NEWS: The ‘At First Sight’ record fair and festival is fast approaching….

HTRK
HTRK

On Saturday July 20th Carriageworks in Sydney will host At First Sight which is being billed as a ‘vinyl romance’ style festival with 11 bands and more than 10 DJs soundtracking the day while you peruse the record bins of record stores, labels and private sellers. This is a killer line-upof bands that you are unlikely to see all on the same festival stage. Great music, great concept – embrace it.

BANDS:

HTRK, along with Twerps, The Laurels, Beaches, Super Wild Horses, Straight Arrows, Songs, Holy Balm, Day Ravies, Client Liaison, and Shining Bird

DJs:

Yo Grito, Jimmy Sing, Count Doyle, Noise In My Head, Marcus King, Smokie La Beef, Basslines, Nic Warnock, Flash Back, Beat Club.

EVENT DETAILS:

DATES:                                 SATURDAY 20 JULY, 2013

TICKETS:                              $35

TIMES:                                 RECORD FAIR 10AM- 6PM, FREE

BANDS FROM 12PM, $35

WHERE:                               CARRIAGEWORKS, 245 WILSON ST, REDFERN

BOOKING:                          www.carriageworks.com.au

LIVE REVIEW: Super Wild Horses/Straight Arrows @ GoodGod, Sydney 12/08/11

Straight Arrows | photo by Chris Familton

written by Chris Familton

The Gooch Palms set off the evening with some nudity, tattoos and wild garage rock and it was impressive stuff for a two-piece of just guitar and keyboards. Granted there were some pre-recorded drums thrown into the mix but most punters probably didn’t notice the lack of a drummer with the over-the-top antics of frontman Leroy Macqueen. With an impressive chest tattoo. bleached hair and hot pants he was the jester and the showman all rolled into one. Keen to shock and provoke the crowd he courteously introduced us in person to his balls and his arse cheeks amid the garage punk rama-lama sounds. The Gooch Palms were raucous, hilarious and strangely captivating both musically and visually.

Straight Arrows are heading off to tour the USA so this was a farewell show of sorts for them. Spirits in the band and audience were high with party poppers being thrown around, unlimited stage energy and one of the best sound mixes at GoodGod in recent memory. Their album from last year It’s Happening was a trebly and suitably ramshackle sounding record but live they have mutated into a well rounded and solid garage rock outfit. Bad Temper was gloriously bratty and played even faster than the album version. What makes Straight Arrows such a great band is their ability to play quick and dumb before heading into more finessed territory like the melodic gem It Happens Again and the sleazy ghost sounds of Haunted Out.

Super Wild Horses are still playing tracks from last year’s Fifteen and now that they’ve lived in and have been played over and over they sound a lot freer and less mechanical than they have in the past. There was a real balance between Hayley McKee and Amy Franz with both sharing the guitar, drums and vocal duties. Playing music so simple requires the confidence to deal with the spaces and they’ve refined their sound to get maximum impact from limited resources. Mess Around and Fifteen were both irresistibly catchy yet the songs where they allowed more texture and shadows into the guitars and cymbals also made for some superb highlights. Adrian felt like a 60s west coast beach party soliloquy while Golden Town was Super Wild Horses showing they can play create a big and dense and heady sound when they want to.

this review was first published in The Drum Media

LIVE REVIEW: Best Coast @ OAF, Sydney (07/03/11)

written by Chris Familton

It was a night for the girls on stage at Oxford Art Factory with only Best Coast’s Bob Bruno representing the male form. Super Wild Horses were up first and though they seemed tentative and a little thin on sound for the first few songs they quickly built up a great vibe with their Sonic Youth guitar tones and sometimes chanting, sometimes singing voices. They sit firmly in that indie meets 60s pop field and once they got going they sounded fantastic.

When a band sounds bad (often no fault of their own) it can be a real downer on a gig. You can hear the songs are there, the band is giving it their all and they’re playing well but the mix can bury all of that in frustration. For most of Best Coast’s set that was exactly the problem. The guitars and drums seemed to sit in one place and Bethany Cosentino’s voice sounded like it was crudely slapped on top of the instruments – too loud and devoid of any warmth or softness. Again this was no fault of hers as her songs are packed with vocals and she managed to nail nearly everything.

With one album there was always going to be some extra stuff added to the list and that came in the form of some new songs and extended parts to a few other songs. Of the couple of new ones, they were in the same mold as the album but perhaps a bit more sugar rush and less cutesy prom romance. When You Wake Up from their recent split EP with Wavves sounded nice and rolling like a Lemonheads song while the early single of 2009 Something In The Way skipped along with the effortless melodies Cosentino has such a knack for.

As a result of the sound or perhaps Monday-itis, the audience never went nuts, even struggling to muster a clap-along to songs that are perfect for gay abandon and unrestrained dancing. The band didn’t care though, they tore through nearly 20 songs in an hour and seemed to be having a great time. If anything, Cosentino got a little over exuberant with her singing – pushing the lyrics out with too much force and farther from the sweetness of the album.

Their best moments came with Boyfriend, the slow /fast When I’m With You and the bittersweet The Deal. They captured the lost summer/fleeting romance feel of the record and songs as great as that can even transcend a dodgy sound mix.

this review first appeared in Drum Media

REVIEW: SUPER WILD HORSES | Fifteen

written by Chris Familton

Fifteen is the debut album from Melbourne guitar/drums duo Super Wild Horses. No doubt you will have already heard them on the Bonds commercial that also features Ella Stiles from Songs jumping around. Fifteen’s strength is the way it has been minimally produced with no instrumental or structural excess and avoids descending into blues robbery like so many other two piece groups. This is an assured debut that throws up some super catchy riffs and contagious twin vocal melodies.

The title track is the first moment where the magic locks in and the girls’ voices combine wonderfully. There is a touch of Blondie about the song’s bubblegum pop vibe and it sets the scene for an album that is high on fun and effective in transferring energy from the musicians to the listener.

Fifteen was recorded by Mikey Young of Eddy Current Suppression Ring fame and there is an unavoidably strong ECSR influence on the album in the stripped back drums and the choppy guitar sound. For a band that only formed last year it would have been near on impossible to avoid living in Melbourne, frequenting gigs and not soaking up the garage rock of ECSR.

Adrian and I Want You take on a decidedly Vivian Girls, 60s girl group mood and end up like a hybrid of The Breeders and The Shirelles. The clean production mix differentiates Super Wild Horses from Vivian Girls though and avoids the shoegaze wash and haze to gloriously expose those catchy harmonies.

There is some experimentation in terms of exploring the duo template on songs like Love where they employ a bass and a darker, snaking groove that succeeds on taking them to a different and swampier place. That idea expands as the album progresses, culminating with the magnificent Enigma (You Say Go) where the guitars get busier with a restless and sharper attack. The vocals become shoutier and more distorted. It is as if they have planned the tracklisting around the progression of their music from basic practice room, early songwriting attempts through to the more assured and comparatively progressive songs.

By the end of the record they are referencing Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth, traveling from the 60s to the 80s and 90s yet doing it with charm and freshness that makes the half hour record a much more varied collection of songs than a first listen will indicate. There is much to be said for brevity in this day and age of shorter attention spans and Super Wild Horses have produced a succinct debut album that isn’t weighed down by angst and bleeding hearts. Instead it is sassy, assured and another chapter in the great tradition of Melbourne guitar pop.

This review first appeared on FasterLouder