New: Tape/Off + Girl Band + Forests + White Lodge + Francis Lung (former Wu Lyf) + The Solicitors + Ernest Ellis

New songs are like herpes: you can’t get rid of them, and although they might annoy you at times, they make you a better person. Or something like that. None of these songs are annoying. In fact, they’re all awesome.

Tape/Off-Pedestal Fan

The Brisbane connection for Tape/Off isn’t too hard to listen out for in their new single ‘Pedestal Fan’. ┬áTape/Off are similar to other Brisbanauts Violent Soho and DZ Deathrays, but slightly more brutal, like an elephant charging through a cymbal shop. The tight snares, semi-bellowed vocals and raucous nature of the song makes people like me tight in the loins. But, despite the noise orgy, there’s a bit of melody shining through, turning your average schizophrenic guitar mess. Although short as fuck, ‘Pedestal Fan’ hits the sweet spot that makes garage and punk fans drool like someone shoved a water balloon down their throats.

Girl Band-Lawman

More cut-throat savagery, this time from Girl Band. The first thing you’ll probably notice about their track ‘Lawman’, is that its really quiet. It starts at a factory-floor pace, chugging along the conveyer belt. All of a sudden, there’s an unloading of squealing, dirty guitar. And it doesn’t stop, just torrents of noise, kind of like what I imagine happens every time Thurston Moore took a shit back in the late 80’s. The song is absolutely beautiful and distorting, taking sudden turns destroying your brain and haphazardly trying putting it back together. When the song finishes, your mind will look like a half-melted candle assembled by a 3 year old with the motor skills of an iguana on crack. Loud, vicious and entirely unpredictable, ‘Lawman’ is fucking rad.

Forests/White Lodge Split 7″

Now, getting slightly more friendly, but not even close to being out of the fuzz zone, its a split 7″ between the glorious White Lodge and a band called Forests. Forests (not to be confused with Forest Swords, or actual forests) are from Taiwan. I know fuck all about Taiwan, so from now on, if anyone asks, I’ll just say that it’s a place in South East Asia where an awesome band called Forests is located. Super-dooper-Koopa-Trooper they are, with a sound that could place nicely in any Ty Segall record. The fuzz overloads on the Forest songs ‘Ego Bender’ and ‘The Fall’ are ripped right from the heart of the current San Fran psych-garage scene, and it could not have been executed better if it were done by John Dwyer himself. The songs are bright, sparkly, and best of all, absolutely keeling over on overdosed acid-tinged guitar freakouts. Fucking brilliant.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the 7″, its Queensland-reppin’ psych lords White Lodge. Interestingly enough, they’ve moved away from the heavy psych, and into the lighter territory of Burnt Ones/Thee Oh Sees styled psych-garage. ‘Her Spell’ hops along at a breakneck pace, the surf-rock verses just a faint illusion that is smashed apart by the grovelling, blood-stained chorus. ‘Flower Eyes’ sees a slight return to the slowed-down badassery, but only at the beginning. It soon divulges to be another fast-paced, speed-laced flower-pop tune like The Black Lips used to make. Regardless, this 7″ needs to be owned by all lovers of anything good.

Francis Lung (former Wu Lyf)-A Selfish Man

I was a massive fan of Wu Lyf, and their self-described ‘Heavy Pop’, and it came as a bit of a blow when they broke up. They were one of the few ‘indie rock’ bands that really challenged the cocoon of sound that most bands had adopted to sell a fuck load of records. Now that the band is a thing of the past, former member Francis Lung has struck out on his own with this debut track ‘A Selfish Man’. There’s a lot going on here, but you wouldn’t know it. Lung manages to compact all the sounds on the song, and weave it into a beautiful little tapestry. And, yeah its smooth as fuck, like Ron Burgundy wearing silk.

https://soundcloud.com/the-solicitors-1/help-me-forget

The Solicitors-Help Me Forget

Power-pop is a genre that more or less faded after the 80’s. There hasn’t been any heaps, heaps ultra gewd power-pop bands that spring to mind that were around after Replacements’ ‘Pleased to Meet Me’, and in my mind, Weezer doesn’t make the cut as an altogether power-pop band. However, The Solicitors are well-placed in that genre beyond any shade of doubt. The positive-ness that radiates off the negative nature of the songs is so unsubtle, its like a warzone of good times. Like their hero Alex Chilton, The Solicitors make the kind of catchy pop that resonates for a while after the song has finished.

Ernest Ellis-Shine Like Me

It seems like Ernest Ellis is always bringing out new shit for his loyal disciples to froth over. That’s not a bad thing, by the way. That’s a really, really good thing. And it just got better, via the track ‘Shine Like Me’. His beautiful vocals drop over a sharp and delicate guitar pattern, whilst bright keys occasionally dance underneath. And then that chorus hits, and boom, you’re hooked like Dustin Hoffman’s character for the 1991 smash hit Peter Pan sequel. ‘Shine Like Me’ is a gratingly brilliant song, that again shows off the amazing skillz of Ernest Ellis.

If you’re keen for more Ernest Ellis, he’s bringing out a new record in March, and will be playing a show at Brighton Up Bar on February 28. Schweeeeeet!

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New: Community Radio + The Harry Heart Chrysalis + Melt Yourself Down + Bunny’s A Swine + Pop. 1280 + Purling Hiss + Speedy Ortiz + Astro Children + International Karate

More new songs here than I have failed romances. Hell yeah for trying! On a serious side-note, I’ve been trying to get this article published for ages, so there’s quite a few more ‘new’ songs than there usually would be. They’re all mad sweet awesome though!

 

 

Community Radio-Wildflower (free download)

Straight off the bat, and we’ve got something new from a band that has a name that’s damn impossible to find on Facebook. Community Radio are from Surry Hills (yay!), and they make the most melancholy of dream-pop (yay!). In the same vein as The Ocean Party and Ciggie Witch, ‘Wildflower’ comes off Community Radio’s new EP, also called ‘Wildflower’. Now, although my only association with flowers is that its the shit I have to buy when I fuck up, Community Radio make it sound a little more expansive and cool, especially with that delectable bass line. Awesome shit, especially because its straight outta Sydney, sounds great, and its free!

Bonus Fun Fact: Cameron Emerson-Elliot, the guy who’s responsible for this little bit of magic, is also in Songs (wow!) and plays in Youth Group.

The Harry Heart Chrysalis-You Are Not A Rarity

 

At first glance, ‘You Are Not A Rarity’ comes off as a lovely, even quaint track. It bumbles along like a stream in the forest, as anyone who comes across it is pleasantly charmed. But once you really listen to the lyrics, the track reveals itself to be more cynical than the usual acoustic number usually is. Lyrics like “If I could take you anywhere, I’d take you off my mind…there’ll never be a next time”, the embittered nature of the track appeals itself a fuck load more than the average folk-y track does. It has the same poignancy of ‘Little Lion Man’, a quietly ferocious track that hides itself amongst some beautiful guitar. Let’s just hope that The Harry Heart Chrysalis keeps pumping out the good tunes, and doesn’t go the Mumford way of embodying the douchey frat guy who plays ‘Wonderwall’ at every party.

Melt Yourself Down-Fix My Life (Ribongia Remix) (free download)

 

And, as soon as I lowered your heart beat, I’ll raise it right the fuck up again. I’m like some sort of cruel God, aren’t I? My tool of power comes in the form of a recent remix by Sydney bass maestro Ribongia. The song in question is a bit of an older one, one of the first singles from UK based acid-jazz-funk freaks Melt Yourself Down. Whilst the original track was enough to pour acid into the crevices of one’s brain, the remix adds a tension and heaviness that is rare nowadays. Without getting carried away, the track still sways with a jungle fever, like a track that would be played right before an ancient tribe removed the bones from your body in cannibalistic sacrifice.

Bunny’s A Swine-Hot Water

 

Swinging into the usual contingent of new garage rock, its Northampton band Bunny’s A Swine. Unlike NOBUNNY, the only other bunny related garage band I know of, Bunny’s A Swine are like a Canadian version of the usual ferocity associated with amateur rock. They slide around in a polite but direct manner, and it makes for some great slacker vibes, a la Built to Spill. Hell, ‘Hot Water’ could come on at any college radio station and have half the staff immediately bopping their heads along. A great treat!

 

Pop. 1280-Machine Trauma

Pop. 1280 have a name inspired by a Jim Thompson crime novelWith just that bit of information, you can already tell that the band will either be really awesome, or a gem of pretentiousness. It seems like a bit of a case of hypocrisy, coming from the most pretentious man-boy on the planet, but hey, I’m the one writing. Anyway, I trust Sacred Bones Records to only sign the best bands, and once again, they prove to be one of the most forward thinking labels in the world. ‘Machine Trauma’ is a third-The Men, circa ‘Leave Home’ era, a third-Golden Era Dischord, and a third space punl. Powered by a drum machine, swirling reverb and absolutely zero fucks given, ‘Machine Trauma’ makes you want more Pop. 1280 like I want more people to pay attention to me (a hypocrite and a narcissist, I’m a psychologist’s wet dream).

 

Purling Hiss-Lolita (free download)

Purling Hiss once again show that with a great name, comes great responsibility to kick ass. Featuring one of the most powerful, Black Sabbath-y riffs since ‘Paranoid’, Purling Hiss also manage to add some power-pop to their usual brand of noise-metal. Yes, ‘Lolita’ is unusually cleaner than their previous output, but truth be told, I’m digging a Purling Hiss song where I can hear the instruments intertwine with each other like the badass cobras they are. Actually, they’re more badass than that, the sound is more like cobras that wield twin-machine guns. Yeah, that’s how badass they are. Anywho, there’s guitar solo’s abound on this track, and the deep bass groove remains awesome as ever.

https://soundcloud.com/carparkrecords/speedy-ortiz-everythings

 

Speedy Ortiz-Everything’s Bigger

Although fresh from a debut album that was put out last year (have to keep reminding myself that we’re in a new year), Speedy Ortiz are going at it again with a new EP. ‘Everything’s Bigger’ is the first single from the EP, and it shows that they’re moving into a Sleater-Kinney pattern more so now than ever. There’s still The Breeders on there, and the Pavement twang, but now there’s a slight snarl in the chords and the quiet-loud formula is so very grunge. And we all know how fucking great grunge was. Love this track, can’t wait for the EP to show its pleasant face.

 

Astro Children-Eden (free download)

More female-led rock that makes you want to get up and start a band a fraction as good as the one you’re listening to. This one comes via a mate Ian, who runs Fishrider Records over in New Zealand. One listen to this, and you’ll realise why I’m always going on about how New Zealand may or may not have a better pop scene than Australia. Far-away, shoegaze dream-pop that smacks you upside your pleasure centre, it reminds of Opposite Sex mixed with Beach House. Under the flowing breezes, there’s some anger there, and I fucking like that. If you had any sense in your brain, you’d like it to.

 

International Karate-Survive (free download)

International Karate are a band from Minneapolis, and they play straight up and down indie rock music. There’s not that much more than can be said about them, and their brand new track ‘Survive’. Oh wait, fuck, yes there is! It’s a brilliant rock track, a catchy hook fest ripped right from the Teenage Fanclub handbook. If you can’t get into the groove and headbanging potential that this track is offering in abundance, there is something actually wrong with you. Its the kind of thing that indie bands used to play, before the Yeah Yeah Yeahs became really popular, and every hipster in New York who owned a guitar decided to write bad poetry and add mandolins to whatever song they were working on at the time. The basic nature works well with the whispered vocals, and allows the guitars to do their job to an extreme. Awesome shit.