New: Scotdrakula – Skeleton Fever

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A few months ago, a Facebook event popped up that said something along the lines of “FINAL SCOTDRAKULA SHOW…”, and my heart jumped into my mouth. Beads of sweat trailed down my scalp, a burning rash of anxiety shot through my innards – Scotdrakula were breaking up???

Yes, and no – Scotdrakula will continue, but without the spiritual mentorship and bass whizz Dove Bailey, who has left for New York. On the upside, Dove has made his final mark with “Skeleton Fever”, a significantly beautiful song that needs your ears like Mike Baird needs a crack in the head. It follows down the road of Scotdrakula’s more poignant jams like “Break Me Up”, gently unspooling alongside a buzzing organ and toe-tapping guitar melodies. With it’s yearning chorus and hazy charm, there’s something immediately comfortable “Skeleton Fever”, even if you’re only hearing it for the first time.  And although it’s comparatively quieter to the speedy, jilted garage-pop they’ve became known for, it still hits home as hearteningly as anything Scotdrakula have written before.

Scotdrakula are going on the huge ‘Up the Guts’ tour of Australia with Scott and Charlene’s Wedding, Ali E, Ben Wright Smith and more – dates here

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Video: The Ocean Party – Back Bar

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Another year, another Ocean Party record – it’s the stuff that helps folks like myself battle through these freezing winters. When the frostbite sets in, just know that the OP Crew will be personally delivering one of the records of the year any day now. And so, without further ado, take off the gloves and check out their latest, “Back Bar”, from their forthcoming sixth album.

After pumping out album after album, “Back Bar” shows that The Ocean Party have perfected their brand of pop. Close your eyes, and seep into that familiar Ocean Party sound of crisp guitars and honeyed vocals.

Then open those eyes and witness the terror of their new video – it’s David Cronenberg meets jangle-pop! A body horror film brought to you by Melbourne’s favourite sons! I’ve never been so repulsed and turned on in my entire life.

Get lubed up and catch The Ocean Party when they swing through town for a free show at the Union Hotel on the 9th of July, with old mates Cool Sounds.

PREMIERE: Plum – Dead Leg

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Caleb Jacobs probably couldn’t have picked a better name for his solo project than Plum. It’s sweet, juicy and colourful – it’s a punch of refreshment, delivered with a bang to the taste buds. It’s not boring like an apple, and doesn’t feel the need to flamboyantly overextend in the fruit dick measuring contest like a fucking dragonfruit. It’s just a beautiful, gorgeous Plum.

Confused? Probably. But take a garner at Plum’s latest single “Dead Leg”, and it’ll all make sense. Following on from last year’s Black Doris EP, Plum dives further into the washed synth territory that was only hinted at. Lush walls of sparkly sound shoot up on Dead Leg”, reminding of Chromatics, Youth Lagoon and Washed Out. It’s simple, but there’s an elegance and satisfaction in that – by the end of this, there’s a solid chance that you’ll be just as satisfied as you would after having thrown down one of Jacobs’ titular purple fruit.

Plum will be launching “Dead Leg” on July 2nd at OAF Gallery Bar, on a bill that includes Melbourne’s Glaciers and the always fantastic Black Springs

New: Alex Lahey – Let’s Go Out

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Talking a bunch of shit on this ratty blog pales in comparison to a Best New Music thumbs up from Pitchfork, but hey, here we go. Alex Lahey, a bloody star and a half, is only three tracks deep, but fuck, if you  have even a 30-second geez at what she’s put out, it’s fair to say you’ll be more hooked than a game of Big Buck Hunter that’s broken and accidentally spitting out free games.

Let’s take a proper gander at this bloody recipe for success:

  1. Her latest, “Let’s Go Out” is a song about cutting loose set to a plucky riff, that features a chorus infectious enough to cause pangs of jealousy in Madonna.
  2. The video features a dog.

Seriously, that’s all you need to put together an absolute barnstormer of a single. Good on ya Laz, this one’s a ripper.

New: Good Boy – Poverty Line

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I’ve always liked Brissy’s Good Boy – songs like “Transparency” were always enough to perk the ears, but I had yet to catch the song that made me switch from Jekyll to Hyde, sauntering up to whoever happened to be closest and interrogating them with news of the track. That mentality (and my mental state) has shifted dramatically with the introduction to their new single “Poverty Line” – I’m sold like a goon sack to a 17 year old on their way to their formal after party.

It’s not just the Eddy Current-styled trashy delivery that lifts this song, or the vitriolic subject matter that hits way too close to my exceedingly empty bank account. “Poverty Line” feels infinitely more convincing and urgent – there’s real spit behind that yelp. The dust bowl has been stirred, and the sting in your eyes feels good, it makes you feel alive and excited. Good Boy are prepping the needle for an impromptu stick ‘n’ poke that’ll turn out to be your favourite tattoo. They’re not just another band – they’re THE FUCKING BAND.

New: Collarbones – The Cut

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Not too long ago, I was part of a heaving audience at the Oxford Art Factory in Sydney, one of many who were caked in sweat and adoration for our hometown heroes Collarbones. On that night, they dropped their yet unreleased “The Cut”, and instantly there was a presence that had been unfelt until that point – something dangerous and sensual.

A few months later, and Collarbones have unleashed “The Cut” to the world, and it’s exactly how I remembered it. Beginning with a few tantalising moments of Marcus Whale unwrapping his desires in that transfixing way only he is capable of, followed by a thudding garage beat that pours salt into the fresh wound Whale just opened up.

“The Cut” warps and shifts, successfully fusing the tranquility of Collarbones’ earlier work with the savage pop stabbings of “Turning”. Not only does it make for exciting music, but it pulls out the Bic and boils the blood in anticipation for whatever Collarbones will pull out next.

New: Hot Spoke – Outlines

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Right now, I imagine most folks are going to their places of employment with the caution of entering Chernobyl. Hazmat suit on, extra oxygen tank at the ready, heartbeats racing every time a colleague leans their head back to sneeze. Office life is a fucking war zone, I tell ya.

Well, here’s a few hot tips on how to handle all that sickness panic. Heat up a cup of tea, rack up a couple of Codral, and ward off the  various winter plagues with Hot Spoke’s “Outlines”

When the voice of Vanessa Jade kicks in, you’re more than welcome to see just how far your jaw can drop. What a bloody serene voice! I could listen to Jade hover on that “In the Outlands…” chorus for just about a million years, I reckon. Couple that with some beautiful alt-country instrumentation that wouldn’t be out of place on the latest release from Jagjaguwar or Woodsist, and you’ve got a band that could give Angel Olsen a run for her money.

New: Witch Hats – Deliverence

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THEY’RE BACK! They said it couldn’t be done, but new Witch Hats has landed in our laps, and fuck me, doesn’t it sound great? Although they’ve mellowed since their earlier noise offerings like “Ma Birthday”, this new stuff still has plenty of kick and snarl to beckon your attention.

“Deliverance” pulsates with power, starting small before unleashing the fireworks at the end. It’s got an irrepressable swagger, the kind that you’d find adorned on the blemished, bruised but never beaten bloke at the back of the pub who’s obviously got a few stories under his belt. Every time that chorus comes round, there’s another blow to the chest, a flick behind the ears, an electrical shock to the pleasure centres in the brain. When that final boom is heard in the last few moments of “Deliverance”, aided by the usual Witch Hats cacophony, you can’t help but want to detach your jaw so you can sing just that little bit louder and bawdier.

Deliverance will be coming out on July 1st on Behind the Beat Records.

New: No Local – Thinking the Wrong Things

12977220_1549345078693189_582633036424664137_oI’ve had the severe displeasure of growing up in suburb that doesn’t have a decent pub for km’s. You have to drive for twenty minutes before a schnitty special even crops up, and even then, you’re looking at a price that would make the average punter balk. So, when a band that comes around with a name like No Local – a two word phrase that sums up the existensial dread felt by every Australian lacking their home away from home – you’ve gotta dive in head first.

On top of having the most spot-on band name in recent memory, No Local is also the new vehicle for Zac and Snowy from The Ocean Party, which means that even though “Thinking the Wrong Things” is their first song, it’s a bloody good one. Lush pop that features whirring synths, a grumbling bass line and Snowy’s instantly recognizable breezy voice.

No Local are playing a few shows at the Tote this week: Thursday night as part of Shining Bird’s “Helluva Lot” single launch (also w/  Lowtide and Glaciers) and on Friday as part of the Zone Out album launch.

Video: Hideous Towns – Don’t Forget

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I’ve been sick as a dog the last few days – lungs filling up with black fluid, mucus pooling around my nostrils, the hint of death looming closer and closer – that sort of thing. When you’re in a state like that, it helps to have some really beautiful music to hold onto; something slow and warm, brimming with comfort. Essentially, you want the audio equivalent of a nice soup and herbal tea combo.

And this new one from Hideous Towns should sort you right out. Heavy dollops of reverb, a very gentle, purring riff, and some gorgeous vocals that soar over the top. It’s both hugely expansive and intimate, like a Snuggie stitched with shoegaze instead of phenomenal thread count. If you’re under the weather, the electric blanket is missing, and you’re searching for a reason to live in the face of an invasion from the sniffles, look no further.