SONG OF THE WEEK: Protomartyr | Maidenhead

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Protomartyr delivered one of my favourite guitar-based records of last year in the dark, post-punk rock of No Passion All Technique so I was pretty excited to see they already have a follow-up recorded and just released. Under Color of Official Right takes the key elements of the last album and improves on them exponentially. The vocals are less barked and approach melodic singing in many parts and there’s more space amid the clatter and rhythmic churn. There are similarities to The Strokes occasionally and Soft Pack often. This is a great record and the opening track is a real ear-worm.

TRACK OF THE WEEK: The Amazing Snakeheads | Here It Comes Again

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The Amazing Snakeheads are making waves and garnering great reviews with the debut LP Amphetamine Ballads which was released locally in Australia last week. Coming across like the wayward stepsons of Gun Club, Jesus Lizard and Nick Cave circa Birthday Party and Grinderman, the Scottish trio take rock n roll, blues and swamp punk back to the gutter under the light of a seedy streetlamp. ‘Here It Comes Again’ takes a primal, pounding groove and builds tension that inevitably explodes over descending slasher chords. Menace, energy and loose rebellion ring wildly from the speakers…

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Greta Mob | Gypsy Town (Revisited) Feat. Spencer P Jones

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After releasing Let the Sunburnt Country Burn in 2013, Sydney band Greta Mob haven’t wasted time in getting new music out on the streets with their new EP Gyspy Town due Friday March 28th. The title track (a re-working of the song that appeared on their debut album) features Spencer P. Jones (The Johnnys, Beasts of Bourbon etc) and it sounds like its been injected with blood-red technicolor. It’s musically tighter, more cinematic in scope and sonically the production is rich without losing the song’s ragged rawness. If this is a sign of where Greta Mob are heading then they’re taking giant strides.

The EP also includes a new version of Yorta Yorta from last year’s album plus two live tracks – Goliath: A Numbers Man and The Vengeful Narodnik.

You can catch the band live and for free next Thursday April 3rd at The Standard Bowl in Surry Hills with the equally great Wolf & Cub.

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TRACK OF THE WEEK: The City Lights | (She’s Got) My Name and My Number

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The City Lights have followed up their excellent 2012 LP I Just Got To Believe with a brand new single, a AA side 7″ in fact. They’ve hooked up with The Exile Co. to release the 300 copy pressing which includes The City Lights’ (She’s Got) My Name and My Number and The Exile Co.’s Fay Ray.

(She’s Got) My Name and My Number is our Track of the Week and it’s a refreshing power pop dispatch that harnesses the trio’s irrepressible energy. The City Lights know how to write economical and hook-heavy songs and this one arrives unassumingly before bursting into life on the back of Graeme Trewin’s trigger-happy drums and the Roden bros guitars that’ll make you want to drop your craft beer and start playing air guitar on the dancefloor of your local pub.

SONG OF THE WEEK: Dan Deacon | True Thrush

Dan Deacon is one of those mad musical scientists who can harness corrupted instruments, perverse melodies and an innate sense of unbridled fun and create truly unique and original music.

He first burst onto the scene when his album Superman of the Rings got picked up internationally, allowing him to take his solo live show to the masses outside of Portland, Oregon. Since then he has toured widely and released the follow-up album Bromst (2009) and now his strongest set of songs in America.

The first single from America is True Thrush, our song of the week. It is a conglomeration of sounds, beginning with melancholic twitches from a sad robot that build, layer by layer into a surging, euphoric electronic space jam preaching empowerment and self-discovery.

As we enter the southern hemisphere summer this feels like the default soundtrack to both greet the sunrise and dance into the sunset to.

SONG OF THE WEEK: Fugazi | Waiting Room

EVERY WEEK WE’LL BE POSTING OUR FAVOURITE SONG OF THE WEEK. THIS WON’T NECESSARILY BE A NEW RELEASE BUT RATHER A SONG WE’VE HEARD THAT HAS STUCK IN OUR HEAD AND REFUSED TO LEAVE OR IS SIMPLY ONE OF OUR FAVOURITE TRACKS. THIS WEEK – FUGAZI’S WAITING ROOM.

The year was 1989 and I was on that precipice between high school and university where the world seems to be laid out in front of you – terrifying and exciting at the same time. I’d already made the transition from Top 40 radio to cultivating my own discography of tastes a few years earlier thanks to albums like Guns n Roses’ Appetite For Destruction, Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing’s Shocking, The Cure’s Disintegration, Depeche Mode’s Black Celebration, The Smith’s Meat Is Murder, Pixies‘ Doolittle and Public Enemy’s Nation of Millions. The influence of New Zealand student radio station 95bFM was immeasurable in my journey from Duran Duran to Dirty Three and during that summer my ears were drawn to a veritable call to arms from a band out of Washington DC by the name of Fugazi. As Joe Lally unleashed Waiting Room’s bass line it felt like an adrenalin shot to the heart (it still does) and made me want to get up, thrash about uncontrollably to the taut energy that the song seems to possess like a coiled spring, contained yet wired to the max. I think that was the first Fugazi song I heard, it was definitely the one that signed me up as a fan of the band who became one of my favourites over the next decade. Those opening rumbling notes are up with the best bass intros – moments like My Bloody Valentine’s Soft As Snow (But Warm Inside), and Jane’s Addiction’s Mountain Song and it never fails to induce that same feeling of staring into the unknown at that time of your life when everything is changing. Lyrically the song addresses the same issues I was facing at the time it was released, themes of identity, self-worth, future fear and feeling the need to make a mark, to do something. The guitar of Ian MacKaye is like a circling shark until it thrashes and grinds across the chorus with that push and pull that made Fugazi such a dynamic band.

Waiting Room (2.53) was written by Ian MacKaye and comes from Fugazi’s 13 Songs album – a compilation of the Fugazi and Margin Walker EPs from 1988.

I am a patient boy
I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait
My time is water down a drain

Everybody’s moving
Everybody’s moving
Everything is moving,
Moving, moving, moving

Please don’t leave me to remain
In the waiting room

I don’t want the news
(I cannot use it)
I don’t want the news
(I won’t live by it)

Sitting outside of town
Everybody’s always down
(Tell me why)

Because they can’t get up
(Ahhh… Come on and get up)
(Come on and get up)

But I won’t sit idly by
(Ahhh…)
I’m planning a big surprise
I’m gonna fight
For what I want to be

And I won’t make the same mistakes
(Because I know)
Because I know how much time that wastes
(And function)
Function is the key
Inside the waiting room

I don’t want the news
(I cannot use it)
I don’t want the news
(I won’t live by it)

Sitting outside of town
Everybody’s always down
(Tell me why)

Because they can’t get up
(Ahhh… Come on and get up)
Up from the waiting room

Sitting in the waiting room
(Ahhh…)
Sitting in the waiting room
(Ahhh…)
Sitting in the waiting room
(Ahhh…)
Sitting in the waiting room
(Ahhh…)

(Tell me why)
Because they can’t get up

SONG OF THE WEEK: Damien Jurado | Nothing Is the News

 

Damien Jurado is on a roll at the moment with the recent release of his brilliant album Maraqopa, the follow-up to the equally impressive Saint Bartlett. This time around he has collaborated with Richard Swift, a great musician in his own right, and added some density and electricity to his beautifully weary songs. The duo released Other People’s Songs Volume One, an album of covers in 2010 which included songs by Bill Fay, Yes, John Denver and Kraftwerk and is well worth tracking down.

The opening track and one of the highlights of Maraqopa is this week’s Nothing Is the News, a tripped out excursion into loose limbed jazz drums and incredible bluesy psychedelic guitars that spiral, squeal and fight to be heard like a lost carnival theme tune played by Funkadelic. Jurado is the calm eye of the storm with his reverb-heavy voice drifting in and out of the mix between his main vocal lines. This is one of those songs that like one of those Doors jams that keeps delving deeper down the wormhole with mind expanding fluidity and verve.

Turn it around you found that they were all wrong
All you had heard, the ghosts of the words in a song
Nothing new have when all that you want is gone
I will never know, I will never know

You can’t go back no the door has been closed
Standing outside just passing time will we die
There’s nowhere to live and all that’s been living is gone
I will never know, I will never know

I will never know

(That’s my song)

Turn around you found that they were all wrong
All you had heard were ghosts of the words in a song
Nothing you had and all that you want is gone
I will never know, I will never know

I will never know

 

 

Song of the Week: Lower Plenty | Nullarbor

EVERY WEEK WE’LL BE POSTING OUR FAVOURITE SONG OF THE WEEK. THIS WON’T NECESSARILY BE A NEW RELEASE BUT RATHER A SONG WE’VE HEARD THAT HAS STUCK IN OUR HEAD AND REFUSED TO LEAVE.

There are a ton of bands coming out of Melbourne at the moment with a distinct jangly indie guitar sound that feels lo-fi but a lot of the time isn’t. Bands like Twerps, Dick Diver, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, Adelaide’s Bad Dreems and now Lower Plenty. Their debut album Hard Rubbish (stream below) sounds like those other bands (they share members with Dick Diver, Deaf Wish, The Focus and UV Race) mixed with some of the raw desolation of The Drones’ quieter moments. In particular, the song Nullarbor and its accompanying video is a masterclass in the suspension of time and control of space and mood. With its lazy afterthought drumming and some heavy lidded, twinkling guitar lines that wander like raindrops down a window pane this is a road song that is an exercise in hyper reality. Singer Al Montfort nails the lazy Dylan sneer of his sung spoken words and captures a wonderful sense of laconic melancholia.

Buy the album on LP or digital