NEW MUSIC: The Lonesomes – Dog Days

‘Dog Days’, the brilliant new track from The Lonesomes starts off as post-punk by numbers with it’s straight drums, bass pulse and doom-laden shadowy vocal but then, after the straight-line/tension-build it all goes snaky riffs and a lull in proceedings before a dark 80s video game synth takes over proceedings and ratchets up the intensity, kicking the song into sonic pulverising overdrive. Intense and manic like a robot on a spiralling bender, it all crashes down in monolithic hard rock chords before the final oxygen-depleting run to the finish line.

The Lonesomes are a trio from the Gold Coast, QLD and as vocalist/drummer Matt Callan explains, the songs direction a marked change for the band. “We wanted to write an atmospheric track, that kept toying with the idea of gradual additions of sound. Starting the song with a robotic drum-beat that just rolls along and a bass line that follows the same structure as each element gets added the song gets more intense and climaxes into a wall of heavy sound. We wanted to create a dark sense of unease in the track, A car in a forest driving through the fog, coming or going, running from something or towards it. Nobody knows. As dumb as it sounds that’s the visual we got from it straight off the bat.”

NEW MUSIC: Pansy – Woman of Ur Dreams

Wonky, wobbly guitar lines tumble and cascade out of the speakers with a li-fi charm on this new track from Pansy. It’s got that ramshackle vibe that reminds me of Australia’s RVG and Blank Realm. A 60’s backbeat and garage/surf-pop chime and jangle makes this a real gem.

More than three years ago, Vivian McCall, of the band Jungle Green, began transitioning, a process which inspired the songs that make up her self-titled debut album as Pansy. It comes out on the Earth Libraries label on April 2nd.

NEW MUSIC: Alaskan Tapes – The Sky Sings Its Chorus (For Us Alone) [Pt. 1]

Ambient / post-rock / drone / soundtrack / soundscape

There’s a beautifully ponderous lumber and sway to this new post-rock track from the Toronto, Canada artist Alaskan Tapes (Brady Kendall). The lulls and gentle washing peaks are perfectly paced and giving a sense of movement that carries the listener through an emotionally melancholic six minutes. What I like is that the piece never gets heavy for heavy sake. Like Dirty Three, Kendall balances free-form explorations with repeating themes and motifs that foster familiarity and a cyclical swell to the music as the crashing drums and aching, soaring strings dance in unison.

“It is my attempt at creating a track that’s contrasted with the other tracks in the context of the album. When it’s compared to my other tracks it’s very heavy and I think you can hear the ‘Metal’ side of my writing coming out.”

Alaskan Tapes’ music has features in a variety of short films, including “Birth Pangs”, “Childhood Trauma” and “Mag Sein” by Director Eliot Rausch, “ABADDON” by Director Rogerio Silva, and “Harvest Season”, a new documentary by Bernardo Ruiz.

The new Alaskan Tapes album For Us Alone, will be released on April 16, 2021.

NEW MUSIC: Loco Tranquilo – Golden Flower

Here’s a really nice upbeat slice of indie folk-rock from San Francisco artist Loco Tranquilo (Julian Gervasi). Surf guitars wobble, shimmer and jangle over the bubbly punch of the rhythm section. Gervasi adds the psychedelic folk vibe with a vocal style reminiscent of Devendra Banhart – that free-spirited, trippy, grinning-at-the-sun kind of sound.

Recorded at Coyote Hearing Studios in collaboration with local producer Mackenzie Bunch (French Cassettes and Tino Drima) – it comes from his upcoming concept album being released later this year through eclectic, post-genre label Text Me Records.

Loco Tranquilo’s soft and dreamy melodies were apparently inspired by nights spent on top of coloured mountains making songs about the stars, being inspired by the beauty of nature, and meeting fellow musicians and artists on a bohemian journey towards California.

NEW MUSIC: Mt. Mountain – Peregrination (Official Video)

Perth, WA quintet Mt. Mountain released their new album Centre last week and earlier this year this great clip for the record’s second single ‘Peregrination’ was posted on YouTube. It shows the slow-build mastery of dynamics and interplay that the band have built into their music. Elements of post-rock, stoner, psych, Krautrock and more. They all intertwine and combine to form a wonderfully immersive and hypnotic listening experience where the power comes from the metronomic groove, not needing to hit a multi-pedal crescendo – but knowing they can if they want.

They say of the song: “‘Peregrination’ is a classic example of how we write together. Songs like this one generally start off as a ‘jam song’ that evolves slowly over months of playing with no real direction in place until it finds its own structure. At the end of recording, the path to get there has been stretched so long that there is barely any recollection of how the song came into existence in the first place.”

Mt. Mountain is Stephen Bailey (vocals/organ/flute), Thomas Cahill (drums), Glenn Palmer (guitar/synth), Brendan Shanley (bass), and Derrick Treatch (guitar). Centre is the band’s fourth album.

Centre is out now via Fuzz Club Records

VIDEO PREMIERE: Balcony’s Paradise – Outta My Way

Ahead of the release of the new self-titled album tomorrow, we’re pleased to premiere the video clip for Balcony’s Paradise single ‘Outta My Way’. Featuring a German (Lorenz O’tool) and an Australian (Jeremy Tayler), the duo set up on a balcony in Victoria, looking towards Tasmania and captured their shared experiences on 4 track.

‘Outta My Way’ reminds me of Darcy Clay, the much missed Auckland, NZ songwriter. It’s lo-fi and woolly, gloriously ragged around the edges, grizzled and bleary eyed but still rhythmically right in the pocket. It squints and nods with a homespun and organic feel. A sweetly infectious and dusty pop song.

The album features covers of songs by The Beatles, Toots and the Maytals, Townes Van Zandt, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash – all given the laidback balcony treatment, with minimum overdubs. “We didn’t do many overdubs, just some piano, solos and backups. One day we visited Jeremy’s mother in Melbourne – a classical violinist – and overpowered her with a one take,” says Lorenz.

As the band say… “Don’t be thrown off by the noise of birds, mates dropping in, conversations, landcruisers and mowers. Just let it in and surrender to the mood!”

Balcony’s Paradise is released on vinyl/digital on March 5th via Half A Cow Records

ALBUM REVIEW: The Lemonheads – Lovey (30th Anniversary Edition)

THE LEMONHEADS

LOVEY (30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION)

FIRE RECORDS

In 1990, Lovey was a huge step forward for Evan Dando and his Boston band The Lemonheads. It was their major label debut on Atlantic Records after releasing their first three albums in the previous three years. Those records were a collision of noisy melodic punk rock. Part Black Flag, part The Replacements. Co-founder Ben Daily had left the band prior to Lovey and that gave Dando the opportunity to rejig the band’s sound to more of a country and indie/alt-rock blend. 

This reissue has been superbly remastered to give Lovey a greater warmth and sonic richness, further accentuating the sense that this was the start of a new chapter for Dando. The album contains absolute classics such as ‘Half The Time’ and ‘Ride With Me’ as well as their version of the Gram Parsons’ ‘Brass Buttons’. The variety of Lovey is what really elevates it – with the alt rock swerves of ‘Ballarat’ and ‘Lil Seed’ and the tumbling remnants of their punk past on ‘Left For Dead’. It was a turning point for the band and one of the landmark early releases of 90s alternative rock.

The 2xLP/CD formats come with a deluxe book with expanded liner notes and unseen photos as well as an eight song triple j Live at the Wireless session from their tour of 1991. 

Chris Familton

Bats Galore… New music from within and around The Bats

Dunedin and indeed NZ music royalty The Bats have been pretty busy of late. They released their new LP Foothills last year, to wide acclaim, and earlier this month they also intriguingly released an instrumental version of the album on Bandcamp which gives a really interesting twist on the songs, allowing the rhythm section of perpetual motion and those sparkling guitars to take centre stage.

During the pandemic, Bassist Paul Kean and guitarist Kaye Woodward have formed a humble supergroup of sorts by teaming up with Alec Bathgate (Tall Dwarfs, The Enemy) and Hamish Kilgour (The Clean) to record a couple of songs of darkly hypnotic, underground psychedelia. Hopefully more recordings are on the way!

Robert Scott always seems to be working on something new and he’s teamed up with Dallas Henley to release Level Four, an album of low-key, mostly acoustic songs that wind through some lovely melodies. The 14 tracks feature bass, Omnichord, guitar, vocals and keyboards.