Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Teaser Pony: Champion Pony

This is what happens when Melbourne's dolewave pioneers Dick Diver become too successful for the tag. One of them, Al McKay, makes a 7" ep. It's very, very good.

Teaser Pony's storytelling folk and new wave bite are another sign of Paul Kelly (finally) getting his due among young Australian musicians. The first sign I noticed was Darren Hanlon 15 years ago. No one seemed to follow that lead. Fast forward to 2013 and it's obvious that Scott & Charlene's Wedding's brilliant Any Port In A Storm wouldn't exist without Paul Kelly's Post as its foundation.

Then there's Courtney Barnett. Now there's Teaser Pony.

Speak to most Australians of Darren Hanlon's age and they're likely to describe Kelly as daggy. But a younger Australian generation is picking up on Kelly's 1980s albums for a rich domestic influence.

Of course, Al McKay might think Paul Kelly is a dag. But it doesn't sound like he does.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Gerry Loves split EP

Scottish pop, I fucking love you. Most of all, I love No Way, José by Poor Things and Everybody Says by Pinact.

Poor Things' vinyl debut reminds me of Kid Canaveral's debut Smash Hits: massive guitars, harmonies, sludge and sunshine. There's even a simple and brutally effective guitar solo.

Pinact you probably know all about, but you might not know this side of them. Everybody Says is bubblegum punk that sounds like a top 10 hit. Just like Teenage Fanclub's Star Sign and The Delgados' Under Canvas, Under Wraps.

And that's just side 1 of this 7". Side 2 is SHARPTOOTH (tribal drums, Life Without Buildings shrieks, Fall rumble) and Halfafrican (The Cramps' menace, frantic rockabilly, drunken guitars).


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Belle Adair: Muddy River

How did a song this good, patterned by gentle soft-pop and hazy psychedelia, end up on the other side of a charmless Southern boogie jam?

Possibly because it's the side that's more obviously from the same band that made The Brave and the Blue album 2 years ago. But Muddy River is better than every song on that. It's at least as good as anything on Woods' brilliant Sun and Shade album or Stephen Steinbrink's Arranged Waves. It breathes the same rarefied air.

If their second album is like this (ie heart-stopping, beautiful) then the bookies may as well stop taking bets on 2015's best album.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

The Cathys: Hysterical Monument

Great things this (great) 7" ep remind me of:

Lawrence - singer Sam Giddey shares his deadpan, deadbeat delivery. It's far more likely to come from the 70s NYC proto-punk style of Richard Hell or the scene's daddy, Lou Reed.

Whirlpool Vision Of Shame - come on, Rebble sounds like that Felt classic, no? The Cathys may never have heard of Felt so let's say Scott & Charlene's Wedding and The Strokes and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain were all on The Cathys' stereo at some point.

The Verlaines - bassist Julia Wylie's backing vocals remind me of The Verlaines' Jane Dodd. I'm thinking New Kinda Hero especially.

Marquee Moon - how the darkness doubled, how lightning struck itself.

These 4 songs all range from 82 seconds to an epic 2 minutes and 16 seconds. I've got no idea how they've packed so much scope and power and drama in such a short space.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Reds, Pinks & Purples

The clever money's on the band name coming from The Sorrows' psych-beat classic Pink Purple Yellow And Red. That's a good start. Better still, they're mining the same rich seam as primetime Television Personalities of fragile pop and shoestring psychedelia that captures the broken-down descent when everything falls apart.

They number an Art Museums alumnus, a band I never quite got (but everyone else did). The Reds, Pinks & Purples are similar only with a more distinct sense of self. Their songs stand up on their own as comfortably as they do next to, say, the TVPs' If That's What Love Is.

They have 4 songs on a tape, each one a modern classic. Piano Movers and Michael O also have 4 songs each on A Fruits & Flowers Three-Way Split Cassette. Regular readers (who am I kidding) will know already how good they are. The Reds, Pinks & Purples make this tape a sweetly taken hat trick.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Dan Treacy interview, 1990, Melody Maker

"We played a 14-minute set supporting Felt in Greenock last year...All these tearful teenage girls getting souvenirs because Felt was splitting up. You know Lawrence hardly ever smiles? He was killing himself laughing, I was scrawling my name over all these girls' Felt albums."

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Dignan Porch

Dignan Porch's rapid ascent seems anachronistic now - signed by America's hottest indie, Captured Tracks, after being discovered on myspace(!). They matched The Only Ones' venomous poise with XTC's Top 40 psychedelia. Their second album Nothing Bad Will Ever Happen is one of the best British albums of the past 5 years. It was their last for Captured Tracks.

They needed luck and several American tours to break through. They had neither. They're a DIY band with such perfectionism that their gigs are often stalled by 15 minutes of tuning up. This wouldn't happen if they were a headline band in a big venue. They should be both things. When they get going, there are very few live bands who come close.

There was a third album, Observatory, last year - less immediate but just as intensely rewarding as previously. There's still life in this band, like a bee in a box. This latest single Out of the Picture is a psych-pop peach.

There was a tape a month or so back. It sounds great. Great like this: