Album Review: Tempura Nights – Whine EP

I like to think of myself as a pretty thorough music journalist, a man of the quill-cloth, who digs as deep as is necessary in order to pull the best story imaginable, a creative hive from which some of the best hyperbolic nonsense has been spewed forth. That’s all a load of horseshit, obviously, because I’m lazier than a guy who types “metaphors for laziness” into Google to come up something witty to put into an album review on his shitty blog. However, I did at least read the description of Tempura Nights’ Soundcloud page. Apparently, this thing started off as a “joke band”(!) which leads me to reckon that if these guys created a “serious band” then Armageddon would surely follow. Tempura Nights, a joke band, I will remind you, have catchy as hell, bass-driven thrashers soothed out with dreamy vocals more healing that any losenger.

Formed within Brisbane’s burgeoning garage-pop scene, with members of both Major Leagues and Go Violets (RIP), Tempura Nights is a trio that distinguishes themselves with the slight edge they push into their songs. Don’t take that to mean they’re edgy – they don’t match up to Eminem in 2002 by any shape or form. But for a band with an infinitely pop sound, there is definitely something boiling beneath the surface.

Take “R.I.P Chix” – it’s a song that would fit in well with bands like Vivian Girls, La Sera, Best Coast and Summer Twins. You can easily picture yourself lounging on some Californian beach, ironically large sunglasses and broad-brimmed hat adorned, cheeky tattoo peeking out from underneath a vintage, yellow shirt. But there’s also a storm there, gnashing in the opening lyric of “All the girls I’d like to meet are dead”, delivered with a headbanging riff and a sweetly snarling sigh.

Tempura Nights manage to be both tumultuous and riveting, a perfect storm of mingling instruments locked into hazy melodies that soak themselves into your ears. As far as pop releases go, the “Whine EP” is perfect, a Breeders-ode that would make Kim Deal herself throw down her guitar in exasperation.

The beauty of Tempura Nights is how insanely easy they seem to make things. From the sickly-sweet “Brainroof” chorus that melts into a hollow, bellowing solo, to “Child Model”, which makes you want to jet to the nearest guitar and learn how to strum a chord and envelope the soul the same way Tempura Nights are able to.

At only four songs long, the “Whine EP” seems far too short, a quick in-n-out introduction to the make-out/fast food/vintage adoring world of Tempura Nights. But I feel as though all Tempura Nights need for the time being, to showcase a few detached, irresistible jams for the world to finally take notice to, and allow for them to pay their dues towards. Tempura Nights – they’re fun, but grounded and varied enough so that boredom doesn’t even broach the equation.

The “Whine EP” is out now on Heath Street Wax, and Tempura Nights are part of the MATES lineup, which also features Palms, Straight Arrows, Bad//Dreems, The Gooch Palms and bunch others (including yours truly playing a Judas Priest/Madonna only DJ set). Lansdowne Hotel, 25th Jan, tix here. See yoiz there

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Album Review: Go Violets-Heart Slice EP

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Go Violets are more than just a band! They are an institution of democracy! Okay, now that I have your attention, its time to turn down the hype a tad and admit that they are just a band. But they’re a really good band! Like, super good! Better than biscuits fed to you by Selena Gomez. Four girls, each armed with an instrument and a killer voice, sitting with a sound somewhere in between Stonefield and Sleater-Kinney. And their debut EP is nothing short of sunny brilliance.

‘Teenager’ opens our love affair with Go Violets, an instant head-bopper if ever there was one.  Take ‘Liar, Liar’ by The Castaways and then get Beth Consentino from Best Coast to take ecstasy and act all happy n shit all over it. ‘Teenager’ rings with a lovely innocence, of adoration and maturation at the same time (by the way, don’t read maturation as a dirty word-I mean it not how wine matures, but more the way Johnny Depp matured from 21 Jump Street to Fear and Loathing. Y’know good maturing). This maturing shifts indefinitely for the power-pop anthem ‘Josie’. Despite sounding nothing like the Blink-192 counterpart that it shares a name with, both songs have a sense of paralleled similarity. There’s the namesake, the pick-me-up themes, and the rushing, eyes closed, clutching smile chorus that makes your heart swoon. However, with the #punklite version, you want to take a skateboard and watch Bam Magera videos, and the Go Violets song makes you want to pick up a surfboard and not act like a Fred Durst loving twelve year old.

Anyway, continuing on into ‘Beside Me’, a song that gets a little bit more down in the dumps than the openers. There’s still some ‘woo-woo’s in there, but you get the feeling that these are more sighing reflections whilst you kick your dirty gumboots in a rainy puddle, than the ones previously used on a sunny January. Likewise, ‘Crazy’ has the down-tempo down pat. There’s still a feeling that you want to tap your foot, but the general tone in the vocals and guitars is like you are actually on your way to an insane asylum, and you just happened to run into your childhood crush. Despite that sounding like a pretty dismal situation, Go Violets manage to keep it upbeat-ish, and make ‘Crazy’ a very fun listen.

Finally, the final two songs give off a bleached beach vibe that’s kinda rare these days outside of a Best Coast or Dum Dum Girls record. ‘Wanted’ and ‘Runner’ are still very windswept and lovetorn, but less forlorn than the previous two tracks, and they don’t have the immediacy of the openers. However, with that time and space, Go Violets lock into a very strong groove and you can hear the ladies working together to make a really solid product. The songs build and build, swooning and suffering, until you can’t help but be totally lovestruck by them, ‘Wanted’ especially.

Go Violets aren’t the sort of band that do self-indulgent things. Unfortunately that means no crazy shredding guitar solos that will rip your mind apart, but fortunately that means that there won’t be any painfully egotistical lyrics that make you want to wish a sorrowful death on the lead singer. Go Violets like to keep things plain and simple, and that’s totally fine. As long as their songs stay as addictive as they do now, I can’t see a problem emerging any time soon.

For some free Go Violets, head to their Triple J Unearthed Page, right here.

Gig Review: Sures + Go Violets

Saturday 14th September @ Good God Small Club

ImageThere I was. 9 o’clock on a Saturday night. There was some sort of cherry infused vodka cocktail in my hand. I was surrounded by four beautiful women. And no, it wasn’t the sultry minxes I managed to convince to come to this gig with me (that’s your shout out Lisa and co., thanks for ruining my journalistic integrity), but the amazing garage pop foursome that is Brisbane’s Go Violets. They were one half of the double headliner that night at Good God, and by Brad Pitt’s Beard did they earn the title of headliner.

Go Violets, or Govies as they’ve affectionately become known as, create flawless summertime pop for a lazy beach day. Similar to Dum Dum Girls or Best Coast, this all girl group powered through their songs with utmost glee, flashing smiles and creating happiness whenever another of their hazy tunes was sparked. Although they were there to promote their latest single ‘Wanted’, a particularly captivating track of their whole swanky swag of songs, almost every single thing that burst forth from the stage was a delight to the earholes. Seriously, try to maintain a frown when something like ‘Josie’ or ‘Runner’ shines like Leonardo DiCaprio’s toothy grin, right in your face. It’s an impossible feat, one not even worthy of attempting because you’ll end up shitting yourself in the effort. Now try, if you will, to transform that into a super chilled out and boppy performance in a low ceilinged Mexican villa near Chinatown. Sounds like heaven right? Wrong, its more than heaven, because Govies are angelic performers that shit on the descriptor of heaven. These gals are performers, just kids out to have shitloads of fun and totally achieving it. Although the vocals were a little bit fucked at one point (sound fault, not the band’s fault), and the audience were reluctant to give up the role of chatty dickheads until about halfway through the performance, Go Violets remained flawless. Anyone that paid even the minutest amount of attention was swarthed in their basking glow of awesome. Extra points for the guitarist/drummer (that’s right, these ladies are multifaceted) rocking a Palms t-shirt. An awesome band needs to show recognition for equally awesome bands right?

After the blossoming set of summer sheen from Go Violets, it was the main-er event of SURES. Sydney locals that were originally a duo, which then expanded to a four piece, was tonight a holy pentagon of musical prodigies. Yep they rocked a permanent tambourine player that night. I couldn’t convince myself it that was awesome or fucking awesome. Probably the latter. Anyway, SURES rocked the stage at Good God. What started as a warm performance got slowly hotter and hotter until it was a broiling mixture of sweat and lava. The band really put out a good show for the local turn out. They kept chat to a minimum, but seemed to be having a pretty dope time on stage. There was a mix of the old and the new, stuff from the debut ‘Stars’ EP absolutely setting the crowd alight with excitement. The title track and ‘Poseidon’ were jaw-dropping, but it was an alternate, extended version of ‘Romeo’ which really got my bojangles janglin. The melted guitar splash solo outro was brain-frying. After hearing  a song I’ve heard countless times before, I turned to my female compadres and uttered a genuine ‘Ladies, you have just witnessed history being made’, before collapsing into a state of ecstasy.

After a Kylie cover that was actually good, and a wild and insane closer of lead single ‘Waste’ , in which the band put 80’s era Guns N Roses to shame on band energy levels, and swept the crowd into a rambunctious onstage riot, the night was finished. It would be easy to say that SURES and Go Violets put on a hell of a show together, but that would definitely be an understatement. Both bands are young, but they both have an onstage presence that belies their age, and both bands song writing abilities are way above par. Word of warning: go see these bands, or risk revelling in regret for the rest of eternity.

For some free SURES tuneskies click here. Ditto goes for Go Violets here.

Video: Go Violets-Wanted

Brand spanking new track from Brisbane dream-pop darlings Go Violets. Fuck, this is an astonishingly beautiful track. It’s so luscious and there isn’t a moment in the whole thing that doesn’t sound spot-on amazing. Despite traversing the same old road as the majority of the other dream-pop bands of broken romance, Go Violets outdo their contemporaries Blouse and Best Coast, and are absolutely killing it on ‘Wanted’.

Go Violets are playing September 14 at Good God, with SURES. I guarantee this is going to be one of the better Saturday nights of your year.