Video: DZ Deathrays-Gina Works At Hearts

The lesson to learn from DZ Deathrays new video are twofold.

Firstly, if there’s a girl you know named Gina, fucking run. Run as fast as you can, and never look back. She will be a sexy, lingerie-clad, minx of the highest order, and will reek of beauty. But she is bad news. She will wear fake fur, rip out your heart, and judging by all the bathroom scenes, vomit on your best shoes while wearing your favourite shirt, an American flag singlet that screams ‘I like to party, and I’m single’.

Second lesson: Shane and Simon look really good in suits.

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Video: Big Smoke-Weekend

How fucking great is the weekend? That’s a rhetorical question, because the only person, or thing that would answer in the negative is Satan. Hit a couple brewskies, have a few laughs, possibly stick your dick in a watermelon…who knows?

Well, you’ve got fuck all on Melbourne’s Big Smoke. They, along with a bespectacled puppet, get amongst so much hardcore shit, they redefine debauchery. There’s coke, sex, watching sex, murder, and Mexican waves. And that’s if it’s a shitty one.

Album Review: Mac DeMarco-Salad Days

According to a little known blog called Wikipedia, the term ‘Salad Days’ refers to a point in life in which a person reflects on the better days of their youth. A vegetarian’s mid-life crisis if you will. It’s also the title for Mac DeMarco’s newest album. You may know him for being the penner of many a heartfelt twangy ballad that can tug the heart-strings whilst simultaneously poke fun of anything serious in nature. It’s this kind of humorous, love-sick poetry that has seen DeMarco fall into all our souls with the enthusiasm of bowling a strike for the first time, or losing your virginity.

However, there’s less of the usual Rolling Stones’ strung-out throwback vibes on this record than one would have thought. Gone is the lightly toe-tapping sheen, replaced with a more introspective thought. Instead of downing a Jagerbomb at the club and going to a rock n roll show at the beginning of the movie, the atmosphere of ‘Salad Days’ is closer to staring down the barrel of a stale Coopers ale at the local bowlo, cigarette dangling from your mouth and the occasional cough stirring from your otherwise lifeless body. If the album were a Star Wars character, it’d be post-invasion-of-Cloud-City-by-the-Empire Lando Calrissian.

The point of that very specific, ultimately nerdy metaphor is to point out that DeMarco has lost none of his supreme coolness, what with being the only black guy in the universe, and a killer moustache to boot. But now there’s a dark force looming above him, forcing his hand and causing that ultra-cool demeanour into a space that he’s never been before, a place he definitely doesn’t want to go. If Lando decided to drop the whole Rebel Alliance thing, he definitely would’ve created ‘Salad Days’.

The record starts out innocently enough, with the title track featuring a head-boppin’, shoulder-shakin’, hootin’-tootin’ guitar line, and a chorus of, “La, la la, la la”. Really, the only thing that gives away the emotion is the lyrics-“As I’m gettin’ older/ chip upon my shoulder/ floating through life to roll over and die”.

But progress is essential, and the music and lyrics get only more and more heartfelt and slick with tears. ‘Let Her Go’ is another deceivingly bouncy track, featuring guitar that could soundtrack the frolicking opening of a coming-of-age story starring River Phoenix, and ‘Passing Out the Pieces’ even chucks in a chuckling horn section. But there’s more lyrics like, “When the flower dies/You’ve got to say goodbye/ Let her go”, or “Every time that I turn/ I’m passing out pieces of me/ Dontcha know that nothing comes free?” that makes you think that maybe DeMarco’s going through a rougher time than the music is letting on.

However, this all changes with tracks like ‘Brother’, ‘Let My Baby Stay’ and ‘Go Easy’ providing deadset sadist self-gratification material. These pieces are tortured songs, with the guts spilling out onto the floor, forming milky, plodding sadness genius. These songs are specifically made to be listened to while waiting for the bus after just getting broken  up with.

‘Salad Days’ isn’t an album that’s haunting, or brooding, or gothic. It’s a breakup album sure, but it’s for the normal guy, the guy that doesn’t tease their hair or paint their fingernails black. It’s just normal, with normal guitars and normal heartbreak.

Video: Client Liaison-That’s Desire

Client Liaison have been well-documented on this website, due to the fact that they are one of the most fantastically gob-smacking acts on the planet right now. If you miss the 80’s, and all the coke, spandex and INXS that came with it, watch this video. The nostalgia will come rushing back like an orgasmic, synth-tinged tidal wave.

Although I was born halfway through the 90’s, watching this video makes me wish that I had been a contemporary to Olivia Newtown John. The moody VHS ballet accompanied by unashamedly sexy saxophone, and ‘uuuugh’ sound effects is what dreams are made of.

Be at Good God on Saturday, May 3rd, and watch your life change before your eyes.

Album Review: The War on Drugs-Lost In the Dream

I remember seeing the name The War on Drugs, and thinking to myself, ‘Woah, that’s so punk rock. Yeah, stick it to The Man…man!’. Then I tuned into ‘Baby Missiles’, and I became Mel-in-Flight-of-the-Conchords obsessed with the band. They had all these elements of psych-pop being bred into really bruised songs. The music floated by, but not without pinching and weeping the whole time. It was eclectic stuff, that managed to be soft as rainbow fluff and rough as Jason Statham at the same time.

Then I found out Kurt Vile used to be in the band, and it all became abundantly clear why my emotions where going through a therapy session run by The Terminator (Judgement Day edition, for those wondering). Now, it’s obvious that Kurt Vile has gone on to become one of the most revered indie musicians, but The War on Drugs have carved their own little niche.

Well that niche is about to expand into a fucking zeppelin, because the new record is pretty darn fantastic. Whilst Vile is long gone, Adam Granduciel has managed to let himself shine as a singer. ‘Lost In the Dream’ lives off of the winding, breezy tracks like dinosaurs lived off smaller dinosaurs. Listening to the album is a beautiful thing, and easy to lose yourself in, the densest indie rock forest since The National’s ‘Trouble Will Find Me’.

However, the voice…the voice! It soars off the palette of Granduciel, an indie rocker’s Picasso. Words drop out of his mouth and twine around the music like an endearing cat, and we all know how rare that is. Echoing whispers on ‘Disappearing’, strutting through the shimmering guitar on ‘Burning’, thrusting and agonising on ‘Red Eyes’…The man’s got his intonation’s down to say the least.

However, there is a problem with the album in that the songs kind of blend into one another. They twist on the themes of hurting, regret, and despair, and the music does a fantastic job of communicating that. But it can get tiresome after a while. There’s not too much wringing of the subject for the album to take the shape it could have. So, after you’ve finished listening to the second track ‘Red Eyes’ (which is undeniably amazing, and I’ll vasectomise anyone who disagrees), you can basically just sit back and let the rest of the album wash over you. There’s interesting parts, but nothing that altogether shifts the album into another gear, musically or lyrically. It’s not until the final track, ‘In Reverse’, when it seems like Granduciel is making an effort to show any confidence, rather than just be poetically wistful.

Don’t get me wrong, this album is great, but it’s not something that stands up and gives a message the same way that Kurt Vile can. The War on Drugs make beautiful music, but it’s like they’ve taken become a bit confused since ‘Baby Missiles’ brought them to my attention.

Album Review: The Men-Tomorrow’s Hits

The Men are the Golden Snitch of amazing bands. Everytime you think you’ve caught onto them, and you’re going to ride into Quidditch success, with all the bling, bitches and Cristal that brings, they slither out of your grasp and chameleonise themselves into a unique and beautiful gryffin. I don’t know how metaphors or the Harry Potter universe work.

It became all too easy to fall in love with The Men on their raging punk debut, but then they broadened their strokes and struck up a post-punk pose with ‘Leave Home’. Their third album continued to be punk rock as GG Allin’s scrotum by incorporating some more influences into the harsh brutality, and their fourth effort took turns between calming down the energy and ramping it up to newfound levels of clusterfuck punk genius.

So, it makes sense that ‘Tomorrow’s Hits’ would be another left turn. The Men have all but abandoned their punk/noise roots for a full album of Americana and bluegrass influenced tunes. What the fuck? Surely every fan will be turned into a retching pile of sadness seeing their former punk heroes go from crafting a brilliantly visceral piece like ‘Night Landing’ to wussying out with acoustic guitars and thinly-veiled threats of incestual sodomy?

Turn away your stereotypes right now, you bigoted, close-minded prude! Sure, that sentence could be an excellent (and accurate) example of hypocrisy, The Men prove to be an outlier of bands that can consistently change their sound and yet retain the magic of what their original fans were keen on. ‘Tomorrow’s Hits’ is an album so chock full of goodness, you could shove your head up the asshole of a vegan that recycles and still not be at the levels of amazing health that The Men showcase on this album.

Think of this-If David Bowie were re-incarnated into being a member of Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Phil Spector circa-Ramones were given production duties, then this is what would have resulted. The album has elements of grandiose and flash to it, and a sincere pop edge, but it’s delivered in a style that’s laidback and comfortingly warm. It’s like Bob Dylan or Townes Van Zandt got a rush of adrenaline straight to their spleens. The result can only be described as gorgeous.

Songs like ‘Get What You Give’, ‘Sleepless’ and ‘Settle Me Down’ are rollicking ballads that unfold at a more timeless place than a Morgan Freeman narration. Then there are high energy Stooges/Radio Birdman-esque romps of ‘Different Days’ and ‘Pearly Gates’. And finally, some good old fashioned twirlers like’The Dark Waltz’.

Initially, The Men seemed like a secret that wouldn’t be uncovered until past their prime, like all the proto-punks from Detroit. But although an album title like ‘Tomorrow’s Hits’ points towards such a future, The Men are a band that are too dedicated to their work of pumping out awesome songs to not be revered in their own lifetime.

New: Greta Mob + Geyser + Radar Eyes + Feral Media + perth x GUM + Wunder Wunder + White Caves + Velvet Morning

So much good music has been released recently. And it’s better than an android version of Johnny Depp sweating in a coal mine.

http://soundcloud.com/gretamob/gypsy-town-revisited-feat

 

Greta Mob-Gypsy Town (Revisited) feat. Spencer P. Jones

This song is the kind of old school bluegrass that’s been missing from the Australian landscape since The FUmes and The Blackwater Fever sort of disappeared. ‘Gypsy Town (Revisted)’ insists on getting better and better as time progresses. It starts as a bit of a swashbuckle, but nothing to write home about, and then descends into a heart-stomping, six-shooting, ‘bacco chewing badass. It growls and lunges with a danger that is as sincere as it is thrilling. It’s hard to decide which part is better-the Tex Perkins sneer of, “Never comin’ back again!’ or the solo that floors panties and wets loins faster than the sight of Spencer P. Jones featuring on this particular song.

 

Geyser-Geyser EP

Geyser are this fucking amazingly rad band that came out of nowhere. Why are they so good? They combine the elements of the two greatest rock bands in the history of time, Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr (anyone who said anything else is wrong) and mish-mash them together for a result that could be the most jizztastic explosion since The Scientists announced they were going on tour recently.

Geyser basically chucked four songs of dirty garage in a sewer of punk attitude, and everyone within earshot immediately begins to lose their shit. If you’re having a party, and need something to spruce it up (because let’s face it, most parties fucking suck) then chuck on a Geyser track. My personal money’s on ‘Jocko’, a sleazy, asshole-ripping number, but anything will suffice to take your shitty gathering of people that hate you into a ruckus festival.

 

Radar Eyes-Positive Feedback

Here’s some drawling, desperate garage-punk from Chicago’s Radar Eyes. Their music is amazing, and ‘Positive Feedback’ shows that they’re not gonna cash in for a tell-all low-budget, mini-series just yet. With a gnarled bass line, surf-rock riffs, some sloppy drums and howling Iggy Stooge x Ian MacKaye-esque vocals, there’s not much more you could want from garage rock.

Feral Media Mixtape feat. Bon Chat, Bon Rat, The Townhouses, Friendships and Tim Fitz

Press play on that first song by Bon Chat, Bon Rat. Your life will become infinitely better. In case your a cynical deadbeat, it’s a cover of INXS’s ‘Don’t Change’ that could have easily been made by an android constructed out of balsa wood and toy synths. It’s a gloriously unique and soothing take on a pub rock staple that’s been covered to the morgue and back, and almost never with dignity (here’s to Grinspoon).

Besides the best INXS cover ever, there’s a smooth, sad jam from The Townhouses, an electronica-ridden deep steam via Friendships and flourishing but quaint one from Tim Fitz that features a shout-out to “…the goon bag girls…”. Basically, it’s a how-to guide of amazing.

perth-Drank and Kites and Tomorrow (GUM Remix)

GUM is the moniker of famed Tame Impala member Jay Watson, so typing in perth to google is probably not going to help you out all that much when trying to find his recent remixes of excellent group perth’s work. But fuck around with the syntax a bit, I’m sure you’ll figure out something. Or alternatively, click play on the link right there. That’s probably a really good start.

Anyway, Watson brings the jungle-space vibes in hard and strong for his remix; the song starts like a space ship is about to take off, and then the song progresses to a kind of sound that wouldn’t be out of place in a peace-pipe circle. The result is a comforting and warm track that will resonate strongly with the psychedelic crowd.

Wunder Wunder-Coastline

Wunder Wunder define coastal pop. It’s like Best Coast were injected with The Drums steroids, and all traces of being appropriated for douche bags was misplaced for the next San Cisco track. There’s the weird, dancing synth line that reminds of Mwahaha, the psych-pop of MGMT, and the milky textures that all great head-bopping, road-tripping, crooked-smiling indie rock pertains to.

White Caves-DIG 7″

Old mates White Caves have just released a new 7″, and it’s pretty killer. There’s this lonesome, MBV guitar shrieks that introduce the title track, and instantly, you want to fly on one of those massive plot-solving eagles in Lord of the Rings. Kinda like Smile or Sunbeam Sound Machine getting thrown in a washing machine with a bunch of pedals.

Velvet Morning-Octocity

The Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood song ‘Some Velvet Morning’ is one of my most recent favourite tracks to listen to as of late. So of course, a band entitled Velvet Morning was going to catch the attention. And luckily for all involved, the result is pretty amazing. It’s a slinking, sighing brooder, with a psychedelic feel, but a lad back approach, if that makes sense. Think of Kevin Parker taking on a Beach House song-ultra nice, right?

 

New: Pairs-Brief Lesbian

Pairs-Brief Lesbian

Some people are going to look at that thirteen minute running time, and think, nup, no way sir, not for me. I’ll stick to my two/three minute slabs of pop confectionary, and enjoy my middling, mindless existence. For the rest, here’s the new one from Pairs that will put your body through so much emotional turmoil, you could be Kurt Russell and still shed a tear. There is so much congratulations for this track. Featuring Tom Lyngcoln from Harmony and Marcus Hobbs from East Brunswick All Girls Choir, there’s no way your heart strings won’t be in tatters harder than a Clockwork Orange-style repeat viewings of ‘Puppies Dying Horrible Deaths Vol. 3’. The amount of carnage and muddy despair packed into ‘Brief Lesbian’ is astounding, and really, a feat for the legends behind this song.

 

New: Nathan Roche-Magnetic Memories (free download)

Nathan Roche-Magnetic Memories

I interviewed Mista Roche about a week ago, and on the topic of his new solo record, he was pretty non-chalant. There was the usual, ‘Ah, just been fucking around’ sort of language. There was no hint that this kind of genius was about to get dropped on us, the unwaveringly dedicated music public. The vibes are pure bogan-Hawaiian-bliss, like a the fumes from a crack pipe made out of the shell of a coconut. This song is like being immersed in a submarine in the Mighty Boosh universe, whilst Sebastian from the Little Mermaid’s stoned cousin serenades you. All your friends have said he’s a sleaze, but the way the words drip out of his mouth, and the guitars wibble-warble along, it’s hard to not want to fuck the shit out of this song.

 

 

Album Review: Eagulls-Eagulls

There was a lot of life-threatening decision making that went into choosing the Album of the Week this week. I mean, every week is always a blood thirsty battle of mental degradation, but this week had two contenders that caused my bowels to churn in excited anticipation. There was the February release from John Dwyer’s Damaged Bug, an album that flew right under my nose when it came out about a month back. Then there was the debut album from Eagulls, a band that brings a visceral savageness to English punk music that hasn’t really been heard since, well, Savages. On the one hand, John Dwyer is John Dwyer, but on the other, I’m a sucker for anything with loud guitars, boisterous vocals and cock-solid songwriting. In the end, it just seemed like the obvious choice to go for an album as brilliant as Eagulls’ self titled.

Objectively speaking, there’s something about Eagulls that catches one off-guard. Is it the driving riffs? The cut-throat, biting lyrics of cynicism incarnate? The dirty, plunging energy that asserts the band’s music and songwriting to a top tier amongst their contemporaries? How about all of the above?

On their debut, Eagulls harness everything in their power to grapple-hook your imagination into being a willing slave to their music. Like Metz and Japandroids before them, they never let up for a second, combining diehard enthusiasm with a crushing, steam-rolling power that has the potential to kill. Stick on a track like ‘Nerve Endings’ or ‘Yellow Eyes’ on a massive speaker, place some easily frightened people in front of said speakers, and watch the heart-attacks skyrocket. Hell, if you were smart about it, you’d dabble in some life-insurance collection. Tax fraud has never been so punk!

Anyway, moving away from that super dark tangent, ‘Eagulls’ is brimming with intensity and scorchingly uncompromising material. The chorus’ ring through strong and fast. The song ended four hours ago, and you’re trying to get to sleep, but even at 2am, ‘TOUGH LUCK, TOUGH LUCK, TOUGH LUCK, TOUGH LUCK!” bellows through the brain cells. But that’s the sheer power on display, innit?

Everything blows your panties off, leaving your shit-stained drawers hanging off the ceiling fan for everyone to see. ‘Possessed’ is a particularly dirty rocker that indulges in being a bleak anthem, waiting for it’s careening guitars to be blasted across PA’s the world over.’Fester/Blister’ begs to be shouted to hard a lung is guaranteed to be coughed up, and the finale of ‘Soulless Youth’ is a gut-wrnechingly loud lesson in shredding, both in terms of lyrical savagery and musical prowess.

Yep, Eagulls dropped no surprised on their debut, in that everyone expected the unexpected. Sure, it’s a cliche, but when there’s a band this good, churning out screeching and bombastic tracks with such teeth-clenched consistency. You woulda thought at least one of the band members shat themselves is such the focus on this record. But instead of brown stains, there’s only amazing tracks. A double-win if ever there was one.