Posts Tagged ‘Anti-Fade’

Smarts

A jittery shot in the arm reaches the masses today with the proper debut from Smarts. The band brings together some ace Aussie talent, with members of Living Eyes, Ausmuteants, Parsnip and School Damage in tow. Smarts captures the kind of fork in the light socket jolt that spread through the Midwest around the tail of the ‘70s, injecting punk with a stable of bands who were heavier on damaged scope than effortless cool. They knit together Devo’s caustic worldview with the jagged edges of underground currents like The Pink Section, Pere Ubu, MX-80, Dow Jones and the Industrials, and Geza X. Though they’d drop down nicely next to current squirm-punk purveyors like Uranium Club. While planty of punks, especially in their vicinity are looking to the smashed glass school of riff wrangle, Smarts wield their fury with a sense of fun.

The band has an admirable ability to not take themselves too seriously, while still drawing quite a bit of blood musically. The pace is breathless and its pretty easy to see how multiple players behind Living Eyes and Ausmuteants are in the mix here. The latter’s sense of chaotic drive comes to mind more than once over the course of the album’s scant playing time, though they don’t drop too heavily in the shadow of their former bands. The blasts of sax from Stella Rennex lace the record with Downtown ‘70s vibes. The chewed foil guitars butt heads with ozone-crusted synths and Billy Gadner’s nasal delivery gives this one a perfectly fried-nerve approach. The best of the ‘70s twitchers weren’t in it because picking up a guitar made you cool, they were tearing apart the rock idol with each ragged riff. Who Needs Smarts, Anyway is born out of that bloodline and it jolts just as hard.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE or HERE.

0 Comments

Smarts – “Real Estate Agent”

Another jolt here from Aussie band Smarts and it’s just as fun as the first. The band’s really nailing the Midwest boredom breakers — echoing an era of punk that was caustic yet careening towards sneered and smeared fun. This time around the band ups the pacing past practical and lets the track wobble in and out of control with only the thick blast of horns keeping this one tied to the tracks. “Real Estate Agent” truly chomps down hard on the Geza X and Black Randy vibes they profess a love for, but there’s a bit more of a party atmosphere to what Smarts are laying down, feeling like they might have hit a raucous house party alongside Pylon down about Athens in the ‘80s before a tour of the American rust belt. The band throws a bit of glitter into the eyes of punk purists, blinding the ornery itchers in the process. They don’t take themselves too seriously and like a few of their Geelong peers the feeling makes the hooks hit twice as hard. This one’s coming down from Anti-Fade and Feel It in tandem and believe me the whole thing is a damn delight.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE or HERE.

0 Comments

Smarts – “Cling Wrap”

A defibrillator to the soul from a new Aussie unit (with some familiar names) out of Geelong. Smarts nail nervy, synth-jolted punk to the wall and the first cut off of their upcoming LP Who Needs Smarts, Anyway? is an absolute bumper car wreck of sprinting guitars, gulping at serotonin and slamming into whatever’s in their way. The band brings Anti-Fade helmer Billy Gardner (Cereal Killer, Ausmuteants) back together with his Living Eyes bandmate Mitch Campleman. They round out the crew with Sally Buckley keeping the synths greasy, Anti-Fade regular Jake Robertson (School Damage, Hierophants), and Stella Rennex (Bananagun, Parsnip) on sax. Like Devo knocked up half a speed and bent through wonky wiring, the band is chomping at the squirm-punk pedigree of the loner class of the ‘70s. They’re picking through the garbage of Suburban Laws and Black Randy & The Metrosquad while finding some purchase with the Midwestern glue brigade from Ubu to Dow Jones and on through the anti-social teardowns of The Uranium Club. Somehow the players in this crew are constantly exhuming Geza X, but I think that’s a more of a pet project than a selling point. If they connect it to enough bands one of you listeners is bound to check that lost classic. The LP is split between Anti-Fade in Aus and Feel It for US, and I’d recommend getting it locked on your speakers soon.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE or HERE.

0 Comments

Vintage Crop

No secret around here that I have a penchant for Aussie punk, and some of the best singles banging out these days come not from Melbourne or Brisbane, but from Geelong via Vintage Crop. The band’s bit hard on the live socket swagger of Wire, The Fall, and other such ‘70s spitters with jagged leads and caustic choruses. The record swings from pit-sweat thrummers to the kind of writhing, coiled killers that have made the band such an endearing presence the last couple of years. Serve To Serve Again was recorded with Mikey Young and there’s certainly a reverence for Young’s own ECSR legacy in the mix. With Young at the boards VC are accentuating the spring-loaded attack and brittle ends that have let punk and post-punk copulate in the current Aussie environment to create a sickened and swinging brand of propulsive punk that won’t be pinned to the floor.

Bass lines bulge at the seams, barely fitting into their niche, guitars scorch, slash, dart, and dodge the microphones and atop the glorious din Jack Cherry lays into the louche life with a sneer that can be felt through the wobble of the speakers. Unfurled late-stage capitalism, wage slave doldrums, and the festering tension of a generation left in the lurch all leak into the lyrics. The band wraps Jack’s invective around their supple songwriting, mulling the bile before letting it loose into the water supply. Vintage Crop have been hammering out squirm-inducing sonics for the past few years, but with Serve To Serve Again I do believe they’re peaking.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Vintage Crop – “The North”

A second bent and bulging single from Aussies Vintage Crop comes with an austere Video in tow. “The North” is built on the same bulbous basslines that pushed the band’s previous cut, but there’s a dash of New Wave keys splashed on top as well that add an infectious itch. That said, this song is driven by the guitar/bass battle for which is gonna gum the most gristle. The tones are thick and satisfying and the band proves that they’ve got post-punk nailed to the door with every note. There’s not a miss on their upcoming album, but this is a prime example of the band at their peak. The record arrives August 7th as a split release between Upset The Rhythm and Anti-Fade.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE or HERE.

0 Comments

Bananagun

Like Goat before them, Bananagun are fusing the past to create a hybrid sound for the future. Inspired by the beats that drove him as an instrumental producer, Nick van Bakel makes the next logical step in reproducing the sounds he was always searching for. The True Story of Bananagun takes the portal back to the ‘60s but lets Cumbia and Trorpicalia bleed into Highlife and psychedelic funk. Polyrhythms flare while the guitars tie knots around fuzz-freaked passages. Vibrant colors are the only palette the band seems to trade in — augmenting tracks with horns alongside the saccharine harmonies of ’60s beat groups and buried garage throwaways. Van Bakel has assembled a mutable squad of players that chop and chew their influences into a stew that’s as catchy as it is colorful.

Playing on the tip-of-the-tongue familiarity, the songs feel like they may have filtered through your life at one time or another – Fela’s bounce, Os Mutantes’ skittered humor, Sergio Mendes’ breeziness, The Funkees heaviness, and the kaleidoscopic appeal of The Deviants and Ultimate Spinach all seem to raise their heads. Time and YouTube have removed much of the compartmentalization of the past, melting together eras and influences into stained glass curios with heroes sharing the picture with unknowns. Seems like Bananagun have a bookshelf full of these mix n’ match tchotchkes and they’re bringing the stories to life through the speakers. This one has an outdoor air to it, and even with a separated summer, this feels like the the best accompaniment to verdant scenery seen from the car window with this one turned up a bit too loud.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Vintage Crop – “Gridlock”

Brand new ripper today from Aussies Vintage Crop. The band’s been issuing records up to this point on Aussie Indies Weather Vane and Anti-Fade, but while they remain on the latter at home, they make a jump internationally to Upset The Rhythm for their latest, Serve To Serve Again. ‘Gridlock’ is indicative of the band’s tightly coiled punk — muscular, slightly paranoid, and pulsing with an energy that’s hard to ignore. The song’s full of frustration, and its grit-teethed delivery is a bit cathartic in weary weather. Jack from VC provides a bit of backstory, including the note that the song was inspired by actual traffic, though the feeling pours over into areas of stagnation in life elsewhere for sure.

“The title for the song came first;” he notes, “stuck in traffic and running late to a gig a few years ago. We laughed at the name and threw it onto a few different songs before it stuck, after Tyson finally penned the lyrics. Thematically, ‘Gridlock’ is frustrated, pushy & stressed, which are emotions that we felt that day when we were stuck in traffic. It’s one of the first songs we finished for Serve to Serve Again and is a perfect example of the band’s songwriting. It’s got everything that we do – unbalanced riff-work, tight drumming & sharp lyrics.” The LP is out August 7th on Upset The Rhythm / Anti-Fade.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Parsnip – “Treacle Toffee World”

Yeah! This new EP from Parsnip is heading towards the top of the list of their releases. Their last album was a killer, but somehow the pop vapors emanating off of these four tracks find them at their peak and begging for more. They already slayed with the opener “Adding Up,” and now they sweeten the deal with a new video for “Treacle Toffee World.” This one’s clipped to an organ wave and fuzz-pedal bubble that make it float. Just one more reason to get this EP in your stack, and they haven’t even gotten to my favorite, the closer, “Repeater.” Though the whole thing’s out today so take a full listen through over at Bandcamp and then do the right thing and get it in your collection.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Bananagun – “People Talk Too Much”

Aussies Bananagun smear the groove-streaked dance sound of West African and Brazilian funk with a dust-caked approach pulled from the camps of turntablism and reissue retrospectives. There’s a finely curated approach to tracks like “People Talk Too Much” feeling like the band have spent more than a few hours in deep-dive YouTube runs that creak into the early hours of the morning, inspiring a new bounty of grooves the next day. The band manages to make their take on the sounds feel lived in, with touches of fuzz, sun-baked choruses, and production that stops just short of 78 crackle. The band’s been littering the speakers with a few singles and now have a proper full length on the way from Anti-Fade and Full Time Hobby. Check the animated video for “People Talk,” a simple, but solid backdrop for the song’s head-nodding simmer and sizzle of horns. Feeling like a Daptone lost single or Soundway bonus cut, this one hits pretty damn hard. The record is out June 26th.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Parsnip – “Adding Up”

Parsnip’s album from last year was an exhilarating breeze of post-punk devoured by indie pop and the band keeps up the pace on a follow-up single this May. With a bouncy strum and their color drenched splashes of organ leading the charge, the band expands on charms of When The Tree Bears Fruit, throwing in their sightly askance harmonies for good measure and letting a breath of spring waft in as the last note trails away. This time the single shares space at their usual hang about Anti-Fade (a true barometer of Aussie pop if there ever was one) and over at Episode Sounds in Japan. The band seems built for the short format so, while in other hands an EP would seem like just a stop-gap, this one’s a necessary pickup for Parsnip fans and indie-pop hoarders alike. The record sidles onto shelves May 15th.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments