Posts Tagged ‘Anti-Fade’

Hierophants – “Limousine”

Very excited to say that Aussie pop-manglers Hierophants are back on the scene this week. The band, which features members of ORB, Frowning Clouds, Ausmuteants, Parsinp, and School Damage among others returns with their first album in five years and the first track’s a perfect extension of their warble-pop legacy. Among the ranks of the Geelong punk panel Hierophants have always stuck out for their adherence to a slower, slimier, hot-house vision of post-punk. There are no brittle edges in Hierophants world, but the floor gives way without notice and everything seems to be covered in a pungent gel of pop weirdness. “Limousine” is a slow-motion shuffler with an ode to dubious wealth. There’s a feeling of artifice that crumbles under the band’s used-car slink. The track feels as if its constantly slipping away like new money hustlers trying to impress with style over substance, and ultimately lacking either. Gonna want to keep an eye on this one when it comes out May 24th.



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Gonzo

Geelong sweat merchants Gonzo offer up a sophomore LP, for Aussie garden of delights Anti-fade and its a twitchy whollop of an album that hits all the sweet spots like a sack of oranges to the face. The record jumps straight back into the battery-acid bash that surged through the synapses of their debut, only more refined and running a newer razor down the face with twisted blasts of guitar. Like US contempo’s in Uranium Club and Lithics or UK chord chewers Sauna Youth, they have a penchant for mixing mangled metal licks with a socially sour attitude that walks through the streets swinging the mic from the neck, begging to be beat, berated, or bested. The record is more than no-frills. It might actually accrue negative frills and owe a debt of audio drapings to the listener by the time the last bars click to a close.

Gonzo doesn’t seem fussed about it in the least, though. The band is comfortable at home scraping the sores for inspiration and they channel every inch of their chafed n’ chapped aesthetic into Do It Better. I for one have welcomed the caustic crush of the new wave of nihilistic rock action figures and Gonzo are a collector’s bunch (grab the four pack to trade with friends). The band spends the bulk of DIB‘s run licking the 9V for just a twinge of feeling. The record fizzes and flails just the right ways. It spends a good five minutes slamming its head into the cinder block basement to get enough blood to slide down the strings. Gonzo will chew wire for you. Gonzo will drive you to the airport, Gonzo will sit your kids and sell them back at market value. Gonzo will notarize your post-it notes. They’re living the mundane and spitting it back into grey lumps so you don’t have to. Its about time you locked in and appreciated it.




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Ausmuteants – “Forever Cops”

New Ausmuteants on the scene this week and it’s a doozy, as could only be imagined by the band. Taking off from the dyspeptic seeds they sowed on the track “We’re Cops” from 2014’s Order of Operations, the band swings back with a full album written from the perspective of an authority crazed walker of the beat. The band cites a loss of faith in law enforcement worldwide as the impetus for the album and they paint a vivid picture of overreach on “Forever Cops.” Its no less dystopian than they’ve ever been, just maybe a bit more prescient. The song is soaked in drunk-sick keys, rabid guitars and fever panicked vocals with a finger on the trigger. Take a listen below and look for the full rager on April 26th.



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Gonzo – “Never Say Never Again”

Geelong garage-punks Gonzo are back already with a new single and matching vid off their upcoming Anti-Fade. The track’s another ripper – octane oozin’ punk that’s sinewy and sweaty, oddly buttoned up, yet tearing apart at the seams. The boys pair the panther pounce of the song’s nimble grooves with a strangely silly vid that shows the band wandering the streets dressed as plants. Who cares if it brings something new to the table, the clip is offbeat and the song’s flexin’ for a fight. The LP lands at the end of the month on Anti-Fade (who are having a great year already). Pick it up!



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The Snakes

While there’s definitely a shagginess that’s pervasive to the new wave of the Aussie underground, there has also long been drippings of post-punk smudging the sidewalks of OZ. Melbourne’s Snakes don’t quite embrace the bleak bludgeon of, say, NUN, Naked on The Vague, or Slug Guts, but they’re definitely hanging just around the other side of the dumpster from their more nihilistic takes. The band embraces a kind of chaotic sleaze that comes crawling through the speakers on their debut for Anti-Fade. Their ethos isn’t built on precision and puncture-perfect geometry like so many of their ‘70s forbears. Perfection isn’t The Snakes’ style. The Snakes are here to brood, break strings, chew noise and spit sand in the faces of the punks, goths, and the pop-preeners alike.

On their eponymous debut the band is channeling the chaotic careen of ‘70s new York – flailing against the walls in cheap ripped cotton like Richard Hell, but adding in some sour-stomach organ riffs as if they’d recruited Frank Rodriquez right out of The Mysterians, then traveled West and packed him down into Mabuhay Gardens to back members of The Germs and Pink Section. Before they can congeal in that mold, the band slides back East to pick up sneered seances from PiL, and Wire’s dalliances with pop and noise. The record is short and sharp, on the edge of genres, and never fully aligning itself with a sound for too long. It whips by so quickly that you could crane the neck trying to take it in, but the minute it clicks to a close the damage it divvies is sizeable. A lot about the record feels dashed off, but punk and its lineage into starker strains never promised a plan, only a reaction. That’s just what slithers out of the speakers with Snakes on the deck.






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Gonzo – “Put The Money”

Geelong punk foursome Gonzo are back with a sophomore LP on the crazily consistent Anti-Fade. The first cut, the poker parable “Put The Money” snaps and squirms with the vigor of their countrymen in Eddy Current Suppression Ring. The cut is bone-dry and brittle, rolling barbed taunts over a bedrock of rubble riffs that round up the post-punk verve of the best ’70s scene-stealers. This one’s not long on lyrics, but what the band lacks in linquistics they more than make up for in jerk-jilted rhythms and biting guitar tone. The new LP is out on March 29th.



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Bananagun – “Do Yeah”

Aussie psych-funk jam unit Bananagun issue their debut single for Anti-Fade and its a tumultuous riff on Bollywood beats and ’60s South Asian funk. “Do Yeah” is a simmering slice of pop that’s pulled like paisley taffy through the the decades, leaving a whiff incense and silk on the breeze. Though its a bit of a strange fit among the punks at Anti-Fade, the song and its pop-art video accompaniment are an amusing romp nonetheless. Sure this feels every bit like a band trying on hats, but they’re doing it with enough joy to infect listeners with an urge to dance. Check the band’s dose of freakout fuzz above.



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The Snakes – “Snakes Bday”

Melbourne’s Snakes draw from the ripped and ragged soul of old New York, rather than snagging the punk vein of their own hometown heroes. With the knocked askew sensibilities of The Voidoids, Heartbreakers, Electric Eels and in a decidedly non-NY grab, The Pop Group – the band’s debut for Anti-Fade has a split-lip edge that feels familiar but still dangerous. The band’s hardly been humming for six months, but there’s an urgency in “Snakes Bday” that feels like waiting longer would waste momentum. Sawed and sewn back up, the track jerks like its got a methadone drone in its soul and a freak furnace pushing it past the point of good taste. Doesn’t hurt that the band’s also got just a touch of the ol’ Jonathan Richman sneer in its delivery. For a first taste, this one has me coming back for more right away.



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Parsnip – “Feeling Small” b/w “Winter”

I was definitely a fan of Parsnip’s last 7” and they popped up with a sunny jangler on Anti-Fade’s last label showcase comp that spent some time on the speakers around here. Their latest short format ripper adds another couple of fun tracks to their blossoming catalog. The a-side is pleasantly prim – full of barroom piano and Small Faces-level revelry for gang vocals and peanut gallery chatter. The flip adds a nice edge, with a punk-picked guitar and heavier hitting chorus. “Winter” might well be one of the best things they’ve done yet – hung with organ swells and confident harmonies. Parsnip have been a ‘blink-and-you-miss-it’ addition to the Aussie indie scene, but with each new piece of the puzzle they get harder to cast aside. Here’s hoping that there’s an album in the works sometime in 2019, but for now I’m going to go back to putting “Winter” on repeat.






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Civic

Not long after their last crackling EP, Civic returns with a follow-up that hits even harder. Where their debut boiled down porto-punk into its grit and grease components, there’s a cleanliness and clarity to Those Who No. The three originals here are scooped out of the ‘80s alt-pummel that birthed Hüsker Dü and The Wipers, but also indebted to an earlier strain of hard workin’ but melodic rock from the ‘70s. Both issuing labels (Anti-Fade and Famous Class) are billing it as power pop, but that’s just a touch off. There’s far more sneer here than any power pop band worth their salt ever inflicted. The closest they get to that camp might be “Heat,” but even on that one there’s a touch of pub sweat and punk brashness that makes Civic hard to get a beat on.

Once they throw in an Eno cover, there’s some sense that they’re toying with the slight wrap of glam they’re invoking here, but they take a savvy approach in which they nether sound like glam revivalists or power pop acolytes. With two such short and admittedly disparate releases under their belts I’m putting the jury still out on what to expect from Civic. Are they equally undecided, trying on hats or just having a laugh at it all? I’d love to see a full album from these guys that pulls that glam swagger permanently into this ‘80s pummel they’re working. I want to see where they’d go with a full length’s scope and some cohesive planning. However this and its predecessor are well worth the time and pick up.



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