New: FUTY-Mentiroso!

There are many beautiful things in this world. Puppies tugging on each other’s fur. Newlyweds crossing their arms and sipping on each other’s cocktails. Jennifer Aniston.

Add FUTY to that list as well. Take the puppies off if you have to, but make sure there’s room for FUTY. It’s the new project from Cull member Chumpy, written, produced, directed and edited by the one man himself, like a modern day Robert Rodriguez. His first single ‘Mentiroso!’ is a looming, blossoming thing featuring lots of dancing guitars and swarming vocals. It builds and builds like a re-incarnation of Black Swan, until you’re on the edge of your seat, gripping the screen and crying, ‘Don’t do it Natalie Portman! Can’t you see you’re only hurting yourself!?’. Only instead of a lesbian scene, there’s awesome darker-leaning shoegaze music from one of Sydney’s finest.

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Video(s): Royal Chant + Twin Beasts + Cull + aheadphonehome + East Brunswick All Girls Choir + Waza

‘Straya’s got some great bands, who make some great music videos. Check ’em out, or I’ll do nothing, because this is the Internet, and no-one’s listening to my rants. But I’d recommend checking them out, because your life will be better from it.

Royal Chant-Shake, Shake

Deadset, Royal Chant are the shit. They’ve got the pop tendencies of Bluejuice, with the underground credibility of Guided By Voices, and the ability to harrow into my brain like early Metallica. If you’re any sort of fan of Australian slacker/guitar music, like Dollar Bar, The Stevens, or The Cannanes, then get behind Royal Chant.

And if you’re still in some freakish mindset that declines my way-ward descriptions, then look at the video. Sorry, masterpiece. The thing is like a kindergartener took acid at finger-painting, and then went to the beach. It’s fucking crazy to look at, and even crazier to listen to.

Twin Beasts-Sweet Marie

Twin Beasts (formerly The Toot Toot Toots) have a lead singer that looks like Donny Benet’s cousin that just got way into Bob Dylan and Tex Perkins instead of the lushest, sexiest music of the 80’s. But the lyrics are still there. Donny Benet Jr. croons, ‘Ohhh, Sweet Marie, you had me begging on my knees!”, arms outstretched and Hawaiian shirt slightly untucked and revealing some glorious chest hair.

But its the Satanic depiction of Cleopatra that brings this clip to a joyously absurd conclusion. After watching some bug-eyed begging, the clip turns into a blood-bath of temptation, equal parts disturbing, alluring and hilarious. It’s almost too perfect…

Cull-The Sacred Burial Urn

Cull are one of the most perfect Sydney bands, and they haven’t really got their dues yet. Whilst Vance Joy can release a mediocre pop song and get accolades, Cull released a whole EP’s worth of genius, and didn’t score a single Triple J Hottest 100 vote! Politics, right?

Anyway, they’ve just released their new clip for the warped ‘Sacred Burial Urn’. Musically, it’s like Kevin Parker doing the soundtrack to the bit right before the lady gets the shit stabbed out of her in ‘Psycho’. Visually, it’s a trip through old sci-fi movies and main man Alex Watts being a mega god, spliced between all the colours of the rainbow. Is your bong-smoke-laden jaw hitting the floor yet?

aheadphonehome-Think Music

If you couldn’t get enough of Cull, and wanted to continue the freak flag flying, then get amongst Brisbane’s aheadphonehome. I think it’s an E.T reference, but once I started hearing those disconcerting chords of Addam’s Family-meets-POND, I didn’t give a shit any more. And when you add the visual element of people being way too nice to each other, like Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’ video, then it becomes even more inherently creepy/awesome. If you want all this and more, for the price of nothing, go to aheadphonehome’s Bandcamp here. 

East Brunswick All Girls Choir-Mon Repos

EBAGC recently ran into a bit of trouble. Just minutes before they were to take off to New Zealand, playing the final Camp A Low Hum (RIP), they got kicked off the flight for having gastro. Personally, I put it down to jealousy. The pilot simply couldn’t handle the ‘Rowland S Howard/Nick Drake combo that’s been thrown down a dusty well in South Australia, and then dragged to a random alley in Melbourne and had the shit kicked out of it’ vibe that EBAGC throw out. It’s a specific niche, but they do it damn well. At least Vietnam could handle their crazy attitudes, so that we lucky consumers gained access to this simple and beautiful clip of people walking (not being a sarcastic dick here, I genuinely love this video).

Waza-Act 2

Plot twist: I’m in love with the most excellent ‘Act 2’ from Sydney beat-man Waza. Holy shit did the Avalanches drop the ball by not signing this guy up to their team. Not only is the song an eclectic mix of old-timey samples mixed in with simple beats, but the music video makes you want to drop everything and try and make a video that is half as good as this. The blue filter, the TV-theme, the chalk-drawn piano…makes you almost think that you could live without more Avalanches material.

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

Album Review: Cull-Bà Nội

artworks-000061835551-4lvt1n-t200x200Well, happiness exists. And it exists in the form of Sydney’s psych-pop stars Cull. Despite the title that you’ll inevitably have to copy-and-paste, Cull’s Bà Nội is a mind-expanding treat of the highest order. Listening to these four songs is like playing Candy Crush with Merlin or sliding down a water slide with a Sasquatch: there’s a simple, innocent pleasure that is immediately increased in awesomeness through the inclusion of a mythical element. And goddamn, if that is not the greatest allegory I have ever written.

The opener to the EP is entitled ‘World Inside Your Head’, a song that grabs from all the great psych-poppers and sketches them into a truly beautiful track. It’s like if ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ was covered from start to finish by MGMT, and then Kevin Parker did a remix. ‘World Inside Your Head’ spins around like a desktop background screensaver, delightfully jumping around at an irreverent pace with jilted keys and faraway drone-y guitar that buries into whatever gland produces total enjoyment,

After that burst of sunshine-filtered-with-drugs opener, the quirk and psych gets upped with ‘The Sacred Burn Urn’, a track that thankfully comes off really well, and not like the most bullshit pysch pretentiousness that a song title like that could have warned of. Instead, the song balances between grinding self-consciousness and lightly-stepping on the cornerstones of Tame Impala, and fearlessly journeying into a deep abysses of sound. You wanted pretentiousness? You came to the right place. Soundly ‘I write with a pencil signed by Hemmingway’ Sounds.

‘Animate’ continues the dual nature of Cull’s song, schizophrenically switching between balls-out crushing noise and wide-eyed and wafting sounds. Rather than being disorientating, the song actually just epitomises all there is to love about psych pop, the nonchalant weirdness that alienates and draws you in. The swaying nature of the track is awesome, and Cull perfect both sides of psychedelic music that ‘Animate’ displays.

Likewise to ‘Animate’, ‘Keep My Star’ spirals between two sides of the same stone, however on their last track, Cull decide to really show how good they are at shoegaze. However, this is more the kind of stuff that made My Bloody Valentine famous, for when Cull get noisy, they get really fucking noisy, peeling layer after layer of guitar into the mix. And when Cull get mellow, by Peter Tosh’s dread-hairs do they get mellow. The vocals that sink and drift in the murky verses of ‘Keep My Star’ are a little bit off-putting, and all the more desirable for it.

For a local band, Cull show that they have a firmer grip on how to manipulate noise and rhythms within a song than most established bands. Their off-kilter presence, and ability to channel pysch-pop into groovy, constantly listenable stuff is fucking awesome to say the least.

Video: Cull-World Inside Your Head

Wow, just wow. I feel like this song should be soundtracking the world’s most inspirational video or something. It is seriously beautiful. If Notebook-era Ryan Gosling was a song, he would be this song. That’s my way of saying that this song is really, really dreamy. Or at least, it starts that way, then builds into a noisy, My Bloody Valentine-esque Holocaust fuzz that you can’t help but froth over. Froth till you drop, man, froth till you drop. As I’m typing this, I’m actually going into spasms. 90% of me wants to say its the song, but a small 10% lays blame to that rabid monkey that bit me. Whatever, Cull rules, infected primates drool.

New Song: Cull-Canker/If It Works Single

Hey you! Yeah, you with the shaggy mane and My Bloody Valentine t-shirt, trying to act all philosophical whilst having your mind melted by 50 Shades of Phillip Glass. Yeah, you’re obviously on something. Am I a cop? Nah, I’ve just got your new favourite band right here. They’re called Cull, and they’re from Sydney. They play cool as fuck, mind shredding, air bending shoegaze mixed with garage. This is their third single, ‘Canker/If It Works’. It’s really great. Remember that scene in Star Wars: A New Hope, where the Death Star blows up, and your 6 year old mind nearly collapsed because it just couldn’t handle it? Yeah, that’s Cull. I know you will dig it. If you don’t dig it, then I’m gonna get circa early 90’s Chris Farley to beat the shit out of you. Don’t make me raise the dead, just give into Cull’s luscious pysch shoe-gaze. It’s easier for both of us this way.