New: TEEF RECORDS – Imperium in Imperio

Until a week ago, Sydney label TEEF had mostly just dealt with Spirit Faces. An incredible artist for sure, but knowing Tommy (and his fantastic website Sound Doctrine), there was sure to be something very special going on behind the scenes.

Voila! This incredible compilation just dropped, and fuck, if you’re not bowled over like Warnie just delivered the best spinner of his career over the talent on display, then you must be Ricky Ponting. Stick my head in a shotgun and call me Kurt Cobain, this blew my head off!

Not only do massive names like Collarbones and Leaks appear, but smaller wonders are put on display to showcase their huge potential. Planete rocks the house with a nearly ten minute glacier, St. South seduce harder than a clothes-less George Clooney, and Yon Yonson bring the world to a stop with their ever-impressive, King Krule-esque indie rock gem, “Figurine”. Although the majority of the talent here is from Sydney, TEEF still does a great job of representing the wealth tof electronic-influenced stuff that our fair nation has produced, with nods to WA’s stunning GRRL PAL, Melbourne’s glitchy web spinner Electric Sea Spider, and others.

The best part? All this stuff is exclusive to the compilation! No-one else has this!

ACTUALLY, THAT’S A LIE! The even better best part is that it all goes towards Nepal, to help with the devastating effects that the recent earthquake had over there. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? SPEND YOUR CASH!


New: Hedge Fund – Look Who’s Back

Do yourself a favour. Do yourself a FUCKING favour, and listen to this behemoth of indie rock anthem. If this song was a fish in the deep blue sea, you know what it would be called? It’d be called a tune-a. Do you get it? It’s like tuna, but it’s spelt tune-a, because it’s a song. Classic!

Look, just because you can’t appreciate some high-brow comedy GOLD doesn’t mean you can’t get onto this. It’s as icy as the heart of any ex-girlfriend, and as soaring and encasing as any mega-hit from the indie-rock canon. It recalls the pop side of new wave – Psychedelic Furs, PiL, maybe even a little Echo & the Bunnymen. Good shit but, and with a chorus catchier than a case of crabs at a sex addict meeting. It’s hard to make WWII sound good, but Hedge Fund made a way.

Album Review: Gang of Youths – The Positions


Gang of Youths are fifty shades of fucked. Hold up, stay with us here. Don’t go typing on your Tumblr about how your old mate Rye Rye is ripping into your new favourite band. Keep your head straight, they’re my new favourite band as well. Shut your trap, listen up. There’s good stuff going on here, you just need to keep reading.

As we all know, the word ‘fuck’, being the glorious word it is, has about a million different connotations and meanings behind it. In this scenario, the Sydney group known as Gang of Youths employ a mere fifty of them. Impressive, especially when none of these connotations are in the negative.

The first of many of these ‘fucks’ are exclaimed over and over again, with slack-jawed awe, at the sheer goodness and scope of the songs available on ‘The Positions’, their debut record. As someone who finds this absolutely bloody hilarious, the knee-jerk reaction to seeing something released on a major label is to balk, scoff and think of the closest adjective to ‘shit’ that one can apply to the band. But Gang of Youths are too solid, too resonating in their ability to craft a great song. Over the course of nearly an hour, Gang of Youths hammer home some of the most enticing indie-rock that man is capable of wringing to life. I, the epitome of ignorance, has somehow come round to adoring a major-label group. That’s fucked, right?

But it’s not really. Gang of Youths have made a brilliant fucking album, and to deride that would be to shit on the face of good music. This here record carries heartbreak with poise; evocative, emotional songwriting uplifted through crystal production. Each guitar riff is like the distilled waters of Babylon, each chorus a shout along moment. There’s plenty to celebrate here, from the belying anthem of “Radioface”, to the thumping shuffle of “Poison Drum”, to the spine-tingling keystrokes of “Restraint & Release”. There’s not a song on here that doesn’t hit squarely, with a particularly unique force for an indie rock album. That’s fucked, right?

Once again, not really. The story behind ‘The Positions’ isn’t exactly one that can be applied to many. A marriage that’s been born beneath cancer, and then dissolved. Fuck, even typing that is like a weight getting dropped onto one’s back, like those anvils from Looney Tunes cartoons. The more you peer into the lyrics of the songs on ‘The Positions’, the more the powerful facade of the band fades, and the more you want to receive a giant fucking hug. The song “Magnolia” is a perfect example – bright, simmering guitars mingle with strings, and there’s a bold chorus that makes you want to raise your fist in the fucking air, and chant some goddamn lyrics! But those lyrics are, “There’s no way to lie, as far as I know/if heaven won’t take me, then I’m staggering home”. It’s about a suicide attempt. That’s fucked, right?

For a final fucking time, no, not really. ‘The Positions’ is astonishing in its honesty. But more than that, it’s astonishing in its ability to connect so easily. It’s a brave, soulful record, that puts everything on the line, and does it well, with everything perfectly in measure. To go through what this band has gone through, and come out the other side with such a raw, pure and excellent album…that’s shit that doesn’t happen. Nope, that’s fucked. That’s truly fucked. This record is completely fucked, in the best way possible. It’s fifty shades of fucked, and you wouldn’t want it any other way.

Do yourself a favour, and get a copy of this record. Or see Gang of Youths at Oxford Art Factory on Friday 15th May.

New: Modest Mouse – Lampshades On Fire

Modest Mouse are the elder statesmen of indie rock – not quite godfathers like Yo La Tengo, but too old to be considered ‘upstarts’, like Arcade Fire and Dashboard Confessional. Whatever, Modest Mouse are often held up as a band that suck, but people who say they suck haven’t heard ‘The Lonesome Crowded West’ or ‘No One’s First And Your Next’.

However, as far as “Lampshades On Fire” goes, it’s pretty standard Modest Mouse fare. I was speaking in cliches before, but at this point Modest Mouse are kind of just parodying themselves. “Lampshades On Fire” isn’t bad, per se, but it begins and ends like most Modest Mouse songs do, with Isaac Brock having a grumble, stringent guitars and drums that thwak like sheets of bamboo,

Album Review: Spoon – They Want My Soul

Some people are of the mind that today’s indie rock is about as bland and safe as vanilla cross-stitching. Now, whilst that’s of a sweeping statement, as there are plenty of decent indie rock bands out there, like The War on Drugs, and Jagwar Ma, it is apparent that there are certainly not as many quality indie rock bands around these days.  Most major indie bands sound basically the same. Wild Beasts = Glass Animals, The Drums = Foxygen. Fucking indistinguishable from each other. It’s pretty much just a circle jerk of the masses. Actually, fuck that, circle jerk is too kind a name, because at least someone’s having, or will have, a good time. And everyone’s favourites from Girls to Pavement have left us!

Well, at least that was the scenario about a year ago. Some of our old mates are making their way back out of the woodwork and ensuring that the genre doesn’t become a joke. Interpol recently released a new song that kicks utter ass, The National released an absolutely stellar record last year, and Blonde Redhead are still kicking around and look to be releasing something interesting soon. For those who peaked in 2005, break out your favourite Cut Off Your Hands t-shirt, because indie rock looks to be making a, dare I say it, comeback! Actually, fuck that cliche, indie rock never really went anywhere, it just got shit. But, with these bands releasing some good stuff, things at least look positive.

And then there’s this Spoon record. Now, Spoon aren’t exactly amateurs to the game, they’ve been around for over 20 years. But it wasn’t really till after The Strokes mania died down a little bit, that Spoon stepped up as temporary kings of that whole movement. They consistently released fucking awesome albums, packed with jousting, smart and tight songs. Well, they chucked a Strokes and went away for a little while, specifically four years. And they couldn’t have come back with anything better…’They Want My Soul’ is brilliance.

The album starts with ‘Rent I Pay’, which is as catchy as anything Britt Daniels has rasped out of his pipes. The song unfolds like a crumpled and forgotten fiver, crunchily and harnessed with an immediate flooding of happiness of how much you forgot you needed said fiver. Fuck! It really has been a long time between material from Spoon! And holy shit, am I glad that there’s new stuff!

The rest of the album is classic Spoon, shooting in a manner of incredible directions, all anchored by a sense of poise that only a band like Spoon can pull off. Listening to this album honestly makes me feel like Oliver Twist exploring Dicken’s England, a place crammed with a bunch hidden nooks and crannies that are crying out to be discovered, crowded with all sorts of whimsical characters and shit to do. “Knock Knock Knock” is a strung out strummer, like Beck being squeezed down a black hole. Meanwhile, there’s instant head shakers,  songs like “Let Me Be Mine” and the title track, songs that just ring out with the pop sensibilities and morose joy that made indie rock an enjoyable genre to begin with.

This philosophy comes to its most obvious point in “Do You” and “New York Kiss”. These tracks that are completely encapsulated by Britt Daniel’s obvious pain, poured into his vocals like a fat kid drowning his ice cream when presented with a whole tub of chocolate sauce to himself. If Daniel’s solo voice wasn’t enough to create some sort of intimate connection, then the musical tendencies, which range from urgent percussion and synths to guitars with hurricane-levels of pulling force, will drag you in whether you want to or not.

Spoon are back, baby! And not only have they created an album that solidifies the band at being at the forefront of their game, even this late in their career, but it makes indie rock an exciting genre to be listening to again. It seemed for a long time that we’d be burying our heads in our copies of “In Rainbows” and “Turn On the Bright Lights” for a severely long time. Now, there’s an album that is able to be listened to from start to finish, and remain completely electrified by it.

Premiere!-Osborne Again Music Sampler feat. Ciggie Witch + Haircut + Jordan Thompson + Jack Lee

Look, as much as I love Sydney, with all of its wonderful rock n roll bands and DJ’s that can force me to dance, Melbourne has got the guitar-pop genre under lock and key. If you want a song with lackadaisical guitars that winds your head around your shoulders, you can’t touch the genius’ of the South. Maybe it’s the colder weather, or the cultured atmosphere. Maybe it’s that Melbourne is just a really nice place with way less dickheads than Sydney, and that breeds really nice music. Who knows?

The point is that there’s all these amazing jangle and guitar-pop bands popping up with these killer tunes, and they need labels to collectively distribute and promote them. That’s how the music industry works, apparently. Of course, you’ve got your bigwigs like Chapter Music, but there’s also a fair few young guns with rosters better than the 1975 lineup of AC/DC.

One such label is OsborneAgainMusic. Run by Lachlan, from The Ocean Party and Ciggie Witch fame, the label looks to be doing some absolutely fucking killer things in the future. How do I know? Because I’ve had a sneak peek at a couple of the releases in store over the coming months, and I’ve decided to share them with you. Aren’t I fucking generous?

Without further ado, here they are:


Ciggie Witch-Taylors Lakes

I’ve been a pretty big Ciggie Witch fan for a fair while now, with tracks of theirs like ‘Stuck In A Rut’ and the new one ‘Long Weekend’ becoming staples of my tearful icecream binges. There’s something inherently comforting to the soft guitars and lyrics about being 25 and directionless.

‘Taylors Lakes’ is no different, as tight guitars trickle over each other, multiple melodies more or less telling you that everything’s going to be alright, despite the down-n-out lyrics.


Haircut-I Been Dreaming

Deadset, this song is the sort of thing you want in a dream sequence. It’s guitars and vocals drift along like you’re floating down a river of pillow stuffings. It’s so incredibly soft, like a velvet cocoon. You’d be hard pressed not to be forced into thinking about the happiest moments of your life during this one.


Jordan Thompson-Nobody Will Ever Know 

Jordan Thompson is a member of one of my favorite bands, The Ocean Party. However, his solo track starts out with some Amazonian pipes or something, tropical guitar slowed down to a mumble, and dazzled synths. It’s like taking a stroll in the stars, just chilling in the nethersphere in a state of complete and utter relaxation. And the voice! This guy’s voice is like Paul Kelly if Paul Kelly had the voice of an angel. It’s fucking vocal silk!


Jack Lee-Stories to be Kept Under Lock And Key (The Cannanes Cover)

Jack Lee is the singer from Beef Jerk, an awesome band from Sydney (Yeah! Sydney!). On his solo outing, he takes on a cover from one of Sydney’s indie-rock greats The Cannanes. This is the most indie-rock centred track of the bunch, a shambling, furry song that honeys its way into everyone’s hearts. It’s got an ugly beauty to it, and is one of those tracks that’s key to a hangover recovery. When your heart’s in the gutter, and you feel like an absolute piece of shit, this is the song to play.

New: Prints-Lady Penelope

I heard this song on FBi today, and it reminded me that the government fucking sucks for not devoting at least 78% of the annual budget to local Sydney bands. This band should be swamped with as many deadly vices this country has to offer! And they’ve only released a single!

I mean, this is the first single! By all accounts, this song should suck harder than the second Speed movie (to give perspective on how much that movie sucked, it took place on a cruise ship, and featured approx. 0 blank-face Keanu Reeves monologues). Instead, it’s an shambling rock odyssey, a kicked-back, Brad Pitt-in-True-Romance, kind of song-handsome but with just enough slacker to make it way cooler. ‘Lady Penelope’ is bedroom pop with edge, and it’s addictive as a deep-fried Mars Bar dipped in heroin.

New: Gang of Youths-Poison Drum

It’s been pretty well established that I’m not one for the indie rock and pop side of things. I like Interpol and The Strokes and that’s probably about as far as it extends.

But this ‘Poison Drum’ song has got me dancing. I have no idea what it is, but there’s something going on here that’s making me groove to unexpected lengths. Sometimes it’s better to put down the grating noise rock and pick up some of this cool, little rock stuff that causes a few gyrations. Sure, it’s a bit clean, but it’s got an inherent groove, and it’s a damn fine pop track. Likewise to The Preatures and Hunting Grounds, Gang of Youths have got something to them that makes them a little stickier and enduring.

New: White Laces-Skate or Die

When I saw that there was a song named ‘Skate or Die’, my mind instantly shot to the FIDLAR end of the music spectrum. Surely this was a song filled to the brim with fuzz and blunt metaphors for getting laid, like ‘…And then I used my hammer on her nail…’ or something.

But instead, I’m pleasantly surprised by a bit of lovely indie rock. ‘Skate or Die’ is incredibly similar to some of Phoneix’s later material, like ‘Entertainment’ minus the frantic strings. Really, ‘Skate Or Die’ is the must deceivingly titled make-out track ever written.

Album Review: The War on Drugs-Lost In the Dream

I remember seeing the name The War on Drugs, and thinking to myself, ‘Woah, that’s so punk rock. Yeah, stick it to The Man…man!’. Then I tuned into ‘Baby Missiles’, and I became Mel-in-Flight-of-the-Conchords obsessed with the band. They had all these elements of psych-pop being bred into really bruised songs. The music floated by, but not without pinching and weeping the whole time. It was eclectic stuff, that managed to be soft as rainbow fluff and rough as Jason Statham at the same time.

Then I found out Kurt Vile used to be in the band, and it all became abundantly clear why my emotions where going through a therapy session run by The Terminator (Judgement Day edition, for those wondering). Now, it’s obvious that Kurt Vile has gone on to become one of the most revered indie musicians, but The War on Drugs have carved their own little niche.

Well that niche is about to expand into a fucking zeppelin, because the new record is pretty darn fantastic. Whilst Vile is long gone, Adam Granduciel has managed to let himself shine as a singer. ‘Lost In the Dream’ lives off of the winding, breezy tracks like dinosaurs lived off smaller dinosaurs. Listening to the album is a beautiful thing, and easy to lose yourself in, the densest indie rock forest since The National’s ‘Trouble Will Find Me’.

However, the voice…the voice! It soars off the palette of Granduciel, an indie rocker’s Picasso. Words drop out of his mouth and twine around the music like an endearing cat, and we all know how rare that is. Echoing whispers on ‘Disappearing’, strutting through the shimmering guitar on ‘Burning’, thrusting and agonising on ‘Red Eyes’…The man’s got his intonation’s down to say the least.

However, there is a problem with the album in that the songs kind of blend into one another. They twist on the themes of hurting, regret, and despair, and the music does a fantastic job of communicating that. But it can get tiresome after a while. There’s not too much wringing of the subject for the album to take the shape it could have. So, after you’ve finished listening to the second track ‘Red Eyes’ (which is undeniably amazing, and I’ll vasectomise anyone who disagrees), you can basically just sit back and let the rest of the album wash over you. There’s interesting parts, but nothing that altogether shifts the album into another gear, musically or lyrically. It’s not until the final track, ‘In Reverse’, when it seems like Granduciel is making an effort to show any confidence, rather than just be poetically wistful.

Don’t get me wrong, this album is great, but it’s not something that stands up and gives a message the same way that Kurt Vile can. The War on Drugs make beautiful music, but it’s like they’ve taken become a bit confused since ‘Baby Missiles’ brought them to my attention.