A Comprehensive List of Everything I’ve Forgotten To Write About in the Last Three Months. Pt. 1 Punk/Post-Punk/Experimental

 

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After a three month mild mental breakdown, during which I decided that writing about music was the devil’s work, I’ve come back to furiously type hyperbolic phrases that make no sense. Lucky you. Anyway, there’s been a heap of music that I missed while I was busy having a sook:

Punk/Post-Punk/Experimental

Tyrannamen – Self-Titled

Seriously, watching this band was the reason I decided I wanted to write about bands again. Seeing them play, going home, buying and then smashing the record to within an inch of its vinyl life, I felt compelled to tell other people.  It’s hard to listen to this album and not want to reach out to whoever’s nearest, sit them down, and regale them with this unflinching rock ‘n’ roll masterpiece. If there’s one band you should listen to from this list, make it these guys.

 

Twinrova – Elitist

A brooding goth sneer from Sydney, makes you want to sit in the rain and spit on people as they hurry by, knowing that they’ll never notice because of drizzle

Dry Finish – String Me Along

Dry Finish sat at the top of the pile as far as new punk bands in Sydney. Listening to them is a lot like how I imagine what it would be like to be strapped down to a surgical table in the basement of a scientist who scored his medical degree through the deep web and repeated viewings of A Clockwork Orange. Suck shit if you missed them before their guitarist moved overseas, these guys were the best.

California Girls – Desire

Melancholy drum-machine and drone combo from Canberra. If you’re in a wrist-slitting mood, chuck this on.

Sex Tourists – Birthday Party

The highlight from their three song debut EP, and possibly one of the saddest tracks I’ve ever listened to. That opening line never fails to reduce me to a sobbing pile of shit. These guys would probably be Roland S. Howard’s favourite band if he was still kicking.

Black Cab – Uniforms

Ambitious, thrusting electronica with a post-punk sheen, the latest from Black Cab propels itself on a stirring rhythm that almost makes you feel something close to hope. Turn off the alarm, turn off the phone, close the blinds, and sink into thiiiiiiiis.

Spike Fuck – GUTS

I feel the same way about this song as I did when I heard “Shivers”, “Wide Open Road” and “Dream Baby Dream” for the first time. It’s a quiet epic that plunges into the heart cavity and claws your insides into the kind of mess the cops find at a crime scene and sends the first responder into the trauma ward.

Wives – Devoted to You

Brutally underrated Canberra band with a post-punk record that stabs and stabs and stabs and stabs and stabs and stabs. The chanting vocals, the whirring jabs of guitar, the toe-curling melodies, it’s the whole fuckin’ package.

Publique – Wax/Suffer

Total Control and A Place to Bury Strangers clash on a surging tidal wave of feedback and blood-curdling screams.

School Damage – Lift Off

In an alternate, much cooler reality, this is the theme song to The X-Files.

Nite Fields – Voyeur

Paranoid and tense newness from one of Brisbane’s best. Three and a half minutes of subterranean, pitch black post-punk, occasionally slashed with fiery shouts and sharp guitar.

Miles Brown – Seance Fiction

I was halfway through a mammoth album review of this record when I lost my mind and decided that writing was a huge waste of time, and the review never came out. I should’ve finished it though, so maybe others could have maybe found out about it if they accidentally clicked on this site. Seance Fiction is incredibly complex, and infinitely worth jumping into. It’s dark, dense and murky; once you dive in, you can’t leave.

Muscle Memory – Altar Boy / Underground

This thing burns, like wrapping your hand around the wrong end of a soldering iron.

HANNAHBAND –  29ER

Great earnest emo with a punk slant that reminds me of what it was like to be 15 and think everything in the world was running against you. Sweats like a teenager who’s stuck on a family holiday and hasn’t had a cigarette in four days.

Ace Romeo – Hyperdrive

Should’ve done this ages ago, but this album rules, yeah? It’s pretty much a lost John Carpenter soundtrack, back when he was making badass movies with Kurt Russell.

Clever – Your Eyesore’s Sweet

Punk rock done in the style of a George A. Romero movie. It’s a chainsaw shoved down your throat sort of thing.

Bad Lifers – Shelf Life

Like the Tyrannamen album, this was recorded ages ago, and has only been released recently, if you count November of last year as recent. Anyway, this album is to scuzzy punk what I am to laziness.

Whitney Houston’s Crypt – Hatofold Boyfriend

Fuck me.

 

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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.

New: Nite Fields – You I Never Knew

Nite Fields are the sort of band that makes your heart jump into your throat incredibly quickly. Sure, it’s a bit of a health hazard, but when post-punk is made this beautifully, the thumping beat of your vital organs in your oesophagus becomes secondary to your primary motive of soaking up this bloody great band.

Newly signed to the awesome label felte Records, who have also put out Sydney dudes Mysteries, White Hex and Standish/Carlyon, “You I Never Knew” is part New Order, circa-Low Life, Power Corruption & Lies, inserted with some of that blank drawl that makes Brisbane one of the greatest musical cities on the planet right now. Although covered in glossy sheen, Nite Fields still manage to show through a bit of a decrepit sneer in their lyrics and delivery. Worth the free download? Only as much as a platinum edition of “Terminator 2”!