Words Adam Cooper.
Hard working Sydney 3 piece and groove metal exponents, Black Rheno caught my attention of late, by literally being everywhere! They seem to be like Salt and Pepper at the moment, (in everything). So when the opportunity came to review the lads new offering, their Let’s Start A Cult EP, I jumped at the chance.
Firstly the title of this EP is pure gold and warmed the cockles of my heart before the first riff was ruffed. Speaking of riffs… this little number is riddled with ‘em. The sometimes groovy, sometimes thrashy, sometimes punky guitar stylings of Nano, led me to believe that these guys could share the bill with anyone from Clowns to High Tension and back again. My mind even wandered to the late ’80s, early ’90s, a time before time, when the groove of Pantera, Mordred and Prong were frequenting my Corolla’s tape deck. Smashin’ it old school. Continue reading
Words Joel Parnell.
Despite being a small rural city with virtually no music scene to speak of, Shepparton is surprisingly chockas with great musicians. While only a measly few have broken the mould and been able to Sheppresent to the wider world in recent times (Australia’s answer to Ice Cube: Briggs, for one), there are plenty of sick tunes banging around in the 3630 if you just take the time to listen for them. One such example is the two-piece skate-punk band Rathead, who are just gearing up to drop their debut EP on April 23rd.
Rathead is Sam McPherson (Platypus) and Taylor Bain (Inedia, System Failure). The boys play the kind of music you would have heard on Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2 if only they weren’t 16 years too late (that’s a good thing). Their self titled debut drops in like a drunk Dustin Dollin with ‘Anything’, a song that bleeds melodic charisma while staying true to DIY punk-rock code of conduct. The production is raw as fuck and lends itself perfectly to the band’s stripped back style. Taylor Bains vocal style pays homage to ’80s skate-punk pioneers Gray Matter, yet retains a unique and refreshing tone for a heavy band. One thing that sets Rathead apart from their contemporaries is that they don’t rely on excessive screaming to give their songs an edge, nor do they indulge in any drawn out guitar solos. It’s just no-nonsense, get-to-the-fucking-point punk rock. Continue reading
Words Anthony Moore.
Photos Paul Dunham.
There are a few reasons why I wanted to do a Q&A with Joel Parnell, firstly, he writes exceptional pieces for Desert Highways, but that’s not the only reason, he’s also an awesome musician and songwriter. His newest creation, The Parnells (with younger brother Michael) are about to release their debut and do a double EP launch with Rathead at The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar.
I started with what I thought to be a ridiculous first question and Joel (who later admitted he was going to tell me to fuck off but wasn’t sure if I was being serious or not), went along and answered it beautifully.
Anthony Moore: Where does your band name come from?
Joel Parnell: Obviously the band name comes from our last name, which is Parnell. I guess we thought that it would be cool to use it because it has the feel of something like ‘The Ramones’ or ‘The Smiths’, only it actually is our real name. We also hope to bring in other Parnells on future records as most of the people in our family play music. If we have any success with the band, it would be nice to have made our name something to be proud of. Continue reading
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia
Remember when two piece bands were a new thing? I remember listening to The Black Keys and The White Stripes and thinking “yeah they’re pretty cool, imagine how cool they’d be if they got a fucking bass player.” Last Thursday a promise of a free pint had me in an Uber on it’s way to The Reverence to write a bit about new Melbourne band Three Headed Fool. I was told it was going to be awesome, and hey, a free pint’s a free pint. It had been a while between shows for me, responsibilities far less exciting and my regular droogies off tackling their own obligations had left the old date book a bit bare.
Strolling into the Reverence found me cheerfully surprised at how populated the room was already, and at 8:45pm. Ah, of course. Clowns are headlining. Clowns are my favorite scene-y claim to underground fame at the moment, after playing Cherry Rock and crushing a fat national tour recently I fondly illustrate to those in-the-know that back in 2010 my band tried booking them for our first few gigs but they could never get their shit together. I’m glad they did in the end. Continue reading
Words Dave Mullins.
Photos Kim Anderson – Shoot The Wicked Witch.
Melbourne band, Clowns, have quickly started making a name for themselves as one of the hardest working bands in the country. Already closing in on around 60 shows for the year including shows on a few different continents, it seems insane to cram them into the smallest venue in Perth – especially considering any of the ‘support’ acts could probably sell out the same room in their own right. And sell out it did, fast.
Joining them on tour, was Melbourne grunge-rockers, Summer Blood, who opened up the night. Their sound is a sort of throwback to the ‘90s, but with a hint of the Smiths, a little mellow when compared to the rest of the line-up, but they performed admirably. After all, they had their work cut out for them.
Words Anthony Moore.
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia and Anthony Moore.
On the morning of festivals Melbourne often likes to act all dramatic. Early on Sunday it was cold, wet and overcast and looking like this years Cherry Rock was going to be a soggy mess. To be honest the only difference it made to my attire for the day was to throw a couple of sealable lunch bags into my pocket to save my phones life in the event of a flood. Nothing though was going to stop the punters this year with international headliners Red Fang (US), The Shrine (US) and Beastwars (NZ) as well as a strong local contingent featuring Warped, Child, Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene, Horsehunter, My Left Boot, Clowns, The Ugly Kings, Dr Colossus, and interstaters HITS (Brisbane) and Los Hombres Del Diablo (Sydney).
The rain had already subsided as punters started to roll up at midday. The dual-stage fest kicked off with Dr Colossus on the AC/DC Lane stage and sounded incredible. It was such a great mix for the two-piece whose style of rockin doom only includes lyrics about The Simpsons. Perfect. Singer / guitarist Dr. Jon’s vocals were up higher than I’ve previously heard in the mix and shot out and up the lane way giving their sound extra depth and strength. Best I’ve heard them.
Words Joel Parnell.
The Bendigo Hotel reached capacity on Friday, March 6th as Clowns and American Sharks brought the ruckus to Melbourne as part of their explosive Bad Blood Tour. Punters swarmed like moths to some fuck off lightbulb even as opening band Bodies were setting up and going over soundcheck, flickering on and off and emitting some electrical buzzing sound.
Words Joel Parnell.
First albums are easy. You essentially pick the best ten or fifteen songs you’ve ever written, think of a cool title and “Voila!”, debut sorted. Second albums are where shit gets real. You’ve got a period of about fourteen months to become inspired enough to write an entire album that is as good as, if not better, than your first album; all the while touring like a motherfucker to promote your debut, then record and release the fucker before you lose momentum and nobody gives a shit anymore. With that being said, Clowns have met this challenge in the same way that a bullet is introduced to an old nemesis; with unwavering determination and the climatic release of Bad Blood.
Words Anthony Moore.
Photos Josh Harper – Downtown Tracks.
The Meanies are like part of the furniture in the Australian music scene. Well when I say furniture, I mean something that’s been around for ever and every time you sit down in your favourite chair you can’t help but get pissed, jump around like you’re still a teenager in the mosh and laugh when you get kicked in the head from stage divers. You know; that type of furniture. They’re celebrating their Silver Jubilee! 25 years of being rock royalty in the sticky carpeted pubs of Australia and that’s what brought everyone to the Hi-Fi in Melbourne on this night, MEANIES MAYHEM!
Flour opened up the night. Their name intrigues me. If they named themselves after something everyone should have in the cupboard, then they’ve nailed it. They sound like they’d be sharing the stage with the Hitmen, Celibate Rifles, Hellmenn and Lime Spiders and be included on seminal underground compilations that fed the ‘90s alternative scene and allowed it to become what it did. Flour’s songwriting style and sound has a familiarity to it that welcomes you in yet still manages to throw you unexpectedly on your arse. Absolutely impressed! Continue reading