It’s round two. Back. Proper music writing. A nice collection of tunes this time around – chock to the brim and all that. Some thoughts and reflections on the tracks within the tape are below. Have a read and a listen would ya?
It feels as though songwriters are a hell of a lot better now at accessing a classic song structure and injecting it with enough personality and originality that it pops, so to speak. On this tape you can here it in the layers in L.U.V‘s track ‘You’ll Never Let Me Go’, the embrace of more traditional blues and soul instrumentation of ‘Down To Rest from Tom Stephens. And then of course you have the Waitsesque jaunt of Lost Animal‘s ‘Do The Jerk’ with its organ and sax combo. Dorsal Fins have always been on that classic pop tip – to the point where every single hit/strum/connection of brain to voice feels purposeful. My Brother’s Friends do the sing-a-long duet real well too, offering two perspectives on a track, simply via the differences in phrasing between the verses.
The cultural significance of movements like LISTEN and Sad Grrrls Club isn’t going unnoticed. Of course there’s forever to go, but the fact that female identifying and GNC artists are now visible is all sorts of good. What makes me (a white cis-dude) a little uncomfortable though is the fact that these artists easily compete (not that it’s at all a competition). It’s not the fact that these artists are themselves good, it’s the question of who the fuck are we to be only now realising that ‘hey music is cool and gee there are some bloody talented people out there’. What the hell were we (predominately white music guys) doing to only get this now. in 2016. Who the fuck are we to put structures in place (like casually sexually assaulting women/overly sexualising women/fetishising those artists that identify differently) that purposefully favour some artists over others? Artists like L.U.V. and Rachel Maria Cox and Julia Jacklin and Tracy Chen and Ninajirachi. All making these tightly wound tracks, some full of more intimacy than you can bear, some with these super tight guitar pop structures. All really really catchy and good (hence why they’re in this tape). We should all make considered and thoughtful choices about who we choose to support.
It’s something that’s been pushed a lot recently – we have a real super exciting electronic scene in this country. And yeah mate, we do. But the most exciting stuff to my ears (and hopefully yours) is happening away from the spotlight and away from the most hearted and reposted on soundcloud. We got a couple of those in here, from the warm and moving sonics of acts like LAIKS, Braille Face, and Ninajirachi; right through to the more pop sound of CDAD and Yon Yonson. I think special mention needs to be made of Tracy Chen‘s ‘Eggs’, which knocks me over into some tingly mess each and every time I press play on the thing. And it would be remiss of me not to make mention of Japanese Wallpaper, the exception to my most hearted and reposted rule.
And all the others in this here tape. This tape especially has felt quite a pleasure to post. If you just can’t wait to read more of me writing, then you may well want to sign up to the maamf mailout. Thanks to all those who have done so already. For those yet to, it’s a monthly mailout full with many of things I been reading and enjoying over the past month. You can sign up here. You can check out the past issues here.
There’s a strange progression us music listeners go through. From beginning out with a love for all things guttural, punky, and messy, I moved towards an appreciation of a much cleaner, produced sound. Of course we change over time; listening to the same sort of stuff all the time would mean that our existence as music listeners would be pretty dire, and dare i say, after a while, obsolete.
But it’s when you move back towards the sounds and ideas you appreciated when you were younger that you begin to realise that music taste, what whets our whistle, what bars us up, is to some extent some sort of representation of where we’re at. I now go back to the darker sounding, messier stuff with a different sort of understanding, having exposed myself to a whole range of different stuff over the years.
Cobwebbs are a Brissie four piece, signed to Sonic Masala Records. It’s this stuff that I’m finding myself listening much more to. It’s noisy, reverby, and sludgy. There’s an obvious vocal melody line that is so intertwined in the mix of those guitars that it’s easy to forget that there’s a melody line at all. But that doesn’t actually matter. What Cobwebbs achieves is a version of drone filled psych that digs so far underneath the surface that the surface becomes unimportant. This is big, expansive and dredgy psych rock and I’m fucking liking it. The track below as well as the clip above is ‘Easy’, the second single off the band’s second LP WORLD WIDE WEBBS released a coupla months ago.
You can stream the full album over here.
Ohhh mate. Sometimes all you need is a big smack of irreverence. As I sit here using some of the worst internet I’ve used in a hell of a long time (cheers SLV), Mighty Boys and their thrashy punkishness are making things slightly better (apart from the fact that it took about 5 mins for the video to load).
Their ode to my fave Satdy evening show of yesteryear, Hey Hey It’s Saturday, is just like I remember it – strange, weird, and fun but in a way that you feel a little embarrassed by a few years down the track.
If you’re keen on this, then make sure you check out the bands debut EP Dole Cheque and Kabana. You can grab it here.
If you’re down in Melbourne, then make sure you also go jump around like a dick at their show – they’re playing the Tote this Friday (15th August). Deets here.
Brisbane based two-piece The Furrs have been causing a bit of a stir with their bluesy rock’n’roll of late.
Gabriella and Jimmy make self-directed blues infused swagger that seems to propel itself forward like you wouldn’t believe. The guys have already garnered a bit of love with support slots (they’ve supported Cults recently and are supporting DMA’s next weekend at BlackBear Lodge up in Brisbane). The two-piece become four live – a dude called White Stag on drums and Moonfaced Hendrix on bass fill it out.
We got the new single ‘Little Boy’ taken from the bands’ debut self-titled EP released a couple of weeks ago. It’s pretty nuts and has just enough ‘don’t-give-a-fuck’ attitude for your Sunday afternoon.
k. So this new one from Melbourne’s Total Control has been playin’ over and over in the head for the past coupla days.
Where the synth was just part of the band in their earlier work, the newy, ‘Flesh War’ brings it closer to front and centre. It’s softer in feeling, but still manages to feel dark, at times dissonant, and always pushing and edging towards something.
Pretty bloody killer.
The track is taken from the band’s second full length entitled Typical System due out June 20.
Ohhh mate. ‘Funny Guy’ is the new track from Brissie stoners Dune Rats and it’s really really ace. Think feel-good indie garage punk [enter another genre that does not help explain how bloody catchy this tune is] done at its best.
The track is taken off the boys’ self-titled debut full length due out on “Dune 1” (gosh pr people are so humorous when they crack jokes in their press release emails). They’re also doing a pretty massive world tour in support of it (deets here). Should be a goodun.
oh mate. it’s always good when new labels start up. especially those that are artist run and support local scenes.
Format Records have just started up proper in Adelaide. You may have heard about the Format guys before – they’ve put on a coupla fests in the past and curated a stage at Adelaide Laneway this year.
Their first release as part of a label is the debut full length from WIREHEADS, a rad Adelaide band featuring members of Old Mate, Bruff Superior, Big Richard Insect and Doe. The album is gonna be called The Late Great and will be due out sometime in May.
The first taste is ‘The Way It Is’, which you can stream below. If you dig your slacker vibe punk style, then WIREHEADS might be up your alley. ‘The Way It Is’ features your normal band get up, but comes complete with a little flute and some violin for your earholes. It’s a mix that on paper seems suspect, but mate, it’s actually pretty fuckin’ good.
Ohhhh mate. So good to know that the DZ Deathrays aren’t completely going in that pop direction of their earlier single, ‘Northern Lights’.
The newy ‘Gina Works At Hearts’ basically sounds like a more polished version of their first album, and for that, I’m fucking grateful. The track comes from the band’s 2nd album, Black Rat due out May 2nd through those rad dudes I OH YOU. Pre-order here.
Some bloggers tend to not favour particular bands and instead choose to only post about new stuff from new bands that they haven’t featured before, or have only featured once or twice.
For those of you that have followed maamf for a while, you’ll notice that whilst I do try and post as much new stuff from bands that perhaps haven’t had much promo in the past, I still do play favourites. Violent Soho are getting up there on the post count (6 in the past 12 months). Their 90’s grunge vibe just gets me though. The dudes have a new track and new clip, the album opener ‘Dope Calypso’. It’s pretty darn impressive, and perhaps is one of the more pop sounding tracks from the album (from what I’ve heard of it).
The clip features the dudes drinking, driving, playing, walking, eating, hanging from bball rings, sitting, smoking and chillin’. Perhaps the least impressive aspect of it all is that it’s not all at the same time, but hey, you can’t win ’em all right?
Clip is pretty dope though. Makes me feel like an icecream?
(yeah, even I didn’t laugh at that one, and I cracked the fucking thing).
The dudes’ new album Hungry Ghost is out next week (Sep 6). You can preorder it on their site, and whilst you’re there why not score yourself some tix to their 7-date east coast tour in support?
Boy Germs is the one-man project of Brissie based dude Rob Steel. Latest track, ‘Ghoulish’ is catchy bedroom punk. Loving the slowed down lazy verses that kind of mill about ahead of that straight up singalong throwaway chorus.
Stream it below, and if you dig, you can grab the EP it’s taken from (Butter//Demo) over on his bandcamp.
BIRDS WITH THUMBS.
Throwaway punk bandits, Birds With Thumbs are killing it with their new single ‘Clarence’. Scraping in at 2:19, the track packs a fair few sing-a-long punches to the face, just minus the eventual bruising. The clip is equally throwaway and fun n stuff.
‘Clarence’ is taken off the dudes’ new EP Cats and Other Dangerous Animals which their launching at Brighton Up Bar on Sep 4. Tix are 5 bones on the door.
THE RED LIGHTS.
Is there a better pop-tinged angular punk band out there?
At the risk of leaving that question mid air, it perhaps pays to suggest that Melbourne gents The Red Lights may be the answer.
Their newy, ‘Lesser Today’ gives a moody punch with a catchy as hell (these guys have a knack for that) chorus. Dean’s vocals, yet again, sound amazing. Nah actually, the whole band sound amazing. Sorry Dean.
Stream below and if you dig, you can download from their triple j unearthed profile.
Wil Wagner from The Smith Street Band has a solo EP entitled Laika coming out in a bit over a week (Feb 4) through Poison City Records. For fans of The Smith Street Band, and in particular Wil’s honest and pretty funny vocals, I reckon this EP will nail it. Just Wil and an acoustic guitar, I am so fucking keen!
Two tracks from the EP have already been released, and are just below. If you like, make sure you pre-order the whole EP over on the Poison City Records site.
Some fast, in-your-face, indie punk for your hump day. The Corsairs are four Melbourne boys who’ve been doing some good stuff for a while now.
Their brand newy, Ruin takes on more of a punk vibe than their previous work (all of which you can stream on their soundcloud).
It still kills though!
THE RED LIGHTS.
Brand new single from indie punk legends The Red Lights.
There’s a super angular vibe to these boys – of course there’s the Strokes comparisons, and yeah, Dean does have a slight Julian Casablancas sound in his voice, but there’s something a little more thrown together about The Red Lights. It’s not overly produced, just a couple of mates banging out some killer tunes.
The boys are launching the new single at the John Curtin on Sat 15th December. Details here.
Brand spankin’ new Damn Terran track for your Saturday afternoon. Perhaps the best track to lose your absolute shit too. Raucous as fuck. You may well recognise the female voice, as it’s that of Ali E who we’ve written about in the past.
The new track is called Rebels and the guys are getting it out there with a bit of a tour. Dates below.
DAMN TERRAN ‘REBELS’ TOUR
April 13 – The Zoo, Bris w/ DZ Deathrays, Velociraptor
April 14 – Tyms Guitars, Bris (All Ages In-store)
April 28 – Old Bar, Mel w/ Scul Hazzards, Chicks Who Love Guns, Bodies
May 05 – The Grace Emily, Adel w/ The Aves, Sincerely Grizzly, Horror My Friend
May 18 – FBI Social, Syd w/ Chicks Who Love Guns, Corpus, Sweet Teeth
Ships Piano are four dudes from St Kilda doing some seriously good punk stuff. That said, the track below, Seasons #2, sounds more 90’s indie than anything else.
This song has been in my head ever since I discovered it a few days ago. It is catchy as fuck.
KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD
Yep. You read right. King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard is the name that these 7 Carlton boys go by. Featuring some of the guys from fellow Melbourne guys, and new maamf faves Love Migrate, they sounds pretty different, showcasing a bit more of a DIY guitar sound (think bands like Boomgates, The Twerps etc). It’s kinda a slacker version of surf punk.
Anywho, the guys have a track out, Black Tooth which the PR guys say “is two minutes and thirty seconds of music to rob banks to”. Ha. What an apt description. This is a really decent track, complete with a we’ll do it our way attitude.
To help celebrate the release of the new single, they’ve got a bit of an east coast tour happening. Check out the dates after the stream.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Black Tooth
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard single tour dates
Friday July 1 – Deniliquin Club, NSW
Saturday July 2 – Castlemusic Festival, Castlemaine
Friday July 8 – Mum, World Bar, Sydney
Saturday July 9 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Friday July 15 – The Nash, Geelong
Saturday July 16 – Plus One, Adelaide
Saturday July 23 – Old Bar, Melbourne
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)
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!
Straight Arrows are out of Sydney. They do the whole lo-fi punky stuff pretty damn well. Their album It’s Happening dropped last year but kinda went a little under the radar. So, with the help of some pretty decent PR dudes, there’s another push for the guys.
It’s Happening is supes lo-fi and actually lacks the warmth other lo-fi dudes have in their recordings. There’s a heap more treble in the disc. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing though. It’s something different and not like everything else. And when the songs are tight short pop songs, it’s a welcome change and kinda puts them out there.
Tracks below are Bad Temper and Magic Spectre and are a pretty good showcase of both the fast punk stuff and the slower more moody stuff that is right across the album
Straight Arrows – Magic Spectre
Make sure you grab the album. It’s out on awesome Sydney label Rice Is Nice
bleeding knees club
Bleeding Knees Club are two dudes from up on the Gold Coast, doing some saweeeeet as bluesy punk. Guys have signed to I Oh You (They’re the dudes behind Howl) and they’re debut EP entitled Virginity was dropped a few weeks back (grab it from iTunes).
Their stuff sounds like it’s over before it’s begun, but then you remember the party you had for that 2 or 3 mins and you wanna hear it all over again. It’s stripped back indie bluesy punky pop like you aint heard before
The fellas also have a few gigs coming up. Deets over on their MySpace
And for you listening pleasure, we got their track Bad Guys off their EP. YES!
Can you play some Hockey?
Well…after you download some of their stuff, you can! (nice play on words there, i know.)
Hockey are a band out of Portland in the States. They’re also one of those hype bands which Australian mainstream radio will only start playing in about a year or only after Triple J play the crap out of them.
BUT, that said, they’re pretty good, and deserving of the hype. There’s also a few live tracks out there online from their stint at SXSW Festival a few months ago. And they sound fantastic. So, from that, I’m guessing they’d be pretty sweet live. Their album ‘Mind Chaos’ comes out July or August I think – not too sure about a release date for Australia though.
Anyway, they’re definately a band to watch out for. Their single Too Fake is a great track. Kinda sounds punky in the verse and a bit LCD Soundsystem (YEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS!). And then the chorus soars above it all and brings the whole track up with it. Wanky. But true.
Hockey – Too Fake
K. That’ll do the ramble for now.