Video: Green Buzzard – Zoo Fly

I Oh You Records just announced their new signing, and it’s a farkin’ doozy. Green Buzzard, Sydney hoons born-n-bred, who have got an obvious affinity for Britpop melodies and GBV-esque shredding. Also, Huw from Bachelor Pad is in this band, so there was a 99% guarantee that it was going to turn out top bloody notch.

Green Buzzard just dropped their debut single and a video to boot, a hazy, smoke infused jam that’s got a riff fit for King Malkmus. It’s a bit cleaner than the 90’s trademark indie icons that they have evidently been chewing on for the last few years of their lives, but if anything, that makes “Zoo Fly” even more palatable. The melodies are still there, and the tighter production just allows for this beaut of a tune to soak into your skin.

You are a sponge. Green Buzzard is liquid goodness. Let it happen, baby. Let it happen.

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Video: DZ Deathrays-Gina Works At Hearts

The lesson to learn from DZ Deathrays new video are twofold.

Firstly, if there’s a girl you know named Gina, fucking run. Run as fast as you can, and never look back. She will be a sexy, lingerie-clad, minx of the highest order, and will reek of beauty. But she is bad news. She will wear fake fur, rip out your heart, and judging by all the bathroom scenes, vomit on your best shoes while wearing your favourite shirt, an American flag singlet that screams ‘I like to party, and I’m single’.

Second lesson: Shane and Simon look really good in suits.

New: DZ Deathrays-Gina Works At Hearts

Believe it or not, some people got pretty shitty about the release of ‘Northern Lights’, the first single off DZ Deathrays upcoming debut. Personally, I thought it showed some great growth for the band, but hey, that’s just my shitty opinion.

So basically, ‘Gina Works At Hearts’ goes out to all those that were ever doubting that the band couldn’t pull off another high-octane punch to the gonads. ‘Gina Works At Hearts’ goes harder and faster than that new Need for Speed movie, and it will pulverise you like accidentally slipping your hand in a blender.

However, there’s also pop elements to the track. DZ have always had that element of chorus-rocking to them, but ‘Gina’ is less subtle about it. But when you slam a shredding melody, and a chorus of overblown cynicism like  ‘Gina works at hearts/But she doesn’t know/ Why she does it though/ She just loves the attention’, then it’s hard to find any faults. You’re better off just sinking into a mindset of one-track minded moshing, and leaving the complicated shit to people that like Chopin and Puff Daddy.

Top 10 Things That Happened in 2013

Okay, just to clarify, this isn’t a list about the best shit that happened in 2013 for music. Although most of it is about some of the really, really great shit that happened, some of it is about some of the bad shit that happened in 2013. That is to be expected, so chin up buddy, dry those tears, and think about the sunny day that Violent Soho brought out their sophomore record, and forget about the time that Miley fucked a teddy bear. 

10. Chapter Music and I Oh You Records (tied)

This has just been such a fantastic year for both these top-notch Aussie record labels. Albeit on opposite ends of the music spectrum, and drastically varying in age (Chapter celebrating their 21st Birthday this year, and I Oh You celebrating their 4th), they have both released some of the best tunes this year, and rightfully won their place in the music community. Chapter Music released a stunning 15 or so records this year alone, with records ranging from the ‘dole-wave’ world-conquerers Dick Diver and The Stevens, to the long-awaited debut album from Primitive Calculators and another new one from The Cannanes. Meanwhile, I Oh You was out there putting on tours for the likes of Earlwolf, Foals (DJ’s) and getting the one and only Neon Love together for a reunion show. If that wasn’t enough, I Oh You also put out another one of my favourite records of the year, Violent Soho’s ‘Hungry Ghost’, and Snakadaktal’s debut record. They also managed to be a bunch of cockteasers and put out tantalising singles for City Calm Down and DZ Deathrays. If these labels can keep the pressure, there’s no telling how 2014 will end up.

9. New Shit From Bands That Haven’t Released Shit In A While

Beware, I’m not talking about bands that reformed, or broke their hiatus. I’m talking about bands that have never broken up, but have been ‘illin on the fringes of musical society, just waiting to return to form with strident singles. The aforementioned DZ Deathrays, Straight Arrows, HTRK, The Avalanches, Royal Headache, Seekae-just a few of the bands that blew us away with stand alone releases that said, “Fuck you, we’ve still got it.” If you haven’t checked out any of these singles…do it, you unintelligible ape!

8. Shitty Albums That People Thought Would Be Way Better Than They Actually Were

Ooooh, the first hot topic! I’m not just talking about Daft Punk here, there were so many built up albums this year that fell flatter than an ad campaign for Vaginal Warts. Arctic Monkeys, Sebadoh, No Age…just a short list of albums I listened to that I wish I hadn’t had, so I could dedicate more time to wistfully thinking about making sweet love to Robert Pollard. But that’s not even scratching the surface of bands like Cloud Control, Cults, Weekend, Soft Metals, Obits and Franz Ferdinand. A lot of bands that I was expecting to deliver stunning results returned with meagre offerings that either cruised along on the strength of predecessors, or worse, fucking sucked.

7. Solo Projects

For me, the term ‘solo project’ is a bit of a dirty word. Most of the time, they’re warning stories for the over-eager frontmen and women. Just ask Johnny Borrell, Johnny Marr or Noel Gallagher…if your album isn’t awesome, you kind of lose all credibility,and come off looking like a wanker. But luckily, there was a whole swag of Australian artists that went out on their own and wandered out as deadset legends. Nathan Roche, Angie, Kirin J Callinan, Geoffrey O’Connor, and Alex Cameron are just a couple names that released some stellar records this year that only get better with repeat listens. No point getting too much into it, just go fucking listen to them yourself. Trust me, these records are more on the Bob Dylan side of the solo spectrum, in terms of awesomeness.

6. Boutique Festivals

In a year where shit is getting fucked up ALL over the place for major music festivals, whether it be the gargantuan amount of drug related arrests, Blur cancelling on Big Day Out, or AJ Maddah telling people that their favourite bands suck tremendous amounts of horseshit, major festivals are becoming more and more fucked. I can’t tell you how pissed I was when I missed the chance to see Massive Attack, Superchunk, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Neutral Milk Hotel all in the same place for Harvest festival, only to see it collapse before my very eyes. And lets not even touch on hip-hop festivals this year, with Rap City, Supafest, Movement all being cancelled.

However, with the absence of ya boiz 50 Cent and T.I, boutique festivals have continually outshone their counterparts. The ‘original’ boutique festival, Laneway, has gone international, and their 2013 edition was fucking awesome. Japandroids, Divine Fits and POND all left massive dents in my brain, right were the pleasure centre is located. Other festivals like OutsideIn, Strawberry Fields and the upcoming, sold-out Secret Garden festival (which frankly has the most amazing lineup I’ve ever seen) continue to dominate. Oh, and Sound Summit was one of the most pleasurable and unique experiences of my entire life, a smorgasbord of musical delights that will probably never be collected in the same period again. Fuck me, if boutique festivals become a thing, how the fuck will yadda yadda capitalism, Soundwave, Nova 969, joke, haha.

5. Reformations-the fucking shit and the not-so-shit

Firstly, let’s talk about Black Flag. Maaaaan, did they fuck that one up. One of the all time greatest punk bands became a petty squablling bitch fit of the highest order, and at the end of it all, once-stoked fans where left with an album called ‘What The…’, which compromised of a bunch of piss-take ‘punk’ songs and an album cover that looked like ClipArt threw up. They fucking fired Ron Reyes onstage! Black Flag aside, bands that also wanted money to buy that brand-new toaster and reformed included Boyzone, The Backstreet Boys and Girls vs. Boys. It reads like a list of who-gives-a-shit.

However, on the plus-side, Jurassic 5, Philadelphia Grand Jury, and Powder Monkeys all put aside differences and got stuck into some gigs. And by some miracle, the mother fucking Replacements got together again! What! That’s amazing! I nearly blew a load when I heard that!

4. Electronic Music???

Electronic music has had a confusing year in 2013. On the one hand, there has been some absolutely froth-worthy local shit that has gotten tails wagging and genitals exploding. Touch Sensitive, Wave Racer, Cosmo’s Midnight and Hayden James have had stellar years, and underrated labels like Future Classic, Silo Arts, and Yes, Please have all shot to national attention, like synth induced erections. And let’s not even bother to touch on Flume-that guy gets enough deserved praise.

But in terms of mainstream music, the result has been mixed like a cocktail served by a squirrel with Parkinsons. Of course, Disclosure released that pretty killer album. But the likes of hardstyle trap from the likes of Baauer and DJ Snake, and the legions of mindless DJ’s that trample our radio waves that release forgettable single after another dilutes a lot of the mainstream appeal of electronic music. Not even new albums from Jon Hopkins, and Boards of Canada, or the embracing of the genre from indie rock icons like Arcade Fire and David Bowie, could distract from the likes of Knife Party destroying decent music. Although it is undeniable that electronica had a killer year on the local front, its better to forget that other shit happened outside of our shores.

3. Debuts

Face it, a lot of debuts came out in 2013, and they all rock me better than a hurricane. International props to the likes of Savages, FIDLAR, Eagulls, HAIM, Jackson Scott, SQURL, HUNTERS and Atoms For Peace. But that doesn’t even come close to the amount of talent that pooped out shining nuggets of debut gold this year in Australia. TV Colours, Gooch Palms, Bad//Dreems, Food Court, Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, Zeahorse, Bloods…the list goes on…and on….and on. Batpiss, Clowns, Amateur Drunks, Reckless Vagina! Unity Floors, Day Ravies, The Stevens, SMILE! These are just a couple of my favourites, but you get the idea. There was a fuckload of bands that popped their cherry and the collective music community lost their shit. Blood was everywhere.

2. Miley Cyrus and the Death of the Child Star

Look, I actually don’t hate Miley Cyrus. I think her music sucks, her taste is awful, she acts and sounds like a spoiled brat and is a living cumstain, but she’s actually the perfect pop star that this generation needs. She’s like The Dark Knight of shitty, over-produced music. And good for her for completely shaking off the goodie Hannah Montana image.

But therein lies my point. The Jonas Brothers broke up this year, the Biebs has conveniently spray-painted, prostituted and retired (?) his way into a ‘bad boy’ image, and we all saw Miley nearly fuck Robin Thicke onstage at the VMA’s. Right now, there isn’t really a glistening child-star to sell t-shirts. Even Lorde, the youngest pop star of the moment is more grown up than the majority of twenty year old hipsters that infect her concerts just to say they saw ‘Royals’. She hung out with fucking David Bowie and Tilda Swinton for her birthday party!

Regardless, 2013 saw the Death of the Child Star, a feat that should both cause us to all be thankful, and astonished.

1. Local Garage Rock Hit a Fucking Peak

Garage rock, my favourite genre, has well and truly hit its peak at the moment, and shows no signs of declining. Seriously, attend any bar in any capital city in Australia, and there’s a 1-in-3 chance that there’s a garage rock band giving it 100% and blowing minds.

Not only is the live scene of garage rock well and truly at a high point, but the albums these bands are making are astoundingly good. Palms and The Gooch Palms released underdog debuts that blew everything out of the fucking water like a land mine in a kiddy pool. TV Colours took the usual formula and added dashing synths and samples to create a tale of fucked-up-ness that’ll have you massacring penguins just to get your hands on some more. And Bad//Dreems single handedly resurrected the sound that was left behind where GOD put it.

Outside of debuts, garage bands that have already established themselves continued to push shit further into the realm of amazeballs. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Witch Hats, Ooga Boogas and fuckloads of others continued to do what they do best-ensure that we, the shitstains of musical society, are enjoying their output more than humanly possible.

As if that isn’t enough, there’s new garage bands springing up all over the place, and the sound still hasn’t been tired out. Bands like Doctopus, The Living Eyes, Tiny Migrants and Adults are just a very small handful of the concoction of rock n roll music that is permeating our ears on a local level. If you haven’t done so, check out all of these bands and more.

We are living in a renaissance of the greatest form of amatuer music in all its forms, and the least you can do is contribute in some small way. 2013 was one of the best years for Australian music, garage and rock n roll specifically, because finally, all the years of hard work that these bands have done has started to pay off exponentially in fantastic records and performances. Get along to a show, buy a record, and ensure that 2014 means that local music is better than the last shitstain of a year.

New: Electronica Music from Cosmo’s Midnight + City Calm Down + Sable + CEO (free downloads)

So there’s been a bunch of new tunes of the knob-tweaking variety, almost all from Australia, and all very, very gewd. Fuck introductions, let’s hear some music.

Cosmo’s Midnight-Goodnight feat. Polographi

That’s right, a new track from Sydney wunderkids Cosmo’s Midnight. These guys are becoming so buzzworthy right now, its like someone strapped a rocket to their backs and sent them shooting through the blogosphere, smashing taste making website’s expectations left and right.

Their new double A-side is actually abysmally great. I say abysmal, because its doubtful you’ll hear something as good as this for the rest of the year. ‘Goodnight’ is just an onslaught of sounds, moving between a party in zero-gravity and a orgy of sensationalism.

City Calm Down-Speak to No End (Groundislava Remix)

So, by now, you’ve no doubt heard the most excellent new City Calm Down track. Yeah, it rules, we’ve been over this, fast-forward to the present. Groundislava, aka Jasper Patterson, has done a remix, and it adds squelch over some twinkly production. Its a refreshingly hands off approach, and the man from LA (city of broken dreams and shitty actors) shows that you don’t have to add forty layers of production to a track to take it in a slightly different direction.

Sable-Feels So Good

Well, for a debut release, Pilerats sure haven’t held anything back. You probably know Pilerats as the online magazine, but they’ve literally just started up as a label, and their first birthing is the producer Sable with the track ‘Feels So Good’. The track flutters along at butterfly wing pace, and looks just as good. If Passion Pit were turned into a small furry, forest-bound creature and let loose on a Scarface amount of cocaine, and then allowed to play a bizarrely large amount of synths, you’d get something like ‘Feels So Good’. Awesome stuff Pilerats!

CEO-My Liquor

That Kanye West feller had a pretty popular song called ‘Hold My Liquor’ from his recent ‘Yeezus’ album. That much I know. Anyway, some people have decided that they want to have a crack at covering it. Amongst those people are Lorde (you might know about her) and a producer called CEO, which is the moniker for one of the guy’s from Sweden’s The Tough Alliance . Now, damn, the CEO cover is glorious. Its like a gospel choir was funnelled into DJ mixing equipment for a syrupy Spiritualized meets Underworld meets New York indie rock in a single song originally created by an angry rapper.

New: City Calm Down-Speak to No End

After waiting way to long for this too occur, City Calm Down have released new material, and it fucking rules. Like their forefathers Cut Copy, and contemporaries such as Worlds End Press and RUFUS, City Calm Down combine dusk vocals with sunset vibes and midnight synths. Did you pick up that lexical chain? Anyway, their new track ‘Speak to No End’ is unsurprisingly fantastic, a smooth hit of heavenly, gusty normalcy that slowly descends into the jaunty bass-ridden synth that is hinted earlier in the song. The fantastic outro of this song was made to be put on at parties and danced to, and the whole thing reeks of being a bonafide hit, especially within the summer festival circuit.

New: DZ Deathrays-Northern Lights

Halle-fuckin-lejah, there is officially new DZ Deathrays material! And just in time for all the newly released HSC students to smash their heads to. Legit, if you don’t like DZ Deathrays, you have a deep-seeded hatred of yourself, and I’m sorry, but there’s nothing we can do to fix you.

DZ’s newest track aims to switch it up a bit from their usual adrenaline kick to the balls formula, but for the time being, it’s working in their favour. ‘Northern Light’ slowly builds until its grinding up against your face, garganutan cymbals crashing all around your head, and that chugging repetition of ‘The northern lights’…you can practically see the shimmering natural phenomenon glittering above your head.

DZ Deathrays are doing a DJ set at Good God tonight, supporting Turbo Fruits. You should definitely go.

Album Review: Violent Soho-Hungry Ghost

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This. This is essential listening. This is an album of iconic proportions. This is an album that kicks every other albums ass a thousand times over. This is an album with so much goodness in it, Jenny Craig would have a fucking heart attack if she listened to it. This album is better than any sporting grand final moment all put together. This is better than Black Sabbath playing your house party, and then doing coke off your cats nipples. This is better than surfing a tsunami made of liquorice. This is better than pulling 1980’s frat house pranks. This is better than hanging out with your best friends for eternity. Okay, maybe it’s not as good as hanging out with your best friends for eternity, but its damn close.

I have been waiting for this record with baited breath like a patient awaiting an organ transplant. I fucking needed this album. I followed each little spot of progress with the keen eye of a roided out hawk. When the three singles, ‘In the Aisle’, ‘Dope Calypso’, and the most recent, ‘Covered in Chrome’, came out, I was amongst the first the froth, jizz and share the tracks. When I saw I Oh You (Violent Soho’s label-amongst the best labels in Australia) had dropped off three advanced copies at Red Eye Records, I literally sprinted to the record store to pick up one for myself. Sprinted. As in physical activity. I haven’t done that in years. I was so excited to hear this album that I broke my sacred vow to never exceed the 5km an hour rule to make sure that I was amongst the first to hear this album. The question I’m sure that bubbles on your lips is if it was worth it? In short, yes. In long, read on:

‘Hungry Ghost’ provides the nihilistic, growled thrash we’ve come to expect from the Violent Soho camp, but it is so much more than expected. Rather than give a logical follow up to their mind-ruining self-titled album, which I routinely consider to be one of the finer records of this decade, Violent Soho progress to an album that serves as a landmark for the loser. Everything on here is an anthem, everything is something that speaks to the bashed up, middle-class, snotty brat in us all. It rejects any sort of traditional rockmanship, but instead stays rooted in the fastidious ability to rock the fuck out the way only Violent Soho can.

‘Hungry Ghost’ is an album that has a message to make. It has a stamp of authority, and it intends to brand you with that mark. The message isa simple one of escapism, but front man Luke Boerdom summarises it best: ‘“escaping normality, interesting people like old dudes who drag kanga plastic cricket bats in the ground and order black and gold tea from cafes, Australia post-war 60’s dream state suburbia, distraction from things that matter because they are replaced with things that don’t, Brisbane”. The music accomplishes this desperate and disparate tone above and beyond anything one could hope for. All, and I do mean all, the songs crush and maul with an intensity not seen since Big Black. They will roll up up and toss you off a cliff, but they can also tuck you in at night and ward off any scary fucking demons. ‘Hungry Ghost’ is your enemy and your friend, your guide in the dark, the beast you need to live with.

The album seems to be split into two distinct sets. Side A of the record is angsty (not in a bad way) and thrashing, intent on causing as much destruction as possible. Every song will wreak havoc. If you’re not out of breath after  the almighty and apocalyptic ‘Dope Calypso’ has finished, your not doing it right. Each song pounds and threatens to break the sound barrier. You need to play this side loud, or you can never gain the full experience. Musically, ‘In The Aisle’ and ‘Covered in Chrome’ provide the balls-to-the-wall  tidal riffs, whilst  ‘Saramona Said’ creates a future we’re already nostalgic for with its simplistic but rough n tumble rhythms. ‘Lowbrow’ and ‘OK Cathedral’ are a headbangers delight, moulded to mosh to and propelled by layers and layers of deep anthemic guitar.

On one hand, Side A is all about bringing down the wall of the bland normality through blunt force amazing tunes. Side B is the hopeful but realistic reversal of that. The majority of the songs on this side are subdued and sick to their stomach of the unrepentant boring, but have accepted the actuality of it all. Its still a statement of rebellion, but not the cry to arms of other songs. Rather than weaken the record, these slower songs have the complete opposite effect. It just shows that Violent Soho can diversify their sound and shout out their message through different means than belting out tremendous tunes. That being said, ‘Gold Coast’ might have the most gutting vocal delivery on the record, with the incredibly sinister ‘I’m not asking anymore’ that builds to a face melting oblivion pulse.

Lyrically, Violent Soho have never been more intelligent or insightful. Yes, that’s right there’s more to this guys than blistering riffs and nihilistic shouts. The naysaying smart asses will point to the chorus of ‘Covered in Chrome’ and say ‘but wot aboud da Yeah-Yeah-Yeah korus?’, and to that I say fuck you, that chorus is more badass than Bruce Willis on a Harley Davidson made out of boobs.  And to further my point, if you  tune your ear into the actual words Luke Boerdom is saying, you’ll find a plethora of historocal and philosophical brooding that Kurt Cobain wish he wrote. I can’t really be bothered to type out every single jewel one liner that pops up in every song, but if you’d like to discover more about what went behind every song, then read this recent Fasterlouder piece. It just goes to prove that ‘Hungry Ghost’ is a planned and calculated attack of beauty, rather than one of improvisation. The execution of such a well thought out work of art makes me swell with respect for the band and the record.

To conclude, ‘Hungry Ghost’ may just be the finest rock record to come out of Australia since Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s ‘Rush to Relax’. It is definetely my favourite Australian release of the year (POND, Native Cats, TV Colours, don’t worry, you are not far behind). The energy, musicianship, song craft and all round excellence of this record is on display from start to finish. Violent Soho leave nothing to not love. It is pure, unadulterated awesome.

Violent Soho will be touring ‘Hungry Ghost’ in October. You cannot miss these shows. They’ll be playing OAF on October 25, a Friday. Support comes from the excellent as balls Straight Arrows. Be there if you want to tell your friends about the best show you ever saw in your life.

New: Violent Soho-Covered in Chrome

When this post goes up, this song will be about 12 minutes alive in Internet time. So, to say it is hot off the press is an understatement. To say it is good is also an understatement. ‘Covered in Chrome’ is a sugary coated sexual favour in the form of nihilistic rock music that packs more of a punch that Ryan Gosling’s performance in Drive. The bridge is just a constant ‘YEAH!’ shouted into your ear as a tidal wave of guitar swallows you in it’s oblivion soaked riff. It’s truly thunderous and intimidating, and will surely prove to be a massive hit from ‘Hungry Ghost’, which is out on I Oh You next Friday.

Video: Violent Soho-Dope Calypso

Another taste from Violent Soho’s forthcoming album ‘Hungry Ghost’ has dropped, and what a delicious taste it is, like chilli’s dipped in pure THC! Fuck this is brilliant stuff. Violent Soho have nailed the whole aspect of their grunge forefather influence, the quiet-verse/loud chorus honed to bittersweet proportions. It’s sweet because it sounds amazing, and it’s bitter because this is only the single and I want more Violent Soho. I want it now. Inside of me.

The video for this track features stuff that one would probably associate strongly with the band. Rocking out, beers, skating and beards, beards, beards. Fuck that dude’s got such a sweet beard.

‘Dope Calyspo’ is elegant like a swan that’s into punk music. You can catch this song, as well as Violent Soho’s back catalogue of jizz when they play OAF on October 25th. Support comes from the amazeballs Straight Arrows, and it’s around $20. You’d have to posses Hitler-esque qualities to not go.