Album Review: Nite Fields – Depersonalisation

Nite Fields have always been so great. Just so, so great, always striking the perfect balance between experimental and coldly familiar, a chilly warmth surrounding their material, as few of it as there initially was. However, after two 7″s, Nite Fields made the big jump to a full LP. In the world of sending out a press release and working out a digital marketing plan for acts with only a scratchy 4 track to their name, Nite Fields putting out a fully-fledged record so quickly seems odd.

The jump straight into LP territory isn’t the only thing skewed about this band: despite being birthed from Brisbane, a place that regularly calls 30 degree days “a tad chilly”, Nite Fields have an icyness that permeates their every breath. It’s a different kind of goth music, not one that would necessarily quote Bauhaus or Nick Cave as inspirations. It’s hard to pinpoint, shying away in a corner, revolving between uncertainty and seduction. It’s very liquid and dense, with the instrumentation coming in thick and sticky.

The source behind this hijacking of the musical thermostat is Danny Venzin. He purrs and beckons, his voice a velvet monotone, droning between the angular bass and guitars, slipping away beneath the mechanic synth lines. He brings Nite Fields to a central location from where the music can spring back and forth. The whole Nite Fields gang is a bit of a dream team, actually. Liza Harvey also drums with Point Being, Chris Campion kills it on a daily basis with Multiple Man, and Michael Whitney used to play in CLEARING. Put that all together, and there’s a reasoning of how a band can come up with such a refined sound.

The dark, funeral parlour pop glimmers brightly throughout ‘Depersonalisation’. Regret, longing,and  uncertainty are all central themes to the record, and all come through in wave after wave of  droning haze. There’s a firmly alien aesthetic in place, twinkling and stretching particularly strongly on songs like “You I Never Knew” and “Prescription”. When Venzin and co. haunt at peak levels of despair, they inject a sense of dread in even the most optimistic of listeners. Even when no one sings, such as “Pay For Strangers”, or the majority of “Winter’s Gone”, a creeping doom frosts over their music.

From the death clang of “Come Down”, to the intimate duets of “Like A Drone”, Nite Fields do a fine job of making sad music. Things can occasionally simmer and linger too long, but with time, the work of Nite Fields’ debut sinks further and further into your skin. The icy tendrils get under your fingernails, unapologetic; a gothic shimmer that fits well within the current canon of unnerving post-punk this country is so capable of producing.

Nite Fields launch ‘Depersonalisation’ on Saturday 16th May at Blackwire Records w/ Seating Plan, Enderie Nuatal and Canberra’s Honey. Get their record from their Bandcamp here.

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Best o’ the Best: Thigh Master + Multiple Man + Prag

Thigh Master – Songs To Wipe Your Mouth To 7″

Tenth Court put the ‘vanity’ in vanity label, amirite? Dude releases stuff by Dag, Mope City, Wireheads and a bunch of others, and has the freakin’ gall to put out his own band? On his own label! Where has the dignity gone?

Look, that can be overlooked, considering that Thigh Master are, I believe the term is, “fuckn’ sick aye”. They’ve just put out a three track 7″ of pop songs in the truest sense of the word. You’re basically tuning in for Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” as its being choked in hiss and fuzz, a pop tune that’s been sunburnt and caked in Brisbane’s dustbowl economy. “Age of Concern” is Yo La Tengo being driven several keys out of tune, “Flat City” is Q And Not U slowed down to a funeral pace, with mopey lyrics to match, and “Red Woons” is just oozing, slushed guitars piercing wrought, dying breath vocals. Spooky stuff.

Thigh Master are coming down Sydney way for a HUUUUUGE show at Blackwire. $10 will get you TM, Bare Grillz, King Tears Mortuary, Clever, Exiles From Clowntown, Roamin’ Catholics, Point Being and Table.

Multiple Man – Persuasion 12″

This one’s for all the freakin’ lovers out there, man! Take your sweet bride, pick her up, throw back that veil, and then engage in some grisly and fucked up coitus ripped straight from a blending of the that rave scene from the second Matrix, and the stuff of Patrick Bateman’s nightmares. Multiple Man can be the soundtrack to that. This shit is dark and irresistible, New Order being slashed by Jack the Ripper, Depeche Mode being force-fed amyl as The Soft Moon watches on in demented glee. Also from Brisbane, this 12″ has been a source of torture for me, as I have waited with baited breath for one of the best songs of 2014 to finally get a wax release.

Don’t like freaky shit? Fuck off, this is for the strange trying to mutilate their minds with the world’s greatest cocktail of gothic synths and drum machines that could kill the Terminator. This 12″ is deadly, and if you’re under the age of 12, I would suggest sticking with a digital copy. The vinyl is probably more razor-edged than Shredder’s claws, and kids shouldn’t play with sharp objects.

PRAG – S/T

PRAG are fucking sick, and I’ll pull some sick telephone pranks on anyone who begs to differ. They are brutal hardcore, music for the deranged generation. It’s Cosmic Psychos in a cage match with Boris, claws out and haunches raised. It’s loud and aggressive, purpose built for destruction. Sludgy, evil riffs pound relentlessly through their veins with whiplash intensity, a source of willpower and insanity. The noise is excruciating, and the guitars careen like they’re the Millennium Falcon dizzily dodging its way through an asteroid field. Going into this album with anything less than the expectation of having your face melted off is folly. PRAG are ugly, creatures of the Black Lagoon that woke up each morning to smash a copy of ‘My War’ over their heads and use the shards to eat their cereal made up of Darkthrone records. PRAG are relentless, pushing with a fiery willpower, a just-got-out-of-bed look that all the punk kids are trying to achieve these days. Don’t fuck with PRAG, or you’ll end up with metal up your ass and four songs of decapitating fury bleeding you dry.

Top 10 Music Videos of 2014

It’s that time of year, when I sell my soul, and conform to the expectation that all blogs, no matter how small and shitty (of which Soundly Sounds is both) needs to compile an end of year list, summarising all the great things that have been accomplished by the fair artists of the year. Now, if you’ve ever been on this blog, or heard words out of my mouth, it becomes apparent that I have a habit of hyperbole, and describing everything as “my favourite” or “the best thing ever”. Well, now it’s time to pay up, and show what I, King Deadshit, reckons is the best of the best this year.

First, music videos. A dead medium. Who even the fuck watches this shit? It’s just a band wearing enough hair gel to freeze over hell, and badly lip-syncing to a song no one liked much in the first place. OR it’s a place where blood and gore thrives, and creativity is king. Here are the Top 10 Music Videos of the 2014, but first, some honourable mentions: White Hex (‘Paradise’), DZ Deathrays (‘Gina Works At Hearts’), SMILE (‘BLVD’), and Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders (‘Come On Back This Way’).

BONUS: Girl Talk & Freeway feat. Waka Flocka Flame

It seems strange to include a Girl Talk track in this blog, especially one that features human shitstain Waka Flocka Flame. I’ve never been a fan of kitschy rap that glorifies bullshit. But the visual ridiculousness of seeing a man like Waka sitting on a throne gesticulating with a recently dismembered arm, as Girl Talk beats up people on the street, is something so gloriously gonzo that it has to be included as one of the greatest audio-visual experiences of 2014.

10. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard – Cellophane

King Gizzard are the Spoon of garage rock – they just release really consistent, good records. Their two records of 2014, ‘Oddments’ and ‘I’m In Your Mind Fuzz’ were pretty great, but the videos are what remained spectacular. “Hot Wax” was a solid contender, but it was “Cellophane” and its 3D video, that captured the cartoon-ish, Hanna-Barbera lunacy that they portray onstage. And if any song was going to act as the perfect vehicle for such a mindfuck, “Cellophane” would be it.

9. The Peep Tempel – Big Fish

The Peep Tempel are great at pumping out bloodthirsty tunes mopped straight from the floor of the seediest pub in town. They’re the kind of hard-working, sweaty band that plays loud, growling with menace. That’s probably why their clip for “Big Fish” is so great – it shows what the morning after a night out at a Peep Tempel is really like. Stumbling, trying to lit half of a cigarette, and raising eyebrows from every passerby.

8. Broadway Sounds – Something Sensual

Broadway Sounds came from nowhere, and released a fantastic EP of tangy and elastic synth jams. Then they released the video clip for “Something Sensual”, a Tim and Eric-esque sketch that just scrapes under the classification of porn. Strange burlesque folks in masks, Melbournite gymnastics and the ultimate ode to the constellations, “Something Sensual” manages to give you the weirdest boner of all time.

7. Blank Realm – Reach You on the Phone

Not only did Blank Realm unveil a 10/10 perfect album, and bring the keytar back from the furthest point of remembrance, but they also managed to release this fantastic video. The video easily re-creates all the billowing emotion and whirlwind romanticism, via a hued pastiche of purples, greens, pinks and yellows, and an abundance of fans (both the kind that blows air into your face, and the array of colourful characters who appear). There’s also the fantastic claymation that recalls the work of Adam Elliot (Harvey Krumpet). If you’re not sobbing at the end of this, you’re malfunctioning.

6. Bistro – DR NO feat Simo Soo

Straight outta Sydney, some of the best hip-hop you’ll hear all year – not only can Bistro provide music that doesn’t sound like something a lad from the North Shore spat onto a napkin, it also isn’t obviously inspired by American hip-hop either. Instead, it sounds thoroughly of its own time and place.

What’s more, he’s got a film clip that accurately depicts the kind of fucked up pace, flow and themes presented in DR NO. It’s frightening and acidic, worse than anything Walt Disney could come up with, a blend of schizophrenic gonzo-ism. When it hits Simo Soo’s rapid fire verse, your hands should be just blistering, white knuckled stubs of flesh.

5. Liam Finn – Burn Up The Road

One of the more feel-good clips of the year is Liam Finn’s “Burn Up the Road”. Yes, he is the kid of Neil Finn, but his style is defiantly his own. That comes through in the alternate (and infinitely cooler) future in which Liam Finn and Kirin J Callinan are best mates, then enemies on a autobahn motorbike ride to hell and back. It’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby with more hockey pads and a liquid cool guitar riff.

4. Multiple Man – Persuasion

A lot of bands adopt the VHS approach these days, and it’s becoming a tad painful to see. It started out cool, but when everyone’s doing it, it sort of fucks up the novelty and greatness of it all. But with Multiple Man, they’ve cannibalised and evolved that CHS concept into something that’s both alluring and scary as hell. I imagine watching the bleached colours burrowing themselves into your eyes as the Campion twins purr along to squelchy beats and trickling synths is the same way sensation people felt after watching The Matrix for the first time. When New Order is getting swallowed by The Soft Moon like that to the fuzzy, white-noise head fuck of the “Persuasion” video, something inside of you says “Hey, probably not going to see some shit like that for a while”

3. Client Liaison – Free of Fear

Client Liaison toe a line that can easily cross into self-parody. They’re fantastic, but when you sound like a Prince and Michael Jackson-crossbreed being fed through a fax machine, and interpreted by Olivia Newton-John, there’s a large chance that there could be a mis-translation. However, these guys just write damn fine pop songs, and their videos are works of art. “Feed the Rhythm” borders on being one of the videos of the year, but it’s the grand randomness revealed with straight faces for the comic ages (try patting an alligator in the desert, and not cracking a smile), that ensures that the elaborate “Free of Fear” clip excels at being the No. 1 lavish homage and extension to the greatest pop era in history.

 2. Zanzibar Chanel – Mustn’t Evolve feat. Dungeon Posse

This video was released only mere weeks ago, but when it opens like a soap opera taking place in gangland warfare, and a brutal, eye-popping murder takes place before any music starts, then things look to be pretty amazing. “Mustn’t Evolve” is a torture-cry laden, synth delight, soaked in evil vocals and a cell playground for Melbourne’s finest to rap-squat and jiggle their way into infamy. It’s about as close to a Hunter S. Thompson wet dream as things go.

1. Collarbones – Turning

Not only is “Turning” the motherfucking JAM of 2014, an electronica glitch in the binary code that turns 0’s into Destiny’s Child and 1’s into Aphex Twin, but it has the best video of 2014 as well, for a plethora of reasons. Firstly, it’s got a celebrity cast, including Marcus and Travis of Collarbones, Doug and Russell of FISHING, FBi legend Frances Barrett, Marcus of Siberia Records, and Romi and Matt Banham, the greatest Internet sensations Australia has seen since Steve Irwin. Secondly, it’s directed by SPOD, a name that causes amateur filmmakers to quake in intimidated passion. Obviously, that means the clip is loaded with all sorts of crazy Internet craziness, like Brown Cardigan and Deep Internet Reddit made passionate love on a green screen. And thirdly, it has outfits that make like The Devil Wears Prada moved into a Health Goth store, andn has teh choreography of a ferocious mythological creature being taught to twerk to R Kelly, (I imagine SPOD was the one who taught said beast, via a My Fair Lady “The Rain in Spain” musical number).

Video: Multiple Man – Persuasion

Prepare your mind to be severely maligned by the audio-viusal equivalent of Tron being invaded by the members of Joy Divison, Bauhaus and Chrome, whom are all on a collective acid trip. This video is what all this darkwave and wickedly fucked up electronic music has been leading towards. I mean, there’s that top-teir of Australian acts like Standish/Carlyon, Forces, and Four Door, and Multiple Man have just thoroughly invited themselves in.

“Persuasion” is all kinds of sludgy, sticky synths and drum machines, oozing themselves onto you, covering you in a thick, black slime. “Persuasion”also features some fairly leather-coated vocals, which run underneath the slicing, heavy-breathing synths. The Campion Brothers have outdone themselves.

As for the video, it can really only be described as one of the greatest things you’ll see. It’s a combination of video technology being fed through the teeth of a tree shredder possesed by Satan…there’s no time to explain – watch the video.

This is basically the music that a zombie version of Shaft would get groovy to. If that doesn’t make you go batshit crazy to go and listen to something, you have no soul. Buy their other shit here.

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!

Playlist: Australian Artists to Watch in 2014 (January Playlist)

Alright, two things.

1. I realise I’ve been pretty shitty about getting out the monthly playlists of songs that you don’t give a fuck about. Frankly, I haven’t been listening to all that much new stuff, just old school Mogwai, The Triffids and this band that Guy from Chapter Music was raving about called The Plants (check ’em they’re rad). So, consider this a January playlist.

2. A bunch of musical related things like the NME have been raving about bands they reckon will explode this year. Honestly, I don’t really give a fuck about Temples or Sam Smith or whatever bullshit Justin Vernon rip-off project is occurring. Now, I wanna talk about some homegrown talent that is sure to lay siege to your brains in this new year.

Before I get stuck in, I’d like to prefix this by saying I didn’t include bands that have had stellar years in 2013. No Palms, or Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys or Bad//Dreems, or anything like that. Definitely no Courtney Barnett after the outrageous (but certainly earned) amounts of praise.  The following bands and artists are ones that came on the verge of hitting big in 2013, but saved up their magic for what is sure to be a stellar following year. Get used to these names-some of them will begin to dominate Triple J, or at least your community radio station, some will begin to invade your hometown with shows, and some will break up, and it’ll be like they never existed. However, all are incredibly, incredibly good, and they’re only at a sapling phase. In 2014, watch these bad boys and girls grow into behemoths of the Australian music scene.

1. Go Violets

2. The Stevens

3. ScotDrakula

4. The Clits

5. Blood Plastic

6. Adults

7. Destiny 3000

9. Multiple Man

10. Circular Keys

11. Tincture

12. GUERRE

13. Cull

14. You Beauty

15. The Creases

16. Driffs

17. Bloods

18. Chicks Who Love Guns

19. The Frowning Clouds

20. Mining Boom

New: Multiple Man-Body Double

Everyone’s favourite industrial punks, Multiple Man are back with a new single entitled ‘Body Double’. If Trent Reznor had an ear infection that slowly swallowed his mind, and turned out to actually be a 1,000 year old curse from a Brazilian witch who was into The Fall, you might get something that sounded like Multiple Man. Like the assassination of any major political figure that could have been prevented with a body double, this song is about as gorgeously grisly and fascinatingly macabre as one can get.