For the past nineteen years Cherry Bar has been a huge part of not only my personal rock’n’roll life, but also of Melbourne’s. Any visitors who come to Melbourne who like live music, the one answer you give them is simply Cherry Bar.
What made this simple hole in the wall bar such a special place for music lovers, this can’t be told in one sentence, because it means so much to different people for many different reasons. For aspiring bands, it was a place to cut your teeth and get a chance to play on a legendary stage, it was intimate. There was no barrier between the bands and the stage, and it wouldn’t take much to fill. For touring musicians, it would be a place to kick back after a gig and maybe jump on the decks and turn the crowd on. Continue reading →
Here’s a few of the Desert Highways team’s Top lists for 2018. Thank you all for your support again throughout 2018, it’s very much appreciated! Also a massive thanx to all of our contributors. Very proud to work with such an incredibly talented group of people!
With MMW (Melbourne Music Week) fast approaching, we thought we put a quick list together of the Top 5 gigs we think you should get along to. With 9 days of “city-wide musical domination, discussion and distortion” from 16-24 November which includes an electric line-up of local and international acts, this year’s program pushes the boundaries of traditional live music formats, blurring the line between art, film, design, and music. The extended program features multi-sensory and VR experiences, parties, workshops, talks, cinema and loads more! For all events and information, please check out the MMW site HERE. Continue reading →
Hard working Sydney 3 piece and groove metal exponents, Black Rheno caught my attention of late, by literally being everywhere! They seem to be like Salt and Pepper at the moment, (in everything). So when the opportunity came to review the lads new offering, their Let’s Start A Cult EP, I jumped at the chance.
Firstly the title of this EP is pure gold and warmed the cockles of my heart before the first riff was ruffed. Speaking of riffs… this little number is riddled with ‘em. The sometimes groovy, sometimes thrashy, sometimes punky guitar stylings of Nano, led me to believe that these guys could share the bill with anyone from Clowns to High Tension and back again. My mind even wandered to the late ’80s, early ’90s, a time before time, when the groove of Pantera, Mordred and Prong were frequenting my Corolla’s tape deck. Smashin’ it old school. 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 →
There are a few reasons why I wanted to do a Q&A with Joel Parnell, firstly, he writes exceptional pieces for Desert Highways, but that’s not the only reason, he’s also an awesome musician and songwriter. His newest creation, The Parnells (with younger brother Michael) are about to release their debut and do a double EP launch with Rathead at The Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar.
I started with what I thought to be a ridiculous first question and Joel (who later admitted he was going to tell me to fuck off but wasn’t sure if I was being serious or not), went along and answered it beautifully.
Anthony Moore: Where does your band name come from?
Joel Parnell: Obviously the band name comes from our last name, which is Parnell. I guess we thought that it would be cool to use it because it has the feel of something like ‘The Ramones’ or ‘The Smiths’, only it actually is our real name. We also hope to bring in other Parnells on future records as most of the people in our family play music. If we have any success with the band, it would be nice to have made our name something to be proud of. Continue reading →
[It seems our reviewer blacked out after his nitrous hit… just keep reading…]
Remember when two piece bands were a new thing? I remember listening to The Black Keys and The White Stripes and thinking “yeah they’re pretty cool, imagine how cool they’d be if they got a fucking bass player.” Last Thursday a promise of a free pint had me in an Uber on it’s way to The Reverence to write a bit about new Melbourne band Three Headed Fool. I was told it was going to be awesome, and hey, a free pint’s a free pint. It had been a while between shows for me, responsibilities far less exciting and my regular droogies off tackling their own obligations had left the old date book a bit bare.
Strolling into the Reverence found me cheerfully surprised at how populated the room was already, and at 8:45pm. Ah, of course. Clowns are headlining. Clowns are my favorite scene-y claim to underground fame at the moment, after playing Cherry Rock and crushing a fat national tour recently I fondly illustrate to those in-the-know that back in 2010 my band tried booking them for our first few gigs but they could never get their shit together. I’m glad they did in the end. Continue reading →
Melbourne band, Clowns, have quickly started making a name for themselves as one of the hardest working bands in the country. Already closing in on around 60 shows for the year including shows on a few different continents, it seems insane to cram them into the smallest venue in Perth – especially considering any of the ‘support’ acts could probably sell out the same room in their own right. And sell out it did, fast.
Joining them on tour, was Melbourne grunge-rockers, Summer Blood, who opened up the night. Their sound is a sort of throwback to the ‘90s, but with a hint of the Smiths, a little mellow when compared to the rest of the line-up, but they performed admirably. After all, they had their work cut out for them.