ALBUM REVIEW: Minderbender | Emotions

Rating7a2296008182_10Christchurch natives, now based in Wellington, Minderbender are a duo that clearly have a taste for post punk and electronic music in equal quantities. Emotions is their debut album and it successfully embraces both organic and synthetic musical sounds and revels in their primitive and direct application.

The title of the album sums up its theme of twelve different human emotions from ‘Expectations’ through ‘Evasion’, ‘Euphoria’, ’Ambivalence’ and others before ending with the track ‘Acquiescence’. The band have commented that the emotions are presented as those experienced in the context of one night out, a detail that many people wouldn’t pick up on cursory listens. That said there is a indeed a strong connection between the moods presented in the music and lyrics and the songs’ titles. A drum machine provides the heartbeat and spine to the songs with its pounding basic patterns beneath synth leads and pads that sparkle and swirl when required. The bass lines are the blood of most of the songs. They’re physical, sometimes bruising and always alive, giving the music a stone-age glam and dark disco vibe on ‘Expectations’ and ‘Amnesia’. The flip side is the still dirty yet sonically more placid tones of ‘Stimulation’ and ‘Euphoria’ that to a small extent balance out the noise and which could have been explored more across the album.

There is much to like on Emotions. Its restlessness and creative velocity stand out as its strongest assets and they’ve corralled a diverse range of influences (Liars, Joy Division New Order, Skeptics, Cabaret Voltaire, Bauhaus are strong candidates) yet some of the songs come across like collected ideas and riffs collated into tracks that end up sounding incomplete or undercooked. That aside, this is a bold, challenging and visceral album splicing together noise, rhythm and melody, often to great effect.

this review was first published on undertheradar.co.nz 

NEWS: Mogwai announce new LP Rave Tapes and release first track

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News of a new Mogwai album is always reason to celebrate around these parts and so we were stoked to awake to read that their new LP Rave Tapes is set for release on 20 January 2014 via Spunk Records (Australia and New Zealand), Rock Action (UK and Europe) and Sub Pop (North America). The other good news is that producer Paul Savage (Mogwai Young Team and Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will) has returned to work with the Scottish quintet.

Here’s the first track to be released, Remurdered – stream it below or download it for free HERE

The album will be available on CD, LP, Digital and Ltd edition box set (featuring the LP itself, an exclusive 12″, a book of studio photography by iconic photographer Steve Gullick shot during the recording sessions, 3 x 12″ x 12″ art prints, a 7″ and a CD version of the album).

Tracklist:

1. Heard About You Last night

2. Simon Ferocious

3. Remurdered

4. Hexon Bogon

5. Repelish

6. Master Card

7. Deesh

8. Blues Hour

9. No Medicine For Regret

10. The Lord Is Out Of Control

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NEWS: Straight Arrows release new single and tour dates

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Straight Arrows‘ debut LP was well received across the country and internationally so it’s great to see the follow up is due for release in March next year via Rice is Nice in AU and Agitated in the UK/EU. Until then we’ve got a brand new single Make Up Your Mind to keep us happy (stream/download below) plus a run of live dates where no doubt more of the album will be previewed.

Thursday Oct 24 – The Great Northern, Byron Bay
Friday Oct 25 – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Saturday Oct 26 – The Zoo, Brisbane – SOLD OUT
Sunday Oct 27 – The Zoo, Brisbane
Thursday Oct 31 – Mojo’s, Fremantle
Friday Nov 1 – Amplifier, Perth
Saturday Nov 2 – Uni Bar, Adelaide
Monday Nov 4 – The Corner, Melbourne

 

NEWS: Kirin J Callinan announces solo LP

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Sydney’s Kirin J Callinan has announced that his solo LP Embracism will be released on June 28th via Siberia Records / Terrible Records in partnership with XL Recordings. The album was produced by Kim Moyes of The Presets and mixed in the home studio of Christ Taylor (CANT, Grizzly Bear) who runs the Terrible Records label. It also features a rhythm section of Jack Ladder and Daniel Stricker from Midnight Juggernauts.

Check out the second single and title track which follows Way To War and its award winning and disconcerting video. Download the song Embracism HERE.

NEW MUSIC: Cocorosie | Gravediggress

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Cocorosie have announced their new album Tales of a GrassWidow will be released on May 27th, 2013 (via City Slang) and they’ve also graced us with the first track to come from the record – Gravediggress. This will be the Casady sisters’ fifth album and again features guest vocals from Antony Hegarty. Gravediggress is pure Cocorosie with the two distinct vocal styles playing off one another with sparse beatboxing from their producer Tez and reminds us that there really is no other act as unique as Cocorosie who can marry accessibility and the avantgarde so seamlessly.

Tracklisting

  1. After The Afterlife
  2. Tears For Animals
  3. Child Bride
  4. Broken Chariot
  5. End Of Time
  6. Harmless Monster
  7. Gravediggress 
  8. Far Away
  9. Roots Of My Hair
  10. Villian
  11. Poison

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INTERVIEW: Fat Freddy’s Drop

A NEW FLIGHT PATH

FAT FREDDY’S DROP ARE ABOUT TO TAKE LEAVE FROM RECORDING THEIR NEW ALBUM TO PREVIEW IT AT THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE. KEYBOARDIST DOBIE BLAZE GIVES CHRIS FAMILTON AN INSIGHT ON THE TOURING LIFESTYLE AND THE BAND’S CREATIVE PROCESS.

New albums aren’t a common occurrence in the world of Fat Freddy’s Drop. To date there has only been 2005’s debut Based On A True Story, Dr. Boondigga & The Big BW in 2009 plus an EP and live album. Ever since the band first formed around the start of the new millennium the’ve maintained a strong focus on their live shows and subsequently touring has taken up a major part of their time and played a key role in their songwriting process. As the band readies themselves for a brief run of dates in Australia they are also in the middle of recording their next album Blackbird which will take flight in the first part of 2013.

Europe is a key territory for Fat Freddy’s Drop and the region where they have focused most of their international touring. The band recently got back from another tour there which keyboardist Dobie Blaze (Iain Gordon) rates as the most enjoyable one they’ve done in terms of the shows and the personal relationships between band members on the road.

“It was an awesome tour, the best we’ve ever done really. It was a combination of our own shows and festival shows so we had great audiences and lots of beautiful venues. We get on really well on the road, especially with touring being managed so well which is a huge part of everyone getting on. We have an amazing tour manager through Europe and it’s just the way they structure the tour that takes the stress out of it. Everyone is there to do the job so no one gets pissed off. On the tour I don’t think there were any issues so it is nice to come home and feel like it was a success and there is no big drama to deal with when you get back.”

Returning home, in Blaze’s case to Paekakariki just north of Wellington, is a chance to recoup and reunite with family who don’t get the chance to accompany the band on the road, as much as they would like to share the experience with them. “When you get home it is a case of back to reality. As my wife puts it, it takes a little while for me to land,” chuckles Blaze. It’s always wonderful getting back to family so by the end of the tour you can’t wait to get home and the kids can’t wait to open their presents. Life on the road is very different, it’s all go and you get into your routine of bus travel and sleeping when and where you can. There is the luxury of living in hotels and not having to clean up after yourself though. You have to change those bad habits a lot when you get home. It’s great to be able to have those experiences as part of my life though.”

Fat Freddy’s Drop have played Sydney a number of times but this will be their first performance at the Sydney Opera House, as part of the Graphic festival, where they’ll be previewing the forthcoming Blackbird album accompanied by animation and illustrations. It promises to be a special evening as the band combine music and visuals in a venue seen as one of the world’s best. “I’ve got absolutely no idea what to expect from the Opera House so I’m really looking forward to checking out such a legendary and prestigious venue. It feels like we are doing something very grown up and arty,” says Blaze before adding “ I better go and get a new hat from my hat man for the occasion.”

This interview was first published in Drum Media.

Listen to the brand new single Silver And Gold from the forthcoming 2013 Fat Freddy’s Drop album Blackbird:

 

 

 

NEWS: New musical delights from the Popfrenzy label

 

Sydney independent label Popfrenzy have announced a trifecta of exciting releases in the last week. Songs have a video for their new song Alone When I’m With You from the forthcoming (early 2013) album Malabar. The song can be purchased HERE for a measly 99c.

 

Next up is the first single on the label from Sydney band Day Ravies. Double Act follows up their excellent self-released EP from earlier this year and is available as a free download from their Bandcamp page.

 

Thirdly the brilliantly named Camperdown & Out have been announced as another Popfrenzy signing and they too will have a full length album out early in 2013. The band features Nathan Roche (Marf Loth), Alex Kiers (Raw Prawn), David Akerman (Dead Farmers) and Chris Shortt (Royal Headache). Down & Out is also available from Bandcamp.