A Comprehensive List Of Everything I’ve Forgotten To Write About in The Past Three Months: Pt. 2 Guitar Pop

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It took about a month to follow up part one of all the shit I forgot to write about for the past three months, and I was considering throwing the towel in and start covering all the latest goss on the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album, but a lot of this stuff is so great that I’ve convinced myself to postpone my Flea think pieces for a few extra days.

 

Ocean Party – Mess + Noise Critics Poll 2015

R.I.P  Mess + Noise, Long Live The Ocean Party! This little mini-album is absolutely fantastic! If you’d like some more in-depth analysis on this album, someone on Bandcamp described it as a collection of “…moist beats…”, and who am I to disagree?

Cool Sounds – In Blue Skies

The only thing better than this beautifully lush, semi-new one from Cool Sounds is the blue-tinted panther that adorns the cover of their single artwork. Fuck yes to the marriage of jungle cats and 10/10 guitar pop!

Crepes – Hidden Star

Another winner courtesy of Deaf Ambitions, this one is a bit more of a psych-laden pool of guitar. It’s a bit of a slower jam than Crepes previous singles, but “Hidden Star” is still a crisp sip of a tinnie in January.

Heart Beach – Counting/Relief 7″

I wish that we lived under the kind but firm rule of a benevolent dictator that forced everyone to own a copy of Heart Beach’s Counting/Relief 7″, and we were forced to play it three times a day, every day, to remind us all how lucky we are that Heart Beach are a band making songs like “Counting” and “Relief”.

Weak Boys – Life Rules

Weak Boys got a shoutout in the liner notes in the new Violent Soho album, and they managed to grab a bloody gig at the most hallowed of Sydney’s venues – the Newtown Social Club (as immortalised on the B-Side of this CD-R single). So yeah, life really does rule, doesn’t it?

SMILE – Rhythm Method

If you’re having a shocker, put on this new album from SMILE. As soon as the frenzy of “Cool. I Need Money” kicks in, the shitkicking you’ve suffered through will start to fade. By the time “BLVD” rolls in, the fact that you work as a Dave Hughes impersonator is a distant memory.

Great Outdoors – I Look Back

I reckon Don Burke should renew Burke’s Backyard, and make “I Look Back” the new theme song – it’s a fucking great song, it keeps with the whole “outdoor” theme, and it would surely see a dip in the ratings for all the other early-arvo lifestyle shows. You’re move Ready, Steady Cook.

Tiny Little Houses –  Milo Tin

Yeah, nah, how great is this band? Every time I steal 2 minute noodles from now on, it has to be soundtracked by this song.

Verge Collection – Class of ’09

This is the best song about high school since Papa Roach’s “Last Resort”.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Write Back

They’ve changed their name but RBCF’s still know how to write the fuck out of a song. “Write Back” makes you want to put down the guitar and notepad because you’ll never be as good these blokes.

Glaciers – Local Hero

“Local Hero” has that same gentle, lilting embrace as Boomgates, Scott and Charlene’s Wedding and Twerps and that’s the highest compliment anyone can give a band.

 

Morning TV – Dive

It’s pretty tough not to swoon at this one – what a bunch of bloody dreamboats! Second song in, and I’m hooked like a tuna that’s happened to pass within a one kilometre radius of a fishing trawler.

 

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New from The Ocean Party Crew™: Snowy Nasdaq + Ciggie Witch + Cool Sounds

The Ocean Party are easily one of the best bands in Australia, but one of the best aspects of the band is how restless the members are. Not only do they pump out albums faster than a hardcore Christian rabbit pumps out babies, but the individual members also treat the making of music like it’s a resource, churning out as much of the good shit as possible before it all runs out.

Hence, here is a collection of a the recent releases by various solo guises from The Ocean Party that you would do well to feast upon:

SNOWY NASDAQ & SNOWY LIFE – Ironic Life

The Ocean Party’s irrepressible guitarist/internet demi-god Snowy Nasdaq returns under his forever-shifting solo moniker. This time, it’s with a video that’s like Wes Anderson going lo-budget and sadistic. Snowy slaps himself more times than a self-hating henchman who is constantly screwing up, to the background of a forgotten home aerobics video. If that doesn’t sound like something you’d be interested in watching, then fuck you, you’re boring.

 

Ciggie Witch – Look of Pain

I can’t believe I didn’t spot this before – the Melbourne guitar-pop sextet Ciggie Witch sounds exactly like triple j wunderkid “rapper” Allday. Jesus, how did I not fucking SEE THIS! It’s so obvious! If can’t call distinctions this blatant, then what is even the fucking point of any of this? Isn’t that the whole point of writing????

There was serious consideration of giving up everything and getting a real job, and refusing to mention anything about the new Ciggie Witch track, but the Soundly Sounds Board of Directors forced my hand. They roughed me up, Sopranos-style,quoting something like, “Take this incredible song and say something witty, like how Zac is hitting all the big contemporary musical notes, because he’s always known the DJ”. However, my spirits are so low, I don’t think I can muster a terrible pun. Sorry, no hilarity in this post, it’s been sucked dry by lack of will to live, being so out of touch with contemporary music.

Cool Sounds – Control

I don’t believe that Cool Sounds actually contain any actual members of The Ocean Party, but Snowy contributes violin to this track, and my loose morals (read: lying) have always been such a durable part of my life philosophy, and…Jesus Christ, does it matter? This song rules!

“Control” is just under three minutes of lush, plucking dream-pop. More interestingly, it’s a self-analysing trip of torture, with lines like, “I keep dreaming that I’m cheating on you” and “I’m running out of time to come back home” brimming with the kind of self-hatred that seems to only either stem from Melbourne 20-somethings and HBO characters. Beautiful.

 

Do yourself a favour, and steal a glance at these bastards when they travel North for a stunner-deal of a show at The Union in Newtown, on June 26th. Ciggie Witch and Cool Sounds – Just a Couple of Mates.

New Australian Music: Bat Nouveau + Scrabbled + Backyard Soccer + Cool Sounds

I’ve been pretty fucking slack in reading back over my emails the last few weeks, so here’s a round-up of absolutely gobsmacking new albums from ‘Straya’s finest.

 

Bat Nouveau –Death Mask/Funeral Eyes 7″

The first and foremost thing to be addressed to here is that it is essential for you to check them out. On the Brissy duo’s fucking sick new 7″, they open with something that could’ve come from any good The Cure track. However, “Death Mask” soon explodes into this Killing Joke-meets-Total Control dark enthusiasm, colliding with the ears like a maelstrom of furious guitars. Like recent acts like Eagulls and Gazar Strips, Bat Nouveau have taken what was fucking cool, and dress it up with modern ferocity.

 

Scrabbled – Welcome to Pig City

You never would’ve guessed it, but a ramshackle lo-fi band called Scrabbled, with an album called ‘Welcome to Pig City’, and an excellent opener called “Brisbane Town”, are indeed from Brisbane. Even if you were thicker than Joe Hockey, their sound, that’s like depression being laid out in the QLD sun for too long, is instantly recognisable as a product of harsh times, an aesthetic which is easily recognisable in any major city that’s been through tough times. Brisbane in particular have amassed a collection of rough-hewn teeth-grinders, like Kitchen’s Floor and Per Purpose, and Scrabbled are the latest to join the top ranks.

Their album, which spans topics from driving across the Australia in a Kia, to living in everyone’s favourite city, is a pleasure to listen to, combining the grainy poetry and country suburbanite attitude of Dick Diver with a gnarled punk spunk. If you can listen to “Jeebus Cried” and not hear the sound of something that the Violent Femmes would commit satanic sacrifice to remake, then you’re deaf.

Backyard Soccer – Everyone Gets to See You But Me

Like Elvis Depressedly turned somehow lo-fi-ier, Backyard Soccer sound like they’re made out of more tape hiss than actual band. That’s a good thing by the way. It makes it sound like they’re performing through a portal from the 50’s, with the songs coming through like they’re being played through a gramaphone. However, they’ve implemented a solid moper attitude that you can find in bands like Mope City, Kitchen’s Floor and Unity Floors. This kind of scrapings off the floor gives tracks like “Everyone Gets to See You But Me” an instant like-ability, especially if you’re the kind of person that spends a lot of their time beside those floor scrapings.

 

Cool Sounds – Melbourne Fashion

A fucking delight out of Melbourne is Cool Sounds. Not to be too obvious, but they stick by their name, with their new cassette ‘Melbourne Fashion’ producing sounds that some would describe as ‘cool’. The sounds are aquatic, submerged in a tank of suspension in which the lack of a job and being unhappy are way too prevalent. Songs like “Safe Flight”, “Noise Complaints” and “666” are awesome because they’re pure pop written by a lovesick guy out of Melbourne. The jangle hits perfection multiple times, and the vocals are as mopey as Eeyore without anti-depressants. With the the overlaying guitars, melting sax and softly addictive tones, Cool Sounds make a recipe for something that could be the perfect replacement for The Cure as go-to bummer songs.

Cool Sounds support The Ocean Party in Sydney next Friday, the 22nd of August, as part of those awesome parties that Circle Jerk put on for us spoiled Sydney kids. S’all goin’ owf  at the Corner Store at the Imperial Hotel in Erskineville.

Mixtape: Oz Do It Better!

 

Fuck me with a spatula, and call me Gordon Ramse! There is no way anyone will be able to beat the eye-popping names on the latest mixtape from Peking Tapes.

Let me lay it out for you like this: Do you like Parading? Or Day Ravies? Or Shrapnel? Or Cat Cat? Or Wizard Oz? Or…fuck me, every name on this compilation is like Aus underground royalty, and every second you waste reading this is a second that could be spent buying this tape.

But if you insist on getting the blow-byblow, let’s start at the top: Andre begins things with a squelchy guitar romper called ‘Single Town’, and then Parading double down on that crunchy reverb with an exclusive single entitled ‘Try to Do A Good Thing’. From there, it’s one of my favourites off Shrapnel’s debut, a cool pop song called ‘Baby Picks Up’, followed by a jangly one from Cat Cat that manages to be both sad and relieved at the same time, the perfect song for when you’ve got your back turned on something.

Mac DeMarco on crack gets channeled excessively in the track, ‘You Were Mine’, from Colours, as lazy guitar mingles with clashing noise. The middle of this is a brilliant mind-fuck, moving between twinkling emptiness and a feeding frenzy of feedback. Day Ravies continue down this road of overblown noise in their contribution ‘Drink the Ocean’, a track that starts quaint and Pavement-esque, and then bombards the listener with squirming noise towards the end.

Wizard Oz dilute the waters with a frowning track called ‘Go Home’, a song swarming with warm synth work and lyrics that are more desperate than the Socceroos attempts at a World Cup.

Now, after a mixture of noisy and down-tempo tracks, Australia’s garage/slacker scene gets a chance to shine, with contributions from Cool Sounds, The Ocean Party, Thigh Master, Disgusting People and The Grease Arrestor. Each of these songs is warmer than a dole cheque, and they’ve got more heart than those lab-rats with organs grown on them.

The best mixtape ever ends with two amazing pop tunes from Snowy Nasdaq and Moondice, both providing tracks that could easily fit into the ‘Sexy Time’ playlist (that you’ve never used before).

To summarise, the title of this playlist doesn’t even remotely do the contents justice. Oz does music so good, they should outlaw other countries music, and just have this playlist on repeat globally. The songs on here are more or less the pinnacle of human achievement. Sure, there may be a bit of gratuitous hyperbole in that last statement, but until the other continents catch up and release a mixtape as good as this, then Australia wins the award for best underground music in the world. Take that, Brooklyn!