VOLUMES Festival – it’s next week mate. In approximately 10 days, this festival is gonna take over Oxford Street. Brighton Up Bar, Cliff Dive, Oxford Art Factory – combined into one sprawling pit of music. 50 metre radius. Unlimited good times.

There’s a shit tonne of bands playing this festival, but here’s the ones where you’ll see me bopping my strange-looking head at:

Jack Ladder & the Dreamlanders:

Four albums in, the man is still a sensual machine. Six feet tall, and all of that brimming with sorrow. A baritone that flattens cities. Backed by Donny Benet, Laurence Pike of PVT, and Kirin J Callinan. Dream team.

Blank Realm:

Hands down, the most underrated band in Australia. Everyone that knows them loves them, but that number is nowhere near high enough. That’s gonna change – they’ve got their album ‘Illegals in Heaven’ coming out September 4th, and the first two singles are some of the saddest blasts of pop music unveiled since Suicide’s “Dream Baby Dream”.

Big White: 

Pop music made by university students for university students. Actually, the songs are for anyone with a beating heart. Jangly guitars soaked in glossy keys and lovesickness. Their song “You Know I Love You” would probably cheer up even Old Gill! It’s gonna be great.


Bone-snapping music, Zeahorse play shows pretty rarely these days. When they do venture to a stage, skulls are cracked. Their debut album ‘Pool’ was a dirty adrenaline shot of sludge pushed to the edge, and they’ve been working on some new stuff for a while now, which looks like it’s going to punish eardrums even more.


South Coast shredders venturing to the city again to open up our smoke-clogged pores. Watching Step-Panther do their thing is always an enormous pleasure; big riffs collide with self-deprecation for splintered rock ‘n’ roll delirium.

Holy Balm:

There’s a fair few electronic acts gracing the VOLUMES lineup, but Holy Balm are essential. This band is so fucking cool and weird. Not only is their music a concoction of left field electronic absurdity, but it all just unfolds fantastically live. You definitely need to see them.


Best new-ish band in Sydney – every show is better than the last, and they’ve just unleashed their new single “Sunshower”, which has been getting flogged on my iTunes Library. Their live shows are bonafide mirth-inducers, wherein their guitar pop music infects even the most unsavoury of individuals.

Day Ravies:

Sydney’s own band without a genre, Day Ravies are unclassifiable, only consistent in their ability to put out mesmerising music. Their new album, ‘Liminal Zones’, is a fluid pop affair that fluidly flits between whatever style happens to tickle the band’s fancy. The only guarantee is that it’ll be good.

Low Lux: 

Low Lux are pretty new, but managed to put on an absolutely incredible debut show. It was cinematic…epic…ambitious. Definetely an act to familiarise yourself with and witness, before they’re playing rooms that are suited to their grandiose stage shows.

Death Bells:

Another fairly new band who only have one single, but have impressed a hell of a lot of folks for that small amount of material. They’ve got a brand of dream-pop that has daggers in it, swirling with flashes of derangement. Live, they turn up the snarls and bellows to lung-puncturing levels. Get down early and catch ’em.

VOLUMES goes down 29th of August, in Sydney. Catch a plane, catch a train, I don’t give a shit, just be there. You can grab tickets to VOLUMES here.


New Ruthless Tunes: Sour Cream + Lords on Boards + Dead Waves + Pretend Eye + Salvador Dali Llama

Sunday night, but it’s the long weekend. Cheers for being born Queen Elizabeth, so we could dedicate one extra day to gettin’ fucked up. Here’s a bunch of ruthless tunes to get you in the mindframe:

Sour Cream-Full Crab

I’ve never eaten crab, but if it’s as loose as that bastard on the front of Sour Cream’s EP, then I’ll pass. There’s way too much hardcore tomfoolery for my tastes. But Sour Cream (the band) strike just the right amount of looseness and renegade oblivion. Made up from a couple members of Zeahorse (yeah, this Zeahorse) Sour Cream make it their absolute mission to channel all your ambition into absolute mind annihilation. If you’re head isn’t ruined by the time the songs on ‘Full Crab’ are done, you haven’t been totally listening. Like all the great stoner lords before them, from Sleep to Eyehategod, Sour Cream makes music that dulls your senses and plods right into the pleasure cortex.

Lords on Boards-What the Heck EP

Lords on Boards are a garage/surf group who sound a lot like most garage/surf groups: really fucking fun. The riffs come hard and fast, and slime around inside your brain like dishwasher liquid inside the machine. Listening to their songs is like swallowing butane and dropping a match down your stomach, lighting your whole body on fire.

Their new EP is just two songs long, namely ‘Mess It Up’ and ‘Seen, But No Reply’. They’re both fun, nasally tracks that scream bratty punk stuff at it’s finest, i.e Bleeding Knees Club, Bachelor Pad, Doom Mountain etc. They don’t enthral with a force, but they’re still ditties to bang your head along to.

Bat Hazzard-The Water, The Water

If Adalita was stuck in a desert for 4 months with minimal access to food and water, this is probably the thing she’d make when she came back to society. Weird, spaced-out and tricky indie rock stuff that’s as parched and starved as the corpse of an extra on the set of the new Star Wars movie. The songs of ‘The Water, The Water’ jilt and run around on a thin vein of disturbed and worrying melodrama, like the overly-theatric kid from school picked up a gun and a guitar at the same time, and decided to use them both. It’s hard to make out just what’s happening in a Bat Hazzard song, but really, that’s part of what makes it a compelling listen.

Dead Waves-Oracles of the Grave

Fuck me, these guys couldn’t sound more like they liked Black Sabbath if they tried. Intense, black, drivelling bass lines, spewing vocals that give Killing Joke throat wrenchers a run for their money, and anguished guitar riffs lambasting the thing one note at a time. ‘Oracles of the Grave’ is a song for those who are still waiting for this generation’s token ‘Heavy Act’. Well, Dead Waves may fulfil that role, and this track sure makes a good case for it.

Pretend Eye-Deathbed

Pretend Ey features members of Food Court, who are also fucking rad. But Pretend Eye move away from the more garage rock stylings of their assoc. band, and are more QOTSA straight-forward and centric. ‘Deathbed’ is a rock tune through and through, with clean, crisp edges that mould into a dark circus, channeling the vibes of witchcraft for some fucked up shenanigans.

Salvador Dali Llama-A Trip in SDL

Finally, there is Salvador Dali Llama, who have the best Celebrity Pun Name since Rick Moranis Overdrive. However, unlike those punk heroes from south of the border, SDL offer up a trippy palette of tunes that is akin to strolling down a tropical rainbow forest. Basically, it’s like being surrounded by marshmallow guitars and soft, fluffy pink riffs for days on end. Sound amazing yet? Get amongst it, these dudes are fucking rad, and whatever vat of acid they’ve dipped their tunes into has made them into a bunch of superstars in my book.

Top 5 Records w/ Zeahorse

Zeahorse are fucking brutal. There’s no other words to describe them, as the description of ‘BRUTAL’ just blatantly blasts to the forefront of your mind, and blocks any other synonym. They’re sound is a towering force of giganticism, throbbing drone work pulverising smaller minds into submission. If the Death Star was a band, it’d be Zeahorse. Case in point:

There just as monstrous in live format as well. Trust me, here’s the evidence. And in case you doubt my infinite wisdom, check them out for yourself this Saturday (May 3), when they headline a Visions party at the Standard Bowl, along with Spirit Valley and Bad Jeep, as well as Splashh and Deep Sea Arcade spinning tunes and wetting groins.

In anticipation, I asked the guys from Zeahorse to say who they thought had the best gut-wrenching, head-crushing, spleen-pulverisingly good records ever. Gotta say, they’ve picked a fucking mad list.

Theme: Demonically Gigantic Records

High On fire – De Vermis Mysteriis (2012)

This album restored our faith in American heavy music, at a time when metal was getting whimpy, doom was getting boring and stoner rock was getting too legalized, High on Fire released an album that is so heavy and brutal its like glassing your mum in the face with your dirtiest bong. No body can come close to these guys at the moment; they own heavy music with their genre spaning brutality.

Dead Meadow – Howls from The Hills (2001)

If we were to ever start walking with the intention of not stopping until we collapsed and died we would be listening to this album on repeat. Its really heavy with phased out fuzzy genuine psychedelic tones. Completely believable psych rock, has been the sound track to our naughty shenanigans for a number of years. its Pure psych, none of this trendy crap, and has stood the test of time.

Narrow Lands- Popular Music That Will Live Forever (2013)

Local Sydney band of really nice guys who play some of the most jarring  and abrasive post rock you can imagine. They are also one of the only bands we have ever played with that is louder than us. So its nice to know we can all hang out and play lawn bowls together as deaf old men in the future. Check out the track Whores Rule, possibly the best song released by anyone in 2013, the tones these guys get are heavy, far heavier than any other Sydney bands.

Electric Wizard- Dopethrone (2000)

Bit of a cop out as everyone knows it and loves it but un like a lot of doom albums that tend to get a bit stale and boring after a while, Dopethrone never does, with those classic riffs and tones. It feels like your smoking dank through a skull bong at a wizards funeral, its the way doom should make you feel.

Part Chimp – Thriller  (2009)

This album should be the sound track to our meth- induced psychosis rampage montage. Running down the street picking fights with the telegraph poles then getting huge splinters from one of them under our fingernails.  Its loose and unpredictable just like a tweaker.

Top 10 Australian Albums of 2013

Whoomp, there it is! Or, to be more grammatically correct, here it is. Because, y’know, you’re reading this off some sort of screen, which is on front of you, and not somewhere else, which is what the preposition of there implies.

Look, I was trying to make a reference to Tag Team’s 1993 smash hit, and smoothly initiate an article about the best Australian albums of 2013, but it failed in a brutal showing of grammatical error. Anyway, as I clumsily try to regain my poise, let me say that 2013 has been a killer year for Australian records. On the International scene, there haven’t been absolutely tonnes of records that have held people’s gaze for the full year, but in Aussie-land, home of snuggies and the ‘ocker’ stereotype, there have been leaps and bounds in every genre available. Its cruel to pick just ten, but here we are, in a state of despair. Woe is I, for we art doomed to live in a state of existential pit of despair wrought by picking just ten albums for lists. Please….empathise.

Super Dooper Special (as in all tied Equal 11th) mentions go to Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, The Ocean Party, Day Ravies, Unity Floors, and Ooga Boogas.

Special Mentions go to Clowns, Amateur Drunks, Standish/Carlyon, Pikelet, The Living Eyes, Golden Blonde, Ausmuteants, The Drones and The Native Cats.

Super Duper Ultra Special Metal Album: Zeahorse-Pools

The sludge! The intensity! The gruel! Its like Jack Black once said in Tenacious D’s ‘The Metal’, ‘…you can’t kill the metal, the metal will live on’. As it does on Zeahorse’s debut record ‘Pools’. Stagnant marshes of filthy reverb and disgusting bass-lines make this a riveting listen, plunging you head first into a swirling world full of blackness and awesome sludgery.

10. Yes, I’m Leaving-Mission Bulb

Not since Fugazi has a punk band come so blindingly close to marrying the intense anti-establishment message of punk with blindingly good melodies. For Yes, I’m Leaving, a band with both an excellent name, a fantastic live show and even greater songs, its just another day making great fucking songs. Yes, I’m Leaving don’t really make a misstep on ‘Mission Bulb’, just chugging out those razor sharp punk songs like they’re a supergroup made from Patti Smith, Ian McKaye, Keith Morris, and Jello Biafra, and the old guy with a sledge hammer on the cover is replaced by Henry Rollins. Perfection!

9. Primitive Calculators-The World Is Fucked

Never have you heard something as vicious and in-your-face until you’ve witnessed the sheer terror of a Prim Calcs track. Finally, after all this time…the band have gotten around to releasing a debut studio album. Its not like Australia’s been waiting over thirty years for this thing! Thankfully, the album paid off like robbing a bank vault Die Hard 3 style, both a physical and emotional pay-off. Not for a moment do the band let up, blasting our brain cells one super charged synth-punk anthem after another.

8. Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys-Ready For Boredom

Another debut record, another awesome band name. You could say its a combination of the previous two entries, but you’d be wrong because the Bad Boys sound fuck all like the other two bands. Instead, they pick up where The Replacements left off on ‘Pleased to Meet Me’-emotionally charged everyman’s rock n roll. It belongs in a pub, three-schooners-down, with one eye on the rugby game in the corner and one eye on its uncertain future. However, if the band can keep churning out the hit factory and overall nice package that is ‘Ready For Boredom’, they should be sorted for a very long time.

7. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard-Float Along-Fill Your Lungs

I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times-King Jizz are the Darwin Evolution theory in practice. Starting out with bare-bones ramshackle rock n roll and slowly developing into the psych rock band we now see a year and a half later. However, they never lost any of the zeal and flavour they had on the ‘Willoughby’s Beach EP’ way back when, and can still manage to excite and boner-ise with their longer stuff as they can with any two minute electric shock.

6. POND-Hobo Rocket

Its a mini-album, deal with it. It was still too awesome to leave off the list. Its over-the-top glam rock, but not as you know it. If David Bowie was gobbled by some sort of psychedelic monster, and laid to waste by a plethora of Wayne Coyne clones, then you might get something as fun, frantic and off the fucking hook as ‘Hobo Rocket’. It dodges, dips, dives, ducks and dodges between all different sorts of vibes and frequencies, a restless creature if you’ve ever heard one. And boy, does it fucking sound amazing.

5. Cut Copy-Free Your Mind

‘Free Your Mind’ can’t really be defined as a return to form because Cut Copy never lost their form (go listen to ‘Zonoscope’ again, and try to feel any inkling of disappointment). Instead, ‘Free Your Mind’ continues the Cut Copy legacy, leaping and bounding into acid-house territory. The Madchester warehouse vibes are certainly there, mingling with the indie pop sensibility that Cut Copy own so hard like I own a massive Sonic Youth poster so hard. You’ll dance, you’ll think, you’ll cry and you’ll dance again, all within the confines of ‘Meet Me in a House of Love’. Isn’t Cut Copy just the greatest invention?

4. Violent Soho-Hungry Ghost

The cover-a skeleton engulfed in flames. Now that’s how you garner some fucking attention. Or, you could just stir up some of the most heart-pounding, adrenaline-inducing, mouth-watering rock songs this side of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. Most of the songs on ‘Hungry Ghost’ are anthems, no doubt about it. Try to listen to a chorus of ‘Hell FUCK YEAH!’ without forming some sort of death circle in whatever location you happen to be in. In completely unrelated news, death by moshpits have gone up 215% in nursing homes that play Triple J. But that’s not all there is to ‘Hungry Ghost’, as the team manage to cook up a couple of heart-warming surprises throughout. More delicious than an angel made of bacon.

3. Palms-Step-Brothers

I guess the reason why Palms are such a great band is because they’re doing something that’s been done so many times before, but putting such an original stamp on it, that you can’t help but do a quintuple take. That’s right, your head will spin a minimum of five times as you try to reconsider your life without Palms in it. There’s so much to swallow when listening to ‘Step Brothers’, but not in a bad way. No, going through this, you’ll be gulping through as much musical content as possible to get all that Palm-y goodness in your spirit ASAP.

2. The Gooch Palms-Novo’s

Speaking of Palms, The Gooch Palms came in with one of the strongest musical entities of the year. However, whilst Palms channel Springsteen, Goochies are all about The Ramones. Bratty, snotty punk, farted out into the willing ears of all lucky enough to listen. However, The Gooch Palms show a surprising diversity, and with the mixture of shameless pop ballads, rain-soaked bummer ear-catchers and leather-jacket FUCK YEWWW’s, you can’t feel bored, even for a second. Rock n Roll runs in the veins of Kat and Leroy and to deny them of that would mean to say that this album doesn’t make you immediately want to strip off all your clothes, run down a highway and spread the word of the Almighty Gooch.

P.S The Gooch Palms and Palms are teaming up for a tour called Palmarama, and they’re playing Oxford Arts Factory on Friday, 28th February. Miss this and perish in a pit of regret.

1. TV Colours-Purple Skies, Toxic River

Surprise, fucking surprise. The album that I can never stop blabbering about comes in at No. 1 on my list of the top Australian records of 2013. Bias aside, if you don’t like this album, then seriously, nothing can be done for you. You are a lost cause. A total travesty of a human being. This album is perfection, a lulling, mesmerising concoction of deadly riffs, lo-fi production, cheesy synths and samples, rolled into a bundle of delights that the world has never seen before. Even though Bobby Kill took two years to make this record, it was worth every minute of waiting for this fucking masterpiece. God Bless TV Colours!

Gig Review: Zeahorse

artworks-000058413166-or9bxs-t500x500Friday 1st November @ Club 77

Zeahorse are the kind of band you would never take your Mum to. Their sound is unique as fuck, a brutal amalgamation of punk, hardcore, sludge and metal.They’re loud, noisy and sound as though Violent Soho’s corpse was taken through a wood-chipper operated by Kyuss. Their sound is unique as fuck, a brutal amalgamation of punk, hardcore, sludge and metal. If Eyehategod had a baby, its best mate would be Zeahorse. If Tom Morello, Henry Rollins and Geezer Butler started a band, they’d probably sound exactly like Zeahorse. Do you understand what I’m trying to say here? Zeahorse are really fucking great. And they’re at their best when they’re playing live.

Which is precisely what I found myself doing on that Friday night. Whilst my compatriots made their way to Soho Bar to dance to Lil’ Wayne and co., I headed out to Club 77. Now, if you haven’t been to Club 77 before, you’re in for a real treat. This place is about as authentic as one can go. Buried in a basement on Williams Street, between the Cross and the City, Club 77 is like those biker clubs from the 70’s that you always heard about but never went to. It is like an oasis, crowded between two of the busiest sections of nightlife that Sydney has to offer. Everything is dark and dingy, bathed in a devilish red light. When you walk in, a pungent smell, (not a bad smell, just strong) hits your nose like the gasoline fumes from a Chopper. I felt like I would run into Bruce Willis or Lemmy. This place was the genuine badass article. And it’s where Zeahorse were playing.

Now, although I missed Narrow Lands (a very regrettable decision on my part), I did manage to catch the brilliant No Art, a band that has the unique ability to always be playing live whenever I have absolutely no chance of seeing them, like some sort of drone-y leprechaun. However I caught the fucker this time round, and shower me with gold they did. Their music is swirling and disturbing on record, but in a live setting, you can’t help but feel a certain affinity with their music. Don’t worry, it doesn’t lose any of its nihilistic steel and splintering edginess, but it feels more like that cool goth chick at school who you always wanted to hang out with, rather than this super-cool entity of post-punk genius waaaaayy out of your league. If you’re keen for some overloads of musical goodness, check out ‘Dead Arm’, you won’t regret it.

After No Art had performed their duties of wowing us into silence and gratitude, Zeahorse came on to alight the stage with a noxious intensity. From that opening chord of the set, the unmistakeable clang of ‘Pool’, the audience’s brains were torn apart. Listening to Zeahorse in their natural environment was like being earfucked by a hellbeast. I felt like David Attenborough watching some lions, admiring the predatorial beauty of a band that could dole out killer riffs that would slash you apart in equal lengths with encouraging, amiable spaces of music.

Don’t get me wrong, the whole set from start to finish was a fucking onslaught of the senses, like dipping your mind in a vat of the bubonic plague, and watching in fascination as it turned into something ethereal and otherworldly, brought on by something that probably shouldn’t exist. Except the bubonic plague killed a fuckload of people, and everyone that crowded into Club 77 that night had their jaw on the floor, simply gobsmacked at the sounds and intensity of the sounds that pulverised our ears. I’ll say it again, one minute your headbanging like a rocking horse taking its first hit of heroin on ‘Onion’, next thing you know, you’re slowly grooving your hips to ‘Kathie’s Makeover’. The closer of ‘Career’, with its ‘One Inch Man’-ish bass-line and furious energy, was a particular blistering part of the set, shaking the crowd’s heads into a frothing mass of ecstasy.

To conclude, if you are any sort of self-respecting fan of the heavier stuff, you should already know and love Zeahorse as much as I do. If you’re ever in the need to be overwhelmingly entertained, and Zeahorse are in town, fucking go. Zeahorse are more insanely good that butter on toast at 7 o’clock on a Sunday morning, and that is a fucking fact.

Album Review: Zeahorse-Pools

artworks-000058413166-or9bxs-t500x500If you’ve ever been one to go for music that is badass and huge and sounds like a New Zealand rugby player is bellowing in your ear, then you really can’t go past Zeahorse. They’re a band that crawl with disturbed beauty, prowling on the weak-minded and challenging the strong-willed, making music to beat the shit out of your preconceptions. Indeed, Zeahorse could probably change your entire world view. That’s how brutal and honest their music is-it will physically and emotionally change you. Personally, I started listening to Zeahorse a small, reclusive ginger, and emerged a glamourous, blonde hunk. Zeahorse has done wonders for my self-esteem!

For the most part of ‘Pools’, Zeahorse lay down thick slabs of dirty feedback. Remember that part in Breaking Bad where Walter rescues Jesse from the crack den? Yeah, Zeahorse are playing on that level of dirtiness. But that is definitely not a bad thing, in fact it works in their favour. It lets you indulge in the grime and scum you’ve always wanted, albeit in an audio format. Isn’t music fun?

Opener ‘Career’ is a slow, disturbing introduction to the warped world of Zeahorse, but the madness comes to fruition on album highlight ‘Pool’. The drawn out guitar works its way through your brain like mercury, slowly choking you, but at the same time giving a sense of relief you haven’t felt since you found the holy grail of a clean public toilet. But the greatest moment for that track is when things go all-out abomination, with banshee sounds erupting to fucking great effect, blasting the listener with a wave of orgasmic post-rock glory.

Remember, ‘Pool’ is only the second track on the record. There is still plenty more shit to go down. Take ‘Onion’ for example, a ADHD ridden junkie of a track, jumping all around with a manic look in its eyes, Charlie Manson on murder juice. ‘Onion’ switches from slow, menacing Tool-like blows of bass and whispers to anarchic screams of fury. And ‘Tugboat’ re-defines the term ‘with gusto’, taking that twattish phrase and inserting an adrenaline rush that would make Uma Thurman’s character in Pulp Fiction say ‘Woah, slow the fuck down’.

‘Pools’ unleashes the sort of hellish sounds one would expect from a youthful Birthday Party crossed with The Jesus Lizard, smothered in a thick coat of Baroness. The unruly, fuck you nature of their lyrics and vocals, reinforced with the dry, heaving bass lines that compress the tracks into iron-clad forces to be reckoned with, and the drone-rock guitar buzz that yawns in every track like the gates of hell opening…I mean, has this combination of things even been tried before? We’re talking about a bonafide original fucking band here that will not only fuck with your mind, but do it with an energy that you’ve never heard before. As far as this debut goes, Zeahorse can be filed next to great bands of the heavier side of things, right next to Cancer Bats and Boris. ‘Pools’ is fucking deadly.

‘Pools’ is already out on HUB the Label, through Inertia. You should buy it if you want to get that pesky EDM shit permanently out of your brain (that makes me a hypocrite, I know, get over it). Zeahorse will be playing their launch at Club 77 next Friday, which is the 1st of November. No Art and Narrow Lands, two bands that give the term ‘capable’ a new definition, will be playing support. Zeahorse are an absolutely mental live act, and once seen, you’ll have a whole new appreciation for their tunes. Tickets are $10, which means you have no reason to go, unless Cthulhu breaks loose.

Video: Zeahorse-Pool

The video for one of Sydney’s most awesomely soul-crushing bands’ best songs is here. Fuck, it sounds even more satanic when there’s an impenetrable blackness on screen. If you thought the video’s that Tool put out where a disturbing partner for their music, then wait until you see Zeahorse blast all expectations out of sight. This video is complete blackness incarnate, and it looks and sounds like the bastions of hell are screaming right into your face. Fucking. Awesome.

Gig Review: FBI Turns 10

Sunday 8th of September @ The Carriageworks, Redfern

FBi Radio has been a stalwart of promoting forward thinking music for approximately the past 10 years. Try to think of another Australian radio station that has it’s finger to the pulse of music more so than FBi. It is impossible. Because FBi is committed to carving out delicious hunks of flesh that the Australian music scene has to offer. If you’re underground and independent, but you have the music that should send you skyrocketing to stardom, FBi can probably help you out. Just ask some of the alumni that have graduated from the grainy speakers of beat up automobiles the country over, to giant stadiums. The Presets, Hermitude, Cloud Control, and Urthboy are just a few of the massive acts that can thank FBi for that helping hand. And on FBi’s 10th Birthday spectacular at the Carriageworks, all of these acts and more were there to give back to the best of their ability. And by fuck-knizzles was it a good show.

A bunch of locals where the first of many amazing musical treasures to be caught that day. Opening with Movement, the recent Future Classic signees, was a pleasure to see. They were warm and receptive of the minimum attention from hungover crowd that had come down early to catch their set. Although not wild in any sense, Movement were still engaging, and their amazeballs cover of ‘Ms Jackson’ by Outkast didn’t just go down a treat…it was a festival highlight. The day then progressed to a bunker, in which some serious noise was gargled forcibly down your throat. Zeahorse played an electrifying set. I didn’t know what to expect from the band, other than that their song ‘Pool’ is badass, but instead I got a truly ferocious feat of punk. The bass lines that this band can muster could go head to head with any Sabbath track, and the unadulterated rage that the band brought to the stage was mind blowing. I came to that show a cautious spectator, and left an undying fan. Straight Arrows had the job of following this belying dumbbell to the kidneys of a show, but they only raised the bar. Owen Penglis proved himself to be the Lux Interior of contemporary society, stalking the stage with retarded glee. He’s both taking the piss of himself and exuding over-the-top enthusiasm for his craft of creating the best garage rock n roll this side of the universe. Not to be outdone, guitarist Alex Grigg was equally captivating, jumping around like a frog on meth. Songs with full on, tidal choruses  like ‘Bad Temper‘ and the new single ‘Never Enough’ went down the best, the crowd frothing to the best of their ability at 2 o clock on a Sunday arvo. Following these two high energy performance was the inimitable Kirin J Callinan. Not about to be overshadowed by a couple punks, watching the weirdo was like a Sydney re-invention of Kraftwerk. Dressed in a zebra meets Doppler Effect jumpsuit, and followed by two similarly robed henchmen, Kirin J Callinan put on a mesmerising and disturbing performace. Guitar feedback, loops and a general fuckery of the senses was the call of duty from the performance. From the get-go, Mr. Callinan indulged the crowd in their most fucked-up desires in only the way a guy that thinks onstage epilepsy is be a good idea could. An overall  electrifying start to the day.

Let it be said that Deep Sea Arcade cannot do a bad show. They are the Australian version of the UK arena rock spectacular bands like Kasabian. They take the crowd into the palm of their hand from the beginning of the show, using the age old tricks of rock n roll (loud guitars, onstage prancing, a sound that allows the crowd to sway with happy detachment from normalcy) to transform their small stage in Bay 20 of the Carriagworks into a full throttle rock show. Showing off songs new and old, Deep Sea Arcade had a thronging, adoring crowd lapping up every second of their performance. ‘Black Cat’, ‘Girls’, and ‘Steam’ were all particularly explosive points of the set, but the band have encapsulated a riotous spirit onstage that would make The Rolling Stones fart storms of dust in jealousy. Unfortunately, Naysayer & Gilsun didn’t make their scheduled appearance. A disappointment permeated my soul like I haven’t felt since earlier that day, when I ran out of drink tokens within half an hour of being at the event. Still, there was a silver lining-I got to catch the end of The Preatures set. After way too much repetitive doof doof in Bay 17, The Preatures afforded some much needed laid-back soul infused rock. ‘Is This How You Feel?’ has warmed up to me exponentially since I first heard it a couple months ago, so hearing it live was like dousing my head in the mythical waters of Babylon.

The festival only got better and better from that point, as we made our way to the barrier for the remaining four acts. Seekae were there almost straight away to prove what it meant to be a main contender for the crown of ‘best producers in the history of ever’. These Sydney post-dubstep, ambient heroes showered an adoring crowd with cult favourites from their previous two albums, as well as a couple selections from their upcoming record. The beautiful new song ‘Another’ opened the set, but the transcendental sounds of ‘Blood Bank’, and the major hit ‘Void’ were so good, it felt like the crowd was moving like a singular piece of jelly in a light wind to Seekae’s music. It’s important to note that this third record sees Seekae experimenting with live vocals, a move that can only be lauded. It sounded fucking amazing. The whizzing beats combined with the immersing tonal melodies of Seekae’s music was amazing enough, and with the vocals layering on top of that, I can only imagine that Seekae will become one of Australia’s next big exports. After defying the logic of goodness with Seekae, Midnight Juggernauts took the stage. Initially, I was pretty pissed, because seeing Midnight Juggernauts meant missing Bleeding Knees Club, who are better than a gallon of cough syrup when your not actually sick (PURP DRANK!). Initially, I was committed to not having a good time, and to send a disapproving message to Midnight Juggernauts that they would leave FBi’s 10th Birthday having had to stare at a frowning ginger in their front row for the entire duration of their set. However, I was the fool in this situation. When three guys rock the stage in tribal robes, and jam so theatrically your ears bleed from the carnivorous carnival of fun on display, then it’s kinda hard to remain a cynical dick about the whole thing. The energy on stage was at an overwhelming extreme, and Midnight Juggernauts bigger hits such as ‘Into the Galaxy’ caused near-riotous levels of ecstasy in the audience. Closing the set with a striptease from their ‘Uncanny Valley’ tour buds Kirin j Callinan and his astronaut-in-training accomplices, set to screeching electronica, mental drumming and a jungle bass like only Midnight Juggernauts can deliver was a fucking insane and grin exuding experience that no one could be capable of shying away from.

Next to hit the main stage was Hermitude, and let me confirm that everything you’ve ever heard about them is true. Yes, they are one of the best production teams in recent history. Yes, they blaze up the stage like a Cypress Hill blunt. And yes, you should skip a loved one’s Bar Mitzvah to go see them live. Hermitude are fucking awesome. There’s not much more to say than that. Until you’ve been swept up into a thronging crowd all jumping in unison to ‘Get in My Life’, watched African animals spiral in duality on six different TV screens to ‘HyperParadise’, or watched in awe as Chaos Emerald dances the fuck out of a stage whilst ‘Speak of the Devil’ booms in fiery agreement, you have not lived. Hermitude are performers like no other, and they were the winners of FBi’s 10th Birthday, by a long fucking way. Now, although they didn’t have the advantage of enthusiasm incarnate like their predecessors Hermitude, The Presets closed the absolute fuck out of this festival. With a battalion of party starters at their finger tips, Kim and Julian laid down the gauntlet with a strong mix of new and old. Although they leaned a little too heavily on the newest album ‘Pacifica’, it provided much needed relief for when perennial crowd favourites such as ‘This Boy’s In Love’,My People’ and festival closer ‘Talk Like That‘ turned a dancing crowd into a moshing frenzy. The neon tunes of The Presets are loved the world over, but in that moment of ‘talk-talk-talk, like-like-like, that-that-that *electronic music sounds*’, Sydney showed their passion for these hometown heros through a sea of sweat and smiles.

To say that FBi’s 10th Birthday was a success is an understatement. There was not a single point in time in which there wasn’t a band on that wasn’t worth seeing. I’m still kicking myself for the fact that I missed Fishing, The Laurels, Sampology and Decoder Ring, a few of the amazing acts that went ungraced by my presence. And if you weren’t down for having your earholes pleasured, then there was always the buffet of Sydney delicacies, the artworks and installations, a spectator controlled boxing match (fucking awesome), or even a quick wander around would reveal some of your favourite artists of the day. To leave Redfern unsmiling that day was to lie to yourself. There’s only hope that this festival tries to repeat the overwhelming success next year.

If you like any or all of the artists, you should really think about becoming a sponsor of FBi. They are probably one of the best things to happen to Australian music since The Scientists formed.

New: Zeahorse-Pool

Ahhh man, this is brutal. A sluggish, pounding riff with banshee breath vocals, a song that takes turns drowning you in noise and lifting you up to the heavens. Such a fucking dope track. The parts of the song in which everything nosedives into fuzzed out obliviousness take it from being badass to godlike. A boar with the beard of Dimebag Darrell couldn’t be this awesome if it tried.

Zeahorse are playing tomorrow at the Carriageworks for FBI’s 10th Birthday. It’s sold out, but if you nabbed a ticket, you should definitely go see these dudes.