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 →
The Cult. They were the soundtrack to my life for a couple of years circa ’86-’87. Cruising the “mean streets” of Sydney with my friends Mark and Roberta in a purple Gemini, with Love and Electric almost always on the tape deck. Laughing, stupid jokes and our attempts to form a band, which ultimately failed collectively, but separately we did manage to achieve. Ian Astbury’s vocals and Billy Duffy and his cock-rock guitar histrionics. I hear those tunes now and I’m right back there, rolling into gigs and crashing through life with that teenage abandon. It also seemed to be the end an era, following the Cults ‘87 Australian tour when I saw them play two nights running at Selina’s. When I think back, I don’t seem to be able to recall listening to them very frequently ever again after those two shows. Until now.
The Cult have fluctuated fairly dramatically over the years, with break ups, reformations and about a thousand different rhythm sections, while Duffy and Astbury remain the constant. Drummer John Tempesta (ex WhiteZombie / RobZombie / Testament / Helmet and more) has been wielding the sticks for the last decade while several bass players have come and gone. His trademark rhythmic crunch is present on several tracks on this record. Continue reading →
High On Fire have always been one of those incredible bands that everyone’s heard of, yet hardly anyone realises the strength that lies in their music. For nearly two decades, they’ve thrived on belting out the heaviest and sludgiest tunes metal could ever birth with one of the most dedicated fan bases in the scene. With the release of their highly acclaimed seventh LP Luminiferous, the trio returned to Australia for an all new headline tour in support of the new record. Joining them on their Melbourne show at Max Watts were locals Big Bread, YLVA and Batpiss.
The thirty to forty-five minute wait that you have to sit through for gigs are a pain when you set foot into the venue. Only ten minutes though after doors, Big Bread took the spotlight as the opener. There weren’t many patrons at the time they came on and performed, but there were a handful of those that were appreciative of what Big Bread gave to the audience. Generally, there wasn’t much they had to offer in their presence, but they made up for that with a great sound and show onstage.
Anthrax. Clockwise from left/front: Scott Ian, Frank Bello, Charlie Benante, Joey Belladonna, Jon Donias
I first discovered Anthrax at the tender, wide eyed age of fifteen. There was an older kid at my school who was heaps metal and gave me a burnt CD of Among The Living. I listened to that thing every goddamn day until my friends were so sick of hearing it that the very mention of Anthrax made them sigh with pained exhaustion. Ten years on, I still pump that shit on the reg.
Needless to say, I was just about shitting myself when I made a phone call the other day and Frank Bello answered. Luckily, Frank is a bloody top bloke and quickly reassured me there was nothing to be nervous about.
Frank Bello: “Don’t be nervous man. It’s me, Frank. You’re talking to a friend.”