Monday 31 December 2012

Unity Floors - Nice Fit

Unity Floors' Womens Golf ep a year ago tore Dinosaur Jr a new arsehole (Identity Theft), experimented in the garage like a Clean odd ditty (Boil The Ocean) and drilled riffs mercilessly like early Teenage Fanclub (Nobody Home).

Nice Fit, a song from Unity Floors' debut album due on Popfrenzy mid-2013, does all of the above with the jangling simplicity of The Byrds in 140 seconds. No joking, this song will blow your mind. Play it loud and play it non-stop.

Sunday 30 December 2012

Camperdown & Out

It's no surprise that 2013's first great record is Australian. Camperdown & Out number four people who are, natch, all in other bands, most notably Chris Shortt who also plays in Royal Headache.

Boomgates' Rick Milovanovic says:
Oh my god, man. This band. Honestly, like, I don't know. Like I was watching them going "I wish I could play in this band." My mate Dave plays bass in it and I've already tried to think of ways to assassinate him or something so that I would be asked to play bass in this band. They're so awesome.
The only real surprise is that Camperdown and Out are from Sydney as they sound more like the Melbourne scene bands Scott & Charlene's Wedding and The Twerps and Pop Singles.

Actually, there's just as much Christchurch going on and there's definitely some Go-Betweens. 16 Lovers Lane was recorded in Sydney, wasn't it? This is starting to make sense.

The Camperdown & Out! album is out 'early 2013'. All I need to do is find a UK distributor. 2013 resolution: spend more money on records than postage.

Monday 24 December 2012

Listening to Limay

I must declare an interest:

in Maurice Deebank-era Felt

in the wonder of music

in Michael Head & the Strands

in being part of the Hangover Lounge who are releasing what might just be the best album of 2013.

Of course this conflict of interest affects my judgment. I'd only release records I love. My only hope is that they're all as brilliant as Limay.

Limay is an album with no lyrics and a thousand images. It's a record in psychedelia's slipstream. It's 10 songs that career from autumnal acoustic light to full-pelt electric experimental summer pop.

This is a record that bounces off seven corners of a three-walled room. It's Hacia Dos Veranos's third album and it's their best.

The tapes went to the pressing plant last week. It's released in February 2013.

Sunday 23 December 2012

2012 went a little bit like this

2012 gets 10 out of 10 for music. This vintage is largely down to the explosion of Australian talent and the arrival of so many bright new British bands. The hardest thing about making an annual compilation this year was leaving songs off. Some absolute gems have been cast aside, but what’s left is, I’m absolutely certain, all killer.


I liked the swears last year. What happened?

This is a family-friendly blog. Many recipients have kids. Hand on heart, I believe the children are our future.

Teach them well and let them lead the way?

That’s the idea. Indoctrinate them with indie early enough and they’ll stand a chance. Of getting beaten up in the playground, maybe, but that’s source material for their own bands when they eventually navigate the quagmire of adolescence.

Swearing’s central to the rock tradition, though.

I know, but when KEEL HER sings “fuck me in the back seat” on Riot Grrrl, I don’t know if she means the back seat of a car, or…you know. KEEL HER’s With Me Tonight is just as good. 2012’s been a great year for music.

Billy Joel sang about anal sex in Uptown Girl, didn’t he, and squeaky-clean boyband Westlife covered it for the Children In Need charity!

“I bet she's never had a backstreet guy/I bet her momma never told her why,” etc? I see. That’s one interpretation of the song, I grant you.

Do kids really pay attention to lyrics that much?

One of the recipient’s kids – mentioning no names, PAM BERRY – can only count up to 4 because of all the bloody Ramones songs played in the family car.

Why can’t you just put up a download?

Every year this comes up. I’m glad it does, because rare is it I get the chance to take the moral high ground (once a year, actually). I know other blogs do it, but I can’t justify giving away new bands’ music online. This compilation is an introduction for friends,, it’s 24 suggestions of where to look, not a worldwide giveaway. It might in most cases not lead to any purchases, but at the very least it’ll spark desires and reignite connections.

1. Two Weeks - Scott & Charlene's Wedding

2. Nerve Pop - Small Reactions

3. Dear John - Allo Darlin

4. She's So Wise - Willie West and the High Society Brothers

5. Keeps Me Going - Standard Fare

6. Holde Me Now - Boomgates

7. Warburton - Per Purpose

8. With Me Tonight - KEEL HER

9. Stay Heavy - Cassolette

10. Don't Play Around - DJ Nu-Mark feat Aloe Blacc & Charles Bradley

11. Cameraman - The Spook School

12. Starlight, Starlight - Exlovers

13. Picking Up Dust - Dignan Porch

14. XTC - Milk Teddy

15. Favela B-boy Funk - Freqnik & WDRE

16. Mosaic - Fear of Men

17. After 4pm - Hipnotik Orchestra

18. So Down - The Eversons

19. It's Gonna be a Good Year - The High Water Marks

20. Lemonade Grrrl - Joanna Gruesome

21. Bad Decisions - Bitch Prefect

22. I'm Moving Back To My Parent's House - Charles Latham

23. So On, Nevada - Damien Jurado

24. Nullarbor - Lower Plenty

Saturday 15 December 2012

Playlounge - Thrash Magic

It took me 2 weeks to play this record, 30 seconds to fall in love with it and no time at all to play it all over again.

These 7 songs cram breakneck riffs like the early Wedding Present records, manic glee like Guided By Voices in the mid-90s and skate punk velocity all in at around two minutes apiece without pausing for breath or missing a beat.

Its nearest 2012 sparring partner might be Sourpatch's Stagger & Fade. A two-word summary? "Melodic hardcore" comes close, but this EP's title - like the music - really nails it: Thrash Magic.

Monday 10 December 2012

Lower Plenty - Hard Rubbish

Lower Plenty is a suburb of Melbourne with the highest incidence of UFO babies in Australia [citation needed]. Lower Plenty's back-porch folk is spare, unusual, captivating and richly romantic.

This album came out months ago. It's another record I bought off recommendation from Wooly Bully. I thought these things:

  • there's some Lee Hazlewood in there
  • if Moldy Peaches hadn't played the goofball card so heavily they'd have sounded this good
  • Nullarbor sounds like the lost child of Dick Diver's Interstate Forever
  • maybe they just turned the tape recorder on and trusted that whatever happened was right
  • there isn't anything quite like this

After looking up the band, turns out one of Lower Plenty is in Dick Diver and that they did just record first take to an eight-track reel-to-reel. The other points still hold true, I reckon.

Apparently, there was a Lower Plenty cassette, so there probably is something else like Hard Rubbish. I haven't heard it. I'd love to.