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Friday, August 29, 2014

School Damage

School Damage are  Carolyn, Jeff, Jake and Danielle. They come from Melbourne and Geelong and probably somewhere in between too.
This is their first record , its round, black and has 3 songs on it:  "Sick of You" opens with Danielles' monstrous bass growl, swelling with tom toms from Jeff (that really should have been played standing up) and guitar feedback into an ice cool verse and throwaway chorus that will make any fan of the Shop Assistants swoon.  Jakes' guitar kicks off "Butt Hurt" which promptly explodes into a full blown keyboard driven Fairground/Carousel orgy of boy/girl Vox that is pure pop-methadone.
B-Side Ballad "Break Up" is the Big-Haired Indie-Rock slow-burner that also-rans like the Vivian/DumDum/West Coast Girls would kill for, like all good FM rock the song goes on forever, Carolyns' keyboard eventually fading into the sunset over the Bay.

The debut 3 track 7" will be released in early August, available to preorder now from the Detonic Recordings store!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Old Mate - It is what it is - lp


It’s another great piece of down in the dumps, black and blue rock. Australiana meets Americana. Songs soaked in box wine and cheap beer, set decrepit neighbourhoods and between shitty relationships. There is a rhythm here that moves, a rhythm that one must keep when moving through life to avoid being left behind. 
Old Mate is the newest outfit helmed by Pat Telfer (Bitch Prefect). What originally started as a solo project has now expanded and features members of Peak Twins and WireheadsIt Is What It Is is the debut LP from the group, coming after an EP in 2012 and a 7” in 2013.
It’s another great piece of down in the dumps, black and blue rock. Australiana meets Americana. Songs soaked in box wine and cheap beer, set decrepit neighbourhoods and between shitty relationships. It’s a nice departure from the jangle and strum of Bitch Prefect, reflecting more the day drunk desperation ofKitchen’s Floor.
This is a terrific album thanks to some cunning instrumentation and a willingness to add flavour to the bluesy murk. Piano, saxophone and other intriguing bits and pieces create some airy texture over the fundamentals. Telfer’s brooding croon is exquisite. His purposefully flat delivery adds gravitas to his tales of daily monotony, over drinking and failed relationships.
The music helps to lift the vocals above the subject matter; for example, the sax on ‘Know What He Wants’ adds a sense of urgency to, what I gather is, the tale of a man seeking to take from others without consideration. The album seems to look at abusive relationships in society; abuse of substances, abuse of the self, abuse of others – it’s all pretty grim yet there is an interesting dichotomy at work with the instrumentation, preventing the listener from getting bogged down in the grittiness. We are made aware of the topics at hand, but are constantly moved along by the strong musical current.
It Is What It Is seems to be about the exploring the hard facts of life but not being able to do anything about it. Life is what it is; you can’t do a damn thing about it but live as best as possible. This album is about trying to do that but not always being successful. This is a largely entertaining album, I can imagine it transitioning well live – an experience I hope to catch soon. There is a rhythm here that moves, a rhythm that one must keep when moving through life to avoid being left behind. The road points straight ahead, where it leads is anyone’s guess. Old Mate walk the road, playing I Spy with what they see along the way; observant and honest music and something to treasure.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Multiple Man review from 7" blog

Multiple Man on Major Crimes Records

I've been shocked by how good the music is in Halt and Catch Fire on AMC. Never mind that it's about ancient nerd stuff which I really appreciate; an underdog personal computer company starting out in the early '80s but the music supervisor Thomas Golubic is digging really deep into anything but the obvious for this time period. There's the touchstones I've never heard in mainstream pop culture like the Bad Brains or X-Ray Specs but the opening shot in one episode was a track "Are 'Friends' Electric?" from Gary Numan & The Tubeway Army which got me deep into a crazy rabbit hole lately. I'm following their picks pretty closely for more of this early synth era and post punk...the meeting of those two is my weak spot. So is the combination of influences on this single from Brisbane's Multiple Man, they keep things minimal with one foot in nostalgia and the other dark and forward looking. You're right - it sounds uncomfortable.

Synth blasts in on A-Side's "Body Double" turning this one dark like Ashrae Fax or Blessure Grave. Plowing away with weird digital percussions that can't bridge the uncanny valley of drums and become something else, this reverb snare, a buried electro tom. A perfect rough groove carved out of these analog elements, a chugging away of a robotic locomotive, buried under water and reverb, plate springs and coils. Not that this is of the lower fidelity variety, far from it, everything comes through loud and clear and they take their time getting this momentum up before the vocal comes in layered with plenty of echo sounding aggressive with a weird distance and agonized angst of something like Lust for Youth. This sort of thing is unsettling, there's no reason this should make you look over your shoulder when examining the pieces, but this rhythm and careful use of echo take this to a weird place of miscommunication. Everything is obscured and blown out, the rhythm is relentless it's coming for you, I think even Gary Numan was unwilling to get this dark, slanting more towards breaking those commercial rules and airwaves to go to these creepy depths.

B-Side "Surface Roads" is the apocalypse. You have to venture to the surface and make high art out of ascii characters and digital glitches. This track creeps up out of atmospheric digital fog swirling around into a heavy square sine wave bass line and a ring toned fax machine/modem sound is bent back into shape with autotune. But I doubt they're even using that kind of modern technology here. That melody evolves into a guitar riff of some kind with a synth punk like The Units which shouldn't make sense, they hated the guitar. There's a lot of density here while seeming minimal, precise and repetitive. No lyrics on this one while a Knight Rider two note inspired foundation manically twiddles away. Somehow sounding more optimistic but maybe because the A-Side was right after the war with the machines...and on the B-Side you find out they won.

Get this from Major Crimes Records - for those of you in the US that means Easter Bilby Distro

Multiple Man actually interviewed Gary Numan...the plot thickens.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


M.O.B. M.O.B. lp(R.I.P. Society, Aus - 2014)✩
  • There’s no shortage of sick tombstones to trip over atR.I.P. Society, but this purple Mersh Of Blastitude shan’t be overlooked for more easily digestible lollipops. Gurgling burbles of cross talking korgs escort each other into the bleak echelon of early Cabaret Voltaire squirm, with all offerings draped in the lusty terror howl of decrepit synths aiming to rearrange the appliances - and your nipples - while you sleep. This is high caliber squelch and enjoyable beyond reason. Easter Bilby distro’s got a bunch, so talk to your machines and make it happen.

Monday, August 4, 2014


Power cassettes just in from cool death records
Cool Death interrupts whatever the hell you *were* doing to bring you actual high voltage rock music. POWER!
Three dudes from Dribble, Soma Coma and Kromosom playing rock and roll the way it was played four decades ago before punks knew what punk was. For fans of Iggy and The Stooges and Lobby Lloyd - Rest in POWER.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Still single recommended

Rat Columns – Leaf LP (R.I.P. Society)
I’ve listened to this one so much that I’m challenging myself by listening to a different record while I write this. Actually, I’m not listening to anything but the ambient rush of traffic along the BQE. It’s a clean, headclearing sound that would be a good ambient background for this superb pop record, the second full-length under this name by the busy and talented David West (Rank/Xerox, Lace Curtain, Burning Sensation, ex-Total Control, a handful of others), who gets help from countrymen James Vinciguerra and Mikey Young on this go-round, along with his American rhythm section (Jonathan Young on bass, Violent Change’s Matt Bleyle on drums). West started Rat Columns as some manner of 4-track pop clearinghouse, which took a turn for pop-punk on debut album Sceptre Hole, and here starts that way before diving into a slightly slower, more contemplative groove. The “hit” material is on the A-side, and feels a bit mid-‘80s British/C86 by design, though elements of a deeper narrative are placed throughout (small touches like that sleigh bell jingle at the end of “Pink Mist,” for instance, kind of set things off a bit), and I’m also reminded of when American indie bands decided to cool down a bit in the ‘90s and become a little more genteel, a la The Sea and Cake. Strangely, this record picks up where others seem to think it lets down: side A closer “Fooling Around,” written by Young, is an out-of-nowhere highway/motorik grazer, evoking Yo La Tengo on the autobahn late at night, a totally pleasing and mature entry followed by a spate of personal breakdowns that, for me, make the record. Apart from the title track closer, the drumming on side B slips … a lot. I assume this is by design, and since everything else, even the wheezing synthesizer, is played straight, the lapses in timing on percussion add a sense of unease and vulnerability that would be missing were they up to scratch. West’s mumbled, drifting vocals obviously add to these qualities, but together these concepts add a new dimension of pressure to the leering, too-hot/too-close “Petrified,” and the late night halogen streetlight halos and cruise control search of “Empty Lanes,” more reminiscent of the quieter moments of the late, great band Seam than anything I’ve heard since their demise. Then there’s “Leaf,” which breaks the mold altogether and seems to begin with a sample of a panting dog, which builds into the rhythm track, the neon/dying fluorescent tube flicker and sumptuous electronic/bass interplay, sounding closer to a Lace Curtain track than any Rat Columns material before it. Somehow, West has crossed Australian pop with pleading, emotive American strains, and come up with a meaningful and poignant record for this calendar year. I can only hope that this project continues in, and with, such a strong internal direction. (
(Doug Mosurock)