Posts Tagged ‘Cable Ties’

Mixtape: This Is Aus

Ok please allow one more year-end indulgence here in the form of a recap mixtape. It should no longer be a surprise that I have a sweet spot for Aussie indie, and as the genre has made up so much of the site’s direction in the last year, I’ve decided to round up some of my favorites into a massive mixtape that should keep you busy for a few hours and serve as a primer to those looking to break the seal on their Aussie pop habit. Plenty of usual suspects arise in the label department here with representation from RSTB favorites Bedroom Suck, Anti-Fade, Lost and Lonesome, Poison City, Hobbies Galore, Milk! Records, Flightless, and Tenth Court alongside internationally friendly harbors like Trouble in Mind, Upset The Rhythm, Share It, Kanine, and Emotional Response. There were plenty of offerings to love this year from the South Hemi, so get cracking on that listen. Click below for tracklist and stream.

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Cable Ties – “Tell Them Where To Go”

OK I told myself I wasn’t going to gush about Cable Ties again but, c’mon, the band are back with a great new single inspired by their work with the Girls Rock Camp. The single is a goosebumps-inducing rocker that shoves the boys’ club in the corner and encourages girls to pick up and play with no mind to the detractors or nagging self-doubt. As usual the cornerstone of the track is Jenny McKechnie’s vocals, a weapon any band would be lucky to have at their disposal. Pretty much anything she’s singing about becomes a rallying cry, but in this case the subject matter and the system of delivery match in their buoyant blast. The track itself is amped up on chewed wire, spitting voltage in thick slabs through speakers and headphones alike. Much more than a stopgap single, this is exactly the kind of track that drew me to the band in the first place. It was available as an exclusive 7” at the band’s recent Cable Ties Ball, but should also show up in full form on Poison City as a digital single.




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RSTB Best of 2017

So this year is drawing to a close, or almost, we’re still a few weeks away from pushing the broken pieces of 2017 into the trash. There’s no real solace from a lot of the events that took place this year, but, independent of any current events, music has been kind to us all this year. These are the records that spent the most time on the turntable over here. Yeah, I know its kind of a lot, but there were far too many good ones that haven’t been getting the shouts they need elsewhere. Lets say this serves as both a best of and a most overlooked in one go. If you enjoy ’em, buy ’em if you can. Don’t do them the disservice of just bumping up the streaming numbers.

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Cable Ties’ Jenny McKechnie on Au Pairs – Playing With A Different Sex

As far as new artists in 2017 go, I’d say that Cable Ties are taking top honors right now. In their home country of Australia they’re raking in accolades and topping out mid-year charts, a trend that should hopefully catch on worldwide if there’s any justice. The band’s Jenny McKechnie is pulling triple duty as a cultural force, playing in newcomers Wet Lips alongside the Ties and co-heading a new label, Hysterical Records, alongside Amanda Vitartas of Future Popes and Grace Kindellan of Wet Lips. While Cable Ties is a taut musical force in its own right, much of the credit must be given to McKechnie’s vocal prowess and biting lyrics, both of which have drawn comparisons to crucial feminist punk outfits like X-Ray Spex or Sleater-Kinney. As usual with Hidden Gems I’ve asked Jenny to pick a record that’s been a bit overlooked in her opinion and tell how it came into her life and impacted her music. She gives her take on the Au Pairs’ ever resonant debut Playing With a Different Sex below.

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Wet Lips

More greatness out of Australia’s feminist punk underground, fast becoming the vital vein in a scene rife with the kind of buoyant energy that makes us Yanks feel like slackers incarnate. The debut from Wet Lips, out on the band’s own perfectly named Hysterical Records, is as fierce an LP as you’re liable to encounter this year. In the same vein as bassist Jenny McKechnie’s Cable Ties, the band takes the boys club to task, flaying the Y chromosome contenders with their own double standards and bullshit regard. It’s not so much a rallying cry as it its a statement of purpose, a manifesto made flesh in electric current, laying the hot wire down in your own puddle of nervous flop-sweat and set to fry.

The band pins their detractors to the wall, nailing them all as “just another faker in a Bad Seeds t-shirt.” Lord knows there’s no way their targets don’t deserve a dressing down and then some, but Wet Lips aren’t just here to throw insults without a foil chomped punk pedigree to back it up. The trio pack their debut full of hardened, nail-bitten barrel-rolls that lock in and bare down to the bitter end.

Grace Kindellan’s vocals crack with just the right amount of seismic fervor, dredging up a lineage that brings to mind the impeccably named C86’ers We Have A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It, doubled down with the entirety of Olympia’s feminist punk oeuvre. Sadly, Americans will balk because Wet Lips aren’t rolling through Iowa, and somehow we gotta see it to believe it. But be forewarned, hesitate and you’ll miss this seething slab of youth, a vital strain of punk that can’t be beaten, bowed or bent. If you’re reading this, it’s already to late, Wet Lips have cornered the market on raised hackles and grit-perfect riffs. No way you’re gonna get crush harder than this.




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Wet Lips – “Here If You Need”

The glut of albums has taken time away from some great tracks of late, so why not play catch-up? In addition to anchoring RSTB faves Cable Ties, Jenny McKechnie takes up ranks in Melbourne’s Wet Lips. The band’s sound is just as tough as her other gig, though she takes less of a front-woman role here so the vocal quotient docks in a touch less powerful than Cable Ties. Not as beholden to post-punk impulses, Wet Lips hew closer to a more traditional punk palette growling through grit-teeth injustice and riding tension like a straight-edge razor on the fire-bellied “Here If You Need.” The song encapsulates, as the band mentions, “being a woman in a social situation. the obligations you feel to be polite, respectful, small, restrained, not be seen to be greedy or attention seeking.”

The album has just moved back a bit to a June 30th release and it’s coming out on the band’s own imprint Hysterical Records, which offers up their debut alongside fellow Aussies Shrimpwitch as their inaugural releases.


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Cable Ties – “Difficult”

Still can’t get enough of Melbourne trio Cable Ties. Details on the upcoming album are sadly scant, but they keep dropping gems along the way, so the wait’s not so bad. Following on their debut single and a split with Wet Lips, they have a new track featured on LISTEN Records compilation Listen 2. The comp sends 50% of the benefits to WAR (Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance) and the label itself seeks to promote female and LGBTQ artists in Australia. Good will and great vibes aside on the project, the track is another killer from the Aussie band, still hitting the boiling point energy that seems to make the walls sweat and the room spin. While vocalist Jenny McKechnie, as usual, draws the lion’s share of attention on the track, the underlying instrumental is a gnashed ball of fury and noisy bounce that’s proof that as the band evolves, they’re simply proving that the early excitement wasn’t misplaced in the least.



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Wet Lips / Cable Ties – Split

One of the most exciting discoveries of the year for me has to be Melbourne’s Cable Ties. The band pits the taught energy of post-punk diggers like Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Toy Love against the boiling light banshee buoyancy of riot grrrl original front-women like Poly Styrene and Corin Tucker. They band hasn’t hit with a full-length yet (fingers crossed that’s coming soon) but they’ve got a proper split with fellow Melbourne trio Wet Lips. The AA single has both bands in fine form, not in any small part because both bands feature secret weapon Jenny McKechnie, whose vocals in Cable Ties are unmatched by most anyone stepping to the mic these days. Wet Lips hit hard on the first side, barreling and tumbling with the energy and bounce of a lost Undertones single rendered less carefree and a touch more urgent. The flip sees Cable Ties step to the plate yet again with a perfect snap of bass, rubbery and driving paired with the sneer and swagger of guitar lines that seem instantly familiar, yet undeniably vicious and beg for the volume knob to be red-lined every time. As mentioned, though, it’s McKechnie who topples the song over into a territory with more bite, belting each line like her very life depended on reaching the quiet kid in the corner of the club.

Both tracks are recorded by Paul Maybury, who has his hands behind the decks of the upcoming album from Cable Ties as well. Sounding good so far. This is only a taste to tide over, but its a good one.

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RSTB Best of 2016 (so far)

Ok, so deep down I know that the half-year best-of rundown is becoming an expected bit of mid-year clickbait listicle self-love. It’s a totem that’s somewhat unnecessary, seeing how at the end of the year votes get tallied and the same releases get pondered. But since I also have the nagging gnaw that a culture of collective consciousness music press will result in plenty of homogeneous diatribes about what’s been considered the cream of ’16, I figure that it’s worth it to shine some light on a few deserving entities that are gonna to be left out of the party.

Some outlets have gone so far as to tell the world that 2016 has been super stressful for them, what with all the surprise albums needing their immediate attention. Sleepless nights in the review mines, I’m sure. Caffeinated burns through the wee hours that are called upon because absorption of albums over time is heresy these days. No time to listen deep because those other sites are stealin’ your views, siphoning clicks, and by next week those cuts will be far too stale to talk about anyhow. RSTB’s always there to let you know that sometimes its OK to let an album fester under your skin a while. Review it late, review it early, but maybe listen long enough to learn how it impacts you—or at least how it sounds in the car vs. the speakers vs. the headphones.

I’m starting to think that sometimes best should be more relative and less quantitative, and maybe it might be fun if there were a few more outlets with a true voice. But, so went the airwaves, so go the reviews, eh? Ah, maybe I’m just old fashioned. Anyhow, here are the picks. Remember RSTB is never content (n.), and never content (adj.).

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Cable Ties – Cable Ties 7″

There are a lot of sounds emanating from the South Hemi these days from throwback Flying Nun jangle, psych to garage and even a smattering of goth post-punk here an there. So far though Riot Grrrl hasn’t’t really been a term I’d have properly affixed to anything coming out of those parts, but I’ll be damned if that isn’t the vein that Cable Ties is tapping into. Maybe its more proto-Riot Grrrl If anything. Cable ties are tearing into an X-Ray Spex brand of post-punk that’s packed with gnashed teeth and crushed gravel. The searing voice of Jenny McKechnie is pretty much the only weapon they need in their arsenal, but the band backing her up isn’t slacking on her ferocity alone. Lead cut “Same for Me” is a total burner, pushing the taught punk song into a longer groove without ever feeling like any less of a kick to the temples. The flip, “Walking Out” shortens the reins and keeps that fevered feeling burning under the skin, amping up the intensity, if anything. If this is just the first taste from the band then I gotta say, I’m hooked and very ready for more.




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