New: Snowy Nasdaq-Periods

Because I’m a well-reknown wanker, I kind of forgot to tell everyone about Snowy Nasdaq’s solo stuff. However, it suddenly hit me and I remembered that his work is definitely worth posting about. Which is how we come to the crux of the story, Snow Nasdaq’s ‘Periods’.

You probably know Snowy from one of his many incarnations-member of The Ocean Party, member of Mining Boom, member of Velcro, member of Pencil, member of…fuck he’s in a lot of stuff, and his name seems to pop up just about everywhere as a ‘contributor’. Basically, the guy is like the Bill Murray of Melbourne music-if he’s involved, its going to be fucking good.

That sentiment can be applied SO hard to Snowy’s solo output. It seems that there’s always a new EP on his Bandcamp page, which is why I’ll just review one of them, my personal favourite ‘Periods’. Four tracks long, and it still packs a Mike Tyson-punch of entertainment.

The first track ‘Limited Stock’ might initially set you up for a shuffling, Nicolas Jaar sort of thing, but it soon evolves into a full-blown indie-pop ballad. There’s so much shit going down on this song that it’s hard to know where to exactly start describing how great this song is. I guess if someone drowned Vampire Weekend in the Tasman Sea, then their bloated corpse was dragged back to shore and turned into a puppet by James Murphy, it might be a bit like what you get on ‘Limited Stock’.

Next, there’s ‘I Like Being Forgotten’, another track which is a little DFA records, but Snowy’s quiet, slightly nervous musing contradicts the jumpy, deep-sea exploration instrumentation that’s going down on the song. Again, there’s a lot of shit happening in every which direction, but its nonetheless a beautiful track.

After a short, slightly disturbing instrumental in the form of ‘Pension’, there comes the shimmery, funk-erific ‘Primality’. I’ve said it a couple times, but listening to this and trying to analyse what’s going on is like trying to convince Hulk Hogan to become transexual. There’s a great juxtaposition going on of flurrying, diamond-tinged synths with straight up indie rock n roll, and again, Snowy’s vocals are damn delectable.

I’ve only reviewed one four-track EP, but Snowy’s Bandcamp page is full of consistently jaw-dropping stuff. I’m really bummed I forgot to review it earlier, but I’ll take this opportunity to tell you that you need Snowy in your life like you need a liver for a big night out. Relaxing yet exciting, his solo stuff would make even the most hipster of indie rockers blush in jealousy.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the best part-All (repeat: ALL) of his stuff is completely, 100% totally free. You can grab it from his Bandcamp here. 

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Video(s)-Flume & Chet Faker (!) + Death Grips + Mesa Cosa + SMILE +Ernest Ellis

Yeah, so I got behind on my work again, and there’s a bunch of videos that escaped my glorious reviewing. You should look and listen to all of them, lest you be cursed by a gypsy witch who’s really into Future Classic signees. Especially check out the Death Grips and SMILE clips; they’re alarmingly different but some of the best shit you’ll see/hear all week/month/year.

Flume & Chet Faker-Drop the Game

Boom! Did you fucking read that shit? Flume! Chet Faker! Boom! Yeah! Cool! Two of the most hyped acts to come from Australia in recent years, along with Tame Impala and POND, have joined forces to deliver a pretty brutal R&B chilltronica jam that would put a R Kelly/Washed Out collaboration to shame. Flume does what he does best, squishy, squelchy beats that reverse into squeals in the most adorably addictive way, but its Chet Faker that shines on this track, his voice singularly taking this track from a fairly average club hit to something you could listen to anywhere and still thoroughly enjoy.

As for the accompanying video, its okay. It depicts a deserted urban street (do those exist anymore?) and a dude  doing some pretty cool dance moves. Nothing happens, and that’s a bit of a let-down for such a fluid and full song, but hey, what are you gonna do?

Death Grips-You Might Think He Loves You For Your Money But I Know What He Really Loves You For It’s Your New Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat

On the one hand, I regret posting the video for the new Death Grips track, because the title took me about half an hour to write. On the other hand, holy fucking shit! This song might be the best thing Death Grips have ever done! Its gritting, strung-out, visceral and challenging, but has a noise to it that one can’t help but think….FUCK!

This return to form, musically and lyrically, is accompanied by a pretty fucking great video, out-of-focus shots of MC Ride absolutely losing his shit, something that you should all be doing right about now.

Mesa Cosa-Sydney

Now, although Mesa Cosa are ragging on about my hometown, Sydney aka the greatest place on Earth, because, ‘…The girls from Melbourne will miss me…’, I still fucking love Mesa Cosa, the Melbourne blokes who give garage rock a good name. Featuring the sort of high octane energy that inevitably leads to spewing your guts up on King Street,  nails-down-chalkboard guitar screech a sweaty bass line, ‘Sydney’ is a fucking awesome track, despite the fact it’s all about Sydney taking the band away from their loved ones. However, considering all the footage from Mesa Cosa’ shows at what looks to be Hotel Street and The Factory Theatre, I’d say the boys are lying through their fucking teeth, and at least one of them got laid while they were up here.

SMILE-Still Waitin’ For My Man

Taking things down a fair bit, but still in the realm of Melbourne, we’ve got SMILE’s clip for their track ‘Still Waitin’ For My Man’. This clip is one of the better things I’ve seen in a while, mainly because it fits the song so fucking well. Easy-going and breezy, the clip features drug dealing, chocolate ice-cream, and the most head-bopping chorus you’ll hear…ever. Man, the Go-Betweens would be so stoked to hear this song.

Ernest Ellis-Black Wire

I always said that a convulsing woman in a black leotard was sexy, and it looks like Ernest Ellis are out to prove me correct. Such a beautiful track, half-macabre synth waves, half-mushy Stone Roses-level forlornness, the clip undoubtedly captures the torture of the vocals. The solemn harmonica that comes in so subtly but strongly at the end-dancing bit just reinforces the harmonious beauty of the clip so hard, it makes me want to burst into a fit of tears. Then the song ends, and I have to play ‘TV Party’ until I feel masculine again. But a little part of me is screaming, ‘play Black Wire again!’

New: The Aves-Remote

A brand new one from Adelaide, from the garage darlings The Aves. Its a little bit San Cisco, without all the pimples and braces, and its also a little bit Strokes, without the drug addiction and Julian Casablancas egotism. ‘Remote’ rolls around like a bobble head on a dashboard whilst crossing the Nullarbor, sheens of sunlight poking through a dusty exterior. You might not get the hang of it the first listen, but keep it up, and you’ll soon be totally wrapped in the track.

New: The Amphibious Man-Split Gobs EP

So, I finally learned how to embed Bandcamp links, aren’t I just zany? Well, actually, if you want to hear some zany shit, listen to The Amphibious Man from Connecticut. I’m going to go ahead and assume that the name was inspired by the 1928 Soviet science fiction novel, because the shit these dudes play is weirder than walking in on two aliens ejaculating on each other.

Three tracks long, each song is more fucked up than a night out with Gary Busey. The opener ‘Lurkin’ is exactly as creepy as the name would suggest, a full-frontal assault of swamp rock mayhem. The riffs are dirtier than a 3 week old used condom, and the vocals on this track are beautifully atrocious. ‘Lurkin’ is basically like fucking The Creature from The Black Lagoon.

Next track, ‘R.L. Stine’ is about as grimy as songs come, which is what one would expect with a song named after the famed ‘Goosebumps’ author. Some serious ghoulish shit goes down on this track, and you can’t help but feel like Lux Interior is breathing down your neck the entire time. Awesome.

Finally, ‘Mrs. Gulch’ rounds out the EP, sounding a cross between rock n roll fun times and apocalyptic mayhem. It would be the most accessible song on the EP, but that’s not to say that it isn’t one of the filthiest, shit-stained jewels of swamp rock that I’ve heard in recent history.

Overall, ‘Split Gobs’ is the EP that King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard would have made if they’d continued on the train of thought from ‘Dead Beat’, and lived in a perpetual state of Halloween. To write that short-hand, ‘Split Gobs’ is fucking killer.

Album Review: The Jones Rival-The Jone Rival EP

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Okay, despite what it says on the tags of their Soundcloud page (the Wikipedia of demos, b-sides and private streams for reviewers who don’t know the difference between its and it’s aka yours truly), The Jones Rival are a rock ‘n’ roll band. Sure, their music is a little bit earl 2000’s, but is there anything wrong with that. The Vines’ debut album ruled, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone with the balls to say that The Hives and The White Stripes sucked. The Jones Rival are similar to bands with the letters ‘JO’ forming the front half of a word in their band name, like The Jim Jones Revue and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. They’re loose, raw and have enough MC5 love to go around the bend a couple times.

Seriously, when you listen to some of the songs on their debut EP, The Jones Rival less resemble a band, and more a blistering hurricane of rock n roll fury. Like The Von Bondies at their prime, The Jones Rival pack as much heat, sweat and bombastic power into every riff that they deliver.

Chorus’ and guitar solos are the band’s specialty, and they do them well. The chorus’ are full-blown and screamed like a murder from Se7en just took place in front of their eyes. Every song on the EP features a solo that is short and swift, and yet, will break your back and blow out your eyeballs if you look at it for too long. ‘My Aim’ and ‘Broke Up’ get special mention for being beautifully destructive.

Overall, The Jones Rival take the rock ‘n’ roll formula, and abuse it until its a snapping at anything and everything. They breathe a life into their music that is vicious and fucking awesome. A fantastic start for a band.

Although I’m pretty late to the party on this one, you can catch The Jones Rival playing the last night of their residency at Oxford Art Factory, this Saturday, the 23rd of November. If their live show is anything like their sounds on record, it should be a fucking great show.

Album Review: Nathan Roche-Watch It Wharf

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Listen up, you crazed minstrels of madness, as Nathan Roche has a solo record out that will rock your balls off. ‘Who the fuck is Nathan Roche?’, I hear you whisper to yourself in gobsmacked awe. Nathan Roche is a bloke that you would’ve seen somewhere. He’s hard to miss. Not only did he front the fuck out of Marf Loth (R.I.P), but he’s also been involved in the anti-supergroup Camperdown & Out, as well as Disgusting People, and a plethora of other projects I’ve no doubt forgotten. And if you haven’t seen any of those acts, (firstly, what the fuck is wrong with you?) then you may have seen him at every gig worth going to. He’s tall, skinny and got a mane like a lion that enjoys chomping durries. Oh yeah, and he’s more friendly than Big Bird dealing out samples of his latest crack recipe.

Anyway, after stints in pretty much everything, Nathan Roche has had a go at doing the old solo-project thing. And fuck me timbers is it great! It’s like a Sydney-based, 2013 adaptation of Kevin Smith’s magnum opus ‘Clerks’. If you haven’t seen it, go to this link, and consider yourself a better person. But why does a bloke from Sydney in a bunch of awesome bands, who’s released a slacker rock solo album deserve to be compared to one of the best films of all time?

Well, firstly, both ‘Clerks’ and ‘Watch It Wharf’ are snide, slacker masterpieces that stick out in the mind, even when surrounded by a whole bunch of other great contemporaries. Besides Nathan Roche’s own projects, (seriously, check out Marf Loth, they are fucking great) there’s more going on in the slacker rock scene of our abounding suburbs and states than there ever has been. Think about our good mates Unity Floors and Chook Race (and by good mates, I mean bands that I live through to an unhealthy and jealous degree. Is that creepy?). However, Nathan Roche’s songs and deep, lumbering voice are just too good to simply let slide by.

Secondly, like ‘Clerks’, the piece starts off as a light-hearted bunch of sketches, that gives the term ‘entertaining’ a whole new meaning. Try not to bounce your head and curl your lips into a blissful grin to songs like ‘Serafina’(free download), ‘Come On’, ‘Mines & Chess’. However, like the film, ‘Watch It Wharf’ turns these skits into actual, totally-applicable life advice. In ‘Clerks’, there’s a bunch of monologues, and I guess the same can be said for what Nathan Roche does in ‘You Are What You Are’. The song in question tells the tale of a drunken Roche that tried to get into the historical part of Finger Wharf, and was rejected for being a sloppy mess. With a catchy, rollicking guitar part and Roche’s signature drawl, the chorus of ‘You are what you are, ooo la la la, you are what you are’ rings true in the only way the ninth track of a ten track album can. In all seriousness, and when you get down to actually listening to the lyrics of the song, it becomes apparent that Nathan Roche is actually departing some hard-hitting truths disguised as a slacker-pop track. You can’t fucking help what you are, so accept that shit and move on.

Thirdly and finally, there’s Roche’s voice. That thing is more unique than a sober, un-preachy speech from John Lennon post-Beatles. It’s a tangled, lively drone, that wrings out an addictive nature like Patrick Bateman wrings the blood from his sheets (American Psycho, another great film/novel). Listening to Nathan Roche half-mumble, half-gargle his words into long, poetic sentences in front of sliding, bogan guitars, you’d have to be a total dickweed not to let yourself be swept up in the whole distinctive fun of it all.

Drifting along to ‘Watch It Wharf’, you’ll realise how much of a smart bloke Nathan Roche is, and how he’s able to construct that intelligence into a speech that the everyday dole-bludger can appreciate. Lackadaisical, loose and  more fun than doing lines of coke with Jack Nicholson and Humphrey Bogart, ‘Watch It Wharf’ is a fucking great album that makes up another part of the NR collection.

Nathan Roche seems to play just about fucking everywhere, all the time, so it shouldn’t be that hard to catch him live. However, the Sydney launch for ‘Watch It Wharf’ will be occurring at The Square on December 13. It’s a double launch (oh my!) with Angie and her recent solo effort (it’s a killer record, and you might know her from Straight Arrows and Circle Pit). Red Belly Black Snake and The Friendsters are playing support.

Oh yeah, and ‘Watch It Wharf’ is out now on Fartpound Records.

New: Pigeon-Two Moon Love

What do Phoenix and Pigeon have in common? Well, they’re both named after birds (one, a mythical creature of flame, the other, a rat with wings; go figure) and they are both acts with electrifying brands of electro-pop.

Now while the former are international superstars of the baguette variety, ya mates Pigeon are locals from Brisbane, which means it won’t cost you an arm and a leg when they inevitably tour their brand new single ‘Two Moon Love’. Very Simian Mobile Disco-ish, with wish-washy synths gargling down the vocals, and some frivolous guitar splashing its weight around, ‘Two Moon Love’ is damn explosive.

 

New: Tom Lark-Haircut

You may or may not know the name Tom Lark, but consider this as the introduction to the song you’ll be enjoying all summer. ‘Haircut’ is the perfect  slice of indie-pop, in that it is short and sweet, and gets right to the heart of being the most loveable and enjoyable piece of music that it can be. Tom Lark will make you want to move and groove like its 2011 all over again, except this time around, ‘Haircut’ replaces ‘Pumped Up Kicks’.

Video: Food Court-Smile At Your Shoes

For the video to the title track of their debut EP, Food Court take up the position that this city needs, but not the one it deserves. That’s right, the blokes behind the local fuzzy rock n roll that you love so much are rollerblade vigilantes, and they’re here to tell you to quit fucking around with ice cream, skateboards, and lipstick. I’m sure there’s some deeper meaning here about how the material world is taking away from our ability to enjoy ourselves, but all I can see is the band having an absolute fucking blast fucking around on shoes that roll. Oh yeah, and the song fucking rules.

Album Review: Sagamore-Sagamore EP

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Sagamore are the kind of beautiful Australiana treasure that only exists in Banjo Paterson poems. They combine luscious guitar atmosphere with a little organ flair and enough Aussie accent to kill Ben Cousins. Sagamore’s music is, frankly, gorgeous. Like, if late 70’s Iggy Pop went to Adelaide for a couple years and hung out with Ben Folds and Brian Wilson for a bit, then re-located to Melbourne (as Adelaide musicians are wont to do) and hung out with Twerps and Dick Diver, then I feel as though a band such as Sagamore could have come to fruition.

As it happens, none of that shit happened, and unless time machines, kidnapping and luck all happen to suddenly exist as legal and plausible entities, it looks as though Sagamore will exist as the only thing that sounds like Sagamore. Which I guess is a good thing, because on their debut, self-titled EP, oh boy do they sound fantastic, and it would probably be shit if a strung out, self-entitled late 70’s Iggy Pop got thrown in the mix.

The opening track for the EP, ‘Good Love’ sets the scene for what will be the most pleasant 20 minutes and 55 seconds of your day. ‘Good Love’ slowly slides up and down in a mesmerising fashion, and lackadaisical guitar plucking its way along like a rowboat on the Mississippi River. It shimmers and shines with the sort of holy, naturalistic vibe of a thousand fireflies in the sky at night. It has the rollicking, personal feel of a couple mates at a campfire in the middle of Fuck Knows Where, just hanging out with a couple instruments, and having a laugh.

The next track, ‘I Had A Dream’, is a sorrowful and tear-stained regret anti-anthem, a solid but not illogical departure from the opening track. The muddly guitar rolls on its back, whilst the harmonica cries whispers. Seriously, and I’m about to say something I’ve never said before, but the harmonica makes this song what it is. All the warbled trouble and pain that is so well-held in the vocals, guitar, organ and other instruments is completely let loose in the moments that the harmonica gets to take the limelight. The result is a song that will make you weep like you just watched Ryan Gosling get ugly in slow motion.

After a stellar double kick of two stunning songs, the EP slows into ‘Carry On’, a track that could have been created whilst on a train going cross-country. The slow song drags along in a delightfully entertaining way, whilst the sharp bursts of organ and vocals for the chorus ensure that it never gets boring. ‘Oh My Love’ is sort of similar to ‘Carry On’, in that it shifts between plodding and swelling in a friendly manner, albeit it does this in a more upbeat manner. Finally, the closer ‘Lover Got Another’ does a fine job of summarising the EP, with a swishing rhythm and alt-country vibe that would put Blitzen Trapper to shame. 

Although the EP might only get the attention for the first two tracks, Sagamore have put out an EP that is full of well-thought out and incredibly produced music. Everything about Sagamore shows a quiet beauty that one can’t help but admire, and get kind of jealous over.