Gig Review: Bloods + Scotdrakula

Friday 28th November @ Goodgod Small Club

It feels like there’s way too small a crowd assembled for Scotdrakula – these guys are gut-wrenching, heart-in-your-throat good, blasts of toxic garage fury blaring with the kind of ecstasy you can only find at Defqon. I mean, Scotdrakula don’t get up to Sydney much, and missing out on them is like missing out on the zeitgeist. The last time they were in the land of the Big Bridge was for a support slot with Mac DeMarco – which is far too long to wait for what occurred on stage.  They blast off at Apollo-13 levels of ramshackle brilliance, with ‘O’Clock’. Whilst it took a while for movement to flourish onstage, once tracks like “Shazon” and “I Ain’t Going to Sleep”, off their most recent record ‘Scotdrakula‘, pronounced themselves, the group were as fluid as an inflatable tube man out the front of a used car sales lot.

Frontman Matt Neumann was particularly impressive, as he managed to retain Scotdrakula’s signature howling yelp that makes their recording so much goddamn fun to listen to. He also had a weird shuffle manoeuvre that’s probably going to become the next fad, like the Jay Z “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”, or the Soulja Boy “Superman”. The set was just irrepressible energy, steeped in a love of dirty 60’s rock ‘n’ roll, and modern depravity. As the set progressed, things became even more unruly and riveting. The actions on stage were vitriolic and electric, with the final moments on stage being blaring noise, deranged bellowing and guitar thrashing that would make Dimebag Darrell ashamed. It’s almost too easy to headbang and shake ya rump along to Scotdrakula’s songs, and it makes you wonder what kind of deal with the devil these guys initiated to become so damn catchy. It was a mighty shame that the room wasn’t packed to capacity in order to experience one of the better garage bands our fair country has to offer.

Whilst Bloods warm up the stage, Al Grigg and Dion Ford of Palms fame pump a slew of all-female DJ classics (The Breeders, Madonna etc.). The song choices seem appropriate choices considering Bloods are renowned for their anthemic garage anthems led by the vocal powerhouse of Marihuzka Cornelius. Although the beginning of the set suffered through sound issues, Bloods soon had an attentive audience. One of the better aspects of their music is that, unlike most rock/garage/punk music, it doesn’t care to bludgeon, but rather to caress, working with you rather than forcing your attention. In the live setting, this characteristic becomes especially notable, as the bands sweeping melodies fill the room with good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll family values.

The thing about Bloods is that all three members, MC, Sweetie and Dirk, are so in tune and adept with each other, making for an incredibly tight set and well as allowing for each distinct voice to shine through. Sweetie’s bass lines are as thick as the best egg nog you’ve ever eaten too much of, the guitar riffs are as dirty as anything Joan Jett’s ever spat out. And Dirk Jonker’s pretty much re-enacting the Garth “I like to play” scene from Wayne’s World, Metallica t-shirt gradually seeing more sweat, but grin splashed permanently across his mug.

This kind of telepathic communication and simple desire to play loud rock music means that each single hits with a power and passion to rifle Peter Gaza’s feathers. “Penelope”, “Goodnight” and “Into My Arms” are all especially direct shocks of rock ‘n’ roll thrills.

Bloods finish their euphoric set, and the crowd stands with cheers on their tongues, begging for more. The dance floor holds itself with baited breath, pleading to get their boogie on once more. Unfortunately, old mates Bloods are all out of songs to play. We sucked ’em dry, but they tore us apart as well, with all the fun and fury that we love them for. That’s what happens when Bloods play, and here’s to hoping it won’t be too long before we all get to do it again.

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Gig Review: The Blurst of Times Festival

Saturday 25th October @ The Factory Theatre

Simpsons quote. Straight from the go, you’re off to a good start mates. Add to that fact that almost every great guitar act in our country is on a Blurst of Time bill, and you’ve got every cat and their air guitar whizzing to buy a fucking ticket. I mean, people of ‘Straya, what more do you want? The government’s fucked (with the grand exception of Bill ‘Shortball’ Shorten), we’re paying through the nose for uni, and to top it all off, I’ve had a bad sinus infection all week. Really shitty stuff. So a day of DZ Deathrays and beer in Marrickville was basically the only cure, short of going on a bender with Bill Murray (a boy can dream).

Hockey Dad began the day with a short ‘n’ sweet set of feel good surf rock tunes. If you haven’t heard of these blokes, get around them, because they’ve got #nextbigthing written all over their peachy mugs. Zach’s got a voice like an angel, and Billy smashes his drums like he’s on a blitzkrieg, Lleyton Hewitt headband dripping with sweat by the end. A few muck-ups, but the smiles and lack of pretention from these blokes meant that their set was a loud, and thoroughly enjoyable, as good as watching Happy Gilmore the first time round.

Black Zeros followed, but unfortunately, sound issues fumbled their performance. The songs are tight, but performance was unsure, as lead woman Joe Jackson had trouble hearing herself. I mean, “Ride” and “That Boy” are fucking sick, but the dwindling between songs so early in the day made it hard for punters to stick around, and enjoy the usual Black Zeros carnival. Outside, Babaganouj were killing it, an amalgamation of Brissy indie-pop mixed with damn solid 90’s nerd-rock. Think of the dorky pop of Weezer, Superchunk and Kim Deal, thrown together with amazing songs like “Bluff” and “Love Loath Love You”. They had heads nodding along like the crowd were a bunch of bobble-heads. It was down-to-earth euphoric rock, something I’m not sure even existed until this point.

Sticking around on the outside stage, where a bunch of menacing clouds grumbled with menace, High-tails came and conquered with a slew of tight indie rock. High-tails seemed in more of a rock mood, as their songs boomed with a bit more bravado and oomph than usual. “Bending Over Backwards” and a cover of Cake’s “Never There” highlighted a band that knew how to marry pop sensibilities and rock with success. A divorce doesn’t seem likely in the near future, and there’s a strong hint at an LP coming out next year.

Step-Panther, (another band, another hyphen) hobbled unassumingly onto the stage. Just three blokes – a guitar, bass and a drumkit. And yet, these three guys turned an ordinary set up into one of the most impressive displays of musicianship to have been blazed into my skull in recent memory. Starting with debut LP cut “Never Again”, frontman Stephen Bourke was immediately sprawled on the floor, abusing his guitar like it was an Ike and Tina Turner situation all over again. Whiplash guitar ricocheted throughout the small domain of The Factory Theatre, and anyone within earshot perked up like a Chihuahua being mass-fed caffeine. Daniel Radburn is beating the shit out of the drum kit like he’s a 12 year old with the house to himself and a bright and sparkly National Geographic laying bare like the temptresses they are. And Zach, of Hockey Dad @fame, well, he was just looking good. Their set was a fiery ball-tearer, with a couple props to old schoolers like “Fight Like A Knight”, but mainly focusing on their new, gobsmackingly good record, ‘Strange But Nice’ (review here).

It was a party set through and through, a contorted mixture of thrash punk and pop knowledge, covered in gnatty noise and a genuine love, and ability, to rock the fuck out. For every awkward inner-teen out there, Step-Panther is the band you want to familiarise yourself with. They’re almost like a modern and local version of Bleach-era Nirvana, ruthless and primal, and Stephen Bourke makes for a picturesque Kurt Cobain, with his shoulder-connected-to-neck  solos being a sight worthy of the Bucket List. New singles “Nowhere”, “It Came From the Heart” and “User Friendly” were a shredder’s haven, and a reminder that Step-Panther are some of the last heartfelt headbangers in Sydney, possibly even Aus. Make sure you get down to their album launch (with Bearhug and Point Being!) at Goodgod on November 21st.

After exhilaration-incarnate, it felt like nothing could possibly match a Step-Panther show. Obviously, it’s been a while since I went to a SPOD show, and I’ve forgotten how one-of-a-kind this man, nay, GOD, is. Where Step-Panther are one of the ultimate rock bands, SPOD is the ultimate party band. I feel like that needs to be repeated -SPOD IS THE ULTIMATE PARTY BAND! NEVER MISS A SHOW FROM THIS GUY! EVER! EVER! EVER!

Armed with a battalion of all-black, sunnies-inside security guards (Steve’s #1 & #2, and old mate Nathan Wood) who never dropped their demeanour of seriousness and professionalism (sic), SPOD tore The Factory Theatre a new arsehole. Beginning with the song of our generation, “Deadshits”, SPOD’s set soon become something that people will talk about centuries from now, in hushed whispers, in case the legend himself blazes down from the heavens to destroy all human life with his hard-partying ways. To put it bluntly, the set was compromised entirely of legends. From young pup/legend Dom O’Connor being literally picked up and thrown around SPOD like a stripper on a pole during “Letz Dance”, to Dion Ford (Australia’s greatest guitarist/legend) coming onstage to crank out Oz’s favourite pub rock tune “Couple Of Drinks”, to old mate/legend Jules (of Rice is Nice one of the greatest labels to adorn our fair country) getting her waltz on to the finale and every pervert’s funky favourite “Electric Hips”. And I’d be lying to you if I said that getting on stage with pretty much every living legend the Australian music industry has seen for a singalong of “Boys Night” wasn’t one of the Top 5 Moments of my life. I entered the Factory a boy, and left a man, thanks to SPOD. The man is a saint.

After a sweat, party-filled few hours, it was time for Blank Realm, one of the main acts on the bill. After the release of their flawless pop record “Grassed Inn” earlier this year (review here), Blank Realm was a band that I physically could not withhold myself from seeing. Whilst the beginning of the set was marred by sound issues, primarily the bass thudding over the top of other instruments, things were abruptly fixed so that it was all Blank Realm awesomeness, all the time. Their set seemed to compromise of only a few songs, mostly of their latest album, but that’s hardly a complaint. My body was instantly entranced into twisting into an amalgamation of shapes I had no clue I was capable of. Maybe I was just trying to mimic the movements of the band themselves, in which they moved with poetic energy, jumping and grooving with artistic beauty. It was strange, and timelessly wonderful. Getting to see stuff like “Reach You On the Phone”, “Go Easy” and a sped-up “Falling Down the Stairs” (#songoftheyear) is something no ones forgetting any time soon. Summarisation: 2014 – year of the keytar. Never change, Blank Realm, never change.

Outside, a new and unruly beast was unfolding in the form of Velociraptor, fleshed out with a rare appearance from original members Shane and Simon of DZ Deathrays. Banshee cries were the first thing I really noticed from the set, followed by a ruckus on par with a football riot. Bodies flew everywhere, and it honestly felt like a tsunami of rock music had arrived. Whereas Velociraptor are garage-pop on record, the raw energy of earlier recordings was in sure-fire play during the set. As guitars reigned supreme, and the multi-limbed juggernaut of rock ‘n’ roll heaved on headbangers like “Cynthia”, “The Walk On By”,”Cool, Baby, Cool” and the anthemic “Ramona”, it was like an alternate ending from Jurassic Park, where the T-Rex doesn’t show up, and the kids aren’t so lucky. As the final chords rang out, and Jeremy Neale stood poised, with fist raised triumphantly above his lolling head, grin planted firmly on his mug, it was ultimately obvious that Velociraptor had fucking won.

After a truly sweeping performance, TV Colours graced the stage for a very different, but similarly affecting, display of amazing. TV Colours released the best album of last year, and they wilfully proved it. They had walls of sound at their disposal, tearing through songs like “The Neighbourhood” and “Lost Highway” with a virtuosity and newfound, dare I say it, professionalism. Their fury was there, but it was more controlled, funnelled into the seething audience of bobbing heads. It doesn’t seem far-fetched to believe that “Purple Skies, Toxic River” will be mentioned in the same breath as “Primary Colours”, or “Havilah” in the future. It’s a modern masterpiece, and seeing a band as talented and great as that dominate a stage is a pleasure as always. If you haven’t seen TV Colours rip through “Bad Dreams” or “Beverly” and let your jaw drop to the floor in utter amazement, you haven’t lived.

Die! Die! Die! seemed like a bit of a left-field choice for the day, the only Kiwi band on the bill. But they had a new orgasmic album to show off, and you’d have to be a total dillweed to miss out on these guys bombastically destroying expectations. Die! Die! Die! are one of the few punk bands left that can completely blow you away every single time you see them, pounding expectations to the ground as dangerously as frontman Andrew Wilson behaves on stage. Perched precariously on a stack of amps, Wilson cradles the microphone and bellows “A.T.T.I.T.U.D” with a conviction that belies belief. A song over seven years old, Wilson only needed to jump into the crowd and be assaulted by eager punters willing to scream the celebrated chorus, for the epiphany to click that Die! Die! Die! will never die. They’ll forever live on in a myth of wholesome awesome, a preservation of smart punk rock that shames anything that tries to come near it. The members are performers and musicians that have no contemporaries, lambasting temples of a bygone era.

 

To watch Die! Die! Die! in action is a sincere honour, a pinnacle of what humans can do when they really, really, really wanna tear the world a new arsehole. Although new tracks “Get Hit” and “She’s  Clear” shook The Factory to its hinges, it was old timers like “Wasted Lands” and “Ashtray! Ashtray!” that forced the crowd into a hurricane frenzy, centred on the eye-of-the-storm, Andrew Wilson. It can not be overstated how pivotal to your existence it is that you, dear reader, go and see Die! Die! Die! in action.

Cruising to a nice little backstage loft, watching DZ Deathrays side of stage was a set that will be ingrained into my memory for a fair while (Blurst of Times seems to be full of those, hey). After a lengthy UK tour, the duo added an extra guitar and a moustache to Simon’s head for their extraordinary set of euphoric rock. However, there was something a else about the performance. No, DZ were fairly perfect, they didn’t fuck up, and were rockstars to an inch. But that was the issue – these guys should be headlining stadiums, blowing out eardrums worldwide. The fact that they came back to Australia to dwindle with the mere mortals…I mean, how are you meant to react to something like that?

Watching with swollen eyes, every onlooker became enraptured with DZ’s sweaty thrusts of pummelling songs, mainly drawn from the pool of talent that is their sophomore “Black Rat”. Every song was a debilitating lesson in how to be a motherfucking rockstar, from classics like “The Mess Up”, to the slow-burning epic “Northern Lights” and a finale of epic proportions in “Gina Works At Hearts”. Watching DZ is a heart-in-mouth experience, where you want to vomit, cry and mosh all at the same time, where fist-pumping and deranged shouting is par for the course.

After a sincerely great fucking day, Hard-Ons finish the night with a heated dosage of their signature metal/punk/thrash expertise. For those who are unfamiliar, The Hard-Ons are a classic band of Australian lore, as integral to our musical landscape as Radio Birdman, The Saints and The Scientists. Getting to lose my Hard-Ons virginity was something I can only ever be thankful for. They swung through songs with riffs sent straight from another dimension, reaching into the bowels of my brain and throttling the joy factor. There weren’t as many punters there as the Hard-Ons probably required, but really that just gave the more dedicated few room to move and stand in awe of the wicked trio, and insane musicianship of Australia’s coolest band.Ray Ahn proved to those there that all you need to be in one of Australia’s most loved bands is a working pair of footy shorts, a flowing man of hair, and a certificate from Shredding School.

Fuck, so I gotta summarise this experience, right? Paragraph after paragraph of praising the shit out of all the bands I managed to cram into a day, and I gotta come up with something witty AND all-encompassing? I think I’ll stick with the words of everyone’s hero Dom O’Connor, who described Blurst as “… a house party”. And indeed it was – you had mates crammed next to each other, love pouring from every socket, and some of the best bands this country has ever seen playing enormously tight and friendly sets. Although clashes prevented sets from Bloods, Bearhug, Donny Benet and a few others from leaking into my pupils, and Low Life cancelled last minute, and a few sound issues tore away from otherwise perfect shows, The Blurst of Times made an excellent debut in Sydney. From booking the best and loudest, to having minimal deadshit attendance, and relatively cheap drinks and food, Blurst of Times has gone down as one hell of a festival.

Album Review: Bloods – Work It Out

It has been well-established that Bloods are a damn fine band. Roll that sentence around in your mouth a few times. See how right it feels? It’s like the final piece of a jigsaw, with the rest of the puzzle filled out with bands like Royal Headache and Straight Arrows. Most of the bands have had their debut albums released to rapturous applause. And now, Bloods get to show off what has been stewing in their instruments for so long.

There are two main reasons to love Bloods, the first one being that they are damn near a perfect pop band. Their songs make you want to dance, and it’s done unashamedly, with all the exuberance and authenticity of a 6th Grade re-indtion of Grease. The second reason as to why you must love Bloods, is because they’re not afraid to shove that pop love through the muck. There’s plenty of throaty shouts, furious riffs and scuzz to satisfy those who love things delivered with a bit of blood ‘n’ guts.

Bloods marry these two styles in harmony incredibly well. Especially on their initial 7″s, Bloods knew how to do something crazy interesting that not a lot of bands could figure out how to do, or at least do well. They took something old school, specifically 60’s/70’s doo-wop, and collided it with the modern love for thrashing on some strings and snares. However, it’s always a bit of a gamble when really great garage bands go for the full-length, in maintaining intrigue and depth throughout the course of an album. Bloods have little-to-no trouble with that problem. They parade through their whole catalogue of styles, from gentle hip-swayers like “This Country” and “The Animal”, to bonafide headbangers “Boys Like You” and “What Do I Care”. They don’t spare any time with flinging a whole mixture of emotions into the blender, and ending up with a smoothie of garage-pop goodness, with bonus kale.

But the most interesting parts of the record are when that old flame that Bloods burn so brightly, and contrasting it with these points of genuine displays of weakness pouring from lead singer MC. That’s not meant as an insult, saying that MC brings down the band, but rather she adds strength by baring a whole shitload more than people expect from the average garage record. On “College”, an enormous stand-out in the Bloods catalogue, she half-laments, half-celebrates, “I can’t pay for college, so I’ll never learn how to act right, so I guess that, this is my life”, of a Breeders-esque guitar warble. And on “Nothin’ But Time”, herself and bassist Sweetie do a spot on Joan Jett-impression by devouring the listener with a rage belting of, “Why don’t you do get a job, get a life, something constructive and contribute to society!”.

https://soundcloud.com/bloods/want-it

To combat these moments of intensity, Bloods mellow things to a riff-based fare, that’s less filler rather than the catchy-as-hell singles that Bloods are renowned for. The awesomely maternal “Penelope”, and scuzzy Ty Segall-ish stomper “Want It”, things boil over and become the mosh-stirring splashes of furious fun that everyone loves Bloods for.

To bring things to a concise point, Bloods have shown their fears and, almost as a reward, they’ve exposed themselves to a new, more-acclaimed territory. Like their partners in crime, Step-Panther, Bloods have revealed a more complex side to themselves, without losing any of the simplicity that made them so easy to like in the first place.

Bloods’ ‘Work It Out’ is streaming over at Rolling Stone. It’s out on Friday. Sick.

Top 5 Records w/ Bloods

Bloods are all time. All time, y’hear? They are easily one of the most exciting acts to be following in Sydney, packing out these damn near perfect 2/3 minute jams with more fun than a lazer-tag party hosted by Barney the Dinosaur. One of the more notable elements of their music is their lack of fear in injecting garage music with light-hearted pop, combining a throwback sound that a lot of garage bands seem afraid to do. Bloods pull it off, no wucking furries, mate.

Take for example their latest track “Penelope”. It’s awash with the good times, an encapsulation of something that you can easily jiggle your body around to. It’s fucking fun, man! There’s not much more to be said about it! Even though they’ve only released a handful of singles and an EP, with their debut album coming out later this year, it’s hard to see Bloods doing anything but kicking heaps of ass.

For Bloods’ Top 5 Records, I asked their drummer Dirk (acclaimed award-winner of “Nicest Guy In Rock ‘N’ Roll”) about his favourite thrash records. When I managed to catch Bloods for the first time, at Frankie’s Pizza, old mate was wearing the phreshest stylez of a Slayer ‘Raining Blood’ T-shirt and black jeans, which were soon soaked in sweat. Given that awesome experience, and the fact that I don’t talk about trash metal NEARLY enough, here’s Dirk’s little geek out on the music that’s 2Fast2Furious for the ears of the squares.

Top 5 Thrash Metal Records

5. Exodus – Bonded By Blood
I love this track – it has such a classic thrash riff which I believe Kirk Hammett from Metallica had a hand in, as he was in Exodus in their early days. When I first heard this I didn’t quite dig the vocals but I love how crazy they sound now! These guys don’t quite get the respect some of their peers get, but they are pretty damn rad.
4. Kreator – Pleasure To Kill
I always loved seeing these wacky Germans late at night on Rage as a kid – and this track is a good example of what they do. The production kind of(totally) sucks, but the playing is utterly manic and it just sounds mental to me! This is a good one to play to your Mum to really freak her out.
3. Megadeth – Hanger 18
Now this is by far(in my opinion) the most commercial track here, and it honestly isn’t nearly as ‘thrash’ as say Exodus or Slayer, AND i believe it came out in 1990! Oh well, close enough. If you’ve never heard Megadeth this is a good place to start, in fact, the whole album this is off (Rust In Peace) is killer.
2. Slayer – Kill Again
Now, most people reading this would argue that anything off Reign In Blood is the best kind of Slayer. BUT the album ‘Hell Awaits’ is the first Slayer I ever heard and I just love everything about it. The cover is amazing, the production is really raw, and it just sounds downright evil. When I was a kid I totally thought these guys were dangerous! I love the title track, but Kill Again is badass.
1. Metallica – Fight Fire With Fire
It’s almost impossible to pick a fave Metallica track off the first few albums, but this one is my all time fave. It’s on Ride The Lighting which is probably my fave album of theirs too. To me this is the pinnacle of thrash – and shows why Metallica stood head and shoulders above the competition back in the 80s. It is brutal, features some weird timing that i love, and has a classic acoustic intro which I think is essential to opening an 80s Metallica album!

Video: Bloods – Penelope

Obviously the wonderful trio of Bloods – Sydney’s finest purveyors of bubblegum rock and roll – are scared shitless by either dentists, or celebrities with scarily perfect teeth. Their oft-used moniker of a dripping grin becomes sentient and decides that, even though Bloods birthed this little guy into cult status off the back of their “Goodnight” 7″, it’s going to chomp these guys to bits. Armed with a burning rage and looking like the ghostly remnants of Gary Busey’s canines, this asshole chases old mates around a carpark, devouring them all until they are forced into a ghostly realm wherein they’ll be forced to play the same song over and over again. It’s like Groundhog Day but with a heaps good song.

New: Bloods-Want It

Look, we get it. The budget has more of a shitty effect on the general punter than the splashback at a Big Day Out porta-potty. Unless you’re Joe ‘Fat Cat’ Hockey, or one of his lackeys, you’re pretty much fucked in every sense of the word.

And whilst that sucks tremendously, the news is slightly more wearable with the announcing of a brand new single from local favourites Bloods. This song is typically vicious and typically poppy, like the Ramones if they were a little bit more loose. Yes, it’s that fucking wild.

Seriously, when that sexy bass makes way for the crashing cymbals and sweaty chorus, you’re going to want to lose it, just as MC, Sweetie and Dirk are commanding you to. Of all the recently released songs to angrily thought-punch the douchebags in government to, whilst having a deplorable amount of reckless fun, it’d have to be ‘Want It’.

Playlist: Australian Artists to Watch in 2014 (January Playlist)

Alright, two things.

1. I realise I’ve been pretty shitty about getting out the monthly playlists of songs that you don’t give a fuck about. Frankly, I haven’t been listening to all that much new stuff, just old school Mogwai, The Triffids and this band that Guy from Chapter Music was raving about called The Plants (check ’em they’re rad). So, consider this a January playlist.

2. A bunch of musical related things like the NME have been raving about bands they reckon will explode this year. Honestly, I don’t really give a fuck about Temples or Sam Smith or whatever bullshit Justin Vernon rip-off project is occurring. Now, I wanna talk about some homegrown talent that is sure to lay siege to your brains in this new year.

Before I get stuck in, I’d like to prefix this by saying I didn’t include bands that have had stellar years in 2013. No Palms, or Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys or Bad//Dreems, or anything like that. Definitely no Courtney Barnett after the outrageous (but certainly earned) amounts of praise.  The following bands and artists are ones that came on the verge of hitting big in 2013, but saved up their magic for what is sure to be a stellar following year. Get used to these names-some of them will begin to dominate Triple J, or at least your community radio station, some will begin to invade your hometown with shows, and some will break up, and it’ll be like they never existed. However, all are incredibly, incredibly good, and they’re only at a sapling phase. In 2014, watch these bad boys and girls grow into behemoths of the Australian music scene.

1. Go Violets

2. The Stevens

3. ScotDrakula

4. The Clits

5. Blood Plastic

6. Adults

7. Destiny 3000

9. Multiple Man

10. Circular Keys

11. Tincture

12. GUERRE

13. Cull

14. You Beauty

15. The Creases

16. Driffs

17. Bloods

18. Chicks Who Love Guns

19. The Frowning Clouds

20. Mining Boom

Video: Bloods-No Fun

You know all those shitty action movies that use fast cars as a vehicle (pun not intended) for over-the-top action sequences? Lot’s of vrooming and Vin Diesel looking hard? Well, Bloods out-does them all in this two and a half minute clip, shaving off a thankful 90 minutes of Nicholas Cage from your life.

The perfect mix of bubblegum punk and leather-jacket, Harley-Davidson driving, black-aviator-sunglasses wearing cool is brought to life in one of Bloods’ best tracks yet. ‘No Fun’ is a party starter if you’ve ever heard one, full-throttle to a dangerous level.

Dirk, MC and Sweetie let themselves go on this clip, with loose, shaky and fun vibes being the central focus. There’s some costume changes, a Sega-inspired Bloods logo, and an overdose of the word ‘AHHH!’. Good times!

Album Review: Bloods-Golden Fang EP

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It’s no secret that Bloods are one of the best Sydney bands around town. Go hang out in Surry Hills or Newtown, initiate a conversation with anyone that looks like they know their shit, and soon enough the topic of Bloods will come up. It’s inevitable, or as Kim Jong Il would say ‘irreveratbrr’. Some would say that naming your band after one of America’s most bloodthirsty and intimidating gangs would be a dumb idea that would welcome a lot of mistaken idea (“Yo Crips, there’s a Bloods show tonight, bring yo GUNS!”). But Bloods reciprocate with music that transcends the teeth-gnashing and larger-than-life violence of Bloods (the gang). Instead, Bloods (the band) adopt the persona of an older gang, a cooler gang, one adorned with leather jackets, slicked greasy hair, and thick Italian-American accents. Bloods are the T-Birds! 

All about the fun times, the awkward first romances, the teenage love/lust, falling head over heels down mistaken and well-worn trails…this is Bloods territory. And they fucking own it like John Travolta owned the role of Danny Zuko. The charisma and infectious groove of opener ‘No Fun’ is undeniable. The band slide into the song, slowly easing the listener until they are submerged in scream-chants, a way better, slightly bitchier song than something from a 80’s garage punk track. ‘No Fun’ makes you want to twist your fingers, dart your eyes round the inside of your skull, and beam the biggest grin you’ve ever conceived.

An airplane takes off, and leaves the listener stranded in the friendly abrasiveness of ‘Into My Arms’, a bratty track that will get your blood pumping, no matter the situation. Next is the venom spitting ‘Bodies’, a crunchy guitar riff flopping into a murky and destructive chorus-centric track. 

Now, before you start pigeon-holing Bloods as some sort of average band that can definitely rock the fuck out but has trouble showing any diversity in sound…well, this next song is for you. ‘Back to You’ is a lingering romance-ladden track that will tug the fuck outta your heart strings. It’s a power-ballad-belting, no-shit-taking, focused-as-fudge song that will take you on the journey you never knew a garage band from Sydney could take you. Olivia Newton-John couldn’t have done it better herself.  

The final two tracks on the EP, ‘Hailing Down’ and ‘Language’ reflect the same sort of pattern as the beginning of the EP. Fun, bopping, and super addictive, they cool down the EP with satisfying gusto. The ending guitar/vocal/bass swishes on ‘Language’ are especially gratifying, as they show that Bloods are a band that are in sync with each other to a collective amazingness. Their ability to lock into what they are all playing, and noodle their various parts into a cohesive piece of garage rock is mind-blowing. Fuck yes, Bloods, fuck yes. 

You should consider going onto Bloods Bandcamp, right here. A bunch of songs are available for free. Just another reason to love Bloods. 

Video: Bloods-Back to You

WOAH! When the fuck did Bloods slow down? It’s like they took a whole heap of acid, and everything got distorted way out of proportion! The punk edge is gone (from this song at least, can’t wait to get my hands on the upcoming album) but the garage remains the same (Metallica reference anyone?) It’s a great jam, full of that spice and fervour we’ve come to expect from the Bloods camp, and if the album shapes into anything like this shrouded pearl then it should be fucking ace.