New Weird Pop Music: WIVES + You + School Damage + Meat Tray + Snowy Nasdaq

Weird pop music is one of my favourite things to listen to. From Animal Collective to SPOD, weird pop music is my lifeblood. Here’s some fucking sick tracks that make cannibals of the Kylie Minogue’s out there.

WIVES -Buried

Man, naming your song “Buried” is one hell of a way to establish that your really good at bummer tunes. The debut single from Canberra’s WIVES exceeds going past that average gloomy stuff, and genuinely creating a fucked up atmosphere that stretches and looms throughout the song. It’s like if Savages were buried alive in a coffin, and then the bands of the band trying to get out where recorded to tape. “Buried” is sinister as fuck, with what feels like millions of angular guitars spiking off each other. The whirring gears that seem so detached at the start soon morph into a buzzing hive of activity, and listening to it honestly makes it feel like your listening to one of the most dastardly villainous plans unfold in front of your ears.

You-Caprice 7″

It’s taken me far too long to get around to reviewing this new 7″ from a Brisbane project that goes by the name of You. How very inclusive. If Ian Curtis somehow became more depressed and  fronted The Talking Heads, that’d probably come a little close to how You sound. “Caprice” is a song that takes musical sorrow to another level, with cold washes of spindly guitar and crushing cymbals breathing grey life into the absolutely devastating lyrics. The added screeches and drones, as well as the completely lavish and orgamsic saxophone that appears, encourages “Caprice’s” status as one of the best weird pop songs to emerge out of Brisbane in recent memory. For a town that counts Multiple Man and Terrible Truths amongst its names, that’s a hell of a feat.

School Damage – Break Up 7″

Another one I’ve been laying on for ages is the new 7″ from Melbourne/Geelong band School Damage, featuring members of Ausmuteants and Chook Race. It’s like indie-pop music that’s been choked out by a serial killer, halfway between Nun/Ausmuteants and Duran Duran. There’s weird, chanting synths that put “Break Up Song” in this strange, Psyscho-stabbing motion pathway, highlighting an incredibly melodramatic and over-the-top finale. Weird, but fun.

Meat Tray – Narooma Blue/The Mauler

Meat Tray is a carnivorous slice of gloriously warped  sound from one of the minds out of Yard Duty.  I’ll be the first to admit this might be a little bit further from the pop mantra than others, what with the hellish-barks, and overblown distorted guitars, but hey, even Slayer hit the Bilboard Chart at one point. This track is truly demonic, channeling fury and drum machines equally for some fucked-up noise experiment that would make Wolf Eyes shed a tear. If you’re keen for some ear-bleeding punk material, you can’t go past this.

Snowy Nasdaq feat Orlando Furious – Greyscale

Another month, another free Snowy Nasdaq track, to be compiled in his soon-to-be-released album of 2014. This time, Snowy enlists the help of Orlando Furious, a producer who makes tracks that makes Aphex Twin look like only half the serial killer he actually is. “Greyscale” jumps and jilts with a pulsing sensation, undulating unnaturally. That distubring quality is pretty much what makes this track so goddamn amazing to listen to. When “Greyscale” hits its peak, you can easily envision yourself in a warehouse space in late 80’s Manchester, full of illegal substance and a suddenly overwhelming understanding of how to dance.


Gig Review: Bad//Dreems

ImageThursday 31st October @ Callum’s Party Mansion





Cheers to Luen and Callum for putting on such a fucking great night. These cats are cooler than watching Breaking Bad with Samuel L. Jackson, and hearing him point out logical inconsistencies in the plot.

So, whilst 6 year olds were getting dressed up as witches and warlocks for a stint around the neighbourhood for dangerousamount of sugar, and 21 year olds dressed up as whatever pop culture reference is in this year (Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke was probably pretty go-to for the ‘wittier’ and ‘trendier’ of our friends), I went to a party. Yep, hold your fucking applause. Best of all, this was a house party, and Bad//Dreems, one of the best acts of the decade, were playing. I didn’t think a night of sweat, vomit and copious amounts of goon would be in store, but they were, and it was awesome.

The night got started off for the lucky few with local heros Food Court. A four piece that have been around for a while, but only released their debut EP very recently (review here). And boy did they rock shit out, much more so than would be thought of a bunch of blokes dressed in the less-than-strategic costumes they were wearing. Eat your fucking heart out Lady Gaga, whilst your spending a cool million on some heroin-encrusted, pigeon-feathered one-piece, these boys rocked a dragon outfit, a Native American costume, and the best goddamn Prince impersonation you’ve seen in your life. As for their music, well, let’s just say that they quicker you get around the memorising and inevitably loving every note of songs like ‘Going Home’, ‘Not Enough’ and ‘She’s Away’, the better off you’ll be as a functioning member of society. Live, the songs generate even more life than they do in their casual recorded format.

After a little sweat had been dropped onto Callum’s floor courtesy of Food Court, some baggy-green clad legends by the name of Yard Duty ascended to that tiny living room. And then they proceeded to rock people’s minds in the most casual way possible. Yard Duty are a slacker band for those of you who don’t know (they also happened to release a pretty bloody great mini-album a month-ish ago, review here). Anyway, Yard Duty killed it, albeit in a slightly less fuzzy fashion than Food Court. Their music is more the kind of thing you want to kick back, have a VB and talk shit in accompaniment with. When you’re so close that you’re smelling the guitarist’s beer-soaked vest, the friendly-bloke vibe of their music gets accentuated to legendary status, with ‘Downward Dog’ and ‘Christmas Kicks’ especially resonating especially. If you’re not convinced just hear out my own little fanboy moment: because I missed out on my favourite track ‘Vierboom’s Room’, Zac (from the band, not some random dude called Zac) sat down and played to track to me personally. Dude even let me shout out ‘AND I CAME ON HIS BED!’ Fucking legend.

Finally, the men of the hour, Bad//Dreems absconded their drinks and friends to play to the bloodthirsty folk of Sydney. We bayed for Bad//Dreems blood, and that is what we got. We devoured every tune thrown at us, from feel-good-cos-you’re-feeling-bad anti-anthem ‘Hoping For’, the punk-meets-melody-meets-fuckyew of ‘Home Life’, and rip-snorter of an adrenaline rush ‘Caroline’. Ironically, the last song introduced as ‘I fucking hate this song’, before the track exploded into being a highlight of the set. Bad//Dreems even managed to plop in a mind-blowing cover of ‘My Pal’ by GOD, a song which happens to be the best Australian track of all time, bar none.

Seeing Bad//Dreems live and in the flesh, in an environment where the drummer’s hair sweat is flicking into your eyes, and the guitarist’s beer breath mixes with your own…well that’s an experience too good for words. The previous bands were great fucking bands, but Bad//Dreems are an entity on their own. Their songs, their music, and the way they play their shit live, it holds a unique, gritty but amiable trait that is all too rare in bands these days. But then again, if it wasn’t a rarity, then seeing a band like Bad//Dreems wouldn’t be such a special occasion.

In case it wasn’t clear, that Halloween was a highlight of my year. And in case you were wondering, my Wayne’s World costume was the best costume there, winning a self-appointed, one-man competition of best get-up at the party. So yeah, when you beat out a lady with a 100%accurate depiction of Frida Kahloand get to see Food Court, Yard Duty and Bad//Dreems, it’s hard to say you didn’t have a better time than Ferris Bueller trying cocaine for the first time.

Album Review: Yard Duty-Mixed Business

a0277494579_2Yard Duty are one of those precious bands that you stumble upon, and then cry in the realisation that you won’t fin anything as good in a long time. They’re the kind of band that makes you want to steal hair samples from the band and create voodoo dolls of them. That way if they break up, you can stick pins in them, and cause them infinite strife for the rest of their lives. would never do such a that’s fucking weird. I’m more on the bludgeon ‘n’ haul-into-the-ominous-minivan type of guy. But hey, we’re not all perfect right?

Jokes aside, Yard Duty are fucking great. And better yet, they’re from Sydney! And better, better yet, they’ve just released their debut EP/album (I’m not sure, it’s nine tracks)! And by just released, I mean it was released roughly a couple weeks ago. Right now, I feel like every hipster in town should beat me to death with their 4th Edition copies of ‘THE BEST OF ALLEN GINSBERG’ for being behind the times. Deal with it, I’ve been studying and/or watching Breaking Bad. But now, the time has come to review the shit out of Yard Duty.

Almost every song on this record is pure slacker pop genius, in the vein of Guided By Voices, Full Ugly or Dick Diver. Man, that is a good fucking crowd to be heaped in with. But allow me to re-iterate, Yard Duty get to this point of being slacker proteges because they write really good songs. Some of them are funny as fuck such as ‘Downward Dog’, which is a skewed pop narrative about yoga and death. But shit goes onto another level entirely on ‘Vierboom’s Room’, a song about losing your virginity to an Asian girl you’ve known for a couple hours. Listening to this song is like listening to the best stand-up set you’ve ever heard, all to the tune of Parquet Court-ish strumming. Observational musings of  where condoms can be located (under Clinton memorabilia), Ninja Turtle panties and vaginal warts. Oh yeah, and try getting ‘So I came on his bed!’ out of your head for the rest of the week.

Although ‘Vierboom’s Room’ is far and away the funniest and memorable track on ‘Mixed Business’, there’s still a bunch of other lo-fi beauties to be found. ‘Talk Radio’, a song that sounds like it’s being shouted through a hollowed out turtle’s asshole (a compliment, and also an accurate reflection on the subjects of ‘Talk Radio’), and then there’s also ‘Cost Benefit Analysis’, which has an arse-ripper of a chorus about, yep, fucking taxes. Finally, there is the other shining jewel in Yard Duty’s crown, ‘Something Better’, a track that is sure as shit to become a crowd favourite. It’s surprisingly heartfelt and personal, and the lack of comedic edge a la ‘Vierboom’s Room’ gives it an endearing tone that most bands couldn’t even replicate, let alone craft.

To summarise, Yard Duty have created an absolute kick-arse fantastic record. It is more addictive than Saturday Morning Cartoons. Every song on here has more heart than a heart surgeon, more charisma than ten Robin Williams, and is full of more bullshit than a cow. However, Yard Duty take this bullshit, chuck a glossy sheen of lo-fi brilliance over it, and turn it into ‘Mixed Business’ a fine, fine, fine fucking album/EP thing.

You can grab ‘Mixed Business’ for however much you want at Yard Duty’s Bandcamp right here. Yard Duty are playing the Hollywood Hotel tomorrow afternoon, Sunday 13th of October.

Hand Games Mixtape #15 October (free download)

Hand Games Mixtape #15 October (free download)

Holy shit, new Hangames mixtape, today just went from being misery incarnate to possibly the best day of your life. Yeah, the new one is an absolute doozy. There’s no mucking around or filler on this one, the ‘Cute-Confused Tiger’ mixtape, just straightforward glorious new Australian tunes. The opener is Seekae’s absolutely fucking brilliant new single ‘Another’. You know, one of the best Australian songs of the year, the song that is physically impossible not to love. Well, Hand Games open up with that, then move onto the new Peak Twins track, and then into Major Napier. So far, the organ that produces the chemical of lust is working in overdrive, as these three songs jet you into head over heels addiction for the goodness of this playlist.

Moving on, there’s sultry stuff from Matin King, (one half of Oscar + Martin), and then a triple threat of slacker rock royalty from Yard Duty, The Ocean Party and Scott & Charlene’s Wedding. This triple treat of acts should be enough to warrant downloading this mix alone, but then we move into the feel-good production of acts like Jonti (with help from his mates Big Scary), Movement and MKO. The playlist goes out strong on the garage rock throne of the sullen ‘Drove Down’ by Full Ugly, and the sprightly title track from The Gooch Palms ‘Novo’s’.

Luckily for you, and everyone else out there, this mixtape is completely free, so there is literally no excuse for not nabbing it right now, for 0 dollar$. You’d have to be completely insane not to. Even Charles Manson would shank a prison guard to get his hands on this amazing, amazing mixtape.