February 2012 archive

The Guppies

Guppies

This Novocastrian 3-piece have managed to put together a song that everyone can relate to, its called “I Never Liked Mondays”.

Since being Triple J Unearthed High Finalists last year, an impressive feat considering the band only formed for the purpose of the competition, guitarist (and vocals) Lachlan Morris, drummer Angus Geraghty and bassist James Hodgett have been busy working on an EP they hope to release next year.

Despite the EP release still pending, the boys have managed to produce several raw indie tracks, which you can check out in full on their soundcloud and unearthed profiles found here/here. The aforementioned and coincidentally most popular song “I Never Liked Mondays”, has a real stripped back sound with twangy guitars, loud simple drum patterns and scratchy vocals. Yet despite being a little simplistic, the song works, its catchy and you cant help but enjoy listening to it.

The band really shows its punk side in the much darker “Murder in the Dark”, “Glass Jaw” and only semi-darker piece “Pea Soup”. Compared to “I Never Like Mondays”, these tracks have heavier drum beats, a larger bass presence and vocals that seem to be  slightly yelled as opposed to sung. The band do show shades of ‘Nirvana’ particularly in “Pea Soup”, stated as one of their influences on their unearthed site, but you can’t help but feel “Murder in the Dark” is influenced by the early stuff  from ‘The Living End’.

It will be interesting to see whether ‘the Guppies’ will particularly opt to embrace their raw indie or punk sides as they develop. Regardless we will enjoy watching these small fry as they grow into bigger fish.

 

Them Swoops

themswoops_01 (1)

Coming out of Melbourne is indie threesome ‘Them Swoops’, comprising of drummer Adam Hengstberger, guitarist/vocals Dave McGann and Chris Goff on bass, who have produced several super catchy tracks in the lead up to releasing their debut EP in the first half of next year.

Describing their sound as “sharp, fuzz guitar-psych wig-out chaos-pop from the future of your past”, you aren’t really sure what to expect until you actually listen. Strangely their description isn’t that obscure, as fuzz guitars are one of the featured instruments, producing retro style rifts which ‘the future of your past’ is probably in reference to. The music is pretty chilled, that’s the wig out bit. The only part that you don’t quite get is the ‘chaos pop’ reference. If anything these guys aren’t chaotic at all, instead producing tracks that are on the whole pretty well layered and smooth, with no jerky off-beats.

“Work Around It” is a super catchy track combining a breezy guitar loop with tuneful drumming and faded vocals, and really hits the spot. Lyrically the song stands up as well, its an interesting love ballad about the girl who got away (always a classic), because she couldn’t just ‘work around it’. It really gets the fingers tapping and head swaying.

The same can be said for their other songs, “Take Your Time” and “Too Fast for Love”. Both great indie tunes that get you bopping to the beat. “Take Your Time” also has a great keyboard injection to give the track a bit of diversity and uniqueness to it. “Too Fast For Love” features some clever breaks and changes in tempo but maintains the same fuzzy upbeat feeling as their other songs. In fact this song reminds me very much of ‘The Kooks’ first two albums, in terms of the guitar riffs and general style.

Hoping to have an EP out in the first half of 2012 and full length album in the second half, I’m sure there will be more of ‘Them Swoops’ to come.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=jZyX75nsFZU

Little Casino

Little Casino are a five piece band from Brisbane who are producing some pretty crisp indie surf rock, releasing their first EP ‘Little Casino’ and single ‘Golden Shadow’ in the second half of last year.

The good thing about Little Casino is that unlike some bands who get unearthed, where the music is better than the vocals or vice-versa, Little Casino have an awesome musical sound and the stunning vocals of Ben Forbes to match. Forbes fills the tracks with nostalgic lyrics and his crisp clear vocals manage to adapt and convey varying amounts of emotion depending on the track.

The fourth track from their self-titled EP, “You Came For Me”, is a slow moving number where the lyrics to really come through to show the emotion I mentioned earlier. It details a somewhat dysfunctional relationship, that despite all the fall outs and hardships  still seems to survive, with the title lyrics “you came for me”  being so powerful.

The other tracks on their EP are also pretty solid. There is the upbeat “Hold Your Dreams”, that must surely epitomise Little Casinos rise from oblivion, the more folky swaying number “Do You Know” and smooth layered piece “Nothing Left to Lose”.

Single “Golden Shadow” is much more up beat number, characterised by a constant high tempo drum beat with guitar and bass backing. The vocals are a solid as ever, but the factor that sells this track to me, is the catchy as hell guitar riff that kicks in between verses. Its just one of those happy tracks that has so much energy you can’t help but get swept into it.

The thing that sticks with Little Casino is that each of their tracks is just so damn catchy, its a shame that listening to their whole catalogue of publicly released music only takes 20 minutes to listen to. I cannot wait for more.

The Fabergettes

fabergettes-strip-bw175

The Fabergettes are a Sydney four-piece consisting of three girls with three letter names in Kat, Nat and Bec with drummer Marty thrown in for some testosterone.

The band describe their sound as “The Shangri-Las meets Best Coast with a dash of The Runaways thrown in for good measure”, and the is some truth to the statement. The Fabergettes are heavier than the ‘Shangri-Las’, not as rock driven as ‘The Runaways’, or as indie as ‘Best Coast’, but the band definitely show influences from all, and their amalgamation of these sounds works brilliantly.

The Fabergettes combine driving rock beats, sweet Doo-Wop voices and some catchy guitar work to create an upbeat and fun listen. In their track ‘Ding Dong’, which has received some Triple J airplay, the band also incorporates some hand clapping to cleverly kick the song off, before finishing with a climax of drums, synth, guitars and timely lyric “ding dong”. Its a killer track, with the instrumentation, vocals and back-ups mixing beautifully to create a catchy as anything pop song.

Their other track released is ‘I Cry’ and as the title suggests is much more emotional than ‘Ding Dong’. It allows The Fabergettes to show their versatility with the vocals of Nat Martin conveying the emotion of the track brilliantly and instrumentally mixing it up with the use of some reverb guitar. ‘I Cry’ is another awesome listen, and you can download it and ‘Ding Dong’ from their unearthed page.

Lucky for us, the band plans to release their debut EP in March and you can actually attend the launch at Sydney’s Good God Small Club on March 9th. I personally, am looking forward to hearing some new tracks from this up and coming pop ensemble, and I am sure their EP won’t disappoint.

San Cisco – Freemantle Doctor Propelling Them on the Airwaves!

SAN CISCO_MG_8372

San Cisco had a pretty awesome 2011, releasing their highly praised debut EP ‘Golden Revolver’ and 2012 has kicked off pretty well too, releasing their second EP ‘Awkward’ with the title track finishing an incredible 7th in Triple Js hottest 100.

Needless to say, the Freemantle band have done pretty well for themselves. Whilst they fit the indie rock classification pretty well, San Cisco manage to mix each of their tracks up and create a pretty ecelectic sound compared to many other indie rockers.

Their biggest hit ‘Awkward’, uses a great call and response style of singing between drummer Scarlett Stevens and Jordi Davieson to give a pretty accurate detail of the teenage dating scene. It has to be the best indie duet going around, with the vocals and  da-da-da-das really forming the core of the track, while the instrumentation is simple and effective in the background. A great track, so fun to listen to.

Off their debut EP, the title track ‘Golden Revolver’ is also pretty sweet. It has an amazing guitar riff that runs throughout the track, it just tickles my eardrums in all the right spots – I love it. The vocals by Davieson are husky and convey a fair bit of emotion in them, whilst the power of the multiple voices singing the chorus really conveys the annoyance with being left loveless. It has a really raw sound, and a great video clip to match (below).

San Cisco also include a cover track on each of their EPs, according to Davieson ‘It’s kinda our thing’, and the ‘Solitude is Bliss’ and ’505′ (Arctic Monkeys) also allows the band to pay homage to some of their influences. ‘Solitude is Bliss’ is an awesome stripped back take on the Tame Impala track, the use of the cow bells and tambourine add an eclectic feel to the psychedelic track.

In fact my only real criticism of San Cisco isn’t really their fault, but Triple Js. Now Triple J have done great things for them, but at the same time they are flogging airplay for  ‘Awkward’ so hard, I don’t know how much more I can handle, and some our other friends agree. It is like they are the Australian equivalent of Lana Del Rey, which Triple J did flog till she was dead and decided to cancel her shows (not purely coincidence!).

Anyway, in light of the above comments, I will leave you with the title track off their debut EP, ‘Golden Revolver’ which you can still download for free of their unearthed page – Enjoy…

Nantes – Indie Rock New Comers

Nantes1

Apart from having the band name with the most possible pronunciations, Nantes (pronounce it how you like) are an indie rock quartet who have risen rapidly, producing their debut EP, playing at Big Day Out, and touring for Triple J all in the last 12 months.

Nantes debut self-titled 4- track EP is pretty wicked, and has two absolutely zinging tracks in ‘Charlie’ and ‘Fly’.  ‘Fly’ is the song that brought them all their hype and attention (and quite rightly) on Triple Js unearthed, combining some catchy riffs, a few notes of the xylophone, and some upbeat drumming. Its a killer of a song, I love the drumming,the vocals by Josiah Eastwood are great, and the high notes from the xylophone really add a unique touch that separates Nantes from other bands. To be honest I can bop to this track for hours.

‘Charlie’ has slightly slower tempo than ‘Fly’ but has the most bouncy keyboard tune of any track I can recall. It also has the whole collection of Nantes on the mike, effectively using the back-up vocals as a separate instrument to maintain the bounce. It is another great feel good track, that gets the fingers and toes tapping.

The other two tracks on the Nantes EP are ‘Lost’ and ‘Control’. ‘Control’ uses some clever breaks and hand clapping to create a song that really does have some punch, with the disjointed rhythms making it hard what to expect next and who really is in control. The vocal harmonies, the resurgence of the xylophone to create some chilling sounds, and heavier bass in ‘Lost’ create a very melancholy but interesting track. Both are very different compared to listening to ‘Fly and ‘Charlie’, but I admit I like the diversity.

Looking back at all the titles on the EP, (Fly, Control, Charlie, Lost) it is almost as though they tell the story of somebody who was lost in the wrong crowd, let fly, hit the party scene, did a bit of charlie and then got their life back together and were in control. This is ably supported in each tracks lyrics adding to reasons why I love this EP, its pretty cool stuff.

The other great news is that from this week, Nantes are touring the country as part of Triple Js Triple Treat Tour with Millions and Northeast Party House, so you can have a chance to catch them and their awesome supports live – details are on their facebook page. Having seen them put on a solid show at Sydney’s Big Day Out, I will defs be checking them out again at my favourite venue Oxford Art Factory, see you all there.

1 2 3