Video: Primitive Calculators-Dead/Why

Primitive Calculators don’t do things in half-measures. That’s why when Australia’s oldest (and top) punk bands dropped their debut studio album late last year, it was the equivalent of being trampled upon by a synth punk element. If Henry Rollins was a robot, and beat you up, the sounds of his fists pummeling your face would equate into the album that was ‘The World Is Fucked’.

Which is why it makes sense that Prim Calcs wouldn’t just release one video, but two! The first is ‘Dead’, a song that cranks itself into a corner, before Stuart Grant just completely lashes out and destroys all in his path with a razing, violent finale. The video is similar in concept, blood-red lights illuminating a stage that allows the demonic elements of the track to be accentuated beyond belief. And in staying true to its original composition, the tumultuous flurry of fucked up images creates the perfect canvas for the band to paint that gorge-filled finale of feedback and noise.

The second video is for the track ‘Why’. It starts out as a thumping, calloused creature, sliming its way under a bass line and brief spats of noise. The video contains the band just sort of hanging out under a bridge. Video-wise, whatever, but song-wise, it’s a goddamn punch in the stomach.




Top 10 Australian Albums of 2013

Whoomp, there it is! Or, to be more grammatically correct, here it is. Because, y’know, you’re reading this off some sort of screen, which is on front of you, and not somewhere else, which is what the preposition of there implies.

Look, I was trying to make a reference to Tag Team’s 1993 smash hit, and smoothly initiate an article about the best Australian albums of 2013, but it failed in a brutal showing of grammatical error. Anyway, as I clumsily try to regain my poise, let me say that 2013 has been a killer year for Australian records. On the International scene, there haven’t been absolutely tonnes of records that have held people’s gaze for the full year, but in Aussie-land, home of snuggies and the ‘ocker’ stereotype, there have been leaps and bounds in every genre available. Its cruel to pick just ten, but here we are, in a state of despair. Woe is I, for we art doomed to live in a state of existential pit of despair wrought by picking just ten albums for lists. Please….empathise.

Super Dooper Special (as in all tied Equal 11th) mentions go to Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, The Ocean Party, Day Ravies, Unity Floors, and Ooga Boogas.

Special Mentions go to Clowns, Amateur Drunks, Standish/Carlyon, Pikelet, The Living Eyes, Golden Blonde, Ausmuteants, The Drones and The Native Cats.

Super Duper Ultra Special Metal Album: Zeahorse-Pools

The sludge! The intensity! The gruel! Its like Jack Black once said in Tenacious D’s ‘The Metal’, ‘…you can’t kill the metal, the metal will live on’. As it does on Zeahorse’s debut record ‘Pools’. Stagnant marshes of filthy reverb and disgusting bass-lines make this a riveting listen, plunging you head first into a swirling world full of blackness and awesome sludgery.

10. Yes, I’m Leaving-Mission Bulb

Not since Fugazi has a punk band come so blindingly close to marrying the intense anti-establishment message of punk with blindingly good melodies. For Yes, I’m Leaving, a band with both an excellent name, a fantastic live show and even greater songs, its just another day making great fucking songs. Yes, I’m Leaving don’t really make a misstep on ‘Mission Bulb’, just chugging out those razor sharp punk songs like they’re a supergroup made from Patti Smith, Ian McKaye, Keith Morris, and Jello Biafra, and the old guy with a sledge hammer on the cover is replaced by Henry Rollins. Perfection!

9. Primitive Calculators-The World Is Fucked

Never have you heard something as vicious and in-your-face until you’ve witnessed the sheer terror of a Prim Calcs track. Finally, after all this time…the band have gotten around to releasing a debut studio album. Its not like Australia’s been waiting over thirty years for this thing! Thankfully, the album paid off like robbing a bank vault Die Hard 3 style, both a physical and emotional pay-off. Not for a moment do the band let up, blasting our brain cells one super charged synth-punk anthem after another.

8. Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys-Ready For Boredom

Another debut record, another awesome band name. You could say its a combination of the previous two entries, but you’d be wrong because the Bad Boys sound fuck all like the other two bands. Instead, they pick up where The Replacements left off on ‘Pleased to Meet Me’-emotionally charged everyman’s rock n roll. It belongs in a pub, three-schooners-down, with one eye on the rugby game in the corner and one eye on its uncertain future. However, if the band can keep churning out the hit factory and overall nice package that is ‘Ready For Boredom’, they should be sorted for a very long time.

7. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard-Float Along-Fill Your Lungs

I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times-King Jizz are the Darwin Evolution theory in practice. Starting out with bare-bones ramshackle rock n roll and slowly developing into the psych rock band we now see a year and a half later. However, they never lost any of the zeal and flavour they had on the ‘Willoughby’s Beach EP’ way back when, and can still manage to excite and boner-ise with their longer stuff as they can with any two minute electric shock.

6. POND-Hobo Rocket

Its a mini-album, deal with it. It was still too awesome to leave off the list. Its over-the-top glam rock, but not as you know it. If David Bowie was gobbled by some sort of psychedelic monster, and laid to waste by a plethora of Wayne Coyne clones, then you might get something as fun, frantic and off the fucking hook as ‘Hobo Rocket’. It dodges, dips, dives, ducks and dodges between all different sorts of vibes and frequencies, a restless creature if you’ve ever heard one. And boy, does it fucking sound amazing.

5. Cut Copy-Free Your Mind

‘Free Your Mind’ can’t really be defined as a return to form because Cut Copy never lost their form (go listen to ‘Zonoscope’ again, and try to feel any inkling of disappointment). Instead, ‘Free Your Mind’ continues the Cut Copy legacy, leaping and bounding into acid-house territory. The Madchester warehouse vibes are certainly there, mingling with the indie pop sensibility that Cut Copy own so hard like I own a massive Sonic Youth poster so hard. You’ll dance, you’ll think, you’ll cry and you’ll dance again, all within the confines of ‘Meet Me in a House of Love’. Isn’t Cut Copy just the greatest invention?

4. Violent Soho-Hungry Ghost

The cover-a skeleton engulfed in flames. Now that’s how you garner some fucking attention. Or, you could just stir up some of the most heart-pounding, adrenaline-inducing, mouth-watering rock songs this side of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. Most of the songs on ‘Hungry Ghost’ are anthems, no doubt about it. Try to listen to a chorus of ‘Hell FUCK YEAH!’ without forming some sort of death circle in whatever location you happen to be in. In completely unrelated news, death by moshpits have gone up 215% in nursing homes that play Triple J. But that’s not all there is to ‘Hungry Ghost’, as the team manage to cook up a couple of heart-warming surprises throughout. More delicious than an angel made of bacon.

3. Palms-Step-Brothers

I guess the reason why Palms are such a great band is because they’re doing something that’s been done so many times before, but putting such an original stamp on it, that you can’t help but do a quintuple take. That’s right, your head will spin a minimum of five times as you try to reconsider your life without Palms in it. There’s so much to swallow when listening to ‘Step Brothers’, but not in a bad way. No, going through this, you’ll be gulping through as much musical content as possible to get all that Palm-y goodness in your spirit ASAP.

2. The Gooch Palms-Novo’s

Speaking of Palms, The Gooch Palms came in with one of the strongest musical entities of the year. However, whilst Palms channel Springsteen, Goochies are all about The Ramones. Bratty, snotty punk, farted out into the willing ears of all lucky enough to listen. However, The Gooch Palms show a surprising diversity, and with the mixture of shameless pop ballads, rain-soaked bummer ear-catchers and leather-jacket FUCK YEWWW’s, you can’t feel bored, even for a second. Rock n Roll runs in the veins of Kat and Leroy and to deny them of that would mean to say that this album doesn’t make you immediately want to strip off all your clothes, run down a highway and spread the word of the Almighty Gooch.

P.S The Gooch Palms and Palms are teaming up for a tour called Palmarama, and they’re playing Oxford Arts Factory on Friday, 28th February. Miss this and perish in a pit of regret.

1. TV Colours-Purple Skies, Toxic River

Surprise, fucking surprise. The album that I can never stop blabbering about comes in at No. 1 on my list of the top Australian records of 2013. Bias aside, if you don’t like this album, then seriously, nothing can be done for you. You are a lost cause. A total travesty of a human being. This album is perfection, a lulling, mesmerising concoction of deadly riffs, lo-fi production, cheesy synths and samples, rolled into a bundle of delights that the world has never seen before. Even though Bobby Kill took two years to make this record, it was worth every minute of waiting for this fucking masterpiece. God Bless TV Colours!

Album Review: Primitive Calculators-The World Is Fucked

a0434672044_2Primitive Calculators are the sort of band that are fun for the whole family. No, seriously, next time you get together for a big reunion, take Grandma and Cousin Jeffrey to a Prim Calcs show. Granny will probably have a heart attack, but she’ll go out in a fit of glory. I mean that literally, as listening to Primitive Calculators, one needs to be mentally, emotionally and sexually prepared to being exposed to a sensory overload.

‘The World is Fucked’ is the debut record from Primitive Calculators, and while that seems like an unordinary musing, you’ll be kind of shocked to know that this thing has been in a gestation period since the late 70’s. That’s sort of a lie, because Prim Calcs broke up after two or so years, and only recently re-united in 2009, but isn’t it way more of a romantic notion to think that this album has just been sitting on some factory floor, waiting to be released to the world? Uhhh, hidden musical treasures from lost periods of history are kind of a personal fetish.

Anyway, Primitive Calculators have lost none of the zest and zealotry that made them stand out all those years ago, when they popped up with ‘Pumping Ugly Muscle’ and that Michael Hutchence film ‘Dogs in Space’. Again, I tell a lie, as although these guys are older than the majority of the Galapagos Island tortoises, they have a visceral and violent beauty to them that envies Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis in Natural Born Killers. The snarling wolverine vocals, the splintering serial killer synths and the guitar that bassically screams ‘Here’s Johnny!’ over and over again all combines for a listening experience that puts the description of ‘unique’ to shame.

Every song on this album is blunt, to-the-the point and fucking savage. If GG Allin had a Roland shoved up his arse and an anarchic vulture as a voice box, then you might get something along the lines of the songs from ‘The World Is Fucked’. Although I can’t gush about every track, there are a few that stand out. Opener ‘No’ empties itself into your brain at a terrifying pace, a rotting corpse of synth-punk, buzzing buzzards crowding the space of the song as it pushes its undead self into Australian musical history. ‘Love’ is another to-be-classic Primitive Calculators track, with industrial machinery fucking over a Nick Cave-meets-confused-transexual monologue that undoubtedly turns more explosive that a Michael Bay film with an unlimited budget. Finally, ‘Dead’ is a track made for those who express themselves through music. There could be a ninja-spewing dragon, and it would still not be as deadly and macabrely fascinating as the outpour that is ‘Dead’. This song is what Trent Reznor was hinting at on Nine Inch Nails ‘The Downward Spiral’, but wrapped in that coarse Australian tongue, and thrust in and out of your mind like a Banshee with Parkinsons, you can’t help but fucking love this song and let the bubbling rage consume you.

With its one-word song titles, black and bleak outlook, and chainsaw atmosphere, The Primitive Calculators have created the perfect object of fascination. From the moment this record starts, your mind will slide into wondrous, apocalyptic oblivion. You’ll never be able to hear a song without wondering how Primitive Calculators could fix it. Despite being around for so long, Primitive Calculators sound is un-appropriatable, and the only people that can do it well is Primitive Calculators themselves. Rough, real and inspiringly original, ‘The World Is Fucked’ is about the best you could hope for in terms of a debut Prim Calcs record.

Lucky you, the record is going for an astonishing $9 over at Chapter Music’s Bandcamp, which is essentially the most obvious sign in the world that you need this record in and around your brain as soon as possible.

Primitive Calculators are playing in Melbourne on Thursday, November 21st, which means it can’t be too long till they make the trek up to Sydney town, hopefully sooner, rather than later.

New: The Primitive Calculators-Dead

Better late than never right? Primitive Calculators are one of Australia’s best kept secrets, the reason being they’ve been around for 30 plus years, and never released a fucking album. Well, that’s going to change later this year, and the first taste of it is this audible personification of the Grim Reaper coming to take your soul, otherwise known as ‘Dead’. It starts with a synth beat that makes out like a sample of a dying man’s final breath, followed by distorted bass ramblings and vocals that give a new name to stark-raving insanity. It is terrifying to hear the repeated shouts of ‘Dead!’Dead!Dead!’ thrown into your face like dirt over a grave. This song is dark and horrifying, intrusive and disturbing, a bogan’s version of avante-garde, a concept which is all the more mortifying. Think Cosmic Psycho’s meets Shellac in the middle of a Satanic ritual. ‘Dead’ both makes me want to crawl into a foetal position and cry, all the while waiting in nervous phsycosis for the debut Prim Calcs album….whatever they come up with, it’s going to be fucking amazing.