New: Buzz Kull – Nausea

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 6.19.42 pmIt’s been a long time coming, but Buzz Kull have finally followed up on last year’s “Dreams” and announced a full length album! Fuck yeah, goths of the world unite! This is a day as glorious as that time Robert Smith said he was going to re-animate the corpse of Ian Curtis for a Christmas single!

Seriously though, it’s been two years since that first Heat EP, and it was starting to feel like maybe Buzz Kull was going to fold before granting us with a full length. Luckily, “Nausea” is here, a pungent puncture that has moved light years on from the early atmospheric dissonance of “Fallen Flower” and “Vision & Lights”

Short and sharp at only two minutes long, “Nausea” does exactly what it says on the tin, lighting a flame at the pit of your belly, allowing all that stomach acid to start churning around the base of your body, brewing and burning until your whole being is thrashing around, vibrating with the trill of ill.

Buzz Kull are gonna be playing a show in a few weeks at the Record Crate in Glebe – Jan 3rd, supporting Kid Trails; Skull & Dagger, and Agroclam are also gonna play!


Album Review: Gazar Strips-Sparkling EP

In 2003, Andre 3000 asked society a very important question: ‘What’s cooler than being cool? Ice cold!’ He got that right – goth music is some of the coolest shit to listen to, and the best stuff is submerged in twenty-thousand feet of ice-cold emotional horror. Bauhaus, Alien Sex Fiend and The Sisters of Mercy are my go to sad-as-fuck bands, when it’s raining and it’s a Sunday, and there’s an assignment due, and I missed that Scott & Charlene’s Wedding show and…fuck man, my problems are the worst kinds of problems.

This is where Gazar Strips come in handy. They make noisy, gritty goth music in the same vein as the aforementioned artists, only darker. Maybe if Joy Division were drowned in a bathtub of evil? Or if the Reid brothers most devilish, junk-induced nightmares came to light? ‘Sparkling’ is anything but, a lurching, emotionally-wrought ride through cacophony and gutter-gothicism.

The EP starts with ‘Oversight’, a track that reaches out cold hands of bass and screaming, muddy guitar screeches. You can totally hear the ‘Unknown Pleasures’ influence here, but with stacks and stacks of feedback and regurgitating blackness surrounding it. There’s this awesome part where the song breaks down into agonised howls, cackling and a towering solo. The song basically spits out a seething, focused haze of gothic filth (one of the highest of compliments I can give).

The title track continues the trend of ripping open minds with crunching guitars, as experimental sounds that would have a hard time being replicated ricochet on percussion probably performed on a skeleton. ‘Last Days’ continues the killer bass trend, opening with a line that’ll tear you from balls to temple, low-slung and snarling as ever. Give it a few years, you’ll find most house bands that play in death cults chucking up covers of ‘Last Days’, which seems kind of inappropriate given the reputation death cults have got for themselves. Jesus Christ Jim Jones Jr., couldn’t you be a little more sensitive!

Serious props if you understood that really obscure cult leader reference that’s probably one of the darkest things I’ve written, but it’s still not as gloriously tormenting as the final track on the EP, ‘Bee Mantis’. Like its spindly namesake, the track thrives on being the most hair-raising, spine-chilling, mouth-drying creature created, a HTRK track burning on bleeding guitar fumes. This is the shit Stephen King used to write about in his books! It’s terror-fuelled genius, lapping bass and careening guitars carrying hope-shattering lyrics to a final destination of fucking amazing.

Did you read that last sentence? Gazar Strips are probably the best gothic/darkwave group in Australia right now, maybe even the globe. This EP is the kind of thing acid freaks who listen to The Cure wish they could create, but always forget about. This EP shatters all the expectations of what a band must do to cause on to shudder in entranced anticipation. FUCK! I can’t get over it, this EP is simply the shit. Bow down Robert Smith/Rowland S. Howard/Siouxsie Sioux disciples, you have a new master.

Pick up this fucking EP right away for a name your price download (GASP! HOLY FUCK!) at the Sonic Masala Bandcamp.



Video: No Art-Forest

There is some exponentially sad news for the Sydney music scene that doesn’t involve the lockouts. One of the hardest working and often-performing bands No Art are calling it a day. No longer will they be playing their amazing sets for the enjoyment of all in attendance. I’m just fucking stoked I got to catch them a couple times before this apocalyptic day came to pass.

However, with such a tragedy comes a small toked of amazing, namely their new video for their track ‘Forest’. Coming from a gothy shoegaze band like No Art, the result is an expected trip through awesome. The song resonates with hearty, sinister power, ebbing like a Liars track performed by Kim Gordon.

The video features a bunch of tripped out shit that seems like it would appear in a Savages video directed by Yoko Ono during a phase were she’s really into the Cure and Bret Easton Ellis. But No Art got to it first. Good on ya guys!

No Art will be playing their final show at Black Wire Records (duh!) on Friday, February 14th. Making and Duck Duck Chop (!) will also be there. Make sure you get on that shit!


New: Mac DeMarco + Damaged Bug + Trust + The War on Drugs + Habibi + Woods

There’s more new songs in this article than there were impoverished orphans in Charles Dickens’ novels. That’s a lotta songs.

Mac DeMarco-Song About Pussy

This song doesn’t actually have a name. Hell, this song probably is just a little fuckaround thing he did between blowing minds at the bunch of sold out shows he did in Australia (I was at the one he did at The Standard, with Twerps. It was awesome, thanks for asking). Anyway, if watching a naked cowboy with an acoustic guitar that just barely covers his pubes, you’re in luck. If you want that to be soundtracked by a sleazy, 80’s throwback track sung by our favourite Canadian, then you’re in double luck. If you want a twist ending, and Mac to randomly pop his frizzy head up at the bottom of the screen by the end of the track, then you have an oddly specific fetish.

Damaged Bug-Eggs At Night

Oh, shit goddamn, hot salsa orgies on a microwave plate! It’s new John Dwyer material! Although that name might not ring a bell, Thee Oh Sees certainly should, a project that happens to be the brainchild of Mr. Dwyer. The fact that the man is nothing short of a King Midas, turning everything he touches into gold, should come as no surprise.

Anyway, although the sad news of Thee Oh Sees going on hiatus has been confirmed as fact, the man isn’t slowing down by any standard, instead adopting the name Damaged Bug, and deciding to put out an electronic-toned solo LP. ‘Eggs At Night’ is the first taste, and fucking hell, its like he’s shoved a five course meal down our throats! The song is absolutely amazing! Slow, creepy, vaudevillian synths creep the song into existence, like the SOS of a lonely, The Fall/Rowland S. Howard-loving lighthouse keeper, whilst Dwyer’s vocals echo like some sort of post-modern Dracula, dripping with loneliness. It’s like Ian Curtis never died after all! Absolutely fucking beautiful, and I mean every word.

Trust-Rescue, Mister

I really, really enjoyed the first album I heard from Trust. It was dark, gothic and delectable as hell. Then, late last year, I saw a music video that completely turned me off Alfons. There was a pop sheen to it that sounded like they’d been dipped in a bowl of Rihanna jizz. With caution, I pressed play on the new single from the band, and was delighted when it came back to that original sound. Weirdly enough, I can’t seem to find that pop track that turned me off Trust. I’ve spent two hours looking, coming up blank. Maybe it was all a bad dream.

‘Rescue, Mister’ takes on a distinctly sophomore-era Crystal Castles vibe, with the spider web female chorus, and gothic synths reaching to newfound heights.Weird disco penetrates this song like I penetrate the walls of The Red Rattler-bug-eyed and awkward, but having too much fun to care that everyone else thinks that its the most out of place thing imaginable.  If this is what Trust ends up sounding like on the new LP, then please, don’t hold back. Alfons: assault me with that freaky disco carnage.

The War On Drugs-Red Eyes

I feel bad, because I absolutely adore The War on Drugs, and yet I had no clue they had a new track out. AND I was away for their apparently spectacular gig at Oxford Arts a couple of days ago. I’m slightly ashamed of myself. Yet ‘Red Eyes’ takes that all away. Whether they’re referring to the side-effect of a spectacular amount of marijuana injections (that’s how you do pot, right?) or from a shit load of crying, the fact remains that this song could be a comfortable sidekick in both situations. Smoother than George Clooney’s ass cheeks, and more resonating in the pleasure centre than a brain implant of chocolate ice cream, ‘Red Eyes’ simply needs to be adored. And the best thing is that it doesn’t even need to try. It seems that all those years with Kurt Vile paid off for the rest of the band, and now, they can hone their own brand of spiritually-cleansing rock. Damn, this is just such a fine song that everyone on the planet should own.

Habibi-I Got the Moves

The band’s name couldn’t be further from what’s on display on this stunner of a track. Whilst the name evokes a Middle Eastern stereotype store you could find in downtown anywhere, the band is a girl group playing surf rock the way it was meant to be done. Super catchy, super light and super short ‘n’ sweet. Its like these women came right off the set of Gilligan’s Island, where they played sexy surfers that abandoned poor Gilligan at the end of the episode. No surprises, it comes off Burger Records, the home of all good surf rock. Good on ya’ Burger!

Woods-Leaves Like Glass

Its been a while since I was in this neck of the Woods (someone give me a fucking sitcom deal). I’m speaking, of course, about alt-country territory. I’m talking about Blitzen Trapper, Fruit Bats and Deer Tick, that weird gray area between shitty indie folk stuff and shitty country music, where the stories are weird and the music is weirder. Woods have always fit in there snugly, and now more so than ever. ‘Leaves Like Glass’ features a brilliant little organ part, which is tugged along by the acoustic guitars strumming their wares. To put it bluntly, Woods become charming as fuck on ‘Leaves Like Glass’, like some sort of hybrid of The Moondoggies and Brad Pitt.

New: Jeremy Jay-Covered in Ivy

This song is amazing. It opens with shades of the 1980’s filtering through a gothic pop lense, and opens into a beautiful careening love song. It’s something that wouldn’t be out of place on any 1985 black-clothed teenager’s mixtape, along with the likes of Bauhaus and The Jesus and Mary Chain. The guitar picks like a fingernail on a scab, and the whole song oozes with a heartbroken delicacy. Jeremy Jay, you’ve done a fan-fucking tastic job.

Album Review: Grave Babies-Crusher

If your idyllic album cover is a pyre of otherworldly bleakness, encircling a bloody pig’s head embedded on a spike, look no further for your future favourite album, Grave Babies ‘Crusher’. For those, and I believe I speak to the majority, who think that is mildly fucked up, read on for your next favourite gothic masterpiece. For yes, Grave Babies will be the next Cramps, not in sound (apparently they fucking hate being compared to other artists more than Rasputin hated being targeted for assassination) but in style and execution of glorious, frivolous, revelling music that is sure to capture the gothic crowd of 2013, and get them masturbating to something other than pictures of Robert Smith’s hair. In the recent history of post-gothic, post-punk, post-bullshit music of a dark nature, there was firstly Crystal Castles, followed by The Soft Moon, and now Grave Babies are taking their turn as the torchbearers, or rather pallbearers (ba-doom tisch) of these coffin-clad resonators known as Darkwave! (just to point out, Crystal Castles and The Soft Moon both have recently released albums, and both rock my pasty body to the core, it’s just that 2013 seems like a Grave Babies sorta year)

For the uninitiated, ‘Crusher’ might seem a swarthy mess, overloaded with coarse vocal abilities, howling mentality, and blistered riffs clunking over each other. Personally, that sounds like a great album to me, but it goes much further than that. There is diversity, and a forward thinking agenda to be discovered. ‘Count Cuts‘ is a head-lolling, love ballad disguised as a corpse. ‘Your crashing all around me/dig deeper into my sleep’ is just an example of the harrowing, blood-curdling lyrics that undercut the brilliant mournful cries of guitar curdling the song into a caption of heartbreak. It’s got a tear stained face permanently branded on it’s forehead, a standout in the album of noisy grief. 

It’s not all doom and gloom. Well, it is, but it isn’t entirely delivered with a snarling gasp of desperate anguish. ‘Over and Under Ground‘ the first single from the album, is at times almost sort-of melancholy, delivered at a rolling, stamped out, factory pace, something that would play during the crux of a Charles Dicken’s novel. It’s a gory, curled blaster of a song, the highlight of the album, delivered with a snowed-in, apocalyptic tone, like a T-Rex that’s just discovered how short it’s arms are, and that all the other dinosaurs have been laughing about him behind his back. It’s hurt and harnessed, pulled back and pushing suppressed blasts of feedback. Another beautiful carcass of a track is ‘Pain Cycle’, which is literally a cycle of robotic, metallic-sheen loops stretched into a cavernous sound, propelling the listener to another dimension of the pain Grave Babies try to execute.

Overall, ‘Crusher’ depicts exactly what it wants to: an off-kilter romance, both longingly obsessed with the anguish, and excitedly fixated with expressing it in the most skelter-ish, mentally deranged way. It’s a true thing of beauty, clashing sounds subdued to a whisper, faraway vocals belted in a silent scream, minimalist sounds executed in deadly, bombastical succession. Could ‘Grave Babies’ have released a better album than ‘Crusher’, loaded with the hauntingly-drenched works of ‘Skulls‘, ‘Slaughter’, and ‘Death March‘? Probably not. It’s hellishly good pop for the jilted generation, an insulted work of black and white otherworldly decapitation, just like the album artwork

Download ‘Over and Underground’ and ‘No Fear’ from Grave Babies’ Hardly Art page, and check out some of the other Hardly Art bands like Colleen Green, Unnatural Helpers and Australia’s own Lost Animal.