Album Review: Ciggie Witch-Rock And Roll Juice

Ciggie Witch have one of the best names in Australia, along with Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, The Gooch Palms and Reckless Vagina. However, whilst the latter bands are disciplined in the ways of punk and rock n roll, Ciggie Witch go for the jangle angle. But this isn’t some bullshit strum machine thing. Considering Ciggie Witch have got members of The Ocean Party, Pencil and Robert bloody McComb from the Triffids in there, I’d say that ‘Rock And Roll Juice’ demands a peruse.

However, it’s way too easy to get lost in this album. Forget window shopping-once you’ve laid down for the first track, ‘Long Weekend’, there’s a strong bloody chance that you’re in it for the long haul. Or rather, short haul, because the album flies by, whisked along by glazed eye guitars, scratchy drums, and twinkling keys.

There’s actually a certain paradox to the way Ciggie Witch approach music-they’re lyrics are filled with motions about how much they hate the world they live in- their jobs, their lack of money, the bullshit people that co-inhabit their space-really, just things that piss off us disciples of normality. If you haven’t put up with at least one douche-fuck at your work, then you’re probably in a coma, dreaming of a non-existent work environment. But these lyrics of woe and sadness are paired with stunning music, that somehow makes you want to move your neck in a lopsided and awkward but enjoyable fashion. It’s an irony of the highest order.

Take for example ‘Part Two’-the lyrics of ‘People seem like they want to talk to me/I don’t know what to say, I freeze up, give short answers and run away’ is a spot on analysis of anyone who feels they could beat out Milhouse in an awkward-off. And yet, the song is paired with indescribably beautiful music, that pours itself into your mind, unavoidably smooth and catchy, with a violin part at the end more relieving than when you get home and see someone else has done the dishes.

‘Rock And Roll Juice’ is full of these kinds of observations tacked together with tired, soft and brutally stunning tunes. ‘Taylor’s Lakes’ features the line, ‘I got a steady job and my uni course, but I’m already feeling kinda bored’, and there’s a solo in there hand-crafted by the Slash of Brunswick. ‘Servo Stride’ and ‘Midday Movie’ are excellent sad tunes, that reek of desperate youth, ‘I am watching lives unfold on TV, I am living through the midday movie’. And ‘The Internet’ personify the bored teenage experience, and really the whole fascination of the WWW, in a swift chorus of ‘I don’t know why I got out of bed, I spent the whole goddamn day on the Internet’.

The thing that gets me with Ciggie Witch’s debut album isn’t so much any particular song, but the entire package that is ‘Rock And Roll Juice’. The album is about how fucking shitty it can be sometimes as a directionless 20-something. Now, don’t take that to mean that this some bullshit LOL SLACKERZ 90’s movie thing starring Steve Zahn and the Dad from Freaks and Geeks. The album stays afloat on the concept that having a shitty job is shitty, going to a shitty uni because people said that’s what’s expected of you is shitty, and hanging out with shitty people all the time is shitty. And sometimes, 20 year olds don’t fall into the coward-punch-loving, EDM-junkie, woman-molesting stereotype that the news loves to portray us as. Ciggie Witch represent the normal folk who have the aforementioned shitty jobs, terrible course work and retarded friends, and they’re bummed about it. But rather than moping around, and being a grumpy barista, they’ve formed an excellent band, and constructed dazzlingly good songs with some damn sharp lyrics.

Look, it’s fairly obvious that this album is going to cop some shit for being on the ‘I’m weird, and I hate my job’ spectrum of things. But look Troy, your trust fund is looking great, and I hear Deadmau5 has a new album out, so you’ll be fine. For the rest of us that live in the bummed-out atmosphere, there’s Ciggie Witch, and although the future looks shit, it’s gotten that much brighter with ‘Rock And Roll Juice’ for brekky.



And go see ’em this Sunday at the Lansdowne hotel, they’ll be launching the album for free!


Video(s): The Preatures + Bad Family + Warm Brains

The next best thing to partying in the Caribbean with the corpse of Lil’ Wayne is watching music videos by yourself.

The Preatures-Better Than It Ever Could Be

I’ve already been through the fact that The Preatures can do no wrong, and that their new track is fucking delectable. Well, now they’ve gone and done the high-technological shit with a music video. Is it ironic that someone put in hundreds, if not billions, of man hours perfecting the look of retro-ness. The nods to all the video games of olde is a cool and oft-used concept, and whoever did the work on The Preatures’ new clip can pat themselves on the back for doing an eye-damagingly good job.

Bad Family-Kate and Tony

And now for something infinitely more home-made. Whilst The Preatures’ clip was made to look retro, Bad Family from Melbourne are the real deal, going out-n-out VHS on their debut clip. If you like looking at water rushing by, probably from a fucked up tape copy and not an actual, specifically desired effect, and demonic, empty-eyed plastic animal faces, then this clip aligns with your super strange fetish. If you like watching average blokes fuck around with slacker-pop, something that I feel a lot more people are searching for, then this clip will also do quite fine.


Warm Brains-Happy Accidents

An early contender for clip of the year. Whilst the song itself is a pretty dry and humble take on garage-pop music, the clip ensures that you stick around to the end, because it’s possibly the funniest thing you’ve seen since The Benchwarmers feat. Rob Schneider. I don’t want to spoil the majestic brilliance of this clip, but I will say that parental hatred of a ballooned Oompa Loompa/Jersey Shore candidate Mum and sex offender Dad, has never been so strong.

Album Review: Blank Realm-Grassed Inn

Blank Realm are the weirdest pop band from Terra Nullis, and that’s simply because they don’t give a fuck. Not in the way that the usual garage bands don’t give a fuck-Blank Realm aren’t the sort to thrash around until something with a pulse rocks up to party. No, they don’t give a fuck in the sense that they’ll try anything, consequences aside.

‘Grassed Inn’ is the Brisbane group’s…second album? Fourth album? There’s so many different sources out there, I’m actually not even sure anymore. What’s important though is that the band are more focused and literate than any other releases. Usually, a Blank Realm record will have a bunch of Zombies/Big Star-ish singles, amongst a bunch of really weird shit that will either piss you off or drift by pleasantly, depending on what kind of mood you’re in. This record pretty much only features the super awesome pop stuff.

However there is still a share of feedback and improv driven experimentalism occurring throughout the album. For example, the track ‘Reach You On the Phone’ has a deceptively bright line ringing through the whole thing, a dual vocal chorus, and is catchier than a bout of crabs at a porn star convention. But listen to those lyrics! “I pretend I’m stoned and dead, just to escape that sense of dread,’… doesn’t that sting with a little bit too much truth? And that longing chorus of ‘Baby, I can’t reach you on the phone” rings out with such sincerity and loss, it’s like watching a baby penguin crying out for its mother. Hold that image in your brain, and then try not to break down in a geyser of tears.

There’s going to be similar mental reactions amongst a couple of the tracks, like ‘Baby Close the Door’ and ‘Bulldozer Love’, although the effect is more subtle as the music takes place. The former uses a harsh shrill cry every couple of seconds to remind the listener that they’re listening to some harrowing shit, and the latter is basically an eight minute build-up into MBV-lite musical textures.

Only with the big single ‘Falling Down the Stairs’ do things start to look up, at least on a surface level. This track is so bright and bouncy, with a honky key line that could’ve been ripped right from a carnival ride. And the rhythms are so infectious, you’re pretty much submerged in happiness. The chorus is shout-along worthy, and more addictive than 3am kebabs.

However, ‘Falling Down the Stairs’ is pretty much the exception to the rule. The rest of ‘Grassed Inn’ sways along, breezing by with the kind of charm that comes all to rarely. Strange, Eastern-sounding psychedelic riffs and glitches appear on ‘Violet Delivery’ and ‘Back to the Flood’ is the fastest song on the album by far, but the feeling is one of sombre resignation. It’s like the band are more focused on singing about the things that have happened and can never change, rather than having any desire to change.

What does that last sentence mean in terms of how good this album is? It means that finally, the slacker-pop bible is being filled out in an interesting, layered and original way. Blank Realm are a pop band but they write some downer stuff. Their music is about as aesthetically removed from traditional rock and pop as one can get. Every track rings with difference and authenticity. Instead of the usual ‘I got stoned today and I’m on the dole’, Blank Realm add so much more, incorporating feeling, movement, and texture. They don’t only provide the ‘What?’ factor that most bands utilise to resonate with their audience, but also the ‘Who?’, ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’. And the answers they come up with aren’t pretty in the slightest, no matter how much Blank Realm mask it with their upbeat, sonic tunes. Naive and twee as they might come off to the uninitiated, Blank Realm are at a more exploratory yet focused point in their musical careers than they ever have been, and have produced one of the most harrowingly original pop records in a long, long time.

To get amongst it, you can get a copy of ‘Grassed Inn’ at Bedroom Suck Records right here. 

Video(s): Hockey Dad + Unity Floors + UBK + July Days

So, for the first time in quite a while, I’ve kind of caught up on the good music shit I need to spread to the people on the Internet who drunkenly stumble onto my website whilst looking for instrument-related porn. Hey, I don’t judge. But, instead of clicking back to the Google page so you can find a video of a bassoon going into a place it probably shouldn’t, check out these other awesome videos first, and then return to your quest of finding that rare copy of ‘Violinists Gone Wild Vol. 4: Uncut’.

Hockey Dad-Lull City

Hailing from the illustrious town of Illawarra, its the knights of fuzz and good-times, Hockey Dad. Y’know those fathers that stand on the sideline of five year old rugby games and scream, shout and fight with other like-minded dads until there’s at least a gallon of blood on the field? Well, Hockey Dad are the kids that had to put up with that shit, and grew up to make a badass band making awesome surf rock.

Their new single ‘Lull City’ sees the teenagers rock out in a room, as most up and coming bands are want to do. However, the difference between these dudes and your average stoners that own guitars, is that Hockey Dad know how to fucking shred, and that becomes very,very obvious on ‘Lull City’. Catchy as fuck hooks, a simple extended note, ‘wooo’ chorus, and enough fuzz to kill the average FIDLAR member, Hockey Dad are about to break onto very, very big things.

Don’t believe me? Check out/download previous single ‘Jump the Gun’ here, and wallow in a pit of surf rock-inspired despair, that you’ll never accomplish anything as great as this band.

Unity Floors-Once in a While

No prizes for knowing that I’m a big fan of Sydney slacker-duo Unity Floors. And you should be too, because they’re really fucking great. And if you even have a sliver of doubt, well check out the video for the single ‘Once In A While’. The song itself switches between catchy, head-bopping verses and a full-blown, self-doubting chorus that rings just a little bit too true for most of us.

As for the video…well the record is called ‘Exotic Goldfish Blues’, and these guys do play the best kind of slacker rock. What did you expect besides parades upon parades of goldfish?

UBK-I Got You

It might surprise you to know that UBK is actually a project from Isreal. Hell, I certainly didn’t expect that from the Franz Ferdinand-y pop/rock power riffs and damned delicious choruses that were made to strut to. But, the real gem here is the video. Beautiful women dressed in far-flung indigenous costumes, performing torturous rituals on our hero. Put that unique and captivating concept on top of a stark and post-apocalyptic background, then splash UBK’s riff-ready, Black Keys-inspired blues rock badassdom, and you’ve got a recipe for success.

July Days-Photos

The opening shot for the new video from July Days’ clip ‘Photos’ is of a phone booth, so its obviously taking place in Melbourne. I’m pretty sure that’s the last place in the world that still has public phone booths readily available. What follows is a long single shot following the band around the inner-North of Melbourne. Whilst the band mostly try to keep to themselves, it seems that the whole world is out to ensure they never reach their final destination, wherever that might be. There are more fights in this video than the average bout of WWE. Set to the pretty cool indie rock track of ‘Photos’ the video takes The Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ and Aussie-fies the fuck outta it.

Hand Games November Mixtape (free download)


Ohhh, yeahhhh! Do you feel that? A warm burn between your thighs? A dizzying spell penetrating your mind? An engulfing of your body in giddying excitement? That’s the bubbly need to party! But what the fuck are you going to soundtrack your days on the dance floor with? Well, luckily for you, there’s a new Hand Games mix, and it’s better than watching whatever shenanigans Kim and Kanye are up to now.

The new playlist is fucking killer, chock-full of tracks that will make your eyeballs pop out of your skull. Firstly, one of the best tracks of one of the best Australian releases of the year, TV Colours’ ‘Bad Dreams’. Try not to dance/headbang to this one. You’ll go Clockwork Orange, post-lobotmy levels insane. After that, there’s ‘Paranoid Video’ from Total Control. Yep, you read that write…the Total Control. Y’know, one of the best Aussie bands to surface in recent history. Disturbing and mind-fucking, it’s impossible not to enjoy this one.

Now after the assault of the brain, one needs to slow down and make way for the next couple tracks. Some shuffling electronica from the likes of Alba, seductive minimalism from Circular Keys and R&B sex soundtracking from Tincture/Hazel Brown are all eye-opening. Then, you need to prepare yourself for the greatness of Oscar Key Sung, and the track ‘All I Could Do’, as well as Nakagin’s ‘Bloom’, a sultry, natural beauty.

Halfway through the playlist, and no signs of slowing down, as Primitive Motion announce they’re post-punk ways with ‘Home of the Lone Coast’, a really fucking tortured track that has a subdued Sisters of Mercy/Rowland S Howard vibe. Slightly more upbeat, but no less twisted is You Beauty’s new track ‘Menal Mondays’, a song that twists with a heart-attack drum beat, gnarled guitar splashes and foreshadowing bass.

After those gloomy pearls, we head into the slacker rock territory, with two bands that regularly get mentioned here: Bitch Prefect and Food Court. BP’s ‘Shipped It’ actually has a bit of a Dischord vibe, like Fugazi got re-worked in Adelaide. Meanwhile, ‘By Your Side’, which I’ve posted about quite a bit before, rocks like a hurricane, fuzzy feel-good punk that is the cure for any melancholic work day.

Finally, we end this gem of a playlist with two tracks that take their queues from the recent downtempo electronica scenes that have been popping up all over the globe. Slum Sociable pout with a snaky, hissing track called ‘Watch Me Turn Colourful’, whilst Phondupe gets slinky and irresistible with the dripping-with-lust ‘Proxy’.

That’s all from this session of Hand Games Mixtapes. I’ve been your host, Ryan the Wanker. Enjoy this awesome Australian music with a complimentary side of Free Download. That’s right! This playlist can be all yours for nothing! FUCK YEAH!

Video(s)-Flume & Chet Faker (!) + Death Grips + Mesa Cosa + SMILE +Ernest Ellis

Yeah, so I got behind on my work again, and there’s a bunch of videos that escaped my glorious reviewing. You should look and listen to all of them, lest you be cursed by a gypsy witch who’s really into Future Classic signees. Especially check out the Death Grips and SMILE clips; they’re alarmingly different but some of the best shit you’ll see/hear all week/month/year.

Flume & Chet Faker-Drop the Game

Boom! Did you fucking read that shit? Flume! Chet Faker! Boom! Yeah! Cool! Two of the most hyped acts to come from Australia in recent years, along with Tame Impala and POND, have joined forces to deliver a pretty brutal R&B chilltronica jam that would put a R Kelly/Washed Out collaboration to shame. Flume does what he does best, squishy, squelchy beats that reverse into squeals in the most adorably addictive way, but its Chet Faker that shines on this track, his voice singularly taking this track from a fairly average club hit to something you could listen to anywhere and still thoroughly enjoy.

As for the accompanying video, its okay. It depicts a deserted urban street (do those exist anymore?) and a dude  doing some pretty cool dance moves. Nothing happens, and that’s a bit of a let-down for such a fluid and full song, but hey, what are you gonna do?

Death Grips-You Might Think He Loves You For Your Money But I Know What He Really Loves You For It’s Your New Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat

On the one hand, I regret posting the video for the new Death Grips track, because the title took me about half an hour to write. On the other hand, holy fucking shit! This song might be the best thing Death Grips have ever done! Its gritting, strung-out, visceral and challenging, but has a noise to it that one can’t help but think….FUCK!

This return to form, musically and lyrically, is accompanied by a pretty fucking great video, out-of-focus shots of MC Ride absolutely losing his shit, something that you should all be doing right about now.

Mesa Cosa-Sydney

Now, although Mesa Cosa are ragging on about my hometown, Sydney aka the greatest place on Earth, because, ‘…The girls from Melbourne will miss me…’, I still fucking love Mesa Cosa, the Melbourne blokes who give garage rock a good name. Featuring the sort of high octane energy that inevitably leads to spewing your guts up on King Street,  nails-down-chalkboard guitar screech a sweaty bass line, ‘Sydney’ is a fucking awesome track, despite the fact it’s all about Sydney taking the band away from their loved ones. However, considering all the footage from Mesa Cosa’ shows at what looks to be Hotel Street and The Factory Theatre, I’d say the boys are lying through their fucking teeth, and at least one of them got laid while they were up here.

SMILE-Still Waitin’ For My Man

Taking things down a fair bit, but still in the realm of Melbourne, we’ve got SMILE’s clip for their track ‘Still Waitin’ For My Man’. This clip is one of the better things I’ve seen in a while, mainly because it fits the song so fucking well. Easy-going and breezy, the clip features drug dealing, chocolate ice-cream, and the most head-bopping chorus you’ll hear…ever. Man, the Go-Betweens would be so stoked to hear this song.

Ernest Ellis-Black Wire

I always said that a convulsing woman in a black leotard was sexy, and it looks like Ernest Ellis are out to prove me correct. Such a beautiful track, half-macabre synth waves, half-mushy Stone Roses-level forlornness, the clip undoubtedly captures the torture of the vocals. The solemn harmonica that comes in so subtly but strongly at the end-dancing bit just reinforces the harmonious beauty of the clip so hard, it makes me want to burst into a fit of tears. Then the song ends, and I have to play ‘TV Party’ until I feel masculine again. But a little part of me is screaming, ‘play Black Wire again!’

Album Review: Nathan Roche-Watch It Wharf


Listen up, you crazed minstrels of madness, as Nathan Roche has a solo record out that will rock your balls off. ‘Who the fuck is Nathan Roche?’, I hear you whisper to yourself in gobsmacked awe. Nathan Roche is a bloke that you would’ve seen somewhere. He’s hard to miss. Not only did he front the fuck out of Marf Loth (R.I.P), but he’s also been involved in the anti-supergroup Camperdown & Out, as well as Disgusting People, and a plethora of other projects I’ve no doubt forgotten. And if you haven’t seen any of those acts, (firstly, what the fuck is wrong with you?) then you may have seen him at every gig worth going to. He’s tall, skinny and got a mane like a lion that enjoys chomping durries. Oh yeah, and he’s more friendly than Big Bird dealing out samples of his latest crack recipe.

Anyway, after stints in pretty much everything, Nathan Roche has had a go at doing the old solo-project thing. And fuck me timbers is it great! It’s like a Sydney-based, 2013 adaptation of Kevin Smith’s magnum opus ‘Clerks’. If you haven’t seen it, go to this link, and consider yourself a better person. But why does a bloke from Sydney in a bunch of awesome bands, who’s released a slacker rock solo album deserve to be compared to one of the best films of all time?

Well, firstly, both ‘Clerks’ and ‘Watch It Wharf’ are snide, slacker masterpieces that stick out in the mind, even when surrounded by a whole bunch of other great contemporaries. Besides Nathan Roche’s own projects, (seriously, check out Marf Loth, they are fucking great) there’s more going on in the slacker rock scene of our abounding suburbs and states than there ever has been. Think about our good mates Unity Floors and Chook Race (and by good mates, I mean bands that I live through to an unhealthy and jealous degree. Is that creepy?). However, Nathan Roche’s songs and deep, lumbering voice are just too good to simply let slide by.

Secondly, like ‘Clerks’, the piece starts off as a light-hearted bunch of sketches, that gives the term ‘entertaining’ a whole new meaning. Try not to bounce your head and curl your lips into a blissful grin to songs like ‘Serafina’(free download), ‘Come On’, ‘Mines & Chess’. However, like the film, ‘Watch It Wharf’ turns these skits into actual, totally-applicable life advice. In ‘Clerks’, there’s a bunch of monologues, and I guess the same can be said for what Nathan Roche does in ‘You Are What You Are’. The song in question tells the tale of a drunken Roche that tried to get into the historical part of Finger Wharf, and was rejected for being a sloppy mess. With a catchy, rollicking guitar part and Roche’s signature drawl, the chorus of ‘You are what you are, ooo la la la, you are what you are’ rings true in the only way the ninth track of a ten track album can. In all seriousness, and when you get down to actually listening to the lyrics of the song, it becomes apparent that Nathan Roche is actually departing some hard-hitting truths disguised as a slacker-pop track. You can’t fucking help what you are, so accept that shit and move on.

Thirdly and finally, there’s Roche’s voice. That thing is more unique than a sober, un-preachy speech from John Lennon post-Beatles. It’s a tangled, lively drone, that wrings out an addictive nature like Patrick Bateman wrings the blood from his sheets (American Psycho, another great film/novel). Listening to Nathan Roche half-mumble, half-gargle his words into long, poetic sentences in front of sliding, bogan guitars, you’d have to be a total dickweed not to let yourself be swept up in the whole distinctive fun of it all.

Drifting along to ‘Watch It Wharf’, you’ll realise how much of a smart bloke Nathan Roche is, and how he’s able to construct that intelligence into a speech that the everyday dole-bludger can appreciate. Lackadaisical, loose and  more fun than doing lines of coke with Jack Nicholson and Humphrey Bogart, ‘Watch It Wharf’ is a fucking great album that makes up another part of the NR collection.

Nathan Roche seems to play just about fucking everywhere, all the time, so it shouldn’t be that hard to catch him live. However, the Sydney launch for ‘Watch It Wharf’ will be occurring at The Square on December 13. It’s a double launch (oh my!) with Angie and her recent solo effort (it’s a killer record, and you might know her from Straight Arrows and Circle Pit). Red Belly Black Snake and The Friendsters are playing support.

Oh yeah, and ‘Watch It Wharf’ is out now on Fartpound Records.

Album Review: Unity Floors-Exotic Goldfish Blues


Do you hear that? Over the crest of yonder hill? I believe it’s coming from the Inner West. Yep, its the sound of Unity Floors’ debut record. ‘Exotic Goldfish Blues’ is the kind of album that stops its complexity at the title, and invites even the most brain-dead of people to bop their heads enthusiastically.

Unity Floors are a duo thathave been kicking around Sydney for a while now, chucking out a slew of EP’s and 7″, but unfortunately, they never really gained the recognition that they most definitely deserve. Their brand of slacker-pop is about as feel-good as a down-n-outer can get, strutting along the well-worn Sebadoh line along with their contemporaries Woollen Kits, Chook Race and Boomgates.

Case in point: the tracks,‘Day Release’, ‘Just For A Minute’ and ‘Gettin On’. These tracks cement themselves with a catchy-as-fuck riff that never slows down, smudging your brain with the pelter of Newtown-rainsoaked guitar. Another great feature of Unity Floors is their stoner-garage wisps, a ‘niche sound’ that doesn’t seem all that dissimilar from Parquet Courts. as seen in  ‘Holy Hell’ and ‘Petrov’s Cloud’.  Furious but quiet guitar that razes all in its path, whilst earnest, half-shouted vocals accompany the blazing trail of noise. Fuck, you can almost see the joint-smoke curling itself outside the granny flat/recording studio as Unity Floors banged out this slacker masterpiece.

However, Unity Floors save their best shit for last. The album builds and builds like the intensity of the flashing light that means you have to change the oil in your 2004 Toyota, and then there’s this giant crash of half-relief, half-snideness on ‘Crash Cars’. Although all the songs on the album are brilliant, and will put you in the sort of risk-taking mood that says  ‘fuck it, let’s try Vegemite’, ‘Crash Cars’ encapsulates the dole-bludging, crooked-smile-owning, Marrickville-born-‘n’-bred legend that every teenager worth their salt inevitably becomes. Oh, yeah, and the finishing guitar solo that sounds like J Mascis was just decapitated by Mad Max after his fifth schooner of XXXX? Yeah, that’s pretty cool as well.

Overall, Unity Floors not only put out the album that we were all expecting them to (a brilliant one that takes its queues from the 90’s, and then re-invents that for a modern audience of slackers) but they’ve also done it in a fashion of nonchalance that you’d think they did it between bong hits. Little do you know, shallow reader, this is a band of utmost genius, who’ve created a fantastic album that takes them above and beyond the pond of teenage disobedience and fucking around, and turns them into bonafide slacker heros.

If you’re one of the few in Sydney’s local music scene that still hasn’t gotten around to seeing Unity Floors (they play all the fucking time, what is wrong with you?) then lucky you, the album launch is on December 7th at the Factory Theatre. Fucking see you there.

Video: Surf City-NYC

Man, I’m kicking myself because I still haven’t gotten around to listening to Surf City’s sophomore effort, but if NYC is an indication, the album will be off the hook. I feel like that’s a massively incorrect descriptor for a band with a sound that recalls Pavement and Guided By Voices so readily, but I stick by my accusations. With ‘NYC’, Surf City have moved away from the post-modern shoegaze that they held so tightly on their debut, and have embraced slackerism and its birthplace, New York, with the kind of attitude that we all should. The result is a video and song that isn’t really about anything, yet manages to entrap your mind in a pit of lust like a horny hypnotist. With contemporaries like Virals and Reading Rainbow absolutely killing it, Surf City are still proving that they’re on top of their game, and one of the bands to watch.

Album Review: Males-Run Run Run/MalesMalesMales

As most know, I have an unhealthy fixation with underground New Zealand guitar-pop. Now, whilst that may seem specific, the niche gives it a lot more appeal. Knowing that this awesome, warm and fuzzy sound won’t be tapped into by many people gives it an ownership that accentuates its already astounding goodness. However, I’m going to go ahead and violate my personal musical porn collection and share a band that all should know about, for the sake of purity and goodness of the human spirit.

The band in question is known as Males, a staple of the Fishrider Records stable. They’ve released a mini-album/double EP thing that is worthy of your attention simply because it is attention grabbing. Listening to the second track ‘Lucky Too’, if you aren’t charmed out of your pants by the simple ecstasy and excitement that the band portray, then you may as well go swallow that bowl of cyanide that you’ve got laying next to your table Scrooge McDouche.

Indeed, every song on the record is bursting with excitement, like those small dogs you see at parks that will take any opportunity to hump your leg. However, unlike those tiny dogs, you’ll let yourself be desecrated by Males, because their pop is too good to ignore. It sees a concoction of the Flying Nun stuff as well as some more modern underground indie rock and pop. However, Males stay confined to New Zealand Kiwi stamp thing, and any influences you’ll hear on this record are solely Western Nations of the South East Asia Subcontinent (or WNSEAS) variety. Think along the lines of a bunch of Kiwis that dig on Cloud Nothings.

With songs like ‘Weakness’, ‘So High’ and ‘Over and Out’ ensuring that the listener is completely infatuated, Males solidify themselves as a band that tread a line between nonchalant infectiousness and genuine rock n roll genius. And guess what? You can buy the album from Males’ Bandcamp right here for $7 New Zealand, which is like Australian dollars but not. However, something that can be agreed on is that you need Males’ album in your life like Winnie the Pooh needs the check into rehab for his honey addiction.