SONIC KICKS | Albums That Shaped Me…

In this first instalment of SONIC KICKS, Iowa’s Dylan Stewart takes us through some of the albums that shaped him.
The first album I bought was...
Chuck Berry – Greatest HitsIt was the cassette version with an orange cover.  I played the heck out of this!  Classic tunes with great blues solos.
The album that soundtracked a relationship was...
 Doves – Lost SoulsSuch an amazing record that feels like a soundtrack to your life.  Very dreamy and atmospheric!

The album that inspired me to form a band was...

Dinosaur Jr – Where You BeenWhen I heard the opening guitar chords of Out There I was hooked! For life!  Although I now think that Bug is my favourite, this record still has one great tune after another!  A classic!

The album that reminds me of my high school years is...

Beastie Boys – Ill CommunicationI loved this album and Check Your Head.  I was a try hard skater in my teens that could never skate but this record soundtracked that whole period in my life.
The album I'd love to hear played in full live is...
Iggy & the Stooges – Raw PowerI was actually lucky enough to see them play this record at ATP in New York a few years back.  It goes down as one of the best gigs I’ve ever witnessed!

My favourite album cover art is...

My Bloody Valentine – LovelessNot only does this cover look cool and psychedelic with its pink hazy guitar image, the guitar is actually a Fender Jazzmaster which is one my favourite guitars. When I lived in London a few years back, I worked at a music store in Denmark street and was lucky enough to help Kevin Shields pick out a couple of vintage Jazzmasters that he was planning to play for their reunion shows. Their show at the Roundhouse a few weeks later was absolutely mind blowing too! I think my ears are still ringing!

My guilty pleasure album is...
Wings – Venus & MarsI still think this album is a good listen when I’m in the right mood but I don’t usually talk about it in interviews. I grew up with my brother playing this record and it just rubbed off on me.  
An album I loved but now have no idea why I bought it.

Hits of 1988 – I don’t want to talk about it!
The last album I bought was...

Bob Dylan – Live at Brandeis University 1963This is a brilliant recording.  It was only recently discovered in 2009 and is a live concert of Dylan when he was hardly known. His second album was about to come out so he plays a great list of tunes.
Iowa’s excellent debut album Never Saw It Coming is out now and available from Bandcamp and all good record stores.

WATCH: Iowa | Love Song

Melbourne’s Iowa have released a new video for Love Song, taken from their most excellent debut album Never Saw It Coming. The trio are also heading out on a run of East Coast Australian dates next month.

Tour Dates:

Thu Aug 16th – Sydney FBI Social (with Sounds Like Sunset, Narrow Lands & Lyyar)
Fri Aug 17th – Brisbane X&Y Bar (with Tape / Off & Guests)
Sat Aug 18th – Brisbane Tyms Guitars Instore — Afternoon show
Sat Aug 18th – Brisbane Sonic Masala Presents — The Waiting Room (with Seaplane, Crass Creatures, El Motel)
Fri Aug 31st – Melbourne Gasometer (with Bearhug)

ALBUM REVIEW: Iowa | Never Saw It Coming

by Chris Familton

The boom in popularity of psych rock from Tame Impala to Wooden Shjips has well and truly filtered down to the emergence of new local acts like The Laurels and Melbourne’s Iowa. For a genre so firmly rooted in guitars and hypnotic rhythm sections there are surprisingly few bands who can take that simplistic template and create something unique and impressive from it. Iowa prove with their debut album that they know exactly what they are doing, from their destructive edges to the calm of the eye of the storm.

The touchstones for Iowa are generally of the American variety. From an overwhelming Dinosaur Jr feel that permeates the entire record there are also tips of the hat to Husker Du and Englishmen like Swervedriver and Ride. From the brilliant opening double shot of Complete Control and the turbo riffage of Panic Attack it is clear that the trio likes nothing more than mixing sweet melodies in a bath of distortion, an approach that builds textural depth into their songs. The drums are tight yet relaxed, the guitars chop and churn with just the right amount of jangle and crunch while the bass playing of  Jordan Barczak rolls and weaves with that melodic curiosity essential to all trios.

Vocally it is hard to discern the words and meaning from most of the songs but in the context of this type of music it is that wasted drawl and tone of Dylan Stewart’s voice that is the most important aspect. He can sound like a somnambulistic Lanegan on Good Advice and then hit sweet higher notes on Same Solution, reminiscent of a band like 78 Saab. What makes Iowa’s debut such a visceral and engaging experience is its sonic qualities. Even at a low volume the songs claw their way out of the speakers with a collision of anxiety-fueled urgency and laconic restlessness. Never Saw It Coming grabs you and never lets go.

 this review was first published in Drum Media

NEWS: Iowa release new single Panic Attack…

Iowa continue their stellar string of single releases with Panic Attack, another dose of crestfallen vocals over churn and chime Mascis guitar squalls. They have a highly anticipated debut album Never Saw it Coming slated for release in April via Aerial Mines Records. Panic Attack and b-side Same Solution will be available to download from February 20th but you can stream it over and over again right now…