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 →
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 →
Dumb Numbers are back with their latest collaborative showcase that has been self-titled; Dumb Numbers II. Following their 2013 album, this gem was released to the public via Joyful Noise Recordings on August 19. Predominantly formulated by Australian musician, Adam Harding who was joined by a variety of artists, this album of only eight songs has without a doubt created a rad selection of lengthy and transient jams. Joining Harding on this recent release were the ever-alternating line up of musicians that on this occasion included the likes of: Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr. / Sebadoh), DaleCrover (Melvins), DavidYow (The Jesus Lizard / Scratch Acid), Murph (Dinosaur Jr.), Bobb Bruno (Best Coast). With each musician bringing their own little zing to the sound, it inevitably has turned into this crazy array of genres that make it quite hard to label, adding to the bonus of how enticing this album actually is. 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 →
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 →