Video: Harvey Eyeballs – Anybody Can Play the Drums

It seems hypocritical to praise a song that is solely about how easy it is to start a band because literally anybody can play the drums, guitar and a bass, and yet here I am, with my dick in my hand, no closer to beginning that Eddy Current Suppression Ring/Run DMC mashup group that I’ve always threatened.

Brooklyn’s Harvey Eyeballs make that temptation so much sweeter, with a series of hypothetical goadings about how fucking uncomplicated it is to play the drums. Shit, they even set up a template of 60’s garage pop, not dissimilar to the sounds of Bleached, Wyatt Blair and Richard In Your Mind. It’s really triumphant, fun stuff, and almost makes me forget all the pains of working in conjunction with people that is such a necessary part of being in a “band”.

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Video:: Dasher-Go Rambo

Dasher are the kind of furious punk band you only get once a year. The video for their song ‘Go Rambo’ makes it pretty clear why. It’s screeching banshee punk, delved out like a recreation of Hitchcock’s The Birds, only instead of crows and ravens clawing out innocent eyeballs, its a visceral punk froth.

Their video is suitably DIY, basically just a live clip smothered in flour, and a manequin being slung around and massacred. But what the video lacks in creation, it makes up with fire and viciousness. You can just tell that watching these guys live would be the equivalent of getting a musical decapitation.

New: DeGreaser-Words In Your Mouth

DeGreaser are a very, very impressive band. They’ve got this weird musical concoction that’s like a mud slushie being poured down the throat of Godzilla, whilst Optimus Prime shits out a vibrating chainsaw in the background.

Seriously, if Mudhoney, The Scientists, Pissed Jeans and Satan all hung out together, and decided to record some nail-biting, scuzz-regurgitating, dick-lopping beautiful atrocity, it would go something along the lines of ‘Words In Your Mouth’. This song is like the inner thought process of Iggy Pop at his most drug ravaged, rock n roll heights…and I fucking love it.

New: Mac DeMarco + Damaged Bug + Trust + The War on Drugs + Habibi + Woods

There’s more new songs in this article than there were impoverished orphans in Charles Dickens’ novels. That’s a lotta songs.

Mac DeMarco-Song About Pussy

This song doesn’t actually have a name. Hell, this song probably is just a little fuckaround thing he did between blowing minds at the bunch of sold out shows he did in Australia (I was at the one he did at The Standard, with Twerps. It was awesome, thanks for asking). Anyway, if watching a naked cowboy with an acoustic guitar that just barely covers his pubes, you’re in luck. If you want that to be soundtracked by a sleazy, 80’s throwback track sung by our favourite Canadian, then you’re in double luck. If you want a twist ending, and Mac to randomly pop his frizzy head up at the bottom of the screen by the end of the track, then you have an oddly specific fetish.

Damaged Bug-Eggs At Night

Oh, shit goddamn, hot salsa orgies on a microwave plate! It’s new John Dwyer material! Although that name might not ring a bell, Thee Oh Sees certainly should, a project that happens to be the brainchild of Mr. Dwyer. The fact that the man is nothing short of a King Midas, turning everything he touches into gold, should come as no surprise.

Anyway, although the sad news of Thee Oh Sees going on hiatus has been confirmed as fact, the man isn’t slowing down by any standard, instead adopting the name Damaged Bug, and deciding to put out an electronic-toned solo LP. ‘Eggs At Night’ is the first taste, and fucking hell, its like he’s shoved a five course meal down our throats! The song is absolutely amazing! Slow, creepy, vaudevillian synths creep the song into existence, like the SOS of a lonely, The Fall/Rowland S. Howard-loving lighthouse keeper, whilst Dwyer’s vocals echo like some sort of post-modern Dracula, dripping with loneliness. It’s like Ian Curtis never died after all! Absolutely fucking beautiful, and I mean every word.

Trust-Rescue, Mister

I really, really enjoyed the first album I heard from Trust. It was dark, gothic and delectable as hell. Then, late last year, I saw a music video that completely turned me off Alfons. There was a pop sheen to it that sounded like they’d been dipped in a bowl of Rihanna jizz. With caution, I pressed play on the new single from the band, and was delighted when it came back to that original sound. Weirdly enough, I can’t seem to find that pop track that turned me off Trust. I’ve spent two hours looking, coming up blank. Maybe it was all a bad dream.

‘Rescue, Mister’ takes on a distinctly sophomore-era Crystal Castles vibe, with the spider web female chorus, and gothic synths reaching to newfound heights.Weird disco penetrates this song like I penetrate the walls of The Red Rattler-bug-eyed and awkward, but having too much fun to care that everyone else thinks that its the most out of place thing imaginable.  If this is what Trust ends up sounding like on the new LP, then please, don’t hold back. Alfons: assault me with that freaky disco carnage.

The War On Drugs-Red Eyes

I feel bad, because I absolutely adore The War on Drugs, and yet I had no clue they had a new track out. AND I was away for their apparently spectacular gig at Oxford Arts a couple of days ago. I’m slightly ashamed of myself. Yet ‘Red Eyes’ takes that all away. Whether they’re referring to the side-effect of a spectacular amount of marijuana injections (that’s how you do pot, right?) or from a shit load of crying, the fact remains that this song could be a comfortable sidekick in both situations. Smoother than George Clooney’s ass cheeks, and more resonating in the pleasure centre than a brain implant of chocolate ice cream, ‘Red Eyes’ simply needs to be adored. And the best thing is that it doesn’t even need to try. It seems that all those years with Kurt Vile paid off for the rest of the band, and now, they can hone their own brand of spiritually-cleansing rock. Damn, this is just such a fine song that everyone on the planet should own.

Habibi-I Got the Moves

The band’s name couldn’t be further from what’s on display on this stunner of a track. Whilst the name evokes a Middle Eastern stereotype store you could find in downtown anywhere, the band is a girl group playing surf rock the way it was meant to be done. Super catchy, super light and super short ‘n’ sweet. Its like these women came right off the set of Gilligan’s Island, where they played sexy surfers that abandoned poor Gilligan at the end of the episode. No surprises, it comes off Burger Records, the home of all good surf rock. Good on ya’ Burger!

Woods-Leaves Like Glass

Its been a while since I was in this neck of the Woods (someone give me a fucking sitcom deal). I’m speaking, of course, about alt-country territory. I’m talking about Blitzen Trapper, Fruit Bats and Deer Tick, that weird gray area between shitty indie folk stuff and shitty country music, where the stories are weird and the music is weirder. Woods have always fit in there snugly, and now more so than ever. ‘Leaves Like Glass’ features a brilliant little organ part, which is tugged along by the acoustic guitars strumming their wares. To put it bluntly, Woods become charming as fuck on ‘Leaves Like Glass’, like some sort of hybrid of The Moondoggies and Brad Pitt.

Video: SKATERS-Deadbolt

SKATERS are a punk band from New York City that don’t give a fuck about spelling things gramamtically. If they want to caps lock shit, they’re gonna caps lock shit.

On their single ‘Deadbolt’, there’s really two distinct sides: the Billy Idol ‘Rebel Yell’-like verses that show a band creeping towards something explosive, and then the chorus’, which pay out that explosive cock tease. Overall, some pretty awesome Saturday night rock n roll.

Rock Album Reviews, Pt. 1: White Summer + Designer Mutts + Hari & the Karis + Lightsabres + Almighty Rhombus

I’ll admit it. I’m a massive knob. My e-mail has been stockpiling record review request after record review request, and I’ve been sitting here, trying to do something about it. Except, instead of doing stuff about it, I went to a bunch of gigs and focused on not fucking up my new job. But to quote The Big Lebowski, ‘Sometimes, there’s a man…and even if he’s a lazy man-which Ryan most certainly was….aw, I’ve lost my train of thought’. Anyway, here’s a bunch of review of the albums that I thought were pretty badass. Apologies to the artists that I couldn’t give them an original piece, it is simply a matter that I would probably end up in the morgue from finger blisters. Enjoy my shitty descriptions, then go buy these albums.

White Summer-What I’ve Been Waiting For EP

The White Summer are a rock band from Melbourne. If you typed that sentence into Google, you’d probably get an infinite amount of search results, but goddamn if this isn’t one paying attention. Right off the bat, their tunes will worm their way into your ears and set up a permanent residence. If The Black Angels spent some time getting guitar lessons from Dan Auberach, and there was a vocal morphing of Ian Kenny and Matt Bellamy, you could get something with the power and balls of White Summer. If you don’t believe that description, think its lame or whatever, listen to ‘Head in the Sand’, and feel the wrath of wrongness.

Designer Mutts-A Day At the Wauchope Races

Despite the fact that I’d never head of Mauchope before this EP crossed my path (it’s a small town in the Mid-North Coast of NSW, whoever said reading shitty music blogs wasn’t educational), I did know a bit about Mark Spence. The dude was in a band called Royal Chant that I adored and saw a couple times back in Year 10 when I first found out that there was something to listen to besides Mix 106.5. Designer Mutts is a side-project from Royal Chant, and the EP that Mark has released is great. Every track on the EP is a solid rock track, something that you could easily find yourself singing along to down at your local inner West venue. A special standout track is ‘High Low’, a song that will make you want to ride down a highway, top down and shouting at the top of your lungs, so fucking stoked with the track that you’ll completely ignore all the abundantly cliche nature of your behaviour.

SUPER SPECIAL BONUS REVIEW: Royal Chant-New Nowhere. Starting off with an acoustic strumming, the song soon envelopes and matures into a full-blown, catchy-as-REM-on-steroids rock track. Download for free, and enjoy with a side of breakfast in Surry Hills, because with the money you’ll save on good tunes with ‘New Nowhere’, you’ve earned an expensive early-morning treat.

Hari & The Karis-Hari & The Karis

Let’s just say that if you include an old-school Black Keys cover that you completely nail with boogie-woogie infection, then you’ll get an all-star review on my website that means fuck all in the spectrum of things. However, Hari & The Karis, a garage swamp band from New York that put the rock back in defrockingingly badass, have more than enough tunes on hand to back that prematurely biased evaluation. Just take a listen to ’24 Hours’, a song that screams and squirms, bursting out of the normal with a chorus that goes ‘All we have is 24 hours, all we need is a miracle!’. Sound familiar to anyone who’s done an assignment, ever? Anyway, all the songs on these guys self-titled record are spaced out boogie monsters that will cling to your brain like a Facehugger, switching between schizophrenically wild to gooey macabre, and a whole spectrum of other emotions as well. At the least, you’re brain is going to explode all over the room from being wildly entertained. If Velociraptor (the band, not the villain) toured with these guys, the world would probably combust from the charisma.

Lightsabres-Demons

Stoner rock from Sweden has always been a little pet-love of mine. I never knew that much about it, and it seemed hard to delve and find any more  information about it short of moving to Stockholm, but let’s just say Dozer have always been a constant reminder to me of how great that nationalistic sub-genre is. However, the new band Lightsabres has sought to rectify that gaping hole in my life. There’s nothing not to love with Lightsabres. Firstly, their name is from the most badass weapon in Star Wars, something most people that have visited this website will know I love. Secondly, they’re a stoner-rock band from fucking Sweden, something I’ve already established is almost as badass as lightsabres themselves. To clarify, their riffs are a murky mess of slow and toxic menace, choking out the listener like Hulk Hogan in his Black Sabbath-loving days. Finally, Lightsabres do a pretty good (not better, but pretty good) cover of one of my all time favourite songs by one of my all time favourite artists, Ty Segall. Although, a relatively short work, ‘Demons’ is fucking badass.

The Almighty Rhombus-Lucid Living

And to round out my embarrassingly late reviews, its The Almighty Rhombus, a Canadian band with a good name (the rhombus-most underrated 2D shape ever) and even better songs. For an indie rock band, none of these songs are grating, at least for me.They flow nicely from one to another, bright  and melodic enough to not bog themselves down, but with enough lyrical self-deprecation (see: ‘Butane Brain’) and diversity in the music to ensure that their music doesn’t get annoying. If Vampire Weekend and The Strokes teamed up and found their credibility again, you could get something like ‘Lucid Living’. Even if you’re not an indie-rock fan, the song ‘Blank’ is worth a geez.

Album Review: Cults-Static

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I think it is safe to say that I’ve narrowed down my audience to one central demographic. That is, American two-piece indie bands that are signed to major labels, and are struggling with their sophomore album. I’m pretty sure that’s the major contingent of people that read my website, and it doesn’t seem specific at all, which is why I’m confident this review of Cults’ fantastic new record will appeal so strongly to my fanbase, as it is shows how best to execute that difficult sophomore record for maximum orgasm results.

Cults debut record took the indie world by storm, with cute, pixie vocals, surf-rock-meets-gospel sounds and overall nice vibes that seemed to flow so naturally from the band. That was 2011, so surely the world should have forgotten about this band by now? Don’t be so sure, as ‘Static’ has both cemented their trademark sound as something wholly applicable to Cults, as well as furthering the sound into people’s brains, and ensuring that this is a band here to stay, and not fade away like other 2011 ‘buzz bands’ (*cough* Foster the People *cough*).

Thankfully, every song on ‘Static’ buzzes with a warm life that swamps the brain cells for a reason not to be completely in love with Madeline Follin’s vocals. Lead single for the record ‘I Can Hardly Make You Mine’ gets the album kick started, with John Wayne guitar slicing through the record, and creating serious swagger for a band with only two members. The sound swells very naturalistically, and by the time you enter the chorus, it’s both like overseeing a massive rainforest and being spat on by ten thousand angels. The record maintains this upbeat and addictive position, swaying into a droopy-eyed and hushed melody ‘Always Forever’,  rising to a haunted contentment on ‘High Road’, and washing out to the stormy-clouds-meets-peaceful-shanty-town on ‘Were Before’.

However, the dynamics that have been hinted at so strongly in these early songs come to fruition at this halfway point in the record. Shit just gets unreal, and the songs go up a gear, graduating from indie radio bait to stop-and-stare psychedelic gospel jams. ‘Keep Your Head Up’ and ‘We’ve Got It’ are especially poignant tracks, tempering themselves like really fucking proud peacocks, aflush with an abundant array of colour.

However, it is the closer of ‘No Hope’ that really ties the album together. All these ideas and sounds that have ballooned this album’s sound out, from the small and mousy to the vibrant and electric-it all comes down to this beautifully dejected track, that manages to sound hopeful and hopeless at the same time. ‘No…hope…no…hope…for the wicked inside my soul’ swoons Follin, and for a second there, you almost believe it. Then you remember the dolphin squeal guitars, the organ harmonies, and tip-tap percussion that combats the dire lyrics, and the fact that Cults have created a song that depletes every artistic accomplishment you’ve ever made in your life comes crashing down on you. Hard.

Once ‘No Hope’ has resigned itself into nothingness, and contently tied down ‘Static’, there will be a dawning realisation that Cults are going to be around for a very long time. Why? Because Cults are very, very good at what they do, and they are not going any where. Their indie rock is just too memorable for that.

Cults’ ‘Static’ came out on the 15th of October, so you can buy it right now on iTunes (YAY! TERMS AND CONDITIONS AGREEMENTS!). They haven’t announced any dates yet, but here’s to hoping they get chucked onto the Laneway lineup at the last minute along with Washed Out, just so the greatest Laneway lineup ever can be accomplished. If that doesn’t turn out, then hopefully they get put on Golden Plains.

Video: HUNTERS-Narcissist

Hands down, one of the best punk songs to come out all year, and its been matched with one of the the best videos of the year as well. HUNTERS are a band from New York, a place that has an exceptional punk scene going on as of late. HUNTERS are just a part of a scene that includes BIG UPS, Total Slacker and Vulture Shit amongst others. Anyway, HUNTERS were always at the back of my mind, but now they’ve come out with this gem of a track that is guaranteed to go all George A. Romero on you, and cannibalise you. ‘Narcissist’ lurches into full gear from the very start, and doesn’t loosen its grasp until you are well and truly gasping for air.

The clip is another story altogether, featuring a whole bunch of colourful characters. There’s the ‘rowdy teenagers’, a bunch of kids who beat the shit out of a car whilst ’21st Century Romeo and Juliet’ make out inside of it. There’s ‘Cornrows’, a kid who’s just fucking angry the whole time, and then, of course, there’s ‘Boris’, an Eastern European gangster that is probably a serial killer. Like, 90% sure. There’s no way that dude could swing the axe like that unless he’d used it to cut through bones before.

From start to finish, ‘Narcissist’ is such a fucking badass song. It’s got a chorus that implodes like a thousand land mines going off in your brain, and musically, it’s like a buzz-saw chewing up your body. The whole thing reeks of pure genius.

SQURL: Pink Dust

I fell in love with this song last month, went and bought the EP, and I was going to include ‘Pink Dust’ in my August playlist. Alas, I forgot, as I have the memory of Adam West’s Batman. However, there was no way I could wait another month, nay a little month (Hamlet y’all) to post one of the greatest things I have heard in a long time. ‘Pink Dust’ is drone, but it’s not boring (surprise!) and is in fact as deep and enticing as an ogre’s throat cavity. It’s chilled but vicious at the same time, a paradox of perfect harmony. A telling, informative French sample of a woman counting to three is spelled over the cascading wail of guitars and feedback squall, all combining into a beautifully ugly sound. It’s so amazing that even my musically tasteless Selena Gomez loving banshee of a mate Portia thought it was ‘pretty good’. Of course, her opinion is voided the instant she announced she’d never been to a concert outside of Acer Arena, but the point stands that this cohesive grappling piece of majestic noise will remain one of the best 6 + minutes of your life. Also, SQURL features Jim Jarmusch, the underground film director responsible for ‘Strangers in Paradise’ and ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’, so of course it was going to be awesome. Anyone who can get Iggy Pop and Tom Waits to do a short film together is susceptible to ‘Greatest Person Alive’ status.

Album Review: Scott & Charlene’s Wedding-Any Port in a Storm

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AWWWWWWWWWW YISSSSSSSS! Mutha. Fuckin. Jangle. Pop. Jesus Christ, could Scott & Charlene’s Wedding be any more Australian? Firstly, you’ve got the band’s name, which besides being really fucking hard to say, and not sounding anything like a normal band’s name but a rather average event, is an all too subtle reference to  Neigbours. Then there’s the fact that frontman Craig Dermody (who started Scott & Charlene’s wedding all on his lonesome, and has also played participation in Lindsay Low Hand and Spider Vomit) is a beach bum babe. And the vocals are not dissimilar to that of Twerps, Dick Diver, Day Ravies, or Boomgates. All fantastic bands with all fantastic records to their names, but I’m going out on a limb here and claiming ‘Any Port in a Storm’ to be my favourite of the average Aussie narrative albums. It was a tough decision, almost as tough a decision as when Butch debates going  back to his apartment to get his father’s watch that was shoved up his ass, from Pulp Fiction.

‘Any Port in a Storm’ gets it’s bonus points for it’s casual warmth, and wears it’s amateur tendencies on it’s sleeve, displaying them proudly instead of shoving them in the corner like the incest cyclops son in Harold & Kumar. In fact, the opening track ‘Junk Shop’ makes it’s catchy chorus from ‘Yeah, you see my insides/they sing out of tune/ they go WAAAA-AHHH-AHHH-AH, They go WOAAHH-WOAAAHH-WOAAHHH’. Those big swoops of sound towards the end of the phrase are delivered in painful yet unabashedly bad singing, something you can’t help but admire and smile to. ‘Junk Shop’ is just the one-two punch out, followed swiftly by ‘Lesbian Wife’, a song I reviewed a couple of days, or weeks ago (memory of a goldfish). Be careful, as ‘Lesbian Wife’ is dangerously catchy, and you do not want to be caught singing that at the top of your lungs outside a lesbian bar. Just trust me on this one.

Besides the super down-to-earth, dude with a guitar and some pot vibes, another major point of the album is Craig Dermody’s residency in New York City. This comes up on tracks like ‘Fakin’ NYC’, ‘Gammy Leg’ and ‘Spring St’. It’s like Sonic Youth all over again, except completely different, and devoid of any arty 15 minute noise-feedback solos. Anyway, back to the topic of New York songs, ‘Spring St’ in particular inspires a longing and sadness song not felt  in a twee pop since the last Belle & Sebastian. When listening to it for the first time, it’s so subtle and nuanced, it almost seems like filler, but on closer inspection, it’s the standout of the album. It’s heartfelt and swoopingly beautiful and sort of acts as a general map of the entire album. In fact, it’s so goddamn heartbreaking, if you’re not blowing your nose and dabbing your eyes with tissues like the sullen twelvie you are, you are not a human being. And that’s a fact.

Simplicity works in favour in the album. Oh yes, it does. It works in favour of the album like a boner works in favour during a porn shoot. It almost seems like a given, but you’d be surprised at how often the vital element has disappeared. ‘Any Port in a Storm’ is so laidback, it makes Laidback Luke feel like a dickhead for even attempting to utilise the adjective. It’s so normal and average, yet heartfelt and warm, that it’s damn nigh impossible not to fall in love with every song on the album. Every description, every theme, every story, it all seems so random and trivial. However, these are the things that make Scott & Charlene’s Wedding a human and accessible band, a band that’s relatable to every Average Joe that’s had a shit day, wants to get the attention of a special lady, or can’t decide whether to spend the last of their rent money on booze or weed. Scott & Charlene’s Wedding have released such a great album in ‘Any Port in a Storm’, I feel like I might cry with happiness and how saved I feel right now. Wait, too late, Niagra Falls has proceeded in my bedroom, and the Sonic Youth poster is already mildly soaked. I need to stop listening to this fantazeballs album before I’m swimming in a water-protein solution.