Video: Kitchen’s Floor – Resident Dregs

Having the words ‘OFFICIAL HD’ connected to the name of Kitchen’s Floor seems contradictory, because the band have built themselves upon their reputation for using the bare minimum to say a lot. It’d be like having 2am kebab, but only having organic ingredients. The drunken, sloshy, probably unhygienic parts are the best.

But the HD really more just reflects the video for the new one from Kitchen’s Floor. Now, the tsunami of punk fuzz escalates at a higher pixel count, and the coursing snarl echoes with a tad more clarity. YEAH!

Furthermore, the scratchy intimacy that was such a staple of KF’s early stuff has been long done away with, replaced by a Yes, I’m Leaving staccato aggressiveness. There’s a razor sharp bass riff packed with more looming menace than a stare-off with Bruce Willis, and splintered guitar that’s sole wish is to see you burn. Then, Matt Kennedy’s vocals are transformed into hoarse howls; a demonic bellow that would like nothing more than a XXXX at the local bowls club.

Advertisements

Album Review: Excess – Escape From Brisbane

I’ve never been to Brisbane, but I can guarantee it’s got the best music in Australia right now. There’s glistening synth punk, spleen-splitting punk rock, and garage rock that used to be around when The Hard-Ons were considered offensive. Basically, Brissy is full of the kind of music your Mum would hate, or love. I don’t know your Mum, she could be really cool. To expand,  it appears like Brisbane is the last bastion of consistently authentic music, whatever the genre might be.

At the centre of all this is Matt Kennedy, a guy who’s been plugging around the area for a long time. And when I say long time, I don’t mean that he was there when Royal Headache were playing shows, I mean he was there when Green Day were considered socially relevant. He’s played in a variety of bands, most famously the decrepit and gnarled lo-fi depression of Kitchen’s Floor. He’s also the man behind Eternal Soundcheck, a record label and distribution service that have lent a helping hand to the likes of R.I.P Society, Tenth Court and Cool Death, amongst many others. On the label side, he’s brought out records by The Friendsters, Satanic Rockers and Fig. From the outpost of Brisbane, this bloke has been a central figure in breathing life into not just his local area, but all of Australia, most likely putting in the hard yards at a time when no one else was either.

So it comes as no surprise that folks would’ve been jumping out of their pub stools to contribute to EXCESS, Mr. Kennedy’s solo electro-face-fuck project. A true who’s-who of Brisbane’s most glorious bands has been compiled to provide vocals for this album, and when reading through the list of guests, a rush of air will inexplicably escape from your mouth. Daniel and Sarah of Blank Realm, Mark Spinks of Gravel Samwidge, Sean and Chris of Multiple Man and Andrew McLellan of Primitive Motion are just a few of the names to appear.

However, whilst each name that appears causes blood to rush to the head, it cannot be overstated that these folks are all guests on what is ultimately Matt’s project. Although each character is unique, they only build towards the final product, a single aesthetic that is remarkably different from the rest of the bands and projects on display. EXCESS is thrust from the middle of a sci-fi epic, one in which dyed corn-syrup blood and animal intestines are used to the most graphic extent possible. It’s like the most tense parts of The Lost Boys and Aliens are clashing amongst each other to the sound of off-kilter pop and church bells, slithering synths bellowing and chiming at a seemingly random pace.

As Gerald Keaney remarks that “A high quality stereo system is required to appreciate this track…”, you can’t help but believe that sentiment extends to the rest of the album. Not because the album is faulty and soft, and needs to be re-mastered, but rather because the twisting, unpredictable and lushly dystopian soundscapes of EXCESS deserve to be appreciated in such an environment. To play it on anything less is an insult.

Maybe Matt wants to escape from Brisbane. I’d hope not – who else would act as a facilitator of all the amazing music blossoming from that region. But by providing this mutating beast of a tape, and for all his previous saintly endeavours, he’s certainly earned himself a holiday.

Get yaself a copy of the album here: ‘Escape From Brisbane’, out now through Virtual Cool Records

Playlist: EXXE Records Inhalation Compilation

I’d say that anyone who’s visited this site before would become quickly overwhelmed with how much of it is dedicated to things of the lo-fi and local variety. I fucking love stuff that’s been spawned nearby, whether it come from a sharehouse in Marrickville or a two-up in Melbourne, or an unliveable shack in Brisbane etc. etc. Pretty much any city in Australia with a low-rent living space.

So, it’s with abundant pleasure that I found out that there was a new record label called EXXE Records that have collected a bunch of my favourite bands into a compilation, with a few exclusives and fan favourites involved. On a compilation of 13 tracks, there are twelve (plus one) songs of amazing and diverse sounds from around the country. Not getting around this cassette is a sin only Joe Hockey is capable of.

Before I get stuck into the bands, here’s a lil’ info on how EXXE came to be. Formed by a couple mates living in a share house in Moncur Street, Marrickville, EXXE’s bands are all linked by time spent there, where a lot of the songs on the comp were apparently bred into existence. Their basic mission statement seems to be to release their mate’s bands, all of whom happen to be really fucking good. Shit, they don’t even make a profit from these things, but rather use any money gained to fund more recordings. Fuckn dedication, amirite?

Onto the bands – the artists listed on here is like The Rich List of Australia’s Most Underrated. Sydney garbage-punks Housewives, Ghastly Spats, Drown Under and Snotty Babies, all of which have made scrabbled and scathing noise their purpose of life. There’s a fucked up snarler from the usually docile Beef Jerk, twisted pop smiles from King Tears Mortuary and The Friendsters, and quaint guitars from Mope City. There’s The Gun Club, via Beasts of Bourbon, sounds of Bad Guys, and dark, throbbing post-punk strangulation from Sacred Product. A new one from Kitchen’s Floor opens with tambourine and a gargantuan burp, before switching into their signature strum ‘n’ pine formula. Julia Why?’s contribution is probably the most professionally-produced effort, with limited hiss allowing for some fantastic Breeders-esque rock and roll. Sleep Debt, who haven’t been heard from in ages, also appear with “Day’s End” an instantly catchy and brusque howler that’s half-Dischord, half-Inner West pop.

Did you read those descriptions? Did you see how fucking good those bands sound? Even if you haven’t heard of a single artist on the ‘Inhalation Compilation’, the luscious descriptions of some ginger on the Internet must make you want to pick up music on a format many don’t even know exist. It’s simple – these are some fucking great, if unpolished, bands who champion the amateur aesthetic. You don’t need Rick Rubin to produce your single, or a mountain of coke to help ‘inspire’ you. All you need is a sharehouse, an instrument, maybe a four track, and a future compilation featuring amazing bands like this.

You can splash out and buy the tape here, at the EXXE Rekkids Bandcamp. Because you don’t need groceries for this month, right?

EXXE Records is gonna have a launch at The Chippendale Hotel in, yep you guessed it, Chippendale. Sleep Debt, Julia Why?, King Tears Mortuary, MOB, The Friendsters, Mope City, Destiny 3000 and Ghastly Spats are all gonna play for the cheap, cheap price of $12. Sick, see ya there.