Album Review: Cull-Bà Nội

artworks-000061835551-4lvt1n-t200x200Well, happiness exists. And it exists in the form of Sydney’s psych-pop stars Cull. Despite the title that you’ll inevitably have to copy-and-paste, Cull’s Bà Nội is a mind-expanding treat of the highest order. Listening to these four songs is like playing Candy Crush with Merlin or sliding down a water slide with a Sasquatch: there’s a simple, innocent pleasure that is immediately increased in awesomeness through the inclusion of a mythical element. And goddamn, if that is not the greatest allegory I have ever written.

The opener to the EP is entitled ‘World Inside Your Head’, a song that grabs from all the great psych-poppers and sketches them into a truly beautiful track. It’s like if ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ was covered from start to finish by MGMT, and then Kevin Parker did a remix. ‘World Inside Your Head’ spins around like a desktop background screensaver, delightfully jumping around at an irreverent pace with jilted keys and faraway drone-y guitar that buries into whatever gland produces total enjoyment,

After that burst of sunshine-filtered-with-drugs opener, the quirk and psych gets upped with ‘The Sacred Burn Urn’, a track that thankfully comes off really well, and not like the most bullshit pysch pretentiousness that a song title like that could have warned of. Instead, the song balances between grinding self-consciousness and lightly-stepping on the cornerstones of Tame Impala, and fearlessly journeying into a deep abysses of sound. You wanted pretentiousness? You came to the right place. Soundly ‘I write with a pencil signed by Hemmingway’ Sounds.

‘Animate’ continues the dual nature of Cull’s song, schizophrenically switching between balls-out crushing noise and wide-eyed and wafting sounds. Rather than being disorientating, the song actually just epitomises all there is to love about psych pop, the nonchalant weirdness that alienates and draws you in. The swaying nature of the track is awesome, and Cull perfect both sides of psychedelic music that ‘Animate’ displays.

Likewise to ‘Animate’, ‘Keep My Star’ spirals between two sides of the same stone, however on their last track, Cull decide to really show how good they are at shoegaze. However, this is more the kind of stuff that made My Bloody Valentine famous, for when Cull get noisy, they get really fucking noisy, peeling layer after layer of guitar into the mix. And when Cull get mellow, by Peter Tosh’s dread-hairs do they get mellow. The vocals that sink and drift in the murky verses of ‘Keep My Star’ are a little bit off-putting, and all the more desirable for it.

For a local band, Cull show that they have a firmer grip on how to manipulate noise and rhythms within a song than most established bands. Their off-kilter presence, and ability to channel pysch-pop into groovy, constantly listenable stuff is fucking awesome to say the least.

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New: The Flaming Lips-Elephant (Tame Impala Cover)

It has been a while since Wayne Coyne and his band of merry freaks released something as great as this. Usually The Flaming Lips are content to wallow in the weird, but not really doing anything that great. However, since becoming best buds with Kevin Parker, it seems that some of that Australian genius has reinvigorated the Lips, as they’ve gone and released this stellar and dark cover of 2012’s ‘Lonerism’s best track.

The Flaming Lips’ version of ‘Elephant’ opens with Coyne saying ‘…this is the one that goes ba-boom-ba-chum…’ before launching into a distorted and slightly warbled mimicry. However, the space and sci-fi that The Flaming Lips bring to the earthy track can’t go unnoticed. Whereas ‘Elephant’ used to trod and stomp, the track floats and glides with alien prowess, just chilling above our heads along with Wayne Coyne’s fucked up mind.

Its shit like this that brings back hope for The Flaming Lips, and reminds us why they’re such a great band.

New: Shining Bird-Stare Into the Sun

This song is lovely, elongated and mind-melting. It’s like a good wine-it matures with time, and thus becomes more enjoyable. This isn’t the sort of thing to put on when you’re trying to rush around and get shit done. This is the kind of thing you want to play when your on the roof of a tall building, wind tussling your hair, the sunset slowly drying up on the horizon. This is the kinda shit that The Flaming Lips used to make on ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots’ and ‘Soft Bulletin’. I especially like the churning guitar and minimal chimed vocals towards the end of the track. Beautiful. Shining Bird’s debut album ‘Leisure Coast’ will be out on September 6th, on Spunk (lol Spunk)

Top 10 Artists of All Time-1 Year Celebration Fuck Yeah

I am finally getting around to finishing off this final mammoth of an article in celebration of my 1 year Anniversary with Soundly Sounds. Although it started off in my mind as a good idea to do 3 articles about my favourite albums, songs and artists, it has risen to a point in which I would rather let a scorpion pillage me for sexual pleasure than write another behemoth of these. But regardless, I’m fucking doing this shit anyway. Because otherwise Clancy ‘I-thought-you-were-a-journalist’ McDouchebag would rear his ugly head from the proverbial woodwork, like that alien that tries to eat the Millennium Falcon on that crater, in Star Wars Episode IV: Revenge of the Sith. Fuck that’s such a great movie. You know what else is great? All these bands. Fuckin all these bands are worthy of the highest acclaim acknowledgeable from myself. I have selected these particular artists very carefully, not just because they’re amazing, or had a particularly excellent album. No, these artists have consistently pumped out tunes for your earholes that you can molest at your won pleasure. These are bands that give you a boner whenever you hear they are releasing something new, already frothing over how good it will inevitably be. These bands are no rookies to the music scene, these guys are the fucking music scene.

Honourable Mentions go to Nirvana, Primal Scream, Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention, The Ramones, Helmet, Guided By Voices, Arctic Monkeys, Fugazi, Weezer, Violent Femmes, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Joy Division/New Order, Beat Happening, The Stooges, The Drones, Nick Cave (in all incarnations), Girls, Melvins, Jay Reatard, Queens of the Stone Age, Animal Collective, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sonic Youth, Husker Du,  The Hives,  The Clash, Eddy Current Suppression Ring,  The White Stripes, The Strokes, The UV Race, The Gun Club, Holy Fuck, Modest Mouse, Times New Viking, The Gun Club, The Black Keys, Interpol, Beach House, The Black Angels, Black Sabbath, Cloud Nothings, The Replacements, Blur, Kurt Vile, Radio Birdman,The Bronx Black Flag, Beck, Crystal Castles, The Killers, The Scientists, A Place to Bury Strangers, Bad Religion, Smashing Pumpkins, Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

10. Beastie Boys-What is not to love about the Beastie Boys? Their work revolutionised hip-hop, giving it an edge that would remain solely unto them until the likes of gangsta rap. They were funny, they were self-depracting and they loved attention. On top of this, they added an almost unheard development to the musical element of hip-hop and immersed themselves in samples. Beastie Boys were always forward thinking and progressive, from the start of 1986’s legendary ‘License to Ill’ to 2011’s ‘Hot Sauce Committee Part Two’. R.I.P MCA

9. Thee Oh Sees-Thee Oh Sees can lay claim to being the most diverse and consistently interesting pysch group of the modern age. While other bands, such as the usually excellent Tame Impala and POND might nod off towards the middle of their albums, Thee Oh Sees will always, and I mean always, push through the fog and produce something mind-blowing. A look at any of their albums will explode all pretences of ‘boring’ psychedelic music. There is nothing pretty about Thee Oh Sees: they’re a dirty, drug-ridden, shit-stained band through and through, and yet their presentation is amicable. Thee Oh Sees records will be forever renowned in my collection as being the shit I’ll pull out when someone wants to hear ‘something cool’.

8. Regurgitator- The might fuckin’ ‘Gurge! Legendary Australian bands have come and gone throughout my constant perusing of music. Midnight Oil, The Saints, and Spiderbait have all had their spot in the Ryan sunshine. However, Regurgitator have always stayed there, and I lay that claim to their intense ambition of always coming up with something different. The first three albums, ‘Tu-Plang’, ‘Unit’ and ‘Art…’ are pure genius, and remain engaging artifacts of 90’s alt-rock, something Stone Temple Pilots and Bush can’t lay claim to. Although they might have dipped out in the mid-2000’s, their push back to ambitious and awesome music with 2011’s ‘SuperHappyFuntimesFriends’ cements their place as one of my favourite bands of all time. Seeing and meeting the band at the recent Groovin’ the Moo festival was a dream come true.

7. The Cramps- The awkward mushing together of swampy rock, gore-tinged horror, gothic appearance and 60’s rockabilly should never have made it past the planning stage. But that’s where The Cramps come in. With Lex Interior, their fearless leader, The Cramps led an army of crazy, wide-eyed and abused albums for over 30 years. Each effort The Cramps have put out remains a creepy, black hole of mucus and awesome, every second track becoming your favourite Cramps track. Heroin-riddled and rattling with self-oblivion, The Cramps are a band that should never have existed, but thank fuck they did. Imagine a world with no ‘Human Fly’, ‘Bikini Girls With Machine Guns’, ‘Goo Goo Muck‘ or “Can’t Find My Mind’? What would anyone do?

6. Gorillaz- Everyone likes Gorillaz, but they haven’t listened to them in a long time. Fucking chuck on any of the first three albums (I like to think the 4th one doesn’t really count) and prepare to engage in a long, warped drive through Damon Albarn’s menal pysche. So many influences are drawn upon, into what is essentially a hip-hop project, that what comes through is an amazing pool of musical prowess, like some ‘Tree of Life’ shit. Put on the self-titled, ‘Demon Days’ or ‘Plastic Beach’ albums and remind yourself what it’s like to listen to really, really solid music with no faults.

5. The Black Lips- Flower punks, rock n roll musketeers, troublemakin’ no-gooders with guitars; call The Black Lips what you like, the only conclusion that you’re likely to draw upon is amazing. Although they don’t really provide a virtuosity to their music like the rest of the artists on this list, The Black Lips provide a generic service with unique results. They bang out more or less the same album each time, and yet, you can only feel like it’s the greatest thing you’ve ever listened to. Couple that with the fact that The Black Lips are amongst the best live bands in the world (seriously, these dudes are fucking loose). ‘Bad Kids’, ‘O Katrina!’, ‘Boomerang’, and ‘Elijah’ are just a few of the countless simple delicacies The Black Lips offer that make the world a better place.

4. Ty Segall- Ty Segall is The Who of our generation, the man does not stop making music. In 2012, he came out with three (3!) seperate albums from various projects, all of which were some of the best stuff to come out last year. This year, he’s coming out with another solo album, an album with his band Fuzz, and I believe he’s involved with Sic Alps again, but I’m not 100% sure. Regardless, the man makes fucking loose as music to get loose as to. It’s rock n roll the way it was meant to be played, obnoxiously loud, dreadfully immature, and insanely captivating. Ty Segall is the artist all garage rockers should aspire to be, not in sound, or looks, but just general being. He’s the greatest musician right now, hands down, bar none.

3. Pixies-The Pixies took the world by storm every time they released an album, and with good reason. The Pixies have more good songs than Pitbull has shitty lyrics and the STD’s of any random celebrity train wreck of the moment (think Paris Hilton, Nicki Minaj, Lindsay Lohan etc.) . They never released a bad album, and always maintained a furiously unique energy to every song they laid down. The four albums that the Pixies released will forever be remembered as some of my favourite albums. Any song in their catalogue, from ‘Debaser’, ‘Nimrod’s Son’, and ‘U-Mass’ to ‘Dig For Fire’, ‘Where is My Mind?’ and the unforgettable ‘Hey’ is always an instant hit for me. There is nothing better in the world than a Pixies song.

2. Radiohead- Although, I, like everyone else, was introduced to Radiohead through ‘Creep’, it was the latter albums like ‘The Bends’, ‘OK Computer’, ‘In Rainbows’ and ‘Kid A’ that resonated with me. Not to sound too obvious, but these are flawless, perfect albums, capable of bringing a grown man to tears (guilty), inciting massive sing alongs that envy ‘Wonderwall’ by Oasis, and in rare cases, impregnating random women that happen to hear ‘Paranoid Android’, ‘Everything in its Right Place’ or ‘Fake Plastic Trees’. There are too many Radiohead songs to mention about how amazing they are as a band. But yeah, they are my 2nd favourite band of all time.

1. The Flaming Lips-My favourite band of all time, through sheer musical prowess and venture goes to The Flaming Lips. Although not everything they’ve put out has been excellent (i.e collaborations with Ke$ha), the astounding amount of amazing material, and bravery that accompanies their sonic shifts in musical trajection puts them above any other artist in my opinion. From hard-rockers, to psychedelic, to full blown orchestral orgies of sound, The Flaming Lips have done it all, and done it better than anyone else. And blowing minds isn’t the only thing Wayne Coyne and Co. kill at; when they slow it down, the results are scandalous. Think “Race for the Prize’, ‘Waitin’ For Superman’, ‘Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1’ and of course, the inescapable ‘Do You Realize??‘. But the main forte with which The Flaming Lips kick sonic arse is when they wield the ultimate sword of psychedelica (literally the nerdiest thing I’ve ever written). When you’ve got the lush mind-melting audio-acid trip landmark albums like ‘Transmissions from the Satellite Heart’, ‘Telepathic Surgery’, ‘Clouds Taste Metallic’ or ‘Hit to the Death in the Future Head’, no one can doubt your position as the greatest band of all time. I fucking love this band.

Bambi’s Playlist

I have a friend, who has a ‘love’ for music. After perusing his iPod I was shocked at the amount of T.I and Ministry of Sound  that I could find. That’s like a concoction for the death of a musical nerd. My eyes grew abundantly wider at every song that came up in Shuffle. Sure, there was some good shit, but there were no Flaming Lips. Imagine…a life without the madness inducing Wayne Coyne present….it’s an unfathomable nightmare. Being the douchebag I am, I rose to rectify the situation as quickly as possible (ASAP if you’re into abbreviations, A$AP Rocky if you’re into overhyped hip-hop acts), and showed him Dinosaur Jr.’s ‘Feel the Pain’. To ensure no more audio-induced disaster is bestowed upon his poor, blonde head, I’ve made him this.

1. Dinosaur Jr.-Feel The Pain

2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah-Satan Said Dance

3. Community Radio-Happening For Us

4. The Flaming Lips-This Here Giraffe

5. Generationals-When They Fight They Fight

6. New Gods-On Your Side

7. We Are Scientists-The Great Escape

8. The Rifles-Science is Violence

9. The Go! Team-We Just Won’t Be Defeated

10. Atoms For Peace-What The Eyeballs Did

11. Beat Happening-Indian Summer

12. Blakroc-Stay Off The Fuckin’ Flowers feat. Raekwon

13. Spoon-You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb

14. Stereophonics-Dakota

15. Fruit Bats- The Ruminant Band

16. The Thermals-Now We Can See

17. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club-666 Conducer

18. Cults-Most Wanted

19. Jonathan Boulet-This Song Is Called Ragged

20. The Joy Formidable-Austere

Video: The Flaming Lips & Bon Iver-Ashes in the Air

The main question on everyone’s lips is: what the actual fuck is going on in this video. Actually, it’s more of a statement than a question, because everything about this video is painfully fucked up. From an glowing cyclops astronaut carrying a bearded baby, to a slaughtered man having his brain held on his chest by two naked punks, it’s fucked up in every way. It’s….artistic? I don’t know what to call it, but you have to watch it.