New: Sincerely, Grizzly – I’m Nucky Thompson. This Is Atlantic City

First of all, here are two facts about me that prove I’m in position to begin talking about this awesome new Sincerely, Grizzly song. Firstly, I haven’t seen an episode of ‘Boardwalk Empire’, an allegedly amazing HBO show featuring the sad, milky eyes of Steve Buscemi. Secondly, I’ve never been to Atlantic City…apparently, it’s like the classy version of Las Vegas, or some shit?

However, I do listen to a lot of good guitar bands, and Sincerely, Grizzly, one of the finer providers of said genre outta Radelaide, have encapsulated all there is to love about having a headbang to some sad music. SG have perfected the art of a wordy onslaught, and ensured that things don’t get boring by inserting more whirlwind passages of flurrying guitar than a duel between Glassjaw and At the Drive-In.

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Album Review: Die! Die! Die! – SWIM

In the canon of bands with exclamation marks in their name, Die! Die! Die! stand proudly at the forefront. They’re Kiwis, but strangely enough, they’re more toxic, alluring and immediate than the majority of bands in both Hemispheres. So, don’t hold their 2nd best country in Oceania origin status against them. Yeah, I managed to stick in a completely unnecessary and cliche jibe about how Australia is better than New Zealand. ‘Straya!

Anyway, back to more ‘SWIM’, their fifth ‘album’ (pulverisation of the senses is a much more apt term) Die! Die! Die! couldn’t have earned their right to their triple exclamation marks. Unlike acts like Panic! At the Disco, 3OH!3 and The Go! Team, Die! Die! Die! actually implement a very real sense of dangerous urgency to their music that marks their music as unmistakeable. When frontman Andrew Wilson’s barks ring out over crunching, knifing guitars, it becomes apparent very quickly that you are about to witness some extraordinary music.

Over their 10+ career in choons, Die! Die! Die! have put out some interesting albums that span from ragers, to blood-boilers, to snarlers and post-punk loomers. On ‘SWIM’, they pull all their old tricks into one gorgeous orgy of sound. There are the hitz, which could be staples of the ultra cool underground parties, and then there are songs which go to a different, subterranean level; bone-gnawing, white knuckle rides that speak to the lonely kid with earphones strapped around their ears on a Saturday night.

For the latter example, take the fucking excellent track “Crystal”, which opens with a confused maelstrom of guitar and doom-laden drums, as Wilson’s alternate between a depressed calmness, and a narrow sharpness as rough as the lyrics in the chorus. For the loners and losers out there, this kind of mourner-turned-triumphant song is exactly the kind of thing that makes the hands clench up and want to do something. It’s a call to arms, the kind of thing that Die! Die! Die! excel at (see: “Trinity”, “Sideways Here We Come”).

That kind of empathetic and understanding vein is continued in messy guitar tracks “Jelosy”, and “Mirror”. But it’s not all furrowed brows and wishful thinking, as there’s plenty of the explosive virtuosity that Die! Die! Die! are renown for. “Get Hit” detonates with a chorus that is begging for wail your arms around to, with the trio snapping into pure, focused and unrivalled energy, and creating the perfect track to start ‘seeing red’ to. “She’s Clear” rails against the greatest piece of shit society has known, hypocrites, pairing lyrics about transparency with devilish bass. Or “Sister”, which is a deafening racket that pounds against the ears like being tied to an amplifier playing Wolf Eyes at the loudest volume possible.

You know that phrase, that you can’t judge a book by its cover? Well, in the case of ‘SWIM’, the album cover depicts the contents precisely. Alone, in a bleak environment – cold, harsh elements railing against you. But nonetheless, there’s a power that radiates from beneath the hoodie, beaten and worn, but promising to come back even stronger. If ever there was a perfect visual metaphor for Die! Die! Die!’s consistently formidable output, surely this would be it.

In their careers, Die! Die! Die! have always been impressive. But on ‘SWIM’, the band pull together a cohesiveness, and broad musical and lyrical expertise, unleashing some of the best music to grace the ears of those looking for more out of punk than three chords and a shout. A damn fine album, even if it comes from New Zealand. ZING!

Get annihilated with Die! Die! Die!, when they play their third Sydney show this year at Goodgod, on the 12th of September!

Video(s): Superchunk + Blank Realm + Bearhug + Naked Maja + Bo Ningen

Another day, another obese unloading of music videos. This time round, the focus is on stuff that’ll get you fucking fired up. None of that dance muzik stuff that all your cool hipster friends always seem to be talking about. This is just some straight up rock n roll, albeit its going to get a little darker towards the end. Enjoy, or die a lonely death.

Superchunk-Void

Oh look at that, a guitar band featuring on my website. Oh, and it happens to be Superchunk, that band that basically brought back irreverent riffs in the 90’s. This one’s called ‘Void’ off their 2013 record ‘I Hate Music’, and its the usual dosage of headbanging goodness. But the video, now the video is something that you need to see. First thing to strike me was the inclusion of Jon Benjamin and Jon Glaser, two of the most underrated comedians since ever. The scene opens in a decrepit ‘shithole’ which reminds me of an Americanised Red Rattler, and Jon Benjamin saying, ‘support bands suck’. From there it’s a broken-hearted tale of unfulfilled mosh dreams, and dick headed security guards. Fucking excellent!

Blank Realm-Falling Down the Stairs

I’ve always been a mild fan of Brisbane weird-pop band Blank Realm, with their tracks ‘Cleaning Up My Mess’ and ‘Go Easy’ always striking a particular chord. However, this new track and its accompanying video, seems to combine Tom Petty with a twee Bruce Springsteen under a cloud of Echo & the Bunnymen. Lets just say its damn catchy, and that I’m completely underselling this track. Your head will definitely bop back and forth to that cute synth line and the best rhetorical question chorus since ‘Who Let the Dogs Out?’. Set to the band just doing their thing in a live setting, (I can tell you from firsthand experience that they are definitely worth seeing live), the adorable and awesome nature of Blank Realm really shines here.

Bearhug-Debris

Maybe its because they share such an affinity with Pavement/Dinosaur Jr., but I’ve always been a little too obsessed with Sydney’s Bearhug. On their new single ‘Debris’, shit gets a little more dreamy than usual, and it sounds amazing. They’ve also attached a video clip to this stunning track, however the clip is more of a baiting game of how long it will take before Youtube take it down. By that, I mean there’s a lot of nudity, lotsa boobies. I guess that’s what you get when you pastiche a bunch of 60’s porn with what appears to be some sort of fantastical plot narrative.

Naked Maja-#59

A couple of days ago, I did a review for Naked Maja’s brand new EP ‘Disillusion’. ‘#59’ is the first track off of it, and it has a video clip so good that it just needed to be shared again. Doomy, post-punk laden vocals and increasingly horrifying instrumentation are set to a backdrop what appears to Lewis Carroll’s acid nightmares. There is so much colour and vibrancy involved, but its so off putting and makes you incredibly queasy inside, like you’re watching an electric chair execution take place in front of you. In front of the squealing guitars, it doesn’t make sense for there to be that abundance of colour, and its this kind of juxtaposition in the clip for ‘#59’ that makes it so hard for you to peel your eyes away.

Bo Ningen-Nichijyou feat. Jehnny Beth (Savages)

Before Bo Ningen came along, I more or less knew of three Japanese bands that ruled the shit out of the genres they lorded over. Boris for metal, The 5678’s for guitar/girl-pop and Guitar Wolf for good old fashioned rock n roll. Well, now a fourth has joined their spiritual ranks, as Bo Ningen viciously prove how they are a band to be reckoned with on the post-punk scene. The video shows furtive, uneasy black and whites of the band and contributor Jehnny Beth from the fucking amazing Savages. The video is crisp and adds that little extra element of starkness that pushes ‘Nichijyou’ into climax-of-the-Shining-level attention grabbing.

Bo Ningen are playing at the Big Day Out next year, so if you’re looking for a band that will probably put on a hell of a show, you should check ’em out.