March 2014 archive

Velociraptor – Ramona

VelociraptorThe Brisbane garage pop-rockers are back with another choice tune called ‘Ramona’.

Continuing their trend of single with girls names, ‘Ramona’ is a welcome return to the airwaves for Velociraptor. Armed with a plentiful supply of back up harmonies, abundant reverb and that care-free poppy vibe that has almost become a staple in Velociraptor numbers, ‘Ramona’ is a more than welcoming track on the ears. Although lacking the punch of previous tunes such as ‘Cynthia’ or even some of Jeremy Neale’s singles, the chilled vibes of ‘Ramona’ is certainly to my liking, and left me keen for more Raptors releases.

Gig Review – Jungle Giants, Millions, and Shortstraw @ Metro Theatre

Jungle Giants

The opening night of The Jungle Giants Tuss Tour was certaintly one that I am not going to forget in a while. This is in part because of a sweet line-up of music, and part because it made me question whether mid-twenties males are allowed to like indie pop. (After careful consideration, and the way I bopped along during the night, I decided it was ok).

We got there just after Shortstraw finished, and based off the yells and screams of the crowd, they must have done a pretty good job. However, its always hard to tell at underage gigs, because they squeal excitement at anything. Even when Dom from Millions suggested they buy their shirts.

Which brings me onto Millions. A band I have followed since they first popped their singles up on Triple J Unearthed, it was great to see the guys decked out in matching white outfits ready to wow the crowd. A little clockwork orange in their appearance, they delivered a solid set with a host of favourites ‘Slow Burner’, ‘Those Girls’, and closed out with their most popular tune, the thumping ‘Nineteen’. They also played a host of new songs, and announced they have new music coming out soon, which based of the newly trialed numbers is pretty exciting. In fact my only criticism is that they dropped ‘Guru’ out of the setlist. Yeah, pretty devo about that one.

When the Jungle Giants came out, you would have sworn you were at a One Direction concert based on the number of teenage screams that erupted from the crowd. I felt very over aged, and insecure at how deep my voice was. Nonetheless, the Jungle Giants came out guns blazing and played a set that ensured all those fans would be back again. Although the significance of the lyrics may have be lost on most of the crowd, ‘Domesticated Man’ went off, along with ageless debut ‘Mr Polite’, and modern classics ‘Skin to Bone’, and ‘She’s A Riot’. It was a fast paced energetic set, that had everyone dancing, including us older folk who were cutting a much more conservative groove. Oh, and the notable shout out for Sam who crowd surfed on teenagers pumped full of red cordial and fizzy drinks.

With the Tuss tour in full swing, Groovin’ The Moo, Live It Up and Triple J One Night Stand to come, there are plenty of opportunities to catch The Jungle Giants. Despite my above cynicism they are one sweet live act you don’t want to miss out on.

Ball Park Music – Puddinghead Album Review

PromoImagePuddinghead is the third album released by Brisbane five-piece Ball Park Music, and by far their most sonically exciting to date.

Puddinghead, a Shakespearing term essentially meaning to “fuck up the un-fuckable”, is a somewhat ironic title for an addictive album that pushes the boundaries BPM have previously established. Their quirkiest album yet, Puddinghead sees BPM embrace a host of unique sounds in order to deliver rapids of infectious, punchy indie pop. This ranges from the computer-ish synths and what is surely an accordion, to the staple soaring hooks and plentiful abundance of catchy high pitched keyboard melodies. This upbeat energy almost makes the intense emotional undercurrents of the lyrics go unnoticed in many tracks, including in lead single ‘She Only Loves Me When I’m There’.

Despite the quirky modern day indieness of it all, there are also some clear nods to 90s, with the Seinfield theme sounding ‘A Good Life Is the Best Revenge’ and the grungy almost Nirvana homage ‘Struggle Street’. Recording in their own studio has also led to an improvement in the quality of sound, with there being no weak points in the tapestry of sound. In this I mean there are no distracting, half notes, or scruffy atmospheric pieces. Everything is sharp and thick, and hits your ears firmly.

Personally, ‘The Next Life Already’ is the song that resonates with me the most on this record. Perhaps because it illustrates the effort, and anxieties that BPM incurred producing the album, or maybe because that message is just so easy to relate to. Nonetheless, BPM have produced an album that is an addiction for the ears, so catchy, so fun and in typical indie fashion so ironic.

MT Warning – Midnight Set Album Review

MtW_Album_PackShotMT Warning have just released their debut album ‘Midnight Set’, cementing themselves as one of the most interesting and unique bands on the Australian music scene.

The chance project of an American film-maker, Taylor Steele, and local singer-songwriter Mikey Bee, the pair aimed to produce music that uses instruments to tell a visual narrative. This unusual combination has produced an album that is starkly different to anything else being released at the moment.

In many ways, MT Warning’s debut ‘Midnight Set’, is a concept album at heart, but I think it achieves the aims the duo set out to accomplish. The album itself is an art piece in that the 11 tracks individually have nowhere near the power or impact, that a listen to the complete record offers. That is not to say the pair cannot write a single, but reflects more on the album being seen as story, or to use an analogy, a book. Thus, listening to a single song, is like reading a chapter out of context, which despite being enjoyable leaves this dirty feeling inside.

I love the soft, brooding folk music, and the naturalistic sounds this pair manage to produce. The lyrical strengths and visual imagery they conjure are second to none, and are sure to appeal to the naturist inside all of us. My only warning is that the album is one that must be listened to as a whole if you are to capture its true meaning and achieve the most enjoyment from it. Nonetheless, MT Warning have dropped what has definitely been one of the most unique and satisfying Australian debut’s of recent times.

Gig Review – Sticky Fingers, and Little Bastard at Metro Theatre

1909291_446992325433656_244178795_oIf you rate the catchy synth riff of Gold Snafu when its spun on the Js, wait till you catch it live. Friday night was my first taste of Sticky Fingers latest single live, and I wish I got to relive what was one of the most fun and intense shows I’ve been to in recent times.

When the crowd is calling out for a band well before they go on stage, you know you’re in for something special, and luckily Sticky Fingers didn’t disappoint. They were ably supported by the hipster come country sounds of Little Bastard, who managed to not only fit all 7 members on stage, but also to unleash some hip, jiving, barn stomping good tunes – complete with violin and harmonica.

The Stickies hit the stage to a home crowd who did more than adore them, clearly, considering they sold out two shows at Metro. It was an irresistibly raucous set, filled with the arrogance of a punk rock, and the clear delight of a local band whose reggae musings had grown more than they ever expected. With the crowd singing along word to word to every tune, Sticky Fingers, knocked off their entire debut album, plus a couple of bonus newbies. Caress Your Soul, opener Freddy Crabs, and Clouds and Cream saw the crowd scream with every note, only outdone by the frenzy when Spit Syndicate MC Nick Lupi hit the stage to spice up the hip hop side of their performance.

The Stickies then unleashed their homely number Australia Street as their encore to close out the set, despite the screaming crowd begging for more, in what was a legitimately earned encore – none of this predictive stage stuff. Unfortunately they never came back out, and my night mellowed off as I tried to exit with the sticky bodies of some more than satisfied customers.

<The super sweet pic was shot by theMusic.com.au, check em out>

The Fixators – Colourblind

The FixatorsHailing from Sydney’s North Shore, The Fixators have dropped their new single ‘Colourblind’, and we like it.

Combining elements of brooding indie with soaring pop guitars, The Fixators have delivered a punchy ‘stuck in your head’ kind of song, that we can’t get enough of. Showing tinges of Foals, and shades of local acts like Made in Japan or a more morose Last Dinosaurs, these guys have added their own indie touch to the well defined (and self proclaimed) ‘stadium sound’. Having just dropped EP number 2, keep your eyes out for these guys on the local circuit.

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