I’m loving Ben Salter‘s solo debut, The Cat. Member of several bands, including The Gin Club, he’s now showing what he can do alone on this 12-track solo LP which has been in the works one way or another for going on 10 years. The songs are beautifully written stories, with excellent melodies littered with little quirks that keep it interesting. Co-produced with Gareth Liddiard and Robert F Cranny the sound is really well done, capturing the rough edges perfectly and balancing out the clear melodies, but also leaving a nice amount of silence and space which means it’s not over-done.
I actually don’t really like the title track, ‘The Cat’, pretty much only because of the saxophone solo which I’ve tried to get past but just can’t do it… Favourite is probably ‘Opportunities’, which is pretty simple and straight forward but in Salter’s hands comes out sounding fresh and demanding repeat listens.
The whole album works really well though and is definitely best when taken the time to listen all the way through, including the hypnotising journey that is the seven minute ‘West End Girls’ and the beautiful closer, ‘Last Night I Dreamt I Was Chasing You’.
Stream it on bandcamp or order it on vinyl or CD there too…
Ben Salter – Opportunities
Beautiful. The sound, the feeling, the voice. It’s all just lovely. It’s like these guys know everything that could go into a song, then pick the bare minimum to evoke the exact sound and mood they desire. The voice is mesmerising, and the melodies haunt you for days afterwards. Recognise is my favourite I think because of the excellent staccato beat but I also really love Oyster…
Oscar + Martin – Oyster
Oscar + Martin are part of the stellar line up for Meredith in December. I’m definitely going to make a point of being in the amphitheatre for these Melbourne kids.
Damn Terran are a Melbourne band bringing some sweet punk rock sounds to our ears. They’re not re-inventing the wheel but what they do, they do very well. The EP, Pet Hate, is a great selection of messy, meandering tunes. They’ve just released a video for Rational Economic Man which I really dislike actually, I think it’s meant to feel like you’re at the gig but really I just feel kind of nauseous. I do love the sounds though. The driving Oh! is great but my favourite is probably the catchy second track Man Of Your Dreams or the final track You Need Me which ends the album on a wild note which makes me really want to see how they do it live.
They’re supporting Children Collide at The Corner on the 13th of August and it’s selling fast apparently so I better get my own ticket now…
And speaking of Children Collide I’ve thrown in their video below too because I really, really like it. It’s directed by David Michôd who did Animal Kingdom.
Damn Terran – Man Of Your Dreams (get the album over at damnterran.bandcamp.com)
I’m usually not the biggest fan of female singer/songwriters but Jess Cornelius a.k.a Teeth & Tongue has dragged me right in. Her vocals are great and songs are well written but it’s the raw edge to it all that really gets me. It’s dark and moody woven throughout with her smooth vocals. Equal parts depressing and hopeful, dirty and clean, catchy without being irritating, ’Monobasic’ is an excellent album. Check out the single Sad Sun below, Come From Nowhere is another one of my faves…
Boogie 5 took place on Bruzzy’s Farm in Tallarook on the weekend and what a fun time it was! It was yours truly’s first time and I loved every minute.
There were lots of random happenings which made a sort of “create-your-own-festival” vibe. From dancing up a storm in the cabin at the top of hill, to Money for Rope playing a secret gig behind the dam, to the madness of the Shed, there were all sorts of fun things to be found.
Musical highlights for me were The Felice Brothers who were absolutely phenomenal and Graveyard Train who got the whole crowd going and brought the house down when they came on to do ‘Bit by a Dog’ as an encore. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from Barbarian, mostly because they were absolutely terrifying, or as one friend described it “they raped my mind and ejaculated into every story I’ve told.”
It was a beautifully run festival with lots of kids activities too which made for a fun atmosphere. Boxwars especially got much more entertaining when the kids took over and started smashing the crap out of each other! The food was delicious, drinks not too expensive and it was amazing to have a nice warm building to retreat to when it all just got too cold at night.
Looking forward to Boogie 6!
The Felice Brothers – Frankies Gun!
A new band has hit Melbourne town with some exciting punk sounds. Called Divorced and made up of members from Mum Smokes, The Spazzy’s and Beaches, they’ve just released an album called Separation Anxiety filled with laid back winding guitars, loose vocals, killer melodies and driving drum beats.
The first cut, I Wanna Die is the perfect opener, bringing out some classic punk sounds while infusing it with some of the great trademarks of the local Melbourne scene and the band members that make up Divorced.
Listen to I Wanna Die below or buy the whole damn thing on bandcamp for only $5!