SONG OF THE WEEK: Protomartyr | Maidenhead

protomartyrsplash

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.

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

SONG OF THE WEEK: The Jam | That’s Entertainment

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.

This week we’ve chosen The Jam’s That’s Entertainment as our Song of the Week. Originally appearing on their 1980 album Sound Affects, it was never officially released as a single at the time, only being issued in 1983 (and again in 1991) after the trio had split up. Regardless, it has arguably become their best known track. Featuring acoustic guitar, bass and minimal percussion the song has a classic, timeless quality and highlights the brilliant melodic style of bassist Bruce Foxton. Paul Weller’s vocals are also key to the greatness of the song with his barked street poetry verses painting a picture of the UK at the turn of the decade, contrasting with the melodic hook heavy chorus. It was The Jam at their most simple, raw and effective.

A police car and a screaming siren
Pneumatic drill and ripped up concrete
A baby wailing, a stray dog howling
The screech of brakes and lamplights blinking

That’s entertainment, that’s entertainment

A smash of glass and the rumble of boots
An electric train and a ripped up phone booth
Paint splattered walls and the cry of a tom cat
Lights going out and a kick in the balls 

I say that’s entertainment, that’s entertainment

Days of speed and slow time Mondays
Pissing down with rain on a boring Wednesday
Watching the news and not eating your tea
A freezing cold flat and damp on the walls

I say that’s entertainment, that’s entertainment

Waking up at 6 a.m. on a cool warm morning
Opening the windows and breathing in petrol
An amateur band rehearse in a nearby yard
Watching the telly and thinking ’bout your holidays

That’s entertainment, that’s entertainment

Waking up from bad dreams and smoking cigarettes
Cuddling a warm girl and smelling stale perfume
A hot summers day and sticky black tarmac
Feeding ducks in the park and wishing you were far away

That’s entertainment, that’s entertainment

Two lovers kissing amongst the scream of midnight
Two lovers missing the tranquillity of solitude
Getting a cab and travelling on buses
Reading the graffiti about slashed seat affairs

I say that’s entertainment, that’s entertainment

SONG OF THE WEEK: Four Tet | Jupiters

Kieran Hebden is one prolific dude. Even though his full length albums only drop every few years he always has something on the go with single releases on various labels, putting together mix comps for Fabric and collaborating with Burial and Steve Reid. One of the recent tracks to appear on his own Text label is Jupiters which starts with some sublime kosmiche synth work before dropping killer percussive snaps and bass detonations. It works brilliantly both as a dance floor tune and in the headphones. Available in limited quantities on vinyl only.

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SONG OF THE WEEK: Torche | Snakes Are Charmed

Around here we love a ton of different genres from americana to dub, post punk to ambient drone but nothing gets the blood moving like a good hard dose of metal. Of course there are a million sub-genres within from black to death, hair to thrash and we love most of them. Torche are one band that have been slowly evolving their sound and incorporating more pop melodies and dipping their noise in structured harmonies. They’ve recently released their new album Harmonicraft and Snakes Are Charmed is one of the best tracks on it with its shades of Shihad and Killing Joke.

Song Of The Week: Toy | Left Myself Behind

I’ve been on a bit of a shoe gaze vibe of late, what with the My Bloody Valentine reissues, an interview with Ride’s Mark Gardener and the excellent gig from The Horrors earlier in the year. The influence of that sound from the late 80s / early 90s is still resonating in the music of a ton of new bands and one that I’ve come across is London’s Toy. They throw some wonderful krautrock rhythms, psychedelic and prog tendencies into their arrangements and they do it all with a sense of poise and style that belies their age. This is their first single Left Myself Behind which they’ve followed up recently with Motoring.

TOY will release their debut album in September 2012.

TOY is a Korg Delta led five-piece formed in 2010. It consists of Tom Dougall (Vox/Guitars), Dominic O’Dair (Guitars), Maxim Barron (Bass/Vox), Alejandra Diez (Synthesizers/Modulation) and Charlie Salvidge (Drums/Vox).

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