Video: Liam Finn-Burn Up the Road

I swear to God, this is the greatest video clip that has been released all fucking year. No, this thing is the best audio-visual piece of entertainment to have landed on Planet fucking Earth this year. Whatever pact Liam Finn made with Satan to produce a clip this amazing was probably worth it.

Firstly, the song is amazing. ‘Burn Up the Road’ matches pop hooks akin to The Saints and Radio Birdman with a delectable, crunchy guitar line that is the equivalent of finding a needle of honeycomb in the middle of a haystack made of crack.

But not only is this track a winding delicacy with the most memorable riff since ‘Stoned & Starving’, it has a clip that’s going to forcibly burn itself into your retinas. It’s basically Tron, but instead of Jeff Bridges looking confused, you’ve got a bulked up ‘n’ bearded Liam Finn versing off against an angsty Kirin J Callinan who looks a bit too much like Peter Sellers (that’s a good thing). The clip is a cartoonish rivalry filled with shitty graphics, greed and life-threatening motorbike battles. Seriously, what are you doing still reading this?

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Top 5 Records w/ Narrow Lands

Although from an outsider’s perspective Narrow Lands look like a couple normal dudes, their music is probaby the heaviest, most brutal and sludge-tastic shit this side of the Melvins’ in their heyday. Music does not come any more terrifically black and bubbly, as horrifying riffs implode over bass lines thicker than the biceps of Danzig.

After seeing them a little over a week ago, and having my ears begging for mercy yet again, I had to ask their guitarist Alan Power about his favourite brutal records. Here they are, in all their glory:

Theme: Top 5 Most Intense Records

Preface: I could have cheated and gone for the black metal and hardcore stuff in my iTunes library that I never listen to but have tried to keep it real and only list stuff I actually listen or listened to regularly that’s had a vague influence on Narrow Lands. Ivan and Lee are probably better placed for this kinda list because they’re into way heavier fucked up shit than I am but Lee’s moving overseas and Ivan’s already programmed Rage so fuck those guys! My list!

WHORES – MOB REALITY The reason we have a song called Whores Rule. This 7″ is such an ugly, mongrel grind of a thing, I love it. Shitted that I never got to see them live, by the time I realised they were a thing they’d already pretty much petered out. Shaun Prescott said: “There are many bands that try their very hardest to be ugly, and horrible, and confronting, but Whores just kinda effortlessly are.”

 

ZOND – S/T This record is so dense and relentless, it kinda sounds like two or thee bands playing over the top of each other most of the time. This was my favourite record for about 2 years. Saw them at the Opera House for that Lou Reed noise night thing a few years back, they filled that place with the best sound I’ll ever hear at the Opera House. I didn’t even stick around for Lou Reed, figured that nothing was likely to top ZOND. Probably should have stuck around for Lou, really. Meh.

 

GIRLS PISSING ON GIRLS PISSING – EELING Man this record is depressing, I only ever listen to it when nobody’s in the house and I’m doing the dishes. It’s got all these heavy, droning horns, droning group vocals and a constant minor key weirdness, like Lakes meets Bathory meets a bunch of hypnotised satanists.

 

SWANS – NOT HERE NOT NOW We all saw Swans down at ATP in 2013 and it fucked me up forever. Half way through I pretty much had my head on Andrew’s shoulder, sobbing, thinking “fuck my band sucks! we’re hacks!” in the same voice as Wayne and Garth doing “We’re not worthy!” for Alice Cooper. It was about 50 degrees in that horrible big sports shed and Swans were the most immersive, intense thing I’ve ever seen or heard. Every band after them sucked that day, including Godspeed and MBV. ESPECIALLY Godspeed and MBV. In ‘Coward’, where he sings “stick your knife in me” I thought he was singing “stick around for a while” which seemed like a creepy thing to repeat in a song. Then when I realised that’s not what the words are, I semi-plagiarised my mis-heard version and used it in one of our songs. And that’s the way you write songs, kids.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e7eL3MT9Ng

SNAKEFACE – OBERON I went to high school in Blayney NSW, which isn’t far from Oberon. Both towns seemingly locked into an unofficial arm-wrestle over the prize for bleakest, coldest shit-hole every winter. I went to a “Maths Olympiad” day in Oberon where we were in this freezing school hall all day and I kept on going over to the urn to get free cups of International Roast coffee to try and warm up but it just made me need to piss all day and then my feet got so cold I couldn’t really feel them and by the end of the day I was twitching, shivering, numb, dehydrated and full of hate for Oberon. This album reminds me of that day.

Top 10 Upcoming Australian Albums to Get Excited About

There’s a shit tonne of albums coming out real soon, and if you were a fraction as excited as I am, then you’d have already cum sevenfold already. These albums, either from first singles or the jaw-dropping stunners that the bands have provided in their previous work, has made the second half of the year something to severely look forward to with slobbering jowls and dangerous lust.

10. Twerps-?

Look, there hasn’t been anything announced yet, but there was a sneaky little video released last year of Marty fucking around in the studio. With that in mind, a new Twerps record is surely around the corner! And after their previous material made my romantic problems seem relatable and universable, as well as the sheer catchiness of tracks like ‘Work It Out’, ‘He’s In Stock’ and ‘Through the Day’, a new Twerps LP would be the perfect thing to round out 2014 with.

9. Jonathan Boulet-Gubba

It’s been a while since Jonathan Boulet was on the scene, and since he’s been gone, I’ve 1) graduated high school, 2) grown hair under my armpits and 3) He has gone from Modular to local heroes Popfrenzy. He’s also shifted his sound massively, going from his usual indie rock to overblown guitar fuzz, and ramped up the intensity tenfold. It’s like hanging out with Phil Spector in the Ramones period, and having reverb bullets shot into your face. Can’t wait to hear whatever this LP sounds like

8. Lower Plenty-Life/Thrills

Lower Plenty melted hearts with their debut album ‘Hard Rubbish’, and they plan to do it again with an upcoming sophomore record. A little like Kitchen’s Floor mixed with Dick Diver, their latest single ‘On The Beach’ is a total tear engager. If Lower Plenty can maintain this kind of handsome, sincere poetic majesty, then I’ll gladly sell my kidneys for a copy of their new record

7. Constant Mongrel-CMDCM

I fucking love Constant Mongrel, and I’m stoked that they’re churning out new albums like they reckon they’re The Who or something. Only, they’re way more dangerous and exhilirating to listen to. Honestly, this new track ‘New Shapes’ is like falling down an endless hole and doing a guitar battle with Satan at the same time. Those fucked up, shcizophrenic movements happening at the end of the track make me weep for more music like this. Bring on the new record!

6. Drunk Mums-?

With a follow up to their smash hit (sic) debut album that had boobs on the front (!) Melbourne’s finest purveyors of Sharpie culture, Drunk Mums, are gearing up to release a ball-stomper of a new record. Will it be good? You can bet the bottom half of your mullet it will be!

5. Total Control-Typical System

The new (!) Total Control (!) LP (!) is coming out in a few days, which is probably the best news I’ve heard since I found out I don’t have herpes (Ladies…?) They’ve released two absolutely amazing singles from the album so far, which is making it look like Total Control are going in a more David Bowie-with-a-Rottweiller-gnawing-his-leg-off kind of direction. Seems like a natural progression to me.

4. Step-Panther-Strange But Nice

Step-Panther, Wollongong’s holiest shredders and greatest musical export, are going to release a sophomore album to compliment the mind-explosion that was their self-titled debut. The first single is ‘Nowhere’ an absolutely huge BANGA that is going to replace every Flo Rida track that exists. Prepare for this song, and the rest of the album to infiltrate all your clubs!

3. Bloods-?

Bloods haven’t given a name or a release date to their upcoming debut record, but the first single to be released, ‘Want It’ showcases the kind of amazing, balls-to-the-wall garage punk excellence that we’ve come to expect from the Sydney trio. If this song doesn’t make you want to party until you throw up, and then continue partying, then you are truly insane. Undoubtedly, the album will have the exact same effect.

2. Seekae-The Worry

Seekae have been gone for so, so long. Their last album, ‘+Dome’ was completed in 2011! And since then, their amazing frontman Alex Cameron has completed and released his own solo record. From the first two singles that have come off the to-be-released third work of art, we can expect a lot more vocal duties, as well as soothing, soul crushing electronica and palettes of sound more beautiful than the ending of any Disney movie.

1. Palms-?

Look, I don’t even know if Palms have finished their follow-up to last year’s ‘Step Brothers’. Shit, they haven’t even released a single from it yet! BUT! They have thrown around a few new tunes live, including the chorus-heavy ‘Rainbow Road’, which, even though no one knows the words, has had heads banging and bodies colliding with each other in pure and total orgasm. Last year’s album was so absolutely, completely fantastic, it’s damn near impossible to believe that this new record won’t be one of the best records of this year.

New: Dick Diver-New Name Blues 7″

 

I really gotta give it to my mate Nick here, he is ahead of the game when it comes to amazing new releases. Otherwise this beautiful new 7″ from bonafide Australian legends Dick Diver might have slipped right past me.

Just two songs long might seem short, but when you’re as experienced in the ways of the Dick Diver, two songs is more than enough to quench your thirst. The first track, ‘New Name Blues’ is a heart-wrencher, the kind of song about just being another face in the crowd, that ironically stands right out for being so fantastic. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to not listen to this song, it’s sincerely beautiful and truthful in every component. If this were an HSC exam, Dick Diver would score 100%, which is technically impossible. What I’m trying to say here is that Dick Diver have beaten logic on this new song, and it doesn’t even surprise me.

The second song on here is entitled ‘Lonely Life’. It’s a deceivingly joyful tune that brings your spirit up even though Al Montfort’s is so low. Kinda like sister band Twerps’ ‘Work It Out’, it takes the most yearning and gorgeous aspects of music, adds on some stunning vocal interplay between Steph Hughes and Al, and then trickles this piano on there that WILL make your eyes shed tears harder than that time Iron Man ‘died’ in the Avengers.

Goddamn, these songs are so unbelievably beautiful, I can’t get over it. Buy yourself a copy of this 7″, then buy all of Dick Divers’ previous material, and then wallow in the depression that you’ll never make songs as good as these ones.

Video: Spoon-Rent I Pay

It’s been a loooong time between Spoon records, although it hasn’t stopped Britt Daniel from contributing to my iPod, with Divine Fits’ debut album giving me a goddamn heart attack every time it comes on. But between flipping through ‘Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga’, ‘Kill the Moonlight’ and ‘Transference’, I, along with most diehard indie rock fans, have been waiting with baited breath for some new material.

And when it finally comes…I can’t bring myself to click on the link! There’s the press release right there, with all the bells and whistles of a good PR Statement. I want to click, but I’ve been disappointed so many times. Spoon hit their peak years ago right?

Get fucked, they’re just starting! ‘Rent I Pay’ is an awesome song! It’s got the rackety guitar, that you hear, or rather feel, when going up a roller coaster, and the exhilarating sensation of Spoon executing a perfect indie rock track like only Spoon can is the same sensation of doing a double-quadruple mind-bender triple-loop, and surviving the aforementioned roller coaster. Absolutely, 100% cannot fucking wait for the new Spoon record!

New: Los Tones-Ordinary Man

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m an ordinary man. Actually, that’s completely untrue. I’m so ordinary, I’m unordinary. I’m so ordinary, I eat toast for dinner. I’m so ordinary, I got a Masters Degree in Business. I’m so ordinary, my favourite band is The Eagles. And as for the man part, WELL, I’m only a man in the legal sense of the word.

But Los Tones’ newest track is a belter of old school rock n roll. It’s a rabid piece of non-fiction, with tight, 60’s regaling guitars twirling around a nasal voice that echoes the efforts of similar bands like The Frowning Clouds. And there’s a pretty cool little guitar solo chucked on the end there to make sure you’re boogie woogieng downtown with knees more criss-crossed than the eyes of Steve Buscemi.

Album Review: Jordan Thompson-Bound to Lose EP

a3434953162_10The whole cover of Jordan Thompson’s debut EP looks pretty unassuming. Blonde dude in a traditional Melbourne outfit, chilling out the front of some local architecture. There’s no dragons spitting fire on naked goddesses, and Mackelmore’s smug expression is nowhere to be seen. So, how the fuck does JT think he’s gonna sell records? Does he think he’s better than dragons and Mackelmore? Huh? HUH!?

Well, I dunno about dragons, but JT’s EP is miles in front of whatever outrageously racist costume Mackelmore picked up from a thrift shop. The EP is equivalent to a breezy arvo with friends, the kind of thing you bring up when you’re thinking of the best times of your life on your deathbed. Jordan Thompsan manages to be leisurely, but he’s still got tenfold the presence of Jack Johnson or, God forbid, John Mayer.

For example, there’s the song ‘Bound to Lose’, which is far and away one of the better singles to have been released this year. I’ve only had this EP for two days max, but ‘Bound to Lose’ has racked up an impressive 15 listens, plus the countless times I pressed play on Bandcamp. To put that into perspective, I’ve listened to Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ 54 times, and that was basically the only thing I listened to from the ages 13-15, and I can say that without hyperbole.

What makes this single so amazing? When you’ve got acoustic guitar strumming that you’d find at the back of the pub, combined with what sounds like an organ that’s been dragged from the Yarra River, and lyrics like, ‘Man he really looks like hell/I think he’s losing to his wounds’, that’s when you know you’ve won the lottery. If Jeff Magnum was cooler, he’d probably have come up with something like this.

‘Bound to Lose’ isn’t the only gem on this EP, with ‘Nobody Will Ever Know’ is a sighing pop ditty that sounds like Wolf Parade if they were floating down a canal in Venice. And ‘You Used to Say’ is a sweet barbershop quartet piece covered in intimacy, and a million times less annoying.

The ‘Bound to Lose’ EP is perfect, in that it doesn’t stay to long, or go to an unwanted place. Jordan Thompson is happy to do what he knows, and he does it really fucking well. How this EP is available for free is a gobsmacking twist of awesome, so get it before JT is headlining Lollapalooza, and I become this guy:

Album Review: Naked Maja-The Vagrant EP

Naked Maja are back again, with an EP as beautifully droning as anything Bjork put out in the 90’s, but devoid of the pretentiousness that accompanies the name Bjork. I’m sure I’ll cop some flak for that, but the point remains that I’d much rather fork out hard earned cash for something that Naked Maja released than some half-arsed synth note with her voice shat out on top of it.

ANYWAY! Brissy’s finest are back, and I’m excited. ‘The Vagrant’ EP is a work of art, as measured beats collapse on a post-rock foundation. The EP starts off with ‘The Vagrant’, a five minute, slow-burning mind expansion that honestly makes me jealous. It probably made HTRK jealous as well, such are the loving and careful walls built around the track. Although the bubbling vocals accompanying the heaped instrumentation (drums, keys, guitar et. al rock n roll) it holds a significantly less paranoid atmosphere, and more like something you’d ascend into heaven with.

The follow-up is ‘Out of Mind’, a track that wallows with a jaw-dropping notes. If the infamous Brown Note (a mythical note that can apparently make you shit yourself) existed, then it’s not-evil twin would be the gorgeously soft music protruding from ‘Out of Mind’. The track burns slowly but comfortably, and easily floats by with the same peace as finishing an assignment two weeks before hand in.

The soft weirdness continues with ‘Paradise’, a gentle, sloping thing that introduces some space vibes, of croning synth banshies spreading out their cries amongst the careening tune. Of all the songs on the EP, ‘Paradise’ is the one with the most stuff going on, with textures abound. Every second brings with it a new thing to be looked at, like an intergalactic zoo/any major street of Brisbane.

‘There Was A Sound’ rounds out the EP, with some more post-rock guitar infiltrating the track. If Roku Music were slowed down infinitely, and then all the noise was peeled back, it’d sound a bit like this. An element of schizophrenia is introduced, as the looming vocals are challenged with some slicing guitar and sinister drums. That sounds a bit poncy, but the finale of this track builds a wall as big as that thing from Game Of Thrones, only five times bigger and more interesting to look at.

Overall, on their latest EP, Naked Maja don’t break the mould they’ve built around themselves, but they certainly expand their appeal with this collection of soft, totally intriguing tunes.

Video: Dungeon Posse-Abort Abbott

It’s been quite a while since there’s been a decent punk song about politicians. Dungeon Posse changed that about a week ago when they released this track called ‘Abort Abbott’, which is a screaming, vile atrocity that aims to completely fuck with Abbot’s shit. The passion and fury that goes behind ‘We hate ya!’ is the audible equivalent of a chainsaw going through the necks of everyone that voted in Abbott.

‘Abort Abbott’ is brilliantly brutal, and the video is equal. It shows a smorgasbord of black and white fear, cut and pasted across images of the Australian Dream getting ripped out page by page. There’s also old mate’s face getting burnt to a cinder, and Drunk Mum’s Adam Ritchie there at the end screaming ‘We fucking hate ya!. Video of the year?

New: Dribble-High St Girl

There is nothing more contagious than malaria hitchin’ a ride with tuberculosis. The second most contagious thing is a chorus from Dribble that’s been shredded with overblown guitar and a thudding bass line that chugs harder than a coal train with a drinking problem. That chorus of ‘Yoooour my HIIIIIIIGH/ st-st-st-street girl’ though, combined with a flamethrower guitar solo that ashes everything in earshot, is what the Powder Monkeys’ wet dreams were made out of.