New: Leather Towel – The Message

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As soon as Leather Towel kick off with their machine gun drum rolls and bulldozer-to-the-skull charge of the guitar on “The Message”, you’re strapped in, Guantanamo Bay-style, for an absolute flaying. It’s urgent punk that barely spills over a minute, but it’ll grate your cheek into the sidewalk for the full 75 seconds. Make sure you wear a helmet and kneepads, that solo at the end will try to kill you.

Leather Towel will be in Sydney this Friday, playing an LP launch at the Marrickville Bowlo with Lumpy and the Dumpers (USA), Oily Boys and Houswives.

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New: Whipper – Chase the Rainbow

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This new Whipper song is the definition of raw fucking power. Just a pure, brutal, unadulterated, spit-flecked, blood-soaked, pupil-dilated beacon of raw fucking power. There’s not a single ounce of strut or ponce or pout to this song, it just exists as a stirling example of what can happen when a bunch of people who grew up on the unrelenting power of guitars and The Stooges put their heads down and produce greatness.

“Chase the Rainbow” doesn’t fuck around, it just gets stuck in, pummelling your stomach with adrenaline-addled punches of seething riffs that have surely contracted a disease of some sort. Seconds in, it makes you feel like Beavis when he sees a naked flame: “FIRE! FIRE! YEAH! YEAH! FIRE!”. It’s the kind of song that, when those violent three minutes and twenty three seconds have finished, you come to the realisation that you’ve chewed off your lips as a token of your savage appreciation. It’s probably the best punk song I’ve heard since POWER released their disembowelling debut last year.

New: Leather Towel – Nacho Chips

There is nothing better than snacks. Straight up, snacks make life worth living. When you’re feeling down ‘n’ out, just chuck some finger food into your gob, and watch the world turn a little brighter.

Like kindred spirits/brothers Ausmuteants, Leather Towel take the ordinary, and skullfuck it into extraordinary. In less than two minutes, they squeal, solo and serenade their way into one of the loudest, in your face fuck-awfs since “In The Raw”. This is so young and dumb and brilliant, it feels like I’m watching Wayne’s World all over again. Fuck oath, get around this band, they’re fucking brilliant.

Album Review: Ausmuteants – Order of Operation

Here’s the thing – people have got to know about this band. Sure, this is just some shitty personal blog, but if someone happens to stumble across it looking for midget porn, and finds this album, then I’ve done my job as a douchey Internet denizen. There’s almost no way that Ausmuteants won’t become their new favourite band. They’re just too fucking brilliant, visceral and goddamn authentic to be ignored.

For a little more context, Ausmuteants ripped their name off some Brazilian band, and inserted enough haywire, schizophrenic synths and noisy feedback to warrant any original members from Suicide to drop their instruments in despair. Coming outta Geelong, Ausmuteants feature members of Frowning Clouds, The Living Eyes, School Damage, Wet Blankets, and pretty much any band that sounds like it was dragged from a murder scene, kicking and screaming with an insane look in their eye. Their first album was a gonad-punch of noise moulded into pop and splintered with all the fucked up shit that harps society.

Their second record built up those stages, but threw in a few more avant-garde pieces, like “I Pissed Myself Twice”. On “Order of Operation”, Ausmuteants finally sound like they’re a full band, not just a collection of screams and howls projecting the most disparagingly funny lyrics onto musical freakouts resembling Jack Nicholson’s eruptive fate in “The Shining”.

Furthermore, these songs are yelping animalistic eyeball poppers, more so than shoving a lawnmower, followed by a bottle of vinegar up your arsehole. A re-vamped version of “Felix Tried to Kill Himself” is so furious and deranged, you’d swear someone was trying to kill the band members in the middle of the recording, and the only way to defend themselves was to throw as much noisy guitar at this Jason Voorhees as possible. The same situation applies to the escaped mental-ward patients of “1982” and “Boiling Point”, songs which reach bleeding, scarred and fucked-up levels of success far too easily.

There isn’t really a moment on “Order of Operation” when Ausmuteants aren’t at their crude, twitching best. When not writing songs about porn (“Freedom of Information”), there’s stuff like the gutter revelation of “Depersonalisation”, which sounds like Ghandi reaching Nirvana whilst living in a compost heap in St Kilda. There’s a slight change of pace, within “Wrong”, about the plight of being a constant disappointment, but this seems less like a #stylisticdeparture rather than just fitting the pretty fucking depressing theme of the song. However, it does show that Ausmuteants hold onto that little bit of empathy, and they’re not too far gone to edge back into this boring realm of humanity.

Ausmuteants, I mean, these guys are fucking supernatural. They pound and thrash, and ruin any concept of cliche with their sheer ecstasy. Accompanied by a fucked up (read: refreshing) sense of humour, and enough schizophrenic bellowing to send the Primitive Calculators reeling, Ausmuteants align themselves with the too-oft ignored progressive punk of the 70’s, stuff like The Monks, The Residents and The Tubes. Maybe I’m dooming myself here by trying to compare Ausmuteants to something else, but it’s meant to be taken as a compliment, and in regard to their ability to be a crass, hyper-real thing of the lore that has somehow been brought to life before people are probably ready for it. It’s with a strong hope that people can recognise how fucking brilliant this band is, and ensure that they become cult idols before they’re using machines to breath.

Amazing Aussie Videos: Love of Diagrams + Superstar + Exhuastion + Darren Sylvester

Audio visual delights for dayzzzzz….

Love of Diagrams – Double Negative

On what is sure to become the bane of all Drivers Ed teachers out there, “Double Negative” is an exciting and turbulent re-visitation to another edition of ‘Oz’s Most Underrated’. Sliding in next to Harold Holt’s disappearance (why don’t more people give a shit about that?) Love of Diagrams have a furious belter that feels like it needs to be strapped down. Now, it’s accompanied by a pearler of a video, where contrast is king. Black-and-white footage of a band in the forest? Thrashing guitars smothered in red? Bold fonts? You had me at “Red Means Go”.

Superstar – Folding Gold 

Another amazing artist on the Bedroom Suck roster, Superstar return from their amazing debut LP with a video ‘n’ song combo for a track called “Folding Gold”. Portishead-esque vocals mingle amongst sparkling guitars, and forlorn snap, crackle, and pop drum machines. And the video is simply too gorgeous to look away from, an indie piece of art if there ever was one. It feels like watching a Cannes Film Festival finalist, and it’s a shame it only goes for five minutes.

Exhuastion – Pure Duty

In what amounts to the Aarght! Records version of the Blair Witch Project, Exhuastion unleash their morbid noise upon the world once again with a kind of funeral procession of executioner-style guitars. Flashing images of grisly, badly-lit black and whites of random parts of a suburban hole makes for pretty much the scariest horror film a young boy could ask for. Forget your George Romero jizzfest, it’s your “Pure Duty” to watch and enjoy the new stuff from Exhuastion! You see what I did there? Huh? Huh? I hate myself.

Darren Sylvester – Fresh Face

‘Off By Heart’ was a highly underrated record from last year, and I blame myself for not getting around it with the speed that it deserved. It’s nu-romantic perfection, a genuine love letter to New Wave, and the video for “Fresh Face” accentuates that authenticity to an extent that would have David Byrne blushing.

Born from a “Chapter Karoake” session (the machine also features cuts from Jonny Telafone, Dick Diver and Primitive Calculators), healthy dance-floor action ensues, the kind that was bred from repeat viewings of Boogie Nights. Daz’s croon rings through, shimmering guitars pulsating wilfully, and sensuality hits its peak. An orgasm is basically par for the course.

New Australian Music: Shrapnel + NUN + Lace Curtain + Full Ugly + Slow Violence

Boom, shackalaka! New Aussie music tunes to fill your ears unlike that hole in your life left by a yearning sense to accomplish something of semi-importance, and achieve self-fulfilment. Alas, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs will again go disused. Now go, cover that shame with some killer tunes.

Shrapnel-Print and Sign

Sam Wilkinson is a man of many guises, like some sort of musical Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2. Hell, both are located in Sydney! Shit, Sam Wilkinson is fucking Tom Cruise!

Massive coincidences aside, Mr. Wilkinson has a new project under the name of Shrapnel, which is a weird, psych-pop thing that has all the cuteness and warmth of a gentrified Chest-Burster. If ‘Print and Sign’ grew up in the wild, it would be a ferocious beast that’s sole aim in life was to rip open chest cavities, and wreak horror upon a crew of unsuspecting space explorers. Luckily, Sam Wilkinson tamed this gnarled terror into a lounging, Mac DeMarco-meets-MGMT (Brian Eno era) pop number, that ends in a tripped out passage that’s more Hitchiker’s than Alien. Damn, it feels good to drop dumb references to local music!

NUN-Evoke the Sleep

NUN (not to be confused with the surf-rock group NUNS) are one of the brightest and best synth-punk groups to come out of Melbourne since Primitive Calculators. They’re undulating, weird and best of all, really super. Their new single, which comes off their upcoming debut, starts out ultra-Devo. Penetrating synth chords develop under blinding heat, until eccentric-noise buries them and brilliant rays of Jenny Branagh’s voice evokes a most Doctor WHo re-indition of Olivia Newtown John’s ‘Let’s Get Physical’.

Lace Curtain-I Can’t Wait

Lace Curtain hold one of my favourite EP’s of all time to their name, so anything they produce will cause rabid fits of excitement, and put me into a minor form of mental institution. ‘I Can’t Wait’ is no exception, and only after listening to it multiple times could the perfect metaphor be crafted to explain its greatness. Dark, titillating post-punk rears it’s Loch Ness head from a murky marsh, as all the Swamp Monsters and Black Lake Creatures gather around and dance their flapping gill-heads into the night, never losing their gaze from the tyrannical sounds onstage.  Copious amounts of MDMA were all involved in the production of such an orgasmic gathering of oft-overlooked B-Movie Monsters.

Full Ugly-Hanging Around

‘Drove Down’ was one of the most criminally underrated songs of 2013. Even I, No.1 Ginger of Sydney, didn’t recognise the brilliance of this 7″ for quite some time. And I felt the wrath of personal underachievement for quite some time. BUT ALL SHALL BE RECTIFIED, because Full Ugly have gotten around the releasing a new single! Although ‘Hanging Around’ doesn’t hold the same ability to touch upon all the emotions of the rainbow like ‘Drove Down’, it still showcases Full Ugly as one of the best slacker bands in Australia.

Each chord in ‘Hanging Around’ seems to drip off each other, forcing your rigid, cynical neck to bop up and down in the most fluid and gentle of ways. And the chorus, although sung in an off-the-cuff, casual way, has the same potency as if it had been screamed into your face by one of the bands off Cool Death Records. Doper than a Jesse Pinkman monologue.

Slow Violence-New Teen Angst, Pt. 2

Slow Violence? New Teen Angst, Pt. 2? Yeah, there’s no fucking way these guys aren’t a really shitty Black Flag rip-off that actually spent more time listening to My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday than they did with ‘My War’. Only, they’re not. Instead, Slow Violence provide one of the most subtly comforting soundtracks in recent history. A mostly ambient mix, there’s traces of sighin’ R&B (‘Crushin’), Jon Hopkins shufflin’ (‘Limb’) and post-rock akin to Explosions in the Sky-meets-The National (‘Kidz’). Woah…did your jaw just drop? Mine is currently chilling on the opposite end of the Earth, somewhere around Greenland.

Hand Games November Mixtape (free download)

 

Ohhh, yeahhhh! Do you feel that? A warm burn between your thighs? A dizzying spell penetrating your mind? An engulfing of your body in giddying excitement? That’s the bubbly need to party! But what the fuck are you going to soundtrack your days on the dance floor with? Well, luckily for you, there’s a new Hand Games mix, and it’s better than watching whatever shenanigans Kim and Kanye are up to now.

The new playlist is fucking killer, chock-full of tracks that will make your eyeballs pop out of your skull. Firstly, one of the best tracks of one of the best Australian releases of the year, TV Colours’ ‘Bad Dreams’. Try not to dance/headbang to this one. You’ll go Clockwork Orange, post-lobotmy levels insane. After that, there’s ‘Paranoid Video’ from Total Control. Yep, you read that write…the Total Control. Y’know, one of the best Aussie bands to surface in recent history. Disturbing and mind-fucking, it’s impossible not to enjoy this one.

Now after the assault of the brain, one needs to slow down and make way for the next couple tracks. Some shuffling electronica from the likes of Alba, seductive minimalism from Circular Keys and R&B sex soundtracking from Tincture/Hazel Brown are all eye-opening. Then, you need to prepare yourself for the greatness of Oscar Key Sung, and the track ‘All I Could Do’, as well as Nakagin’s ‘Bloom’, a sultry, natural beauty.

Halfway through the playlist, and no signs of slowing down, as Primitive Motion announce they’re post-punk ways with ‘Home of the Lone Coast’, a really fucking tortured track that has a subdued Sisters of Mercy/Rowland S Howard vibe. Slightly more upbeat, but no less twisted is You Beauty’s new track ‘Menal Mondays’, a song that twists with a heart-attack drum beat, gnarled guitar splashes and foreshadowing bass.

After those gloomy pearls, we head into the slacker rock territory, with two bands that regularly get mentioned here: Bitch Prefect and Food Court. BP’s ‘Shipped It’ actually has a bit of a Dischord vibe, like Fugazi got re-worked in Adelaide. Meanwhile, ‘By Your Side’, which I’ve posted about quite a bit before, rocks like a hurricane, fuzzy feel-good punk that is the cure for any melancholic work day.

Finally, we end this gem of a playlist with two tracks that take their queues from the recent downtempo electronica scenes that have been popping up all over the globe. Slum Sociable pout with a snaky, hissing track called ‘Watch Me Turn Colourful’, whilst Phondupe gets slinky and irresistible with the dripping-with-lust ‘Proxy’.

That’s all from this session of Hand Games Mixtapes. I’ve been your host, Ryan the Wanker. Enjoy this awesome Australian music with a complimentary side of Free Download. That’s right! This playlist can be all yours for nothing! FUCK YEAH!

New: Ausmuteants-Hate This Town

Mad, rad and totally bad…ass, it’s the brand new track from Melbourne punks Ausmuteants. Fuck, their old album and EP’s have previously got my gonads so morbidly twisted, I’m pretty sure this new LP is going to castrate me. Oh well, there are worse ways to lose your dick than jamming to sexcellent avante-gardeness that sounds like the bastard child of Chrome. Anyway, the first portion of the Frankenstein monster that will inevitably be ‘Amusements’ is ‘Hate This Town’, a song that surprisingly hangs onto the minimalist, and shies away from being too in your face. Another surprise is the upbeat synth melody, however everything is in balance with the sullen-grey nihilist lyrics that Ausmuteants do best.

If you want more Ausmuteants, you can visit their Triple J Unearthed page, and grab a couple tracks for free, including the excellent ‘All Talk’.

Album Review: Ooga Boogas-Oogas Boogas

I was once told that if I ever wanted to make a friend, like, ever, then I might want to break the ice with a joke. So, here goes: What do you get when Mikey Young from Eddy Current Suppression Ring and all round musical god starts up another band with some kick arse prodigal entities that love the shit out of some Scientists? Ooga Boogas second, self-titled album of course! Are you guys laughing as hard as I am right now? Are you laughing at all? Do you want to be friends? I made a replica of you out of peanut butter and your old toenails! I promise it’s not an effigy! Where are you going? It’s cool, I’ll see you tonight, when I watch you sleep and bottle your snores in a sealed jar.

Anyway, my creepy manifestations aside, this is a brilliant record that you should consider getting if you want to be associated with the phrase ‘…good music taste…’. Yes, Mikey Young, of aforementioned Eddy Current fame, has taken time out from being a godlike genius behind the control panel (this dude is a renowned producer, of everything from Anti-Fade records to local acts like Food Court, and acid legends The UV Race, and taken up his rightful throne as Aussie garage king. So much allusion in one sentence, I know, but deal with it princess. Anyway, Ooga Boogas create distinctly Australian music that throttles like a V8, is toasty as a Sunday arvo barbecue, and as good as a ripper sunset. I have never typed, nor spoken the words ‘ripper sunset’ before, that’s the sort of power this record has over me.

It’s undulating a weird, and shows an underbelly to garage music that you wouldn’t normally find in your average Aussie garage jammers, of which there is currently an abundance. Opener ‘Circle of Trust’ is a real ball-licker, boasting a classic Eddy Current addictive bass line, and the off-putting, cult-like. When frontman Stacky (Of Sailors fame, a damn fine garage band, up there with the likes of Native Cats/Terrible Truths) chants ‘Come join, come join us’ and then the hypnotic melody kicks in, I’m not sure whether I should take the red pill, the blue pill or both (Yeah, I pulled a Matrix reference, AND linked in a Taco ad. Where is your God now?). ‘FYI‘ is a synthy, crazed jolt of reference to 80’s synth-pop, but done with the deliberately botched care of a 1950’s mad scientist or Mel Brooks. It’s a black and white, hands to your face, stilled circumnavigation of the brain, poisonous organ sounds  infiltrating from every side and burning holes left and right. ‘Mind Reader’ is a Nick Cave-y ballad sort of thing, done with the upright tempo and disturbing lyrical content that makes these kinds of songs so arresting. You think what I said in the first paragraph was fucked up? ‘You said that you were sleepy/ So I made you some Camomile tea/ And I slipped a little something in your drink to help you sleep/ But when you woke up in the morning, I assessed you were less than impressed!’ cries Stacky, in what could be the worst case scenario sequel to Grinderman’s ‘No Pussy Blues’. The first track on Side B, ‘Sex in the Chillzone’ is another creepy thing that makes every hair stand on end, and totally puts you in the frame of mind that the song is describing: having sex with a stranger whilst being incredibly high on drugs. Not many songs can claim that. Stacky’s voice is suitably plaintive and forceful, as if he’s pushing each lyric into your ear, and choking you with the song’s potently simple ryththm.

Fortunately, after the clasp of ‘Circle of Trust’, ‘Archie and Me’ seems to assure the listener that Ooga Boogas don’t want to pour cyanide down your throat, but rather take you out on a friendly trip to the Nullarbor. Name-checking almost as many Aussie tools as ‘Down Under’ by Men at Work, ‘Archie and Me’ is something You Am I might have chucked out on their better albums, and is a friendly, cooling jam that softens what could have been a bitter blow for many after the overwhelming first track. This seems to be imminent on the whole record, as every time Ooga Boogas freak out, they pull back on the next track, and drape you in something nice and comforting to remind the listener that the album is your weird-as-fuck mate, and not the serial killer who lives down the street and always smells like pomegranates and has a dingo’s pinkie on a necklace around his neck. Hell, the closers on both Side A and Side B are not only affable, but are at home with embracing you as a family, like a Midnight Oil song that isn’t shit. ‘It is A Sign‘ is a tantalising love spill, and ‘A Night to Remember’ is something you play whilst circling around a fire in country Victoria, jumping hand in hand with a loved one as it blasts out of the radio. It could be a Go-Betweens track or possibly a Paul Kelly track, but there’s no doubt it belongs on an Ooga Boogas record.

The beauty of the record lies both in it’s ability to shock, scare, comfort and warm the listener. Whilst some points might have you perking up and weirding out, it’s perfectly balanced by the moments in which a smile just crosse your face, and your brain explodes in an endorphin overload. This is a prime Australian treasure, and Ooga Boogas show that they will play their own game, and despite that, guarantee you entertainment. It’s a diverse love letter of a record, and stands out on its own, something that an Australian band, especially in a genre that can be derivative such as garage, should claim as a solid stakehold in the music they produce. If ever there were a band to replace The Scientists as the prodigal sons of Australian garage, the honour would go to all the dudes from Ooga Boogas.