Album Review (s): The Noise Figures + No Monster Club + The Perms + perth + $CVM

There are actually too many albums that are too good to not review, and spread the word about. My life has become an existensial crisis of to review or not to review. My Year 11 English teacher would be so proud, quoting Hamlet like I know it or some shit. Anyway, onto the albums that are amazing.

The Noise Figures-The Noise Figures

You know who The Noise Figures remind me of? The Black Angels. Only, instead of going on weird tangents that occur for 50% of the Angels’ songs, The Noise Figures cut the bullshit to two/three minute spiels of gorgeous garage-psych. They just ooze a natural prescence of cool, like they’re band was made up of Dan Auberach, Kim Deal, Jack White and Courtney Taylor-Taylor. Actually, thats a pretty good description of the vibes you get on the record: Dandys-cum-Black Keys-cum-Breeders-cum-White Stripes. That immediacy and simple fun that came so readily during the ‘New Wave’ of garage bands in the early 2000’s has been lost in recent time, replaced by dreary hipsterisms. But there’s no short of it from The Noise Figures. It’d be unfair to pick any one song from the album and go into great detail, because honestly, all the songs are jam-packed tunes that scream ‘We’re a young band, having a fuck load of fun’. The purity that radiates from the tracks is intoxicating, and frankly, if you can’t get into at least one song on the album, then you need to put down the Nietzsche, go the fuck outside and play some of that awesome Noise Figures.

No Monster Club-Foie Gras

Now, when you name your album after a dish that requires a liver…well, let’s just say that’s a ballsy move. I can’t really work out the deal with No Monster Club-they’re a good band, but not necessarily my thing. Regardless, ‘Foie Gras’ is a good album, so I’m inclined to spread the word about them.

Their sound is akin to good-times relationship-centric bands like The Airborne Toxic Event and Los Campesinos! That’s an immediately good thing, for if you’re going to be an indie rock band, those are pretty good idols to have. But luckily, the majority of No Monster Club’s songs are at the level of which those other bands peaked, and even in some cases, such as ‘La La Land’ and the adorably tropical ‘I Wanna Be Brainwashed’, the songwriting surpasses their heroes.

Look, there’s no doubt that No Monster Club are a fun band. Their songs are catchy, their rife with hooks and the light-hearted nature of their tunes allows their album to spin along at a giddy and enjoyable pace. Of all the indie rock bands that I could’ve reviewed, these guys are undoubtedly one of the better ones.

The Perms-The Aberdeen EP

Again, the subject is indie rock, but this one’s a little more wild and Cage the Elephant-y. Hell, the EP is called ‘Aberdeen’, which is the title of one of Cage the Elephant’s better songs. Although fun-loving like No Monster Club, its a very different sort of fun, the kind that says lets go drink a fuck load of whisky and go see the reformed Sex Pistols play a shitty set, and then let’s yell obscenities at them. The chorus are full and coarse, almost a little brutal. If Lynyrd Skynyrd were still around today (or are they? who cares) and were fronted by Dave Grohl, you’d get something along the lines of The Perms. Songs like ‘The Parent Thing’ force themselves into your conciousness with simple and polished power hooks that sink into your mind with an instantly likeable twang. You can get ‘The Aberdeen EP’ from CD Baby right here.

 perth-What’s Your Utopia?

I remember playing ‘Drank and Kites and Tomorrow’ from the band perth (with a lower case ‘p’ nonetheless, just to fuck over grammar Nazi’s. You’re move ∆lt-j) on the radio the other day and simply falling in love with it. Smooth, textured and simply loving electronica/psych music with a little bit extra to it, some meat that I couldn’t quite figure out no matter how much I chewed.All up, its better just to swallow it rather than ponder on the obscure ‘it’ factor that makes perth so goddamn delicious to listen to. It switches effortlessly between a bunch of genres, but always treads lovingly on the path of indie electronic music. If Four Tet were to swallow a bunch of Toro Y Moi bleach and overdose on some Washed Out pills, you’d get the sort of disturbed, tranquil and gorgeous feel of perth’s ‘What’s Your Utopia?’ album. From start to finish, the whole thing reeks of being amazingly talented. Fuck this Arcade Fire bullshit, if you want some indie music that’s tied down solidly with electronic pulses, listen to perth.

$CVM-$CVMS 4 B L A C K

A solid thankyou to my man in Amsterdam Clancina for finding this stunner of an album for me. Imagine if Death Grips were overtaken by MF DOOM. Those super slow, super hypnotic beat-centric instrumentals that were made for love-making, crossed with an attitude of abrasiveness that demands action. The album starts off very slow, trading lightly but confidently, squishy, mushy beats making up the majority for the sound. On ‘2001/$ince the Era’, theres a bit of a Tribe Called Quest thing going on with horn samples cut under vinyl scratches. Then, we make our way deep, deep down the rabbit hole, into an era of noise and oblivion. Shit starts getting fucked up royally, and honestly, that’s the only way to do it. The further you go through the album, the more and more dark and mesmerising the music becomes, glitchy beyond recognition and completely  transfixing. If the Hypno-Toad from Futurama was a real thing, and was just a really big fan of Death Grips, then $CVM would probably be his favourite thing in the history of ever. And you don’t wanna fuck with the Hypno-Toad’s musical preferences. That amphibian has great taste.

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Album Review: Fait Accompli-Dreams

Although they’ve been alive and kicking since around 2006, I didn’t figure out my life with the accompaniment of Fait Accompli until I heard one of their tracks on a My Sydney Riot compilation. Over there, the band are regular contributors, and every time another of their wonderful compilations comes out, there’ll usually be a new track up there, along with similar-minded party-starters like Pirates Alive and Samoan Punks. Since then, I’ve been pretty stoked with the shit that they keep pumping out. So it comes as no surprise that their debut album is fucking brilliant.

In case you’re not affiliated with the Fait Accompli ways, let me lay it out for you. They play convinced, straight up rock music that could be found on a Foo Fighters album, and mix it with a fury that is more in the style of Rancid. Then, they mix in just the right amount of calmness to quell the storm and add texture, similar to what The Pretty Littles and The Smith Street Band. Slap on a hearty Aussie accent, and you’ve got a three piece that are ready to blow up brain cells.

However, its not until the second track that Fait Accompli really start kicking into gear. Although the title track and opener is pleasant,  ‘Be Mine’ is the one that grabs the attention. Starting with a slightly melancholic guitar, it soon shifts gear like one of the many impossible moments of a Fast and Furious plot crux. It explodes with a vitality and charisma of a Martin Luther King Jr. speech, spewing forth romantic accolades over a melody that sounds like The Offspring returned to the coke-fuelled days of ‘Smash’. The theme of Arnold Schwarzenegger-lite riffs continues in a couple of the later songs as well,  providing entertaining-as-fuck platters of delight. Seriously, listening to the breakdown of ‘Lost in The City’ is like walking into your bedroom to find out that the lost sprawl of Atlantis has been chilling in your bedside fish tank all along. What, I’m trying to say is, there’s a gigantic orgasm hiding right under the people of Sydney’s noses with these songs.

Although, as I iterated before, its not always a guitar-powered steamroll of the brain. The quieter tracks ‘Hold Onto You’ and ‘Death of a Caesar’ provide warm relief to the bombastic-ness. Although far from being the highlights on an album full of amazing rock tracks, they are great songs in their own right, packed with some nice lyrics and heart-breakin’ vibes.

However, and I don’t know whether this comes down to a well-ingrained bias or something, the older songs are the ones that grind my pleasure complex in the right ways. The re-recorded, additional guitar-solo blow up ‘Blue Eyes’ is a fantastic, mosh-ready track, but the one that blows me away every time, and probably always will, is ‘Ride’. Ever since I first heard that song, back when I was a bubbling, chubby and bright-eyed about the world, ‘Ride’ always singled itself as a special track for me. Even in the newest format (I swear, there’s about fifty slightly different versions of this song) ‘Ride’ still has the power and poignancy of a standout rock track. From the built-up, layered intro, to the wistful verses, from the eyes-closed-driving-on-a-highway chorus to the orgasmic finish, ‘Ride’ completes everything that makes a great rock song in absolute decadence.

Overall, I’m glad Fait Accompli finally stopped doing the EP thing and released an album. Don’t get me wrong, I loved all the EP’s, they were all down-right fantastic. But having an album means that I can finally go to an “album launch”, and hopefully experience a new side of the wild show that Fait Accompli put on (I forgot to mention they’re a killer live band).

Anyway, the album is available for free from the band’s Bandcamp, which is just one of the myriad of reasons to pick up ‘Dreams’. Fuarking get on it, son/daughter!

New: Tape/Off + Girl Band + Forests + White Lodge + Francis Lung (former Wu Lyf) + The Solicitors + Ernest Ellis

New songs are like herpes: you can’t get rid of them, and although they might annoy you at times, they make you a better person. Or something like that. None of these songs are annoying. In fact, they’re all awesome.

Tape/Off-Pedestal Fan

The Brisbane connection for Tape/Off isn’t too hard to listen out for in their new single ‘Pedestal Fan’.  Tape/Off are similar to other Brisbanauts Violent Soho and DZ Deathrays, but slightly more brutal, like an elephant charging through a cymbal shop. The tight snares, semi-bellowed vocals and raucous nature of the song makes people like me tight in the loins. But, despite the noise orgy, there’s a bit of melody shining through, turning your average schizophrenic guitar mess. Although short as fuck, ‘Pedestal Fan’ hits the sweet spot that makes garage and punk fans drool like someone shoved a water balloon down their throats.

Girl Band-Lawman

More cut-throat savagery, this time from Girl Band. The first thing you’ll probably notice about their track ‘Lawman’, is that its really quiet. It starts at a factory-floor pace, chugging along the conveyer belt. All of a sudden, there’s an unloading of squealing, dirty guitar. And it doesn’t stop, just torrents of noise, kind of like what I imagine happens every time Thurston Moore took a shit back in the late 80’s. The song is absolutely beautiful and distorting, taking sudden turns destroying your brain and haphazardly trying putting it back together. When the song finishes, your mind will look like a half-melted candle assembled by a 3 year old with the motor skills of an iguana on crack. Loud, vicious and entirely unpredictable, ‘Lawman’ is fucking rad.

Forests/White Lodge Split 7″

Now, getting slightly more friendly, but not even close to being out of the fuzz zone, its a split 7″ between the glorious White Lodge and a band called Forests. Forests (not to be confused with Forest Swords, or actual forests) are from Taiwan. I know fuck all about Taiwan, so from now on, if anyone asks, I’ll just say that it’s a place in South East Asia where an awesome band called Forests is located. Super-dooper-Koopa-Trooper they are, with a sound that could place nicely in any Ty Segall record. The fuzz overloads on the Forest songs ‘Ego Bender’ and ‘The Fall’ are ripped right from the heart of the current San Fran psych-garage scene, and it could not have been executed better if it were done by John Dwyer himself. The songs are bright, sparkly, and best of all, absolutely keeling over on overdosed acid-tinged guitar freakouts. Fucking brilliant.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the 7″, its Queensland-reppin’ psych lords White Lodge. Interestingly enough, they’ve moved away from the heavy psych, and into the lighter territory of Burnt Ones/Thee Oh Sees styled psych-garage. ‘Her Spell’ hops along at a breakneck pace, the surf-rock verses just a faint illusion that is smashed apart by the grovelling, blood-stained chorus. ‘Flower Eyes’ sees a slight return to the slowed-down badassery, but only at the beginning. It soon divulges to be another fast-paced, speed-laced flower-pop tune like The Black Lips used to make. Regardless, this 7″ needs to be owned by all lovers of anything good.

Francis Lung (former Wu Lyf)-A Selfish Man

I was a massive fan of Wu Lyf, and their self-described ‘Heavy Pop’, and it came as a bit of a blow when they broke up. They were one of the few ‘indie rock’ bands that really challenged the cocoon of sound that most bands had adopted to sell a fuck load of records. Now that the band is a thing of the past, former member Francis Lung has struck out on his own with this debut track ‘A Selfish Man’. There’s a lot going on here, but you wouldn’t know it. Lung manages to compact all the sounds on the song, and weave it into a beautiful little tapestry. And, yeah its smooth as fuck, like Ron Burgundy wearing silk.

https://soundcloud.com/the-solicitors-1/help-me-forget

The Solicitors-Help Me Forget

Power-pop is a genre that more or less faded after the 80’s. There hasn’t been any heaps, heaps ultra gewd power-pop bands that spring to mind that were around after Replacements’ ‘Pleased to Meet Me’, and in my mind, Weezer doesn’t make the cut as an altogether power-pop band. However, The Solicitors are well-placed in that genre beyond any shade of doubt. The positive-ness that radiates off the negative nature of the songs is so unsubtle, its like a warzone of good times. Like their hero Alex Chilton, The Solicitors make the kind of catchy pop that resonates for a while after the song has finished.

Ernest Ellis-Shine Like Me

It seems like Ernest Ellis is always bringing out new shit for his loyal disciples to froth over. That’s not a bad thing, by the way. That’s a really, really good thing. And it just got better, via the track ‘Shine Like Me’. His beautiful vocals drop over a sharp and delicate guitar pattern, whilst bright keys occasionally dance underneath. And then that chorus hits, and boom, you’re hooked like Dustin Hoffman’s character for the 1991 smash hit Peter Pan sequel. ‘Shine Like Me’ is a gratingly brilliant song, that again shows off the amazing skillz of Ernest Ellis.

If you’re keen for more Ernest Ellis, he’s bringing out a new record in March, and will be playing a show at Brighton Up Bar on February 28. Schweeeeeet!

New: Community Radio + The Harry Heart Chrysalis + Melt Yourself Down + Bunny’s A Swine + Pop. 1280 + Purling Hiss + Speedy Ortiz + Astro Children + International Karate

More new songs here than I have failed romances. Hell yeah for trying! On a serious side-note, I’ve been trying to get this article published for ages, so there’s quite a few more ‘new’ songs than there usually would be. They’re all mad sweet awesome though!

 

 

Community Radio-Wildflower (free download)

Straight off the bat, and we’ve got something new from a band that has a name that’s damn impossible to find on Facebook. Community Radio are from Surry Hills (yay!), and they make the most melancholy of dream-pop (yay!). In the same vein as The Ocean Party and Ciggie Witch, ‘Wildflower’ comes off Community Radio’s new EP, also called ‘Wildflower’. Now, although my only association with flowers is that its the shit I have to buy when I fuck up, Community Radio make it sound a little more expansive and cool, especially with that delectable bass line. Awesome shit, especially because its straight outta Sydney, sounds great, and its free!

Bonus Fun Fact: Cameron Emerson-Elliot, the guy who’s responsible for this little bit of magic, is also in Songs (wow!) and plays in Youth Group.

The Harry Heart Chrysalis-You Are Not A Rarity

 

At first glance, ‘You Are Not A Rarity’ comes off as a lovely, even quaint track. It bumbles along like a stream in the forest, as anyone who comes across it is pleasantly charmed. But once you really listen to the lyrics, the track reveals itself to be more cynical than the usual acoustic number usually is. Lyrics like “If I could take you anywhere, I’d take you off my mind…there’ll never be a next time”, the embittered nature of the track appeals itself a fuck load more than the average folk-y track does. It has the same poignancy of ‘Little Lion Man’, a quietly ferocious track that hides itself amongst some beautiful guitar. Let’s just hope that The Harry Heart Chrysalis keeps pumping out the good tunes, and doesn’t go the Mumford way of embodying the douchey frat guy who plays ‘Wonderwall’ at every party.

Melt Yourself Down-Fix My Life (Ribongia Remix) (free download)

 

And, as soon as I lowered your heart beat, I’ll raise it right the fuck up again. I’m like some sort of cruel God, aren’t I? My tool of power comes in the form of a recent remix by Sydney bass maestro Ribongia. The song in question is a bit of an older one, one of the first singles from UK based acid-jazz-funk freaks Melt Yourself Down. Whilst the original track was enough to pour acid into the crevices of one’s brain, the remix adds a tension and heaviness that is rare nowadays. Without getting carried away, the track still sways with a jungle fever, like a track that would be played right before an ancient tribe removed the bones from your body in cannibalistic sacrifice.

Bunny’s A Swine-Hot Water

 

Swinging into the usual contingent of new garage rock, its Northampton band Bunny’s A Swine. Unlike NOBUNNY, the only other bunny related garage band I know of, Bunny’s A Swine are like a Canadian version of the usual ferocity associated with amateur rock. They slide around in a polite but direct manner, and it makes for some great slacker vibes, a la Built to Spill. Hell, ‘Hot Water’ could come on at any college radio station and have half the staff immediately bopping their heads along. A great treat!

 

Pop. 1280-Machine Trauma

Pop. 1280 have a name inspired by a Jim Thompson crime novelWith just that bit of information, you can already tell that the band will either be really awesome, or a gem of pretentiousness. It seems like a bit of a case of hypocrisy, coming from the most pretentious man-boy on the planet, but hey, I’m the one writing. Anyway, I trust Sacred Bones Records to only sign the best bands, and once again, they prove to be one of the most forward thinking labels in the world. ‘Machine Trauma’ is a third-The Men, circa ‘Leave Home’ era, a third-Golden Era Dischord, and a third space punl. Powered by a drum machine, swirling reverb and absolutely zero fucks given, ‘Machine Trauma’ makes you want more Pop. 1280 like I want more people to pay attention to me (a hypocrite and a narcissist, I’m a psychologist’s wet dream).

 

Purling Hiss-Lolita (free download)

Purling Hiss once again show that with a great name, comes great responsibility to kick ass. Featuring one of the most powerful, Black Sabbath-y riffs since ‘Paranoid’, Purling Hiss also manage to add some power-pop to their usual brand of noise-metal. Yes, ‘Lolita’ is unusually cleaner than their previous output, but truth be told, I’m digging a Purling Hiss song where I can hear the instruments intertwine with each other like the badass cobras they are. Actually, they’re more badass than that, the sound is more like cobras that wield twin-machine guns. Yeah, that’s how badass they are. Anywho, there’s guitar solo’s abound on this track, and the deep bass groove remains awesome as ever.

https://soundcloud.com/carparkrecords/speedy-ortiz-everythings

 

Speedy Ortiz-Everything’s Bigger

Although fresh from a debut album that was put out last year (have to keep reminding myself that we’re in a new year), Speedy Ortiz are going at it again with a new EP. ‘Everything’s Bigger’ is the first single from the EP, and it shows that they’re moving into a Sleater-Kinney pattern more so now than ever. There’s still The Breeders on there, and the Pavement twang, but now there’s a slight snarl in the chords and the quiet-loud formula is so very grunge. And we all know how fucking great grunge was. Love this track, can’t wait for the EP to show its pleasant face.

 

Astro Children-Eden (free download)

More female-led rock that makes you want to get up and start a band a fraction as good as the one you’re listening to. This one comes via a mate Ian, who runs Fishrider Records over in New Zealand. One listen to this, and you’ll realise why I’m always going on about how New Zealand may or may not have a better pop scene than Australia. Far-away, shoegaze dream-pop that smacks you upside your pleasure centre, it reminds of Opposite Sex mixed with Beach House. Under the flowing breezes, there’s some anger there, and I fucking like that. If you had any sense in your brain, you’d like it to.

 

International Karate-Survive (free download)

International Karate are a band from Minneapolis, and they play straight up and down indie rock music. There’s not that much more than can be said about them, and their brand new track ‘Survive’. Oh wait, fuck, yes there is! It’s a brilliant rock track, a catchy hook fest ripped right from the Teenage Fanclub handbook. If you can’t get into the groove and headbanging potential that this track is offering in abundance, there is something actually wrong with you. Its the kind of thing that indie bands used to play, before the Yeah Yeah Yeahs became really popular, and every hipster in New York who owned a guitar decided to write bad poetry and add mandolins to whatever song they were working on at the time. The basic nature works well with the whispered vocals, and allows the guitars to do their job to an extreme. Awesome shit.

Top 10 Things That Happened in 2013

Okay, just to clarify, this isn’t a list about the best shit that happened in 2013 for music. Although most of it is about some of the really, really great shit that happened, some of it is about some of the bad shit that happened in 2013. That is to be expected, so chin up buddy, dry those tears, and think about the sunny day that Violent Soho brought out their sophomore record, and forget about the time that Miley fucked a teddy bear. 

10. Chapter Music and I Oh You Records (tied)

This has just been such a fantastic year for both these top-notch Aussie record labels. Albeit on opposite ends of the music spectrum, and drastically varying in age (Chapter celebrating their 21st Birthday this year, and I Oh You celebrating their 4th), they have both released some of the best tunes this year, and rightfully won their place in the music community. Chapter Music released a stunning 15 or so records this year alone, with records ranging from the ‘dole-wave’ world-conquerers Dick Diver and The Stevens, to the long-awaited debut album from Primitive Calculators and another new one from The Cannanes. Meanwhile, I Oh You was out there putting on tours for the likes of Earlwolf, Foals (DJ’s) and getting the one and only Neon Love together for a reunion show. If that wasn’t enough, I Oh You also put out another one of my favourite records of the year, Violent Soho’s ‘Hungry Ghost’, and Snakadaktal’s debut record. They also managed to be a bunch of cockteasers and put out tantalising singles for City Calm Down and DZ Deathrays. If these labels can keep the pressure, there’s no telling how 2014 will end up.

9. New Shit From Bands That Haven’t Released Shit In A While

Beware, I’m not talking about bands that reformed, or broke their hiatus. I’m talking about bands that have never broken up, but have been ‘illin on the fringes of musical society, just waiting to return to form with strident singles. The aforementioned DZ Deathrays, Straight Arrows, HTRK, The Avalanches, Royal Headache, Seekae-just a few of the bands that blew us away with stand alone releases that said, “Fuck you, we’ve still got it.” If you haven’t checked out any of these singles…do it, you unintelligible ape!

8. Shitty Albums That People Thought Would Be Way Better Than They Actually Were

Ooooh, the first hot topic! I’m not just talking about Daft Punk here, there were so many built up albums this year that fell flatter than an ad campaign for Vaginal Warts. Arctic Monkeys, Sebadoh, No Age…just a short list of albums I listened to that I wish I hadn’t had, so I could dedicate more time to wistfully thinking about making sweet love to Robert Pollard. But that’s not even scratching the surface of bands like Cloud Control, Cults, Weekend, Soft Metals, Obits and Franz Ferdinand. A lot of bands that I was expecting to deliver stunning results returned with meagre offerings that either cruised along on the strength of predecessors, or worse, fucking sucked.

7. Solo Projects

For me, the term ‘solo project’ is a bit of a dirty word. Most of the time, they’re warning stories for the over-eager frontmen and women. Just ask Johnny Borrell, Johnny Marr or Noel Gallagher…if your album isn’t awesome, you kind of lose all credibility,and come off looking like a wanker. But luckily, there was a whole swag of Australian artists that went out on their own and wandered out as deadset legends. Nathan Roche, Angie, Kirin J Callinan, Geoffrey O’Connor, and Alex Cameron are just a couple names that released some stellar records this year that only get better with repeat listens. No point getting too much into it, just go fucking listen to them yourself. Trust me, these records are more on the Bob Dylan side of the solo spectrum, in terms of awesomeness.

6. Boutique Festivals

In a year where shit is getting fucked up ALL over the place for major music festivals, whether it be the gargantuan amount of drug related arrests, Blur cancelling on Big Day Out, or AJ Maddah telling people that their favourite bands suck tremendous amounts of horseshit, major festivals are becoming more and more fucked. I can’t tell you how pissed I was when I missed the chance to see Massive Attack, Superchunk, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Neutral Milk Hotel all in the same place for Harvest festival, only to see it collapse before my very eyes. And lets not even touch on hip-hop festivals this year, with Rap City, Supafest, Movement all being cancelled.

However, with the absence of ya boiz 50 Cent and T.I, boutique festivals have continually outshone their counterparts. The ‘original’ boutique festival, Laneway, has gone international, and their 2013 edition was fucking awesome. Japandroids, Divine Fits and POND all left massive dents in my brain, right were the pleasure centre is located. Other festivals like OutsideIn, Strawberry Fields and the upcoming, sold-out Secret Garden festival (which frankly has the most amazing lineup I’ve ever seen) continue to dominate. Oh, and Sound Summit was one of the most pleasurable and unique experiences of my entire life, a smorgasbord of musical delights that will probably never be collected in the same period again. Fuck me, if boutique festivals become a thing, how the fuck will yadda yadda capitalism, Soundwave, Nova 969, joke, haha.

5. Reformations-the fucking shit and the not-so-shit

Firstly, let’s talk about Black Flag. Maaaaan, did they fuck that one up. One of the all time greatest punk bands became a petty squablling bitch fit of the highest order, and at the end of it all, once-stoked fans where left with an album called ‘What The…’, which compromised of a bunch of piss-take ‘punk’ songs and an album cover that looked like ClipArt threw up. They fucking fired Ron Reyes onstage! Black Flag aside, bands that also wanted money to buy that brand-new toaster and reformed included Boyzone, The Backstreet Boys and Girls vs. Boys. It reads like a list of who-gives-a-shit.

However, on the plus-side, Jurassic 5, Philadelphia Grand Jury, and Powder Monkeys all put aside differences and got stuck into some gigs. And by some miracle, the mother fucking Replacements got together again! What! That’s amazing! I nearly blew a load when I heard that!

4. Electronic Music???

Electronic music has had a confusing year in 2013. On the one hand, there has been some absolutely froth-worthy local shit that has gotten tails wagging and genitals exploding. Touch Sensitive, Wave Racer, Cosmo’s Midnight and Hayden James have had stellar years, and underrated labels like Future Classic, Silo Arts, and Yes, Please have all shot to national attention, like synth induced erections. And let’s not even bother to touch on Flume-that guy gets enough deserved praise.

But in terms of mainstream music, the result has been mixed like a cocktail served by a squirrel with Parkinsons. Of course, Disclosure released that pretty killer album. But the likes of hardstyle trap from the likes of Baauer and DJ Snake, and the legions of mindless DJ’s that trample our radio waves that release forgettable single after another dilutes a lot of the mainstream appeal of electronic music. Not even new albums from Jon Hopkins, and Boards of Canada, or the embracing of the genre from indie rock icons like Arcade Fire and David Bowie, could distract from the likes of Knife Party destroying decent music. Although it is undeniable that electronica had a killer year on the local front, its better to forget that other shit happened outside of our shores.

3. Debuts

Face it, a lot of debuts came out in 2013, and they all rock me better than a hurricane. International props to the likes of Savages, FIDLAR, Eagulls, HAIM, Jackson Scott, SQURL, HUNTERS and Atoms For Peace. But that doesn’t even come close to the amount of talent that pooped out shining nuggets of debut gold this year in Australia. TV Colours, Gooch Palms, Bad//Dreems, Food Court, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, Zeahorse, Bloods…the list goes on…and on….and on. Batpiss, Clowns, Amateur Drunks, Reckless Vagina! Unity Floors, Day Ravies, The Stevens, SMILE! These are just a couple of my favourites, but you get the idea. There was a fuckload of bands that popped their cherry and the collective music community lost their shit. Blood was everywhere.

2. Miley Cyrus and the Death of the Child Star

Look, I actually don’t hate Miley Cyrus. I think her music sucks, her taste is awful, she acts and sounds like a spoiled brat and is a living cumstain, but she’s actually the perfect pop star that this generation needs. She’s like The Dark Knight of shitty, over-produced music. And good for her for completely shaking off the goodie Hannah Montana image.

But therein lies my point. The Jonas Brothers broke up this year, the Biebs has conveniently spray-painted, prostituted and retired (?) his way into a ‘bad boy’ image, and we all saw Miley nearly fuck Robin Thicke onstage at the VMA’s. Right now, there isn’t really a glistening child-star to sell t-shirts. Even Lorde, the youngest pop star of the moment is more grown up than the majority of twenty year old hipsters that infect her concerts just to say they saw ‘Royals’. She hung out with fucking David Bowie and Tilda Swinton for her birthday party!

Regardless, 2013 saw the Death of the Child Star, a feat that should both cause us to all be thankful, and astonished.

1. Local Garage Rock Hit a Fucking Peak

Garage rock, my favourite genre, has well and truly hit its peak at the moment, and shows no signs of declining. Seriously, attend any bar in any capital city in Australia, and there’s a 1-in-3 chance that there’s a garage rock band giving it 100% and blowing minds.

Not only is the live scene of garage rock well and truly at a high point, but the albums these bands are making are astoundingly good. Palms and The Gooch Palms released underdog debuts that blew everything out of the fucking water like a land mine in a kiddy pool. TV Colours took the usual formula and added dashing synths and samples to create a tale of fucked-up-ness that’ll have you massacring penguins just to get your hands on some more. And Bad//Dreems single handedly resurrected the sound that was left behind where GOD put it.

Outside of debuts, garage bands that have already established themselves continued to push shit further into the realm of amazeballs. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Witch Hats, Ooga Boogas and fuckloads of others continued to do what they do best-ensure that we, the shitstains of musical society, are enjoying their output more than humanly possible.

As if that isn’t enough, there’s new garage bands springing up all over the place, and the sound still hasn’t been tired out. Bands like Doctopus, The Living Eyes, Tiny Migrants and Adults are just a very small handful of the concoction of rock n roll music that is permeating our ears on a local level. If you haven’t done so, check out all of these bands and more.

We are living in a renaissance of the greatest form of amatuer music in all its forms, and the least you can do is contribute in some small way. 2013 was one of the best years for Australian music, garage and rock n roll specifically, because finally, all the years of hard work that these bands have done has started to pay off exponentially in fantastic records and performances. Get along to a show, buy a record, and ensure that 2014 means that local music is better than the last shitstain of a year.