Posts Tagged ‘aussie’

Pop Filter – “Big Yellow Van”

The Ocean Party spent quite a bit of time on the turntable here, but after the tragic passing of member Zac Denton, the band has dissolved and reformed under the name Pop Filter. The same breezy bounce is in place here, through Zac’s songwriting is missed among the stars that have cropped up in pre-album singles. “Big Yellow Van” is rife with nostalgia for the road, the past, and another time that’s been lost forever. With bittersweet harmonies, a crackerjack bounce of drums, and chipper keys, the band nails this wistful tune to the wall for all time. There’s quite a bit of heartache in between the bars, but I’m smiling through the tears over here. The Aussie band’s debut record Banksia is out August 21st through Spain’s Bobo Integral.





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

RVG

The debut from Aussies RVG (Romy Vager Group) came a bit out of the blue, at least around here. The album was short, precise, and poised, but its polish was offset by its equal attention to emotionally bare and ravaged lyrics delivered by Vager as impassioned pleas for understanding. As the band gained traction and eventually the backing of UK indie Fire Records, they’ve proven that a larger scale doesn’t diminish the impact of their delivery in the least. Feral slides onto the speakers like an instant classic – boiling the bones of the Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs, Patti Smith, Siouxsie, and The Go-Betweens into a haze of jangle, crushed velvet harmonies, and sneered sincerity. Between the heartbreak that haunts the bulk of these influences, Vager sets her sights on larger picture topics that give the angst a heft that reverberates throughout the album. Mental illness, transphobia, family estrangement, and the gnawing realities of modern living all find their way into Feral, molding it into a staggering work of modern misery and resilience that could easily have haunted the radio a few decades prior.

While baring the soul has become requisite in many genres lately, the band’s combination of 80’s jangle and a lived-in grandiosity is unmatched in rock of late. Bands can preen and pretend, but they can’t command a chorus the way Romy can. The magnetism of the band’s figurehead is unshakable. She’s a force, a fire that fuels the band. Her hurt marks the soul of the listener, leaving an impression that doesn’t fade soon after the last notes fade away on the air. Anguish, rage, depression, repulsion, resilience, redemption — they all play a part in the tapestry of Feral — and each new listen opens the laceration wider, but lets it heal harder the next day. For whatever knocks you down, RVG is there to lift you back up and put the pieces in order, or at the very least let you know that they’ve been rendered asunder and are still around to show the scars. This is a vital album for 2020, or any year for that matter.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

The Stroppies – “Burning Bright”

This is another Aussie export that’s just not getting the love it should over here. The STroppies hooked up with UK label Tough Love last year for their debut, Whoosh and it was a subtle suite of jangle-pop buttered with a bit of synth that kept pace with the best releases of the year. The band’s hitting back this year with a mini-LP of sorts that’s only eight tracks, but still packs that same soft slap that made the album a necessary pickup. “Burning Bright’ turns down the heat of their jangle and replaces it with a rambling guitar line and some rolling ripples of piano for a song that helps relieve the ache inside. The song’s about a couple trying to find common ground and realizing that they’re just not going to align, but the split seems to happen amicably. Though there isn’t a clash of sparks, the melancholy sighs still sting a bit. Look Alive is out June 5th.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

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.



.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

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.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

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.





Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Program

These days the most potent indie emanating from Australia is coming from the ranks of Anti-Fade, no question about it. The label continues their winning streak in 2019 with the debut from Melbourne four-piece Program. The band’s sound is rooted in the tangled punk ends of Pavement, the twang-tipped offerings of Toy Love and even a touch of Go-Betweens’ pop romanticism, but the band stews it all together without letting one flavor favor the top end. There’s even a beefed up whiff of what The Verlaines were aching about, though to be fair Program pair their strums and lyrical pining with a more gnarled and snarled sensibility that gives these songs a rib-sticking quality. They seem so versed in the cross-hairs of Aussie / Kiwi lore that the result is an instantly classic album that feels like its been kicking around the racks for years, just waiting to be plucked from cracked-case obscurity in dollar bin hell and put into regular rotation on the speakers.

The album’s got a breezy effortlessness that doesn’t come off cocky, just surefooted. The players have been knocking around a few other hook-knackered bands in their tenure (mems belong to The Stroppies, The Blinds, Meter Men, DARTS, The Faculty) and their collective consciousness channels the best qualities of their tangential projects into a potent sonic slap. They shuttle between wounded janglers and cock-eyed Aussie self-deprecation with ease and slip on into something harder, licking at the boots of power-pop without ever quite completing the jump. There’s a ‘90s nuance to what they’re doing, but it doesn’t come off as overtly backward tumbling or nostalgic, just reverent about sorting through their influences and making ‘em stick. There aren’t too many stateside that are finding this same uncanny valley and making it their own, though Omni, Uranium Club, and The Hecks come to mind, and Program can hang right next to any one of those bands. I’ve said it before, can’t lose with an Anti-Fade record, so don’t fight it. Get it on the table as soon as you can.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Thigh Master

Aussies Thigh Master tackle their sophomore LP, jumping to US garage enclave Goner for a wider release this time around. Pushing the palette far beyond their debut, the band digs into the jangled jewels in the catalogs of The Bats and The Clean for inspiration, without making it sound like they’re too stuck on the past. Shot through with the requisite amount of shaggy confidence, affable hangdog humor and self-deprecation that makes up a good portion of their homeland contempos, Now For Example tumbles and squelches its way into your heart. The songs ramble, loose and lean, like a good conversation rather than a pitched and prim vision of pop.

The band picks apart the barbs that stuck from the early Flying Nun days, letting their guitars snag and tangle through hooks that just barely hold together, but always manage to hit their mark, nonetheless. They’ve got charms, as the inclination to name yer band after a Suzanne Sommers TV-marketed weight loss squeezer might imply, and those charms go far to endear Now For Example in a field crowded with Aussies hitting similar marks. The band’s harmonies warble, but sound sincere, with an urgency that turns to smiles every time. It’s a damn fine record that should do the Brisbane set proud. Gonna want to get this one on the table and get the windows thrown wide. The neighbors need to hear this.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Possible Humans’ Steve Hewitt on bZARK – The Welcome Storm

If you’ve spent any time haunting the halls of RSTB you’d probably notice that I have a soft spot for Australian indie. While most of their countrymates have been mining the offbeat jangles of The Clean or the scratched punk proddings of Toy Love, Possible Humans have taken a scrape through some American alternative highlights – Dinosaur Jr., Volcano Suns, R.E.M. – and come out with a sound that’s payed homage to the era without becoming a complete love letter. Their debut was issued in a scant run of 200 on the great Hobbies Galore and now gets its own US / worldwide issue on Trouble in Mind. Steve Hewitt from the band sent over a pick for the Gems series and it shines some light on an Aussie nugget from his youth.

Continue Reading
0 Comments