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 →
Renowned Australian musician, Raul Sanchez, has created an enticing reputation throughout his career that has been lingering in the public eye since the ‘90s. From his early days of playing in various garage rock bands that included The Bugbears, Muffcake and the much loved Magic Dirt, the Melbourne based guitarist has also shared vocal, guitar and songwriting roles in most of the bands he has played with. Currently playing with the likes of Tex Perkins’ supergroup, The Ape, Sanchez is also a part of the line ups that make River of Snakes and Midnight Woolf. With these influential bands having distinctively various sounds, one could begin to wonder what his solo album might sound like… And in 2015 Sanchez produced those sounds on his own instrumental album to answer the thoughts of those wondering punters. Released via Wild Animals Records and titled Masks, Sanchez’s first solo output came together over several years. Comprised primarily with guitars, there were also drums weaved through the variety of other instruments and “whatever was lying around the house that would make a sound”. 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 →
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 →
In a dream one night I found myself at a raging party, when I stepped through a door into a room with a dimly lit pool in it. The water was cool and blue, the tiles red & black. I jumped in and as I floated, suspended in motion, I heard music coming from giant speakers in the side of the pool. The unmistakeable sound of Magic Dirt was pulsating through the liquid, the tone filtered and murky.
Magic Dirt axeman, Raül Sanchez i Jorge has recently put out his second solo record, Masks, (as he also played all the instruments on Midnight Woolf’s original release, it’s counted as his first), and it’s best described as sounding like fragments from a dream.
“Just yesterday I dreamt I was playing with PJ Harvey” Raul tells me when I ask him if he’s hears music in his sleep. “I dream music and about music all the time, I’ve written songs that came to me in dreams, its nuts! The hard bit then is remembering it and getting it down before it evaporates.”
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 →