mess of slow and toxic menace, choking out the listener like Hulk Hogan in his Black Sabbath-loving days. Finally, Lightsabres do a pretty good (not better, but pretty good) cover of one of my all time favourite songs by one of my all time favourite artists, Ty Segall. Although, a relatively short work, ‘Demons’ is fucking badass.

The Almighty Rhombus-Lucid Living

And to round out my embarrassingly late reviews, its The Almighty Rhombus, a Canadian band with a good name (the rhombus-most underrated 2D shape ever) and even better songs. For an indie rock band, none of these songs are grating, at least for me.They flow nicely from one to another, bright  and melodic enough to not bog themselves down, but with enough lyrical self-deprecation (see: ‘Butane Brain’) and diversity in the music to ensure that their music doesn’t get annoying. If Vampire Weekend and The Strokes teamed up and found their credibility again, you could get something like ‘Lucid Living’. Even if you’re not an indie-rock fan, the song ‘Blank’ is worth a geez.

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