New: Beast & Flood – Look At The Fish Swimming

There’s only two ways that loud, sincere music can go – powerfully insightful bands (Fucked Up, Titus Andronicus) or painfully whiny (Taking Back Sunday, The Used, ). There’s that thin fucking line that separates delivering askewed intelligence and havin’ a bitch and a moan in skinny jeans. You know why you’re life sucks? You’re jeans are too fucking tight.

Beast & Flood fall into the former category, with their winding rhythms and loud-quiet dynamics reminding of And You Will Know Us… and Cymbals Eat Guitars. “Look At the Fishes Swimming” constantly shifts, totally at unease, snapping from hands clenched, unhinged bellowing, to layered, pattering pools of guitar. They move from introverted to extroverted and the flick of a fuzz pedal.

Pretty keen for their debut album ‘Lanugo’, which comes out on 22nd of June, on No Safe Place. Album launch is happening at Blackwire on the 26th.

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New: Beast & Flood-All Singing, All Dancing

If ever there were to be a band to take off were Les Savy Fav, Danananakroyd have left off, it would be Sydney’s Beast & Flood. By some enormous miracle, they’ve managed to tap into a realm of post-punk, where they can mine shifting time signatures, schizophrenic mood swings and balance between manic overblown guitar and delicate plucking.

Their new tune ‘All Singing, All Dancing’ is what I’d like to think would’ve happened to that niche area of alternative rock that And You Will Know… fit into nicely, if Pitchfork hadn’t gone and shot the expectations wildly high with that hyperbolic 10.0 review. After that people expected everything to be so goddamn precise and earnest that it didn’t make room for the heart-on-the-sleeve, blue collar-meets-good-guitar bands that Beast & Flood exemplify.

‘All Singing, All Dancing’ doesn’t sell its soul like all those bands of the 2004-2008 era did, it stands on its own as a furious tune that’s not quite furious, smart but not overbearing, and catchy without sacrificing anything. Just a solid fucking song, that’s all. Minus the Bear should take some notes from these guys and see if they can return to their ‘Menos el Oso’ days.

Rock Album Reviews, Pt. 2: The Caseworker + Brilliant Beast + Crown Larks + Through A Glass Darkly+ Beast & Flood

I’ll admit it. I’m a massive knob. My e-mail has been stockpiling record review request after record review request, and I’ve been sitting here, trying to do something about it. Except, instead of doing stuff about it, I went to a bunch of gigs and focused on not fucking up my new job. But to quote The Big Lebowski, ‘Sometimes, there’s a man…and even if he’s a lazy man-which Ryan most certainly was….aw, I’ve lost my train of thought’. Anyway, here’s a bunch of review of the albums that I thought were pretty badass. Apologies to the artists that I couldn’t give them an original piece, it is simply a matter that I would probably end up in the morgue from finger blisters. Enjoy my shitty descriptions, then go buy these albums.

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[The] Caseworker- Voices Out There

Like the indie-rock greats, like The Mountain Goats or Beck, that shy away from the usual boring blathering that the genre usually resonates like a homeless stench, [The] Caseworker deviate from a cut-and-paste formula for great results. On their new album ‘Voices Out There’, you can expect introverted, personal lyrics crossed over with skyline hooks and melodies. I can’t quite tell if their music is catchy, but its certainly interesting. There are some points that are better to just quietly skip over, but for the most part, tracks such as ‘Dependance Day’ and ‘Notes From the Summer’ capture the listeners attention with a reason.

 

 

Brilliant Beast-Where Do You Want

Ok, I fucking really dig this album. It is really great. As in, really, really great. Imagine, just for a second, regardless of improbability, that Bad Religion or The Offspring teamed up with My Bloody Valentine and made an album. I don’t care that it sounds like the world’s biggest musical train-wreck, Brilliant Beast kind of channel that vibe, and it sounds amazing. There’s an old school pop-punk sensibility, to sing irreverent and feverous lyrics at a strong-willed, bullheaded pace, but then there’s the musical decency to add shoegaze and dream-pop to the mix. WHAT!? Are bands allowed to do that? At the least, Brilliant Beast show that they’re a loud band. They could be the next Yuck, or Craft Spells, or Beach Fossils whatever, songs like ‘Harrow’ show they have that ability. But the bleeding noise they add to the mix, on tracks like ‘Crushdumb’ and ‘A Child on Fire’ prove that they could be like Wavves or something. Fuck! A band has made me more confused than turning  on the TV to see Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street fucking. I don’t know what to make of this album, but I do know that it’s fucking great, and it’s fucking original.

Crown Larks-Catalytic Conversation

A band that channels Radiohead well, if I’ve ever heard one. And that’s no small feat either. There are fuckloads of bands out there that say ‘Karma Police’ is their, like, favourite song ever, but when you hear their music, you find they more closely resemble a buffalo giving itself an abortion. Instead, Crown Larks bring to life the spirit of Thom Yorke in their music, tranquil, oozy music that lightly dances along. You can’t help but feel mesmerised by the beautiful vocals and gentle music showcased in ‘Catalytic Conversation’. There’s also some Low influence in this record, with the Tourrete’s-like freakouts that sometimes pop up in the middle of otherwise plain and harmonious tunes. Every song on this album is intriguing like a wizard orgy, and worthy of your attention. From ‘Malone’s Lullaby Pt. 1’ to ‘Blue Lobsters’, chances are, you’re going to be fucking entranced by Crown Larks’ songs.

Through a Glass Darkly-Double Standard

Man, anyone who said classic rock n roll is dead was definitely fucking wrong, because they obviously haven’t listened to Through a Glass Darkly. Hailing from Sydney and combining all the sounds of those badass bands of olde that we all love, Through A Glass Darkly have made a fucking great record. On such a record you can hear wailing, caterwauling, heaving, guitar solo’s, self-indulgence, drama, and a whole heap of shit that hasn’t been done well since the 80’s. Faith No More, The Cult, Bruce Springsteen and The Sisters of Mercy are all artists that we miss that Through A Glass Darkly channel better than any cover band. Oh yeah, and there’s a song called ‘Stagger Lee’, as in the Stagger Lee from the Nick Cave song. And it’s done with the riff bravado of a ZZ Top track. So yeah, you could say this album’s middle name is badass.

Beast & Flood-Forever Homes/Name Split EP

Finally, we end out my shame with an EP from Australian band Beast & Flood. Like so many of the bands that garner my interest and inevitably end up on my website, Beast & Flood channel some Guided By Voices love into their music. However, that initial bit of slacker/college rock is just a red herring for what’s actually in store. Mainly, Beast & Flood are about doing the mind-fucking melancholy that one could find on a At the Drive-In release, or something like that which utilises pain like a Saw movie. Only three tracks long, there’s still a lot of love to be given to these songs, as they burst and weave like a fat guy wearing a tiny shirt going on a marathon run. There’s a lot power in the vocals and math-rock stylings of the tracks, and if you’re not blown away by the fucking gale-force pulverisation of every beat, then you’re not listening properly.