Nothing more Australian than watching Neighbours, chilling next to Uluru in the desert, hailing a cab at 2 in the morning on the way home from the Cross,saying ‘Yo’ to your inner city homies, and getting all riled up as the number 6 jersey of Jones kicks the winning goal, and cements his place as an eternal enemy. As you might have noticed, those are vaguely related things in relation to the bands about to be reviewed, as suggested by the title. So, after an incredibly complicated introduction, here’s a bunch of bands that are making some sick music in our backyard.
First up is the vague Neighbours reference. TV programmes are something we all watch, and the Sydney band should be no different. Unless your one of those strange mongoloids that stubbornly refuses to move on and watch a fucking screen. C’mon man, conform to societal expectations! All the cool kids are doing it!
Inside TV Programmes debut EP is a swarming organism of laid back pop, and it’s a goddamn beautiful sight, like witnessing the Grand Canyon for the first time, or seeing Tony Abbott get kicked out of parliament (fingers crossed guys!). The music is mostly a murky shoegaze assortment, but there’s less feedback and reverb than, say, Sunbeam Sound Machine or Day Ravies. Nonetheless, this band capture the same sweeping but frantic romantic gestures of those band. Right now, TV Programmes are constructing some delicate harmonies (a la Bearhug) and need to just continue that vein to earn all the money ever.
Little Desert-Ashes 7″
Now for a turn of the macabre and melodramatic, it’s Little Desert. These guys are very similar to Harmony, doing crazy deep things that make me feel things that my therapist would describe as ‘progressing towards true emotion’. Fuck that! I want to be tucked away in sombre depression, hiding away my feelings from the world and pretending I don’t care! I don’t want some random band from Melbourne that features one of the most sorrowfully beautiful voices I’ve heard to make me empty salt water from my eyes!
But seriously, ‘Ashes’ is fucking heart-wrenching and beautiful and dramatic, and if The Drones had to have a spiritual sibling, Id be totally fine with having Little Desert take up the mantle.
Hailer are a band from Sydney that sound either sound like Arcade Fire at their best, or Dead Moon watching a Dukes of Hazard marathon. Seriously, each of the six songs patiently alternates between either the former or latter category. ‘Cold Outside’ could’ve been taken from Ernest Ellis’ new album, and ‘Symbol and Allegory’ wouldn’t sound out of place on Beck’s ‘Sea Change’ record. Meanwhile, ‘Crucify the Commodore’ and ‘Machine Music’ revel in noisy rock territory, sliding between psychedelic hopelessness and full-blown in-ya-face 80’s pop-punk rock (Husker Du, The Replacements). While Hailer might not be breaking any new ground, it’s still good to see a band that can play a bit of rock music well.
The new one from Yeo is a jilted orchestra away from being a Phillip Glass-meets-Little Dragon-meets-Friendly Fires clash. It starts out like a highly strung electro-pop tune, but slowly manoeuvres into a soulful and genuine track that bounces and vibrates as hard as the strings with which the song samples. It’s a surprise that Yeo isn’t a household pop name, but I guess that’s the way Melbourne likes to keep ’em.
The Jones Rival-Uncle Frank
I’ve never had an Uncle Frank, but I can imagine that he’d be a good bloke. Plays footy, has a killer handlebar moustache, and can down a half-case of VeeBosses before regaling you with tales of how great INXS were at the local RSL back in the day. The Jones Rival garner that image pretty hard in this single, utilising a gravel-heavy, garage-soaked sound. It’s very akin to some of the loose bohemian tunes the Brian Jonestown Massacre displayed heavily on ‘Take It From the Man’ and ‘Thank God For Mental Illness’. Which is a super good thing. Super dooper good.