New: The Rangoons – Cult of Thorns

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I very vividly remember watching The Rangoons playing this at the Marrickville Bowlo a few months back and thinking, “Wow – this band is cool”. Not in the way that sleeping in is cool, or finding a new cheap pork roll shop is cool. I mean cool in that what you’re witnessing is above and beyond you. It’s cool in that you feel like you’re peering into some sort of secret society that has its own rituals and habits. There’s an excitement and a rush to it, discovering something that you aren’t supposed to. I watched The Rangoons, still and quite but bubbling underneath, close to erupting, as the band rolled the words “Which” and “Witch”, around their mouths, spitting them over a cerebral guitar lines.

The song I heard that day now has a name, “Cult of Thorns”, and an official Internet release as of yesterday. Recorded, The Rangoons have maintained that itching paranoia that contaminates the live version, a subdued serial killer edge of mania smothering the song. I was right the first time – The Rangoons are one of the coolest bands in Australia.

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New Post Punk: Wives + Masses + Infinite Void + TOL + Mere Women

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Gather round and sulk at the latest, greatest and darkest from around Aus:

Wives – Whipping Boy EP

Canberra’s Wives put out an excellent record on NO PATIENCE last year that felt really unfortunately ignored. It’s phenomenally dark and direct stuff, and if you’ve got a chance, I recommend you give it a go.

However, being the prolific punks they are, Wives have already followed up on last year’s record with another EP of material. It’s twitchy stuff – synths that emerge from nowhere, teeth bared; guitars that scratch and bleed. It’s a simple reminder that Wives are a band that you need in your life.

Plus if that isn’t enough, there are remixes on the EP from ASPS and the forever-intriguing Enderie Nuatal.

Make sure ya catch Wives playing Blackwire Records on the 11th, with support from Diecut, Marcus Whale and Cat Heaven.

Masses – Masses

For those that dug Gold Class but wished they had a bit more crunch need to get familiar with Masses. It’s goth-ridden post-punk that lashes with intensity, a huge scaly beast that singes your hair with every song.

There are delicate moments, sure, but when Masses lean in, they put your attention in a strangehold. Take “Crosses”, “Moloch” or “Paranoid” – these are all songs that drive with the same bloody wrath as Bauhaus – unrelenting and a perfect soundtrack to this week’s excorcism.

Infinite Void – Face in the Window

As soon as the bass riff kicks in for this, it becomes immediately obvious that this is gonna be a gud ‘un. Infinite Void are essentially the White Walkers of Melbourne – terrifying, beautiful and absolutely freezing. “Face in the Window” is liquid nitrogen that builds into a torrential downpour of icy sheets of guitar, hurtling with the singular vision of outdoing the Ice Age. If you feel like sinking into the equivalent of a sink hole in the Arctic, do yourself a favour and chuck this on.

TOL – Survive

TOL fall towards the latter half of the post-punk equation, armed with the kind of seething, sharp riffs that Steen Spielberg wishes he could’ve used to line the cavernous face hole of Jaws. Buried under a caked layer of feedback, TOL plunge and dive with abandon, as ferocious as they are loud. Put this into your ears and feel your head go through a similar transformation as the bald guy with glasses in Scanners.

Plus, this came out on NOPATIENCE and the band features members of LAKES, Spite House and ZOND – surely that’s enough of an indication that TOL are an essential band.

Mere Women – Numb

This song came out fucking ages ago and I never got around to having a yarn about it. Better late than never, right?

Anyway, “Numb” is another gem from one of Sydney’s finest and most underrated. Mere Women are one of the most interesting bands going around this shitty town at the moment, and if ever the opportunity arises for you to go and see them, DO NOT FUCKING HESITATE!

 

 

New: Buzz Kull – Nausea

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 6.19.42 pmIt’s been a long time coming, but Buzz Kull have finally followed up on last year’s “Dreams” and announced a full length album! Fuck yeah, goths of the world unite! This is a day as glorious as that time Robert Smith said he was going to re-animate the corpse of Ian Curtis for a Christmas single!

Seriously though, it’s been two years since that first Heat EP, and it was starting to feel like maybe Buzz Kull was going to fold before granting us with a full length. Luckily, “Nausea” is here, a pungent puncture that has moved light years on from the early atmospheric dissonance of “Fallen Flower” and “Vision & Lights”

Short and sharp at only two minutes long, “Nausea” does exactly what it says on the tin, lighting a flame at the pit of your belly, allowing all that stomach acid to start churning around the base of your body, brewing and burning until your whole being is thrashing around, vibrating with the trill of ill.

Buzz Kull are gonna be playing a show in a few weeks at the Record Crate in Glebe – Jan 3rd, supporting Kid Trails; Skull & Dagger, and Agroclam are also gonna play!

Video: Empat Lima – Bowie On the Beach

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Before “Bowie on the Beach”, hypnotism was just some bullshit that terrible magicians would practise at the dodgy ends of the Strip in Las Vegas. Now, it’s more real than ever – I am bent to Empat Lima’s command.

Seriously, do yourself a favour, a succumb to the neon post-punk of this band. Allow yourself to get drawn deeper and deeper into the sheer absurdity of their music. It’s a shimmering mirage, a heatstroke injection into pop that you cannot afford to miss out on. Invest. Believe. Synergy. Empty Lima.

Hell, I ain’t yet to told you about the video yet. Smattered with the kind of colourful haze that clouds your vision right before you throw up all the three-month old milk, the clip for “Bowie On the Beach” has to be one of the best videos released this year. It’s like Eric Warehaim directed Point Break. There are conk shells, cannonballs, and dolphin races, all smothered in that distorted, disturbing, delicious haze. It’s funny, it’s weird, and it’s kinda brilliant  – there is absolutely nothing more you could want from a video.

Empat Lima – you are fucking awesome. Please never leave.

New: Primo! – Bronte Blues

I found out about this band courtesy of Teenage Hate, which is a program on Triple R which works as a far greater source of new and good music than this blog could ever hope for. It’s named after the Reatards album! How awesome is that!?

I found about Primo! after scanning the playlist, and seeing someone comment something along the lines of “Hell yeah! That Primo! band is rad!”. Hey, if you can’t trust random Facebook commenters, who can you trust? Anyway, their debut track is called “Bronte Blues”, which is fair enough, because all of the Eastern Suburbs should be wiped off the map.

Primo! make sparkling post-punk in the vein of a schizophrenic Mark E. Smith shuffling down a dark alleyway, constantly looking over his shoulder with a total expression of panic smothered on his creased face.  Good? Great!

Album Review: Little Desert – Saeva

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Sit down. Don’t bring anything with you, you won’t need it. Just the bare essentials. Strap yourself in. No, really, ground yourself so that you are physically unable to move. Get comfy, you’ll be in this position for precisely 35 minutes and 29 seconds. That’s how long it takes for Little Desert’s debut album to wash over you. Peaks, troughs, all of it – it’s a musical lobotomy, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest-style. It’s the most brilliantly theatrical album of 2015, and you heard it here first.

After gently teasing this album for the past six months, with the two singles “Captive” and “Resurrection” causing a bit of a stir, Little Desert have finally dropped Saeva, and it’s fearsome. They could coat the album in serrated blades loaded with disease –  one prick and you’re a dead man – but it wouldn’t make the record any more dangerous. It rears and plunges, shakes its mane, refusing to be anything less than an immersive, devouring work of art.

The first thing to notice about Saeva is how ghoulish this thing is. And not in the sort of Addams Family, jokey way; boo, gotcha hahaha. No, there is the definitive scent of a corpse that haunts this album. The next noticeable aspect is that Little Desert prove they are the lords of the crescendo, continually building songs from rubble into spectres that chase the viewer into dark corners. The ghosts are there, hammering on the doors to come out; they’re embedded in the cries of Esther Rivers, the panicked guitar stampedes, the tense synth riffs. Everything is buckling under pressure, running at a desperate pace, trying to escape. Take “Captive”: it rises, slowly, slowly, begins to scurry, in a zig zag, menacing repetition one moment, blistering guitar solos the next. It reverts back and forth, dizzying and demonic; by its finale, Little Desert have you begging for mercy AND more.

That intention of crescendo is present in almost all of Saeva. It’s not always the threatening blare of “Captive” – “Sinner” and “She’s Alive” wander into murder ballad territory, whilst “Soothsayer” contains a psych tint. But when Little Desert hit their grim stride, that’s when they’re at their peak. Take “Resurrection”, which marches from a funeral pace to a gallop, led by the charging Rivers. Her bellow stands commanding, directing the frantic synth arpeggios, and diving boulders of guitar into the a finale even better than Hellraiser, and that movie had hooks ripping off every bit of a guy’s flesh!

Little Desert have always impressed with their boldness, and they haven’t disappointed with Saeva. It’s tense, and tragic, and when they scratch their nails across the whiteboard, Little Desert light up, especially when Rivers’ thundering roar takes centre stage. It’s theatrical, huge and dense, a record you can be suffocated and squashed by, and not mind in the slightest.

You can grab Saeva from the it Records Bandcamp here. Little Desert are doing a few launches up the East Coast real soon: Saturday, 21st at The Tote in Melbourne (w/ Teuton, Mollusc and Half Mongrel), the 26th at Blackwire Records (w/ Ela Stiles and Whitney Houston’s Crypt) and a hell of a party in Brissy at the Crowbar on the 28th (w/ OCCULTS, Last Chaos, Pleasure Symbols and Death Church)

Video: Gold Class – Bite Down

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“Bite Down” was one of the biggest highlights from Gold Class’ debut record. Now, it’s got some visual accompaniment for that audio pleasure, in the form of the Melbournites providing a glimpse into the sort of concentrated post-punk they deliver when they play live.

Shuddering projections greet the viewer, echoing the driven, clenched atmosphere within the band’s music, specifically frontman Adam Curley’s gulping vocals. “Bite Down” is best played so loud that you’re swallowed, whilst you glare into the video, trying to blind and confuse yourself as much as physically possible.

Gold Class will be launching their record, ‘It’s You’ at Brighton Up Bar on Friday October 23rd, with support from Death Bells and Yaws.

New: Astral Skulls – Sexism Sux/Bite My Tongue 7″

Fidgeting synths marrying DIY post-punk for ya Monday morning. It comes from a double A-side 7″ from Melbourne’s Astral Skulls, which is a project that likens itself to Sydney’s own BISTRO, Simo Soo, or Alex Cross.

I say “more political”, when really, I just mean common sense. “Sexism Sux” is a tirade against all things overtly masculine set to plonking synth jabs and fierce guitars. Meanwhile, the flip side builds upon Astral Skulls’ previous potential as Sinister Overlord of the Universe, a mean snarl stretched into three minutes of jagged post-punk.

Astral Skulls launch their 7″ this Friday at Valve Bar, joined by Scattered Order, Skull & Dagger, Yes, I’m Leaving, and Dominic Talarico.

New: Tim & the Boys – Hard Won EP

I was one of the first people to buy the Tim & the Boys cassette EP. That, my friends, is what we in the literary world call “gloating”. It’s not just a thinly-veiled brag, it’s a fully fledged HAR-HAR; I am shoving my superiority in your face with all the subtlety and deftness of a bogan slinging pills at the Teepee Forest at Splendour in the Grass. There is no tactic or strategy – I am a blunt tool, and I am unashamed.

But that’s only because I’m really excited that I own this. It’s a fantastic EP from a new group that Sydney has been in desperate need of, a physical copy of the first taste of a band bound to get the kids excited again. Thudding post-punk, industrial and twisted, Tim & the Boys are Tim Collier, Will Harley (Housewives) and Dan Grosz/Gross (Dead Farmers). Pretty great so far. Then add songs about touching yourself in the supermarket (“I Wait”), a stomping Warriors-Come-Out-to-Playyeeee sequel (“Hear Us”, and a theme song that doubles as the ultimate nihilist anthem. Fuck, that’s alright, isn’t it?

I’m pretty sure the cassette has sold out, but if there are any copies left, they’ll be flying out the door of the Chippendale Hotel Basement this Thursday. Tim & the Boys play a rock show with Orion and Point Being, and it’s FREE. Just gotta sign this thing here. Should be A+.

New: Gold Class – Life As A Gun

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It looks like there’s a ginger in this band, so I’m already on board. But then you go and add their music to the mix, and I’m falling for Gold Class like every nerd in the world is falling for the Batman vs. Superman trailer. Gothic like Gotham, Gold Class fuse grit and bleeding soulfulness with ease, feeding pain into their post-punk like a witch buttering up Hansel And Gretel before a tasty luncheon of bones.

Sure, Gold Class lean a little too much on the Morrisey for my liking, but the jagged guitars that spit and thrash between mournful cries leaves a wake of broken goth hearts in their wake, including mine. It’s tough music that’s allowed itself to be vulnerable, and that is the sweetest spot of all. Plus, the bloke can fucking sing, and “Life As A Gun” reveals itself to be something with actual substance, intensely intimate and bare, as opposed to this shit.

Gold Class are making the trek North for VOLUMES festival w/ Jack Ladder, The Laurels, Day Ravies etc. Pretty, pretty decent.