March 2012 archive

Courtney Barnett – Tell It As It Is

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett is both a person and a band, and will be releasing their debut EP ” on April 2nd which is sure to feature some pretty relaxed guitars and very amusing lyrics.

Courtney Barnett has received a bit of airplay on Triple J for her tracks ‘Lance Jr’ and ‘Scotty Says’ and which both feature this really laid back and chilled sound. It really is something different and I have to say I like it.

‘Lance Jr’ is my favourite of the two tracks on her unearthed profile and opens up with the instantly attention grabbing lyric “I masturbated to the songs you wrote”. I said it was attention grabbing! The song then continuous its colourful tell it as it is story, but does so with an amazing mix of low-fi instrumentation. The guitars wane, the drums are steady, and the vocals by Courtney Barnett are so casually sung but yet so enjoyable and effective. It is a really unusual but enjoyable track, so check it out.

Listening to these two songs does have me looking forward to getting my hands on what is definitely going to be an interesting little EP.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUa0UT2RPVRBWsY2t9txNPKg&feature=player_detailpage&v=WXL5qXHddV0

Made in Japan – Sight and Sounds Review

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Newtown rockers Made in Japan have already received Triple J airplay and established quite a reputation in the Sydney music scene and last month released their debut LP ‘Sight and Sounds’ which is sure to see their population spread further.

In their own words, Made in Japan describe their sound on the album as “open, atmospheric, pop music with a driving rhythm section, soaring guitars and intimate vocals” and to be honest they are pretty on the money. This is probably best shown in the tracks ‘What It Is’ and ‘Pairs’.

‘What It Is’ had me at the opening riff, let alone before the keyboards kicked in. The harmonies in this track sound awesome and add something different to help this song really stand out from the rest of the album. The tempo and arrangement of the instruments is well done, and really allows you to get your groove on and have a shuffle. Its a totally dance-able, fun, super catchy indie rock track.

The amazing thing that Made in Japan manage to do in ‘Pairs’ is to add such an element of chilled-ness (It is a word) to a track that has some epic guitars and pretty pacey drumming. The dynamics of the song are incredible, the mixture of breaks and changes in tempo between the drums and guitars create a killer of a track and one that you can listen to over and over. And yes, the vocals are as crisp as ever, just to put the cherry on top.

The rest of the album is pretty solid, and finishes off with a great marathon track called ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ that has characteristic pulsing beats, rich guitars and smooth vocals. Its a great track to end with and leaves you more than satisfied.

The guys are also so generous that they are letting you stream their album in full from their website. So check it out,it has made a great addition to my iPod playlists. It is incredible to think that a band this great is not more popular, I really love their sound and their live shows are exceptional. Also if you read this in time, the guys will be playing the Standard for ONLY $5 this weekend so be sure to catch them live, ticket info here.

The Preachers – What We Have Been Praying For!

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Sydney pop-rock five piece The Preachers have released their killer single ‘Take A Card’ which is off their impending second EP due to drop this April.

‘Take A Card’ is characterized by the amazing mix of Gideon Bensen’s deep blusey voice with the smooth vocals of Isabella Manfredi. These two just sound awesome together. The chorus is pretty sick too, the guitars, bass and keys all bounce off every note together, and showcase a great blend of pop rock. To be honest ‘Take a Card’ has a bit of everything, amazing vocals, great instrumentation, and it mixes it up through the track with the bouncy chorus and simple verses. I really like this song, after I first heard it on Triple J I just had to find it and play it again (and again).

The great news is that The Preachers have their EP coming out soon. If the rest of the songs are as enjoyable and well done as ‘Take A Card’ we could be in for a real treat. I am excited. Although April isn’t far, you can download ‘Take a Card’ from The Preachers unearthed profile and get ready for the rest of the EP!

Glass Towers – Featuring Some Glass Shattering Guitar Riffs

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Sydney foursome Glass Towers have already had a bit of success in Australia, having played Splendour in the Grass in 09′ thanks to a great effort in Triple Js Unearthed competition, supported some big names like Tame Impala and Last Dinosaurs and released their debut ‘What We Were, When We Were’ EP at the end of 2011.

In 2012 the band have released an awesome new single called ‘Jumanji’ that contains some damn right electrifying guitar hooks. It also has a pretty sick base line and some great hi-hat work by drummer Daniel Muszynski, whilst the vocals by Benjamin Hannam are relaxed and hazy.  ‘Jumanji’ is such an up tempo and fun listen, and I just can’t get enough of it – especially the guitars.

In fact ‘Jumanji’ reminds me (and others) a lot of the Last Dinosaurs track ‘Honolulu’ which has led to some criticism for a lack of originality. Given the bands have toured together its likely that they may have been influenced slightly, but regardless of the similarities ‘Jumanji’ is still a great listen in its own right. Other than the similarities in the opening riff, the songs are structured quite differently and you only have to listen to  the ‘What We Were, When We Were’ EP to see that both bands have different sounds.

With a debut record due out later this year, expect to see much more of Glass Towers and their infectious guitar riffs.

Set Sail – Globetrotters and Music Players

Set Sail have had a pretty amazing journey in the world of music this far, being arrested for a guerilla gig in Madrid, getting a music placement with clothing giants Abercrombie and Fitch, and managing to accumulate 20,000 facebook friends in the process but have yet to gain much airplay in Australia.

This indie pop band from Sydney have really pioneered a new way for indie artists to be uncovered, and are producing some pretty sweet tunes to back it up. Currently in the process of recording  a full length debut, the boys have already produced some kicking tunes on the debut self-title EP from 2010, and their 2011 release ‘The Riley Moore EP’, to have me excited for their full length release.

‘The Riley Moore EP’ is a really great listen, and I especially like the tracks ‘Home’ and ‘The Boat Song’. ‘Home’ is pretty unique in that it is one of the few rock tracks I can recall that  has violin playing the intro and Set Sail nail it, it’s pretty awesome. The drums kick in to keep the song pacing along, with the vocals crisp and husky vocals being more than easy on the ear. The climax to the song is great, the vocals are waning, the drums are pumping, along with the help of what sounds like a cow bell. Then just as the track reaches its peak, the violin returns and gives us a sweet end to a really great song.

‘The Boat Song’ has a much more pronounced use of guitars and back-up oooh-oohs vocals. It also has a great step-laddering tune which sounds like a xylophone in each chorus which really adds something different. The drums are upbeat as always in what is a short, fast, fun track that you can happily bop along to.

The other two tracks on the EP ‘Whales’ and ‘The Warm up’ are also pretty cool, mixing some different drum patterns and guitar riffs with the violin to maintain that high tempo indie pop feel.  Another cool thing about Set Sail is that you can actually download ‘The Riley Moore EP’ for $1, a very generous pricetag. I consider it one of the best dollars I ever spent.

Overall Set Sail have made a clear statement in the music world; firstly dropping out of uni can work wonders and secondly if you work hard and get heard, success will come. The guys are also playing Bondi’s 34 Degrees South on the 25th March, so try and check them out, they won’t disappoint.

Dune Rats – Yet Another Cool Indie Rock Band from Brisbane

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Lately Brisbane seems to be the hub of the Australian indie rock scene as they have been pumping out cool bands and sick tunes, of which the Dune Rats are yet another.

The Dune Rats released two EPs last year, their debut ‘Sexy Beach’ in February and ‘Social Atoms’ in September, making 2011 a pretty successful year for the twosome.

Their song ‘Pogo’ off ‘Social Atoms’, has been played on Triple J lately, and is an absolute cracker of an indie surf-rock tune, and what really got my attention towards the band. It has the uptempo driving beats, reverb soaked guitars, and some pretty chilled singing on the vocals. The song reminds me of a cross between UK band The Wombats, with the back up woo-hoo refrains, and the retro sound of early Weezer. Its just a super catchy track, that like all good music leaves you bopping along.

Make sure you check out their EPs, in particular ‘Social Atoms’ which showcases a number of sounds. There is a bit of grunge in ‘On Our Own’, the retro rock in ‘Pogo’ and ‘Social Atoms’ before finishing off with ‘F(r)iends which has some cool refrains and backups.

Overall Dune Rats are quite a cool little band, and I am looking forward for the chance to catch them live, and hear their retro sound first hand.

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