When I was asked to review four-piece Melbourne dirt rockers Mammoth Mammoth’s new offering, Mount The Mountain, I was pretty chuffed. Having shared the stage on quite a number of occasions (and a few beverages) with these maniacs, I consider them good mates. Then I thought, “Aw man, what if it sux”? Luckily, this was not the case.
When I first heard the band a few years back, I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got was a hybrid of Motorhead, Cosmic Psychos and Rose Tattoo. They’d been described to me as a stoner band in the past and although I hear elements of that (Black Sabbath), it’s definitely not my go to thought when I hear Mikey (vox), Cuz (guitar), Pete (bass) and Bones (drums) doin’ their thang. It’s a riff fest sure. Rifferama if you will. Mount The Mountain being no different. Continue reading →
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 →
Taking the stairs by two to run into a sea of bodies, the amplifiers pound like thunder inside the thick walls of 170 Russell as ‘Dead In A Ditch’ is among the opening songs for boozing punk legends, CosmicPsychos. The venue’s filling, and they wholeheartedly dedicate a song to our Australian Prime Minister; “This one’s for Malcolm Turnbull and it could be for Donald Fuckin’ Trump.” The heavy bass groove of ‘Better, Not Bitter’ takes over and a round of applause is received with a cheer of laughter. Their raw jams continue to be reciprocated, with their sounds well known in their home town. Rocking through their set, the three piece maintain their energy that is shared amongst the venue; ’She’s A Lost Cause’ has the crowd screaming along to the lyrics. Before too soon their set comes to a close and the cue for the bar more than doubles during the intermission. Continue reading →
It’s 5pm somewhere: an interview with Donita Sparks from L7.
Remember that saying, “it’s 5pm somewhere,” and you almost feel less guilty about cracking a cheeky beer at 10am? That’s kind of how I’m starting to feel as it’s 9.45am AEST and Donita Sparks mentions that it’s 5pm where she is, looking out towards the Hollywood sign as we begin our delayed phone call. Sparks doesn’t live in Hollywood, though she can see the infamous big letters sprawled out across the hills from where she does reside in L.A.
I’m thankful that prior to having the phone line connected I was made aware that it was an international call, because I probably would have suggested we go for a cheeky morning beer if she and L7 had already landed in Australia! We exchange a brief hello, which is enthusiastic – much to my surprise – on both ends of the phone. Sparks quickly asks me how to correctly pronounce my name, which is a prominent tongue twister to many of those having to pronounce it; I break my name (Mik-hay-lee) into syllables and we both laugh at the inconvenience of unusual names. Continue reading →
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 →
River Rocks 2015 at the Barwon Club Hotel in Geelong was easily one of the greatest festivals we’ve ever attended; kick arse line-up, loads of mates and in one of the best pubs in Australia. Of course no festival is worth its weight in gold without Melbourne rock icon and gig attending celebrity, Poodle. So once we saw him there we knew shit was going to get crazy! We caught up with Poodle after the bruises started to yellow and we’d given up hope on the broken sunnies that were lost, he gave us his ratings out of 5 for each band he caught at the festival! Continue reading →
I was ridiculously attending only my first River Rocks festival at the BarwonClub in Geelong last Saturday. It’s strange how you know some things will be amazing experiences but you have just never been before. 2015 was in fact the 8th River Rocks and it had sold out again, which was to be expected with such a massive line up including Cosmic Psychos, Meanies, Hoss, The Casanovas, Batpiss, Mustang, Legends of Motorsport and loads more.
I arrived before doors and even the empty layout impressed me, there was something in the air already and it felt exciting, like the first few Big Day Out’s in Sydney I’d attended, AlternativeNation, and Summersault.
I was asked to cover the day but I also work with, have worked with or are mates with some of bands on the line up, so it wouldn’t be fair to not state this up front. I will therefore do my best to be completely unbiased and give an accurate account of the day.
Ross Knight is the bassist, co-songwriter and lead vocalist of the CosmicPsychos, one of the most underrated, yet hugely influential bands in the history of punk rock. Knight’s brazenly regional-Victorian vocals and thunderous, pile-driving bass sound are of iconic status to any punk rocker who knows even half of their shit. Knight is also the only remaining original member of the band, who have 32 years under their belt and are still hammering on as strong as ever.
As I began to speak with the man, I was taken aback by the humble nature of his character. Here I am picturing this rough-as-guts old punk rock bastard, turns out he’s one of the loveliest, most easy going people I’ve ever spoken to. Continue reading →
It’d been a massive weekend of gigs as well as Record Store Day purchases, but it didn’t stop the punters from heading out Easter Sunday to catch the legendary Cosmic Psychos at The Espy. Melbourne punk fuzz trio Drifter opened and threw a collective flannie over all who came down early, setting the night up perfectly for the Psychos. The guys have more fuzz than a ‘70s porn and so much grit left on that Ross Knight’s bulldozer was nearly needed on stage just to clean up after they’d finished.
Next up was The Pretty Littles who continued to get the crowd even more hyped; a blend of upbeat rock and foot stomping mayhem, the band always impress with a solid set. Bad//Dreems, from Adelaide, were the main support and seemed to go over well but by this stage the bourbon fuelled chaos had kicked in and a few around could be heard sharing stories of Psychos gigs from the old days. Continue reading →
The below 10 –> 1 list is from my HEAVY Magazine Staff Top 10 Albums for 2013 List, under that I had to add some more as it’s just so hard to narrow things down! Check out the HEAVY link for some more kick arse lists. Some amazing releases amongst them!