Video: Chook Race – Hard to Clean

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There’s no band quite as charming as Chook Race – they’re probably the only people who can make fitness look appealing (outside of Olivia Newtown John obviously).

Their new clip features the band testing out the latest and greatest gym equipment, with a whole bunch of snazzy sneakers and bright gym shorts to boot. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that there’s an absolutely delightful new Chook Race tune soundtracking the whole shebang as well. Chiming voices, big splashes of guitar and clanging cymbals – it’s good to have these guys back!

Chook Race’s new album Around the House is out on September 2nd on Tenth Court in Australia and Trouble in Mind in the USA.

New Guitar Pop: Ciggie Witch + Scott & Charlene’s Wedding + Gentlemane + Terry + Chook Race + Shearin’ + Cousin Tony’s Band New Firebird

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Just a couple A+ delicacies for your Wednesday night if you’re in the mood for a bit of a jingle jangle:

Ciggie Witch – Walking the Tracks

One of the crowning achievements of my short life thus far is when Ciggie Witch dedicated a song to me at the Fitzroy Bowls Club during a Bedroom Suck Presents gig. Side note: the combination of those three pronouns has made that sentence the most Australian line of dialogue ever written.

Anyway, sink your teeth into this new hazy beauty from the Ciggie Witch camp. This time round, old mate Zach expresses his anxieties of balancing happiness in a song as sick as Steven Seagal’s ponytail.

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Delivered

Been a while since we heard the flashy twang of S+CW, and it’s bloody to good to have them back! There’s that some old yelp, that same old propulsive melody, and a chorus that’s born to be belted from the bedroom of frustrated folks all around Australia.

PS wait for the guitar solo at the end there – feels like you’re being used as mouthwash in the bill of a pelican, tossed around in a machine of bleeding reverb. 10/10

Gentlemane – The Year of Trip

This album is typically more lost in love that your typical jangly record, but you know what? That’s alright by me. I’ve been feeling a little Romeo-esque lately, and I wouldn’t mind listening to a bit of “Lost in the Moment” or “She’s My Angel” as I tearfully yell Shakespeare at the balconies of two-up’s in Newtown on a Saturday arvo.

Terry – 8 Girls 

Terry might not support the nationalists, but they do support cowboy hats and cut-off denim vests that sport their own name in diamonds. Oh yeah, and they also support really tough, leathery pop music born to be blasted from the pub jukebox right after a Saints song from Prehistoric Sounds.

Chook Race – At Your Door 

This song came out before Season 6 of Game of Thrones, which in blog terms means that it’s probably too old to attempt to attach a hashtag to. However, I’m still gonna give it a go, because the scratchy pop styling of Chook Race will never stop be endearing, and it’s always better late than never. Go on, press play, no regrets here.

Shearin – Budget Cuts

For me personally, there’s probably nothing better than hearing a harsh voice spit pure fury over political indignation, shitty policy and a beautiful little jangle pop line. Oh, and look at that, that’s the exact description of Shearin’s “Budget Cuts”! Aren’t you bloody lucky! Also, it’s probably been at least a few weeks since you heard someone scream “that fat cunt Joe Hockey”, so make sure you tune into “Budget Cuts” for that alone.

If you’re free Friday, make sure you head along to the Chippendale Hotel, as Shearin’ are having their EP launch, and will see some support from Nick Nuisance and the Delinquents as well.

Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird – Melbourne Bitter

This song doesn’t really fall into the guitar pop territory, but the song’s called “Melbourne Bitter”, and that’s good enough for me. This song absolutely bloody rules, and I needed to find a way to sneak it in somewhere. Besides, this blog never had any integrity to begin with, why start now?

Album Review: Chook Race – About Time

Hey, come closer. Listen up. No, no, get over here…I get it, you’ve got this whole part-time job, on/off girlfriend, and you’re in your final year of uni. Things are really heating up, I understand. You’re life is complex and complicated. You’re struggling to juggle all of these tasks, whilst pay the bills, and eat a healthy meal. You’re a grown up, and its heaps scary. Shit, its terrifying. You can only go out 4 nights a week, otherwise you’ll get a hangover. What could be more horrifying that that?

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Woah, cliffhangers amirite? To answer the question on everyone’s lips, the only thing more horrifying than your early 20’s is living a life without Chook Race in it. Now that you’re white knuckles are unravelling from all that built up tension, allow yourself to fall in love with a Melbourne three-peice that are just like listening to Robyn Hitcock with a strong Aussie accent and extra tight guitar strings.

 

The world (i.e 3/4 of Brunswick, and everyone else worth speaking to) has been waiting with baited breath for Chook Race to drop their debut album. After a slew of 7″s and cassettes that consistently broke the definition of great guitar-driven pop music, the Chookas manage to scramble together a CD-R with a tracklist that reaches into the double digits.

But, how does the whole affair measure up? Sure, a band being infectious, and lovely, and gorgeous over the space of a few tracks on a cassette is easy enough, but how about the ability to remain inspired and engaging with a breadth of material that triples the length of a 7″?

Well, cast away your fears you decadent minstrel of doubt! Chook Race consistently impress with a super strong LP that never trades in their penchant for writing a hook catchier than a Fenwick Eagle GT Spinning Rod. Chook Race deliver an LP that lives true to the aesthetic of their name…or, basically, it sounds like music that you’d put on when getting chooks to race each other in a scrappy Melbourne backyard.

Although the songs barely last for three minutes each, Chook Race still throw more energy and quirky subject matter out than the Large Hadron Collider regurgitating an episode of the Eric Andre Show. Take opener “Dentists”: “You’re always so inviting, but I just feel like having fondue”. That’s right, subject of the song, you’re such a bloody chore, that Rob would rather eat weird French cuisine and suffer the wrath of cheese dreams than hang out. Or “Just Can’t Relax”, a song about being stressed out about being looking cool and scoring the attention of a potential mate.

But what really lifts this record is Chook Race’s ability to just have fun with their affectionate brand of jangle pop. It’s always moving, shuffling and hopping for a boogie in the middle of a sparse dance floor. As Rob, Matt and Carolyn’s vocals intermingle, the bleeding melodies of their respective instruments jostle lovingly. It makes for a thoroughly enjoyable mixture of frantic and eccentric, somewhere between Pavement, and  ‘All Fools Day’-era The Saints.

If you’re looking for a fun album that appears like a secret, but also feels like it should be highly-respected, and touted as a saviour of the population, or at the very least, the mundanity of modern music, one cannot go past Chook Race’s debut. ‘About Time’ took far too long to be released, but thank ye gods that it was. What a fuckn album!

Get yaself a copy right here, at the Chook Race Bandcamp. Or catch them live when they come up to Sydney and play a few precious shows. Friday, Feb 20 at the Seymour Centre, or Saturday, Feb 21 at Black Wire Rekkids. The Black Wire show is Nathan Roche’s FINAL EVER, and Weak Boys and Jack Lee are along for support. Gonna be mad hektik.

Video: Chook Race – Time

Living in the big smoke is one hell of a pain in the arse. People will spit on you for wearing a Total Control t-shirt instead of a 9-5 attire, and the coffee sucks.

That’s why Chook Race’s new pop song about not having time for someone seems a perfect fit for this haphazard lifestyle. Not only are the lyrics 10/10, but the music here is the sort of crimson sighing perfection that makes you want to move to town with a silly name like Dunedoo, or Melbourne. Having a band that’s so rock n roll they can switch instruments at the drop of a hat and still keep in time with the music is pretty cool too.

Chook Race are playing in Sydney on February 20th at the Seymour Centre, and February 21st at Black Wire Records with Nathan Roche, Weak Boys and Jack Lee.

New: Chook Race – Dentists

Chook Race, after years of teasing the minds of everyone within earshot with perfect two minute jangle-pop sensations, have announced their debut LP { wait, whilst people applaud }

Their first track is “Dentists”, a tight number that sounds like Chook Race have been dusting off their Flying Nun Records. The Clean has fingerprints on this, what with jangle sounds bolstered with lyrics like “You’re always so inviting, but I just feel like having fondue”. Those lyrics aren’t irreverent, those are the words of Camper Van Beethoven from a parallel universe.

New: Unity Floors + Chook Race – Cheap Split 7″

Ahhh, normcore, where would I be without you? Where bands who like to talk about girls and getting drunk, strung together with a few nice, jangly chords and a flannel, can be called geniuses. That’s the dream, right?

Anyway, two completely underrated bands have joined forces from alternate universes, like Han Solo meeting up with Indiana Jones, and released a split 7″. The result is a band from Sydney and a band from Melbourne creating the perfect soundtrack for living in this half-awesome, half-shit dole-bludging, VB-sculling, beard-indulging community we call the Australian suburbs.

Unity Floors’ contribution is typically legendary, with “Hold Music” talking about lime, coconuts, mixing shit up, and frantic and triumphant distortion. It’s the kind of thing you put on when you feel like shit, and are ready for them to get a bit better. Also, the abbreviation of ‘CBF’ is used pretty well. That’s gotta count for something.

Meanwhile, Chook Race put in a bit more of a subdued effort, arresting in their own way. It’s a little Twerps-y, with the jangle-levels hitting a solid 9 on the CVB-S (Camper Van Beethoven Scale, the official scale to rank a band’s jangle output. Look it up). It’s a happy, bouncy and addictive number, small in size but big in heart, and sure to worm its way into your vast iTunes selection. In fact, Chook Race have probably chucked a U2 and penetrated their way into your Library without your consent. #SorryNotSorry

 

Unity Floors & Chook Race will be launching their new 7″ at The Standard Bowl this Friday, with Community Radio tagging along for ultra-good-fun-times. It’s free, and there’s cheap-ish beer!