Crunch! March 7, 2012
Phew! Everyone recover from Soundwave? Catch any sidewaves? I saw Trivium and Slipknot at Rod Laver, and Meshuggah and Devin Townsend at the Forum. Fucking amazing. And check out my Soundwave review here. What were your highlights? Who did you see that I didn't? Spewing that I had to miss Cathedral, Kvelertak and Gojira. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Steel Panther To Return?
How about Steel Panther, huh? By all reports they laid waste pretty much to all of Australia while they were here for Soundwave. I had a chat with singer Michael Starr (did you know he used to sing for LA Guns under his real name, Ralph Saenz? Yeah, you probably did) and he said the band will definitely be back later this year.
Alchemist, Alarum Members Surface In The Levitation Hex
Check out The Levitation Hex from Canberra. This band features Adam Agius (ex Alchemist), Mark Palfreyman (Alarum), Ben Hocking (Aeon of Horus) and Scott Young (ex Alarum). They have a bunch of songs at soundcloud.com/levitationhex and they kick ass. Heavy songs, interesting production, intricate arrangements, elements of prog and psychedelia thrown in. Very cool.
Devin Townsend Gets Epic
If you caught my Devin Townsend interview recently you'd know his next project is a big heavy rock album called Epicloud. Well last week Devin revealed that he'll record it here in Australia right after Soundwave. The tracking sessions will take place in Perth. This won't be Devy's first Aussie recording project – Strapping Young Lad's No Sleep Til Bedtime live album was recorded in Melbourne at the Hi-Fi.
Speaking of Canberra-affiliated bands, Hoodlum Shouts will release their debut album, Young Man Old Man, on local label Poison City Records/HelloSquare on March 28. Recorded by Matt Voigt (The Dirty Three, Midnight Oil, The Nation Blue), they combine bold simplicity and lush melodies with the perfect balance of melancholy and optimism. Their previous release was the 2009 EP Horses and Human Hands.
Roadrunner Signs Make Them Suffer
Roadrunner Records Australia has just signed Perth deathcore/black metal hybrid Make Them Suffer. The band came to Roadrunner's attention via the Sign Me To site, where unsigned bands can have their music reviewed by fans, peers and Roadrunner staff. Their EP Lord Of Woe no doubt helped too. The band combines extreme metal, neo-classical strings, dark piano lines, razor sharp riffing, crazy blast beats and roaring vocals. And they can pull it off live. The album, Neverbloom, was engineered by Roland Lim (Birds Of Tokyo), who also produced Lord Of Woe. it's released on May 25.
RIP Ronnie Montrose
Sad to hear about the death of guitarist Ronnie Montrose, a legend whose early Montrose albums launched the career of one Mr. Sammy Hagar. Ronnie also played with Van Morrison, and that's him on Gary Wright's Dream Weaver. Montrose was battling prostate cancer at the time of his death. A statement on his site read: "A few months ago, we held a surprise party for Ronnie Montrose’s 64th birthday. He gave an impromptu speech, and told us that after a long life, filled with joy and hardship, he didn’t take any of our love for granted. He passed today. He’d battled cancer, and staved off old age for long enough. And true to form, he chose his own exit the way he chose his own life. We miss him already, but we’re glad to have shared with him while we could."
Gig Alert: Baby Animals
The Baby Animals are currently working on a new album – their first studio album of new material since 1993's Shaved & Dangerous and only their third studio album overall. They have a few Melbourne dates coming up: The York on Lilydale on Thursday March 8, TRAK Nightclub on Friday March 9 and the Chelsea Heights Hotel on Saturday March 10. Suze DeMarchi still possesses one of the greatest voices in rock. By the way, check out her 1999 solo album Telelove, produced by her husband Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme. It's criminally overlooked.
By Peter Hodgson