New: Parquet Courts + Popstrangers + Makthaverskan + White Lung

Today’s edition of Ryan’s jizz-tastic explorations is brought to you by the genre: FUZZ. Also, none of these bands are from ‘Straya, so there’s that as well. So many connections, this article feels more like The Matrix than a boring blog post, amirite?

Parquet Courts-Sunbathing Animal

In my own humble opinion, Parquet Courts are the kind of band that the world needs now. Fuck love, we need Parquet Courts. Luckily, the band are never shy of releasing material on a constant basis. Since ‘breaking’ with their official debut record ‘Light Up Gold’ in 2012/2013, they’ve released an EP, and are gunning to release a new album in a few months. ‘Sunbathing Animal’ is the title track, as well as the first taste, and in typical Parquet Courts fashion it doesn’t let up. It’s more furious than Vin Diesel being denied another access to the weights room/steroid lab, and is full of tangled, cross-eyed guitar. There’s the usual speeding, finger-flipping stream-of-consciousness lyrics, and overall, Parquet Courts fail to disappoint. Fuck Parquet Courts for being unable to suck shit.

 

Popstrangers-Country Kills

Popstrangers blasted out of New Zealand with their shoegaze laden debut, but they’ve swapped it for some more straightforward rock on the first single from their upcoming sophomore.And when I say straightforward, I mean a zebra-striped, peeling guitar riff that sniffed the acid residue from an Unknown Mortal Orchestra orgy, and then a chorus of head-bopping, cruise-controlled infectiousness. And of course, there’s a mushy psych guitar solo in there, because it wouldn’t be a decent Popstrangers track without one.

 

Makthaverskan-No Mercy

I always wondered if Savages ever lost their viciousness, would they still be any good? Deadset, some random band from Sweden answered that question, and have created a post-punk masterpiece. It starts out like any Jesus & Mary Chain/Joy Division/Sisters of Mercy sound alike, the deep bass ruts providing a sturdy, swirling pedestal. Then the vocals start, and your heart melts faster than a chocolate fountain. As the song swoons on the precipice of perfection, there’s these gorgeous little guitar interludes, and you want to die and live in a place where this song exists as a currency. “Hi, can I grab an apple?”, “That’ll be two spins of ‘No Mercy'”. Wouldn’t that be the best alternate universe ever?

White Lung-Drown With the Monster

And to finish, some screeching, caterwauling punk from Vancouver’s White Lung. These guys are so brutal and knife-edge they make Crocodile Dundee look like a pussy. They command and strut with this new song, always careening on the edge of oblivion and blown-out eardrums. If this isn’t punk rock finesse, then obviously you’re an Avril Lavigne fan. Party on sk8r boi.

Advertisements

Gig Review: Laneway Festival

One word summarisation of article: Go!

Sunday 2nd of February @ Rozelle College of Arts

Laneway Festival is, without a doubt, the musical event to most look forward to on the Sydney music calendar. Its planned the way a serial killer plans their first murder, with extraneous care and meticulous planning. Every year, the booking of the festival reads like a who’s who of the biggest artists of the moment, and 2014 was no exception. In short, if you didn’t go to Laneway this year, you fucked yourself over.

Besides the music, Laneway surpasses the other big festivals of the calendar because they put in considerable effort to create one of the nicest, most relaxing and beautiful places to enjoy yourself. Set at the Rozelle College of Arts and the park surroundings, you could actually lay down in front of the two main stages and never move, and you’d still have yourself one of the best days of your year. And if you came to the festival but hate music, then you can simply plug in some earplugs, and check out a bunch of other attractions. Thankfully, in this case it doesn’t mean a rollercoaster that’ll put you back $50, but rather some art installations, a vinyl tent, or the food trucks. Yep, the fucking food trucks went off. Best festival food I’ve had in my entire life.

But why the fuck would you scrape a ticket if you hated tunes? What kind of sick, sadistic bastard steals a Laneway ticket from someone else and doesn’t even watch a single act on display? You’d have to be Barry O’Farrell-esque to execute a move that dick-ish. Which is why I got to the festival as early as possible, and clambered to the stage where The Growl were playing. The Growl are another Tame Impala-affiliated project, this time from Cam Avery. However, the music couldn’t be further from psychedelic. They’re a rumbling band, with Avery channeling his inner Tex Perkins to great effect. One word description-swagger. Not swag, swagger.

Although the songs on display were pretty cool (understatement, you can download some of The Growl’s songs here) and a couple of their new tracks really got excitement levels sky high, the band seemed a bit tired on stage. Regardless of the act and amount of hip-thrusts one can shove into a song, opening a festival is fucking hard.

However, on the Red Bull/Future Classic Stage, things were heating up for the few in attendance for Scenic, another Perth act. However, these guys were more akin to Jagwar Ma than Tame Impala. They were effortlessly cool up on stage, pushing out the synth-psych vibes like they were Daddy Warbucks handing out opportunities to orphaned red heads. All their songs contained a sense of danger and cutting edge, and the constant jogging and energy onstage was pretty hard to look away from, or even ironically imitate. Nope, it was way too fucking hot and energetic to try and impersonate. To the guys from Scenic, give up your day jobs and become athletes, you’ve got crazy stamina. Or just keep pumping out tunes like ‘Ride The Thrill’, either is good for me.

After taking on some of the majesty of Scenic, it was off to Drenge, the two-piece garage punks from the UK that would hopefully take my brain to town. However, unfortunately, the two-piece couldn’t catch a break on stage. Undoubtedly, their music is much more suited to an intimate 200-person max show in a dingy basement. On stage, Drenge put out some great vibes, but their equipment was, simply put, fucked. Wind ruined the sound, making their screeches barely audible. And on the topic of screeches, unwanted feedback and a mildly consistent them of pedals cutting out mid song made it hard to appreciate Drenge the way they probably should be appreciated. I mean, ‘Bloodsports’ is such a killer track, and a few other songs alighted comparisons to DZ Deathrays (whom are an obvious choice of band to spend the rest of your life following around). Unfortunately, with the lack of power and conviction, Drenge remained a mild band to watch under the blistering heat.

So, some knob decided that after Drenge, we should go see Autre Ne Veut instead of the brilliant Kirin J Callinan. Obligingly, I followed, only to be met with roughly three minutes of the lamest horse shit this side of a McDonald’s McRib. When you hear the words, up and coming New York producer, there’s an inherent hope that you’re going to witness the next James Murphy. Instead, we were handed a guy that wanted to be Drake so badly, despite not showcasing any of the capabilities that gives the mirage of Drake being good. Instead, there was over-the-top theatrics with absolutely no pay off. Its like the Titanic soundtrack being performed by a white Lil’ Wayne. Autre Ne Veut wants to put so many random brands all into the one performance, whilst holding it under the banner of ‘synergy’. If he were an Office Space character, he’d be the boss. It was time to leave after Autre Ne Veut graduated from kneeling on the floor to standing in a Jesus Christ pose on the PA.

Back to Kirin J Callinan on the main stage, and he’s putting on a performance worthy of such a title. He stands defiantly, wearing an Eddy Merckx cyclist jersey, he swarms through his material from his EP’s and debut record ‘Embracism’. Whilst most might know him for his challenging music that puts all genres in a melting pot to come up with something infinetely more progressive than whatever Autre Ne Veut is pushing, the stand outs from the set where his more 80’s tunes. Think of The Boys Next Door, The Triffids, Killing Joke and Echo & The Bunnymen, then fast-forward a few decades, where Tony Abbott rules with an iron, hypocritical fist. Replace Nick Cave with a taught, beady and charisma-reeking frontman, and you’ve got the Kirin J Callinan project. Diverse and entertaining as anything, ‘Landslide’ and ‘W II W’ were particularly testicle-wringingly good. And the fact he’s got the perfect 2GB radio host voice, and an affinity for shirtless-ness makes his performances all that more enthralling.

Here’s something that I’m sure a lot of people would like to know-King Krule has got fucking nothing on Run the Jewels. Whilst my ginger compadre sways with the mediocre, Killer Mike and El-P put on one of the most memorable festival sets I’ve ever seen. There’s nothing bad to say about Run the Jewels, and really, the only thing that can be sad is that you need to go see this group and download their album right now (it can be done for free and legally right here). Watching the group, it was impossible to not get swept up in the hype and joy that they machine-gunned from the stage. They wrought the crowd happily weak with their tracks from their only record and solo albums, with songs like ‘Sea Legs’, 36″ Chain’ and the closer of ‘A Christmas Fucking Miracle’ causing the audience to lose their shit with the most fabulously stupid grins sported on their faces.

As if their hyper-speed music wasn’t enough on record, the flawless verses of Killer Mike, a combination of the old-school Big Boi and new school of Rick Ross, were executed to perfection. El-P more than held his weight, running his own verses around the crowd like he was lassoing them into a hip-hop cult. And the stage banter! Never have I laughed like I laughed at this show. If Killer Mike and El-P ever feel like giving up on hip-hop, then stand up is there fallback. Never has the repeated phrase of ‘SWAG’ sounded so glorious.

Finally, Run the Jewels were so special because there is an intensely strong bond between these two rappers. Although so different fro the outside, they share the characteristics of completely genuine people, both on stage and with each other. The professional and personal courtesy they share is what makes great musical acts, not just in hip-hop, but across all musical genres. If you want to see entertainment at it’s highest order, go to a Run the Jewels show.

After being fantastically bombasted in the first set of the day that forced me to dance and throw up my hands in the fist ‘n’ pistol sign, Dick Diver was scheduled to bring things down to a normal pace. Unfortunately, this was easier said than done. Although Dick Diver have released two stellar records, and are now considered one of the forerunners of Australia’s musical scenery, technical issues prevented them from showcasing their talent. Whilst Al Montfort’s bass was considerably fucking up, Steph Hughes tried to keep the dwindling crowd with a bit of banter, and an impromtu ‘Guess That Riff!’, although eventually she resigned that ‘…maybe we should just play something?”. With the blistering heat and the lack of music, Dick Diver unfortunately lost a hefty portion of the crowd.

But those who stayed were infinitely rewarded as the band went through their slacker pop classics like ‘Calender Days’ and ‘Through the D’. Pretty much a perfect cure to being molested by energy from the Run the Jewels set. Dick Diver are definitely a band to cherish, and its a solid bummer that there weren’t more people that had faith enough in the band that they could come back from the technical fuck ups.

Perhaps I got too accustomed to the lack of being crowded at Dick Diver, because xxyyxx became too much. The music itself is almost perfect electronic music. One cannot underestimate how good xxyyxx really is, and live, the man is a soul-train of glitchy, R&B infused ambience. However, the crowd at the performance was too harrowing. There was no room to move or dance, and the stifling nature meant that you either saw xxyyxx or you placed yourself in a position of minor comfort. Eventually, it was a better option to sacrifice the visual element for the audible element, but it would’ve been nice to see how these magnificent tunes unfolded.

On the other hand, Daughter were a band that were able to be enjoyed in a comfortable environment that will be referred to from now on as Laneway-esque. This Laneway-esque environment is one of complete leisure. You know those scenes in movies where people are lying in hammocks in a tropical paradise? Fuck that. Give me a sprawled lawn, and Daughter playing their hazier-than-thou tunes that smother (PUN!) you in smiles, any day over that. Stunning.

Following a set of dripping gorgeousness, it was time for the exact opposite: Parquet Courts. Along with this band came the only clash of the day-see some stoner punks from Brooklyn, the jaw-dropping Kurt Vile or the hyped and mind-blowing Jagwar Ma. Decisions, decisions! However, the correct choice of Parquet Courts was made. After a shaky intro, they launched into what was basically a greatest-hits set of Sonic Youth and Pavement-owing garage rock. ‘Borrowed Time’, ‘You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now’, and of course, ‘Stoned and Starving’, with some lesser-knowns like ‘Donuts Only’, ‘Careers in Combat’ and They blew through song after song, building each two/three minute track into a tiny pedestal of amazing. They attached themselves to their instruments, attacking them with a ferocity that’s hardly ever seen these days.

With their instruments in tow, the members bended and shook the fabrications of garage rock, throwing their tools around the stage, trying to get that perfect squeal of feedback. It’s this sort of mentality that made it seem like every member was completely enthralled in their own thing, yet the magic of Parquet Courts is how they manage to tie it all down. Although each instrument sounds like its cartwheeling off on a mushroom-laden adventure, the effect is a giant Phil Spector wall of sound that contains a million little melodies. It’s like this on record, but that’s more than one could hope for in the flesh, right? But Parquet Courts pulled it off, and they did it with every-man flair, like they just walked from the bong-ozone after doing an eight hour shift at the local deli. It also helps that their guitarist looks a lot like Thurston Moore. Parquet Courts are one of the best guitar bands of the present age, so go see them this Wednesday at The Standard.

So Parquet killed it, and that was almost expected, but the big surprise of the day apart from Run the Jewels, was HAIM. I love HAIM quite a bit, but there wasn’t the mindset that they’d turn out to be the foul-mouthed, crowd-adored bombasters that they were. God, after seeing HAIM, not only was I enthralled with everything about them, but I wanted to be the drummer in their band. I can’t play drums, but you know I’d fucking learn if it meant getting to hang with the three coolest sisters on the planet.

HAIM have basically done what no other artist has been able to do. They signed to a major right off the bat, got a bunch of meaningless press done by Rolling Stone, NME and Spin, and then put out an album that had no choice but to be heralded. However, these are all very behind-the-scenes occurrences, and a bit of my mind was certain that it was all this elaborate studio ruse, and HAIM actually fucking sucked.

I was so, so wrong. On stage, the sisters strike a resemblance to a sassy Led Zeppelin that’s been shrouded in California sunshine and immersed in Kanye West songs. They were flawless, and I’m sorry I ever derided them in passing. There is nothing but good things to be said about the band’s set. From the versatility and expertise executed musically, to the loud confidence that rubs off from the girls, HAIM are probably one of the most proficient bands around. But that’s not all. They’re music was made to be shouted back by thousands of adoring fans, and its not some sort of flavour of the month bullshit. ‘The Wire’, ‘Falling’, and ‘Don’t Save Me’ are just a few of the songs in HAIM’s set that proved that the band are more than worthy of headliner status. In fact, every song HAIM played seem to just cause the crowd, and myself to swoon even more. The plan was to just catch 20 minutes of the set, but they forced me to stay for the majority. Absolutely fabulous and unique band, live and on record.  Everyone should take this as evidence to go and get their album, immediately.

Oh, and for all those wondering about those rumours of Baby Haim having a weird bass face…totally true.

It was weird then, that after an unexpected high from HAIM, Danny Brown put on a strange performance. There was nothing inherently wrong with what Danny did on stage. He was unsurprisingly charismatic, but he seemed a bit tired, as though he was struggling with what he had to do. There were the trademarks of course-KISS tongue, childish giggles and a constantly swishing frizz of hair. And his actual proficiency on a microphone is uncontested. But, although the vibes emanating from the stage were forceful, there wasn’t the complete joyousness in the air that accompanied Run the Jewels.

Regardless of whatever cosmic uncertainty I was feeling,  Danny Brown’s set proved to be an exercise in rap fertility. The crowd were in a completely rambunctious state, crowd surfing becoming a norm, and dead-set moshing occuring. Perhaps it was the propensity for air-horns in Danny Brown’s music, the anthemic structure of his songs (‘Kush Coma’ and ‘Dope Song’ proved to be riotous), or the male dominated crowd. Who knows? But the violence hit an all time high when a fan rushed the stage and got the shit promptly kicked out of him by security, the DJ and Danny Brown’s Samuel L. Jackson look-alike bodyguard. Meanwhile, Danny didn’t miss a beat onstage. In summarisation, it was the abundance of attitude and ego that killed an otherwise glorious performer. After seeing someone get fucking thrashed so nonchalantly, it was hard to enjoy ‘Dip’ with the drugged out glamour it deserved, and not even the forest of blunts could rectify the unease.

After Danny’s personally divisive set, Savages took the stage. Unfortunately, there weren’t a whole lot of people there to experience the greatness that is Savages-on the main stage was the all-conquering Lorde, whilst Earl Sweatshirt apparently dominated the Future Classic stage. That didn’t leave a whole lot of audience open to check out some furious all-female post-punk from London. On the plus side, it meant that only the loyal showed up, and Savages put on a performance that none would soon forget.

Jehnny Beth is an intimidating character, and as she worked through tracks from Savages’ debut record, she struck a pose that was a cross between a glaring Siouxsie Sioux and Jello Biafra during Dead Kennedy’s most fuck-you period. Whilst hits like ‘No Face’, ‘Husbands’ and ‘I Am Here’ threw themselves at the audience with blistering conviction, swirling mist covered the band, and the witching hour time slot made Savages’ set appear to be some kind of soundtrack to a cult gathering in a Glasgow marsh. If Merlin was a post-punk fan, Savages would be his favourite group.  The intimacy and furiosity offered by the band was second to none, and you really couldn’t help but be completely mesmerised by their dark, strutting majesty.

The most impressive factor of the band however is their ability to warp the dynamics of their songs until it feels like your very existence depends on whether Gemma Thompson can explode that guitar riff over bass players Ayse Hassan’s grumbling, treacle-lined bass lines. Within a few bars, Savages can switch between soaring heights and crushing lows, bringing the crowd into a frenzy they didn’t even know possible, showcased most effectively with the massive and bitter ‘She Will’ and the audience captivating ten-minute closer of ‘Fuckers’. By the end, everyone was so immersed in the music, when Beth asked for the crowd to inhale, and think of one fucker they hated, you could hear the punters thinking of that fucking dipshit that belonged six feet under. Jesus Christ, Savages are both brutal and intelligent, a dichotomy of the highest order. Give yourself to this band, and let them take you on the savage ride that your mind needs.

So, nothing could top Savages right? Well, Cloud Control basically took the viciousness of the previous band, and turned it into the most joyous and enthralling sets of the festival. The musicians, who are younger than Shia La Beouf is in Transformers, put on the most youthfully intoxicating set imagineable. Every track was sung with a belief and authenticity that would make Prince quake in his boots. There was more jumping involved in Cloud Control’s domination of the main stage than a yoga festival invaded by bull-ants.

So Cloud Control were super hyper and amazingly warm on stage? Cool man, but what about the music??? Well, they’ve got an EP and two albums to their name, but their 45 minute set was more greatest hits than collection of singles mixed with other shit. Seriously, not a bad song in the bunch, and because of this, the crowd would have done anything to continue the concert. Even the songs that seem more refined on record exploded on stage, ‘Scream Rave’ becoming an elated gospel track, and ‘Island Living’ literally detonating with Alastair playing his guitar solo with a sparkler attached to his guitar. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!?

So, with the polite tunes ramped up to considerable party levels, it only left the actual party songs to disappear into the heathens of amazing. ‘This Is What I Said’, ‘Meditation Song #2’ and closers ‘Scar’ and ‘There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight’ became staples of happiness amongst a crowd that simply couldn’t stop dancing and smiling, Cloud Control soundtracking the perfect hippie night of innocent debauchery. Oh yeah, did I mention that pulled off a fucking perfect cover of the Butthole Surfers ‘Pepper’ in the middle of ‘Gold Canary’? That thought alone gives me shivers. The fucking Surfers!? With ‘Gold Canary!? Jesus Christ, clean up on Aisle 12.

After one of the most spectacular performances, Unknown Mortal Orchestra finished off the night. Technically, I caught a bit of The Jezabels and Four Tet, but really, the most realistic conclusion point was with Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s flooring set. In terms of technical psychedelic guitar playing, UMO shit all over Tame Impala. Watching Ruban Nielson turn the guitar into whatever he wanted it to be, bending out sounds and then trampling on them within a quaver, was majestic.

On record, UMO come across as a plain-ish band, revelling in their simple fairy psych-pop for critical damage. However, when witnessing that sort of shredding on stage, and pairing it with the wholesome falsetto of Nielson, you’d be forgiven if you shat your pants in amazement. Massive hits like ‘Ffunny Friends’ and ‘So Good At Being In Trouble’ mingled amongst lesser known tracks that wrought awesome on all involved. Generally speaking, the audience was being immersed in the best psychedelic performance to hit Sydney in absolutely ages.

In short, Laneway is the most musically diverse, artistically progressive, and forward-thinking festivals on the music market right now, possibly on a global scale, considering Laneway’s success in Detroit last year. Going to festivals is usually fun, but Laneway take it to another level. They nurture and comfort the average punter in ways that the bigger festivals could never hope for. Not only is Laneway thoroughly enjoyable, but its fucking necessary, an event so enjoyable it leaves a post-festival void of emptiness in your heart.

Video: Parquet Courts-You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now

As inevitable failure in the form of the forthcoming English Paper 2 HSC exam creeps further forward in everyone’s mind, I combat your paranoia with the video for a song I’ve reviewed a fuck load before, and am still not tired of. Yep, the video for ‘You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now’ by Brooklyn stoner punks Parquet Courts is up and at ’em. Smart lyrics like ‘Seasicks better than heartsick baby’ come to life as a little red Pacman ghost dances along to them like a music video for a High School Musical song. In the background, some seriously weird shit in the form of a creative re-imagining of looking under a microscope in Year 8 goes on. Weird shit that’s weirder than purple poop-wouldn’t expect anything less from Parquet Courts.

Album Review: Parquet Courts-Tally All the Things That You Broke EP

If every Parquet Courts fan in the entire world met up in one place (let’s say…Arizona Desert? And call it something like….Burning Sasquatch?), and channelled the appropriate amount of excitement and adoration for this new EP that Parquet Courts just put out, there would be enough energy to power Europe for 21 days. Now, that might seem highly unlikely, illogical, and even impossible, but it’s a scientific fact that it would work. Just ask the dudes from MythBusters or something.

This new EP from Brooklyn-via-Texas band Parquet Courts (if you’ve been on this website before, you’ve probably heard the name) is a bonafide smash hit compromised of delectable tracks on par with ‘Paranoid Android’ and ‘Fire in Cairo’. In other news, what is hyperbole? Okay, so maybe I’m guilty of exaggeration and bias, but this EP is better than having a peanut butter and jam sandwich with Tupac.

It’s only a few tracks long, but ‘Tally All the Things That You Broke’ packs a punch, and surely the title holds over an element of foreshadowing after the first track is done. ‘You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now’ is fast and not very furious, but don’t take that to mean that you won’t go on a rampage of delight. There’s a little pan flute riff in there that makes you think both ‘What the fuck?’ and ‘Why isn’t that there pan flute in every song?’. The sweaty guitar breaks that occur twice in the song are also very fucking cool, like Jack Nicholson rapping Wu-Tang Clan levels of cool.

The EP moves onto ‘Descend (The Way)’, a shouty, underfed grimer, like that kid that you used to go to school with that always smelled like a dead body and ate rotting cheese for recess. After that dirty but delicious thing, there’s “The More It Works’, a song that wouldn’t sound out of place in an Ian McKaye set-list. The song’s only got se7en words in it, but it’s less Kevin Spacey decapitating your wife, and more ‘holy shit, let’s mosh until we decapitate ourselves’. As the guitar drips out, a slinky bass line kicks in for ‘Fall On Yr Face’ a narration driven track that shows off a more disturbed side to Parquet Courts than anything we’ve ever seen (Oh My!).

So far, the EP has been a happily haphazard affair, and super enjoyable. But shit’s about to get unreal with the announcement of ‘He’s Seeing Paths’. The obvious comparison would be Beck’s ‘Odelay’ what with the strangely addictive samples that collectively form a church of wacked out, smacked out noise. But ‘He’s Seeing Paths’ is too funky and cool for that. The sound pushes like it’s searching for something, and it keeps you hooked for a whole seven minutes, a very impressive feat for a band that’s made their name with hooky, verse driven two minute tracks. To divert into something that takes the funk of Stevie, and the throwback cool of Anton Newcombe, and to force them to make love over a cowbell riff…that takes balls. Best of all, it’s the standout track of the EP.

Overall, Parquet Courts have released a fucking awesome EP, a bunch of material that see’s the band gearing towards a freakier direction. Now that’s some shit that we can all get behind. A little weird, but still throwing out familiar bones for those of us that don’t want a 180-sound fiasco, this EP will  tide the fans over whilst we wait in mutual adoration for a sophomore record, and it will pick up a whole bunch of new fans. The punk may have dimmed a litte, but the freak-flag is still flying.

Parquet Courts will be playing Laneway festival in February, and are one of the top reasons to go (along with Cashmere Cat, Kurt Vile and Savages).

New: The Naysayers-Dee Eye Why

The Naysayers are a band down from Melbourne way that fucking rule harder than a wombat smoking meth and riding a surfboard. Their EP is a ramshackle, rickety thing, swinging in the breeze like some sort of rock n roll Tower of Pisa. However, once you get the fuck over yourself and actually listen to The Naysayers, you’ll see that this is a band with more badassery than a baby between Patrick Swayze’s mullet and Robert de Niro’s mole.

‘Dee Eye Why’ opens with ‘Too Oh Too Canning Street’, a makeshift harmonica rocker that has balls of steel and more wallop than The Mystery Salsa at any dodgy taco stand. The spice and fervor gets turned up a notch on the Greaser-punk of ‘I Didn’t Fall In Love Just To Stand In Line’, which kicks around harder than Bruce Lee if his hands were cut off. The slime punk takes a turn for the snotty on ‘Kleptomaniac’, an accusatory ‘I know that you steal!’ motif running next to the shouted ‘Kleptomaniac’ that snaps with crocodile teeth. Far from being a one-trick pony repetition, the proteges of Lars Ulrich, manage to bust out a badass solo in the middle of the track which saves it from monotony.

The second half of the EP is where shit gets to really start kicking up, in case you weren’t totally out of breath from the first half. ‘They Ain’t Swallowing Melodies’ has the sort of swampy pub-rock of country boys stirring up trouble that made Dukes of Hazard and Parquet Courts awesome. Next one, ‘Nothing But Change’ puts rockabilly into warp drive, a headlong descent into loose rock charisma. However, it’s the finale of ‘Groovin’ Sub Atomic Beach Party’ (posted above) that takesThe Naysayers ‘Dee Eye Why’ from legendary badassery to madder than mad cow disease. It plays like a lost track from a Quentin Tarantino, brilliantly old school in style, but very fucking dangerous as well. The haunted Old West atmosphere is just plain fucking awesome, and the move into the call-to-arms riff is more badass than John Wayne cooking you a steak. You can’t help but fall steadily in love with this song, it is just so, so, so fucking great.

Overall, the album is a fucking brilliant piece of rough garage rock n roll. The Naysayers have got the whole scruffy sound down to a fucking T. Who gives a shit if you lost all your money making this EP? It sounds fucking mental, and you can take that all the way to your financial woe-ridden graves. So, instead of seeing this dope fucking band flail in economic hell, go see one of their many shows happening down in Melbourne, or buy a copy of the EP. If you’re struck for cash as well, you can grab the EP for free download at their Bandcamp, right here. Either way, you definetely need this EP in your collection, filed under ‘badass’.

New: Parquet Courts-You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now

If you’ve been on here before, you’ll know that I adore Brooklyn Knights of stoned punk, Parquet Courts, more than I adore puppies that sell narcotics. They’ve released a furious riff-centric new track called ‘You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now’, and it rocks my socks off. If you ever wake up on a Monday morning, hungover as fuck, needle stuck in your arm, and your heart broken by a hooker the night before, this is the song to bring you out of your reverie. A pan flute, hand claps, a squealing guitar solo and a chugging pace, ‘You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now’ is the best thing to happen to music since ‘Stoned and Starving’ (also by Parquet Courts, schwag).

Album Review: Parquet Courts-Borrowed Time 7″

Image

Unfortunately, this isn’t going to be a massive Pulitzer Prize ode to music like I usually pull out of my ass. This is only a 7″, albeit a fucking fantastic one, but there’s only so many words one can use to describe material that lasts shorter than my wish to make a career out of taming house cats.

Parquet Courts are a fantastic band. Combining stoner punk with sweaty lyrics, the band is something that should be required listening for the Bong Squad. If you’re ever feeling like you need a pick-me-up, Parquet Courts will not only suffice, but go and buy you a coffee and talk to you about your problems. He may light a joint at some point, but at least he’s listening. Parquet Courts, fuck yeah, Parquet Courts.

Anyway, this is the band’s latest 7″, which features one of the best tracks off their debut ‘Borrowed Time’ and two unreleased tracks. You should feel so lucky. ‘Borrowed Time’ is a college-flunked, cigarette smoking jam that wanders around the school quad for hours at a time, just thinking, man. ‘Borrowed Time’ is the kind of stonerific punk statement you’ve been waiting your whole life for. Its just a damn good track, there’s no two ways about it. ‘Seems these days I’m captive in this borrowed time…’….you’ll be singing that shit ’til you kick the bucket.

On Side B, Parquet Courts get a chance to show off both sides to their music, bang bang, right after each other. Quick succession, no bullshit, just the way I like it. ‘Smart Aleck Kid’ is a paranoid and unrestrained punk jam, totally fucked up, whirling out of control with no idea where it’s going. It’s beautiful in it’s simplicity. Then, as soon as Descendants have been payed their respective dues, Parquet Courts take a turn shooting the shit with Archers of Loaf on ‘Free Ice’. Super 80’s independent rock jam it is (read that in a Yoda voice) baritone quaking in it’s boots and not all that confident either. Somewhere in the world, Stephen Malkmus is losing his shit over ‘Free Ice’.

So, if you’ve waited this long to get into Parquet Courts, like, what the fuck are you waiting for? Have you not heard ‘Stoned and Starving‘? Are you, like, the AntiChrist? Go and fucking buy ‘Light Up Gold’, right now. If you are like the rest of humanity (fucking conformist) and worship Parquet Courts, then the ‘Borrowed Time’ 7″ will only bolster your utmost faith in the band.

Album Review: Parquet Courts-Light Up Gold

ImageThere is only one way to describe Brooklyn-via-Texas garage punkers: total drawl. Everything they do, from their laidback infectious riffs, to Andrew Savage’s stoner voice, even to the most staccato of drum beats are delivered in only the most relaxed of manners. You could not find a  slacker punk band in today’s music scene if you tried.

‘Light Up Gold’ is Parquet Courts’ second, and more accessible record since they formed in 2010. Three years and already underground superstars. It’s overall vibes of takin’ life as it comes to you, and living in the present are common themes amongst even the most prodigious of garage bands, but it is all in the execution of Parquet Courts that raises them above the bar from your averagely cool garage band to being amongst the lofty heights of The Black Lips, Harlem and King Tuff.

The first thing that will slowly permeate your brain is Andrew Savage’s voice and it’s incredible potency. Like, it’s more dreamy than Justin Bieber making out with the Janoskians. On second thought, that sounds absolutely disgusting. Anyway, you get the idea. It’s slow, stoned and absolutely intriguing. It’s slow, annunciating drippiness makes it infectious to a T, and as seen on tracks like ‘Light Up Gold II’ and ‘Caster of Worthless Spells’. It’s actually quite beautiful in a dark way.

The next thing that will probably slurp your gonads is the washing-machine instrumentation. It rolls in a ragamuffin, unrestricted style that exaggerates the already slacker-than-a-plus-sized-g-string style of the band. It can switch from deceptively fast to a twangy chilled vibe between songs without any of the style lost. It provides for a shallow bed of awesome in which the coolest of fish are found, like Nemo and Dory. The prickly jams of of ‘Yr No Stoner’, ‘Careers in Combat’, ‘N Dakota’ are addictive in the best sense of the word.

This leads to the greatest part of the band and record: Parquet Courts’ lyrics. They are the best. Hands down, without a doubt, some of the best shit you will hear all year on a song. No, it’s not going to provide some deep introspective that speaks to you about the inner workings of life a la James Blake, but it will make you lol, perhaps even roflmao. It’s a basic tale, the troubles of a stoner in contemporary New York. Take ‘Disney P.T’: ‘My girl is a bowl of hash/a familiar looking rash/my girl’s my secret stash/my shampooed pile of trash’. If that’s not fucking hilarious and a little bit true, then you’re lying to yourself. On ‘Donuts Only’, just before a tidal riff launches the song into a frenzy, you can hear Savage cry ‘Like a red state baptist’s fervor/Like a small town’s unsolved murder’, a couplet of hilariously dramatic proportions.

The album is a work of garage punk art, however there is one glaring fault. The band never really launch themselves fully into any song, bar two, and those are the greatest songs on the album. Maybe it’s to do with their slacker style, maybe it’s because a minute was all they could sustain, like the poor sap of a business man that’s speed dial is made up of boner-dysfunction call centres. However, when they do commit, it’s a beautiful result. You’ve got ‘Borrowed Time’ a basic chord structure with all the heart of a minotaur on ecstasy. Then there’s ‘Stoned and Starving’ (free download), a five minute treasure if I’ve ever heard one. The opening bass riff is one that gives me tingles similar to that of Hunter S. Thompson spotting a mushroom that doesn’t immediately strike itself as poisonous.  It’s a wafting bong load that features drooling melodies, a amphetamine fuelled hook, and that trade-mark drawl. It’s truly the standout track on the album, and is still stuck in my head a full four months after I first heard it.

To put in candidly, Parquet Courts are not a band that one can brush off easily. They have perfected the short, sharp song, a guerilla track if you will. It gets in, blows a dusting of shroom-coated garage onto your brain, and then fucks off before you have time to think ‘woah, I feel like some Cheetohs’. It’s no surprise these guys are hotly tipped to ruin indie music for the better. I mean, there’s TWO guys in the band with the last name Savage. How could they not rule?

Best Songs of 2013 So Far

It’s exactly halfway through the year, and within it, we’ve seen some shockingly awesome releases being thrust into our ears like dirty patricians of sound. These molestular devices have slobbered their way onto us in the form of new music from The Strokes, Bad Religion, The xx, Foals, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Bowie, Wire, The Flaming Lips, The Black Angels….the list goes on. We’ve also had a fuckload of local releases from Dune Rats to Yes, I’m Leaving and Willow Beats all holding a torch with awesome new albums and EP’s grating our ears to tinnitus accepters. So, since I can’t be fucked to do albums, these are the best songs from the albums. These are the best songs, in my opinion, of 2013, so far. No surprises, it’s mostly garage-centric.

1. Parquet Courts- Stoned and Starving

2. Grave Babies-Over and Underground

3. Thee Oh Sees-Toe Cutter-Thumb Buster

4. Majical Cloudz-Bugs Don’t Buzz

5. My Bloody Valentine-She Found Now

6. Kurt Vile-Never Run Away

7. Radical Dads-Rapid Reality

8. The Bronx-Ribcage

9. The Men-I Saw Her Face

10. Unknown Mortal Orchestra-So Good At Being In Trouble

11. Atoms for Peace- Before Your Very Eyes…

12. The Drones-How to See Through Fog

13. Palma Violets-Best of Friends

14. Wavves-Afraid of Heights

15. POND-Giant Tortoise

16. Dune Rats-Red Light Green Light

17. Step-Panther-Maybe Later

18. FIDLAR-Cheap Beer

19. Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys-Bite My Tongue

20. Flume-Sleepless 

NEW YOIK PLOILIST

For those that aren’t great at interpreting accents in writing, that read New York Playlist. Why? Because I’m in the big fucking apple yo. And because New York has some of the greatest music of all time, it would be only right to honour the motherland of alternative music, and create a humble playlist in it’s honour. The kind of flow of this playlist is old school well known stuff, then moving to the 2000 era, hip-hop then underground garage/lo-fi/noise, some more well-known indie shit, and finally weird motherfuckers. All of it from New York, the home of How I Met Your Mother and Friends.

1. Sonic Youth-Kool Thing

2. Interpol-Slow Hands

3. Pavement-Gold Soundz

4. Television-See No Evil

5. The Ramones-Beat on the Brat

6. Animal Collective-Fireworks

7. The Strokes- Last Nite

8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Date With the Night

9. Beastie Boys- Make Some Noise

10. Wu-Tang Clan-Protect Ya Neck

11. A Tribe Called Quest-Check the Rhime

12. X Ray Eyeballs- X

13. Parquet Courts-Stoned and Starving

14. DIIV-How Long Have You Known

15. MGMT-Time to Pretend

16. Clap Your Hands, Say Yeah-Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth

17. LCD Soundsystem-All My Friends

18. Liars- What Would I Know

19. Battles-Ice Cream

20. Twin Sister-Bad Street