The first time I heard DEAD I was blown away. In terms of sheer brute force, weight and the volume of their sound, it’s huge! Melvins x 10 plugged into Slayer’s wall of Marshall stacks, you know, if they were real. They also continue to blow me away in a lot more ways as time goes on. It’s been 6 years this month since I first heard them, which was seeing them live supporting the Hard-Ons at The Tote, and since then, I’ve gotten to know the guys and have a deeper understanding of their music and where it comes from. It’s completely pure, unintentionally awesome, inspired, uncompromising, relentless, driving, and unashamedly their own beast. I could keep going. They continue to make solid kick arse music that’s completely honest to who they are and what they believe in. Continue reading →
There were some amazing releases that come out in 2016, and as with every year, I start out with the best of intentions keeping a list of my favourites as they hit, only to let it fall by the wayside by about March. Yeah I know, it doesn’t last long! So undoubtedly I will forgot lots of great releases from 2016. There’s been the talked about releases like Metallica’sHardwired… To Self Destruct (which for me has been quite a disappointment, some moments of clarity and power but as whole, it wasn’t the driving force I was hoping for), then there’s been some that have come out of left field that have really thrown me for six and impressed me quite a lot, like Electric MagusOlympus Noms, which is Raul Sanchez (Magic Dirt, River Of Snakes, Midnight Woolf) latest offering through Wild Animals Records. Like with John Frusciante’s solo albums, some sound quite unique and very different to his work with Red Hot Chili Peppers (which is an awesome thing these days!) yet his style and soul still comes through in various ways. Electric Magus is like this for Sanchez compared to his ‘usual’ guitar driven work. It’s totally different yet still somehow connects with me for the same reasons.
I still listen to loads of releases from all around the world, but more and more as time goes on I find myself mainly listening to local bands. Possibly for a few reasons, I like to support local muso’s and friends, it’s possible to see them more live which in turn gets us more stoked on listening back to a band later, and maybe most importantly, there are just so many fuckin incredible bands in Melbourne and throughout Australia that there’s not enough time to sometimes reach out further. Continue reading →
Interview Cassie Walker.
All artwork copyright Jace Rogers.
Jace Rogers, artist, bass player and vocalist in DEAD, and all round legend, took some time out of his busy schedule to chat with Cassie Walker about his art exhibition ‘A Fool For You‘, influences and music.
Cassie Walker: Hey Jace, thanks so much for the chat! Your exhibition ‘A Fool For You’ opens tomorrow (Started Sat 23rd May – 31st May), is it the calm before the storm or are you running around like a headless chook?
Jace Rogers: It’s all pretty calm actually, I hate feeling rushed so I do what I can to prevent panic. I finished my last piece on Monday and hung the show last night so it’s pretty much done. I really only need to make sure the wine is in place and ready for consumption.
Even on paper, this list of bands kicks arse, loud and up close being sprayed with beer and sweat is a whole other level of awesome. Some of Australia’s strongest stoner / sludge / doom bands took over The Tote for DopeFest and owned it completely. Every band impressed and threw out headlining sets but it needs to be said that Horsehunter had the packed out main band room eating out of the palm of their hands within the first few strums, Noosa’s Hobo Magic have stolen the hearts and souls of everyone in Melbourne, Hydromedusa and Spacebong blew minds… the list could go on. Massive shout out to Michael Harutyunyan from Horsehunter for putting the day together and we all hope it’s the first of many. It was a massive success!
The first thing to be said about DEAD is that they make an unGodly amount of noise for a band with 2 members and no guitar. Having seen them live a couple of times I can vouch that they well and truly back it up in the flesh as well as on record. It’s that sheer, monolithic volume where you can actually feel the vibration from the bass drum punching you in the sternum with every off-kilter slam of the drummer’s foot. The tiny hairs on your arms and face stand to attention as if awe-stricken by the deep hum and brooding swell of the muff afflicted bass guitar. The conventional addition of an electric guitar simply isn’t needed here. There’s no room.
There are so many amazing bands out there that sometimes the ones we should be obsessing over just fall through the cracks. For me, Torche was one of those bands. After only previously hearing a very small portion of their catalogue and about them from some of those around Melbourne, it was evident the gig was definitely one to attend. Plus the local contingent was a solid reinforcement.
First up were DEAD who I could review without even needing to be there. They’re a favourite Melbourne staple and I’ve caught them loads of times, but I’ve also never seen them play a bad set. Although one thing that does change is just how kick arse they are. The guys keep building on the strong foundation of what they’ve always had and are going from strength to strength, which is great to see. For a two piece that play as one though sound like 10, they have become even tighter and more powerful and with Dav Byrne mixing, these guys were even way more massive than usual. Continue reading →
Doomsday promised an impeccable night, boasting a killer line up and pulling out all the stops to give Melbourne’s community of doom and sludge enthusiasts a night of pure bliss. It showcased some of Melbourne’s best local talent, teamed with international heavy weight headliners Windhand and Beastwars. The spirit was high and the excitement grew over the course of the evening, especially in regards to this being Windhand’s first tour of Australia. There was no doubt this five piece from Richmond, Virginia had struck a chord in the hearts of Melbournians with their fusion of metal and psychedelic rock.
Motherslug opened the evening and set the tone of what was to come. Shrouded in green light, their set was incredibly atmospheric and stoked the fires of early punters. Horsehunter followed, taking the stakes even higher with their thunderous, fortifying sound, rich with melodic constructs and progressions. They seem so beyond their years. DEAD were another band that blew me way. Having been my first time witnessing this band, I hadn’t seen such ferocity from a two piece since San Franciscan sludge / doom outfit Black Cobra. They proved themselves to be just as intense as those that preceded them, proving that a band doesn’t need an epic set up and an army of members to conjure and project a sound with such force. Continue reading →
The first time I saw DEAD I was hooked. 2 piece, bass and drums, brutal, attitude, passion, persistence, so much style. These guys are like the soundtrack to the end of the world and hearing them makes me want to join Heaven’s Gate and down a litre of radiator coolant so it can come quicker. Live they are an even bigger untamed beast that blows other bands off the stage. Their punch is 10 fists wide. Get the point? These guys are fuckin good. A previously unreleased DEAD track has just been included on a new compilation, the Rock Is Hell 10th Anniversary 2 x 10″ set. And stay tuned for their new LP, Captains Of Industry, out soon! Continue reading →
I have to say, two of my favourite bands under one roof is a pretty sweet deal for a mid-week gig. Well, admittedly one of them, Vista Chino, is born from the ashes of one of my all-time favourite bands, Kyuss and the other is Melbourne tornado DEAD.
The locals set it up early and came out hard and fast from the getgo. Taking no prisoners, they were absolutely kick arse and it was loud, like really loud! DEAD usually have a huge sound but screaming off the stage at 170 Russell, it was unnervingly massive. I don’t ever wear ear plugs at gigs and had to go and get some and wore them for the entire set. When a band is that loud it’s usually a mess, a wall of sound thrown into a blender and undecipherable, but their sound guy Al O’Neill is a legend at what he does and it was incredible. To add to the awesome, Al got a text from the venue manager telling him to turn it down as people were leaving! You have to love that! Continue reading →