Posts Tagged ‘Aussie Indie’

The Native Cats – “Run With The Roses”

One of my absolute favorites back in action again. The Tasmanian duo strips post-punk down to its barest elements – rumbling bass that jostles the bones with a dogged glee, menacing drums, and sloshing synths pregnant with noise. Still, their most viable weapon remains Singer Chloe Alison Escott, who aims her vocal dress-downs with the pointed conviction and unnerving intensity of Mark E. Smith at his most chilling. “Run With The Roses” thrums with energy to the point of parching the body. It’s full of frustration and disappointment, and a demand for the world around it to do better. There’s a self-consciousness to the track and the overwhelming feeling leeches through the speakers and into the listener’s nerves. “I felt my body happening to people on the street. I had a hero for a couple of weeks,” she sings with the scowl of a fed up parent. The song is as barbed and baited as anything on their LP from last year, only begging for more from them as soon as possible. The single is out February 10th from Rough Skies.




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Alien Nosejob

Constantly in motion, Jake Robertson has kicked out records with Ausmuteants and School Damage over the last couple of years and is back spinning the genre dials of Alien Nosejob. His solo banner leaves room to explore and, in the past, Alien Nosejob has found footing among disco, electronic rumble and punk. This time the tides turn more to New Wave, with those punk impulses fading into a keyboard quease that’s got love for The Units and Devo, but also knows that the Mongoloid years were weirdcore at their best. Shades of The Clean crop up to give the record more of a close-to-home feel and Robertson manages to stuff all the influences into the grooves with a nice balance.

Alien Nosejob has seemed like its chafed to fit into its last couple of iterations, so its nice to see Jake finding a real comfort zone on this record without letting us feel comfortable. The record relishes the squirm that infected much of the best early New Wave and synth-punk. That feeling of getting saddled with this skin and figuring out how to mold it into a shape that fits comes through each and every note. Night sweat sucrose courses through the veins of the record, keeping it peeled and panicked even when it seems at its most accessible. This is a rock record for the insomniac armada, the ones kept awake by the EMF energies of a throbbing technological hangover. It can’t sit still so why should you? Cheers to Alien Nosejob for keeping the Aussie Underground from getting complacent. Suddenly Everything is Twice As Loud is a gulp of glue for a year that won’t let us ease in slowly. Drink deep.



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Clamm – “Keystone Pols”

A new one to knock you off your moorings from Aussie threesome Clamm. The band hits the same volume-fried, hardcore chewed rock action that fellow South Hemi alums Civic and Bench Press seem to be socking at and it sweats as hard as any of their compatriots. Featuring members of Gamjee and Dragoons, the trio engages in a breathless punk pummel that uses its brutality to lift up an anti-violence, anti-consumerism screed that nails the leadership to the door in less than three-minutes of whiplash hit on “Keystone Pols.” Like the bulk of their album, the song feels driven, sealed tight, and set to crush with each new spin ‘round the turntable.

Jack from the band gives a little insight into the push behind the track, “Keystone Pols was a song written from the perspective of a government,” he notes. “It speaks of this ominous and aggressive body that seems to see all but will be quick to forget certain groups of society (or never recognize them at all really). I remember watching these old silent comedy films called the Keystone Kops that show these incompetent policeman running around the place. When we were writing the song I just started shouting Keystone Pols because I thought it was funny that behind this ominous body referenced in the song are just some incompetent politicians.”The band’s new LP Beseech Me is out January 24th. Take a few runs through the track and tell me that doesn’t grab ya.



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Cable Ties – “Sandcastles”

Super happy to have this track in the box today. Cable Ties have long been simmering in the Aussie underground and have positioned themselves as one of the most ferocious bands in the country. I’m pretty sure that RSTB yelled out every single that came through the channels in the last couple of years hoping that everyone would share in the joy, pain, indignation, and invigoration that the band embodied. Seems like someone else was listening.

The band are expanding their reach with a new record, Far Enough, released as a split between their old home at Poison City and Merge here in the States. The first single “Sandcastles” takes on the gatekeepers of activism who are more concerned with language and codes of behavior than inclusion and change. The song, like so many of their others, simmers with a barely contained bile. When singer Jenny McKechnie turns her sonic sweep on a target, there’s no mercy, no restraint. The band are heirs apparent to X-Ray Spex and Au Pairs, a guiding force for a new generation. Damn glad they’re out there steering the rudder of change. Far Enough lands March 23rd on Merge.



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Floodlights – “Nullarbor”

This cut landed a bit earlier last year, but its being revived for a wider audience as the band settles into their new home at Spunk Records. Their EP, Backyard, which helps to highlight the plight of the indigenous population of Australia, is being given a re-release and a new LP issue. The Aussie outfit captures a weathered, worn-in vision of rock that’s shifted from a few of their hometown janglers. There’s less of a scrappiness to Floodlights’ sound, but even with the whiff of twang and bar-toughened riffs, singer Louis Parsons’ battered, but hopeful quiver gives the song an openness that draws the listener in. “Nullarbor” doesn’t loose the drawl that comes naturally to the singer, but its not pretending to be anything other than Australian, kissed with the soil of the continent and stuck through with a labored sigh from travel and time. The EP gets a new life in February.



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Dom & The Wizards – “The Book of Timothy”

I’m always a bit excited when new music comes through from Wireheads’ Dom Trimboli. This time he’s back with his outfit Dom & The Wizards, who up until now have only had a two-track single to their name. News that a full length from Tenth Court is on the way in January is excellently received news around these parts. As with past Wizards cuts, “The Book of Timothy” is a bit less shambolic than Wireheads, but its still go Dom’s gnarled pop pedigree all over it. The track gnashes guitars in slow motion, laces the set with organ ooze and slides out of the door with a disjointed pop pounce. No word yet on the exact date that the album lands but keep an eye to the Bandcamp rolls for The Ongoing Adventures of Dom & The Wizards next month and sink into this one in the meantime.

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Eddy Current Suppression Ring

Couldn’t have been more surprised to see this one pop up on the radar for 2019. After a lengthy hiatus that saw rise to tributaries like Total Control, the aughts’ most potent punks are back and bashing with a new long player this year. The record would probably daunt lesser souls – a pristine reputation left dangling for a decade is dusted off and the band feel like they’ve made the logical next step in their sound. Still walking the line between the bar fight bruisers of pub rock that crept out of the gutter in the ‘70s to become punk’s nascent form, the band also finds a way to skip over the meat of those very same punk years and add in the wiry wreckage of post-punk fallout to the mix. They’re the alpha and the omega hurtling through the speakers in riot-wracked glory.

Ten-odd years behind the mixing desk and twisting the knobs on a synth set hasn’t dulled Mikey Young’s guitar attack one bit. He’s still bashing out angles that others would overlook – slinging hooks like a tried and true record collector who’s absorbed an era’s worth of wreckage by osmosis. Then there’s the gloved-menace himself, Brendan Huntly, who brings the nasal hammer once again, a punk-poet who doesn’t go for the pretense. He’s Richard Hell if Hell spent less time artfully arranging holes on his shirt and just got straight to the jitters. They update the invective for a new round of political punishment by the worldwide punters of 2019 but through the faces change the burn remains the same. This is a band that pretty much touched off what’s been ripping through the Aussie underground in the interim since they left and its good to see them kick the kids off the throne and casually tip the crown on their heads. A late slip into the 2019 fold, but this one should be on your year’s best for sure.




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Dragnet – “Man About Town”

Another hard-hitting punk nug from Australia, this time pulling together forces from several RSTB faves. Dragnet’s debut cassette dips into the boiled and buckled pool of fried-nerve punks rounding out time in Jarrow, Vintage Crop, The Floaties & House Deposit. Vintage Crop’s Jack Cherry lends his nasal pipes to the mix, throwing the songs in his bent tin turbine until they come out almost as freaked-out and fraught as the last couple of drops from the Crop themselves. “Man About Town” blows out the door with a sweaty signature before dropping down into a wrecked and unspooling midsection. The band plays at skirting the rails perfectly, always seeming like they’ll just tumble if they stop, so they go faster with a wildly confident gleam in their eyes that says they’re more than serious about skidding through the stops and letting luck keep ‘em from getting crushed by oncoming traffic. The tape’s gonna be a hard one to come by (50 copies) so swipe them quick or pick up that digital if you’re overseas. Anything coming out of the collective camp of these folks is damn well worth putting down the dollars.




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DENNIS – “Stiffs Parade”

A bare-bones punk scorcher from Melbourne punks DENNIS marks the second single off their upcoming Homeless LP, The Enthusiast. The band picks up first wave nods to The Saints, Germs, and raw and ragged tales of The Stooges, though perhaps the most modern connection seems to be from Timmy Vulgar’s camp. There’s more than a bit of his acid gargle in the vocals here. There’s a snottiness to the record that’s surely on par with The Dead Boys, though the approach is much harsher — DENNIS boasts less swagger than even those degenerates and proudly so. The band contains members of Bits of Shit and Chugga and The Fuckheads, both slime-sodden Aussie rounders that feed into the sound at play on “Stiffs Parade.” The record was laid to tape by punk impresario Billy Gardner, head of Anti-Fade and captain of the Living Eyes ship and mastered by none other than Mikey Young (who else?). The video places the band in the clean and healthy confines of a gym, but the contradiction remains evident. This is a scum dredged vision of punk, just as it should be, soaked and sodden and wrung dry over the tape machine until all the bile was documented and decoded.



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Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – “Back In The Corner”

Very nice to see Aussies Scott & Charlene’s Wedding back on the release schedule this year. After a three year break the band is back with a new EP, When in Rome, Carpe Diem and the first cut has them hip-swinging and pouting through their very best Velvets take. “Back in the Corner” is loose and strummin’, bringing out that Lou flair and swagger that they’ve hinted at prior and leaning into it wholesale this time around. Making songs feel like an effortless pop gem is what the band does best, but there’s some thing more malleable about their sound this time around. They’d always had a mussed hair quality to their songs, but this one feels like its got the coif greased and the leathers on. It’s a bit sinewier than their last couple of records. A real stunner that begs for the listener hear more of this EP. The record lands November 29th (so you don’t have to wait long) on Bedroom Suck.





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