New Aus Music: Clag + Vacant Field + Postblue + Okay Cocaine + Barbiturates + Multiple Man

This one time I went to the cricket. I hated it. So instead, I expended all my Australian-ness into spreading the word about awesome Aussie bands. Queue dramatic music and Oscars acceptance speech. I’m a fucking hero.

Clag-Twozza

First up, it’s old mates Clag. And I do mean old mate. These guys were around in the 90’s, then they broke up, and went on to really good things like Beaches and Panel of Judges. I want to say greater, but really, there isn’t anything like Clag.

Case in point-the irreverant indie-pop of ‘Twozza’. How many bands do you know named after a popular form of glue that write songs about the salad days? There’s the name checking of puking in the bong, knowing absolutely fuck all about brushing girls hair and wearing shorts, all set to a delightful keyboard riff and slacker guitar that could’ve been taken from an episode of Fraggle Rock.

Vacant Field-Run Down

Speaking of absolutely delightful bands, here’s Sydney’s Vacant Field. I played the shit out of them on FBi a few weeks back, and wanted to give them a pleasant thrashing on here as well, but there was no Soundcloud! That’s been recently rectified, and the song ‘Run Down’ is now in the public eye for all to fawn over. It’s a beautiful thing, that’s simultaneously open and intimate. If you could get the innocence that Randy Newman has on the Toy Story soundtrack, and collide it headlong with the forlorn of a Smiths track, then you’d have the gorgeous ‘Run Down’. Absolutely stunning.

Postblue-Ugly

There is so much about this song to love. First of all, it’s on Poison City City Records, the go-to label in Australia for punk tunes with a dirty pop edge (see: The Smith Street Band, Clowns). Secondly, ‘Ugly’ is a finely crafted tune-from the straight forward guitars, to the emo-laden chorus, the whole thing reeks of something that Screamfeeder would’ve released back in the day. And thirdly, it’s a cocktease. The song is more in-an-out orgasm than a guy losing his virginity to Amy Adams. Spectacularly good.

Okay Cocaine-7 Hours

Okay Cocaine are a band I’ve been meaning to see for the past couple weeks, because a) amazing name, obviously and b) they’re getting stuck on these awesome lineups, so awesome by association right. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to check them out in a live setting, but their music is fucking rad. It’s an amateur, balls-out, keeling-n-kicking punk rock that never lets up for a second. It whirls, wheeling and dealing like a pimp with a death wish. Seriously, ‘7 Hours’ is more high octane than an hour with Nicholas Cage. Get amongst it.

Barbiturates-BOSS

Barbiturates have always been consistenly interesting to listen to, a strong inclusion in the list of really, really weird Brisbane bands that never fail to please (others being Cobwebbs, Per Purpose Gazar Strips, Brainbeau…it goes on). On their latest release, the aptly titled ‘BOSS’, the listener gets plunged head first into all the musical terrains one could hope for. There’s the rainbow kaleidoscope forest of ‘Woods Pt 1’, the crunchy gravel driveway of its successor, the ghoulish Rocky Horror dread of ‘Oxygen Free’ and the disturbed oceanic patterns of ‘Leech’. And that’s only naming a few. Really, Barbiturates spread themselves around everywhere on ‘BOSS’, with an effectively schizophrenic and perturbed desire. The album is amazingly riveting, so I dunno what you’re doing still reading this and not buying it.

Multiple Man-Guilt Culture

Speaking of Brisbane bands that are fantastically weird, here’s a new one from Multiple Man. And boy, is it a fucked up piece of music. It has an S&M sheen, murky and slithering in nature, never popping it’s head out of the muck just in case you might think for a second that there’s some beauty underneath. ‘Guilt Culture’ is subtly vicious, featuring a snaky synth line and flesh-crawling lyrics that would give Wes Craven a boner in no time. Awesome!

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New: Lurch & Chief + Heads of Charm + Morning Harvey + Odyssey

Ooooft, new tunes from our sunburnt country. If you put down your goonie for just a second, you’ll see that these tracks are worth stopping your cheap wine bender for.

Lurch & Chief- Mother/Father

You! Yes, you! The fat turd with Cheethoh stained fingers, listening to the latest nu-metal release! Quit being such a fucking wanker, and listen to the new Lurch & Chief single! It’s a slice of garage pop specifically aimed at turning the peice-of-shit you, that posted a photo on Facebook of your new Insane Clown Posse makeup,  into something mildly attractive. ‘Mother/Father’ features a chorus of orgasmic heights, and every time those ‘Woo’s sound, chills harness themselves around my spine, and give me a mini-seizure. Enjoy!

Heads of Charm-Spain on A Roll/Check Check Check

And for those who weren’t drained of all energy in that previous track from Lurch & Chief, well here’s one that’ll send shocks of Pikachu-levels of energy down your entire body, smouldering you to a small pile of ash. Heads of Charm are like a mini-supergroup, that harness over-the-top propulsion with math-rock precison. You think you’ve heard good diversity between the louds and quiets of a song? Fuck off, you haven’t heard shit til your brain has been pulverised by “Spain on a Roll’. If you liked At the Drive-In, but always wanted them to re-locate to Melbourne, well here’s your chance.

Morning Harvey-Girl Euphoria

And now, since your mental, physical and, dare I say it, sexual state should be confined to utter exhaustion, there’s a new one from Morning Harvey to lull you into a sense of security. ‘Girl Euphoria’ could’ve been a B-side from The Stone Roses second record, and it’s obvious that Morning Harvey are disciples of the 90’s British movement. Those slides of psychedelica, those sharp melodies…Morning Harvey are well on their way to Britpop fame, despite the fact that movement kind of ended fifteen years ago. Regardless, Morning Harvey can write a damn good single, and if they can continue that, maybe they can revitalise the genre. God knows Blur and the Gallaghers are having trouble doing that.

Odyssey-Future Space Dead Sound

OK, so when you’ve got an album title that sounds like it combines the graphic, spine-ripping gore of Mortal Kombat with a Chemical Brothers song, then you’ve got me (and everyone else who’s hypothetically into good music) hooked.

Odyssey is the project from Velociraptor/Tiger Beams member Jesse Hawkins. And because Brisbane is such an incestual scene, he got some of his buddies to contribute as well.  There’s Shane Parsons from DZ Deathrays, Julien James from Tiny Migrants, and even old mate Kylie Minoque makes an appearance. Whether Kylie’s appearance, or indeed, any of the guest spots, were solicited, is completely up for debate.

Regardless, Odyssey are in the business of creating insane, loopy, thumping post-punk rooted electronic music, which is more of a pretentious mouthful than even I thought I was capable of. Start with ‘ODYSS’, and then make your way through the rest of the album with the fumbling, blind enthusiasm of every woman ever in the presence of Ryan Gosling.

New: The Maryettas-Karoake Cowboy

Look, I’m not sure how you feel about country music, but I fucking hate it. Often, if someone asks me what I like, I say everything except for country music and Aussie hip-hop. But The Maryettas, they’re different. Sure, they’re singing about cowboys, harmonica is extensively involved and they are from the Great North, but it doesn’t feel like these guys are about to get racist any time soon. They’re simply singing along in this forlorn, amateur tune, a little bit hopeless and very, very endearing. Oh yeah, and ‘Karaoke Cowboy’ fucking rules as a track. Git R Done!

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!

Album Review: Thee Hugs-Drug Use and Alcohol Abuse

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Ladies and gentlemen, to start the review, I offer a metaphor. The Hulk has just gone to Taco Bell. Uh-oh, bad move Hulk. After approximately 20 minutes, The Hulk eschews a wild hurricane of Hulk excrement. That, my esteemed reader, is my representation of the debut Thee Hugs record. Mean, green and dirty. Also, unique, slightly disgusting and revelling in the abysmal depths of a public toilet in a shitty chain restaurant. Goddamn it’s a beautiful thing.

There are four major hints before even listening to a single song on the album that it’s going to be a fantastic thing. Firstly, the band’s name: Thee Hugs. Every band with Thee tacked onto the beginning has a legendary status. Thee Oh Sees, Thee Headcoats, Thee Hugs. It’s a thing, trust me. Secondly, the album name: Drug Use and Alcohol Abuse. With a name like that, it’s not like your going into the album blind; you know that there’s going to be drug references abound, like a 2013 Fear and Loathing. Awesome sauce. Thirdly, the band members that form Thee Hugs are from the other juggernaut Brissy garage sphincters Tiny Migrants and Sulphur Lights. Highly recommend checking these acts out, if you have a soul. I mean, I don’t have a soul, and I fucking love them, so imagine how you’re going to react. Finally, the artwork for the album is done by Sam McKenzie, who also did cover art for the infamous Velociraptor and everyone’s favourite rabbit-masked maniac Nobunny, amongst others. So yes, before even listening to a track, I’m confident that I’m in very good hands.

And….I’m correct. Holy Fuck, am I correct. ‘Drug Use and Alcohol Abuse’ is a monstrous blistering ride through insanity. It cruises through the seedy streets of Brisbane in it’s shitty Toyota, picking up mates like The Wipers and White Lung, trying and failing to score with hotties like Tyvek and The Reatards, and finally ending the night by scoring some smack of this dodgy dealer called King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. That dude was fucking crazy. 

Anyway, the LP is a spaced out, sped up affair that throws its weight around in sub-zero gravity, just because it can. Tracks like ‘She’s My Girl’ and ‘You Can Run But You Can’t Hide’ showcase a Cramps horror-punk style, enlisting reckless abandon and shoving it up every orifice of insane until spew erupts from the concept’s nostrils. Then there’s stuff like ‘Somebody Pooed in the Pool’ and ‘Nazi Shooter’ that are just plain fucking weird for the sake of it. Did I mention I love it? Because I do, I really fucking do.

Thee Hugs are unruly and unrestricted in the best sense of the word. For a debut album, this breaks all the boundaries of what is considered normal, and that is a fan-fuckin-tastic thing. It’s beautiful in it’s ugliness, shining a light into the murky water just to see how big of a shit is down there. Hint: it’s gargantuan, and you gotta be at least a little bit impressed. Very good stuff. Very, very, very good stuff. Lux Interior would be so proud. 

You can buy (or stream, in case this review hasn’t convinced you of the retarded genius of Thee Hugs) on the band’s Bandcamp right here. There’s also a single ‘She’s My Girl’ on there for free. Get it….or a swarm of swamp monsters will bite off your genitals. Consider the circumstances and make the right choice. 

Video: Thee Hugs-Somebody Pooed in the Pool

THEE HUGS DO DRUGS AND DO NOT GIVE A FUG! I would have said fuck, but it would have messed with the rhyming scheme. Anyway fans of The Cramps who have been in an eternal state of depression since Lux Interior died can rejoice, because Thee Hugs are here to temporarily replace them until they check in Celebrity Rehab with Dr Drew. The have unleashed the awesomely titled ‘Somebody Pooed in the Pool’ (don’t you hate that?), a garage jammer that is as filthy and decrepit as the title insinuates. Bonus points for the band for including bong rips, bombs, bong rips, throwing up babies and bong rips in their clip. Thee Hugs just know how to keep it classy. DON’T CHANGE!

You can grab their song ‘She’s My Girl’ off Thee Hugs Bandcamp for a price equal to the disappointment in a Tarantino film (nothing).