New Alternative Music: The Soft Moon + Roku Music + The Dirty Nil + PILE + Taka Perry

Ermahgerd Erlterhnertive Merzik. Ferk yer!

The Soft Moon-Feel

Seriously, new Soft Moon material is to me what a new Doctor in Dr Who is to people that have too much time on their hands. I’m unbelievably stoked that this guy has decided to put out some more stuff, and, spoiler alert, it is pretty amazeballs.

It starts out like a cross between New Order and The Residents in a dingy S&M club in the suburbs, highly strung out and a little sinister. Then the lyrics of ‘I feel like I’m dying inside, I feel so shallow inside’, and it’s right back to the normal Soft Moon territory. If you’re a fan of Cold Cave or The KVB, you should have no problem with the super-nihilism and screeching bass grooves. However, if you’re uninitiated in the ways of darkwave, then let this be a fantastic introduction.

Roku Music-Collider

The first we heard from Sonic Masala Records (probably the greatest thing that has happened for Brisbane since Violent Soho) was a fucking orgasm-laden tune from Gazar Strips. For their second release, the label have gone with the decidedly 90’s shoegaze-revivalists Roku Music.

Slow-burning doesn’t even begin to describe Roku Music. If you had a single flame that slowly grew into a blaze that covered the entire galaxy, powered solely by Kevin Shields, then you’d have something along the lines of ‘Collider’. It just gets bigger and more epic, sliding into your brain in the only way those buxom shoegaze songs can. For a point of reference, think Day Ravies crossed with a reverb drenched Pixies. If that doesn’t get you tingling in strange places, then you are not a functioning human.

The Dirty Nil-Wrestle Yü to Husker Dü

There are only two bands out there who have pulled off the umlaut successfully: Motörhead and Husker Dü. That’s it. No other bands can pull off the umlaut, because they simply do not have the badass potential to do so.

Luckily, The Dirty Nil have released the lack of hope there is in trying to place an umlaut in your band name, and have instead gone with referencing one of the greats. They’ve also managed to work in a great song title. Man, I wish there was someone out there that would wrestle with me to Zen Arcade.

As if all this wasn’t enough, they’ve topped everything off with a fucking awesome song that makes the term ‘angst-ridden’ pack up its emo-makeup and walk home to listen to Black Veil Brides until 10:30 pm, when the internet connection gets turned off.

A heavy, brooding bass-line, simple riff and bombastic drum part all smash together, tied down by a fucking amazing chorus of ‘I don’t care!’. ‘Wrestle Yü to Husker Dü’ pretty much the ultimate alternative rock song. If this had been released in the 90’s, The Dirty Nil would have been spending more time washing their hands from all the grubby meet ‘n’ greets with turdy major label execs than actually making this music that is balls deep in awesome.

PILE-Special Snowflakes

If you want to get a crash course in Boston’s current music scene, then you need to know about three bands: Speedy Ortiz, Fat History Month and PILE. The latter have just released a new 7″, the title track of which is pretty fucking great.

The song itself is seven minutes long, so its basically guaranteed that there’s going to be a musical journey of sorts, because PILE aren’t a group who’s songs exist on a single bullshit loop that goes for fucking forever. Instead, you’ve got a quiet, meandering intro that slowly raises itself into a shredder masterpiece. It’s like an alternative version of an At The Drive-In song, with the same pounding urgency and genius lyrics. Although a long song, its hard not to let your hands slam down on whatever flat surface you happen to be near whenever the snares kick in with the alertness of a college student that’s just taken 15 Ritalin to ‘prepare’ for the upcoming exams.


Fucking ages ago now, when I was but a wee fuckhead, I heard about this 14 year old kid from Canberra making some decent-sized instrumental stuff. Safe to say, I haven’t grown up, but just taking a geez at his new single, and it becomes blatantly obvious that this guy is going places.

He’s moved away from the slower, proggy stuff that he first established himself with, and instead has gone a little more of the way of ‘THE METAL’. There is some serious shredding taking place here. Who knows what made young Mr. Perry want to obliterate guitar strings with such ferocity. Although there are some moments of brief respite, the Godspeed!-like action on display is what elevates this song to severe levels of interest.


Album Review: Booksmart-No Stars Tonight


Never, ever, ever in the history of the WORLD, has lo-fi depression sounded so good. Honestly, Booksmart sound sadder than a Morrissey after the death of his 52nd cat, Mr Jingles. The acoustic guitar weeping mixed with the not-shit sounding ballads and the occasional bursts of frenetic energy mean that listening to ‘No Stars Tonight’ is going to make your emotions swing between Elmo-just-got-cancer sadness and ascending-Mount-Everest elation.

The songs of ‘No Stars Tonight’ are so fucking delicate and short, that if you’re not paying attention , the entire album will just flash before your eyes.  And that’s a damn fucking shame, because then you’ll miss out on the quietly awesome ‘My Marie’ and ‘Requiem’. The former marries romantic vocabulary with distant musicianship, creating an atmosphere of forlornness that’s like a lost kitten’s eyes-fucking heartbreaking. ‘Requiem’ takes it a step further and ends up like the opposite of something called ‘Requiem’ should be, namely it’s not epic at all. Think about it: ‘Requiem For a Dying Dream, ‘Requiem’ by Killing Joke, the Requiem Mass, or the Mass for the Dead-all severely epic things. Booksmart’s ‘Reqiuem’ subverts that, and shows off a plain and ordinary side that uncovers a whole new concept of how something called ‘Requiem’ can be awesome.

Don’t think it’s all lo-fi gloom on this record however, as there are spurts of energy that ensure the album doesn’t become a monotonal disaster. ‘Runaway’ brings a little bass funk to the mix, injecting some flavour early on the record. You know once a song starts with the lyric ‘The boys are back in town’ it’s going to be a good song.  Even if the lyric is delivered in a cautiously sighing tone, and is meant as more of a downer lyric than a call to arms. ‘Sleepwalking’ also re-invigorates the record after some sadder-than-the-crying-Indian tracks like ‘Madison’ and ‘Still Life’, adding some electric guitar and heavy bass to the mix to snap the listener awake like a rubber band to a sleeping nutsack.

For a lo-fi effort, ‘No Stars Tonight’ is pretty great. For the most part, it’s a chilled out affair, but the aspects of the record which show off the heart-on-a-sleeve aesthetic, (you know, the kind of thing that made Elliot Smith famous) is what brings this record to a whole new tier of great.

Ben Wiley (the guy behind Booksmart) is a genius, and ‘No Stars Tonight’ is awesome, which is why you should go onto his Bandcamp here and pick up the record for ‘name-your-price’.

New: Kismet-New Singles (EP)

It took me a couple listens but I’ve decided that I really, really enjoy this band Kismet. They’re from Boston, home of the Bruins (YAY! SSSSPORTZ!) and they don’t give a fuck about the traditional band setup. They feature the male-female vocal shotgun shells and they have a cello and upright bass, because they’re influences aren’t confined to Bob Dylan and Mumford, like your traditional acoustic band. Nah, these guys and dolls (fantastic musical) are musicians, real musicians, and they prove that beyond any shadow of a doubt on this triple-threat EP. Quaint, haunting and simply smothered in smooth talent, Kismet are on a steady rise. You can grab these new singles for free, as well as their other shit at the link above.