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Music Reviews

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 12:49pm

★★★

 

Treating your ears to Morgan Delt’s homegrown kaleidoscopic melodiousness is akin to taking a sip from a cool glass of ’60s psych.

 

The record kicks off with the powerful ‘I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside’. The dreamy, near-ethereal track is leisurely paced, acting as the perfect preface for a 39-minute escapade through a host of imagined worlds. A...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 12:48pm

★★★☆

 

Regarded as one of the most exciting new additions to Australia’s rock scene, Harts has delivered the record we’ve all been been waiting for.

 

Though his sound is marked out by deliberate invocations of the psychedelic soul power of the ’60s it also mixes in the indie-rock stylings of a more recent time.

 

After being eased into the experience...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 12:48pm

★★★★

 

Mindfullness is a rich, glowing stream awash with light: a summery escape and a shoegazey work of art. 

 

Melbourne’s Flyying Colours have stumbled on the perfect album title for their music: their sound is wholly arresting in the moment, but deeply introspective and even therapeutic. 

 

Mindfullness’ sea of distortion drags you in with the...

Posted 21 Sep 2016 @ 12:48pm

★★★

 

Already hitting album number two, Melbourne’s Ceres truly impress with Drag It Down On You.

 

‘‘91, Your House’ is a blistering bag of emotion, while the screamed chorus, “I’m a piece of shit” has all the kind of naked self-criticism that will resonate with anyone who has ever doubted themselves – AKA, everyone.

 

‘Laundry Echo’ is filled with...

Posted 19 Sep 2016 @ 2:12pm

Reviewed on Saturday September 17.

 

Still battling through a Friday hangover? Fear not – Hostile Objects and Creative Adult will perk you up in an instant. Hostile trade in furious, rapid-fire hardcore that completely belies their late-arvo timeslot, while Adult are a curious blend of Crazy Horse-inspired proto-grunge jamming and sprawling post-punk, and even when they're down a...

Posted 19 Sep 2016 @ 9:50am

Reviewed on Friday September 16

 

It’s rare that you go to a show and find yourself wishing the main support were the headliners, but that’s exactly what happened at the Bald Faced Stag on Friday. Support act Rick Dangerous And The Silkie Bantams outright stole the show playing a set packed full of comedic flavour and an extremely tight sound. The band delivered impressively high...

Posted 15 Sep 2016 @ 12:05pm

Reviewed on Wednesday September 14

 

“Tonight’s a special night,” explained the amiable Basement doorman to punters heading down the stars into the venue. “It’s an Irish night.” Indeed, there was a large contingent of our Irish brethren out for County Down’s Foy Vance, lending the venue the feel of a Celtic singing hall.

 

The whisky chasers flowed freely as punters...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 4:40pm

★★★★★

 

Skeleton Tree is an un-album. It’s a record defined by loss, a chronicle of missing things, and its power derives as much from what it doesn’t contain as from what it does. Songs break and buckle under the weight of suggestion, and a host of known unknowns press down on the record with all the insistence of a brain tumour against the back of the eye.

 

The...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 2:11pm

★★★★

 

In this age of changing technology, bands seem to find it hard to resist the urge to alter or tweak their sound in some way.

 

But despite the pressing lust for the new, Unity Floors have evidently heard the cries for more that rang out after the release of their debut album, Exotic Goldfish Blues, and have given us a delicious dose of the same rather than...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 2:10pm

★★★★

 

The Ocean Party have been making brilliant albums for some time now, and they’re not slowing down:  their sixth studio release, Restless, continues on from where Light Weight left off last year.

 

Their distinctive crisp, jangly guitar chord sound remains, as do the introspective takes on the state of modern Australia. It’s a formula that works for the band:...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 2:10pm

★★★★

 

Rebel Yell is the brainchild of industrial noise artist Grace Stevenson.

 

The Brisbane musician also plays in 100%, an underground electronic act from Queensland’s capital, and though things are less accessible under her solo guise, they’re certainly no less interesting.

 

The imagery on Mother Of Millions is bleak, offering a dystopian future...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 2:10pm

★★★

 

They say misery loves company, so if you’re feeling miserable, you’ll find no better company than the latest offering from Okkervil River.

 

You have to be in a certain kind of mood to digest Away – it’s an emotional transcript of hard times experienced by the band’s lead singer Will Sheff, and the poignant strains of the album may well leave you feeling, well...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 2:10pm

★★★☆

 

The latest release from American indie rockers Local Natives is a bouncy rubber ball of synth that just doesn’t stop.

 

But despite its high energy, the pulsating multitude of instruments are layered in such a way that it’s never overbearing. 

 

Singer Taylor Rice’s lead vocals are distinctly haunting, particularly on ‘Past Lives’, a beautiful...

Posted 14 Sep 2016 @ 2:09pm

★★★☆

 

Dub FX has made his way from busking on the streets of Melbourne to become one of the world’s most recognised street and stage performers.

 

More commonly known as Ben Stanford, his fusion of beat-boxing, dub, reggae, electronics and hip hop has earned him one hell of a reputation.

 

His third album Thinking Clear was recorded in his very own...

Posted 12 Sep 2016 @ 1:08pm

Reviewed on Friday September 9

 

It’s been a year since Goodgod closed up shop, and Plan B is a much smaller deal. Sadly, as Ravin and Ata of arts collective Heaps Decent took to the stage, the whole damn club was near empty, with only a handful of punters soaking up the smooth flows of these young rappers.

 

The boys kept it to the stage, and though they had...

Posted 11 Sep 2016 @ 10:20pm

Reviewed on Saturday September 10

 

“Words with hate have power” poet Sukhjit tells the crowd early in the night. Unabashed in her exploration of being a Sikh woman in Australia, her words are brash yet warm. She speaks not to the crowd, but with them, as if the few dozen faces are old friends she would rather have a chat with than perform to. At one point she asks everyone to...

Posted 11 Sep 2016 @ 9:24pm

Reviewed on Saturday September 10

 

Watching Simple Plan perform is akin to watching an action movie: their live show is full of lights, cameras and plenty of action. From the moment the lads stepped on stage until the very end of the gig they jumped about the place with boundless energy. Lead singer Pierre Bouvier was the embodiment of that cheeky tongue emoji, leaping around...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 12:54pm

★★★★☆

 

Towards the beginning of J.G. Ballard’s Crash, the book’s narrator finds himself in a horrendous car crash.

 

But the experience isn’t a traumatic one; rather, it’s liberating. “After being bombarded endlessly by road-safety propaganda it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident,” he says.

 

That sense of ecstatic pain – of...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 12:54pm

★★★★

 

Like a trickster god of American song, Cass McCombs seems to appear every couple of years with a skewed take on a different vein of popular music.

 

On Mangy Love, McCombs brings his gifts to the worlds of soul and West Coast psychedelia, scratching your dad’s Steely Dan itch while showcasing some of his best songwriting to date. Though some may find its...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 12:53pm

★★★

 

An absurd hippie child of a debut, Drugdealer’s The End Of Comedy could be about everything or absolutely nothing: in this paradox lies its possible genius.

 

Los Angeles artist Michael Collins’ work with Drugdealer is not unlike his doped up creations under previous monikers Salvia Plath and Run DMT. Between a church-belled beginning and the manic laughter...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 12:53pm

★★★

 

Heavy Days was the first instalment of Jeff the Brotherhood’s spiritual trilogy, followed by We Are The Champions a couple of years after that.

 

Five years later comes the concluding chapter, Zone. 

 

The album opens in ominous style with a thundering beat and a heavy slacker vocal, sounding like Pavement on a diet of Quaaludes. “I’m totally...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 12:53pm

★★★☆

 

Like so many surf films, Paul Witzig’s 1969 flick Evolution barely had a plot: it was simply a group of surfers travelling around the world catching waves and indulging in the secular spiritualism of surfing.

 

The soundtrack to Evolution was provided by Australian psychedelic prog band Tamam Shud. Finally rereleased, the record captures the zeitgeist of the...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 12:53pm

★★★☆

 

Active Galactic contains the sort of groovy tunes you’d hear sitting at the bar in The Restaurant at The End of the Universe, smashing Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters with your semi-half-cousin Zaphod Beeblebrox.

 

Think ’70s disco meets reggae with a surfy rock’n’roll creamy centre. Most tracks are so psychedelic that they will probably induce multiple...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 12:52pm

★★★

 

Twin Atlantic’s GLA is the first album the group has released after taking almost a year off.

 

It’s a slightly heavier record than the ones the Glasgow lads have previously turned in, and it drifts ever so slightly from the poppier rock that they’ve presented in the past.

 

‘No Sleep’ is perhaps the greatest example of this: it’s got a pop punk...

Posted 8 Sep 2016 @ 9:44am

Reviewed on Tuesday September 6

 

It's a quiet Tuesday evening when The Grand Magoozi (AKA Susie Scurry) sneaks onstage – or at least, attempts to sneak onstage. Tonight's headliner takes the opportunity to give Scurry a grandiose introduction, complete with a blaring Tina Turner number. It sets an upbeat tone for Scurry's set, who goes on to charm with quaint, warm country songs...

Posted 5 Sep 2016 @ 3:37pm

Reviewed on Friday September 2.

 

There’s only a spattering of people milling about when Run Marlowe’s Lewis Clarke says, “It’s funny: The Whitlams actually played at my dad’s thirtieth” before continuing on with the set. The young triple j unearthed band have a sound reminiscent of a movement past; in many ways they are like a modern day Silverchair.

 

An...

Posted 5 Sep 2016 @ 10:20am

Reviewed on Sunday September 4.

 

‘Poetry’ is a dead word. These days it only gets applied to a very certain subsect of creative endeavour; to the kind of wanky, paper-thin decorative verse that references a life of beauty and dignity that not many of us gronks actually lead.

 

It would not usually, for example, get applied to a group like Scabz, the self-proclaimed...

Posted 2 Sep 2016 @ 10:02am

Reviewed on Thursday September 1.

 

I go to a fair few gigs. I’m lucky because seeing shows is my job, but I’m also unlucky because it’s, you know, my job – spend enough time slaving away at any occupation and ‘slaving’ threatens to become the operative word.  

 

That’s both the reason and the excuse for this review. Simply put, I don’t know how to write about Kid...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 1:16pm

★★★★☆

 

De La Soul, pioneers of alternative ’90s hip hop, have escaped the creative chains of record labels, shrugged off previous sampling battles and delivered a 17-track, genre-fusing original.

 

Described by Nas himself as “avant-garde”, And The Anonymous Nobody... laces sounds from decades past with the modern day hip hop voices. The result is a journey through...

Posted 31 Aug 2016 @ 1:15pm

 

It’s funny how some perceive and attain enlightenment.

 

Travel, books, spirituality – many attribute these to having some sort of positive effect that keeps them mentally and physically healthy for years to come. 

 

But at what point do we become too enlightened? That question is answered on Gonjasufi’s newest release Callus, where the Californian...

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