Top 10 Australian Albums of 2014 (So Far…)

7cf6b-grassed-inn-cover

There have been an orgy of new Aussie releases this year that have tickled the chin of genius, and caused her many rolls of fat to quake in laughter. But there have been a few that have genuinely succeeded in being goddamn masterpieces. These, are those records:

10. TIED: Nathan Roche-Magnetic Memories + Shrapnel-Tobacco Dreams

I honestly couldn’t decided between these two works of art. One is a laid back bible on whatever happened to come into Nathan Roche’s mind when he strummed the chords, and the other is a deceivingly simple collection of pop songs that make Mac DeMarco look like a rookie. But both Nathan Roche and Shrapnel exceed in making unique statements with their albums that few Sydney bands, indeed Australian bands, could think up over years of training.

9. Rat & Co-Binary

The second album from Rat & Co is a sonic tapestry, something that combines the past with the future extraordinarily easily. Rat & Co cover a million different varieties and spices on this album, from lush synths and haunted child samples in ‘Vocal Insanity’ to the glacial ‘Calculated Movements I, II and III’. But ‘Binary’ remains a solid fixture of the Rat & Co thesis of creating beats that’ll surpass the band. Hopefully, when aliens dig up this civilisation in millions of years, they find this album instead of the new Lana Del Ray record.

8. HTRK-Psychic 9-5 Club

The HTRK story is a tortured one, but that’s probably what helped them to become the strong and identifiable unit they are today. HTRK’s new record moves in honeyed and dance-worthy directions. Although rife with the kind of saddening lyrics that are expected from a HTRK record, ‘Psychic 9-5 Club’ is infinitely less abrasive as previous material, and allows itself to be, dare I say, accessible. Songs such as ‘Blue Sunshine’ ring with an allure that is insanely gorgeous, and create a mystical atmosphere around this record that can’t be overstated.

7. Ernest Ellis-Cold Desire

The first record that introduced me to Ernest Ellis is, by far, also one of the greatest pieces of dramatic indie rock I’ve heard in years. Both intimate and expansive, Ernest Ellis manage to combine the blue collar poeticism of bands like The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile, with the grandness of U2. Akin to their touring mates Shining Bird, Ernest Ellis pull you into their album like your tumbling headfirst down a waterfall of happiness. If only my similes were half as good as the music on this album.But seriously, listen to ‘Black Wire’, your life will change.

6. Dune Rats-Dune Rats

Dune Rats sure did deliver on their debut album. After a couple EP’s and countless cockteasing, the guys who were previously most famous for this have gone n done a full LP. Full of the kind shit that made us fall in love with them in the first place, the album is a singles fest of fun, riotous tunes meant to be shouted back at the band at a show where there’s more joints than people.

5. Bachelor Pad-Dooming Out

Bachelor Pad are literally made of good times. It’s in their blood. If you cut open Huw, you’d get an overdose of fun-fumes and bongwater instead of blood. They’ve packed all that awesomeness into an album ready made to be the go-to party starter. Even if you’re an accountant that works for Telstra, you’ll be able to enjoy this album. Just listen to ‘Fried’, ‘Movin’ On’ or ‘Let Me Go’ and for a few minutes, everything will be centred around total, unobstructed gewd times.

4. White Hex-Gold Nights

Think of a scenario in which Depeche Mode are dipped in a vat of boiling acid, and their steaming carcass’ are used as the bare bones for a revolutionary dark-pop project out of Melbourne, half-headed by one of the guys from noise enthusiasts Slug Guts. White Hex’s second record ‘Gold Nights’ is exactly that, thudding synth work shuddering against shimmering walls of noise and breathless vocals from the amazing Tara Green. The results in this album are simply stunning, the kind of thing Robert Smith wished he’d invented.

3. Straight Arrows-Rising

Although this album hasn’t even officially come out yet, it’s been a steadfast go-to listen for the past month or so. Every time I need something to pick me up before going out, and I’m all Sabbath-ed out, I’m hitting up ‘Rising’ instantly. Packed with tunes that get the blood pumping and the genitals,, you guessed it, rising, the record could not be a better successor of Straight Arrows’ debut.

2. Nun-Nun

Another self-titled debut effort has cracked the Top 10. Man, I’m just fucking crazy, aren’t I? Anyway, the first LP (of hopefully many) from the Melbourne synth-punkers is a shock to the system on par with having Alice Cooper break into your house and throw a toaster in your bathtub. The songs on here range from far-out schizophrenic jams, to tight and ugly lil’ ravers that get up in your face like the most bratty kid imaginable. Overall, the record is unabashedly hectic and unforgettable.

1. Blank Realm-Grassed Inn

So, the best album of this shithole years so far, in my own humble opinion, is Blank Realm’s purple-glazed ‘Grassed Inn’. They created a pop masterpiece, and I will challenge anyone who disagrees to a jelly fight in a bathtub. I say that knowing the full consequences of uttering such a profound statement, but I stand by it. The tracks on this album have been mumbled under my breath on the train so many times, I think they’ve surpassed Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’. Every tune has a poignance and impressionability that surpasses almost every other pop release of the past couple years. The fact that the lyrics are heartbreaking and honest, and Blank Realm come from humble Brisbane beginnings is just a major, major plus. Goddamn, if you have a soul, you will spend the rest of your days listening to this album.

Advertisements

New: Dune Rats-Funny Guy

It seems like fucking forever since Dunies have released new material. Seriously, since they released the ‘Smile’ EP, I’ve graduated from high school, gotten a job, and basically failed university. Not to say they’ve just been ripping cones, which they undoubtedly have been. There’s been countless tours around the world, a trip to SXSW to try out the Texan weed, and the trio have just finished their debut album, which’ll be out soon apparently.

‘Funny Guy’ is the first single off said album, and it’s a rip snorter of a track, fun and bleached like a topless girl at the beach (Hey! Rhyming!) It carries along with the usual Dunies spirit of reckless fun, debauchery and being more carefree than a bender with, well, the boys from Dune Rats. Yewww!

Dunies are gonna be ripping shit up at Oxford Arts on the 21st of June, yewww!

Video: Violent Soho-Covered in Chrome

There is so much to say about this video it’s hard to know where to start.

Well, there’s the fact that ‘Covered in Chrome’ is one of the best songs of the year, engaging a hyper-drive of dirty rock n roll with a chorus that will beat the shit out of you and make sure you enjoy it.

Secondly, there’s the explosive nature of the clip, the one-track following the band around what looks like a deserted but fucking mental house party that the majority of the world is pissed they didn’t get invited to.

Finally, there are the cameo’s from two of our Northern cousins best bands, enacting their stereotypes with ear-to-ear smiles. There’s Simon from DZ Deathrays replaying his infamous role in ‘The Mess Up’ video, and Danny from Dune Rats rocks a shirt that summarises the Duniess pretty well, as he lights a Hills Hoist on fire. There’s even a subtle shout-out to Violent Soho’s upcoming tour buddies Straight Arrows via a t-shirt on Luke.

Overall, it’s impossible to say where the video stops kicking ass, and starts becoming legend.

Album Review: Dune Rats-Smile EP

Image

Look at that cover. That’s a goddamn work of art. It’s what would happen if Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh would try to fathom at portraying if they all got together in one awesome timeline. Then they would go egg Da Vinci’s house, and steal Roy Lichtentstein’s weed. Because that dude was a total poser. 

Anyway, everyone’s favourite bong-smoking, slut-indulging, fried fiends Dune Rats released their third EP a couple months back. Yes, I’m late to the party, but that’s the way things are. What matters is that I am finally getting around to reviewing this stellar piece of awesome shit. The ‘Smile EP’ will probably go down as that Dunies EP that had ‘Fuck It’ and ‘Red Light, Green Light’ on it. The latter track is itself an urban legend for it’s film clip(s) alone. You know the one. You don’t? I won’t spoil it for you, but there’s a lot of weed. A lot. Fuck it, bring in the kids, make a game out of it. Count how many cones BC rips, then calculate how many brain cells he lost. All of them is the right answer. Also, if you feel shitting yourself with laughter, then watch the interview they shot with Simon from DZ Deathrays immediately after the clip. It’s funnier than Flash Gordon getting roasted by Patton Oswalt. On another note, somebody make that happen. 

Anyway, if you watched that clip (if you didn’t, you really should. You really, really should), you’ll kinda figure out how Dunies like to rock out (with their cocks out). They play music, so they can party and score free weed and groupies, and it’s just kind of a bonus that they happen to be extravagantly good at it. Every track on the ‘Smile EP’ is jammy, super-fun, and soaked-in-week-old-bong-water crusty. It’s got the jangles, it’s got the riffs, and it rubs against you in a most non-threatening way, like a smiling junkie in a unicorn onesie at Parklife. 

There is no way you can not have a good time when listening to the ‘Smile EP’. From Track 1 ‘Red Light, Green Light’, to the head bopping, booty shakers of ‘All You Do’ and ‘Burning Bridges’, to Triple J stalwart ‘Fuck It’, and the closer and general summarisation of the Dune Rats mantra, both in title and sound, ‘Stoner Pop’. Fuck me, this might just be the jewel in the Dune Rats crown that will inevitably be pawned off for that sweet as glassy shaped liked Godzilla’s dong and a quart of bud. Good on ya Dunies.

You can grab two old Dune Rats tracks off their Triple J Unearthed page right here. Also, if you’re in Sydney on Wednesday, the band will be playing honourable support to FIDLAR at OAF. FIDLAR are a band that I absolutely love, and would give any goddamn opportunity to see. Their debut album is my current favourite of the year. Hey-Zeus Christ, that would be a great show. 

Best Songs of 2013 So Far

It’s exactly halfway through the year, and within it, we’ve seen some shockingly awesome releases being thrust into our ears like dirty patricians of sound. These molestular devices have slobbered their way onto us in the form of new music from The Strokes, Bad Religion, The xx, Foals, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Bowie, Wire, The Flaming Lips, The Black Angels….the list goes on. We’ve also had a fuckload of local releases from Dune Rats to Yes, I’m Leaving and Willow Beats all holding a torch with awesome new albums and EP’s grating our ears to tinnitus accepters. So, since I can’t be fucked to do albums, these are the best songs from the albums. These are the best songs, in my opinion, of 2013, so far. No surprises, it’s mostly garage-centric.

1. Parquet Courts- Stoned and Starving

2. Grave Babies-Over and Underground

3. Thee Oh Sees-Toe Cutter-Thumb Buster

4. Majical Cloudz-Bugs Don’t Buzz

5. My Bloody Valentine-She Found Now

6. Kurt Vile-Never Run Away

7. Radical Dads-Rapid Reality

8. The Bronx-Ribcage

9. The Men-I Saw Her Face

10. Unknown Mortal Orchestra-So Good At Being In Trouble

11. Atoms for Peace- Before Your Very Eyes…

12. The Drones-How to See Through Fog

13. Palma Violets-Best of Friends

14. Wavves-Afraid of Heights

15. POND-Giant Tortoise

16. Dune Rats-Red Light Green Light

17. Step-Panther-Maybe Later

18. FIDLAR-Cheap Beer

19. Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys-Bite My Tongue

20. Flume-Sleepless 

Video: Fascinator-Summer Dream

If you thought Dune Rats ‘Red Light Green Light (Green Version)’ was funny, wait til you see them in the latest video from Johnny McKay’s (from Children Collide) latest project, Fascinator. Riveted by a sonic, wavering psychedelic slice, it warbles with poignancy, and actually comes across as quite unaffected and smiling. Meanwhile, in the video, the Dunies blow bubbles, dance around in slow motion in multi-coloured outfits picked up from a thrift shop in exchange for acid, and try their hardest not to act high in Central Park, New York. It’s pretty great.