Video: Chook Race – Hard to Clean

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There’s no band quite as charming as Chook Race – they’re probably the only people who can make fitness look appealing (outside of Olivia Newtown John obviously).

Their new clip features the band testing out the latest and greatest gym equipment, with a whole bunch of snazzy sneakers and bright gym shorts to boot. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that there’s an absolutely delightful new Chook Race tune soundtracking the whole shebang as well. Chiming voices, big splashes of guitar and clanging cymbals – it’s good to have these guys back!

Chook Race’s new album Around the House is out on September 2nd on Tenth Court in Australia and Trouble in Mind in the USA.

Album Review: Police Force – Formula 1

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Punk rock and the police are intrinsically linked – from the early days of cops breaking skulls at Saints’ shows, to classic track after classic track after classic track about the punks’ and pigs’ mutual respect for one another – the embrace between the badge and three chords is a strong one.

Brisbane’s Police Force don’t explicitly state anything about coppers on their tape, but I like to reckon that they’re reflecting the seedy underbelly and corruption of a modern day police force in the way they make music. The scuzz that coats this tape is filthy and repugnant (read: 10/10); the sneer that marks their voices drawls with acidic vigour. In songs like “The News” and “Freaking Out the Squares”, there’s the same kind of blind red-misted fury that you’d see in the eyes of a cop about to beat the living shit out of some 16 year old trying to have fun in a backyard. Only this time, the roles have been reversed – now, it’s the musicians deploying their seething vitriol, using instruments instead of batons and pepper spray.

Simply by utilising what sounds like a few synths, a drum machine and some guitar, Police Force’s  Formula 1 delivers raw and dirty punk, stuff that seeps into your skin and lays a few eggs. 1977-era Martin Rev and Alan Vega would have fucking loved this record. Actually, scratch that – modern day Martin Rev and Alan Vega would fucking love this record.

Formula 1 is out now on Tenth Court Records. Grab it through Bandcamp here.

Video: Naked – Sprinters of the World Unite

12342586_1064247643608040_5733229443607803402_nFuck yeah! It’s nearly Christmas! That time of year when you disappoint your whole extended family with your barely thought out, incredibly dodgy and (let’s be honest) fucking stupid gifts. And then it’s Boxing Day, when you get to eat all of the Christmas ham that your cheap aunt knicked from the butcher’s bin, and you get to drink your grandpa’s home brew, which tastes like acidic shit, but he’s not been feeling well lately, so you chuck on a grin and say, “Mmmm, delicious!”. AND THEN it’s New Year’s, when you get to look back at all the stuff you said you would achieve, and then calculate exactly how far flat you fell, all to the tune of whatever bangers are playing at the fucking terrible New Year’s Party you’re at. Some wanker will count down/bellow obnoxiously into your ear, you’ll make out with no one, and then you’ll go home, wake up, and head to the gym, certain that THIS will be the year that you get healthy, stop smoking, and squeeze into those skinny jeans you haven’t been able to get into since 2007.

Naked’s “Sprinter of the World Unite” is the clip you should play when you first hit that treadmill. As the evils of the night before sweat out of your body, the first three and a half minutes of your fitness regime is soundtracked by some mopey pop with the most inspirational visuals pressed onto a green screen since Sylvester Stallone used digital wizardry to convince people that he could run up stairs in Rocky. I mean, there’s pizza, babies and troll dolls, as well as a song title that’s basically the alternate heading for that movie Chariots of Fire. Is there anything out there even as remotely inspiration as this song/video? 2016, here we come!

New: Sewers – Chains of Command

If you, like every other person worth nodding your fedora to, are a fan of some sludgy punk rock that errs on the side of psychotic, then you’ve probably already heard about Sewers. Of course, these mates are outta Brisbane, and they fucking rule, trawling the brian through a grisly 2 and half minutes on their new single. Coming off like Venom P. Stinger being shoved into a blender, “Chains of Commander” is a threatening coarse shout, railing against the plethora of self-entitled deadshits that inhabit this country. “Look at your badge! Look at your number!”, now that’s a fucking line Rollins wish he thought up during the ‘My War’ days.

New: Mope City – Blunt Razor

Aww Jesus Christ, Mope City just went and got crazy fucking good. I mean, they were already an amazing band, but now they’ve gone from Nicholas Cage in the mid-80’s good, to being as great as that photo of Shaquille O’Neill picking up Bill Gates.

It’s like all these scrappy Inner West bands have really evolved and shaped up, seemingly overnight. Day Ravies dropped a synth-singed pop number the other week, and The Cathys blew me away on Thursday night, pulling off Dinosaur Jr.’s “Freak Scene” with weird ease. Now, Mope City are the latest band to grow out from dingy-lit lo-fi to something fresh and exciting.

Mope City have always had slightly morbid lyrics (see: “Suicide of Town”), but “Blunt Razor” marries that with a more suitably dark sound than the band have had before. Maybe a label has splashed a bit of money on them, because these recordings are sounding clearer, and therefore the doomier aspects of Mope City are seeing clarity. “If you see me, do me a favour/have a look and see if I’m right” is now entombed by glistening guitars that belong in the basement of a haunted house. Fuck me, Mope City just got really good.

Album Review: Dag-Dogwood

Another day, another low-budget, lo-fi extravaganza. It’s getting to a point where its hard to pick what’s good, and what’s been buried under so much fuzz that it’s become an indistinguishable mess of tape and reverb. Dag bucks that trend, because his music is more stripped back and bare than the braincells in Tony Abbott’s head.

Dag’s debut cassette release is the country-tinged tear-weller ‘Dogwood’. What does Dogwood mean? Well, it’s a kind of tree that looks a lot like Winter. It’s got a cold, placid look to it, retired in every sense. That’s definitely the fell that Dusty Anastassiou brings to his music. Each song begs the question of ‘Why bother sticking around? What’s left? Why am I here?’ Not in a lovesick sense either, but in a self-tortured appreciation instead.

Take the absolute standout miser tune ‘To Be Yours’, which recalls the best stuff from Lower Plenty and Kitchen’s Floor. It’s a song that’s laid bare, just skin and bone haughtily tossed in front of us. It’s haphazard to its core, and cries with a desperate grapple at self-worth. ‘You make a man feel like he is no man at all’-It’s the kind of lyric that uncovers the real emotions behind the tough, impenetrable ocker stereotype, saying what so many blokes never had the courage to say.

It’s all about the delivery as well-Dusty Anastassiou sings his songs the way you’d expect a heartbroken crow who’s been dying of thirst in the middle of the Nullarbor to sing their songs. They’re unveiled with a slow drawl that is totally unique, and when paired with the precise yet sloppy guitars and paw scratching drums, these songs sink deeper into the consciousness than Leonardo Di Caprio’s character from Inception.

There’s doubt that Dusty Anastassiou will ever find the answers to the questions he’s asking about on ‘Dogwood’. But it doesn’t matter, because simply asking those questions puts him leagues ahead of everyone else. This dirty, ugly cassette, with its lolling guitars, course vocals and soaring harmonicas, it has more of a riveting nature than any Psych 101 class that Sydney Uni offers. Guess that’s what you get when you become disillusioned in the dustbowl of Brisbane.

Guys, we should move to Brisbane.

 

Get the cassette right here-yewww!:

Dag launches their cassette in Sydney this Thursday, 17th of July, at the Bloody Lansdowne, m9’s. If the fact that you get to hang out with ol’ mate Dag at the Lanny wasn’t enough, Mope City, The Hoo Has and Encrypted Hard Drive are all playing as well. Just another reason to love The Mess Up!

Video: Thigh Master-Head of the Witch

I always thought witches were the lamest of mythical creatures. Like, the two incarnations you have are as a bitter old lady that had a wart on her nose, and wanted to turn people into frogs (aka the lamest of amphibians), or Hermione Granger, the lamest character in Harry Potter. When comparing witches to beasts like a minotaur or a cyclops, they pale in comparison, and their overt lameness shows.

Thigh Master’s new clip has made me change my views.The band runs around a patchwork galaxy full of humping dinosaurs, citadels and evergreens, whilst a witch gets hellbent on cursing innocent ol’ Thigh Master. Fear is struck into every pore of my body. Sweat cascades from my forehead. Anxiety doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel.

Luckily, there’s this badass garage mourner occurring in the peripherals. ‘Head of the Witch’ is a slacker tune that’s upheld with stringy vocals that sound like they’re been bubbling in a cauldron for a fair while, and wretched, cursed guitar. Even though Thigh Master end up with their heads getting voodoo’d on a beach whilst a knight on a dragon attacks a T-Rex in the background (yes, this is how the video ends), there’s going to be this tune to carry on the Thigh Master legacy.

New: Dag-There’s A Power

I’m a dag, and there’s no doubt about it. I’m a loser of the highest order. I like Star Wars way too much, and I will argue Terminator 2’s valuable inclusion to the cultural lexicon to the death. Also, I once caught all 151 Pokemon. And I wear weird shirts that don’t fit my body.

But Dag (band) are here to tell me that it’s alright to be a complete nerd/worthless member of society. Apparently, there’s a power to that, if the bare minimum of information is anything to go by. Well, at least there is when you’ve got a lo-fi Cosmic Psychos mixed with Brisbane suburbia thing going on. Regardless of where the power lies, with the non-contributing associates of social currency, or normal folk, this song is pretty fucking sick.

Video: Shrapnel-Tobacco Dream

No one could ever accuse Sam Wilkinson of being a bad guy. Ever. Besides being nicer than Glinda the Good Witch handing out free puppies, he’s a pretty key ingredient of drop-dead gorgeous bands like Day Ravies, Mope City, Beef Jerk, King Tears Mortuary. Not to mention this lovely new solo project he’s cooked up by the name of Shrapnel, a dirty little pop scene of its own.

Well, everything you know is about to change. This scumbag, this…this genocidal maniac murdered over 1,000 matches for the making of his new clip! Butchered those things senseless, slaughtered them into a scale of the quadruple digits! What a monster! What a maniac! Who is letting this guy create such amazing music and senselessly violent videos? He probably gave that gooey Playdough monster lung cancer as well.

Shit, if ‘Tobacco Dream’ wasn’t such a good song, I’d have to carry out some vigilante justice. I’m not the hero that Sydney deserves, but the one it needs.

New Australian Music: Shrapnel + NUN + Lace Curtain + Full Ugly + Slow Violence

Boom, shackalaka! New Aussie music tunes to fill your ears unlike that hole in your life left by a yearning sense to accomplish something of semi-importance, and achieve self-fulfilment. Alas, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs will again go disused. Now go, cover that shame with some killer tunes.

Shrapnel-Print and Sign

Sam Wilkinson is a man of many guises, like some sort of musical Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2. Hell, both are located in Sydney! Shit, Sam Wilkinson is fucking Tom Cruise!

Massive coincidences aside, Mr. Wilkinson has a new project under the name of Shrapnel, which is a weird, psych-pop thing that has all the cuteness and warmth of a gentrified Chest-Burster. If ‘Print and Sign’ grew up in the wild, it would be a ferocious beast that’s sole aim in life was to rip open chest cavities, and wreak horror upon a crew of unsuspecting space explorers. Luckily, Sam Wilkinson tamed this gnarled terror into a lounging, Mac DeMarco-meets-MGMT (Brian Eno era) pop number, that ends in a tripped out passage that’s more Hitchiker’s than Alien. Damn, it feels good to drop dumb references to local music!

NUN-Evoke the Sleep

NUN (not to be confused with the surf-rock group NUNS) are one of the brightest and best synth-punk groups to come out of Melbourne since Primitive Calculators. They’re undulating, weird and best of all, really super. Their new single, which comes off their upcoming debut, starts out ultra-Devo. Penetrating synth chords develop under blinding heat, until eccentric-noise buries them and brilliant rays of Jenny Branagh’s voice evokes a most Doctor WHo re-indition of Olivia Newtown John’s ‘Let’s Get Physical’.

Lace Curtain-I Can’t Wait

Lace Curtain hold one of my favourite EP’s of all time to their name, so anything they produce will cause rabid fits of excitement, and put me into a minor form of mental institution. ‘I Can’t Wait’ is no exception, and only after listening to it multiple times could the perfect metaphor be crafted to explain its greatness. Dark, titillating post-punk rears it’s Loch Ness head from a murky marsh, as all the Swamp Monsters and Black Lake Creatures gather around and dance their flapping gill-heads into the night, never losing their gaze from the tyrannical sounds onstage.  Copious amounts of MDMA were all involved in the production of such an orgasmic gathering of oft-overlooked B-Movie Monsters.

Full Ugly-Hanging Around

‘Drove Down’ was one of the most criminally underrated songs of 2013. Even I, No.1 Ginger of Sydney, didn’t recognise the brilliance of this 7″ for quite some time. And I felt the wrath of personal underachievement for quite some time. BUT ALL SHALL BE RECTIFIED, because Full Ugly have gotten around the releasing a new single! Although ‘Hanging Around’ doesn’t hold the same ability to touch upon all the emotions of the rainbow like ‘Drove Down’, it still showcases Full Ugly as one of the best slacker bands in Australia.

Each chord in ‘Hanging Around’ seems to drip off each other, forcing your rigid, cynical neck to bop up and down in the most fluid and gentle of ways. And the chorus, although sung in an off-the-cuff, casual way, has the same potency as if it had been screamed into your face by one of the bands off Cool Death Records. Doper than a Jesse Pinkman monologue.

Slow Violence-New Teen Angst, Pt. 2

Slow Violence? New Teen Angst, Pt. 2? Yeah, there’s no fucking way these guys aren’t a really shitty Black Flag rip-off that actually spent more time listening to My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday than they did with ‘My War’. Only, they’re not. Instead, Slow Violence provide one of the most subtly comforting soundtracks in recent history. A mostly ambient mix, there’s traces of sighin’ R&B (‘Crushin’), Jon Hopkins shufflin’ (‘Limb’) and post-rock akin to Explosions in the Sky-meets-The National (‘Kidz’). Woah…did your jaw just drop? Mine is currently chilling on the opposite end of the Earth, somewhere around Greenland.