A Comprehensive List Of Everything I’ve Forgotten To Write About in The Past Three Months: Pt. 2 Guitar Pop

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It took about a month to follow up part one of all the shit I forgot to write about for the past three months, and I was considering throwing the towel in and start covering all the latest goss on the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album, but a lot of this stuff is so great that I’ve convinced myself to postpone my Flea think pieces for a few extra days.

 

Ocean Party – Mess + Noise Critics Poll 2015

R.I.P  Mess + Noise, Long Live The Ocean Party! This little mini-album is absolutely fantastic! If you’d like some more in-depth analysis on this album, someone on Bandcamp described it as a collection of “…moist beats…”, and who am I to disagree?

Cool Sounds – In Blue Skies

The only thing better than this beautifully lush, semi-new one from Cool Sounds is the blue-tinted panther that adorns the cover of their single artwork. Fuck yes to the marriage of jungle cats and 10/10 guitar pop!

Crepes – Hidden Star

Another winner courtesy of Deaf Ambitions, this one is a bit more of a psych-laden pool of guitar. It’s a bit of a slower jam than Crepes previous singles, but “Hidden Star” is still a crisp sip of a tinnie in January.

Heart Beach – Counting/Relief 7″

I wish that we lived under the kind but firm rule of a benevolent dictator that forced everyone to own a copy of Heart Beach’s Counting/Relief 7″, and we were forced to play it three times a day, every day, to remind us all how lucky we are that Heart Beach are a band making songs like “Counting” and “Relief”.

Weak Boys – Life Rules

Weak Boys got a shoutout in the liner notes in the new Violent Soho album, and they managed to grab a bloody gig at the most hallowed of Sydney’s venues – the Newtown Social Club (as immortalised on the B-Side of this CD-R single). So yeah, life really does rule, doesn’t it?

SMILE – Rhythm Method

If you’re having a shocker, put on this new album from SMILE. As soon as the frenzy of “Cool. I Need Money” kicks in, the shitkicking you’ve suffered through will start to fade. By the time “BLVD” rolls in, the fact that you work as a Dave Hughes impersonator is a distant memory.

Great Outdoors – I Look Back

I reckon Don Burke should renew Burke’s Backyard, and make “I Look Back” the new theme song – it’s a fucking great song, it keeps with the whole “outdoor” theme, and it would surely see a dip in the ratings for all the other early-arvo lifestyle shows. You’re move Ready, Steady Cook.

Tiny Little Houses –  Milo Tin

Yeah, nah, how great is this band? Every time I steal 2 minute noodles from now on, it has to be soundtracked by this song.

Verge Collection – Class of ’09

This is the best song about high school since Papa Roach’s “Last Resort”.

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Write Back

They’ve changed their name but RBCF’s still know how to write the fuck out of a song. “Write Back” makes you want to put down the guitar and notepad because you’ll never be as good these blokes.

Glaciers – Local Hero

“Local Hero” has that same gentle, lilting embrace as Boomgates, Scott and Charlene’s Wedding and Twerps and that’s the highest compliment anyone can give a band.

 

Morning TV – Dive

It’s pretty tough not to swoon at this one – what a bunch of bloody dreamboats! Second song in, and I’m hooked like a tuna that’s happened to pass within a one kilometre radius of a fishing trawler.

 

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PREMIERE: The Wedge Tape

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You know you’re the head honcho of a major label when you decide to turn down hot chips for wedges. “No thanks mate, trying to take care of the whole kilojoule intake, hahaha”, you’ll chide at the confused waiter, “I don’t know if you know this, but I’m the head of Strong Look Records, so it’ll be just the wedges for me, thanks”. You’ll take a big juicy bite out of that thick, brown un-chip, coated in sour cream, let a little morsel dribble down your chin, and exclaim, “Man, it’s good to be king”.

Which is why it comes as no surprise that the Strong Look Greatest Hits package is named after a label head’s favourite snack. The Wedge Tape contains a collection of un-released, alternative and live tracks from artists on and associated with Strong Look.

Just like a wedge, there’s a whole lot to sink your teeth into. A few new, or at least unrealeased sunny pop jams from Disgusting People, a live take of a Weak Boys favourite in THE BIGGEST VENUE IN SYDNEY, and an acoustic version of “Dog Farm” that brings out the Galaxie 500 in the band. There’s also the inclusion of the driving gnash of “Kewl December” from the shrouded Solid Dad, the genius chopped electronica of The Seaport and the Airport, and even a live comedy skit from ROMI.

Whatever you’re after, it’s all here, in one convenient location for your listening pleasure. And that’s why Strong Look Records is the best major label a band could be on: they give the b-sides the big budget treatment that others couldn’t begin to fathom.

You can pick up the tape from Strong Look’s Bandcamp here. And while you’re over there, you may as well have a browse through some of their other releases, like Weak Boys ‘Weekdays/Weekends’, which remains one of the best albums to be released in Shitney.

New: Weak Boys – Suffer For You Art

 

Pioneers of dad-rock and living embodiments of Principal Skinner, Weak Boys return from their smash hit debut album [sic] with a cassette of covers. But this isn’t the bullshit that Barnesy pulls out every couple of years because DIAMOND ENCRUSTED SHITTERS DON’T PAY FOR THEMSELVES. No, Weak Boys have actually compiled a few covers by actually decent bands.

There’s contributions from Adelaide’s Hit the Jackpot and Brissy’s Extrafoxx, as well as Benjow’s “Fell In Love”. But the standout here is easily “I Like Beer”, a song that, although not written by any of the WB crü, feels specifically made for them. With lyrics about how people who don’t like beer can get fucked (seriously though), “I Like Beer” fits in well with the rest of Weak Boys shambling, lo-fi canon about shitty landlords and shacking up with Diane Keaton.

If this is your first exposure to Weak Boys, do yourself a goddamn favour, and buy their record ‘Weekdays/Weekends‘. Eight months on, this album is still a huge winner. Also, they’re going to be playing with Wireheads/Day Ravies/Thigh Master at The Union on August 21st.

PREMIERE: No Through Road – Lo-Fi Sandwich Mastered

10 years ago, Matt Banham was more of a 7/11 meat pie monstrosity, than the gorgeous dumpling you see above. He also lived in Adelaide, and was in a band called No Through Road. They were great, and that’s a fact. Besides an off-duty-but-on-point cover of Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”, No Through Road also left behind a plethora of material, including the incredible ‘Lo-Fi Sandwich’. It’s recently gotten a 10-year anniversary mastering, and I GOT THE PREMIERE. SUCK IT PITCHFORK. Listen below, and read a totally serious interview between myself and Sydney’s sweetheart:

 

R: How would you describe the levels of irony in re-mastering an album with the word “Lo-Fi” in the title?

M: It’s the ultimate irony really. or as my friend Joey put it ‘Lo-firony’.

R: Why is this the first No Through Road/Matt Banham album to get a re-master? Why is this one specifically deserving?

M: Well this album never got mastered in the first place. I just put up the unmastered tracks online for free. I didnt really know/appreciate what mastering did back then. I sort of understand it now but it still confuses me. Makes stuff sound better tho. Tim Carr mastered this for me and managed to keep it true to its original shit form but now you can just hear the shit a bit more clearly. Which is perfect.I’m gonna keep the original unmastered version up online for the purists. I dont want people to think im some sort of monster like George Lucas.

R: Is that a portrait of you on the front cover?

M: My buddy Nick Walton had a calander of flight attendents and he thought this guy looked a bit like me. So he painted a copy of the guy. That poor flight attendant. I wonder if he knows he is a timeless album cover now.

R: Where do you reckon “Lo-Fi” Sandwhich sits in the Banham Canon?

M: This was made when No Through Road was about to record Too Much or Not Enough but my brother damaged his wrist in a pub brawl and couldnt play drums for a while so we had to postpone the recording for about 6 months. I was writing heaps and not doing much so I made this in my bedroom with whomever happened to be over at my house when I felt like recording. 3 of the songs were recorded at my buddy Nic Datson’s house because he had an electornic drumkit and lots of beer. I think this might be the best album I’ve ever made. Maybe because I made it so quickly and didn’t try to polish it up too much. I hardly even mixed it, just recorded it on a $15 mic I bought from Tandy into my computer. Something about that makes me like it even more. My favourite parts of albums are usually the little bits of rubbish you can hear in the background and this album is full of background rubbish. Songs dont matter, music is all about the rubbish.

R: You’ve recorded in a lot of bedrooms and houses in your various guises – what is it about lo-fi recordings that appeals to you?

M: I used to listen to a lot of ‘lo-fi’ bands and recordings. Especially early Smog stuff. You can learn so much about how to record music from listening to that sort of stuff and reading magazines like Tape-op. Part of it was born out of necessity and laziness but most of it was because I prefered doing stuff at home in my own time and when I felt inspired to do so. It’s so much fun to make something with just the stuff lying around your house, writing a song while you are recording it. Trying to reproduce that stuff in studios rarely works. A couple of the songs on this album ended up on a later No Through Road album which we made in a studio and if I am being honest I think they sound better on this.

R: The whole album can be pretty morbid and sad, lots of break up anthems – have you changed your life view since?

M: I’m definately less whiney and cranky than I used to be. Actually I might be more cranky now. But about other things. Like hard drives breaking or walking around Ikea. And I’m still pretty whiney too I guess. So not much has changed really.

R: You’ve moved from Adelaide to Sydney since this album came out – why the hell would you do that?

M: The move seemed pretty natural. I was stuck in a boring job in Adelaide and my band hand broken up and a lot of friends had moved away. My girlfriend Romi got into honours up here and in Melbourne and I go crazy after a few hours in Melbourne so we moved here.

R: What else has changed since this album came out?

M: One of the biggest things that has changed is how much easier it is to put your music online now. When I put that album up online for free there was no bandcamp or soundcloud, no Radiohead with their rainbows, I was a pioneer, pushing the frontiers of the information super highway. My website’s server only had 100mb of space on it and the mp3s of the album were about 60. So I had to delete a lot of stuff on my website to make room for the album. And the bandwith I had was so small that after it got downloaded a bunch of times my site would just go down for a week or two till it ticked over to the next month. I’m sure there was probably a better way to do all this back then but I had no clue what I was doing.

R: Do you think you’d get No Through Road back together, or is your allegiance with Weak Boys now?

M: I’m sure NTR will play again one day, its a lot harder now because we all live in different states and most of us have started new musical endevours. But it was a great band and a lot of fun. When our back catalogue gets some new found fame thanks to a horrible Zach Braff movie we will do a reunion tour and make all the money back we lost in our first run. Plans are already in the works for a second Weak Boys album. I wanted to call the first one ‘Debutt’ but the others wouldn’t let me. Maybe this time I can convince them…

R: Unrelated question, but when will Season 3 of Matt Banham’s Jokes be coming out?

M: One day, one day. When I finished s(w)eason 2 i realised that I spent about as much time on that as I had on any album that I had made before and wondered what on earth I had done. Should you really spend months of your life making terrible videos for terrible jokes on the interet? Probably. My next venture into gags will be my long awaited live comedy album recorded in a retaurant called “One Liners & Fine Diners”. Might come out later this year. If you are very lucky.

Video: Weak Boys – That’s Me

Fuck right off. At 1:52 seconds. That’s not…that can’t be…no, fuck off. It’s incredulous. The saviour of the Australian music biz, the shining light of hope in this world of corporate greed, a beacon of unbudging truth and integrity…It’s Weak Boys (and I’m in the shot as well, but that’s not quite as big a deal).

In Late November 2014, #summerdayz, Weak Boys, the band with the second best song and album of 2014, played a launch party at Rav and Steve’s place. Rav’s the drunk lunatic falling out of the window. Steve’s the bloke with the Bedroom Suck t-shirt, and acting cooler than a cucumber on Ambien.

The launch was Good Times Inc. and featured a bunch of legends, and the best songs of 2014, one of which was “That’s Me”. SPOD brought out his fucking long lens and captured the magic in real time, which was including, but not limited to, dogs, guitar solos and, “Chisel Cunt!”.

Weak Boys are playing this Sunday (FOR FREE!) as part of a Rice Is Nice party, at the Vic in Marrickville. Also appearing: Frowning Clouds, Summer Flake, Terrible Truths and Darts.

Top 10 Australian Albums of 2014

It’s that time of year, when I sell my soul, and conform to the expectation that all blogs, no matter how small and shitty (of which Soundly Sounds is both) needs to compile an end of year list, summarising all the great things that have been accomplished by the fair artists of the year. Now, if you’ve ever been on this blog, or heard words out of my mouth, it becomes apparent that I have a habit of hyperbole, and describing everything as “my favourite” or “the best thing ever”. Well, now it’s time to pay up, and show what I, King Deadshit, reckon is the best of the best this year.

Albums are probably the most important listicle for me, personally, because they are the full form of creative expression for the artist. A single song, video clip or show can take certain things out of context, bolster aspects for the strongest appeal, and add new factors that increase the credibility. But with the album format, the artist has the range and capability to express themselves to their full extent. Sometimes, that leaves bands boring and stuggling for things to say and at other times there are plenty of gems to be found that represent the artist more fully than the ‘singles’ can convey.

If you haven’t heard any of the following albums, I beg you to go forth and purchase a copy. These artists deserve your attention.

Honourable Mentions: Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders (‘Playmates’), Ciggie Witch (‘Rock And Roll Juice’), Ernest Ellis (‘Cold Desire’), Pronto (‘When You’re Gone’) Andras & Oscar (‘Cafe Romantica’) Jonathan Boulet (‘Gubba’) Bloods (‘Work It Out’), Nun (‘Nun’), SPOD (‘Taste the Sadness’) Donny Benet (‘Weekend At Donny’s’) Collarbones (‘Return’).

10. Lowtide – Lowtide

Both heartbreaking and riveting, Lowtide unveiled a shoegaze masterpiece with their debut record. Flawless reverb was achieved, a statement that is almost never uttered. What’s more, the band interjected excitable gems like “Wedding Ring” and “Held” to prove they could do more than poignant and mouth-watering dream-pop shudders. (Review Here)

9. Straight Arrows – Rising

There’s something rising alright, and its not just the pulse of this record. A 60’s bonanza of loose Nuggets nods with the breakneck pace that we’ve come to adore from Owen Penglis. “Petrified” will never lose its cooler-than-Kim-Deal aura, “Never Enough” will never not be accompanied by headbanging, and “Make Up Your Mind’ will never make you not sweat like a guy who just popped pills in a rave in the Sahara. (Review Here)

8. Yes, I’m Leaving – Slow Release

Four albums in, and YIL have fully embraced their aggressive and blisteringly amazing potential. The way that three dudes from Sydney managed to make music that completely replicated THAT scene from Total Recall is mindblowing (pun intended, motherfucker). Strangling brutality ensues at an unbelievable rate, and the result is must-hear. Yes, I’m Leaving have made punk exciting again. (Review Here)

7. Scotdrakula – Scotdrakula

Melbourne’s Scotdrakula released an album so heart-stoppingly fun and eccentric, you would swear you’re at a theme park run by Tim & Eric. The record was a singles-fest, from the h8r-proof “O’Clock”, to “Shazon” impractically kicking more ass than a buddy cop film from the 1970’s. The yelps, riffs and good times of this album are as addicting as crack, and 10x more fun. (Review Here)

6. Bearhug – So Gone

Bearhug impressed beyond belief with their sophomore effort, lush pools of guitar gliding gently but effectively. For the duration of their second record, Bearhug never failed to impress, creating deep wells of greatness. What’s more, the songs were so packed that every listen brought on a new subtle technique or riff to bubble with joy over. (Review Here)

5. Ausmuteants – Order of Operation

Hilarious, snarky and brutally underrated, Ausmuteants released their third, and best record, this year. Attacking a variety of subjects, from porn, to unoriginality, to just being angry at fucking everything, like if Devo made ‘Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out The Trash’. Beautifully loud obnoxious, like a Geelong-ised Cartman that loves The Monks, Ausmuteants are the punk band that Australia doesn’t need, but the one it deserves. (Review Here)

4. Step-Panther – Strange, But Nice

Going from a band of shredders that liked to make songs about fat kids getting abducted and teenage romance to something that people wanted to take seriously was always going to be hard, but Step-Panther achieved that with their stupefyingly good second record. As naked as open-heart surgery, Step-Panther laid things bare for a mind-numbingly good album, in the truest sense of the word. There’s a journey here, a quest guided by back-breaking guitar solos, bloody doom riffs and stories as wholesome as The Goonies. (Review Here)

3. The Ocean Party – Soft Focus

The Ocean Party have always been consistent, but on their fourth album, they’ve wrought an album of genius. ‘Soft Focus’ is packed with songs that tug on the ol’ heart, yearning lyrics pushing through walls of sound that recall The Triffids at their best. If you’ve ever wanted to immerse yourself in a record, “Soft Focus” is the easiest, and most likeable, of your options, a straight-up pop album masked in woefully gorgeous jangle. (Review Here)

2. Weak Boys – Weekdays/Weekends

Weak Boys, a Sydney supergroup made of Internet Sensations™, Dollar Bar contributors and Craig Lyons, quietly released an Australian classic this year on par with The Castle and Tony Abbott’s budgie smugglers. A diverse smorgasbord of guitar-pop and mope-rock, “Weekdays/Weekends” is fuelled by self-deprecation, glistening humour and a catchiness that rivals Taylor Swift. It is fantastic in so many indescribable ways, an encapsulation of the Australian, or at least Sydney, lifestyle in much the same way The Go-Betweens probably did back before Y2K. From the ode to Rice Is Nice’s Julia Wilson, to the plight of the hungover, Diane Keaton-pining miser (read: everyone), “Weekdays/Weekends” was both the most underrated release of 2014, and one of the best. (Review Here)

1. Blank Realm – Grassed Inn

‘Grassed Inn’ was released in January of 2014, a time when most records are easily forgotten about by the time Year-End Lists roll around. At here we are, December, and Blank Realm still reign supreme. Topping a list on some shitty blog is nowhere near the recognition this album deserves – it is a masterpiece. Off-kilter pop that hurts and burns, burrowing into the emotional conscious with such an ease, you’d think it was a Nicholas Sparks novel. From the droning weirdness of a Spiritualized/New Order hybrid to the embracement of hurt that a Johhny Cash/Robert Smith duet would reveal, a pool of influences are on display, embraced to create something magnificently unique. Wrapped in the keytar-adoring hands of Blank Realm, music is a malleable, smudged and sincerely uplifting creature that restores faith. Superb in every word, ‘Grassed Inn’ is essential for everyone. (Review Here)

Top 20 Australian Songs of 2014

It’s that time of year, when I sell my soul, and conform to the expectation that all blogs, no matter how small and shitty (of which Soundly Sounds is both) needs to compile an end of year list, summarising all the great things that have been accomplished by the fair artists of the year. Now, if you’ve ever been on this blog, or heard words out of my mouth, it becomes apparent that I have a habit of hyperbole, and describing everything as “my favourite” or “the best thing ever”. Well, now it’s time to pay up, and show what I, King Deadshit, reckons is the best of the best this year.

Fuck, this shit is really hard. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do. As opposed to the Best Videos of the Year, and the Best International Records,  this list has taken me days to put together, as I’ve been more indecisive than a newspaper editor trying to decided the front page between a story in which David Beckham and Ryan Gosling have constructed the world’s most beautiful baby, or an exclusive interview with Clive Palmer’s fourth chin. A toughie, that’s for sure.

Anyway, here are the picks of the year – Aussie songs that have made people turn their heads, jaws drop in astonishment, and allow for spines to be frozen over in fascinated horror. The list was torturing me, so it’s been lengthened to 20. Also, songs that were just released as singles got preference over stuff that was on albums, simply because those are coming in the next list! OH FUCK, CAN YOU EVEN WAIT THAT LONG, OR ARE YOU GOING TO CRYOGENICALLY FREEZE YOURSELF UNTIL IT COMES OUT, WALT DISNEY STYLE?

Honourable Mentions: Step-Panther (Parallel) Solid Dad (Kewl December), Jack Ladder (Her Hands), Andras & Oscar (Looking Back), Babaganouj (Bluff), Disgusting People (I Wanna Ctrl Alt Delete My Life), The Stevens (Thirsty Eye), GL (Won’t You See), Wives (Buried), Day Ravies (Hickford Whiz) Dead Set Ledger (Buddy’s Kickin’ Screwies on the SCG).

20. Miss Destiny – The One

A lambasting surge of sound from Melbourne’s Miss Destiny, this song is like Courtney Love being thrown in a blender whilst The Donnas and The Darkness throw down.

19. White Hex – Paradise

White Hex released a badass synth record earlier this year, ‘Gold Nights’. Dangerous seduction was the game, the kind that Michael Douglas would engage in, and White Hex won. Jimi Kritzler, former Slug Guts member, also released a fantastic book this year, “Noise In My Head”, but “Paradise” makes a case for being Kritzler’s no. 1 achievement of 2014.

18. Bachelor Pad – Fried

Bachelor Pad’s garage rock enthusiasm is irrepressible – it is actually impossible to stop them. Sounding like the bratty, cone-smoking kid of Ty Segall, “Fried” is as infectious as those warts that have started collecting themselves between your legs.

17. Postblue – Ugly

Poison City Records had a fuckn’ year didn’t they? Between the release of The Smith Street Band, The Bennies and re-releasing old Screamfeeder records, they found time for Postblue’s “Ugly”. On a record that’s full of affable, catchy rock tunes, Postblue especially stuck out on “Ugly”, an early Jebediah track that went through the digestive system of Steve Albini.

16. Total Giovanni – Human Animal

“Human Animal” makes me do weird things with my arms, but I like it.The bastard child between Daft Punk and LCD Soundsystem, Total Giovanni have a feverish cult of personality surrounding their music. It’s alluring, funky-as-swinging-leather-pants music that PT Anderson wished was around for the soundtrack of ‘Boogie Nights’.

15. Nun – Evoke the Sleep

Easily the most ferocious synth-punk released this year, Melbourne’s Nun provided a storming debut LP earlier this year. “Evoke the Sleep” makes the case for these guys to be considered amongst the likes of DEVO and Depeche Mode.

14. Old Mate – Requesting Permission

On the more heart-breaking end of the scale, there’s Old Mate. A member of Bitch Prefect, Pat Telfer’s “Requesting Permission” will make you start jabbering about all the random dust that’s flown in within the last 30 seconds.

13. Hockey Dad – I Need A Woman

South Coast-muzzas Hockey Dad provide a slab of feel-good surf rock that’s lathered affectionately in pop and fuzz, drives school-girls crazy, and is really fucking great. Hockey Dad just need to stop wearing their damn trousers so low, and they’ll be well on their way to success.

12. Dorsal Fins – Monday Tuesday

Pop music so good Madonna would want to rip it off. Beginning with urgent piano and stomping bass, Dorsal Fins turn things into up a dramatic notch for an 80’s singalong straight from the stolen brain of Debbie Harry.

11. Bad//Dreems – Dumb Ideas 

When the opening notes of “Dumb Ideas” ring out, it becomes fairly obvious that Bad//Dreems are going to provide another stomper of a track. A flippant flipping off, “Dumb Ideas” is a confident, surly piece of rock that Angus Young would want to call his own.

10. Liam Kenny – I’m The Ocean 

Fairs fair, when you’re covering Neil Young, you’re headed straight to the top of a best-of list. But when Liam Kenny (Peak Twins, Bitch Prefect, The Friendsters, Roamin’ Catholics) does it, it turns into a squalling guitars, and heart-clutched vocals.

9. Tempura Nights – R.I.P Chix

Brisbane’s on a roll right now, with Velociraptor, DZ Deathrays, Babaganouj and Major Leagues all kicking major goals this year with releases and singles. But Tempura Nights, a lil’ suprgroup, kicked the most amount of ass with “R.I.P Chix” a sweet garage sprinkled with Deal sister guitar and the kind of head noddin’ you’d expect from a Brissy pop band.

8. Peter Bibby – Hates My Boozin’

Peter Bibby is a moper amongst mopers, a bloke who paints his own portrait with a bottle constantly in one hand and an impossibly perfect rolled cigarette in the other, carefree and full of whimsy on the outside, but burning up within.

7. King Single – Restart Newstart Allowance

A certain Bare Grillz/Lenin Lennon member changed things up by providing gorgeous guitar-pop and glassy drum sounds that create only one reaction in all within earshot: *SWOON*.

6. Richard In Your Mind – Hammered

Richard In Your Mind say it best when they swing drunkenly upon the line “Me and my baby get hammered in the daytime”. From their latest record ‘Ponderosa’, it’s a honeyed trip into the tastily warped senses of Richard In Your Mind.

5. The Harpoons – Unforgettable

As far as breaking up goes, no one seems to have hit it on the head harder than The Harpoons. What a bunch of sultry crooners! It’s a jam that’s part Caribou, part TLC, and part doe-eyed wistfulness that feeds upon your heart like a piranha of romantic longing.

4. FLOWERTRUCK – I Wanna Be With You

Speaking of romantic longing, the best band that seemingly came out of nowhere was FLOWERTRUCK. Bursting forth from the same scene that’s brought Big White, High-tails, and New Lovers, FLOWERTRUCK make the descriptor ‘infectious’ cower in fear. They’re Sydney’s own version of Blank Realm. If David Byrne and Bryan Ferry exploded into fit of joyous crooning, amid slashing puffs of synth and guitar, it’d be about as great as this.

3. Donny Benet – The Edge. Feat Kirin J Callinan

Donny Benet. The man. The legend. The myth. There ain’t nobody like this feller in the universe, mainly because there can only be one moustache-weilding, impressively groomed prince of seduction in the world. It’s a Highlander thing. On, “The Edge” Kirin J Callinan and the Don do battle over five minutes of exhausting sexual healing.

2. Weak Boys – Hangovers

“Hangovers” sort of set the staple for what my 2014 was, along with many other budding attendees of whatever Inner West domain Weak Boys have been fortunately dominating. I’ve listened to this song more times than I’ve asked for a jug of Resch’s at the Lansdowne. My intimidatingly large beer belly nods in agreement.

1. Constant Mongrel – New Shapes

In 2014, no single came close to the grisly terror imagined on Constant Mongrel’s “New Shapes”. Melbourne’s most ferocious unleash a bass-driven hellscape that indulges primal and carnal desires. As far as finale’s go, Constant Mongrel went for an ending more taut, nail-biting and mentally draining than the conclusion of ‘Heat’. A blood-caked knuckle-duster ride into a starved post-punk oblivion, “New Shapes” is the kind of thing post-apocalyptic hero would throttle in their car as they ravaged a scorned landscape in survival mode.

Video: Weak Boys – Dog Farm

If you’ve run into a crazy, short ginger kid with bad hygiene spewing the praises of “THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM SYDNEY’S WEAK BOYS”, that was probably me. I say probably because the album is that fucking good that there’s a very solid chance that someone else has gotten around to hailing it as one of the albums of the year, just like myself. (If you haven’t read the review of the record, then check out this convenient article right here)

One of the bigger reasons ‘Weekdays/Weekends” is such a success is because of the greatly quotable and tender songs that span the entire 10 song track list. “Dog Farm” is one of the standouts, and not just because it takes a broken relationship, and turns it into about how great dogs are. Seriously, no one needs to be reminded that dogs are great. Even people that get mauled by Dobermans melt whenever they hear the word dog.

The guys got together and shot a lil’ clip for it, featuring, you guessed it, a bunch of amazing dogs licking the face of the Chris Yates. It’s pretty bluddy adorable.

Album Review: Weak Boys – Weekdays/Weekends

Weak Boys are a band that are so fucking unrequited, it’s like all three members were Jeff Daniels, the epitome of underrated-ness. Weak Boys should be poster boys for Australia, and yet they only have a measly 186 likes as of publication time. That statistic right there is proof of a cruel world. What could they be doing wrong? The album cover is a photo of a dog cuter than a baby seal in a band outfit, mini trombone and all. I mean, that alone should have every single member of Cool Dog Group falling over each other in an effort to click that prestigious blue thumbs-up. And they have songs so instantly iconic, they’re like Uluru or that fucking annoying little multicoloured spinny wheel.

For a bit of a reference point, Weak Boys slot in nicely as gruffer version of all the modern legends of Twerps, Full Ugly and Dick Diver, mixed heartily with classic jangle i.e The Clean,The Go-Betweens, The Cannanes. However, the thing that makes Weak Boys stand apart is the ability to be both self-aware, and completely absorbed. “Weekdays/Weekends” is full of songs that’ll make you laugh heartily, golden comedy nuggets that you’d expect nothing less of from THE Matt Banham of Matt Banham’s Jokes Internet Infamy. But it’s also packed with slices of truth that not even Truman Capote himself was capable of worming out of a pen.

To begin with, Weak Boys released the stellar song “Hangovers”, which I maintain to be one of the songs of the year, along with Blank Realm’s “Falling Down the Stairs”, Richard in Your Mind’s “Hammered”, and Dorsal Fins’ “Monday Tuesday”. It was a hilarious song delivered in deadpan, about how much waking up on Sunday was, and how shitty kids were. As a fellow kid, I can definitively confirm that 90% of people under the age of 21 are deadshits, including myself. For comparison, the deadshit factor only drops to 10% once over the age of 21, but hey, those are just cold, hard facts. Anyway, “Hangovers” is an awesome song, insanely catchy, great video, it made you want to spew in jealousy it’s so good. But, was it a total indicator of the album?

In a way, both yes, and no. Yes, every song has a little bit of comedy to it, but whilst some are light-hearted pokes set to simple but riveting guitar-pop, like “Jules, Brent & I” and “Fucken Landlords”, others are intensely dark and troubling, black comedy manifestos. Whereas “South Australia” yelps about getting pissy and moving out of our nation’s butt of jokes, all to the tune of some ecstatic guitar solos, “Never Drinking Again” deals with the same themes, but with such a solemn choke that you can’t help but want to reach through the song and give the bloke a hug. Similarly, “Settled” is a doozy of a depressor, a greyscale sigh about the troubles of being in the constantly stressing life that is the modern condition. When the words of, “Grab a butcher’s knife, and settle down/happiness would be rife, if I could settle down”, I automatically cried out a “NO!”, like I’d just seen Mufasa topple off a cliff for the first time. Think about that for a second – when was the last time you had an audible reaction to a song?

I went into this Weak Boys record with high expectations. After all, these three unassuming guys have been in bands as awesome as Little Lovers and Dollar Bar, so why wouldn’t their record be a bunch of bloody fun? But when listening to the thing, you can’t help but think…fuck, this is a masterpiece. A lot of people were obsessed over the Lower Plenty “Nullarbor” record a few years back, and “Weekdays/Weekends” appears to be the updated, Sydney reply to that album – just a strong, honest and genuine album booming with talent, perfect in every way. It’s hard to imagine Weak Boys not becoming iconic in some way or another, it’s just a matter of how big. As one of the most complete and fulfilling albums in recent Australian lore, I strongly urge, nay command thee, to buy this album.

‘Weekdays/Weekends” is out now on Strong Look Records. Grab it at the link.

Album Review: Disgusting People – Disgusting People

Disgusting People are a bunch of bloody charmers, comprised of some of the best talent that Sydney-town has got on offer. You’ve got members of Weak Boys, Day Ravies, Mope City, Nathan Roche and a couple other bands you’ve probably caught a woff of at some point or another. However, just because they can charm you harder than George Clooney hopped up on some horny goat weed, doesn’t mean that they’re not prone to the same primitive impulses that bind you and I to this mortal coil. If these legends of the West want to strap together a few scrappy songs on a four-track and deliver them to our undeserving ears, then so be it.

First and foremost, this is an album that needs to be listened to on cassette. Now, whilst that might come off as some crass hipster-ism, it’s a genuine nod. The buzzing and whirring, the hiss and delvings into random noise make it the perfect thing you want to chuck it on a format that hasn’t been wildly popular since Motley Crue could still sell records.

Anyway, the record is pretty much a loose collection of previously released stuff (“Make You Happy”, “Snail Song”, “2×4”) and new just-as-irreverent tunes. It’s obvious that all members here have contributed songs, as the album swings wildly in all directions, from loose, fuzzy and frantic “Third Wheel”, to introspective hula-meets-depression jams, cc: “Between Mothering and Murdering”.

Whatever you could want in a song, Disgusting People have you covered, a buffet of pop on offer. There’s also a certain order to the randomness. The album begins with bouncy mope-pop tracks, slacker guitar lines wafting lazily next to tracks that make you want to clap your hands in stupid joy (“Snail Song”, Between Mothering and Murdering”, “Make You Happy”). Then things turn a lil’ rockier, with “Third Wheel” sounding like someone spilled an unfinished MC5 record into the mixing desk. I maintain that  “I Wanna Ctrl Delete My Life” is one of the finest songs released this year, and short, snappy song that goes out to all the office squares who wanna rip off their loose-fitting shirts and scream an AC/DC song.

Then things get super fucking weird.There’s the Tim and Eric sketches that the world’s funniest duo forgot to put into their show, in “Cat Song”, “Candy” and “T-GAS”, high pitched homages to all out weirdness. The 19-track opus finishes with a few tracks, including a Yo La Tengo-esque reprise to standout track “2×4”.

Basically, Disgusting People didn’t try too hard on this album. There was no label meddling, no pressure, no harsh times infecting the performances of the band members. It’s just off-kilter pop music played by mates, for mates, and it resounds with a weird and wonderful tang that permeates throughout. The exploitation of the strange is strong on this one, a perfectly preserved encapsulation of the fucked up shit you do when it’s just a few mates. If you’re the kind of person that thinks that SPOD should’ve started a jangle-pop band, then this album is for you. If you’re the kind of person who likes Beavis and Butthead, and wished they’d made an Australian version, this album is for you. And if you’re the kind of person that wished Clive Palmer had a reality TV show, you’d probably enjoy this album as well. And if you’re not that kind of person, I hear Alt-J have a new record out. So, yeah, enjoy that.

Highly recommend picking up this in physical format, which you can do right here, at Strong Look Records Bandcamp. Also, catch Disgusting People launching the album THIS THURSDAY (30 November) at The Mess Up, at the Lansdowne Hotel. Entry is free, and King Tears Mortuary and Carpet are coming along for support.