New: Straight Arrows-Make Up Your Mind (free download)

Anyone who’s even mildly into garage rock would have simultaneously shat their pants and thrown up in excitement. Yep, you read that title correctly, there is indeed a new Straight Arrows song, and about fucking time as well. Actually, that’s not entirely true, because they put out that 7 a couple months back, but now there is concrete evidence that Straight Arrows are going to follow up one of Australia’s best debut records with another undoubtedly fantastic release.

The first taste is ‘Make Up Your Mind’ a fast n loose track that’s like driving around a NASCAR track in a Crash Bandicoot car whilst high on a laboratory’s worth of drugs. The slack-jawed, drooling chorus comes as no surprise with the herpes-like catchy nature, and the whole song reeks of being a future crowd favourite.

Straight Arrows are playing support for Violent Soho all over the country . You can (read: should) see them when they play Oxford Art Factory this Friday.

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Album Review: The Uplifting Bell Ends-t u b e

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NB: From this point onwards ‘t u b e’ will be pronounced as ‘tube’, because I am supremely lazy.

Do you remember that Sad Keanu meme that went around for a while? It was Keanu Reeves (who was in Point Break + The Matrix + Bill and Ted + nothing else really worth mentioning) sitting on a bench looking like he had just murdered Bill Murray. It looked like this. Well, anyway, there is a band from right here in Sydney that both sounds like Keanu Reeve’s thought process during that moment, and has an awesome name to boot! To use cricket terminology, a sport that I am obviously overly familiar with: ‘HOWZAT!’

The Uplifting Bell-Ends, which is just a bunch of fancy words for happy dickheads, have released this pearler of an EP called ‘tube’. It’s five songs long, the same number as fingers on a hand, and the amount of fights that I’ve been in and lost.

‘Tube’ opens with ‘socks’ a dreamy, psychedelic number that makes like a washing machine in action. That is a compliment. You ever watched a washing machine just go round and round and round, then kind stop for a second, and you’re all like, fuck is it going to keep going, and then it starts going round and round again, and you’re all like, sweet, this is awesome? Well, that’s what ‘socks’ is like. ‘Wednesday’ continues that kind of trend of down-and-out relaxation, except it swaps in a beautiful chorus to combat the stoned verses, so that there’s a bit more flavour for the average listener to munch on and devour. The Real Estate vibes are strong with this one, and as ‘Wednesday’ gets to a climax, it only gets more surreal, blushing guitar drowning itself in a pool of melancholy.

In a continuation of the melancholy vibes, ‘glue’ comes on to a mumbled tranquility, slowly sliding in and out like a sloth fucking your ear. This sort of continues into ‘tube’, a pretty but morbid tale that wraps its ugly, coarse acoustic cynicism around your brain and fucks it into submission. The slight psychedelica thankfully makes a return towards the middle, disappears, and then returns for the Kurt Vile-ish closer ‘my bonnie’. It’s quaint and off-kilter, not weird but not normal, and the whole thing is soaked in grey and raining Monday mornings.

Although it sort of just ambles along, The Uplifting Bell Ends provide a really decent and lovely combattant to the majority of Sydney music, and show that you don’t need to hunker down in douchey folk territory to write a nice slow song. The lovely mix of sombre and psychedelic makes ‘tube’ a fucking great little piece of music to hear.

You can download ‘tube’ for free (nothing! zilch! fuck all!) right here at The Uplifting Bell Ends Bandcamp, along with a bunch of their other records.

Album Review: Booksmart-No Stars Tonight

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Never, ever, ever in the history of the WORLD, has lo-fi depression sounded so good. Honestly, Booksmart sound sadder than a Morrissey after the death of his 52nd cat, Mr Jingles. The acoustic guitar weeping mixed with the not-shit sounding ballads and the occasional bursts of frenetic energy mean that listening to ‘No Stars Tonight’ is going to make your emotions swing between Elmo-just-got-cancer sadness and ascending-Mount-Everest elation.

The songs of ‘No Stars Tonight’ are so fucking delicate and short, that if you’re not paying attention , the entire album will just flash before your eyes.  And that’s a damn fucking shame, because then you’ll miss out on the quietly awesome ‘My Marie’ and ‘Requiem’. The former marries romantic vocabulary with distant musicianship, creating an atmosphere of forlornness that’s like a lost kitten’s eyes-fucking heartbreaking. ‘Requiem’ takes it a step further and ends up like the opposite of something called ‘Requiem’ should be, namely it’s not epic at all. Think about it: ‘Requiem For a Dying Dream, ‘Requiem’ by Killing Joke, the Requiem Mass, or the Mass for the Dead-all severely epic things. Booksmart’s ‘Reqiuem’ subverts that, and shows off a plain and ordinary side that uncovers a whole new concept of how something called ‘Requiem’ can be awesome.

Don’t think it’s all lo-fi gloom on this record however, as there are spurts of energy that ensure the album doesn’t become a monotonal disaster. ‘Runaway’ brings a little bass funk to the mix, injecting some flavour early on the record. You know once a song starts with the lyric ‘The boys are back in town’ it’s going to be a good song.  Even if the lyric is delivered in a cautiously sighing tone, and is meant as more of a downer lyric than a call to arms. ‘Sleepwalking’ also re-invigorates the record after some sadder-than-the-crying-Indian tracks like ‘Madison’ and ‘Still Life’, adding some electric guitar and heavy bass to the mix to snap the listener awake like a rubber band to a sleeping nutsack.

For a lo-fi effort, ‘No Stars Tonight’ is pretty great. For the most part, it’s a chilled out affair, but the aspects of the record which show off the heart-on-a-sleeve aesthetic, (you know, the kind of thing that made Elliot Smith famous) is what brings this record to a whole new tier of great.

Ben Wiley (the guy behind Booksmart) is a genius, and ‘No Stars Tonight’ is awesome, which is why you should go onto his Bandcamp here and pick up the record for ‘name-your-price’.

Album Review: Day Ravies-Tussle

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I guarantee, there is no band that you will hear this year that portrays their influences so clearly, and yet are completely individual, more so than Day Ravies. I mean, there’s the really subtle nod to The Kinks in their name, but beyond that, there’s just about a sliver of every kind of cool movement that’s happened in the last half-century in their music. There’s some twee-pop, some punk flair and a little college rock/slacker nonchalance. There’s definitive lo-fi mastery, some psychedelic swirls and noisy garage nosing its way throughout. Oh, and there are driplets of dream-pop and shoegaze plateaus aplenty. Basically, name a genre, something that you followed for a minimum of six months in an effort to impress a member of the opposite sex that you happened to see a lot of at (insert obscure genre) concerts. Then apply that genre to Day Ravies. Seriously, just chuck into the melting pot without a second thought, because you will find it there without a doubt.

Listening to Day Ravies is like capturing a tiny little ball of energy and watching it swarm and flitter inside, kinda like if Pokeballs were real. It’s so small, you want to call it cute, but if you did, it would devour your entire soul. Yep, Day Ravies have a bite to them that initially seems unnatural to their dozy, dream weaving music that speaks to you, but then again, so did sirens. And those mother fuckers ate sailors, like, all the time! So, Day Ravies are the 21st Century, Sydney based sirens, is what I’m trying to say?

Well, yeah, sort of. They might not use your sphenoid bone (look it up, that’s a real fucking bone) to pick your rotting flesh out of their teeth, but they will infect your head with gloriously drugged out tunes that trample any desire you had to listen to another band, for a while at least. Again, the accumulation of influences is so glorious, you can’t help but sit back in slack-jawed wonder at it all. Listening to ‘Tussle’ is like Belle & Sebastian, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and Yo La Tengo went to Kim Gordon’s house for a birthday bash for Sebadoh. If that doesn’t sound like the greatest fucking party of all time, then you are living possibly the saddest existence known to man, maybe besides Prometheus (the mythical Greek figure, not the fuckwad of a movie that shat all over the Alien franchise).

To be blunt, ‘Tussle’ just puts its fingers in every cool honeypot in town, but Day Ravies do it so naturally and subtly, that you’d think you’re just listening to a ‘best-of-everything-ever’ compilation. The gorgeous My Bloody Valentine-ism’s of ‘Double Act’ , who’s whispered sweet nothings will drive you insane, and ‘Pinky’, with its Superman-strong bass line and college rock stoner attitude becoming a standout on the album. Then there is the obviously stunning ‘I Don’t Mind’, a song which is like seeing a one true love for the first time, and being engaged with overwhelming love and a total lack of self-confidence that you deserve to witness something so great. Okay, so that may be the sappiest thing ever written, ever…but goddamn if ‘I Don’t Mind’ isn’t such a fucking great song that I can’t pour my blubbery emotions all over it and still not ruin its gorgeous nature.

The tracks I’ve just listed are just a small summary of the greatness of this album. But I will re-iterate one more fucking time: no two songs give off the same vibe, and that is the most beautifully diverse thing a music fan can ask for. At least, it’s far more diverse than those posters for shitty universities, with a white guy, a black guy, and an Asian guy, and a couple girls, so the university can say ‘HEY, WE’RE COOL WITH NOT-WHITE, MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE’. But going back to the album, ‘Tussle’ integrates noise, weirdness, intricacy, and the obtuse, all rolled into one record of awesome. That is a reason for celebration people! Day Ravies have created a masterful work! ‘Tussle’ rules harder than a cage match between breakfast cereal mascots, and the band have asserted what every stoned kitchen assistant knows: if one has the best ingredients at their disposal, then the greatest recipe of all time is just a few kitchen experiments away. ‘Tussle’ is that great recipe.

‘Tussle’ came out on Friday, 11th of October through Popfrenzy, so you can buy it from Popfrenzy’s website here. However, if you’re more into the streaming thing, you can listen to ‘Tussle’ on Day Ravies’ Bandcamp here, along with their previous EP (the latter is name-your-price yayayay). If you’re more into the whole ‘I don’t believe in Bandcamp’ thing (a stereotype I have yet to meet), the you can grab a few tracks for free from their Triple J Unearthed Page here, including the amazing single ‘I Don’t Mind’.

Finally, Day Ravies will be officially launching the record at the Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville on November 22. Fucking be there.

Album Review: Yard Duty-Mixed Business

a0277494579_2Yard Duty are one of those precious bands that you stumble upon, and then cry in the realisation that you won’t fin anything as good in a long time. They’re the kind of band that makes you want to steal hair samples from the band and create voodoo dolls of them. That way if they break up, you can stick pins in them, and cause them infinite strife for the rest of their lives. would never do such a thing..no that’s fucking weird. I’m more on the bludgeon ‘n’ haul-into-the-ominous-minivan type of guy. But hey, we’re not all perfect right?

Jokes aside, Yard Duty are fucking great. And better yet, they’re from Sydney! And better, better yet, they’ve just released their debut EP/album (I’m not sure, it’s nine tracks)! And by just released, I mean it was released roughly a couple weeks ago. Right now, I feel like every hipster in town should beat me to death with their 4th Edition copies of ‘THE BEST OF ALLEN GINSBERG’ for being behind the times. Deal with it, I’ve been studying and/or watching Breaking Bad. But now, the time has come to review the shit out of Yard Duty.

Almost every song on this record is pure slacker pop genius, in the vein of Guided By Voices, Full Ugly or Dick Diver. Man, that is a good fucking crowd to be heaped in with. But allow me to re-iterate, Yard Duty get to this point of being slacker proteges because they write really good songs. Some of them are funny as fuck such as ‘Downward Dog’, which is a skewed pop narrative about yoga and death. But shit goes onto another level entirely on ‘Vierboom’s Room’, a song about losing your virginity to an Asian girl you’ve known for a couple hours. Listening to this song is like listening to the best stand-up set you’ve ever heard, all to the tune of Parquet Court-ish strumming. Observational musings of  where condoms can be located (under Clinton memorabilia), Ninja Turtle panties and vaginal warts. Oh yeah, and try getting ‘So I came on his bed!’ out of your head for the rest of the week.

Although ‘Vierboom’s Room’ is far and away the funniest and memorable track on ‘Mixed Business’, there’s still a bunch of other lo-fi beauties to be found. ‘Talk Radio’, a song that sounds like it’s being shouted through a hollowed out turtle’s asshole (a compliment, and also an accurate reflection on the subjects of ‘Talk Radio’), and then there’s also ‘Cost Benefit Analysis’, which has an arse-ripper of a chorus about, yep, fucking taxes. Finally, there is the other shining jewel in Yard Duty’s crown, ‘Something Better’, a track that is sure as shit to become a crowd favourite. It’s surprisingly heartfelt and personal, and the lack of comedic edge a la ‘Vierboom’s Room’ gives it an endearing tone that most bands couldn’t even replicate, let alone craft.

To summarise, Yard Duty have created an absolute kick-arse fantastic record. It is more addictive than Saturday Morning Cartoons. Every song on here has more heart than a heart surgeon, more charisma than ten Robin Williams, and is full of more bullshit than a cow. However, Yard Duty take this bullshit, chuck a glossy sheen of lo-fi brilliance over it, and turn it into ‘Mixed Business’ a fine, fine, fine fucking album/EP thing.

You can grab ‘Mixed Business’ for however much you want at Yard Duty’s Bandcamp right here. Yard Duty are playing the Hollywood Hotel tomorrow afternoon, Sunday 13th of October.

Video: Angie-Parallels

Imagine if Gwen Stefani dropped between 100-200 hits of acid, together. Just got a few sheets of acid, scrunched them up and threw them down her gullet, no water, no nothing. What would the result be? This video. This video would be the result. The ‘this’ in question is the video from Sydney based punk-queen Angie Bermuda, a woman who’s been in a shitload of everyone’s favourite bands. Straight Arrows, Circle Pit and Ruined Fortune are just a couple of the bands on her resume, all of which rule harder than Hyrule.

However, Angie has decided to strike out on her own, armed only with Nathan Roche and Owen Penglis for some instrumental/vocal help. And a couple days ago, Angie dropped this first single. Well, if ‘Parallels’ is any sort of indication, then ‘Turning’ is going to be better than riding Wolverine to school. Scuzzed out, scummy, and drowning in bright colour, ‘Parallels’ is like something Kim Gordon would have churned out back in the days when Sonic Youth were at their loudest and best (Think ‘Confusion is Sex’).

You can catch Angie playing support for Bushwalking’s album launch at the Red Rattler, this Friday (11th October). Both bands, as well as Eyelash Vipers and Rat Columns, will blow your fucking mind harder than a telekinetic pornstar.

New: FFNORDZZ-Pop Stardom

Fuck, FFNORDZZ are a killer band! Listening to the ‘Pop Stardom EP’ is like hearing Times New Viking without the fuzz, which is a total plus. And although they possess a name impossible to say unless you are a demon/can speak Parseltounge, FFNORDZZ are undeniably awesome. Just take a listen to the title track from the EP . Featuring a tangled melody that would make any Nodzz fan lose their shit, and a super jangle chorus that is the literal sound visualisation of a lightbulb going off over an idiot’s head, ‘Pop Stardom’ is the track that will lead every loser into victory. FFNORDZZ do nerdy lo-fi like no other. You can grab the EP for free right here. It’s more worth it than walking two steps for a free mango.

Album Review: White Fang-Steady Truckin’ For the Summer

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You wanna know a band that’s as real as the $treet$? Motha. Fuckin. White Fang. Yeah, this band is fucking crazy. This is a band that’ll sell it’s granma’s cooch hairs for a crack rock, and not think twice about it. This band makes Heisenberg look like their little bitch. White Fang will sink it’s proverbial teeth into your neck and drag you to a secluded clearing in the Portland woods and feast on your still living carcass. Why? Because White Fang are badass. (Editor’s Note: White Fang do not condone cannibalism, they just want to let you know that their music has a badass mind of its own).

You’d be able to listen to this album anywhere, but I feel like there’s a few choice scenarios in which this music would be best appreciated. Scenario One: Smoking meth with Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, and then flipping on ‘Wanna Ride’ on your old tape deck, because you really wanna impress the dudes from Breaking Bad with a kickass tune. Scenario Two: Talking to Hunx and his Punx, arguing about how he is the only good bubblegum-punker right now and then flopping out ‘Bad Boys’. Scenario Three: Going to a Who concert, and when they bust out ‘Baba O’Riley’, stick in your earphones and play ‘Loud Ones’ instead, because it’s got a better keyboard riff. Scenario Four: Koala wrestling to ‘Great Weekend’. Scenario Five: Surfing a tsunami of blood with Freddie from Nightmare on Elm Street, because that’s the only thing that’s gorily awesome enough to match the guitar squall of ‘Go See California’. Scenario Six: Time travelling back to the 80’s and becoming the musical director of Hawaii Five-O, and making the them song to that show ‘I Want A Party’. Scenario Seven: Jay Reatard comes back from the dead, wakes you up and wants you to play a song for him, and so you obviously pick ‘FTW’ by White Fang. Scenario Eight: Reflecting on your bummer-ass life, and needing a song to reflect your melancholy mood, but you’ve listened to The Smashing Pumpkins too many times recently, and your Cure CD is in the car, so you put on ‘Tomorrow’.

Oh, look at that. We went through the whole album, and picked out plausible, everyday situations the average White Fang fan finds themselves in, and matched a track from the new album to each situation. Wasn’t that incredibly convenient? Although none of those situations will ever realistically occur for you, don’t let that dissuade you from listening to this album, Like I said before, you can enjoy that shit anywhere. Yep, ‘Steady Truckin’ For the Summer’ is pretty fucking great all round, even if you don’t have access to Hunx and His Punx or a Hawaii Five-O time machine. So, instead of wasting your valuable time trying to build an inplausible machine/stalking Hunx, go buy the cassette, or download the album here, and use the power of imagination to visualise hanging out with the late great Jay Reatard.

White Fang rulz!

Album Reviews: Elvis Christ + the Wrong Man + Cobwebbs

So, Long Gone Records just sent me their trifecta of new albums. That’s fucking awesome. All the albums are better than peanut butter brittle slathered in cocaine. That’s fucking awesome. And all the albums came out on cassette. That’s fucking awesome. However, I am pressed for motherfucking thyme! I got exams and study to do, and very limited amount of time to review! I feel like the whitest poet, probably because I am, I just didn’t know it! However, quick change of format: I’m going to do all three albums on one post, instead of a post each. So, instead of 500 words, it’ll be 200 for each, or something. Is that ok for you? Is that cool? Do you mind? Get fucked, I’ll do what I mow-forkin’ please.

ImageElvis Christ’s ‘And So It Shall Be’ is what I imagine Brad Pitt’s premature ejaculation is like: its heavenly while it lasts, but its still too short, and leaves you wanting way more. Then again, bragging rights. Lustful Pittian dreams aside, its unruly, tongue wagging garage rock n roll. It spits in your face, cleans it with a dick rag, and then laughs because now you have spit and jizz on your dome. Sucks to be you, doesn’t it? Nah, because you just got to listen to the rip-roaring ‘And So It Shall Be’. ‘You Want It All’ features one hell of a fucking guitar solo (think Dave Grohl being fucked by Satan), and ‘I Just Wanna Go For A Ride’ recalls Thee Headcoats and similar hellfire meth bands, which is a really good thing. Like, really good. Super good. Fuck it, that song makes me want to dance. Elvis Christ truly deserves to retain his moniker, and he does the other two guys called Elvis proud. Smiley face!

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There’s a lot of manly stuff out there. I mean, you’ve got Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, Joe’s Bag of Buttpluggs (please let that be a real band). But what happens when you get the Wrong Man? Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 classic tried to answer that question, but instead of wasting a couple hours of your life, just listened to this self-titled record from Brisbane. This shit is German porn levels of filthy, drenched in layers of bedroom fuzz, and caked in grimy Lux Interior vocals and swagger. Serious props on the opener ‘Virgin on the Hill’ which manages to be both cacaphonic and lustful at the same time. The Wrong Man make music that will make your mother weep and Danzig jack off. Isn’t that a deliriously beautiful image?

ImageI actually knew about Cobwebbs before I was given this album. I had frothed over their previous shit, which I’ll aptly describe as noise rock thrown in a blender. So, imagine my surprise when I find that the band have traded in their awesome brand of shitty death guitar for synths and darkwave. However, I’ll have you fucking know, this isn’t some pissweak New Order imitation. Do you like Buzz Kull, HTRK, Nite Fields, or like minded Australian dark electro bands that drill into your skull? You’ll definitely dig this shit. Cobwebbs have got atmosphere down pat to a creepy Cheshire Cat smile, all knives and no stabbing. It’s like an hour long horror movie buildup that leads to a transvestite vampire party. I especially dig on ‘Elevator’ and ‘Slow It Down’, which are tracks that show an alternate Scooby Doo future in which the whole gang gets slaughtered by a swamp monster. Pretty fucked up, right? You should definitely check out this album.

So, that’s my quick summary of some really, really great shit. I hope you enjoyed it, and want to go buy those records. If you’re the kind of Average Joe who enjoys your Britney Spears with a side of shit, then it’s probably not for you. The rabid Glee fans, top-button wearing faux hipster scum and pinger munching fake-tanned hunks of muscle probably aren’t going to be lining up either. For the rest of you, go shell out three bucks each for these awesome records. I think you can do without your McDonald’s Breakfast Taco for a day. Go here for Elvis Christ. Go here for the Wrong Man. Go here for Cobwebbs. Long Live Long Gone!

Video: The Gooch Palms-We Get By

SHOCK! HORROR! OTHER ADJECTIVES FOR AN UNEXPECTED EVENT! The first single from The Goochies upcoming debut album (!), ‘We Get By’ is a fucking slow track. WHAT? And it sounds fucking amazing! WHAT? Yes, Goochie Goochie Goos have swapped their usual hard-fast Ramones slime-punk for something of *gasp* substance. Instead of choking you in a 2 minute vicious lazy-eyed romp, ‘We Get By’ is a vintage romance track, both to lovers and towns that can’t hold you anymore. Punks, arm yourselves, the top-buttoned festoons of hipsterism are here to drag away one of the best punk bands in Australia away! Nah, it should be all right, this is just the first brilliant slice of the album ‘Novos’. No surprises, it sounds better than alien orgasms, and it’s coming out on Anti-Fade. Fuck yeah!!! Failing exams has never sounded so good!