New: Tiny Little Houses – Easy

Straddling Neutral Milk Hotel and Modest Mouse, Tiny Little House grapple confessional 90’s indie rock with a fever. They are lovesick, with the emphasis being on “sick” – the misery is heavenly here, saturating every pattering note that Tiny Little Houses produce. If Kevin Smith really did predict the future in ‘Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back’, and the movie studios throw down their blockbuster cash on ‘Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season’, then Tiny Little Houses have shoed themselves as the replacement for Elliot Smith.

That’s a really, really good thing – Tiny Little Houses pull off the twang of intimacy and hurt with ease, which comes as a mild surprise considering how little material the band have available. But the proof is here that Tiny Little Houses are going to be powerful – it’s obvious to see the chorus becoming the go-to stream of words to tumble from every doe-eyed teenager who feels that their whole life is over after their relationship of two months ends abruptly.

The standout moment here is the incredible, thrashy guitar solo towards the end of the song’s run  – it’s cinematic, a watershed moment, drowning out any doubts you might have that Tiny Little Houses are going to be the next big thing.

 

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New: North Arm – Careless

Although North Arm are originally from Newcastle, it feels like they’ve been learn’d in the teachings of the Leisure Coast. On a completely unrelated note, how good is Game of Thrones?

Their reach for angelic guitar climaxes is easily reached, swaying with the hazy ritual that was first introduced by Spiritualized in the 90’s, but a lot fail to recapture. There’s something incredibly tranquillising about their new single “Careless”, an uneven airiness that the Jesus & Mary Chain liked to occasionally pull out on numbers such as “Just Like Honey”.

Although it takes a little while to collect itself, North Arm steer this misty gem into a serene finale of peaking guitars, shifting the band next to local luminaries Cull and Shining Bird.

New: Ace Romeo – Hyperdrive

The Fighting League are great. Nathan Roche is great. And Ace Romeo is great. All are connected through the solitary Andy Campbell. Except that the latter is just one man. ONE MAN! All by himself! A lone wolf, if you will, fighting the good fight, doing the good deeds. A Samaritan. A hero. A legend. Of the fall.

Ace Romeo released “Best Friend” a little while back, and he’s followed it up with “Hyperdrive”, a patriotic/paranoid track that comes off like if Husker Du did the soundtrack for a movie like Top Gun or Red Dawn. “Hyperdrive” jettisons along on a streamlined drum/bass combo and slow-breathing guitar that’s just waiting to explode like a planet the Death Star has had it’s eyes on for a while. Truly, Ace Romeo has earned his Hasselhoff-esque name. You go, Ace Romeo. You do what you gotta do, to save us all. Operate outside of the law, play by your own rules…just get the job done.

New: Day Ravies – Under the Lamp EP

Is there anything sweeter in the world than hearing new Day Ravies stuff? Like, anything at all? I’d rather get new Day Ravies stuff in my earholes than get a signed cast photo of Fast and the Furious7. You know how much that photo would be? Like, heaps. Heapz!

Day Ravies is four people from Sydney that have record collections as vast as their talent to make fucking good songs. They put out a record in 2013 that was pretty top notch, as well as a 7″ on France’s Beko Disques, home to Parading, Wizard Oz, and PILLS. But now it’s Sam’s time to shine! Sam Wilkinson, aka that dude that you’ll see at every show in Sydney (usually sporting a Cool Sounds T-shirt) has taken time away from working in all of his bands (Shrapnel, King Tears Mortuary, Mope City, Beef Jerk, Disgusting People, etc.) to help record and release four songs of pop brilliance onto his cassette label Strange Pursuits.

No seriously, these four tracks stand up there with the best that Day Ravies have done. It’s a particularly strong EP; diverse, but still packed. It opens with “Sleepwalk”, a buzzing, Slowdive-meets-K Records twee aesthetic, tumultuous onslaughts of chugging guitar battered down with ethereal intertwining vocals and synths.

Move onto “Under the Lamp”, and nod along to careening guitars soar for minutes on end, then head into “Perennial”, which is the Jesus And Mary Chain trying to mimic the pop sensibilities of The Psychedelic Furs, done in a way that makes you forget that both bands have been around for longer than Day Ravies have been alive. Then ooze into “Prior Hour”, a jam that’s like if PJ Harvey had gotten into Ride instead of Steve Albini.

Going through this EP is a blur of wonder, and then it strikes you that these songs were recorded in the sessions for the upcoming sophomore album from Day Ravies. I’ve been assured that this material was stuff that just couldn’t make it onto the album, but by the same token….holy shit, there’s more were this came from???

Do yourself a favour, and pick up a freakin’ cassette from the Strange Pursuits Bandcamp. And come to the Day Ravies show on the 28th at the Union Hotel. Weak Boys and Bearhug are also playing and it’s free. Jesus Christ, do you need any more convincing?

New: Violent Femmes – Love Love Love Love

Gotta love some Femmes action. No one does askewed pop music disguised as punk quite like they do, maybe with the exception of Butthole Surfers or something. “Love Love Love Love” is their first track in 15 years, and it’s pretty good. Trying to measure it up to the likes of “Gone Daddy Gone” or “Black Girls” is a task as loaded with farce as an Orwell/Vonnegut crossover novel,, because Violent Femmes now, and Violent Femmes 20 years ago, are two very different bands. But in terms of keeping their cool, off-kilter suave intact, and pursuing something just as mysterious and funky as the remnants of a Year 6 Backpack that hasn’t been cleaned in a year, Violent Femmes still know how to draw up a decent jam.

New: Courtney Barnett – Depreston

Courtney Barnett begins her latest single, “Depreston” with the line, “We don’t have to be around all these coffee shops”, which has to be the most un-Melbourne phrase ever uttered. No perfect flat white with a drizzled foam heart resting flamboyantly on the top? No patronising stares from other tables at how untidy your overalls are? NO KALE CHIPS????

No, Ms. Barnett is decidedly glum on “Depreston”, a tune that she’s hauled out to uproarious applause on her most recent live shows. “Depreston” seems to be all about manoeuvring away from teenage naivety, and all the depressing realities that come with the gesture. From trying to find a suitable house, to the hopeful refrain of, “If you have a spare half million, we could knock it down and start rebuilding”, Ms. Barnett takes a gorgeously restrained and powerful approach that is in stark contrast to first single “Pedestrian At Best”. It’s that kind of diversity (whilst never losing its poetic layman-ism) that has made Courtney Barnett such a strong contender for Ozzie Muso of Forever.

New: Flower Drums – Bad Websites

Don’t I know all about bad websites. I’m the goddamn proprietor of a sad, bad website that looks about as decent as the regurgitation of that half taco hanging out of your mouth around 3:24 am on a Saturday.

But I digress…Flower Drums outta Perth have put together a tasty jam, full of smooth synth lines that make the moves in ballet look like an elephant getting blind drunk and stumbling upstairs. Accompany that with some hot-breath vocals, and there’s the recipe for sensuality right there. Guy Fieri, take note.

New: Total Giovanni – Human Animal

Holy shit, Total Giovanni just dropped their first single, and it’s one of the funnest things to have developed upon this barren land we call Australia. It’s foreign but ours, and even though it sounds like a French disco, cigarette smoke encased and all, it still has a little bit of ‘Straya thrown in there as well.

It’s hard to describe just how gloriously fun this song is. Think of James Murphy from LCD Soundsytem grinding up on an Iggy Pop spoken word piece. The funk is ethereal and supernatural, like the Holy One himself (JAMES BROWN) utilised the spirits of four talented Melbourne blokes for the purposes of gettin’ groovy. Basically, “Human Animal” represents the pop-apocalypse,  and it’s doubtful something as gloriously hedonistic will emerge again for the rest of the year. You heard it hear, folks, this song is one you wanna dust off your power-pop nylon jacket for.

New: Low Lux – All Our Love

It’s been a bloody pleasure getting to catch Low Lux a few times in the past couple months. They’re a bloody great new band, and they’ve got a violin, so I feel smart when I watch them play.

They’ve just unveiled their first ever single, which is called “All Our Love”, a stunning masterpiece on a microscopic scale. It’s begins with a faint rain of sound, until there’s a chugging bass line swelling the track into the beautiful behemoth that Low Lux are certainly capable of being. It’s like watching all the pain and grandiose beauty of Black Swan unfold in a sweet four minutes.

New: Dollar Bar – Legside

Like a slap in the face from all of Weezer’s fans post-Pinkerton, Dollar Bar have reinstated themselves in our collective minds as one of Australia’s greatest pub rock bands. Harking back to a time when Screamfeeder records were basically signifiers of how much of a legend you were (nothing’s changed btw), Dollar Bar have again pulled some magic from their guitars. The riffs on here are solid as hell, immediately forcing your fingers into assuming the air guitar position. It’s the kind of track that makes you want to do a scissor-kick in the middle of your debilitated local pub. But then again, you can’t expect anything less from a band that put out one of the songs of the year in 2013.