RITES OF PASSAGE TATTOO FESTIVAL – Day 2. Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton, Melbourne. 08-04-2017.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.
Photos Matt Allan Photos.

Day two of the annual Rites Of Passage Tattoo Festival held at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building welcomed punters of all ages through its large doors into a world filled of art and culture.

Lining the entrance were stalls of assorted goods, varying from alternative jewellery to barber knives, hot chilli sauces to the soft amplifications from Cranbourne Music’s Fender and Gretsch guitars, along with various merchandise stands like Killer March and Crawling Death.

Following the sound of buzzing needles around the first line of stalls lead me to find the first tattoo booth along the wall, which was Paul Rapley’s stand. Rapley was hard at work on a rib piece, and the guy receiving it made the overly asked question of “does that hurt?” sound even more rhetorical. Continue reading

THE DAMAGE REPORT – Day 1: Holy Serpent, Swidgen, TTTDC, Dead Root. The Old Bar, Melbourne. 03-03-2017. PART 2.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.
Photos Sally Townsend Photography.

365 days make an entire year and even for extremely enthusiastic punters, 365 gigs in one year seems excessive and unlikely to be an achievable goal… Especially when they’re a different gig every. damn. day… But against any doubt that it wouldn’t be possible, Melbourne-based photographer Zo Damage went all out for an entire year and even broke herself into the Guinness World Records.

In celebration of her 10th year since becoming a published photographer, Damage has produced an intimate look into a year of Melbourne’s live music scene and the community that makes it. Continue reading

2016 TOP 10 RELEASES! Desert Highways staff + special guests from Orange Goblin, Monolord, Pagan / Little Lamb & The Rosemary’s!!

Words Anthony Moore.

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’s Hardwired… 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 Magus Olympus 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

COSMIC PSYCHOS, Power, Batpiss, Organ Donor. Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne. 27-01-2017.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.
Photos Suzanne Phoenix – Photos Punctuate My Life.

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

REFUSED, Sick Of It All, High Tension. Prince Bandroom, Melbourne. 25-01-2017.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.
Photos Adam Russ – Right Eye Media Australia.

Trembling inside the darkened walls are the rumbling amplifiers that ricochet Melbourne’s High Tension once they’ve taken to the stage. Front woman Karina Utomo growls into the heavily beaten drum patterns, sometimes bellowing high pitched screams into the mic. The guitar riffs raise tensions of their own, fiercely backed by the heavy bass lines. At times singing, but mostly screaming, the crowds conversation turns to muffled pauses of awe as Utomo owns their set, ensuring that the evenings line up is going to be memorable.

Sick Of It All bring the NYCH ruckus onto the stage with them as they power straight into their set with such high energy and intensity that the crowd takes a moment to ease into their anthems. With a bit of warning, they play “The first song we ever wrote”, ‘My Life’, and unplugged ears cop an absolute beating. Front man Lou Koller gives more of a considerate warning: “Don’t get scared, cause it ain’t pretty.” Each of them are obviously in their elements as they run an engaging muck on stage, engrossing punters into the brewing pit with ‘Black Venom’, Koller eagerly tells us to “Get down to this shit!” Continue reading

DENNIS LYXZÉN (REFUSED) Interview.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.

Since blowing up during the Swedish hardcore-punk scene of the early ’90s, Refused have gained a reputable name for themselves worldwide as they have continuously been one of the bands on the forefront of the phenomenon.

With time comes age, experience, influence and the overall state of the world, so it’s inevitable that their sound might have changed since their 1998 release The Shape Of Punk To Come. Following their longstanding hiatus (1999–2009) that was broken with speculation, rumours and a 2012 world tour, Refused released their first studio album in 17 years during 2015 via Epitaph Records. Titled Freedom, the 10-track brought critics and fans all over (again) out of hiding and straight back into the pit. As they embarked on another run of international shows, their new album became a celebration in itself. Fast forward a year, and Refused announced that they’d be coming back Down Under in early 2017… and the time has arrived! Continue reading

THE DANDY WARHOLS, Morning Harvey. Big Top, Sydney. 04-11-2016.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.

Welcoming a swelling sea of Sydneysiders into Luna Park’s Big Top venue are Brisbane four piece, Morning Harvey. The breezy indie rockers ease through their set with the warmth of their sounds serenading the growing crowd.

A band kept an untold secret until recently, Morning Harvey introduce their eccentric and dynamic songs to the receptive punters who become one with the blissful evening.

Though a relatively large venue, The Big Top holds some sort of intimacy within as the stage lights produce a show of their own; soon there is a brief intermission and, after queuing for too long at the bar, the anticipated act of the evening begin… Through a wall of amplified fuzz, The Dandy Warhols erupt into their opening instrumental piece.

The large sea of heads bounce in unison as The Dandys groove into their pre-emptive set, though there are a few minor technical difficulties which are casually excused. Continue reading

ZIA McCABE (THE DANDY WARHOLS) Interview + Tour Dates.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.

The Dandy Warhols © Erich Bouccan.Eight full length studio albums, ongoing world tours, countless controversies and over 20 years in the making; The Dandy Warhols are back on the road, strong as ever. Amidst their current world tour that is supporting the release of their latest 2016 album, Distortland, The Dandys have refuelled their untamed energies, topping the freshest icing on their musical cake. Bringing new elements and sounds to their latest record, fans were given teaser tasters to raise the anticipation to new levels that will be ongoing until their live show is in your city… And probably beyond until you’ve had your mind blown X amount of times.

Having the opportunity to grab a quick chat with Zia McCabe, the keyboard player of The Dandy Warhols, she shared a bit of insight into what it’s like being on the crazy train that is the ongoing musical project for the five piece. Currently in Atlanta, Georgia, The Dandy’s have still got a massive way to go around the world though, they will be hitting our Australian shores late October / early November. It’s a huge run of shows, and although it’s what they do best, it can take a toll on their personal lives. Continue reading

L7, Cosmic Psychos. 170 Russell, Melbourne. 12-10-2016.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.
Photos Suzanne Phoenix – Photos Punctuate My Life.

L7Taking 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, Cosmic Psychos. 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

ADAM HARDING (DUMB NUMBERS) Interview + Album Review.

Words Mikaelie A. Evans.

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), Dale Crover (Melvins), David Yow (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