Comprising an ecstatic Melbournian line-up for the evening, Organ Donor kicked off the first of three massive nights in celebration of The Bendigo Hotel’s 7th Birthday Bash. The three-piece unleashed their defiant hardcore rhythms throughout the filling band room, setting the pace for the evening’s line up to follow.
Batpiss are next in line, who hit the stage with a loud presence; distorted vocals mix through their coarse layers of spiralling guitar licks and dooming drums. Bringing the boozy crowd to the front of the room are the deepening grooves of their set list that turns into rounds of applause as they slur The Bendi a happy birthday. The venue doesn’t look big enough for the amount of punters who have managed to find enough space to stand. This makes it hard to believe that it’s become big enough to provide the space for the swelling pit of jumping heads that’s on the rise, though they’re making it work as they jump wildly about throughout the Batpiss show. Continue reading →
Trembling inside the darkened walls are the rumbling amplifiers that ricochet Melbourne’s High Tension once they’ve taken to the stage. Front woman Karina Utomo growls into the heavily beaten drum patterns, sometimes bellowing high pitched screams into the mic. The guitar riffs raise tensions of their own, fiercely backed by the heavy bass lines. At times singing, but mostly screaming, the crowds conversation turns to muffled pauses of awe as Utomo owns their set, ensuring that the evenings line up is going to be memorable.
Sick Of It All bring the NYCH ruckus onto the stage with them as they power straight into their set with such high energy and intensity that the crowd takes a moment to ease into their anthems. With a bit of warning, they play “The first song we ever wrote”, ‘My Life’, and unplugged ears cop an absolute beating. Front man Lou Koller gives more of a considerate warning: “Don’t get scared, cause it ain’t pretty.” Each of them are obviously in their elements as they run an engaging muck on stage, engrossing punters into the brewing pit with ‘Black Venom’, Koller eagerly tells us to “Get down to this shit!” Continue reading →
The album Solas byThe Answer is the pinnacle of a tumultuous time for the band. They’d just finished a huge tour of the US and the lead singer Cormac Neeson was in a creative slump, he’d been pushed to the limit, so much so he didn’t think he was able to produce another album.
As well as the creative problems, his wife had just given birth to a boy who had been born prematurely, so this album is a deeply personal journey not only for the band but the audience as well.
The opening track and title song ‘Solas’ has an incredible build, you can imagine the band playing on top of a mountain with no one else around, the swirling echo’s of guitar entwine the listener into a serpentine state. Then it drops like a parachute jumper with no chute pure velocity, it is a fantastic opening track. Continue reading →
Renowned Australian musician, Raul Sanchez, has created an enticing reputation throughout his career that has been lingering in the public eye since the ‘90s. From his early days of playing in various garage rock bands that included The Bugbears, Muffcake and the much loved Magic Dirt, the Melbourne based guitarist has also shared vocal, guitar and songwriting roles in most of the bands he has played with. Currently playing with the likes of Tex Perkins’ supergroup, The Ape, Sanchez is also a part of the line ups that make River of Snakes and Midnight Woolf. With these influential bands having distinctively various sounds, one could begin to wonder what his solo album might sound like… And in 2015 Sanchez produced those sounds on his own instrumental album to answer the thoughts of those wondering punters. Released via Wild Animals Records and titled Masks, Sanchez’s first solo output came together over several years. Comprised primarily with guitars, there were also drums weaved through the variety of other instruments and “whatever was lying around the house that would make a sound”. Continue reading →
Sun God Replica are back with their third release Grandular Fever. Considering ‘grandular’ is not actually a word, I was a little perplexed as to the meaning and concept of this album title. Perhaps it’s a play on the virus Glandular Fever? Is it about a fever or virus of grand proportions? The album cover is also not giving away any clues to the title meaning. The image on the cover is a throwback to 1970s psychedelic aesthetics and fashion, dialled up to 11 out of ten, giving the impression Sun God Replica may have raided the costume department of their local theatre company. This however is a pretty good indication of the sounds that are featured on Grandular Fever; fuzzy psychedelic rock and fun vibes that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Opening track ‘Blow Your Mind’ kicks off the album with a ’70s psychedelic inspired number with catchy pop melodies. Upbeat, relaxed and fun is the general vibe with this song, with simple vocals, standard rock drum beats and a guitar solo, this accurately sets up the retro sounding direction of the rest of the album. The lyrics tick the box for abstract, psychedelia references, as shown by the song’s opening lyrics; “I’m a trap door spiderman, I’m holding flowers…” before launching into a chorus with the repeating lyrics of; “Want to blow your mind.” There are also references to going back in time and drugs for good measure.
To say Harry Howard has been a part of the Australian music scene for quite some time now would be an understatement. A founding member of the post-punk band Crime & the City Solution, they released four albums before disbanding in 1991. Howard was also a member of These Immortal Souls, and has played with The Birthday Party. Harry Howard and the NDE is his current act, having released their first album Near Death Experience in 2012, and Pretty in 2014, their latest is Sleepless Girls – a combination of dark pop melodies and garage rock, while still retaining a strong sense of Howard’s 1980s post-punk roots.
‘The Only One’ is a solid opening track, complete with catchy pop hooks and simple rock riffs. The prominent pipe organ keyboards that feature throughout the track add a dark 1980s goth vibe, contrasting with the overall upbeat feel of the song. It is actually quite a fun and energetic song, that still retains a sense of moodiness, and I can almost imagine it being played in some alternative underground nightclub in London in the eighties. Continue reading →
The recent Isaiah Mitchell with Seedy Jeezus ‘Under The Influence’ Australian Tour was such a unique one that we thought we’d do a post including all the songs that they covered together, along with an incredible photo gallery from Melbourne’s Stephen Boxshall.
The idea behind the tour was to “give fans of Isaiah a chance to see him play songs that have influenced him as a musician since he first picked up a guitar at the age of 8. After performing their own set of blistering psych freakout, Seedy Jeezus will be Isaiah’s backing band as he works through songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.”
It was an incredible experience to hear so many amazing songs performed by musicians that have been impacted by them. A lot of the songs people knew, and some were new and great introductions to various legendary bands well worth checking out. Below is the complete set list from each gig that they played on the tour.
They’re called The Watchers. Sabbath Highway is their debut EP. Not too hard to guess what they may sound like with a title like that. Or perhaps it’s just a hint at some influences. Never the less, this EP is an absolute fucking little beast! Hard, dirty biker rock, with some sublime playing and riffmongering. Awesome vocals too, and as is usually the case, can lift a great band (or even a mediocre band) to levels way higher than they could ever hope to achieve with a less than amazing singer.
‘Sabbath Highway’ is a rock solid blast of purebred rock and roll. Straight outta the gate, this fucker just won’t lie down and die. From the opening cockrock guitar blast through to the powerhouse rhythm section, this song has the lot for any discerning rock’n’roll fan. Continue reading →
Melbourne turned on some pretty inclement weather for the trek out to Rochford Wines in The Yarra Valley for A Day On The Green. A gig I’d been looking forward to for some time. Something For Kate, You Am I, Spiderbait, Jebediah and The Meanies, taking me back to the ’90s at the mere mention of all those names… What a lineup!
The Meanies kicked off the day while the sun shone and a gentle flow of punters streamed through the gates. A nice mix of old and new tracks with Link in his usual fine form, making with the jokes and some new dance moves if I’m not mistaken. ‘There’s A Gap’ slotting into the set beautifully alongside ‘10% Weird’ and ‘Gangrenous’. A perfect start to the day is to watch the Meanies in full flight and they never disappoint. Time for another vino and a bit of a catch up with friends. Continue reading →
Welcoming a swelling sea of Sydneysiders into Luna Park’s Big Top venue are Brisbane four piece, Morning Harvey. The breezy indie rockers ease through their set with the warmth of their sounds serenading the growing crowd.
A band kept an untold secret until recently, Morning Harvey introduce their eccentric and dynamic songs to the receptive punters who become one with the blissful evening.
Though a relatively large venue, The Big Top holds some sort of intimacy within as the stage lights produce a show of their own; soon there is a brief intermission and, after queuing for too long at the bar, the anticipated act of the evening begin… Through a wall of amplified fuzz, The Dandy Warhols erupt into their opening instrumental piece.
The large sea of heads bounce in unison as The Dandys groove into their pre-emptive set, though there are a few minor technical difficulties which are casually excused. Continue reading →