Mixtape: Oz Do It Better!

 

Fuck me with a spatula, and call me Gordon Ramse! There is no way anyone will be able to beat the eye-popping names on the latest mixtape from Peking Tapes.

Let me lay it out for you like this: Do you like Parading? Or Day Ravies? Or Shrapnel? Or Cat Cat? Or Wizard Oz? Or…fuck me, every name on this compilation is like Aus underground royalty, and every second you waste reading this is a second that could be spent buying this tape.

But if you insist on getting the blow-byblow, let’s start at the top: Andre begins things with a squelchy guitar romper called ‘Single Town’, and then Parading double down on that crunchy reverb with an exclusive single entitled ‘Try to Do A Good Thing’. From there, it’s one of my favourites off Shrapnel’s debut, a cool pop song called ‘Baby Picks Up’, followed by a jangly one from Cat Cat that manages to be both sad and relieved at the same time, the perfect song for when you’ve got your back turned on something.

Mac DeMarco on crack gets channeled excessively in the track, ‘You Were Mine’, from Colours, as lazy guitar mingles with clashing noise. The middle of this is a brilliant mind-fuck, moving between twinkling emptiness and a feeding frenzy of feedback. Day Ravies continue down this road of overblown noise in their contribution ‘Drink the Ocean’, a track that starts quaint and Pavement-esque, and then bombards the listener with squirming noise towards the end.

Wizard Oz dilute the waters with a frowning track called ‘Go Home’, a song swarming with warm synth work and lyrics that are more desperate than the Socceroos attempts at a World Cup.

Now, after a mixture of noisy and down-tempo tracks, Australia’s garage/slacker scene gets a chance to shine, with contributions from Cool Sounds, The Ocean Party, Thigh Master, Disgusting People and The Grease Arrestor. Each of these songs is warmer than a dole cheque, and they’ve got more heart than those lab-rats with organs grown on them.

The best mixtape ever ends with two amazing pop tunes from Snowy Nasdaq and Moondice, both providing tracks that could easily fit into the ‘Sexy Time’ playlist (that you’ve never used before).

To summarise, the title of this playlist doesn’t even remotely do the contents justice. Oz does music so good, they should outlaw other countries music, and just have this playlist on repeat globally. The songs on here are more or less the pinnacle of human achievement. Sure, there may be a bit of gratuitous hyperbole in that last statement, but until the other continents catch up and release a mixtape as good as this, then Australia wins the award for best underground music in the world. Take that, Brooklyn!

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Album Review: Parading-Swallowing a Sunflower

The last time I went to a parade, I fucking hated it. I mean, let’s face it, parades fucking suck. If there were personal Hell’s being devised, mine would just be an endlessly long line of floats and twirling acrobats and the Mayor and shit. God, it would be despicably awful. I would probably go insane.

However, as of last month, the word ‘Parade’ found itself with a saving grace in the form of a post-rock band from Melbourne deciding that the word shouldn’t be associated with the shit sandwich that is a normal parade. Admittedly, Parading (the band) have been around a lot longer than ‘last month-ish’, but their record ‘Swallowing a Sunflower’ came out then, and its my duty to ensure that the small fraction of the internet that stumbles upon this website know that the word parading shouldn’t be immediately tied down and owned by egotistical twats that want to shut down streets in honour of some bullshit made up shenanigans.

 

First up, it should be said that Parading are unique as fuck. Their sound is like the post-punk of the 80’s accidentally got caught in a The Fly sort of contraption with British shoegaze, and has been living in a dark corner of their basement ever since. 2011 was the first time this creature ever stepped into the realm outside of darkness, and ever since its been getting appraised because its a fucking awesome combination of all things awesome.

But enough of my terrible comparisons, and onto the record itself. There isn’t a bad song on here, not a single one. It doesn’t seem possible, but tear-stained rock doesn’t get boring with Parading. It just drones on and on with total, unkempt beauty, droning away with unparalleled greatness. There’s that dolewave vibe coming through a bit on the songs, similar to The Ocean Party, but the loudness of the tracks, and the weird, bent vibes of the guitars and bass ensure that your brain is jailed by the music.

‘Swallowing a Sunflower’ is an apt name for the record, as the songs are kind of adding a black, gothic nature to really beautiful topics. ‘Country Song’ plods along with an acoustic guitar on one hand, just being all dainty and shit, but the undercurrent of echoing adds a dismal damper to it that elevates the track to having a fuck-tonne of tension. Same goes with ‘Dreaming About Killing’, a beautiful melody that’s sliced and diced with an overload of fuzz and morally decrepit lyric. Even the cover of ‘Factory’, originally by Bruce Springsteen, holds a little menace to it, and that song is about as stunning as they come.

Overall, Parading have not only evaporated all the negative connotations attached the word parading, but have created one hell of an album whilst doing it. Their marrying of the powerful, wicked and gorgeous into one three course meal of amazing is sustained throughout their entire record and for that, we, the music loving public of the globe, thank you. At the very least, the Reid brothers from The Jesus and Mary Chain are quaking in their boots that a couple of blokes from Australia are playing their game better than they are.

You can grab ‘Swallowing a Sunflower’ from Birds Love Fighting, the label operated by the band. Whilst you’re there, check out a bunch of the other killer records on there, from the likes of The Ocean Party and Heirophants.