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Music Features

Posted 14 Oct 2016 @ 9:00am

Birthed right around the time the tail end of ’70s punk bled into the nascent futurism of the ’80s, post punk in its many guises is a genre that refuses to die.

 

There is something so appealing about the emotional, abrasive and angular textures of the subgenre, and there is a reason the sound has been picked up by such luminaries as Joy Division, Nine Inch Nails and The Soft...

Posted 13 Oct 2016 @ 4:33pm

Martin Bland is, well, anything but.

 

The long standing drummer for supergroup The Monkeywrench has played in a variety of bands for decades, and has travelled the world doing so. From his days playing the Strawberry Hills Hotel to steeping himself in American soul, the expat muso has seen his share of adventure....

Posted 13 Oct 2016 @ 4:11pm

I was born in Bulli, a few suburbs north of Wollongong, so when Jordie Lane sings, “She’s a black diamond from Bulli” on his new album, Glassellland, well, it’s like he’s known me all my life.

 

Sure, he might have got the genders confused, but you can’t blame such a busy guy. While we’re on that tune, ‘Black Diamond’, actually, it’s worth noting that though Lane started writing...

Posted 13 Oct 2016 @ 4:07pm

A lot can happen to a band in over a decade: its sound can alter, band members can leave and fans can taper off.

 

But despite such possibilities, Bullet For My Valentine’s frontperson and founding member Matthew Tuck is adamant that the collective are the same men that started the band all those many years ago; they’re just a little wiser.

 

“Deep down we’re...

Posted 12 Oct 2016 @ 2:58pm

It’s difficult to describe the enigma that is Connan Mockasin.

 

Softly spoken, his face framed by blonde locks, Mockasin (whose real name is Connan Hosford) is the picture-perfect musical poster boy. Emerging under the moniker Connan And The Mockasins in the early 2000s, the New Zealand artist proceeded to release two albums, tour with Radiohead and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and...

Posted 12 Oct 2016 @ 2:50pm

Few bands make it to 20 years.

 

Fewer still reach that milestone and have the strength to push forward and create arguably their best material. To that end, it’s been a trying slog for The Nation Blue: the band formed in Hobart during the mid ’90s, cutting their teeth within the city’s underground punk-rock scene. Not many bands find success in Hobart and those that do tend to...

Posted 12 Oct 2016 @ 12:25pm

Melbourne punk rock staples Clowns are no strangers to local stages.

 

While the past year and a half has seen the band tour the US and Europe twice, not to mention numerous national support slots, the group’s upcoming east coast shows are its first headline appearances on our shores this year. 

 

As a former member of the band – journalistic impartiality aside – it...

Posted 7 Oct 2016 @ 2:00pm

50 years have passed since the incredible success of The Troggs’ ‘Wild Thing’.

 

Cited as a significant progenitor of punk and garage rock by countless artists, and still very much a lasting influence to this day, the song’s irresistibly simple riff, vocal snarl and ocarina solo (played by founding singer Reg Presley in one of the more left-of-centre moments in pop music history...

Posted 7 Oct 2016 @ 10:00am

For a drummer, David Lovering sure does have a beautiful set of pipes.

 

Chatting over the phone disgustingly early in the morning US time, the indie rock titan and longtime member of the Pixies shows off the polished tones one would usually associate with television commercial voiceover work. There’s a kind of all-American richness to his speaking voice that is almost...

Posted 7 Oct 2016 @ 9:00am

The tale of the creative type retreating into the country in order to restart their creative process is an age-old one, a myth that has been cemented into the Western canon thanks to folks like Jack Kerouac and Henry David Thoreau.

 

But while singer-songwriter Angel Olsen’s own tree change certainly affected the process she uses to write the powerful, unclassifiable tunes she...

Posted 6 Oct 2016 @ 10:00am

There are two sides to Chris Cain. 

 

First and foremost, he’s a musician – a blues guitarist with an admirably workmanlike attitude towards his songs, and he speaks in a voice full of a particularly down-to-earth lack of pretence. Begin a conversation with him about his tours and his beginnings as a musician and you’ll find yourself met by a gruff, understated voice. “There was...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 2:38pm

That ol’ git Jean-Paul Sartre really knew a thing or two, didn’t he? Hell truly is other people: just ask Blake Scott, guitarist and vocalist from The Peep Tempel.

 

“I just had to do a first aid course,” Scott says. “It was pretty fucked up. It’s a lot more touchy-feely these days. It used to be you practised on fucking dummies, but these days you have to partner up and touch...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 2:00pm

Back in the ’90s, the media made a big deal out of the fact that L7 were an all-female band, as though such a fact was worthy of incredulity.

 

The fact is, L7 were more interested in rocking out than gender politics – well, that and shaking up the status quo. 

 

For instance, when a Glastonbury crowd turned mean while the band was tied up with tech difficulties,...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 1:53pm

Five years on from the tragic death of Amy Winehouse, the musician’s legacy is still honoured by fans.

 

But for some, just remembering isn’t enough, and there are many with a pressing need to honour this icon in more public ways. Paying a stunning tribute to the late singer, a force who guided her own burgeoning career, Atlanta Coogan is set to breathe life into Amy Winehouse’s...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 1:30pm

Despite his debut solo album only being released in 2014, a full Australian tour for Frank Iero and The Patience has been a long time coming.

 

Iero was originally set to bring his project to our shores as part of this year’s ill-fated Soundwave tour, but fate had different plans. “We were going with the intention to bring a full band, and then of course shit happens and it was...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 1:18pm

★★★

 

Given Balance And Composure’s track record, their new album Light We Made arrives with high expectations. I

 

t’s certainly dreamier than their previous efforts and pained screams are swapped for echoed crooning and strange, tortured undercurrents. 

 

Lead single ‘Postcard’ is an appropriate warning sign for the rest of the album: it’s weak and...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 1:17pm

 

Is there a sound as grating as the hissing and clawing of two warring cats in the early hours of the morning?

 

It turns out the answer to that question is yes: it’s the sound of Breakin’ Outta Hell by Airbourne. In a contest between ten minutes of cats vs the full hour of this album, my recommendation would be cats – that way you can save 50 minutes of your...

Posted 5 Oct 2016 @ 9:00am

To say that 2016 has been a busy year for DMA’s would be an understatement.

 

The Sydney-based and currently UK-placed trio have toured virtually non-stop since the release of their impressive debut album, Hills End. Between selling out shows in four separate continents and playing some of the world’s most famous festivals, the local lads have proved themselves to be an...

Posted 1 Oct 2016 @ 11:00am

Swedish hardcore outfit Raised Fist emerged with its debut LP Fuel in 1998.

 

The band’s sixth LP, last year’s From The North, doesn’t deviate far from the politically-tinged hardcore sound the band has been well known for, but that’s not to say the group has lost its potency. Frontman Alexander ‘Alle’ Hagman says the band laboured intensely over the construction the record,...

Posted 29 Sep 2016 @ 1:00pm

As the sun shines in Sydney, so the rain pours in Melbourne, and as children play outside in the glorious weather, The Panics’ Jae Laffer is sat at his 200-year-old piano, watching the world through the window as he sips on a coffee, engrossed in creating music on a dreary morning. 

 

The contrast in surroundings between Laffer and this fair interviewer is a point of delight and...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 11:16pm

As an interviewer, you tend to only encounter dodgy phone lines when speaking to musicians in the very upper echelon of commercial success, bands that you have to dial a phone card to chat to, only to then muddle your way through a conversation plagued by static, muffled responses and a godawful time delay. 

 

Take the poor reception that dogs Julia Jacklin’s call with the BRAG...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 5:35pm

Steven Wilson might not pack out arenas or make the kind of music that is inherently accessible, but he’s somehow found himself in the position where he is comfortably able to tour the world.

 

His last three solo albums have all charted within the top 100 of five different countries through Europe, as well as the United States and his native United Kingdom. The man who has been...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 4:00pm

By this stage, anyone who considers themselves even a casual fan of Against Me! knows the band’s story.

 

The group were unsung heroes for years, only cracking the mainstream after some time, weathering cries of “sellout” along the way and eventually finding an entirely new audience thanks to the personal journey of their lead singer and figurehead, Laura Jane Grace. Grace was 31...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 12:00pm

Goth’s not dead.

 

Goth’s not even close to dead, thanks in no small part to bands like Lacuna Coil, celebrated mainstays of the genre leading the way forward and paving a path for new bands. Those in the know will be familiar with the Italian gothfathers, a celebrated collective who have been warping innocent minds with some of the darkest and heaviest music around for well over...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 9:00am

Everybody’s gotta start somewhere.

 

Hollywood king David Fincher got his first break shooting commercials and video clips; Don DeLillo had to spend years slaving away as an ad man before he made it as a novelist; and long, long, before she was selling out shows and wowing on the festival circuit, Australia’s own Emily Wurramara was writing little ditties about a fantasy life...

Posted 28 Sep 2016 @ 8:30am

The longer you work in the music industry, the more you realise that it is just that – an industry.

 

It’s a constant melange of deadlines missed and met, money exchanging hands and endless, endless itineraries. Just ask Logan Bell, lead singer of Katchafire and the group’s one-time manager. “I’m just sitting here going over a bit of fun admin stuff,” he says, spitting out the...

Posted 27 Sep 2016 @ 6:03pm

Word jockeys are used to talking trash about musicians, but perhaps not as prepared for the reverse scenario.

 

Critics have got thin skins ya see, so a song like Ausmuteants’ ‘Music Writers’ is a counter-punch those in the media don’t often find themselves on the recieving end of. A spasmodic, twitchy little number, the tune speaks of the discomfort bands feel when they come to...

Posted 24 Sep 2016 @ 10:00am

When Atlanta’s own punk rock outfit The Coathangers roll into town to celebrate the release of their fifth studio album Nosebleed Weekend, expect it to be just that – a bloody, bat shit-crazy bash.

 

“We never thought in a million years we’d get to go to Australia once, much less go again, so it’s a big deal,” says drummer and vocalist Stephanie Luke, AKA Rusty Coathanger. “Last...

Posted 23 Sep 2016 @ 10:00am

Stephen McBean doesn’t do days off.

 

He might not be on tour the day that he takes his interview with the BRAG, but he’s not exactly sitting around and twiddling his thumbs either – instead, the Black Mountain frontman is busy setting up a home studio in his Los Angeles flat, where he moved from the band’s native Vancouver in 2010. “I’m just putting up...” he begins to talk, and...

Posted 22 Sep 2016 @ 4:00pm

Italian trio Ufomammut are coming to Australia for the first time this October.

 

Looking back on the band’s release history, it’s hard to know what to expect from their live shows. Since emerging in 2000, the group have released six albums plus the double-EP set ORO, and while some of their records feature more conventionally-structured songs, others are conceptually oriented,...

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