New: Crayon Fields – She’s My Hero


It’s been a while between drinks for Crayon Fields, specifically six years. Although frontman Geoffrey O’Connor has been steadily pumping out hits like “Her Name On Every Tongue”, there’s still that yearning for some signature Crayon Fields pop. Some lulling guitars, mild shoegaze vibes, seduction incarnate – mmm yeah, been missing that for a while, hey.

It’s pretty fantastic that Crayon Fields are back. I loved their ‘All the Pleasures of the World’ record, but just like Mercy Arms or Panel of Judges, it seemed like Crayon Fields were doomed to never live past 2010, and a whole swathe of newly 18 year olds were deprived of their shimmering pop. Luckily, they’ve returned with these brief swooner, just under three minutes of unabashed, unashamed love. If any midnight love-song dedication DJ’s out there are fiending for some new material to get insomniac housewives lusty over, look no further than “She’s My Hero”.



After faaaar too long (and through no fault of their own), MAKING are finally releasing their debut album ‘Highlife’! And the first taste of it is the blacker-than-Gwyneth-Paltrow’s-soul “Come 2 Me”. The song is a broad descent into maddening, furious metal, a slow, poisonous burrowing into the centre of purely demented sound. It begins with post-punk inflected noise that wouldn’t be out of place on A Place to Bury Strangers, and segues into thundering drums and swirling, droning vocals commanding the listener to “Come to Me, Stay Awake, Show Mercy….”. Intimidation is at peak levels.

But then, with no warning, MAKING indulge in pure fury, an adrenaline hit pouncing into the vocals. The menace turns to outright madness, instruments bleeding into each other as a demonic presence forms itself. No punches are pulled as MAKING deliver THE heaviest song of the year. Experimental tones and an incomparable knowledge for how to sucker punch a motherfucker with a riff is MAKING’s bread and butter.

The irony here is that MAKING have created a song that’s about as primal as music can get, an ancient war cry delivered in a metallic, artificial tongue. But the video on display is a terrifying mix of grainy surveillance footage pulsating at an otherworldly frequency. The film has no other mission than to haunt your dreams forever. You like horror movies? You haven’t seen shit. Prepare to be sucked into this black hole of nihilism and technology, and emerge a lesser being.

Video: AUSTRALIA – Who R U?

Lads, amirite? Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without them. With their token shard-infused walk that manages to be both focused and lopsided at the same time, ever-prescent TN’s and a ciggie neatly tucked away behind their ears at all times, lads have become as much a part of our landscape as 1am lockouts and 1:03am kebabs.

For their video for their soaring new single, “Who R U?”, Oz’s most patriotic band AUSTRALIA have taken the central theme of baritone existentialism, and applied it to the guy who swears he loves Kerser. But does he really? Or is it all an act, a conformity that even the most hard-edged and oppressed persons of ‘Straya’s society are susceptible to? Or am I reading into it faaaar too much?


PREMIERE: No Through Road – Lo-Fi Sandwich Mastered

10 years ago, Matt Banham was more of a 7/11 meat pie monstrosity, than the gorgeous dumpling you see above. He also lived in Adelaide, and was in a band called No Through Road. They were great, and that’s a fact. Besides an off-duty-but-on-point cover of Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”, No Through Road also left behind a plethora of material, including the incredible ‘Lo-Fi Sandwich’. It’s recently gotten a 10-year anniversary mastering, and I GOT THE PREMIERE. SUCK IT PITCHFORK. Listen below, and read a totally serious interview between myself and Sydney’s sweetheart:


R: How would you describe the levels of irony in re-mastering an album with the word “Lo-Fi” in the title?

M: It’s the ultimate irony really. or as my friend Joey put it ‘Lo-firony’.

R: Why is this the first No Through Road/Matt Banham album to get a re-master? Why is this one specifically deserving?

M: Well this album never got mastered in the first place. I just put up the unmastered tracks online for free. I didnt really know/appreciate what mastering did back then. I sort of understand it now but it still confuses me. Makes stuff sound better tho. Tim Carr mastered this for me and managed to keep it true to its original shit form but now you can just hear the shit a bit more clearly. Which is perfect.I’m gonna keep the original unmastered version up online for the purists. I dont want people to think im some sort of monster like George Lucas.

R: Is that a portrait of you on the front cover?

M: My buddy Nick Walton had a calander of flight attendents and he thought this guy looked a bit like me. So he painted a copy of the guy. That poor flight attendant. I wonder if he knows he is a timeless album cover now.

R: Where do you reckon “Lo-Fi” Sandwhich sits in the Banham Canon?

M: This was made when No Through Road was about to record Too Much or Not Enough but my brother damaged his wrist in a pub brawl and couldnt play drums for a while so we had to postpone the recording for about 6 months. I was writing heaps and not doing much so I made this in my bedroom with whomever happened to be over at my house when I felt like recording. 3 of the songs were recorded at my buddy Nic Datson’s house because he had an electornic drumkit and lots of beer. I think this might be the best album I’ve ever made. Maybe because I made it so quickly and didn’t try to polish it up too much. I hardly even mixed it, just recorded it on a $15 mic I bought from Tandy into my computer. Something about that makes me like it even more. My favourite parts of albums are usually the little bits of rubbish you can hear in the background and this album is full of background rubbish. Songs dont matter, music is all about the rubbish.

R: You’ve recorded in a lot of bedrooms and houses in your various guises – what is it about lo-fi recordings that appeals to you?

M: I used to listen to a lot of ‘lo-fi’ bands and recordings. Especially early Smog stuff. You can learn so much about how to record music from listening to that sort of stuff and reading magazines like Tape-op. Part of it was born out of necessity and laziness but most of it was because I prefered doing stuff at home in my own time and when I felt inspired to do so. It’s so much fun to make something with just the stuff lying around your house, writing a song while you are recording it. Trying to reproduce that stuff in studios rarely works. A couple of the songs on this album ended up on a later No Through Road album which we made in a studio and if I am being honest I think they sound better on this.

R: The whole album can be pretty morbid and sad, lots of break up anthems – have you changed your life view since?

M: I’m definately less whiney and cranky than I used to be. Actually I might be more cranky now. But about other things. Like hard drives breaking or walking around Ikea. And I’m still pretty whiney too I guess. So not much has changed really.

R: You’ve moved from Adelaide to Sydney since this album came out – why the hell would you do that?

M: The move seemed pretty natural. I was stuck in a boring job in Adelaide and my band hand broken up and a lot of friends had moved away. My girlfriend Romi got into honours up here and in Melbourne and I go crazy after a few hours in Melbourne so we moved here.

R: What else has changed since this album came out?

M: One of the biggest things that has changed is how much easier it is to put your music online now. When I put that album up online for free there was no bandcamp or soundcloud, no Radiohead with their rainbows, I was a pioneer, pushing the frontiers of the information super highway. My website’s server only had 100mb of space on it and the mp3s of the album were about 60. So I had to delete a lot of stuff on my website to make room for the album. And the bandwith I had was so small that after it got downloaded a bunch of times my site would just go down for a week or two till it ticked over to the next month. I’m sure there was probably a better way to do all this back then but I had no clue what I was doing.

R: Do you think you’d get No Through Road back together, or is your allegiance with Weak Boys now?

M: I’m sure NTR will play again one day, its a lot harder now because we all live in different states and most of us have started new musical endevours. But it was a great band and a lot of fun. When our back catalogue gets some new found fame thanks to a horrible Zach Braff movie we will do a reunion tour and make all the money back we lost in our first run. Plans are already in the works for a second Weak Boys album. I wanted to call the first one ‘Debutt’ but the others wouldn’t let me. Maybe this time I can convince them…

R: Unrelated question, but when will Season 3 of Matt Banham’s Jokes be coming out?

M: One day, one day. When I finished s(w)eason 2 i realised that I spent about as much time on that as I had on any album that I had made before and wondered what on earth I had done. Should you really spend months of your life making terrible videos for terrible jokes on the interet? Probably. My next venture into gags will be my long awaited live comedy album recorded in a retaurant called “One Liners & Fine Diners”. Might come out later this year. If you are very lucky.

New: The Ocean Party – Guess Work

It feels like every 15 minutes there’s something new to post from The Ocean Party camp. But instead of going for the King Gizzard route, The Ocean Party remain consistent in their excellence. There will be no 10 minute jizzy-james – there will only be greatness for miles around.

For their fifth record, The Ocean Party have thrown a few potential spanners in the works, a change to the formula. The boys have moved out of their ramshackle bedroom studio, and taken shelter in in an actual professional studio. WHAT THE SHIT? Can they do that? Are they allowed to do that? There must be some sort of stipulation in their contract, right? FOR FUCK’s SUCK, THE WHOLE DOLEWAVE UNIVERSE IS FALLING APART! WHAT THE HELL IS A WHITE SUBURBAN KID MEANT TO BELIEVE IN NOW?

Well shove this down your trembling throat, because “Guess Work” is tremendous. With opening lines concerning murder, saxophone intrusions, and a triumphant guitar solo, it feels like The Ocean Party are finally going to become the bouncers at the jangle-pop nightclub. Congrats, guys, I’ve got a VIP section waiting for ya.

The Ocean party are coming through Sydney to launch the single with Beef Jerk! It’s happening at The Vic on the Park in Marrickville on the 25th of July. BE THERE!


Best Albums of 2015 So Far (That I Missed)

I’m human. Believe it or not, the pinnacle of dickhead that is I am prone to fucking up. I can only pump out one horrible 500 word review every now and then, and as such, have missed out on some pretty incredible records. Other sites offer up the #content, sure, but I feel bad that I haven’t been able to personally deliver a small, spelling-error-stuffed, profanity-laden review of some amazing records that I think others should hear about. For some reason or other, I never posted about them at their time of release, and I’m genuinely bummed that I didn’t offer my two cents whilst the iron was hot, or whatever the phrase is. So, basically, here’s the good stuff that I missed that you shouldn’t:

1. The Living Eyes – Living Large

2. Screaming Females – Rose Mountain

3. Heart Beach – Heart Beach

4. Love of Diagrams – Blast

5. Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

6. METZ – II

7. Jess Locke – Words That Seem to Slip Away

8. Dollar Bar – Hot Ones

9. Twerps – Range Anxiety

10. Marlon Williams – Marlon Williams

11. Sharon Van Etten – I Don’t Want to Let You Down EP

12. Grenadiers – Summer

13. Clowns – Bad Blood

14. Blur – The Magic Whip

15. Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter

16. Thee Oh Sees – Mutilator Defeated At Last

17. Superstar – Table For Two

18. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love

19. Kangaroo Skull – Palace of Nothing

20. Oh Mercy – When We Talk About Love

New: Sleepy – The Ride Up

Guide By Voices fans – you gotta face the facts. The band have broken up (again), and the club doesn’t appear to be open anymore (sorry). Robert Pollard is getting older and grumpier by the day. The albums they did release when GBV reformed were mostly forgettable affairs peppered with some decent songs. The glory days are ashes, and you’ve gotta open up your skulls to some fresh faces. Don’t worry, they’re not witches, just bored little children (still not sorry).

Those bored teenagers are Sleepy, Sydney legends who’ve taken the lessons taught by Pollard and co., sprinkled on some Smudge and harder edged Pavement, and stomped on a few fuzz pedals to make a damn fine single. If your attention span lasts around two minutes, and you have hang ups about previous relationships, and have always wanted to combine those two loves into a furious little single, then sink your teeth into this!

Sleepy will be playing at The Vic in Marrickville next Thursday!

Gig Review: Brighton Up Bar 3rd Birthday

Saturday, 4th July @ Brighton Up Bar

The Standard is dead. The Lansdowne is dead. The Imperial is dead. All the venues where bands could cut their teeth in moderate rooms before lambasting the Enmore Theatre 12 months down the track – deader than my dreams. It’s not all doom ‘n’ gloom, but. There’s still a few champions out there. A few pockets of beer-soaked mayhem, where the crowds sing with dement, and the bands play with broken guitars and wonky keyboards. Where the beer is relatively cheap, and the dickheads are minimal. And that place celebrated it’s 3rd bloody birthday on Saturday.

I’ve swooned about the Bells of Death before, and that’s because they’re incredible. This – THIS – is a band, I tells ya. Get around, hear them, LISTEN TO THEM. They serenade a packed room with songs equally influenced by stony pre-Brit Pop (New Order, Stone Roses) as they are the finest exports of Brooklyn (Wild Nothing, DIIV). They’re a special breed, five young guns who put everything into their performance, swelling at their peaks and bottoming out in their troughs. They lower a fierce grip over the audience, belting through a manic set, including the highlight of “You, Me & Everyone In Between”. Fair warning, you’re gonna be giving this a thrashing if you press play. And you’ll also be desperate to get along to catch them. The real deal, mates, the real deal.

The Pinheads follow with a set of deep-fried Nuggets rock ‘n’ roll. All seven members are in attendance, and the shedding of layers is imminent. This shit is sweaty, sweatier than an American preparing to tell you why the USA is way goddamn better than your shithole. The Pinheads are deep fried garage rock, hurtling through a tight, loud set of two minute rip snorters. Frontman Jez is particularly admirable, a bopping mass of hair and muscle who desperately wants to fuse the flamboyance of Marc Bolan with the reckless endangerment of Iggy Pop. The man is everywhere, soaring over the top of his band’s increasingly intense shenanigans.

Conquering the stage soon after are everyone’s favourite local troupe Big White – the five piece immediately set about laying down some of the most romantic guitar pop songs to worm their way into the ears of every audience member. A conglomeration of all the best pop bands in Sydney (High-tails, Jack & Elmo, New Lovers, Cody Munroe Moore etc.) Big White were always going to be doing fantastic things…but this was something else! We’re chowing down on their songs like it’s a $5 schnitty deal. The tri-guitar attack is heavenly, and songs like “You Know I Love You”, “Dinosaur City” and “EOFY” are pop sluggers, and force every single mop of hair in the room to bounce like they had just discovered the joy of the pogostick for the first time. Seeing Big White was just a really happy experience for everyone involved, off-kilter excellence served on a beer-soaked, joy-drenched platter. Even those two grumpy shits from The Muppets would’ve been giving two thumbs up!

Melbourne’s Mangelwurzel came next…look, A for effort. They’re obviously making the exact type of music that they want to make, a weird sort of gremlin punk. But it just didn’t seem to be anyone’s thing. Sax and guitars…you’re getting dangerously close to ska, the worst genre of all time. It was a cool thing to watch, but it was a burger filled with exotic ingredients that didn’t really make up for the absence of the basics. Why add radishes and caviar when you’re missing the burger patty?

Brisbane’s The Creases closed out the night. The eyelids are closing, the mouths are developing into yawns, everyone’s checking their watches a bit more frequently. But these guys, they knew bring it all back into the party gear. They’re a group bound for the biggest of things, that’s obvious enough to see. They write excellent songs, they play with enthusiasm, they’ve got weird earrings. It’s the triple threat.

Seriously though, go and check out The Creases. They feel like a pretty big band, but ya know, some are a bit slow on the uptake. An amalgamation of Primary Colours-era The Horrors, The Vaccines, Palma Violets…the NME hit-list really…it was a set of shimmering, invigorating guitar pop that had the floorboards creaking and the kids violently excited. Someone knocked my beer, and I wasn’t even that mad. Now that’s an accomplishment and a half. Get around The Creases!

There have been some good times had at Brighton Up Bar. Excellent times, quiet times, disgusting times where my head has been so repugnant that it’s a surprise they let me in the place/palace. The fact that little 120 cap room hunkered down on the Hyde end of Oxford has been home to so many excellent gigs is no mean feat. From Donny B to Ms Barnett, all the best come through Brighton Up’s precarious staircase, and proceed to demolish the place. Such was the case this night, and such will the case be on many nights to be. This esteemed little venue has plenty of life left, and love to give, so get the fuck down and watch a band!