Monday 31 August 2015

The Goon Sax: Sometimes Accidentally

Let's get this out of the way now - Louis Forster, son of Robert, is one third of The Goon Sax. But The Go-Betweens' similarities are superficial (two young men on guitar, a woman drumming).

The Goon Sax are three high school friends fired up by Australia's underground boom rather than its rock royalty. Dick Diver's suburban melancholy and Lower Plenty's deadpan romance are the obvious touchstones for Sometimes Accidentally.

There is something of Look Blue Go Purple's I Don't Want You Anyway about this, only slowed down. There's an album early next year on Chapter. We'll know more then.

Based on this one song, The Goon Sax are a window to watch.

Friday 28 August 2015

hMAS: Fear God Honour The King

It's Hobart, Tasmania. It's the 1990s. Two amateur punks are looking for a drummer who's young and insane. They abuse an old drum machine until it breaks. They play annoyingly loud songs about swearing and Mexico.

They record an album in 1997. Almost 20 years later <s>there's a bidding war</s> Homeless fight RIP Society in a pub car park over who can release it. Homeless win.

hMAS sound like the Buzzcocks songs that never made it to 7". They sound like Bailter Space trying to make sense of heavy metal. They sound like Hawkwind with Kim Deal on bass. And they sound like Wire setting fire to an art school.

No one else was making batshit insane music this good in 1997. Look through Homeless's or Hozac's catalogue for who's making this sort of noise now.

Listen to Extravert because blogspot's not embedding links

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Monday 24 August 2015

Sleuth: Out of the Blue Period

The simple response to this richly melodic indiepop is: this is what happens when people grow up on The Smiths' literate jangle and fall in love with The Sundays' enveloping atmosphere.

Yes, there's Morrissey-style distressed cries and teen ennui, but look beyond and there's much more. Like the intuitive punk-funk of A Finely Tuned Machine, like the way they freshen up The Feelies' drone with some sparkle (did someone say Allo Darlin?) and their way with swirling vintage keyboards like The Cardigans' Life.

Sleuth have been releasing music for 4 years. This is their first album. They've absorbed some great music and come up with something intelligent and dramatic and entrancing of their own.

The romantic in me - they'll bring out the romantic in you as well - will want them to get the same attention as their heroes. I probably thought the same thing about The Siddeleys and Walker Kong years ago, but I know I still listen to and love those bands.

Thursday 20 August 2015

Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators: One In A Million

What's already a brilliant, uplifting year for new soul just got better. Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators' second new single in 2015 is the business.

They've found the sweet spot between the Detroit motorbeat of their first album and the deep sounds of second album Tortured Soul. One In A Million is a mid-tempo floater, all skinny funk guitar and gently stabbing horns.

It's not the Maxine Brown song of the same name (nothing is) but you can play this next to Gerald Sims' You'll Never Be Sorry and Bettye Swann's When The Game Is Played On You and it'll fit right in.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Beef Jerk: Tragic

In which Melbourne jangle migrates to Sydney for a brilliant record of garage rock snarl and gleaming pop hooks. Tragic clocks in at 15 songs and doesn't waste your time for a second.

There's 90s American slacker rock and DIY pop - Pavement and Guided By Voices - next to their Australian kindred spirits, Boomgates, Bitch Prefect, Chook Race, Camperdown & Out.

This album came out a few months ago. What this tells me is that there are still amazing new Australian records turning up if you keep digging.

Friday 7 August 2015

Wireheads: Big Issues

Big Issues was recorded on two-inch tape from the 70s and mixed to quarter inch tape. Calvin Johnson engineered the album. But it's still a very contemporary Australian album.

Because it's got Eddy Current Suppression Ring punk, Constant Mongrel volume (but swap The Stooges obsession for the Velvets' jangle and drone) and Per Purpose post-punk. Okay, there's Fall guitars and ranting here, too.

Big Issues is on Tenth Court. I checked it out because everything on Tenth Court is worth checking out (not least Thigh Master and Mope City). But Wireheads sound like they could easily be on SST in the mid-80s. There's a decent amount of this feral garage punk knocking about. When it's this good, there'll be no complaints.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Camera Shy album

Let's Get Out Of This Country, Warmer Corners and High Land, Hard Rain. I hear bands that love those records but kneel at their feet instead of rubbing shoulders with them. Now Camera Shy have made an album that's got parts of those and stands tall on its own.

They're featherweight and atmospheric enough to recall Sarah Records bands like Brighter and St Christoper, only with more petrol in their engine. So think of the Dream Boys' sugar-spun paisley pop and Web of Sunsets' glassy beauty and you're somewhere close.

This album is 8 songs long. No doubt you'll want more. There's a single, Crystal Clear, and an ep, Jack-o-Lantern, that'll scratch that itch.