Punk Rock Album Reviews: OKAY COCAINE + Champion Lover + Sewerside

I wish I could give each of these albums a review of their own, because they seriously deserve the minimum 500 word treatment. Unfortunately, uni is testing me with assignments, and when I say that, I mean that they’re bending me over a table and fucking me raw. No lube, no nothing. Kinda like these records that you should definitely get amongst:

Okay Cocaine-Free Coke EP

Besides having a fucking killer name that makes all the 80’s fiends perk their heads up from their rolled up Benjamin and pile of 90% baking soda, Okay Cocaine are actually pretty cool. They’ve got a rock n roll sound that is like The Lime Spiders of The Stems being rolled up and smoked by a Newtown leather jeacket bought fresh from Cream on King.

The songs on the ‘Free Coke EP’ are played loose, shrill and reckless, with the kind of stocky swagger that Ned Kelly could respect. Every lyric is shouted at the top of one’s lungs, and every musical note rings with potent glee. It’s like whiskey was soaked into every crevice of the EP, and then the band watched with baited breath as the frontman stood over the top with a lit match, ready to watch it all go up in flames at any moment. Like their contemporary compatriots Doc Holliday Takes the Shotgun, Okay Cocaine revel in the threat of exploding at any moment, and their best instances are when they’re on the verge of exploding (see: ‘Sunglasses’)

 

Champion Lover-Champion Lover

If Children Collide, or Eagulls, reverted back to their original EP, and then got massacred in noise, they’d sound a lot like this stellar fucking album from Toronto’s Champion Lover. This album is slathered in genius, a triumph really. It pummels with the kind of excitement that used to fuel McLusky. One song in, the pants-shittingly-good ‘Read My Mind’, and you’re hooked into the cult of Champion Lover. The rest of the album is an unflinching work of harrowing, blue-collar, cigarette-pumping punk that’ll tie you down and not let you leave until you’re another disciple.

 

Sewerside-Don’t Want You to Lose

Sewerside epitomise punk. Not necessarily in the ‘1,2,3,4! Fuck Abbott…’ sense of the word (although anyone in their right mind would be of that opinion). No, Sewerside are punk rock because it’s just a couple chords from a broken guitar, being played with the kind of exuberance and charm that would make anyone wet at the knees. Not weak, mind you, but sopping bloody wet.

Ty Segall and Jay Reatard are the obvious reference points here. Sewerside just want to do some lo-fi cruisin’ and pluck the shit out of their guitars. It’s not that hard, as obviously showcased, but when you’re having this much fun with it, and coming up with a couple killer fuzz buckets along the way, then what’s the damage? Besides this noise coming back to haunt you, and becoming the soundtrack to a couple loose nights out, there’s no harm in enjoying the fuck outta ‘Don’t Want You to Lose’.

 

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Prom Body-Pretty Flower

Look, we get it. You need the perfect body to fit into your prom dress. Shut the fuck up. I got real problems to deal with, namely, finding the right amount of fuzz to kill a large beast, and fulfill my unearthly desires.

Luckily, Prom Body look to achieve that goal for me, with this fucking killer single ‘Pretty Flower’. It’s an onslaught of fuzz and shreddery, a purpose built riff machine. If the best pop tunes of Vivian Girls, Wavves and Japandroids were rolled into a single fuzz ball, and then pushed down a hill, it would hopefully snowball into the furious little number that this has turned out the be. Absolutely, 100% killer track, something that will electrify your pubes and send shockwaves down your groin.

Album Review: Solids-Blame Confusion

Because Montreal based two piece fuzz outfits can’t get enough of Kevin Smith’s 1995 slacker ode ‘Mall Rats’, Solids gave the cover of their debut album over to a Magic Eye painting. Can you see the picture? Just squint!

Or maybe you’re like me, and sees through the bullshit that is a Magic Eye painting. That shit isn’t real! It’s an elaborate ruse, a distraction from the  freakin’ media, to ensure we’re a bunch of confused, cross-eyed idiots! Did you even realise that we elected Tony Abbot Prime Minister of Australia? What the shit? How fucking enthralled were we in Magic Eye paintings that the people elected that idiot?

Solids, like me, see through the bullshit. They don’t have time to sit down and talk about feelings with an acoustic guitar in hand, and there’s two reasons for that. 1. Folk singers never accomplish shit (even Bob Dylan agrees) and because going faster than the vomit escaping one’s mouth upon hearing ‘Achy Breaky Heart 2’, is badass.

Solids never withhold their blistering pace from the audience, ensuring that your ears are in tatters by the end of a single song. There’s a disgruntled howling guitar monkey that went to the studio with Xavier Germain-Poitras and Louis Guillemette the day they started ‘Blame Confusion’, and he didn’t leave the entire time. Instead, any time either tried to play an instrument, the beast would open its mouth and bellow unruly fuzz-isms into the microphone. Eventually, the pair were resigned to letting Mr. Monkey fuck shit up, and record drums and vocals behind whatever glorious cacophony the ape could muster.

Even though they are armed with a sonic ball-buster capable of summoning Cthulu, a significant reason as to why Solids sound so great on ‘Blame Confusion’, is because they muster some intensely genuine melodies on their songs. Opener ‘Over Sirens’ pummels, but it does so with fists like the ones Rocky would throw at Apollo Creed when they were training buddies. The viciousness is done in good humour, not with the intent to harm, but to build. It is also done with incredible technique, showcasing Solids’ ability to be your mate, slowing down where absolutely necessary, and speeding up to ensure you don’t become a little bitch about it. Same is the case for the melody-injected ‘Cold Hands’ and ‘Traces’. The ability to throw in as much energy as Solids do, and still have a thrusting, towering riff at the centre of the piece, like some sort of charismatic Eye of the Storm…well, that’s just a little bit breathtaking.

However, sometimes Solids don’t connect with that strong point of that full propulsion as with aforementioned songs, and this can cause these tracks to drag a little bit. Instead of nail-biting, attention-hogging, nuclear-fuelled garage explosions, we’re dealt with reverb that whizzes by, but doesn’t force you to choke on the sonic boom it leaves in its wake. Unlike fellow country-men and ambitious sources of pure energy, Japandroids, Solids lack some depth in a few songs that don’t hinder the album, but blur the edges a little bit of it being a sharp, focused peice.

So, although you could never accuse Solids of never putting in 150%, sometimes they hit, sometimes they don’t. For a debut album to take on a challenging noise-pop concept that’s really only been perfected by No Age and Lightning Bolt, and succeed for the most part, is a nod in the right direction. ‘Blame Confusion’ has all the signs of being a strong building block for future successes, and a band like Solids is going to be on the rise.

Pick up ya copy of ‘Blame Confusion’ here.

New Garage Music: Bass Drum of Death + The Panduhs + Boy Germs + FFNORDZZ

I wrote this article about two weeks ago, then forgot to print it. Does that make me an asshole? Yes. Does it make these bands any less awesome, just because their music is technically not ‘new’? No, you elitist pig! So listen to the fuzz that killed Caesar.

Bass Drum of Death-Black Don’t Glow

Is there such a thing as too much Bass Drum of Death? No, because Bass Drum of Death never fail to be a riveting fucking band to listen to. They’re prepared to turn you into a nervous wreck that feeds off garage rock, a weird kind of drug addict that needs an overblown tower of fuzz and solos that make the Ramones look like a bad Bon Jovi cover act. Who knows why ‘Black Don’t Glow’ didn’t get onto their new-ish record, it’s a badass song and makes me want to go out and hang out on the docks of Boston and start a bickering argument with an Irish gangster.

 

The Panduhs-Rock N’ Roll

One of the main ingredients of Rock n Roll is simplicity. Elvis basically fucked the air, sold a billion records, and got to bang a 16 year old. Hunx and His Punx, Shannon and the Clams and NoBunny also follow that formula to a T, minus the billions of records and pedophilia. But at least their making damn cool rock n roll music! Another band to add to that list is The Panduhs, which still holds that weird croak that Hunx has, and the ramshackle, neon Lego building blocks of guitar melody that hold the song together. Damn, if you don’t think this is catchy, get your ass back to the demon cage in Sector 14. B of the Douchebag District.

 

Boy Germs-Teenage Hipster

I go on quite a bit about hipsters on this website, because I’m a dickhead that can’t turn his outward hatred into self-examination and come to terms with his obvious insecurities. HA! But anyway, look forward to some snotty, bratty Bleeding Knees Club-akin surf punk from Brisbanizers Boy Germs. It’s pretty cool track, and comes in at 2.22 minutes, which is exactly a third of 666. METAL! SLAYER! LET’S BURN A CORPSE!

FFNORDZZIt’s A Hit!

Now, for the final nail in the coffin of all terrible music everywhere, it’s FFNORDZZ Himself. How the fuck is this shit not on Burger Records? The summer-time pop that sounds like it was ripped from Gorburger’s asshole is right up their ally. It’s simplicity rings like early Ty Segall, right around the period he was pining on tracks like ‘The Drag’. FUCK YEAH!

 

Album Review: Bachelor Pad-Dooming Out

Bachelor Pad, that garage band from Sydney. There hasn’t been a sentence with so much synonymous debauchery attached to it since the last time Ozzy Osborne decided to go to Las Vegas.

They’ve been kicking around for quite a while now, with their melodic yet scrummy garage rock hooking anyone close enough to be within earshot. They’re brand is friendly like those American indie-fuzz bands like Philistines, Diarrhea Planet and Roomrunner, but there’s a punk edge to them that increases the attraction to jizzworthy levels. Imagine if John Dwyer fronted a Sydney-based Murder City Devils featuring members of The Gooch Palms? That’s the kind of shit that Bachelor Pad bring to mind, and its such an orgasmically holy thought, it almost makes me want to keel over and vomit.

Now, onto the album in question ‘Dooming Out’. Although they’ve got two other ‘albums’ worth of material, this one is being considered their debut. Because fuck maths. Hey, I never passed that course in high school, so who am I to argue. Anyway, this shit is fucking off chops. You know when a record starts off with an orgasmic little surf rock riff, indulges itself into a smorgasbord of fuzz, and then lyrically starts with “Yeah my girl, doesn’t know I exist”….well, basically, its hard to remain a cynical dick about something so fucking geared towards everything that resonates with me.

But personal tastes aside, Bachelor Pad have put out a damn fine garage rock record worthy of all the praise that I’m about to heap on it. This isn’t just another jizz-worthy article of fuzz and reverb over topics like girls, beer and fucking up. Instead, its a jizz factory. There’s ballads, there’s punk rock blitzkriegs and there’s mindless drone-alongs made for shaking your long hair back and forth because you’re such a fucking rebel. Its a beautiful thing to witness as track after track amps you up even further, like some sort of ten course meal that forces you to keep eating until you’re a bloated and delighted twisted image of your former self.

Bachelor Pad rule for the simple reasons that their songs are both short ‘n’ sweet rock jams, and they never overstay their welcome. And the best one’s are perfectly resonating with the kind of inner city loser that I myself happen to be. ‘Fried‘ is a fun-as-fuck jam that beats around the bullshit in approximately a minute and a half, with the main message being, ‘fuck it, life sucks, let’s get fried’. ‘Let Me Go’, a slightly longer track that cracks over the two minute mark, is a robust, Ramones-like jam that goes heavy on the chorus and crashing cymbals, a purpose-built shout along sassy track that would make a heavy-metal version of Destiny’s Child blush with shame. And then there’s ‘Moving On’, a track that recalls the best era of Wavves and Times New Viking. Just a super fun track that is actually dripping with misery about the inevatable moment where you’re the only kid who hasn’t grown out of bongs and still refuses to get a ‘proper’ job.

Between these tracks that are, believe it or not, basically the longest on the record, there are a whole bunch of punk flurry’s that get in and out of your face with the sort of musings that made The Ramones famous. They’re young ‘n’ dumb anthems with titles like ‘I Love Cops’, ‘Spag’ and ‘Greasball’. These short little bits of wondrous fuckery are just a testament to the message of Bachelor Pad. And that message is Fuck It, with a capital F. Fuck getting old, fuck uni, fuck everything that doesn’t contain traces of dangerous amount of exhilaration. And that, my friends, is how a fucking record should be.

Buy the record right here and right now, at Bachelor Pad’s Bandcamp. While you’re at it, get their previous two albums that apparently aren’t albums. AND, although you’ve missed the album launch, Bachelor Pad are playing at FBi Social on Thursday, 23rd of Jan, along with The Fighting League and Yard Duty. Amazeballs.

August Playlist

Some crazy shit has occured within the last couple of days. HSC Trials have started, I’ve coincidentally started looking for careers that accept an ATAR of an asterix, and the Big Day Out launched a pretty fucking spectacular lineup. Blur, finally! Also, DIIV, The Naked and Famous, Mudhoney, Cosmic Psychos, Toro Y Moi, and Dillon Francis, with DZ Deathrays, Tame Impala, Flume and Peking Duk bringing the local contingent to mindblowing. Should be swell. Well for a bombastic announcement, there has to be an equally bombastic playlist, right? Fuck that sounded a lot better in my head. Anyway, here’s a bunch of shit I’ve been jamming to recently that you could enjoy. Like the BDO lineup it’s pretty diverse. You’ve got slacker-soul from Hebronix, addictive punk-pop from FIDLAR, some wub-wub from Tornado Fight, and some Tool-esque steel fuckery from France’s Oyster Reluctance. Speaking of Europe, there’s Plastic Bertrand’s classic ode to fucking with people that don’t speak French, and as always, plenty of the local Aussie contingent. TV Colours and Hayden James have especially been rubbing me the right way the past month. Anyway, enjoy the shit.

1. FIDLAR-Awkward

2. TV Colours-Beverly

3. Tornado Fight-Alleycat (free download)

4. Hayden James-Permission to Love

5. Wave Racer-Stoopid (free download)

6. Jerome LOL-Tell U

7. Plastic Bertrand-Ce Plane Pour Moi

8. Hebronix-Wild Whim

9. Opposite Sex-La Rat

10. Fuzz-Loose Sultres

11. Palace Brothers-Come In

12. The Cannanes-A Bigger Splash

13. Bruff Superior-All Alone

14. Shiny Joe Ryan-The Old Man and The Sea (free download)

15. Chicks Who Love Guns-Pencil Neck

16. Ghost Wave-Hippy (free download)

17. Shark Week-Get High (free download)

18. Oyster Reluctance-I Still Trust

19. Sepultura-Roots Bloody Roots

20. Constant Mongrel-Complete

Top 10 Upcoming Albums to Look Forward To

So, the midyear point is past, and it looks like most of the albums that you’d want to buy this year have had their moment in the sun. WRONG! There’s a shitload of new material coming out very, very soon, and throughout the course of this year, you should maintain excitement, because shit is about to go down. There’s something for everyone: if you’re not into good music, then keep an eye out for the latest Chris Brown, Selena Gomez, and The Backstreet Boys. For some shit that will make your loins prickle, read on.

10. Hebronix-Unreal (July 9th): This is the solo project from Daniel Blumberg, the frontman from Yuck. If you’ve heard Yuck’s slacker, super New York sound, then you’ll understand why there is a need to be excited. Check out lead single ‘Unreal’

9. Sebadoh-Defend Yourself (September 17th): The first new album (last year’s Secret EP was cool, but not overly great) means that Sebadoh fanboys, including myself are losing their shit. That lo-fi slacker sound that encapsulates loser-ness? Only Lou Barlow could perfect that sound, and now he’s back for round 2.

8. The Horrors-TBA (Some point in September): The Horrors have slowly developed from bratty snot fuelled 2 minute explosions to expansive sets that weave dreamily as often as they crunch. Should be very exciting, and undoubtedly good, to see what the band churn out this time, their 4th album.

7. MGMT-MGMT (August 20th): MGMT are pretty much exclusively known for being the guys behind the awesome pysch-pop jams ‘Kids’, ‘Time to Pretend’, and ‘Electric Feel’, essentially doing Empire of the Sun before Empire of the Sun was a thing. But did you know they have a criminally underrated second album? And that they’re releasing a third album in August? It’ll probably be cooler than whatever turd Luke Steele shat out recently.

6. Franz Ferdinand-Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (August 26th): Finally, a follow up to 2009’s ‘Tonight: Franz Ferdinand’. I actually thought Franz Ferdinand had broken up, but luckily they’re back at it, releasing what will surely be another album jam-packed with ecstatic, floor-filling rock n roll anthems like ‘Take Me Out‘. Check out the album trailer here. 

5. The Black Keys- TBA (TBA) Apparently, there’s going to be another Black Keys album for people to (possibly) enjoy. If it’s anything like the shitfest of ‘El Camino’, then that really fucking sucks. It might transpire like that too, because they’re teaming up with Danger Mouse, the guy who produced ‘El Camino’. However, here’s hoping that it turns out more like ‘Brothers’ or ‘Attack & Release’ than ‘Lonely Boy 2.0’.

4. Ty Segall-Sleeper (August 20th) Regardless of the fact that he pumped out three bodacious albums last year, Ty Segall just does not give two fucks, and is releasing another in August, rounding it out to a total of 7 albums released just under his solo moniker. He’ll also be releasing an album under the Fuzz pseudonym, which sees him behind the drum kit. Wham, Bam, Thankyou man!

3. POND-Hobo Rocket (August 2nd) Fuck yeah, POND are awesome. They finally achieved their mainstream calling with last years ‘Beards, Wives, Denim’ and they’ve wasted no time in following that up with the imaginative ‘Hobo Rocket’. I’ll assume that’s a drug reference. If ‘Giant Tortoise’ is anything to go by, ‘Hobo Rocket’ should decapitate with it’s sounds.

2. The Black Lips-TBA (TBA) I only recently saw this tidbit of news and nearly exploded with excrement. New! Black! Lips! The kings of garage troubadour, these dudes are working a follow-up to 2011’s ‘Arabia Mountain’, with producer Patrick Carney, who just happens to have a job on the side as the motherfucking drummer for The Black Keys. This album WILL be better than pornstars playing pool whilst Jay-Z and Kanye talk about the upsides of STD’s.

1. Fuck Buttons-Slow Focus (July 22nd) Fuck Buttons, the glamourously disgusting project of Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power are going to release a third LP, and from the (edited) first single ‘The Red Wing’, it sounds like it will be traditional Fuck Buttons fare: sardonic, scratchy electronic noise scraping the belly of our minds. 

Video: Fuzz-Fuzz’s Fourth Dream

Fuzz is (another) project from garage maestro and hooligan Ty Segall. This man is a fucking genius at what he does, as shown in the above video. You’ll have to skip to about 2 minutes in before you can get to the droning, whirring blasts of mind-fuckery that is Fuzz. It is an absolute sticky mess of a song, a pysch jam from another planet, dripping in and out with the melody, whilst always retaining it’s plodding yet gargantuan bass line. It’s a terrifying piece of work, all recorded from the recent Burgerama shows, the festival that the brilliant Burger Records curate. Satan loves his Burgers rare, and his garage even rarer.