NEW MUSIC: Hideous Sun Demon – Ssppuunnkk

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West Australian psych-punks Hideous Sun Demon have unleashed this new track on us, the psychotic swagger of ‘Ssppuunnkk’ which staggers across the speakers, drops to its knees and crawls deeper into a drug fever. Slashing guitar shreds sonic holes through the song,  above the pummelling rhythm section and Vincent Buchanan-Simpson ’s ferocious lead vocal.

Their album Fame Erotic Dream is out now.

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NEW MUSIC: Magnus – Saints, Sedated

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Sydney trio Magnus know how to hit the metal, indulge the boogie, stoner rock vibe and stay perfectly on the wrong side of weird on this digital single ‘Saints, Sedated’. It hits a super solid pounding sprint home at the back end after digging into jazz metal noir and desert rock grooves.

The track features Lucius Borich (Cog) on drums, percussion, backing vocals and organ.

Magnus’ sophomore album is coming soon and has been engineered and mixed by Aria award winning Paul McKercher and mastered by Grammy award winning Brian Gardner (Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the Deaf).

NEW MUSIC: Surmland Sound Science – Analysis: Unidentified KHz

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We’re hitting up some sounds from Sweden today, in the form of this track from Surmland Sound Science. It comes from their EP The First Thesis. There’s not much to be found online about the group or individual – no Facebook or Spotify presence. I guess they let the music do the talking and we’ll take that. ‘Analysis: Identified KHz’ is an instrumental piece that sounds like a mystery noir soundtrack filtered through a Bond theme, as played by a 00’s post-rock group. Intriguing? Dig into their EP, on Bandcamp, for more…

LIVE REVIEW: Shihad @ Metro Theatre, Sydney

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Shihad, Young Lions, The Dead Love
Metro Theatre, Sydney
November 24th, 2018

Thirty years, damn… where did that time go. This writer recalls first seeing them open for The Angels in Auckland, New Zealand in 1990. Back then they were fresh-faced young lads, still in thrall to the thrash metal of Metallica and co and yet to embark on the ups and downs of their rock ’n’ roll career. Now of course they’re middle-aged statesman of Antipodean hard rock, a conduit between metal and melodic rock and most importantly, still performing as passionately and intensely as ever.

The Dead Love were up first, keeping things simple, rough and raw with their grunge punk that treads a nice line between unhinged rock and crossover melodic punk pop. At times their songs veered too close to catchy choruses of the anthemic hook kind but they know to ensure they keep enough throat shredding angst and anger in the mix to stop the songs sounding too cleaned up.

Young Lions on the other hand represent the worst of modern rock, when technology creeps in and bleaches out the rough edges and believable conviction in the music. In their frontman they have a singer who can certainly nail emo, hard rock and some cringeworthy rap moments but his self-belief was overcooked with over-the-top rock star moves and ventures into the audience. The music was generic alt-rock by numbers, Bono fronting Linkin Park, an Australian Idol facsimile of rock music.

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Shihad quite simply laid waste to what came before them. On a stage devoid of amplifiers and a sound that was blisteringly loud, heavy and perfectly balanced, they set about celebrating 30 years as a band with a set that began with Think You’re So Free from their most recent album FVEY and worked its way back, in chronological order to Factory from their debut Churn. 

It was a fascinating arc to experience as the four black-clad Kiwis accurately acknowledged their high-points and lesser successes. The General Electric (celebrating 20 years) supplied five songs, FVEY three, Shihad, Killjoy and Pacifier two apiece. The most commercial period spanned The General Electric and Pacifier albums and the near sold-out crowd were in full voice singing along to songs such as Comfort Me, Run and My Mind’s Sedate. As always Jon Toogood was the hype man and the tireless frontman, constantly inciting audience involvement with handclaps, sing-alongs, lit-up phones held aloft and unified jumping up and down. They’re all cliched rock moves but he does it well and all with his laconic, genial stage manner. 

As a band there are few that play tighter hard rock and honour the riff as diligently as Shihad, they’re a precision machine with a beating heart. In Toogood’s case, one that pumped blood in a stream down his arm as a result of frenetic guitar playing. Karl Kippenberger still works the stage, grinning at the audience like he’s bumping into old friends, Phil Knight is a study of six string wizardry while Tom Larkin is the glue and anchor that ties it all together. As they approached the tail end of the set things got darker with the magnificent thrum and throb of Deb’s Night Out, an absolutely brutal psych assault of You Again and the industrial tectonic riff of Factory from their debut album.

Shihad are essentially still doing what they’ve always done, entertaining their devoted fans with sensory overload at maximum volume. It’s fun, it’s life-affirming rock music and they’re still right at the top of their game, a claim that can be bestowed on very few bands after three decades of making music.

Chris Familton

NEW MUSIC: Hinkley – Popular Attitudes About Magic & Sexuality / Blackout District

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Hinkley are a band hailing from Rochester NY and they’ve got a nice mix of Sparklehorse and Flaming Lips with a dash of the backwoods vibe of The Band thrown into the mix. Definitely on a melodic, cosmic 21st century indie tip. These two tracks are good examples of what you can expect to hear on their album Purblind which is out now via streaming services and to download from Bandcamp.

 

NEW MUSIC: Women Of The Night – Moscow Mansions

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We’re digging the sound of this track from Women Of The Night, a band based in New York but featuring members from Adelaide (Australia), Seoul and Alabama. This track swings and swaggers along with raw vocals and a liquid, late-night vibe of jangly, bluesy guitars and a indie noir tinge.

There’s an EP out on Spotify and if you hit up the Bandcamp page you can order a limited edition 7″ single.

NEW MUSIC: Catsigns – Smokin’ The Clouds

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This is sky-high psychedelic indie rock from Anthony Braun Perry (formerly of The Growlers). When your head is in the clouds you may as well smoke ’em in this heady, dreamy, drug-like gem of a song that drifts along with a nursery rhyme quality and some fine woozy guitar playing.

Debut LP  from Catsigns, The Fine & Mellow, coming soon on Pop Cautious Records.