Melbourne’s cinematic art rockers Fierce Mild have done their homework.
They’re set to release a debut LP later in 2017, but in the meantime, ‘Solaris’ is a window into their world. In celebration of their single launch tour, they share with us their five favourite unsigned bands in Australia, and the best tracks from each.
So without further ado, here’s the shape of rock to come:
1. Taipan Tiger Girls – ‘Motion’
Think My Disco with actual disco, but completely angulated disco. This track creates a wall of droning industrial pulsation that challenges the listener at first, but inevitably sucks them in. The accents of the rhythmic patterns continually shift, reminding you that you only ever think you can dance. Also makes me think of Spanish post-punk band Fiera who create a similar vibe with vacuum cleaners.
2. Making – ‘Highlife’
Making is a name that just wouldn’t stop circulating around me, but I had just never put in my ears. I was simultaneously struck with envy and awe when I caught them opening up for Battles. Theirs is a jagged, alienating complexity that seems to sum up the modern urban paradox.
Distorted bass supports a pulsating six-count structure with a descending arpeggiated guitar that sounds more like some sort of dystopian synthesiser from the ’80s. The vocals are so far away you feel as lost as the singer sounds. The structure consistently seems like it’s falling apart. They lure you into a false sense of security when they switch to a more common four-count, not before long completely crushing any hopes that you have to rebuild civilisation with unexpected turns and transgressions towards walls of chaos and offbeat syncopated fills.
The singer’s live presence is a must-note as he screams and yells in every direction except the audiences, creating a complete fourth wall barrier uncommon to music performances.
3. Beloved Elk – ‘Distractions’
If you don’t cry listening to this, you’re not human. It’s full of smoothed down post-rock tones and the earthiest and most intimate drum sound I’ve heard in a very long time. The words ‘distractions’ and ‘pull it together’ continually echo in your brain with the endless meaning that always accompanies simple words with powerful truths.
That’s not the only dimension to this piece though. There’s also some classic, slightly tongue-in-cheek manipulated soundbites from Into The Wild. “This sick society man!” Yup…
4. Kalacoma – ‘Kaleidoscoper’
Dark electronica at its finest. Sophisticated arrangement, intricate production and absolutely haunting vocals. At times, Kalacoma make me feel like they’re the male interpretation of the classic trip hop band Lamb, which is meant as a complete complement to how seductive their music is. The way the bassline is introduced and keeps you levitating is just phenomenal.
The video somehow manages to completely encapsulate the vibe, perhaps that’s because it’s by the immensely talented Alan Erpi who is in the band as well.
The 2:38 tempo slowdown urged the music nerd in me to comment on their SoundCloud, “nice ritenuto!” The comment wasn’t made and we remain friends to this day.
5. TV Telepath – ‘A Song For Someone Else’
I have no idea where this band comes from or why they exist. I’m just glad Kate Kingsmill from RRR played them on The New Pollution when we were being interviewed the other week.
The song seems to just drift by you without you being aware that you’ve been completely hooked in. The film clip is old appropriated footage (or looks like it) of a seafarer which couldn’t sit better with this feeling.
They’ve got a touch of Breaking Benjamin, but without the cheese. It captures a quiet loneliness, making me think of Ian Fairweather floating through the Torres Strait on his hand made raft, completely content.
The title could not be more perfect either. Even if you didn’t know the title of the song, you’d be wondering ‘who was that song for?’ as you click the repeat button to make yourself understand more.
Fierce Mild play Banquet @ The World Bar on Friday March 3. See their full tour dates here.