Interview: Palms

PALMS Bad Apple landscape

Al Grigg is the nicest man in rock ‘n’ roll, and that’s a fact. When he’s not shredding in Palms or Straight Arrows, he’s got his head bouncing around at a show, managing to get around the entire room and give everyone a hug and the time of day. Remember when Wavves made that song called “I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl”? Fuck that, they need to change the lyrics to reflect the real best bloke in rock music.

It’s always a pleasure to get to chat to Al, whether we’re talking shit about who would win in a fight between Cheap Trick and Thin Lizzy, or which pub has the best burger in Sydney. This time ’round, we got to chatting about the new album Crazy Rack, which is just *mwah* absolutely fucking stunning. Read on for musings about fame, depression and The Replacements.

R: Swiggy Griggy!

A: Saarzy! Well, well, we meet again!

R: We’ve been mates for a while, but when we first started to know each other, and Palms had first started…

A: Our courting period!

R: Haha, exactly. When Palms first started, people would recognise you a lot as ‘Al from Red Riders’, and now it’s shifted to ‘Al from Palms’. Do you notice this at all?

A: I don’t really know, or notice the change. But I guess that’s the truth – there’s something else for people to notice me as now. I’m also quite often, and embarrassingly, known as ‘Al from Cream’ [A second hand store in Newtown; go there for autographs]

I was at Splendour with Shane [ParsonsDZ Deathrays/Angus Young’s Protege] and Dave [Williams/WolfmanManly Sea Eagles/Patron Saint of Footy Beards] and they had this funny thing going of who would get recognised first. Then there was this chick and a guy who said, “I know you from somewhere!”. I was like, “Palms?”, “Naaaah”. “Red Riders?” “Naaaaah”, “Straight Arrows?” “Naaaah”. And then they were like, “You’re the guy from CREAM!”. Haha, and yes, I am also the guy from the second hand clothes shop! I probably sold you an old pair of cut off denim-shorts.

R: Do you think that being noticed of how far Palms has travelled since the first album came out?

A: Yeah, I guess. Obviously….we’ve played a lot of shows, and…this is gonna sound really arrogant, but I think it’s kind of true. I think we’re just friendly guys, and we make friends easily. When we meet people, there’s no separation between us as a band and them as people. We’re just people.

That sounds like such a gross cliche (laughs) but you get what I mean. It goes from Al from Palms to Al very quickly. And then it goes to Swiggy Griggy!

R: Onto the record – you guys recorded it twice. When you finished it the first time, and it was decided that it wasn’t quite good enough, was that disheartening?

A: Yeah, it was really disheartening. When you’re writing a song, it’s in your head a bit. Even when you’re playing it live, it’s just an interpretation of how you feel. There’s nothing concrete about it, you have this potential for it: “When it gets recorded, it’ll be really big, and sound like this!”. And then you hear it back, and you see the reality of it, it can be really hard. I thought this was a really great song, but actually it sounds a bit shit. 

And that can be a mixture of the song being shit, the arrangement being shit, you just not playing it right, the mix is crap, or whatever. And sometimes its just your attitude; I think we weren’t ready to record the first time, and I was a bit nego on it anyway. I was just a bit down on it, it didn’t feel right.

I also don’t think I wanted to do it in fits. With Step-Brothers that’s how we did it. We did it with Owen [Penglis, Straight Arrows/Recording Sensei] on one four-track, and then on another four track, and then an eight track. It was cool, but it didn’t have coherency. 

R: What was it like going from recording in Owen’s kitchen, to a proper studio? Was it a throwback to the Red Riders days?

A: A little bit. But still very much a half-thing. We went into Linear Studios with our friend Nick [Franklin, Fabergettes/AUSTRALIA/Recording Guru], so it still had that feeling of being at your friends place. It was still very comfortable, as opposed to this gross, fish out of water thing. For me, that’s always been the studio battle, because I don’t understand anything about [studios], being surrounded by equipment I don’t understand and instruments I can’t play (laughs). I feel a bit inadequate.

R: What do you think the major changes between the first and second recordings of the album were?

A: I think it’s just a bit more confidence. And I mean that in a way that it just feels more varied, there’s more going on. There’s more mellow moments, more jangly moments, it’s not so much a straight-up garage thing. I’m more comfortable seeing this other side of the band. 

I’m more confident with the lyrics as well. The next single we put out is probably going to be “No More”. We’re going to put out an acoustic song. We’re not going to blow anyone’s minds, but we’re just going to let them know there’s a different side of Palms. WE JUST WANT TO LET THEM KNOW THERE’S MORE TO US, RYAN! I’ve got feelings! Emotions!

R: Speaking of moving on from garage, it felt that you were really embracing your love for 80’s pop and rock. There’s a couple songs on there where I think, ‘This sounds like Rick Springfield’.

A: (laughs) I hope we make as much money as Rick Springfield! I reckon that’s a bit of a Dion [Ford, shred lord] influence. When we were finishing Step-Brothers, that’s when he joined the band, a lot of the parts were already written, so he didn’t put as much of a stamp on it. With [Crazy Rack], there’s a bit more of his style. I think “Thoughts of You” is about as close as we’ll ever come to writing a Cheap Trick song. It’s got a cowbell, some Southern Boogie in the chorus…

All my favourite albums, like The Replacements…when you think of a classic Replacements song, you think of “I Will Dare”, or “Bastards of Young”, but there’s only ever two or three of those songs on an album, but then there’s a bunch of punk songs, or alt-country songs, or weird nightclub, jazzy things with piano. What we wanted to do was, if you like classic Palms, you’ll like this record, but there’s other shit to keep you interested.

R: Another thing is that you’ve always been very heart-on-your-sleeve with the music you’ve made. But the songs on Crazy Rack, there’s a lot of guitar, and catchy songs – were you ever afraid your message would get lost in there?

A: I think the message does get lost and no one pays attention to what I’m saying (laughs). I think that’s part of it though. First and foremost, I don’t want to write and sing songs that don’t have meaning to me; when I’m playing live, I want to have something, an emotion to draw on. I want to be sharing something of myself, lyrically, and that’s a hard thing to do. 

It can be a bit too much for people; not everyone wants to come and hear a guy tell you all his feelings. It’s like, dude, go see a psychologist, there are professionals for that! But there’s guitar solos, all that fun and exciting stuff is wrapped around it. So if you want the intensity, if you want to hear a guy put his heart on sleeve, and you enjoy that, the intensity’s there. If you just want to sing along, you can do that as well.

Crazy Rack is out now on Ivy League Records. It’s fucking incredible, five flaming guitar outta five, do yaself a favour and grab it here. If you need any more convincing, then read this. Make sure you catch Palms when they play At First Sight Festival next weekend (the 14th), with Blank Realm, Total Giovanni, Nicholas Allbrook, NO ZU, Los Tones and heaps more! Tix here.

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Album Review: Palms – Crazy Rack

Crazy Rack

My love affair with Palms is one that has been replicated by pretty much every teenager with a penchant for the guitar solo. I heard “Love” and went head over heels for the sheer blast of it. Palms weren’t just a band, they were a fucking rock band – which is a very important distinction, I might add. They were not indie rock, not surf rock, or garage rock. It was straight up rock – pure blasts of energy aided by that basic setup of guitar, bass, drum and Al Grigg’s rousing bellow.

Their debut album, ‘Step Brothers’, came through and won my heart. I started seeing this band whenever I could – the live total has reached somewhere around 30 or something. I know I’m not alone in my enslavement  – the same heads are always gathered at Palms gigs with a beautiful consistency. What’s more, every show brings in a new tidal wive of fans, who know every word, and are even more rowdy than the last bunch. Fuck, doesn’t that just make your heart swell? Doesn’t it make you shed a goddamn tear?

In the two years since ‘Step Brothers’ was released, Palms have made some huge steps forward as a band. They’ve switched labels, moving onto Ivy League Records, and graduated from tiny pubs to support slots at the Enmore…but that love for churning out a belters that are customer-made to turn a crowd into a foaming pit of writhing bodies hasn’t moved at all. If anything, the band have indulged even more in their unwavering love for splintering solos and big choruses. If Phil Lynott were alive today, Palms would probably be his favourite band.

The first three songs off Palms’ new record, ‘Crazy Rack’ are like the three points of the rock dog Illuminati. You’ve got “Bad Apple”, which manages to slip in a sheepish nod to the influence of Sydney’s premiere rock legends You Am I between blazing riffs. Then there’s “Rainbows” –  keen observers will note this was originally called “Rainbow Road”, which makes sense considering the fuck-me-it’s-so-hard-to-concentrate-on-not-falling-off-because-off-all-the-bright-flashing-lights pace of the song. Finally, “Thoughts Of You” completes the trifecta, Grigg administering passages of leather jacket-clad love between sleazy grunts of guitar. Three songs in, and you feel like that kid from the beginning of the “We’re Not Gonna Take It” clip, throwing his Dad out of the window with a single six-stringed detonation.

Speaking of hair metal, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to witnesses of a Palms DJ set as to the extent to which they embrace 80’s rock and pop, as Cheap Trick adoration rings loudly throughout. But really, Palms actually share their biggest likeness with a band from a little further down the track – Superchunk. It’s all there: big riffs, heart on the sleeve songwriting, and the ability to be at home just as easily behind a huge anthem like “In My Mind” as they are on doughy-eyed. quieter moment (“Photographs”). They’re a band indebted to rock in the original sense of picking up a guitar, pouring in a whole lot of fire and seeing what happens. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a frantic hurtle like “Beatdown”, a lesson in curled-lip cool like “Sleep Too Much”, or the yearning woop of “Fake Pictures”, Palms will rock it one way or another.

Sure, Palms are just a rock band. There’s plenty of those around. But how many of those rock bands gets you excited about going to see them for the 31st time? Grab your air guitar, chuck on “Crazy Rack” and shred your way to the end of that hypothetical question.

‘Crazy Rack’ is out Friday, the 30th of October on Ivy League Records, and you can pre-order the record here. Palms play At First Sight Festival on November 14th, with Total Giovanni, My Disco, Blank Realm and more. Grab tix here.

Album Review: Bad//Dreems – Dogs At Bay

Bad//Dreems – four dudes from Adelaide with an affinity for the oft-forgotten backslash. They wear mud-smeared uniforms, and beards slash their faces; their first t-shirt parodied the West End Beer Logo. As for their music, the band unleash their guitars in droves, fuzz hurled at the listener with a reckless, growling grin. It’s straightforward rock and roll, entrenched in pub rock tradition, with the records of Cold Chisel, Coloured Balls and The Angels still ringing in the ears.

Bad//Dreems are easy to fall in love with, especially for the average Australian. What better way to soundtrack the sweet summers of ’13 and ’14 than with a few tinnies snuck from Dad’s fridge, beach body envy and some rock music that makes you wanna to throw your fist in the air?

But anyone who’s delved into Bad//Dreems discography and actually cared to flick their ears on will soon be switched onto the subversive, self-deprecating nature of the band. Between the impassioned ocker riffs and pounding drums is self-doubt, and equal dolings of homage and criticism to Australian culture. Nestled between the songs about girls are genuine moments of fucked-up, thrashing abandonment. It’s a powerful concoction, one that makes Bad//Dreems stand out from the rest of the bands that flood the carpets of the local.

This dual personality aspect of Bad//Dreems has never been stronger than on their debut, ‘Dogs At Bay’. All that boiling potential – the crashing riffs, the piercing solos, the suffocating waves of authentic rock and roll that was bred from a beer-soaked carpet – all of that shines through here. Packed equally with radio-ready singles and songs for the summer festival season as it is with contaminated black sheep, this record is a triumph.

‘Dogs At Bay’ opens with some of the most overtly subversive songs Baddies have ever released: “New Boys”, “Cuffed & Collared”, and “Bogan Pride”. Despite the ocker titles, Bad//Dreems take the piss in the most applaudable fashion since Jonathan Swift. They tackle overt masculinity with deftness, paired with sprawling, catatonic riffs soaked in the sweat of a body-builder. When Ben Marwe whispers “Big muscles fucking up my sweatshirt, big muscles pumping into my dreams!” before bellowing a nightmarish work out routine, the amount of shivers that rock the average listener’s mild frame is enough to halt even the most sturdy of pacemakers.

The whole record isn’t devoted to taking the piss on clueless blokes –  there’s plenty more to the Bad//Dreems camp than frustration. Spurred by chewing riffs, “Nadine” punches out the lights, an underdog boxer stuck in a corner, fighting their way out with pure fury, just trying to get to the fucking paradise that is Summer Hill. Then there’s the token track about girls – “Dumb Ideas”, which absolutely shreds the hell out of its subject matter. The main thing to be taken from that track is that everyone from Surry Hills is a piece of shit, which I thought was fairly obvious, but hey, the more people that know of the evil peril of that place, the better, amirite?

The face-melting rock is fantastic, and Bad//Dreems are doing it better than most, certainly. Hearing these songs on record, (or even better, at a show) and feeling a gut reaction to songs like “Dumb Ideas” and “Hiding to Nothing” is a cathartic experience, one that puts your clenched fist in the air with the rest and reduces your voice to that of Clint Eastwood after a pack of smokes. But there’s a lot of bands that can do that. What sets Bad//Dreems apart are the cracks in the record, where the humanity shows. “Ghost Gums”, “My Only Friend” and “Hume” are incredible songs, absolutely jaw-dropping, and help round out the album. They put the gnashing rock in perspective, and help make ‘Dogs At Bay’ a fucking album, as opposed to a series of singles. They’re delivered with humility and smarts, assuring that Bad//Dreems can’t be pigeonholed as a one off rock band doing a Barnesy impression.

With their ‘Dogs At Bay’, Bad//Dreems didn’t just suit the expectation, or impress. They went above and beyond, showing they could be just as at home writing a pop song as they were with a crushing riff or a tune laden with self-analysis. There needs to be more bands who sound like they have a wattle-bush stuck up their arse, who can reach the mainstream. Too many groups prefer to ape overseas ‘indie’ contemporaries. Fuck that, I want a band that sounds like they’ve just finished playing Goon of Fortune. Guess what? Bad//Dreems is that band. Hopefully, a shit tonne of people hear this album, and our pub rock culture will become richer for it, and soon, the dream of a million scrawny bands fighting

‘Dogs At Bay’ comes out Friday 21st of August on Ivy League Records, and Baddies will be playing OAF on the 9th of October w/ Green Buzzard and West Thebarton Brothel Party.

New: Bad//Dreems – Hiding to Nothing

There’s no secret that there’s a lot of love between myself and Bad//Dreems. Who could resist four Adelaide blokes that have more hair between them than the average Yeti?

But it’s music first. The music always comes first, and their new single, shit, it’s good for these winter nights, tell you that much. “Hiding to Nothing” is a belter, one that’s been a staple of Baddies live set for a while now. It’s as warm as the beers they serve at the SCG, but has the opposite effect i.e it’ll knock you the fuck over. It’s got that swooping Chisel chorus, which wrestles with a huge body of dominating melody, crushing riffs played at a stampeding, roughneck pace, and Ben Marwe’s earnest bellow sailing over the top of it all like John Cena in the final moments of a bodyslam.

This thing is peak rock dogness. It is so huge and awesome. It is a bombast of white knuckle garage. It’ll dislocate your jaw with a sloppy jersey punch, and then shout you a beer at the post-match piss up. It’s both nodding its head in deep appreciation to the past, and ploughing into the stadium to plaster the next round of punters. It’s a fucking gem.

Gig Review: Bad//Dreems

Saturday 21st June @ GoodGod Small Club

I was 18 when I first saw Bad//Dreems. They played a house party in Redfern, and it was one of the best shows of my goddamn life. There was blood, sweat and enough beer to kill Boonie. The Modern History Exam I had the next day was a complete and utter write off. The examiner that looked through my answers was probably assuming that an illiterate Neanderthal with Parkinsons had adopted my name, and taken the assessment in my place. But it was worth it, oh so worth it, to see a band as good as Baddies play in such a corrupting environment.

Two years on, and Baddies have graduated to one of the most beloved rock acts in our fair country. They’ve got a little blue tick next to their name on Facebook and everything. Fuck, they’ve even got a Twitter account. Isn’t that the very definition of making it? They’ve got big things piling up, so before they crack the charts at No. 1 and play the Enmore Theatre to thousands of adoring fans, they gave the punters another go, and played a few intimate shows around the country to support their latest single “Cuffed and Collared”.

JODY opened proceedings with their brand of anthemic indie rock. These guys are young guns in the truest sense of the words. You can smell the hormones, wafting in tidal waves off their 19 year old bodies. Ladies and gents, please, contain yourselves. I believe a couple of them are single and rearing to go with all the youthful exuberance at their disposal, and that comes through their energy and constant streams of songs about girls. But I wouldn’t go near the frontman, Dom O’Connor. That human pleasure machine can play the fuck outta a guitar, move and hop around a show with the stage presence of Paul Westerberg on the third day of a two week binge, and knows his way around a melody. But he can’t finish a fucking Melbourne Bitter tinnie. No matter how many spot-on jams erupt from this beautiful man’s mouth, like “Never Change” (a spiritual successor to INXS if there ever was one) and “Codeine”, ya just can’t trust a bloke who can’t polish off one of Aus’ greatest gifts. Otherwise, fantastic show!

Mining Boom made the trek North for the Baddies show, and for that, I am forever grateful. Not only are they selling the best t-shirt in the music biz game, but they’ve got the choons to back it up. You know what type of fish Mining Boom would be if they were in the sea? A tune-a. Because they make music that good. It’s broken, fragile rock for the everyman, who owns a pair of dirty Redback’s, and a hi-vis that’s lost its sheen. Songs like “Telecom” and “PDA” are just as powerful gut punches as they were when they were released back in 2012, but the presence that frontman Paul French brings is more of a headspin than chowing down on a whole pack of Champion Ruby. New songs are stunning,  with the Mining Boom aesthetic of drenched, desperate romance remaining intact throughout. Apparently there’s an album in the works, but I don’t think the world is ready for that kind of brilliance. Regardless, you need to check out this band like a bloke from Chernobyl needs to check out that funny looking mark that’s recently developed on his collarbone.

But, look, this is all just pre-game. Bad//Dreems have let the kids have the oval, but it’s time to bring on the big guns. Mayhem erupts as Bad//Dreems launch into their heavy catalogue of top-notch tunes. One could go so far as to call them bangers. It’s pub rock, but delivered without the menace and overt masculinity that has restrained others, like Lubricated Goat and The Birthday Party, from reaching larger audiences. Some might say that’s a bad thing, but hey, different strokes for different folks. Some bands like to get in the nude on the ABC, others like to deliver muscular melodies. And the four flannel-clad guys thundering through hit after hit to the admiration of a few hundred fans were probably the only blokes capable of pulling off both feats.

Bad//Dreems are on fire. They plunder and pillage the room like they’re characters from Game of Thrones, and have a limited amount of time to connect with the audience and become their favourite figures before facing a brutal death at the hands of the Lannisters. The set swells, with excitement and energy being sprinkled through like a zealot chef making the recipe of their career. A heft portion of the a-spicy meatball, aka “Caroline”, swiftly complimented with a smidgen of “Too Old”. A dousing of “Dumb Ideas”, and an overdose of ocker riffs and frenzied headbanging via “Cuffed And Collared”. And to finish? Well, you just can’t leave a stage when the crowd so eagerly wants more, baying for music or blood with the enraged glare of the insane striding so radiantly from their eyes. So, you appease the appetite with a polite offering to the GODs, with the Australian classic of “My Pal” bringing the evening’ festivities to a glorious, sweaty, beer-soaked, suffocating end.

If this is the first you’ve heard of Bad//Dreems, then suck eggs, mate. This is a band bound for big things, and it looks like this GoodGod show might just be the final opportunity for punters to have caught them in intimate settings. But don’t get too offended – there will always be another chance to catch Baddies at a gig, and there’s a fair guarantee that you’ll be sorted for a good time. When a band can upend a crowd with as much joy and over-the-top rock ‘n’ roll perfection as Bad//Dreems accomplished at this show, there’s no doubt that they’ll be able to pull off this feat over and over again, only to bigger crowds and more adoring shitheads such as myself. If you haven’t already, do yourself a favour, and get on board with this band.

Video: Palms – Bad Apple

It’s been two fuck-off long years since Palms released their stellar debut record, ‘Step-Brothers’ . Since that release, this band has gotten better and better, and become deservedly well-known. They’ve gone from, “The new band from that guy from Red Riders” to, “Holy Fuck! Palms are playing a show! Fuck, let’s get a ticket!!! Why haven’t we gotten a ticket!!!!????AHH FUCK YOUUU”. And why wouldn’t you destroy a friendship through incessant yelling when a Palms’ show is up for grabs? These blokes have earned their reputation as one of the best and baddest bands in Sydney.

“Bad Apple” has since become a staple of Palms’ set, with the “Talking shit, and listening to/ripping off You Am I” chorus line being one of the more memorable lyrics to burst forth from Al Grigg’s bouncy ‘fro. That thing has a mind of it’s own, and one of these days it’s going to make like Skynet, leap off of Al’s head and rule the world. Terrifying.

But I digress…finally, “Bad Apple” is getting a release. But not just any old Soundcloud upload. No, Palms’ teamed up with the one and only SPOD (who killed his show last Friday, by the way) to do a skating video. I loathe skating, because I can’t do it, but it looks like Palms can pull off a 180 Einstein Wig Slide with the best of them. It’s a feel-good story, a win-win. You bop your head along, and watch a band attempt to rule the skate park and rip guitar solos on top of vehicles like the 12 year olds they truly are inside. A ripper return for an awesome band.

As if all this isn’t enough, Palms just announced a free show at The Lord Gladstone on July 16th! FUCK AWWWWFFFFF! Too good! Too bloody good!

Top 5 Records w/ Bad//Dreems

I’ve got a long history with Bad//Dreems. A long, bloody history. I started listening to them as a wee 16 year old, back when their Bandcamp page only showed “Close 2 God” and “Chills” as identifiers. But as Bad//Dreems grew, so did their extreme ability to write amazing portraits of the Australian landscape. Surely living in  oft-ignored Adelaide, surviving on a steady diet of classic Australian bands like GOD, Powder Monkeys and Cold Chisel has led Bad//Dreems to the inevitable – they are one of the most promising and unique Australian bands existing in the landscape.

Bad//Dreems are a band that could only exist in Australia. No other place would breed this kind of uber-tough melodies and pub rock excellence. That track “My Only Friend” is as purely ‘Strayan as a VB indulged at 2 in the afternoon on a Tuesday, paid for by worker’s comp for that broken toe you suffered six months ago.

As that video very clearly portrays, Bad//Dreems are also one of the hardest touring bands in this country, having gone out on at least 4 national tours this year, two headline shows, and supports for The Scientists and The Preatures. Baddies are heading out on the road again, hitting Newtown Social Club in Sydney on Thursday the 18th of September, with old mates Hockey Dad and Bearhug in support (TIX HERE). In earnest excitement, I’ve asked Barts from the band to hit me up with his Top 5 Australian Records.

Top 5 Australian Records

 

1. Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls –Gossip/ Under the Sun

We all love the two albums Paul Kelly did with the band know as the Coloured Girls. I particularly like Steve Connolly’s guitar playing. I’ve always tried to find out more about Connolly without much success, except that he died in the nineties. Like most guitarists I like, there is an emphasis on melody and simplicity, never any overcrowding. The rest of the band bristles with energy, which is captured so well on these recordings. Anyone who has lived/left/returned to Adelaide can relate to the Gossip song of the same name. Boredom/resentment versus old connections/nostalgia.

 

2. Coloured Balls- Ball Power

Call it proto-punk or whatever this is the way rock music should be. Still sounds as vital today as I’m sure it would have in 1973.

 

3. Sea Scouts- Beacon of Hope

I saw Bird Blobs a few times when I lived in Melbourne. My friend Darren Cross then put me onto Sea Scouts. So visceral. Darren always would go on about going on tour with Sea Scouts and their homemade cardboard box amps and guitars carved from Tasmanian oak. Degreaser’s new album is bloody good too.

 

4. Midnight Oil- Diesel and Dust

It seems like a lot of the mainstream Australian rock from this era became tarnished by how popular it all got. But there was a whole lot of amazing songs, presented in a refreshingly unpretentious way. This is an example.

 

5. Rowland S Howard- Teenage Snuff Film

I could listen to that opening guitar break of “Breakdown (and then..)” all day. As close to perfect as an album gets.

Video: Bad//Dreems-My Only Friend

Ah, the tour footage video clip. Now, before you go and make a cumstain of yourself, this isn’t one of those bullshit, ‘Hey, check it out, we still actually go and play show, man so gr8full for all our fans, lol, what’s originality?’ film clips, that you might see from the likes of 30 Second to Mars, The Black Keys, and Foo Fighters. This is a compilation of actual fucking shows, man! Not some stadium gig in which the singer got blown afterwards by forty girls caked in liquid gold and diamonds. This is a showcase of the blood, sweat and guitar solos that Bad//Dreems, one of the most hard-working and talented ‘Strayan bands out there, have sludged through to get where they are today.

Filmed like a VHS greatest-hits tape, the ‘My Only Friend’ clip traipses through some fucking killer shows and times the band have had, from the Backyard Blitzkrieg and VICE Halloween parties of last year, to the show at Black Wire earlier this year. And that’s just the shows I’ve been to and recognise!  There’s a bunch of shots of long necks, shirts cracked open at the top, and AFL jerseys, because this is a Bad//Dreems video clip, and it would be sacriligious to have a video without these symbols appearing. But the fact remains that this is a bloody documentary on how one of Australia’s greatest bands of the now are actually as genuine and bloodthirsty as their songs make them out to be. Here’s to authenticity, boys! And fuck 30 Seconds to Mars!

New: Bad//Dreems-My Only Friend

I’ve heard this song about a million times, because I’m a) better than you, and b) it’s the second track on Bad//Dreems double A-side 7″ they released a couple months back. They’ve also played the shit out of it at their last few gigs, and it always goes down a fucking treat, like scotch and ice cream whilst watching a sneaky episode of The Wire on a Monday night.

On record, as opposed to the Baddies always thrilling, high-octane live show, ‘My Only Ffriend’ allows for some raspy as sandpaper on a sore throat vocals, whilst morbid guitars plug the track throughout. Goddamn, if you think you’re having a bad day, just chuck this on, and let ‘My Only Friend’, a song that’s got its head stuck permanently in the neck of its tenth beer, run its course through you.

New: SURES-Waste

Sydney dream-pop, surf band SURES have just released a new single ‘Waste’, and it sounds promising. The song harnesses the washed out power of bled out guitars, as the song scratchily smothers itself into a cocoon of adolescent sound. It’s like Best Coast fronted by a dude instead of Beth Consentino. The star point of the song comes in towards the end with the near-incoherent but genuine yelling and yelping and the concentrated and forceful guitar feedback resonating with the cymbals. Although that doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as I would like, I can’t recommend how great it is to hear this track.