New: Miners-Soft Focus

I first heard about Miners when I was at this house party. How i managed to find myself in the accompaniment of real people at a social occasion, and not embarrass myself will be a question for the Gods. However, I do remember that my jaw was taking a hiatus at my feet whilst Miners played a loud set of shoegaze rippers.

Case in point: their brand new track ‘Soft Focus’, which is a part of Farmer & The Owl’s first record release ‘Beached Friends’. Amongst established legends like Shining Bird, Big Dingo and Hockey Dad, Miners hold their own with a song that drills its way right into your fucking head, and sets up shop there like a compassionate, MBV-loving mole.

The shaky vocals get wafted along at a frenzied pace, as all the instruments lock into this sonic groove as big as the Death Star explosion. And the best thing is that it just grows, and grows, and grows, until not even the most expertly timed ‘Yo Mama so fat…’ joke could circulate around it’s enormity.

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New: Gang of Youths-Poison Drum

It’s been pretty well established that I’m not one for the indie rock and pop side of things. I like Interpol and The Strokes and that’s probably about as far as it extends.

But this ‘Poison Drum’ song has got me dancing. I have no idea what it is, but there’s something going on here that’s making me groove to unexpected lengths. Sometimes it’s better to put down the grating noise rock and pick up some of this cool, little rock stuff that causes a few gyrations. Sure, it’s a bit clean, but it’s got an inherent groove, and it’s a damn fine pop track. Likewise to The Preatures and Hunting Grounds, Gang of Youths have got something to them that makes them a little stickier and enduring.

New Australian Electronic Music: Midnight Juggernauts + Milwaukee Banks + Feral Media Mixtape

I’m seriously behind on so much amazing new music. Seriously, prepare your earholes to become plagued with wayyyyy too much new music that you’ve probably heard about before, but haven’t yet gone through the ‘RYAN SAAR APPRAISAL PROCESS’ quite yet. It’s kind of a big deal, or at least my Mum reckons so. Anyway, here’s a couple thumper tunes worth wrapping your ears around.

Midnight Juggernauts-Cedoption

‘Cedoption’ is one of MJ’s newest songs, at least since last year’s record. I much prefer this kind of weird, Chemical-Brothers-ish style. The falsetto, clanging with the steel jungle percussion, the warping synths and general deep space vibe of the thing creates the sort of sense that Midnight Juggernauts are about to unleash some total mind fucks upon the world that we’re probably not ready for. Did everyone just shit themselves? Because they should have.

Milwaukee Banks-Rose Water (prod. by Kira)

Don’t look up Milwaukee Banks on Google, or at least chuck ‘band’ or ‘music’ on the end of there. Otherwise you’ll be hit with a laundry list of boring, as every fucking dead end capitalist temple/the place where happiness is handed out with no consequences comes up in the Milwaukee region.

However, if you heed the ‘band’/’music’ tag advice, you’ll get smacked with this pretty thrilling track, with some crazy similar vibes to Black Vanilla, Collarbones and FISHING. If that doesn’t cause tremors of excitement, then you’re probably paralysed with previous tremors of excitement. Laid back raps dealt over velvet synths and a R&B chorus that make you want to do crazy things, like ‘be social’ and ‘make friends’. Slow down Milwaukee Banks, you might just make me Mr Popular or something!

 

Feral Media Mixtape-Autumn EP (Angel Eyes, Lower Spectrum, Golden Blonde, Comatone)

I’ve posted about the previous Feral Media mixtapes a fair bit, and with a single look at the lineup on the current Autumn EP, it comes with little wonder. These guys have managed to pull off the impossible, and garner some new shit from the likes of Angel Eyes (!), Lower Spectrum (!), Golden Blonde (!) and Comatone (!). And yes, the exclamation marks are fucking necessary, especially when we’re dealing with electronic proteges like these artists! LISTEN TO THIS MUSIC! IT WILL MAKE YOU WEEP! The stuff here is insanely fucked up and strange and weird and synthetic and prosthetic and radiating and dangerous and holy shit, have you heard Angel Eyes’ contribution!?

Do yourself a favour, and cop this free download, before the apocalypse occurs and you never have the chance to experience this wonder.

 

Video: Pairs-Blue Dress

Fucking here it is, my major label filmography debut, on the video for Pairs’ ‘Blue Dress’. I always thought I’d be an extra in a 50 Cent video, rubbin’ and grindin’ on a weedy gangster with an erection, but I feel like I prefer being in this one. Look for me in my Ramones t-shirt doing something with my arms at the 3:50 mark.

But who gives a fuck about my tiny contribution to this video? I’m just honoured that I got to be a part of such an amazing band’s work. I mean, have you listened to this song? ‘Blue Dress’ is a heart-wrenching tale, something that works it’s way down your throat, and actually pulls out your heart through the cavities. It doesn’t even have the decency to put on a surgical glove to minimise infection! When the chorus of ‘And the girl in the blue dress, is talking through my set. And the louder I play, the louder she gets,’ comes through, you’re not going to want to go through some bullshit cliche, like ‘reach for the tissues’, or ‘wipe away a tear’. No, you’re going to be gasping for air in the flood of salty eye booze that’s filled up whatever cubicle you happen to be listening to the song in.

The whole film clip to this stunning farewell track of Shanghai’s hardest working punk band is just a testament to how two of the world’s nicest people, Rhys and F, have effected so many people with their music. There must be approximately a billion people in that video (or something, I dropped out of Maths a while ago) and they’re all charging along to this shredder of a song. Fucking A, this song really does tug at my impenetrable, emotionless, stone-cold heart.

Album Review(s): Silver Statues + Cretin Stompers + WTCHS + Pinheads + Feel Bad Hit of the Winter + Billy Moon

There have been way too many albums that have whizzed by my head in the past few weeks, and I’ve been too bewildered by the term ‘uni break’ to have had the time to invest in these wonderful releases. HOWEVER! Now is the time, the time for me to get around to reviewing some of these fan-fucking-tastic albums that have shot through recently. I present to you, a Soundly Sounds Inc. co-production-Album Reviews I Should’ve Done A While Ago, But I Was Too Much Of  A Lazy Sack of Shit To Get Around To It.

 

Silver Statues-Demos

Sure, these are just demos, but you’ve gotta realise that every band starts out like that. Hell, if the Brendan Fraser 1994 vehicle ‘Airheads’ taught me anything, it’s that a shitty demo is all you need to sign with a monolithic music label, and have cocaine and hookers poured down a fountain and into your lap.

But what most bands don’t have is a potential revealed on their demos that actually sticks in the mind. Sure, these songs weren’t resurrected from an ancient ark that melted the faces off Nazis. But there’s a rock n roll attitude that’s deadset genuine as fuck, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a School of Rock era Jack Black handed out these demos to one of his middle school hostages amongst the Led Zeppelin and Sabbath.

Deadset, Silver Statues sound like a You Am I that’s just starting out, and the prospects of what could happen next make me very excited indeed.

Cretin Stompers-Looking Forward to Being Attacked

Supergroups, as a general rule, fucking rule. Total Control, Straight Arrows, and Boomgates are just a couple examples of when a bunch of people in other bands get together and make amazing music together that forces you into a foetal position. Cretin Stompers are one such group, formed between three dudes  called Alex, Billy and BIG MUFF RADIO. Nice.

 

Anyway, the music on here is exactly the sort of thing that coked up aliens smoking bongs and hurtling through space at light speed would want to listen to. Seriously, if there was a Cheech and Chong-esque series created out of Lando and that weird fucking thing he sits next to in Return of the Jedi, it would be entirely soundtracked by this album. Songs like ‘Project: Object’ and ‘Cowboy From Mars’ is the kind of interstellar, parallel universe shit that would happen if Aerosmith and King Tuff collided. Pretty fucking cool, and that’s an understatement.

 

WTCHS-It’s Not A Cross, It’s A Curse!

WTCHS (not to be confused with the similarly grammatically incorrect spelling of witches, The Wytches) are a force to reckoned with. I say that because they’re brand of demonic, guitar fuelled agony rock is like, probably the best tool to battle otherworldly beings with. If we were invaded by aliens right now, on Planet Earth, I wouldn’t want Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith to save the day. I’d want some big ass speakers to get pulled out, and ‘Young Girls’ catapulted at those motherfuckers until they’re paralysed in fear. Deal? Deal.

 

The Pinheads-Too Darn Loud

The Pinheads “album”, although 10 tracks long, is actually only 15 minutes in length. So you’ve got something that’s only slightly longer than all my romantic pursuits put together, what could one possibly take from that? Well, if you’re for the motion of having a good time, or wanting to put on a good tune to fit a slimy atmosphere in a pub at two in the arvo. There’s a lot of the similar characteristics here that bands like Doc Holliday Takes the Shotgun and East River have, only with a slightly more deranged, Tarantino-esque flavour. Hit up ‘Jeebus’ and ‘The Devil Is Gonna Take My Soul’ if you don’t believe me.

 

Feel Bad Hit of the Winter-The Feel Bad Hit Of the Winter

I fucking love the QOTSA song ‘Feel Good Hit of the Summer’. It’s just the listing of a bunch of drugs set to a nail-biting riff, and a chorus of cocaine. Well, Feel Bad Hit of the Winter take the same approach, only with the less cartoonish view of how drugs affect you. It’s like QOTSA is Ren And Stimpy, and FBHOTW is The Wire. There’s the same amazing guitar work happening, and there’s plenty of ability to rock your head back and forth in a rollicking motion.

 

Suren Unka-El Chupacabra

No one ever told me what a Chupacabra is, and I’ve always been fascinated as to what it could be. And whilst a quick Google search could easily rectify this situation, I feel like laying in wait, not knowing something for the rest of eternity is a way more attractive philosophical premise. Because, fucking knowledge is power, and power corrupts, amirite? #Freud #Plato

 

Anyway, whilst I meditate on bullshit philosophical musings, the perfect album to aid me in my ponderings would have to come from New Zealand solo producer Suren Unka. A beautiful name there, and some swell tunes to boot. The songs hinge on tension, thrilling to the very end, working their way through these hypnotic patterns that dare you to fuck with them, like 10 electronica Muhammad Ali’s, buzzing and whirring in flying fist fury. If that doesn’t make sense, then just press play, and be drawn in by this pretty amazing album.

Album Review: Popstrangers-Fortuna

Sophomore slump, la de fucking da. We get it. The first album ruled, and now you’re out of ideas, out of money, and the record labels crawled up your arsehole. Instead of taking some time, and actually making something worth listening to, you’ve pumped out a token ‘radio hit’, and built up 11 songs of filler and utter shit. It’s a tale as old as time itself.

Nah, Popstrangers were always going to be better than that. There will be no random radio junkie bullshit on this second outing. And it certainly can only be described as an outing. The songs on here stretch far and wide, a fucking pasture of guitar reverb and jittery drumming. There is still the same sonic overload that they showcased so well on their debut record, but now it’s tighter, and more focused, less fucking noodling.

Now, when Popstrangers are playing, everything has a purpose, and they’re definitely going somewhere. Of course, there’s always going to be an exception, and things can become mildly placid (‘Her’), but the overarching thesis is that ‘Fortuna’ is strong, and confident.

That’s right, I’m forming a thesis around ‘Fortuna’. A goddamn thesis. Fuck, what has university done to me? Anyway, the point remains that when Popstrangers pull their guns out, and drop guitar bombs, they can’t help but achieve the kind of lossless devoted attention the Reid brothers loved. Lead single ‘Country Kills’ is a perfect example-the swirl of Popstrangers psychedelic melts into crashing, rough choruses that could muster a resonance with a festival crowd.  Furthermore, ‘Tonight’ goes for the jugular, Flying Nun jangle evaporating into damn guttural guitar squallor. Shit, ‘Right Babies’ doesn’t even fuck around with easing in the listener, and goes hard out with a spine-snapping, eight-legged guitar riff.

And even though I’m obviously a frother over Popstranger’s more bolstered stuff on this album, the quieter stuff is pretty amazing too. Opener ‘Sandstorm’ hits all the right notes on its way to a pretty orgasmic finish, and the closer of ‘What’s On Your Mind?’ could be the perfect track to forlornly gaze after unrequited love to aka every single romantic pursuit I’ve ever experienced.

Overall, ‘Fortuna’ shows that Popstrangers have grown anything but shy. They’re experiencing with some loud chorus and barrel-chested guitars, whilst losing none of the homely, endearing factors from their first album. And there’s certainly more than enough shoegaze jaw-droppers on here to make the average Slowdive fan gasp in amazement. Good stuff, Popstrangers, come over the pond whenever you feel like, and dash my brains out with you tunes.

Ryan’s Bloody Ripper Gig List

If you’re in Sydney, and need to see a good gig over the weekend, then hit up one of these:

 

Thursday:

-Heads of Charm, Narrow Lands, Beast & Flood, Palmar Grasp @ The Square ($10)

-The Mess Up! feat. Chicks Who Love Guns, Gazar Strips (QLD), Bad Jeep @ The Lansdowne

-The Sitffys, WAWAWOW @ The Marlborough Hotel

 

Friday:

-Ivy Street, Mere Women, Yes, I’m Leaving @ The Square

-Salad Boys, East River, Mope City, Ali E @ Captain Cook Hotel

-Friendships, Embassy, Phondupe, Twin Caverns, World Champion @ Oxford Art Factory

 

Saturday:

-Heads of Charm, Sour Cream, Gazar Strips, Burlap, Katnip @ The Captain Cook Hotel

-Salad Boys, Driffs, Bachelor Pad, Shrapnel @ FBi Social

-World Champion @ Tokyo Sing Song

-Ernest Ellis, Shining Bird @ St Stephens Uniting Church, Newtown

New: Bloods-Want It

Look, we get it. The budget has more of a shitty effect on the general punter than the splashback at a Big Day Out porta-potty. Unless you’re Joe ‘Fat Cat’ Hockey, or one of his lackeys, you’re pretty much fucked in every sense of the word.

And whilst that sucks tremendously, the news is slightly more wearable with the announcing of a brand new single from local favourites Bloods. This song is typically vicious and typically poppy, like the Ramones if they were a little bit more loose. Yes, it’s that fucking wild.

Seriously, when that sexy bass makes way for the crashing cymbals and sweaty chorus, you’re going to want to lose it, just as MC, Sweetie and Dirk are commanding you to. Of all the recently released songs to angrily thought-punch the douchebags in government to, whilst having a deplorable amount of reckless fun, it’d have to be ‘Want It’.

New: Southern Comfort-Suzanne

Another day, another release tied to Angie Bermuda, this time with added Harriet Hudson. The lady from Angie, Straight Arrows, Circle Pit and Ruined Fortune has yet another project she’s attached to called Southern Comfort. And much like the drink, it’s guaranteed to be a hazy and genuinely fucked up time.

The beginning of the track begins like a lost Runaways song that got stranded in the desert for too long, and had to ingest a shitload of peyote. ‘You look so pretty/driving in your car’ just plain catapults itself into semi-stardom as the line you want to sing to your unrequited beloved in a state of drunken bliss.

And as if that weren’t enough, a stringent, slow-burning and cursed solo ends out the track, bleeding insanenly good sounds into the ears of the now-possessed. Good stuff Southern Comfort, most excellent!

New: Teenage Moustache-Social Smoker

Never has a song evoked its title so eloquently as ‘Social Smoker’ does. The thumping intro is like the final breaths of a former ‘social smoker’, tar-wracked lungs desperately seeking oxygen. We’re then transported back to the ‘better time’, when it was all backyard BBQ’s and watching indie rock bands at the pub, signified by the metallic Lace Curtain-esque sheen.

Or maybe, I’m completely full of shit and this song’s about something completely different, and I’m just trying to find a bunch of meaning in a song that’s actually unfulfilled romance.

However, one thing I believe we can all agree on is that if Youth Lagoon were chucked into a Newcastle tree-shredder and treated through a sewage plant, it would sound exactly this glorious.