Album Review: Yes, I’m Leaving – Slow Release

Before I start this review, I want to state that Yes, I’m Leaving are amongst the Top 5, if not the best, punk band in Sydney. I mean, these guys basically rule Black Wire Records with an iron fist, and have one of the most devoted cult followings, with hordes attending each show, each kitted out in a debacle of denim, piercings and leather. If you haven’t heard of them, or seen them before, stop what you are doing (yes, stop reading this sentence), and check them the fuck out.

Why? Why are Yes, I’m Leaving such a force of god-defying power? Well, besides being sadistically underrated and having a killer name that was probably inspired by the reactions of playing Lightning Bolt to people who think Tame Impala and OK GO are badass, YIL have the power to capture a sonic fury not seen since Fugazi. There’s those staccato beats, crunching bass stampedes, and wailing howls that cause dogs to prick their ears in curiosity, and everyone of decency to flock to whatever audio device is blaring such amazing music.

On their fourth record, YIL elevate themselves to a strangely mid-fi territory, but before anyone gets on their high-horse, all this means is that the punch and kick of the band comes through that much clearer. This isn’t a shitty case of having a band’s fuzz ripped from underneath them, leaving nothing but an indie-rock facade that is more bland than a 9-5 office job at a vanilla factory. Now, the bass lines are easily traced, each note hammering down with a punctual and forthright aggression that was always hiding just behind Yes, I’m Leaving’s full potential.

The case for Yes, I’m Leaving’s status as “HOLY FUCK THIS BAND WILL BECOME A GLOBAL LANGUAGE” begins with the first track, “One”. You heard this thing? YOU FUCKING HEARD THIS THING??? THIS THING WILL RIP YOU APART, SHIT IN YOUR CHEST, AND NOT EVEN APOLOGISE, FOR THIS BEING IS AN INCENDIARY FORCE OF NATURE! There’s nothing that “One” won’t do to ensure that the skin melts off your face, leaving nothing ut a chargrilled, sizzling but fantastically stoked head. It rips, roars and demolishes all in it’s path, and if you;ve had the luck of seeing this in a live format, you’ll know how much this track can cause the unprepared to double up in pain and pleasure.

Another thing that needs to be stated about this record is that there is no filler. NONE! Every song is just as pulverising as the least, losing no time with offsides or bullshit. Yes, I’m Leaving now that each and every moment of their 30 minute record is a moment that can be spent bending the definition of amazing, and turning non-believers into full-blown fanatics. It’s hard to pick favourites on the record, as every time I put on a track, it instantaneously becomes “my new favourite”. However, for the sake of “journalism” and #SINGLES, tracks like “Salt”, “Alchemy”, “Funny” and “Puncher” all stand out that little bit more. These are songs that hurtle with the same velocity of Gandalf chasing the Balrog down the gateway to hell, and they also allow for that slight Australian accent to make sure that all those who will become disciples of the YIL will know exactly where they come from.

There’s so much more I fell I can say about Yes, I’m Leaving’s new record. The lyrics that incinerate all in their path, the powerful knockouts of the music, the way that these three Sydney musicians have unlocked a sacred power that honestly defies what “sound” can be defined as. They break so many rules and eardrums with their music, that it is hard to imagine going back to listening to bands that can’t be described as ‘cauterwauling hellbeasts’. With this album ‘Slow Release’, Yes, I’m Leaving have just cemented their place as Australian punk legends. In the near future, people will be talking about assasinating presidents so they can hear shitty bootlegs of this album. Make sure you’re not one of them, and buy one now.

Get yourself a pre-order of this soon-to-be-legendary record here. And when Yes, I’m Leaving announce launch shows, get yourself along to AT LEAST one of them.


New: Yes, I’m Leaving-One

Post-Thursday hangovers have got me, and every other fun loving Sydney-sider, in a state of total trauma. Thankfully, there’s a cure for that, with the ear-splitting new track from Sydney’s best punk trio Yes, I’m Leaving. And I do mean, Sydney’s BEST PUNK ROCK TRIO! And I don’t mean cure, as if you’re hungover, this song will literally rip your head apart like Cthulu deciding he want to gorge himself on your brains.

‘One’ is just as loud, noisy and brilliant as any other Yes, I’m Leaving material that has come before it. The pearl of Yes, I’m Leaving’s music is their aggression, and it’s delivered here like Liam Neeson finding out his daughter has been kidnapped. Couple that with the whiplash staccato of the pounding drums and bass, and you’ve got a song that’ll tear your insides apart faster than an orgy of Chestbursters.

Album Review: The Stickmen-The Stickmen/Man Made Stars

There’s this band right. They’re called The Stickmen. They’re from Hobart, Tasmania, the cesspit where culture goes to die, or so say all the Sydney yuppies I hang out with. But how can that be true, when a band such as The Stickmen, such a visceral, and violent, and genuine act, one that displaces conventions and turns heads like a NASCAR race, comes from such a territory? Surely, there’s been a mistake?

Indeed, there has, but it’s got fuck all to do with locale. Instead, it’s all about the sad, sad day in music history that accompanies the fact that The Stickmen aren’t really around anymore. Like The Primitive Calculators, it took an ATP curation to resurrect these former heroes. Also like The Prim Calcs, these guys absolutely shredded all that the squares hold dear, bringing punk rock spirit and intensity to songs that could be properly appreciated. Underground heroes? Fuck that, these guys need to be revered the world over. At the very least, they’re a million times better than Nirvana.

Which is why, with a stifled cry of enlightenment, comes the re-issue of The Stickmen’s classic albums on Homeless Records. I fucking love this label: Bits of Shit, The Stabs and Cuntz are just a couple of the bands to be spewed forth from these guys, and the world is actually a better place for it, tipping the scales of pop mediocrity back to punk rock genius spasms.

Listen up, you putz, you scum, you wretched bile-I’m about to devote a couple hard-earned paragraphs to why you should go out and buy both these fantastic albums. It’s not because they’re limited edition, or because some of the covers are ‘special’, none of that Sub Pop shit. No, you need these albums because there is no other band out there like The Stickmen.

They’ve got the morose drone of Melvins, but without the demonic sludge. They’ve got the mathy jitter of bands like Q And Not U and At-The Drive In, but without the faux rage and pretentiousness. They’ve got the drilling intensity of Black Flag, and the murk of The Scientists and their most gloop-ridden. But then, there’s the fact that The Stickmen defy pigeon holing. Every track on these albums shifts to a completely different landscape, not just between each other, but within the song itself. The band search and scorn with equal measurement, like a Christopher Columbus that’s been molested with the soul of Ian MacKaye.

Songs like ‘Who Said It Should Be Good?’ and ‘Floating Pawn’, they’re the main reason why one would initially become obsessed with The Stickmen. They’re complex, original and riveting, with all the right dynamics to make pants tight and thighs wet. But then there’s weird tracks like ‘Creep Inside’ and ‘Shoot to Kill’ which are almost jazz-infused, like Primus x Fugazi, doused in the groin flames of Dizzy Gillespie. And then, there are bouts of fury, punches of Mike Tyson-enraged glory, like ‘No’. These songs just want to go as hard and fast as humanly possible. If 2 Fast 2 Furious were set in a post-punk 90’s Hobart, there’d be a scene where Vin Diesel and Paul Walker would face off to this song.

Look, I just described the shit out of a few Stickmen songs. My favourites to be precise. But really, both albums don’t have a bad song between them. The songs just pulsate with an icky life of their own, drooling hell-slobber on all those lucky enough to listen in. The Stickmen might even be too good. Maybe that’s why they were forgotten in the annals of Australian Music History and Nick Cave got picked up for his billionth album.   All I can say is thank fuck Homeless got on this shit and were able to spread the love and fury of The Stickmen to us mere mortals.