Fuck, this is terrifying. I imagine my reaction to this is similar to a hermit who hasn’t had any interaction with the outside world for 50 years, and then is subjected to a SAW movie marathon. Absolutely gut-bustingly terrifying in the best possible sense. It’s starts loudly and terrifically, as instruments slather over each other at a pace that would make Black Flag devotees would call “too fast”. It then divulges into B-movie gore, before swivelling it’s seat into an even more horrifying bludgeon. Each chorus takes things to a new level, a scintillating torture of synths interating with some of the most furious punk rock that’s been heard in some time. For those that feel they’ve become bored with current music, have a go at this – Stations will not disappoint, but rather, rip your fucking ears off, and chew them like ribbed, concaving beef jerky.
It’s impossible to read a band and song like this, and resist the temptation to listen to them. It’s like Willie Nelson saying no to weed.
However, instead of the black metal people probably expected, we’re treated to some vixen synth-punk, like The Dead Weather being cradled by Chrome. Looming clouds of synth work shrouds a biting monologue that devolves into warring noise factions. You come in expecting brutality, you leave with some mild genius.
There are many uncertain things in this life. Did I leave the oven on? Is this genital itch temporary? Who am I, and what am I doing on this planet? One thing is for certain: Donny Benet has the Midas Touch, and everything that comes under his gentle swaying nature turns to gold.
You don’t have to look very far into his discography to find something you’ll like. He has a presence that is indescribable, sultry, sexy and dastardly, smoother than a baby jaguar’s fur.
On his latest track, Donny ups the game to near-insurmountable heights. This single is literally the greatest use of a synthesiser since the Miami Vice theme. The song bends and wobbles under the guidance of Donny’s expert touch and feel, and warms to a sweltering heat with the inclusion of the beloved Kirin J Callinan, who provides the hottest vocals since Q Lazzarus.
‘The Edge’ swells, rising like our temperatures and genitals, swaying with incredulous glee, until Callinan’s orgasms are matching the same pitch as Donny’ feverish instrumental work. And then, as everyone, both the musicians and the listener, lay in panting, gasping pleasure, the song ends, and Donny reaches over to light your post-coital cigarette.
Fuck, I feel like I just wrote 50 Shades of Grey.
‘Paradise’ remains one of my favourite songs of the year, an overwhelming pop song, with laced gothic inflections and soaring synth lines that scale the heights of melody like those zombies from World War Z. And just like World War Z, there’s the handsome-as-Brad-Pitt vocals from Tara Green ricochetting loveliness everywhere.
The film clip goes for a dark path, imaging the synth duo as robbers, human runways replete with the most fashionable home invasion suits since The Italian Job remake. The video is stark and sexy, combining the images of near torture and with the obvious affection between Green and her partner Jimi Kritzler. Suave as hell, this is a narrative that brilliantly matches the glorious tune that is ‘Paradise’.
How great was that movie Norbit? You know that movie where Eddie Murphy plays all the roles? Sure, it was massacred by critics and audiences alike, and is considered worse than a half hour with Seth MacFarlane, but surely there was some positive feedback? No?
Anyway, Melbourne resident Geoffrey O’Connor has become INSPIRED by that film (sic) and starred in every role in his new film clip for ‘Her Name On Every Tongue’. The clip revolves around a Twin Peaks-esque mystery, in which the world wonders what happened to ISIS, a super glamourous ‘trillionare entertainer’. Without this woman to lead the way, the globe collapses into static TV screens and prison inmates with shitty neck tattoos.
However, if this celebrity apocalypse does have a silver lining, it would be the tranquil, ice-cold sounds of Geoffrey O’Connor. Each synth note is an extended gripping of the spine from the hands of the Ice Queen, and every time O’Connor opens his mouth, its pure longing in audio form. This guy has had his fair share of romantic troubles, I’m sure of it. The only difference between him and me, is that Geoffrey O’Connor is that he can sing/play music/direct/act/miscellaneuous better than me. If it weren’t for this amazing song to comfort me, I’d be feeling pretty shitty right now. Thanks Geoffrey!
Yep, nothing weird at all about an unmoving woman bathed in a red light. Then again the macabre has always fitted Darren Sylvester. Icy to the point of genital-shrinking, Darren Sylvester is back with a new single from his just released record ‘Off By Heart’. Watching this clip is like watching the 80’s in motion. Over-the-top romantic thrusts of vocal passion on top of guitars-dipped-in-goth and keys that are sprinkled all over like a drunk fairy shitting pixie dust, Darren Sylvester is on top of his game with this song and clip.It’s all just unadulterated synth goodness, and by the end of it, if you aren’t running to get in line and kiss Mr. Sylvester’s hand, well, then there is something very wrong with you my friend.
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.
Ohhhhh, this is orgasmically beautiful. Normally, synth-pop is pretty ‘meh’-shoulder shrug for me; it doesn’t have the thump of most electro that charges the blood. But this new song from World’s End Press is awesome. Like ‘….uuuuuuUUUUUGUGGHHHHH!’ amazing. The awesome little ding melody bouncing in the background likens itself to electrons buzzing around your skull, and the smooth vocals wash over the body like warm bourbon over the chilly skeleton. The strings are a very nice touch too, something that 99% of songs will never pull off. Overall, ‘Reformantion Age’ is a song that goes down better than Miley Cyrus goes down on whatever record executive okay’d her music career.
Big time Massive Attack influence and diverse soundscapes abound on this one! On the second single from the Naked and Famous’ upcoming sophomore album, the band go in numerous directions, but surprisingly (and thankfully), the track doesn’t collapse on itself in confusion . In fact, they manage to tie it all together quite neatly. The acoustic jangle, soft piano, dark-pop synth and moody ambient noise are all anchored by the curling voice of Alisa Xayalith. Pretty fantastic all round!
Well, holy dicks on a firetruck if this isn’t the most amazing thing that Pikelet have pulled from the orifices that they possess. Not only is this a hypnotic masterpiece of Einstein scientific proportions, but the scientific nature of execution in the music shows that Pikelet could damn well be a cultural zietgiest in the next few weeks. I’m just saying, if Pikelet become the next Radiohead, you heard it here first.
‘Calluses’ is an album with a gross name and gross sonic textures. That’s a pun utilising the grammatical technique of a homphone. Don’t say you don’t learn shit when you read my reviews, because you totes do. Another thing you’ll learn whilst perusing my reviews is that Pikelet reflect the exact opposite of their simple name. Whilst the name recalls the delicious carbo-loaded treat, the band come at you like a temptress from Medieval Persia. Their sounds wrap and contort, synth-pop tap-dancing on ambient electro’s broken carcass, whilst psychedelica gnaws on AE’s sckull. It’s such a fucked up and beautiful mix that I couldn’t even spell skull right, or it would dilute the artistic integrity of my explanation for Pikelet. To say you won’t be a different person after listening to ‘Calluses’ is an understatement; to try and deny such a statement would be daring fate to face-fuck you with the genius of Pikelet. Go on, try and listen to the record from a cynic’s point of view, you’ll end up with chunks of brain plasma all over your sofa, from the logical incongruency that this questioning of musical virtuosity you dared defy.
Enough of this babbling. Right off the bat, Pikelet deliver a sonic palette of sound, naive Bjork-ish vocals chugging plaintively against askew guitar swirls. From the first track, you, the listener, is about to realise just how great a voice Evelyn Morris has (she is main brain behind Pikelet). She can shift, chameleon-like, in her delivery. Accusatory turns to a red lounge-room seduction, and the music follows suit. ‘The tongue is hanging out of the side of your mouth’ she cries in opener ‘Electric Gate’, before a fling of 60’s psychedelic splashes in the puddles of her innocently disturbing chanting of ‘It’s as big as my hand, it’s as dry as the sand’. This theme of the music and lyrics follows through in the rest of the album. Everything seems to be shouted without a care, and it’s weird and colourful exuberance can only be described as off putting, like the first time you watched Alice in Wonderland.
But Ryan, you scared little marmot, Alice in Wonderland wasn’t that cray-cray. Okay, well buckle up for some more stellar examples of wicked talent. ‘Must stay so humble/must stay high’ she cautions on the circus freak ‘Festivas’, zanily tranquil sounds grinding quietly against a manic harpsichord riff. ‘Pressure Cooker’ has Tribe Called Quest beats with a jilted and harrowing synth line that slowly spirals out of control, a six minute orgy of strangeness. ‘Combo’ reads like a lost Fuck Button’s track, abrasive electronica that slants into the Deerhunter ‘nocturnal pop’ side of things more than a couple times. If that doesn’t freak you out in the slightest, you’re wrong.
It might seem like I’m deriding this album a bit with all the negative connotations that inspire from my descriptions of Pikelet’s music. I assure you, it is the exact opposite. A listener can only sit in silent, slack-jawed wonder. How can such a mesmerising voice be the key to such a kaleidoscope of sound? How can Pikelet’s music morph and shape itself from looming meth beast to cozy peace within a song? And how is it done all so well? I guarantee, you have never heard a record like Pikelet’s ‘Calluses’ before. It’s more than damn good. It steps into the realm of Gandalf riding a T-Rex good.
Pikelet’s ‘Calluses’ is available on Chapter Music, and you can grab it right fucking here. Don’t be that dude that everyone reckons is scum of the earth because they haven’t heard the new Pikelet record. Also, Pikelet will be wearing Sydney like a glove on Friday the 13th of September (OOOH! SCHPOOKY!) at Good God. You should go. It’s probably the last place Jason Voorhees will look for you, and the first place you’ll get to see a cool band called Pikelet. Jus’ sayin…that’s logic.