New: SM Jenkins + The Green Bananas + Felix Lush + Jess Locke + Teeth and Tongue + Morning TV + Catsuit + RVG + HATECRVMB

13095801_1708711439400798_7597820356876020184_n

Catching up on all the stuff I missed whilst I’ve been sick the past few weeks:

SM Jenkins –  Out There in the Zone

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from the Step-Panther camp, not since their excellent 2014 album Strange But Nice. Although the band might be in between records, frontman Steve Bourke has released a collection of solo material under the pseudonym S M Jenkins, which expand on the more plaintive side of SP songs like “Number One Fan”.

The collection has all the hallmarks of great 90’s indie rock – from J Mascis’ solo material to the more introspective stuff of Pavement and Wilco. There’s a intimacy to this music that feels like you’re locked under the sheets of your room, accompanied only by light plucking and Bourke’s scratched vocals. It’s surreal, hypnotising stuff that burns slow but lasts long after hits like “Boulder Valley” and “High Beamin'” have faded from the speaker.

The Green Bananas – The Ape

Speaking of pseudonyms, Owen Penglis of Straight Arrows fame has recorded a “novelty single” under the name The Green Bananas. It’s a romping, stomping good time that was born to play in ballrooms, to the shrieks of adoring crowds who are falling over themselves trying to get into gorilla costumes.

If we lived in a fair and just society, this song – nay, tradition! – would replace The Chicken Dance at all school socials; much to the benefit of our nation’s youth, who would evolve from 12 year old braindead Tinder stalkers into shimmying simians. A re-introduction to the devil’s rock n roll all over again that would send responsible adults careening in horror as the young ones become addicted to that crazy new sound!

The 7″s are currently sold-out, but I believe a second pressing is on the way. If you can’t wait that long, I’m 90% sure Repressed has a few copies as well.

Felix Lush – State of Mind EP

In recent times, it feels like there’s been a new class of bands starting up in Sydney who are providing a steady stream of excellent off-kilter pop. One such talent is Felix Lush, formerly of Claire and the Cops – in solo mode, he hasn’t altogether ditched his guitars, but he’s definitely taken them further back in the mix, eschewing the previous Ty Segall crank for washes of synth and vocals that glow with a lulling radioactivity.

With the crisp click of a precise drum machine and goth-inspired bass lines the shimmer like glass poised to shatter, Lush feels comfortable here. He hasn’t swapped out any of the rawness from his last project, simply transitioned it. It still sears, just with liquid nitrogen instead of a hot iron. When you want to brag to your friends about how you know the best music right now, don’t forget to namedrop “State of Mind” and “Lose My Cool”.

Jess Locke – Paper Plane

Listening to Jess Locke reminds me of the first time I heard artists like Cat Power, Laura Viers and Laura Jean. Just hearing something and thinking: “Shit, I’m in love with that. I am absolutely drop-dead, head over heels, kidney-leaking in love with that voice”. It’s a gentle lullaby that rocks ever-so-sweetly from side to side. It’s a simple song that overflows with Locke’s rich, heavenly voice. The title for the most charming song in indie rock doesn’t just have a challenger, it has a full blown usurper a rich, simple song, an example of indie rock charm personified.

Teeth and Tongue – Dianne

I don’t know heaps about Teeth & Tongue, but what I thought I knew of them was that they were a sort of melancholic, folky kinda project, no? That’s why I was taken aback by their new single “Dianne”, a romping pop number that leans right into  some spiky synths. But surprise turned to salivation quickly over a song that wouldn’t be out of place on an album from The Go-Gos, or Blondie – confident, propulsive pop that latches hold from the first second, the mind getting pinballed around by the whiplash vocal dynamics of Teeth and Tongue’s Jess Cornelius.

Morning TV – Turquoise 

Sydney’s Morning TV have grown on me enormously since their debut ear worm “Golden” first appeared. Lush dream-pop that stirs in heavy dollops of reverb over an absolutely superb voice. “Turqoise” works elegantly in slow-mo, humming upon a relaxed Blonde Redhead vibe. Not too shabby for a third single!

Catsuit – Starlet 

Hobart, the land of a million great bands that don’t get near enough attention! Catsuit are one such band, a breezy pop group that sounds like if Kim Gordon, Shirley Manson and Kim Deal had made a band together, pairing smudged guitars with 90’s guitar pop sensibilities. It’s also kind of ironic that a song that takes the piss out of pop music and its stars serves as a perfect example of how great pop music can be.

RVG – RVG 7″

Preston is so much more than a Courtney Barnett song – it’s also the hometown of RVG, a fantastic band that take a spark to jangle pop, and electrocute into its grandest evolution yet. There’s something here that’s more dense and earnest than your average band singing about the dole, and it’s that quality that graduates RVG into a band that would make Yo La Tengo proud. Although only two songs deep into their careers, RVG will already impress the hell out of anyone with two ears and a craving for great pop.

HVTECRUMB

Last but not least, some great new hardcore from Sydney. It’s two of the guys from AUSTRALIA making a fucktonne of noise, and making it well. For the desired effect, turn it up to a skin-peeling volume that will leave a ringing in your ears for days.

A Comprehensive List Of Everything I’ve Forgotten To Write About in The Past Three Months: Pt. 2 Guitar Pop

11692596_10153004932447263_3297595488252641147_n

It took about a month to follow up part one of all the shit I forgot to write about for the past three months, and I was considering throwing the towel in and start covering all the latest goss on the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album, but a lot of this stuff is so great that I’ve convinced myself to postpone my Flea think pieces for a few extra days.

 

Ocean Party – Mess + Noise Critics Poll 2015

R.I.P  Mess + Noise, Long Live The Ocean Party! This little mini-album is absolutely fantastic! If you’d like some more in-depth analysis on this album, someone on Bandcamp described it as a collection of “…moist beats…”, and who am I to disagree?

Cool Sounds – In Blue Skies

The only thing better than this beautifully lush, semi-new one from Cool Sounds is the blue-tinted panther that adorns the cover of their single artwork. Fuck yes to the marriage of jungle cats and 10/10 guitar pop!

Crepes – Hidden Star

Another winner courtesy of Deaf Ambitions, this one is a bit more of a psych-laden pool of guitar. It’s a bit of a slower jam than Crepes previous singles, but “Hidden Star” is still a crisp sip of a tinnie in January.

Heart Beach – Counting/Relief 7″

I wish that we lived under the kind but firm rule of a benevolent dictator that forced everyone to own a copy of Heart Beach’s Counting/Relief 7″, and we were forced to play it three times a day, every day, to remind us all how lucky we are that Heart Beach are a band making songs like “Counting” and “Relief”.

Weak Boys – Life Rules

Weak Boys got a shoutout in the liner notes in the new Violent Soho album, and they managed to grab a bloody gig at the most hallowed of Sydney’s venues – the Newtown Social Club (as immortalised on the B-Side of this CD-R single). So yeah, life really does rule, doesn’t it?

SMILE – Rhythm Method

If you’re having a shocker, put on this new album from SMILE. As soon as the frenzy of “Cool. I Need Money” kicks in, the shitkicking you’ve suffered through will start to fade. By the time “BLVD” rolls in, the fact that you work as a Dave Hughes impersonator is a distant memory.

Great Outdoors – I Look Back

I reckon Don Burke should renew Burke’s Backyard, and make “I Look Back” the new theme song – it’s a fucking great song, it keeps with the whole “outdoor” theme, and it would surely see a dip in the ratings for all the other early-arvo lifestyle shows. You’re move Ready, Steady Cook.

Tiny Little Houses –  Milo Tin

Yeah, nah, how great is this band? Every time I steal 2 minute noodles from now on, it has to be soundtracked by this song.

Verge Collection – Class of ’09

This is the best song about high school since Papa Roach’s “Last Resort”.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Write Back

They’ve changed their name but RBCF’s still know how to write the fuck out of a song. “Write Back” makes you want to put down the guitar and notepad because you’ll never be as good these blokes.

Glaciers – Local Hero

“Local Hero” has that same gentle, lilting embrace as Boomgates, Scott and Charlene’s Wedding and Twerps and that’s the highest compliment anyone can give a band.

 

Morning TV – Dive

It’s pretty tough not to swoon at this one – what a bunch of bloody dreamboats! Second song in, and I’m hooked like a tuna that’s happened to pass within a one kilometre radius of a fishing trawler.

 

New From Sydney: Phantastic Furniture + Georgia Mulligan + Morning TV

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 6.33.40 pm

I’ve been heaps busy with wrapping up at work and uni, so I’ve gotten pretty lazy on the Internet side of things. NO MORE! Here’s a few tunes from Shitney you should familiarise yourself with:

Phantastic Ferniture – Gap Year

A nation of kids have just finished high school – according to numbers I’ve just made up, 50% will go on a gap year to “find themselves”. They’ll head to Europe on their parents’ dollar, pick up a range of STD’s and get too drunk to remember any of it, except for the part where they got, like, SUPER HIGH in Amsterdam. Bro, you totally gotta go.

The only “Gap Year” worth actually taking is the one from Phantastic Ferniture – lush, delicate and enough heartbreak to make Vin Diesel well up with tears and start complaining about all the dust in the room, the hats go off to this song, and this band. There’s huge things for them next year, so make sure you buy ’em a beer in a vain attempt to hitch a ride on their coattails to fame.

Georgia Mulligan – White Lies

More incredibly beautiful stuff outta my hometown, “White Lies” stands out for Georgia Mulligan’s incredible voice, in much the same way that Die Hard stands out from action movies because of Bruce Willis’ ability to deliver one-liners perfectly.

Although she initially started off with a series of covers, “White Lies” shows Mulligan embarking into original territory with the kind of ease that makes you scream, “Jesus Christ, why didn’t you start doing this earlier”. It helps that “White Lies” is a total ear worm, but not the kind that you’ll be able to replicate yourself due to the fact that you’re tone deaf and your voice sounds like a pair of aardvarks rooting in a dustbin compared to Mulligan’s. To get the full satisfaction of this song, you’ll just have to keep hitting repeat.

Morning TV – Golden

The only time to bother with morning TV (the concept, not the band) is whilst waiting in dentist offices, or when you’re so drunk that you just NEED to see how big Richard Wilkins’ head actually is. Now, there’s another decent reason to look that shit up.

Morning TV are a brand new band, serving up some nice slices of dream-pop. Think Unknown Mortal Orchestra meeting the drowsy swoon of Craft Spells or Wild Nothing for a drink at some new, trendy bar that hasn’t been completely overrun with dickheads just yet. On the morning TV spectrum, “Golden” falls somewhere close to the joyful antics of Karl Stefanovic, as opposed to the disturbing chortles of Kochie.