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

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Album Review: Hebronix-Unreal

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Two ATP Recordings reviews in one week? Gee Whiz that’s a lot! Not it’s not you patronising fuckwad, ATP put out some of the best shit on this planet. You heard the SQURL EP? That shit was balls deep in amazing, helped along slightly by the fact that Jim Jarmusch was in the band.

What was I saying? Oh yeah, the new Hebronix album. A little history lesson for those struggling with Trials at the moment (a list that includes myself-damn you standardised testing!). Hebronix is the moniker of Daniel Blumberg, who used to be in Cajun Dance Party, and Yuck. You probably know Yuck as being one of the coolest bands of the past couple of years. You are not wrong. However, Blumberg has left that group, and now most of the creative energy is focused in this new, Greek-hero-sounding project Hebronix.

As Yuck is to Pavement, Hebronix is to Elliot Smith. It seems that Blumberg just can’t get enough influence from critically lauded bands. Even though this album is super Smithy, it’s also got some other shit in there, like Neil Young, Bright Eyes, and Sparklehorse. So, yeah, it would be fair to say that ‘Unreal’ is like an indie orgy of some of the best acts of the past decade, all tied up with Blumberg’s stunning voice. It’s a soaring masterpiece of the melancholy underachiever.

The first two tracks, the 10 minute ‘Unliving’ and ‘Viral’ are excellent, but the album really hits its stride on ‘Wild Whim’.  The lyrics of ‘Your the girl I se in my recurring dream/the girl that took the time to learn the tambourine/your the girl that doesn’t give a fuck about anything’ may or may not go in the box for best guilty pleasure/beautifully cliched lyrics of the year, something that The Kooks wet dream about. Then there’s the serene descending solo that balances out agains the fuzz like a careening drunk on a New York Sunday night. ‘Wild Whim’ is an  astonishingly beautiful track that is by far the highlight on the album, something you can play whilst philosophising on a bus on a rainy day. In fact, I guarantee a Pitchfork employee is doing that somewhere in the world right now.

The rest of the album never quite reaches the lofty heights of ‘Wild Whim’ but it comes damn close. Earthy and lightly wafting ‘Unreal’ sheds a tear, ‘Garden’ digs in it’s heels and bares it’s Dinosaur Jr. teeth, and ‘The Plan’ is a delightful mash of the quaintness of Bright Eyes with the heart-on-sleeve of  Built to Spill. Musically, ‘Unreal’ is a top fucking notch. However, most of the songs seem to drift for maybe just a tad longer than they necessarily should. One 10 minute track is asking quite a lot already, but when everything bar one song is far beyond the six minute mark, Blumberg is certainly asking a lot of patience and dedication from an average listener keen for a geez of entertainment. It’s like wanting to see the Bearded Lady and ending up watching Cirque Du Soleil. Sometimes it’s just too much.

So yes, whilst Daniel Blumberg might have crafted one of the best listening albums that the snobby music fan will champion, (myself included), sometimes it looks like it might just be a bit too much filler and not enough ‘Wild Whim’ to entice the middle of the road Yuck fan. Still, it’s undeniably good shit, and an obnoxious round of applause is in order to Mr. Blumberg for ‘Unreal’.

HSC Trials Study Playlist

A lot of people are struggling with the Trials at the moment. I’ll make this brief: here’s a bunch of music that you can study to and will hopefully help you not fail. Nothing too weird or unsightly, nothing energetic, just really smooth relaxing music that will put you in a good mood and help you not go on a killing spree. 

1. Hebronix-Unliving

2. Twerps-Who Are You

3. Bearhug-Cinema West

4. Nite Jewel-One Second of Love

5. Modest Mouse-Baby Blue Sedan

6. High Highs-Open Season

7. Telling-Stella

8. The Beta Band-She’s the One For Me

9. The Flaming Lips-Do You Realize??

10. Elliot Smith-Ballad of Big Nothing

11. Portishead-The Rip

12. Elvis Depressedly-I’m Never Going to Understand

13. Laura Marling-Ghosts

14. Dick Diver-Water Damage

15. Shining Bird-Distant Dreaming

16. Ciggie Witch-Back Aches

17. I’lls-To: All the Blurred

18. Naysayer & Gilsun-In Mind (feat. Simon Lam)

19. Chet Faker- I’m Into You

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. 

May Playlist

May I provide you with an awesome playlist? I MayMay there be a shitload of awesome new garage tracks and videos, like Beaches’ ‘Send Them Away’ and Hebronix’s (ex-Yuck) ‘Unreal? There May! There May even be some tracks from a couple years back from badasses The Soft Moon, DIIV, Ty Segall and Harlem. If you enjoyed the Radical Dads video I posted a little while ago, you May enjoy the Shark? song ‘Down Low’. I May have also included some more electro-oriented stuff like Lapalux (props to Clancy), and Mirwais (for any of you who have seen Snatch) 

1. Beaches-Send Them Away

2. Guided By Voices-Flunky Minnows

3. C H U R C H E S-Flocks

4. Ty Segall- The Drag

5. Great Thunder-Kees

6. DIIV-How Long Have You Known

7. The Soft Moon-Circles

8. Harlem-Friendly Ghost

9. YVETTE-In Praise of Our Doubts

10. TOY-Left Myself Behind

11. Hebronix-Unreal

12. Lapalux-Without You feat. Kerry Leatham

10. Blood Orange-Sutphin Boulevard

12. Mirwais-Disco Science

13. Kill the Noise and Feed Me-Thumbs Up (For Rock n Roll)

14. Christopher Owens-Here We Go Again

15. Caveman-Thankful

16. Al Lover and the Haters-Ballin’ Chain

17. Forces- Overland (In My Mind)

18. The Prodigy-Firestarter (Death Grips Remix)

19. Holy Fuck-Lovely Allen

20. Shark?- Down Low