Video(s): Best Coast + Montero + Speedy Ortiz + Mogwai

Mo’ music videos, mo’ problems. I believe thats an age old adage, or something. Anyway, coming at you from all sides are a bunch of videos from around the globe that will make you a worse person as you inhale sinful things through your eyes.

Best Coast-This Lonely Morning

The last time I saw a music video on Funny or Die, it was FIDLAR’s ‘Cocaine’, and Nick Offerman got his dick out. No cocks in this picture, only Best Coast’s absolutely lovely bleached surf-rock sounds. Wistful and fun, ‘This Lonely Morning’ is about as irresistible as having high tea with Beth Consentino.

Simple as always, Best Coast play tennis in the best way, by taking out all the factors of speed, fitness, velocity and flying balls, and reducing the sport to hitting a standstill object. Although not the best tennis-based music video of the year (that would go to Courtney Barnett, with ‘Avant Gardener’) but this is still a great clip/song.

Monteo-Dead Heads Come to Dinner

Imagine Kevin Parker teaming up with ‘Congatulations’-era MGMT, and then fry that result with way too much acid. The result would either be a manslaughter case or Montero, the soulful psych-pop project from Melbourne. Goddamn, ‘The Dead Heads Come to Dinner’ is a great song, half nervous laughter, half-drug induced coma, and all jittery, good times.

However, the music video steals the show, with hands down the freakiest shit of 2013 making a very welcome appearance. SEE: Purple Witches Raise the Occult With Hula Hoops! WATCH: Christmas-themed Creatures from the Swamp Confusedly  Rise To Their Rightful Thrones! ADMIRE: A Jellyfish Just Doing Its Thing!

Speedy Ortiz-No Below

Off their debut LP, its ‘No Below’ by Boston’s Speedy Ortiz. I feel like this video encapsulates everything the far right wing fears about the hippie culture. Even though I wouldn’t call Speedy Ortiz a hippie band, their usual stamp of tunes being a scuzzed-up modern nod to the Pixies etc., there are bugs crawling around on some boobs and what appears to be an orgy in the forest. Seems pretty hippie-like to me. Maybe these kids are on drugs!

Mogwai-The Lord is Out of Control

In case you’re a newcomer, Mogwai are a post-rock band from Scotland that everyone loves. And they make long songs. Except their new track ‘The Lord Is Out of Control’. Huh? That’s fucked up. However, the song itself is pretty par for the Mogwai course, a mixture of tantalising sounds all collapsing into waves of torturous noise. Although ‘The Lord Is Out of Control’ seems to hold a bit less of the usual attention grabbing sounds that Mogwai are capable of, the Spiritualized-ish tone of the track is delectable. As for the video, well its basically an art show in the video medium and it looks goddam good.

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Album Review: Major Leagues-Weird Season EP

Weird Season indeed! These Brisbane gals think they can just…invert and drain the colours of the cover of their debut EP?! What kind of travesty is this? Are we living in Cold War-era East Berlin? Are we under the domineering rule of some sort of tyrannical warlord? You can’t just…just…well, actually it looks pretty good. And the music on the EP is hella awesome. So, I guess Major Leagues get a pass on this one…but if The Lumineers try this shit, there will be hell to pay!

To give some background context, Major Leagues are a surf rock/shoegaze/dream-pop/delectable nearly all-girl band from Brisbane. And guess what? They rule harder than a My Bloody Valentine band having a rock showdown with a Pavement cover band. On a side note, wouldn’t that be great to see? Anyway, onto the topic of conversation that is more awesome than that musical duel to the death, this frankly gorgeous band ahve finally gotten around to releasing their debut EP, a record so chock-full of amazing music, they should just rename it the Ultimate Shoegaze Burger w/ A Side of Greatness EP

Opener ‘Silver Tides’ channels My Bloody Valentine like I channel garage-pop into my brain. Besides the droney guitar, there’s also a cutesy, wide-eyed and head-boppin’ chorus to offset the nauseating guitar lines in the verses. A teen-ballad to the core, its a track that would make both Kevin Shields and Best Coast very proud. After that opener, we’re introduced to ‘Feel’, a song that is Pavement/Guided By Voices-esque in structure. However, with that teenage vibe still going strong, and the feeling that this song was created after a really bad breakup and a really good surf, you lose sight of the influence, and can focus on the greatness of the track.

So far, so good. Onto ‘Endless Drain’, a track you probably know better as ‘Oh…Oh my god! It’s that song, turn it…turn it up, turn it up!’. Catchy like the fish-of-the-day at your local seafood joint, ‘Endless Drain’ rolls around and around in your head like that crush on that girl you’ve known since kindergarten. Next, it’s ‘Teen Mums’, a song title every parent fears and every high school unfortunately owns. Starting out longingly, and only getting more so, this is a track that everyone wishes they could write, but few actually can. That might seem like an overstep considering its basically just a ‘I wish he was my boyfriend’ shtick, but its because so many of those songs go through my head, and this one actually sticks out that ensure that ‘Teen Mums’ is a song to focus on. Last but not least, its ‘Creeper’, the loudest track on the EP, and a splashy, blasty and fun way to end out the EP. Dripping with some cool-as-Kim-Deal feedback and squelching its gumboots in every emotional puddle that the average teen goes through, ‘Creeper’ is the best way Major Leagues could have finished off their debut EP.

Overall, its hard to find any real fault with Major Leagues first major record. It follows in the footsteps that have gone before with the girly guitar pop, but it does it damn well. Besides Go Violets and Bloods, its hard to think of an Australian band doing what Major Leagues do to such a great degree. Awesome stuff!

Major Leagues are playing their last show in Brisbane for ages this weekend, so that’s a total bummer, however, to tide us over, they’ve politely put the last three tracks up on their Triple J Unearthed Page. So, enjoy that shit and wait in unhealthy anticipation for Major Leagues to tour again.

New: Best Coast-I Don’t Know How

Well, thank all that is holy in this world, Best Coast are back to doing what they do best: making music to laugh and cry to. ‘I Don’t Know How’ starts as a beautiful, last waltz kinda track that sways with total majesty, before reverting into an upbeat rocker. There’s still the close to home longing in Beth Consentino’s vocals that we’re used to, but it sounds a lot more accessible to anyone that just happened to tune into the radio than some of Best Coast’s older stuff. But overall, wow, what a stunner of a track.

Gig Review: Sures + Go Violets

Saturday 14th September @ Good God Small Club

ImageThere I was. 9 o’clock on a Saturday night. There was some sort of cherry infused vodka cocktail in my hand. I was surrounded by four beautiful women. And no, it wasn’t the sultry minxes I managed to convince to come to this gig with me (that’s your shout out Lisa and co., thanks for ruining my journalistic integrity), but the amazing garage pop foursome that is Brisbane’s Go Violets. They were one half of the double headliner that night at Good God, and by Brad Pitt’s Beard did they earn the title of headliner.

Go Violets, or Govies as they’ve affectionately become known as, create flawless summertime pop for a lazy beach day. Similar to Dum Dum Girls or Best Coast, this all girl group powered through their songs with utmost glee, flashing smiles and creating happiness whenever another of their hazy tunes was sparked. Although they were there to promote their latest single ‘Wanted’, a particularly captivating track of their whole swanky swag of songs, almost every single thing that burst forth from the stage was a delight to the earholes. Seriously, try to maintain a frown when something like ‘Josie’ or ‘Runner’ shines like Leonardo DiCaprio’s toothy grin, right in your face. It’s an impossible feat, one not even worthy of attempting because you’ll end up shitting yourself in the effort. Now try, if you will, to transform that into a super chilled out and boppy performance in a low ceilinged Mexican villa near Chinatown. Sounds like heaven right? Wrong, its more than heaven, because Govies are angelic performers that shit on the descriptor of heaven. These gals are performers, just kids out to have shitloads of fun and totally achieving it. Although the vocals were a little bit fucked at one point (sound fault, not the band’s fault), and the audience were reluctant to give up the role of chatty dickheads until about halfway through the performance, Go Violets remained flawless. Anyone that paid even the minutest amount of attention was swarthed in their basking glow of awesome. Extra points for the guitarist/drummer (that’s right, these ladies are multifaceted) rocking a Palms t-shirt. An awesome band needs to show recognition for equally awesome bands right?

After the blossoming set of summer sheen from Go Violets, it was the main-er event of SURES. Sydney locals that were originally a duo, which then expanded to a four piece, was tonight a holy pentagon of musical prodigies. Yep they rocked a permanent tambourine player that night. I couldn’t convince myself it that was awesome or fucking awesome. Probably the latter. Anyway, SURES rocked the stage at Good God. What started as a warm performance got slowly hotter and hotter until it was a broiling mixture of sweat and lava. The band really put out a good show for the local turn out. They kept chat to a minimum, but seemed to be having a pretty dope time on stage. There was a mix of the old and the new, stuff from the debut ‘Stars’ EP absolutely setting the crowd alight with excitement. The title track and ‘Poseidon’ were jaw-dropping, but it was an alternate, extended version of ‘Romeo’ which really got my bojangles janglin. The melted guitar splash solo outro was brain-frying. After hearing  a song I’ve heard countless times before, I turned to my female compadres and uttered a genuine ‘Ladies, you have just witnessed history being made’, before collapsing into a state of ecstasy.

After a Kylie cover that was actually good, and a wild and insane closer of lead single ‘Waste’ , in which the band put 80’s era Guns N Roses to shame on band energy levels, and swept the crowd into a rambunctious onstage riot, the night was finished. It would be easy to say that SURES and Go Violets put on a hell of a show together, but that would definitely be an understatement. Both bands are young, but they both have an onstage presence that belies their age, and both bands song writing abilities are way above par. Word of warning: go see these bands, or risk revelling in regret for the rest of eternity.

For some free SURES tuneskies click here. Ditto goes for Go Violets here.

Album Review: Ghost Wave-Ages

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I am so happy to have discovered this album. It’s an absolute pearler. If you can’t accept how amazing Ghost Wave are as a band, then you seriously need to get your head out of your arsehole and put down your N’Sync album, because there is a new revolution in music. And it goes by the name of ‘Ages’. Fuck this is a great album. God himself could not have crafted a tastier compilation of tracks. 

 

Ghost Wave are like a new wave band that got with the times. Think The Psychedelic Furs with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The songs on ‘Ages’ all scream urban bohemia, but not in the dumb hipster Brooklyn way you’d think. Ghost Wave are cool and awesome, but greatest of all, Ghost Wave have the element of authenticity, a characteristic so many others crave but fail to come even close to capturing. It’s this authenticity and obvious passion that goes into each groovy track that makes Ghost Wave a band such a pleasure to listen to.

Just take a spin on songs like ‘Horsemouth’, with it’s neo-pysch opener that turns into a no-frills slide into orgasmic sound. Or ‘Here She Comes’, a chilled and addictive guitar track, that also boasts a rhythm section that buzzes in your ear like a friendly bee, despite the paradox that sentence holds. The album closer ‘Orb’ is one for the next P@rtY Playli$t (don’t lie, that’s what you call all your playlists), a song that literally drips with fried confidence and blazes up to insane proportions. On a serious note, how many bands can write a good song called ‘Teenage Jesus’? That fact alone should convince you of Ghost Wave’s greatness. 

The best thing about this record is how fun it is to listen to. Not a whole lot of bands can claim that anymore. Everything is super dark, and serious, and sometimes that can be super graining to listen to. But then, on the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got acts that are just laughable (Miley Cyrus, Lil Wayne, Riff Raff) and the only way you can listen to them is if you sputter about how you’re ‘…doing it ironically, like duh!’. There’s only so many times someone can catch you listening to ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’, before that shit gets old. But Ghost Wave strike the perfect balance. They just make cool, funky music that, like a party-loving parasite, will lay it’s good vibe eggs inside of you. These eggs will hatch and devour you from the inside, turning your cold, soulless being into something that could maybe entertain the possibility of a good time. Pulling away from the extended metaphor of airborne fun viruses, and to end on an utmost recommendation, Ghost Wave’s debut album is better than grilled cheese sandwiches. ‘Ages’ fucking rules. 

You can buy Ghost Wave’s album here, on their Bandcamp

Album Review: SURES-The Night, Hero, Waste, Time, Getting Better EP

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I have a confession/personal anecdote/untold truth of unbearable proportions…I absolutely adore SURES. They are one of my darling bands, that, along with the likes of Cloud Control and Washed Out,  you can’t help but fall in love with. Dreamy lyrics, surf rock innocence and a bright eyed aesthetic make everything that SURES push out of those cannals of genius they call mouths works of unanimous awesomeness. There’s no way you can listen to a SURES track, especially off this new EP, and not melt into doey-eyed abandon. Even the toughest inmate will dismantle to a fallen love-stricken teenager at the opening chords of a SURES track. It doesn’t matter how many prison tattoos you got, cholo, when the swirling love drops of tracks from the first EP like ‘Romeo’ or ‘Stars’, then you will transform into a rubbery, blubbering mess. And that’s a theme they continue into their second EP, ‘The Night, Hero, Waste, Time Getting Better’.

OK, so at first glance, that title seems to be the least inspired title ever to come to fruition since ‘Jaws’ (‘So, it’s a movie about a shark, that’s really big” *passes joint* “Does it have a big mouth” *passes joint* “Yeah” *sniffs line of coke, passes joint* “Alright, we got a name, lunch break everyone”). I mean, it’s just the names of the five tracks on the EP? Where’s the Hemingway-esque literary concept title that is par for the course for every sophomore indie rock EP? However, as a few listens will prove, SURES weave their own narrative, a deep and standardly teenage one through their five tracks. They do it they way they know best-with adolescent sweat and tears, ambivalent enthusiasm and earnest to the core. And by Zeus’ testicles does it sound great.

The first track, ‘The Night’ is suitably dark and clustered in shimmering neon light. Stumbling through the city, carrying only a knapsack of indie glitter riffs and sporting a cap of solitary snare, the tracks winds and twists past the usual angst and delivers true potency like only the best of indie rock bands can. The defiant but unsure nature is juxtaposed with the next track, ‘Hero’, which opens with a really victorious guitar schphiel and only gets more starry-eyed from there. SURES even manage to incorporate some jangle underneath the longing and stranded lyrics.

And now we find ourselves in the middle of the EP, caught somewhere between assuredness and griping anxiety. It’s up to the band to tell us where to go, and the answer in ‘Waste’ is a strong a rebel cry as any Rage Against the Machine track. Okay, maybe I’ve slightly overstepped the mark there, but ‘Waste’ has got a damn tasty little guitar break in there, and the clashing, cymbal bashing chorus is a bottomless cavern of amazing. The woo-oo ending recalls the final moments of Weezer’s ‘Undone (The Sweater Song)’. And we all know how that story ended (hint: Weezer, they’re…kind of a big deal around here). The final two tracks, ‘Time’ and ‘Getting Better’ are both washed clean, romance tracks that sway the listener like a palm tree in the aftermath of the world’s most chiller hurricane, dude.

‘Undone’ isn’t the only Weezer comparison one could draw with SURES. Both are bands that sing of youthful intent with utmost confidence and understanding, despite, and I’ll use a poetic licence here the songs and whole teenage concept actually being about failure and regret. Both bands are ones that indulge in being the romantic outsider, but instead of trying to force their way through with their music, they appeal to their own silent majority. And they succeed with total authority (or anti-authority, I don’t know I’m losing my mind in the greatness of this EP). Whilst Weezer went on to become the megastars they are today, SURES are only at the tip of the iceberg. There is no fucking way this band will not become bigger than Ben Hur, or Muse, to use the parlance of our times (like I said, my mind is in complete disarray)

‘The Night, Hero, Waste, Time, Getting Better’ EP is available on Friday. Props to themusic.com for allowing the average Joe to stream it before hand, which you can do right here. I’ll re-iterate, SURES are on the pinnacle of something pretty huge, so you can brag about being into them, like, before they got popular, and go see them chuck a double headliner with the amazing Go Violets. It’ll be at Good God on Saturday 14th September. It’ll be my third time seeing them, because I’m one of those damn hipsters, but it also means that SURES come highly recommended.

Finally, here’s two free tracks from SURES’ first EP from the band’s Triple J Unearthed Page. Get them, or be re-incarnated in the next life as a buttplug. It’s your choice.

Album Review: Thee Hugs-Drug Use and Alcohol Abuse

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Ladies and gentlemen, to start the review, I offer a metaphor. The Hulk has just gone to Taco Bell. Uh-oh, bad move Hulk. After approximately 20 minutes, The Hulk eschews a wild hurricane of Hulk excrement. That, my esteemed reader, is my representation of the debut Thee Hugs record. Mean, green and dirty. Also, unique, slightly disgusting and revelling in the abysmal depths of a public toilet in a shitty chain restaurant. Goddamn it’s a beautiful thing.

There are four major hints before even listening to a single song on the album that it’s going to be a fantastic thing. Firstly, the band’s name: Thee Hugs. Every band with Thee tacked onto the beginning has a legendary status. Thee Oh Sees, Thee Headcoats, Thee Hugs. It’s a thing, trust me. Secondly, the album name: Drug Use and Alcohol Abuse. With a name like that, it’s not like your going into the album blind; you know that there’s going to be drug references abound, like a 2013 Fear and Loathing. Awesome sauce. Thirdly, the band members that form Thee Hugs are from the other juggernaut Brissy garage sphincters Tiny Migrants and Sulphur Lights. Highly recommend checking these acts out, if you have a soul. I mean, I don’t have a soul, and I fucking love them, so imagine how you’re going to react. Finally, the artwork for the album is done by Sam McKenzie, who also did cover art for the infamous Velociraptor and everyone’s favourite rabbit-masked maniac Nobunny, amongst others. So yes, before even listening to a track, I’m confident that I’m in very good hands.

And….I’m correct. Holy Fuck, am I correct. ‘Drug Use and Alcohol Abuse’ is a monstrous blistering ride through insanity. It cruises through the seedy streets of Brisbane in it’s shitty Toyota, picking up mates like The Wipers and White Lung, trying and failing to score with hotties like Tyvek and The Reatards, and finally ending the night by scoring some smack of this dodgy dealer called King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. That dude was fucking crazy. 

Anyway, the LP is a spaced out, sped up affair that throws its weight around in sub-zero gravity, just because it can. Tracks like ‘She’s My Girl’ and ‘You Can Run But You Can’t Hide’ showcase a Cramps horror-punk style, enlisting reckless abandon and shoving it up every orifice of insane until spew erupts from the concept’s nostrils. Then there’s stuff like ‘Somebody Pooed in the Pool’ and ‘Nazi Shooter’ that are just plain fucking weird for the sake of it. Did I mention I love it? Because I do, I really fucking do.

Thee Hugs are unruly and unrestricted in the best sense of the word. For a debut album, this breaks all the boundaries of what is considered normal, and that is a fan-fuckin-tastic thing. It’s beautiful in it’s ugliness, shining a light into the murky water just to see how big of a shit is down there. Hint: it’s gargantuan, and you gotta be at least a little bit impressed. Very good stuff. Very, very, very good stuff. Lux Interior would be so proud. 

You can buy (or stream, in case this review hasn’t convinced you of the retarded genius of Thee Hugs) on the band’s Bandcamp right here. There’s also a single ‘She’s My Girl’ on there for free. Get it….or a swarm of swamp monsters will bite off your genitals. Consider the circumstances and make the right choice. 

New: SURES-Waste

Sydney dream-pop, surf band SURES have just released a new single ‘Waste’, and it sounds promising. The song harnesses the washed out power of bled out guitars, as the song scratchily smothers itself into a cocoon of adolescent sound. It’s like Best Coast fronted by a dude instead of Beth Consentino. The star point of the song comes in towards the end with the near-incoherent but genuine yelling and yelping and the concentrated and forceful guitar feedback resonating with the cymbals. Although that doesn’t sound nearly as appealing as I would like, I can’t recommend how great it is to hear this track.

New Bleeding Knees Club-Feel

New Bleeding Knees Club-Feel

This is the latest from Bleeding Knees Club, one of Aus’s brightest garage rock wunderkids. Speaking of wunderkids, the whole superhero vibe is coming through pretty strong on their brand spanking new track. It could quite easily be the theme song for your average 90’s sitcom, like Malcolm in the Middle or Saved By the Bell. It shows that Bleeding Knees Club are going more in the garage-pop way of the tracks like ‘Girls Can Do Anything’ and ‘Let it Go’ from their debut, rather than the noisier, punker early stuff. Regardless of the change in direction, it sounds damn good, and an EP can’t be too far off. KEEN!