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Music Reviews

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 2:58pm

 

Contemplating the meaninglessness of existence on any given Sunday afternoon, one can do well to decide that meaning can be created in the form of small experiences and pleasures like patting a fluffy dog or soaking up rays and sweet tunes at a rooftop gig.
 
Aussie independent record label Bedroom Suck presented Melbournians with an afternoon of local musical delights,...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 2:57pm

 

Outside the Athenaeum Theatre, flagged by velvet ropes and a red carpet, sat an off-white limousine complete with Canberra plates and Australian flags mounted on the hood. If there was ever any doubt that Client Liaison were here to bring it, it was erased before walking into the building.  
 
Inside, Luke Million had the crowd eating out of his hands. Million jumped...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 2:56pm

 

First to jump onstage was Lost Talk. Fierce frontwoman Amy immediately commanded attention with screamed vocals radiating sass, while the band upped the ante with a high intensity set. 
 
Next was Perth alternative outfit Childsaint, who showcased their gritty garage rock with plenty of passion, their melancholic lyrics reaching out to everybody in the room. Local garage...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 2:13pm

I hope the history books will forever show that Sarah Perkins is a premiership Crow and Tex Walker is not.

 

Single Of The Week

Hex : Page Of Pentacles

Sick licks and a sense of overseeing detachment come together for something pretty spesh coming from New Zealand trio Hex, concocting a mix that effortlessly blends sharp post-punk and sprawling desert rock...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:55pm

8.5

 

The New Pornographers have undergone metamorphosis since their last release with two long term members departing the band. Unobtrusive, the blend of three strong vocalists works well and builds a strong foundation upon which the band can rely for their consistent entry onto the North American charts. Whiteout Conditions doesn’t indicate that there will be any change to this...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:54pm

9

 

If there was ever any doubt from the more sceptical of critics as to the musical abilities of Steel Panther, these opinions are blown out of the water with new release Lower The Bar.
 
Steel Panther’s X-rated tendencies and flirtatious filth is still present lyrically, but they’ve done the opposite of what the album title suggests – Steel Panther have risen the...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:53pm

7.5

 

Someone at work referred to me as a hippy the other day.  I contemplated a bullying and harassment charge or even criminal defamation, before settling with an empty threat to illustrate my offence.  “Call me a hippy again and you’re dead meat,” I retorted, invoking the empty schoolyard language of my (not-at-all hippy) youth.
 
But as my once-hippie wife reminds...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:51pm

7

 

Exanimate sounds like the work of hairy Swedes with names akin to IKEA furniture – but it’s not. These guys are from Melbourne, though the melodic death metal they peddle is indebted to the Gothenburg scene of the mid ‘90s. If you’re a fan of At the Gates, In Flames, et al. pull up a chair and get acquainted with your new favourite melodeath crusaders.
 
They’ve...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:50pm

9

 

Australian indie folk music has a new queen. Her name is Domini Forster. Opening with Under Water, edgy xylophone melodies combined with softly picked guitar and the honey dripped vocals of Forster play out in a great opening track. Put it simply, she knows how to craft a folk pop gem.
 
Gentle and melodic, it’s easy to get lost in the sweeping sounds of Black Dog...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:48pm

8

 

The Waifs are warmly welcomed back to the Australian music scene with their new album Ironbark, a nod to their core influences – friends, family, a love of music and performing, and Australia itself. Most predominant in their new 25-track album is this Australis theme, a tribute to its nature and its people, essential ingredients in the extraordinary body of work the Waifs...

Posted 29 Mar 2017 @ 12:42pm

9.5

 

More Scared Of You Than You Are Of Me gets straight down to business with the fast-paced, punchy rock track Forrest kicking off the album, followed by the lighter, more reserved Birthdays. Here listeners learn this album is not going to be a fully charged, guns-blazing rock album but rather a concise and descriptive journey lead by the ever autobiographical Wil Wagner. Next...

Posted 27 Mar 2017 @ 12:30pm

Considering the current enormity of King Gizzard, it really strikes home how lucky Melburnians are to experience this incredible band in such an intimate setting. As an eclectic crowd of the eager punters jostled for a spot, The Gizz entered the circle to thunderous applause and adoration.
 
For the first half of their whopping double set, it was all about showing off the new toys...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 12:35pm

 

Supporting Huntly was Shouse; a local duo who make fun dance jams. Their smooth set was made even smoother by the addition of a live saxophone soaring over all the tracks. They had everyone moving to their addictively catchy beats.
 
Sandwiching Shouse was two DJ sets from disco queen Brooke Powers. Bringing the bouncy house tracks, she quickly had the whole sweaty room...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 12:25pm

Entering their 41st year as a band, UK punk rock innovators The Damned returned to Melbourne for the first time in five years. While the band’s original punk rock and proto-goth edge may have softened over the years, as most men pushing 60 do, the musical performance and energy was in top form.
 
Free of stage props and gimmicks, the set dived straight into classic after classic....

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 12:02pm

Gloom lords Departe opened the night, being the only Australian band on the lineup. The Tassie natives delivered sinister and expansive soundscapes, treating the crowd to a crushing wall of noise. Their first full-length Failure, Subside was met with monolithic acclaim last year, eerily balancing droning post-metal with shattering blast beats and reverberating vocals. One thing to be taken...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:57am

 

There was this fast bowler back in my high school cricket days, perhaps the quickest kid in the district. Facing up to him one Saturday morning, he pitched his opening delivery just short of a length. Like a python attacking its prey, the ball reared up sharply, honing on my rib cage. I fended defensively, somehow turning the wide of fine leg for a boundary. “Nice shot off the hip,”...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:42am

7

 

Spoon have come a long way since they emerged in the ‘90s as an indie-rock outfit delivering minimalistic, guitar heavy tracks, and after nine albums and 24 years, there has been a definitive shift in their sound.
 
Hot Thoughts sees Spoon’s progression from simplistic acoustic tracks to synth soaked beats complimented by funky twangs of bass guitar. The album is...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:42am

8

 

Sleaford Mods are unavoidably themselves: punk-rock laid bare, lean-muscle, restless and writhing. Jason Williamson’s sing-speak punk poetry is spat out in such a utilitarian way that – at first – you wonder what business the songs have being so damn good.
 
The truth is that the Sleaford Mods have the recipe: the songs are hooky-as-fuck, they’re executed with...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:41am

7

 

Songs Of Love And Death is much less skull crunching heaviness and more Robert Johnson toe-tapping at the crossroad, waiting for the Prince of Darkness so he can sell his soul. The inner demon of Adam "Nergal" Darski, the leader of Behemoth remains never far away throughout.
 
Me And That Man provide ample proof they can write stripped-back anthems full of...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:40am

8

 

Across much of Silver Eye, mood takes precedence over narrative. The preferencing of imagery over heavy-handed storytelling has always been key to Goldfrapp’s aesthetic. The absence of words is also used effectively: verses are often interspersed with instrumental breaks that help build momentum. Walls of synth rise with purpose, as if in slow motion.
 
Alison...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:39am

7.5

 

If a two-piece blues-rock band from Adelaide is an evil twin, is the good twin KC and the Sunshine Band, with its 16-member ensemble and AM-tuned pop repertoire? 
 
It really doesn’t matter, especially when you lend an ear to Evil Twins’ new album, Broken Blues.  It starts with I Don’t Mind, a growling meander through the Delta swamp, leans into a cocky denim...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:38am

7

 

Droplet – the musical project of singer/songwriter and producer Demi Papazoglou – is shaking up the Melbourne music scene through a tirade of minimalist electronica that’s hard hitting when it needs to be and encompasses raw emotion at its highest points.
 
Humanimal shows a haunting vocal prowess transitioning to buzzsaw synths. It’s clear Papazoglou shines the...

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:36am

Folks I forgot to get Adele tickets and I’m willing to concede that was a major fuck-up on my behalf. Sorry.

 

Single Of The Week

Sui Zhen : Calm Winds

There’s a touch of deadpan in the title of Calm Winds, seeing as the track features extremely calming woodwind – reaching outside the palette shown on Sui Zhen’s 2015 album Secretly Susan, to great effect....

Posted 22 Mar 2017 @ 11:30am

8.5

 

Long before hashtag slogans became part of the lingua franca of social media, music fans did declare themselves #1 fans of the pop sensation of the moment.  Whether it was The Beatles, the Stones, Bay City Rollers or ABBA, there was always someone prepared to anoint themselves as the band’s most devoted follower.
 
The Pink Tiles play music that’s straight from...

Posted 20 Mar 2017 @ 5:31pm

 

Opening the show was Thy Art Is Murder, all the way from Blacktown, Sydney. Despite being a stone’s throw away from HillsongChurch, Thy Art Is Murder’s music is about as far away from worship as you can get. They presented their anti-religious and vaguely misanthropic message in the cloak of blast beats, breakdowns, and violently impassioned vocals, with more than a dash of...

Posted 17 Mar 2017 @ 10:03am

A Chain and the Gang show isn’t your standard gig, it’s a once in a lifetime experience to worship at the altar of Ian F Svenonius, one of the greatest rock icons and commentators of music in the last 30 years.
 
Testament to his engagement with music, Svenonius was up the front of the crowd taking photos of the support bands. Primo and Parsnip are two bands made up of some of...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 2:49pm

As always, the Port Fairy Folk Festival was jam-packed with an eclectic mix of musical treats.
 
Melody Pool showcased smoky, soaring vocals that were at times reminiscent of Stevie Nicks' dulcet tones. Among a brace of sparking originals, her rendition of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game was a poignant highlight in a gold-plated set.
 
The Jerry Cans featured fiery fiddle and...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 2:47pm

 

From the opening few bars of Teenage Fanclub’s set, it was evident that their current live show is fairly restrained. A far cry from Reading Festival 1992, but that was no surprise and no crime.
 
The initial lack of guitar-power in the mix was faintly worrying, and rendered both new and old material quite lifeless. The main issue being that the band’s approach, in both...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 2:47pm

Opening the night’s show was triple J Hottest 100 runner-up, Amy Shark. As the garden punters took a pew on their picnic rugs, the rising talent offered up a selection of her lesser known, yet equally impressive tunes. Included in the mix was Spit on Girls, a fitting addition to her set only three days after International Women’s Day. Picking up her guitar, Shark also shared Home, Deleted and...

Posted 15 Mar 2017 @ 2:40pm

 

The last of the Zoo Twilight concerts was appropriately concluded by The Specials. An effervescent timeless group with an abundance of fun-time tunes delivered with a lyrical conscience.
 
They bounded onstage, replete with both old school and new school rude boy wear and the sold out audience was set for a riveting finale.
 
Aided by minimalist strings, the...

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