Archive of ‘Garage Pop’ category

Slightly Left of Centre – Melbourne Pop Rock

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In a time where peoples ears are being inundated with indie-pop-rock, Melbourne band ‘Slightly Left of Centre’  have, as their name suggests, managed to distinguish their sound from the rest of the pack.

In fact their debut single ‘Glorious Way’, which was released in August of 2010, has been one of the most played songs on my iPod in the last week or so since re-discovering it. I love the layering of the track. You get sucked in by the emotional piano work, then the driving beats kick in to get you running and before you know it your in the middle of a cracking track with a short but sweet guitar solo, waning bass and some thunderous work on the drum kit. The vocals delivered by Christian Murphy are smooth, deep and loud enough that in the glorious commotion of the instruments aren’t overshadowed. Overall the track mixes all its aspects so well I currently can’t get enough of it.

So the big news is that after a year in the making, SLOC are releasing their first album ironically called ‘The Right Direction’. It is due out later this year and given that they have had a year to work on the album and the musical prowess shown in ‘Glorious Way’ I am pretty sure that SLOC will deliver.

The Fabergettes

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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.

Nantes – Indie Rock New Comers

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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.

Twerps LP – Jessica Alba Likes Them

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If any of you have been on twitter and subscribe to Jessica Alba (@jessicaalba), then you would have seen this tweet below, promoting Melbourne garage pop group Twerps and their song ‘Dreaming’.

God knows how Jessica Alba came across them, especially considering that she lives in the US and that The Twerps have only just released their first self titled LP which ‘Dreaming’ is off, in October of last year. Nonetheless, I don’t blame Jessica Alba for listening to them, as the song does deliver a pretty solid listen.

The track combines melancholy vocals, reverb-laced guitar riffs and steady drumming to make a very chilled sound that could almost be right out of the 70s. The chorus also has what sounds like a flute playing a sweet little melody just to top off the relaxed feel, and to be honest makes the choice of ‘Dreaming’ as the title, totally appropriate.

The debut LP from last October (which is where I first heard this song) was one of the under-hyped albums of 2011, with several other great 70s-esque tracks in ‘This Guy’ and ‘Bring Me Down’  (and obviously ‘Dreaming’). Whilst each song varies musically, they maintained the relaxed hazy, waning guitars for that chilled sound. This is also reflected lyrically with the songs revolving around getting high, drunk and chilling out. Yet the Twerps do mix it up, and have a 5 minute ‘Jam Song’ which is exactly as it sounds, a raging jam right in the middle of the album, with vocals so loose that they were clearly an after thought.

You can listen to their LP in full above, courtesy of the bands soundcloud profile. If your pushed for time, check out the song that got Jessica Alba interested at the bottom of the page. If I was the Twerps I would get a Twitter account (and follow us @aussieplaylist) and cash in on my publicity and recruit some more fans and followers – especially if one is Jessica Alba.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=pg6KlXnrNsE

The Bloods

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Sydney band ‘The Bloods’, not be confused with the notorious Californian Gang, have been together for about 9 months and have released three demo songs (and a Spiderman theme tune cover) to the public on their soundcloud and unearthed profiles. However the big news is that the threesome plan to release their first single in January 2012.

Describing themselves as “garage pop”, the band combines vocal harmonies, electric guitars and drums to create raw tracks with that are a bit rockier than you would be expecting given their ‘pop’ tag.

The most recent song on their soundcloud profile is “Long Gone”, and it is probably my favourite of the three demos I have heard. The song is about stealing somebodies boyfriend, and whilst the lyrics are simple and effective it its the harmonies that made this song. The combined vocals of  female members ‘MC’ and ‘Sweetie’ harmonise beautifully and when mixed with the drumming and twangy guitars create quite a catchy number, hit the spot for me anyway.

“Best Friend” is a bit harder hitting that the aforementioned “Long Gone”, featuring a much more classic rock sound whilst maintaining the same harmonies with the notable inclusion of back up vocals.

“Like a Diamond” has a bit of a grungy sound to it, and utilises some clever breaks and brief changes in tempo. It is pretty funny song lyrically, referring to gaining weight and love. The harmonies are gone, but their is a bigger bass presence which more than accommodates.

If you want to get a good look at ‘The Bloods’ you can risk your life, form a new gang and take them on in California, or alternatively take the safe option and catch them at Oxford Art Factory on January 2nd supporting the Dum Dum Girls (more info).