PREMIERE: Shrapnel – Another Year

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It is really, really good to hear some Shrapnel again. Originally the solo whirring synth pop project of Day Ravies’ Sam Wilkinson, the project has since expanded into a full band, and fuck me, can’t you just hear those extra folks in their latest track “Another Year”.

With the addition of members from Dollar Bar, Julia Why, and Miners, building up a substantial amount of guitar noise was never going to be a problem. But the tidal waves of “Another Year” are unprecedented! Each strum of the guitar clangs like a Vatican church bell being cracked over your eardrums, punctuating Wilkinson’s earnest cries of placation and appeasement.
Although just shy of three minutes, Shrapnel – with their commitment to deafening EVERYONE, both literally and emotionally – pack the same punch as any golden era Matador band. Except instead of merely replicating the same sounds of Guided By Voices et al., Shrapnel have extended on the lessons laid down by Pollard and co. and created a song that evokes something more than cheap nostalgia. In simple terms, it’s heaps good, aye.

Shrapnel’s new album Tranceplanetsugarmouth will be out late OCtober on Coolin’ By Sound Records. They play this Friday at the Union, supporting local icons Peabody. They’ll also be in Brisbane on the 26th and the 27th
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Video: Chook Race – Hard to Clean

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There’s no band quite as charming as Chook Race – they’re probably the only people who can make fitness look appealing (outside of Olivia Newtown John obviously).

Their new clip features the band testing out the latest and greatest gym equipment, with a whole bunch of snazzy sneakers and bright gym shorts to boot. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that there’s an absolutely delightful new Chook Race tune soundtracking the whole shebang as well. Chiming voices, big splashes of guitar and clanging cymbals – it’s good to have these guys back!

Chook Race’s new album Around the House is out on September 2nd on Tenth Court in Australia and Trouble in Mind in the USA.

New: TEEF Records Presents Imperium in Imperio II

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There are so many blogs on the Internet, and there’s maybe a dozen who are actually worth following. Soundly Sounds sure as shit doesn’t fall into the latter category, but Sound Doctrine certainly does. Run by Tommy Faith, the ol’ SD has been a permanent fixture in my browsing history. Here’s Tommy’s secret – he reels you in with the spilled VB tinnie and fluffy koala graphics, and then keeps you transfixed with tale after tale of incredible Australian acts that you wouldn’t possibly know about otherwise. I have Sound Doctrine to directly thank for the discovery of gems like Spirit Faces and Reuben Ingall, amongst many others

That penchant for discovery courses through Tommy’s own label TEEF Records. They’ve got some stellar releases under their belt, but it’s the compilations that I always look forward to with mouth-watering delight, because there’s a huge cast of unknown superstars spilling out of TEEF’s Bandcamp page. Following on from last year’s Imperium in Imperio compilation (which featured the likes of Electric Sea Spider, Setec, and Collarbones), TEEF present their sophomore mixtape, and fuck me sideways if it isn’t ripe with the goods.

Right off the bat, you’ve got a new one from Tracy Chen, the super quiet Adelaidian who makes music to cry by yourself to. Sparse, minimal and incredibly gentle, James Blake wishes he could’ve made a song as moving as this. And then there’s IljusWifmo – it actually annoys me that I can’t pronounce the name, because for the next week (at least), I’m going to be going up to people on the street screaming, “Hey there’s this amazing producer who makes this thrilling, sci-fi soundscape and their name is *mumbles incoherently*”.  Oh, and you can’t forget Ribongia’s “Dreams”, which forgoes his usual club thump for something a bit more surreal.

AND HOLY SHIT THAT’S JUST THE FIRST HALF! A brand new group called H/R have somehow managed to turn the most despised squadron of office life into a tantalising vortex of lush synth work and hushed vocals. Sampa the Great proves why she’s the most talked about artist of the year with an exclusive track of pulsating music that raises the bar of local hip-hop several levels. And FISHING return with “Energy Drone”, a throbbing pupil-widener of constantly shifting parts and parcels that sounds how a Rube Goldberg machine operates.

I have barely scratched the surface on all the incredible artists awaiting to be discovered on this mixtape – if I went into a detailed description of every song on here, this article would end up several thousand words. In summary, let’s just call TEEF Records’ Imperium in Imperio II an absolute barn-stormer of a mixtape, packed with tracks custom made for the moment when you need to show off something cool and new that can be unanimously hailed by the crowd as a masterpiece.

Oh, fuck, that’s still not good enough? Well, how about the fact that all proceeds raised from this mixtape go towards OXFAM’s Syrian Refugee appeal. Listening to good stuff, and doing good stuff at the same time? 2016 truly is the year of miracles.

Head to TEEF’s Bandcamp here to cop the comp. And make sure you visit Sound Doctrine regularly – seriously, that place is stacked with the best o’ the best. And it’s waaaaaaaaay better than this blog.