PALMS week – An editor’s note

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Today marks the beginning of PALMS week which will see a full four days of content dedicated to PALMS.

For those who don’t know PALMS are a brand new project that features Chino Morono (Deftones, Team Sleep and +++ (Crosses)) and Aaron Harris, Jeff Caxide and Cliff Myer (ISIS). The band just released their awesome debut album and in order to celebrate that I will be writing a bunch of different blogs about all of the amazing music these individuals have made throughout the years. Further to this I’ll be posting my review of the album and we’ve also been lucky enough to secure an interview with the bands drummer Aaron Harris.

So if you love any of the music made by the four individuals invovled with PALMS then you’ll want to stay tuned to heavy and weird this week.

Until Then I reckon you should listen to this:

Looking forward to sharing more with you all this week.

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Big Love

Dan Newton xo

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TUESDAY EDITORIAL: Music blah blah blah blah blah blah

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Hello to all our beautiful readers,

I had a whole big opinion piece ready to go for this week’s editorial but I grew tired of what I was writing and figured that these amazing videos from one of my favourite bands of all time “The Melvins” says it all:

The Melvins

I hope you all have a wonderful week

Big Love

Dan Newton xo

LIVE REVIEW: Foxsmith, Lita and The Bird and Little Planes Land (Black Bear Lodge, Sunday 16th June 2013)

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On Sunday the 16th June 2013 I had the pleasure of watching my two favourite Brisbane bands perform beautiful music at Black Bear Lodge. The two bands I’m speaking about are of course Little Planes Land and Foxsmith who were also joined by Lita and The Bird on the night. What made this night so special was the fact that I would finally get to witness Foxsmith with a drummer after only getting the chance to catch an acoustic set of theirs back in February 2013. I couldn’t care less if it was Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday, any night of the week is a good time to witness the amazing music made by the above mentioned artists.

From the moment Little Planes Land enters the stage you know this will be a special night of music. For those who don’t know Little Planes Land is the solo vehicle for Jen Boyce who does amazing things with Ball Park Music. I’ve always felt that Jen was the real star of Ball Park Music and tonight she proved why she is so amazing. The music of Little Planes Land can be described as a beautiful collision of minimal swoons and aches with a lot of the songs touching on that deep internal pain we all feel, you know all that love lost and general disappointment with people but Jen frames it all with a wonderful quirky sense of humour. This is important when you sing about your deep internal world; make sure you scatter some humour in the mix. Tonight Jen is in fine form and after seeing her play a number of different times under the Little Planes Land banner I’d have to say this is by far the best I’ve seen her.  I could listen to Jen sing all day, there is so much swoon and wonder in her voice, it surrounds you and draws you in with its sweetness but that buried plea and ache is what gives her voice the power to soar into each of us tonight and leave us totally changed. All I can say is, fucking wow, every time I see Little Planes Land I want more and tonight’s final song consists simply of Jen’s voice, no instruments and fuck, it just sails into your soul and heals the hurt and puts a smile on your face. Simply beautiful stuff, I can’t wait to see where Jen takes this project and I reckon she could do some really radical things with her songs when she finally records them.  Go out and see Little Planes Land as soon as you get the chance and have your life changed.

The second band to take the stage this evening is Lita and The Bird who I’m experiencing for the first time. The band’s laid back folk strum and peppering’s of indie pop sounds powerhouse and fills the room adequately. My first thought is that it reminds me of Mazzy Star with the warmth of Crowded House but communicated musically with the modern flare of a band like The Jezebels and the enthusiastic crowd soak it all in. There are some incredibly interesting moments musically during Lita and The Bird’s set and the diversity and dynamic range of the songs really showcase the talent this band clearly possess. I just loved that there was an amazing soul power dripping from Lita and The Bird’s performance, I believed it and whenever I see a band live for the first  time that’s all I want, sincerity. I highly recommend this band and it’s very clear that success awaits this fine collection of songwriters.

This then brings us to tonight’s headliner Foxsmith who are without a doubt one of my favourite bands in Brisbane right now. They are so fucking unreal, the perfect coin and a band that have maximum amounts of that Kool Thing star power, you know that kind of cool that oozes from people like Kim Deal, it’s all natural. When I watch Foxsmith tonight I start to think to myself that they are the kind of band that you’d just drop everything for and follow around the country on tour. They have that kind of appeal and whilst watching them tonight it is abundantly clear that this band will mean a great deal to people in the coming years. The thing that I love most about Foxsmith is that you can tell, just by watching the way they perform, that they are all deeply in love with music. On a performance level, the band rocks harder than any band I’ve seen in the past few years, fuck yes, Foxsmith are indeed a breath of fresh air. The way this band can sing about their collective pain with such a joyous sound musically is just amazing and it hits you directly in the heart. There are also hints of Psychedelic Freak-outs during tonight’s set and I’m very excited at the prospect of the band exploring this area of their sound. Tonight felt like a teaser of what Foxsmith have in store for the future and the sound really is moving towards a “Space Jam Pop” sound with scatterings of “Psyche Rock” and “Indie Pop” dynamics to help make it sound so incredibly unique. At one point my trusty wookie co-pilot T.French claimed “It’s like fucking Deep Purple being played by The Breeders, fucking badass” and I think that is a very apt and right on description on the scope of music this band can cover as an indie pop outfit.  As a fan I am going to do everything in my power to spread the word about the amazing human beings in Foxsmith because they will be stars.

I left tonight’s gig feeling incredibly satisfied and I had my faith restored in the power of our local music scene. What people have to understand about music is that it is essentially just a vehicle of communication. To survive life you’ve got to be a strong communicator whilst also understanding that anytime a relationship or a situation breaks down it is because there is a severe lack of successful communication. A bad communicator will deliver bad music, full of clichés and dynamics aimed at selling you a product. They will mimic instead of showcasing what’s really in their soul, opting for fear over love. A good communicator will deliver good music, the kind of music that shows us what beats inside their heart and what they believe in. That is why good music can almost provide a spiritual experience for the listener because the artist has taken the time to harvest their deepest most intense emotional world and using music and their imagination they will deliver us a glimpse of their internal world. It is like a pure hit of rapture when good communicators make music. To connect to people with your music you need to be a good communicator because whether human beings are conscious of it or not, we all gravitate towards music and art that understands us, we want to feel both vulnerable and comfortable, the latter being the result of the intense musical journey presented to us.  Good communication requires a talker and a listener with good music having the capacity to do both (talk and listen). Adhering to these qualities as a human being will ensure that people will follow and believe in you.

Foxsmith, Lita and The Bird and Little Planes Land are all great communicators and as a result their music is beyond fantastic.

It is as simple as that really xo

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

FOXSMITH – www.facebook.com/foxsmithmusic
LITA AND THE BIRD – www.facebook.com/litaandthebird
LITTLE PLANES LAND – www.facebook.com/littleplanesland

ALBUM REVIEW: “13” by Black Sabbath (Dan Newton’s Review)

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I’m a massive fan of Black Sabbath and although I am the first person to applaud and recommended material released after Ozzy Osbourne was fired in 1978, this was the album I’ve longed to hear since I became a fan back in 2000. Although this is a reunion the band did continue to release amazing material from 1978 to 1995 (a total of ten records since Ozzy was fired) with an array of different singers (including Ronnie James Dio, Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes and Tony Martin), drummers and bass players with Iommi being the one constant. There is of course the amazing album “The Devil You Know” which was released in 2009 that was the Dio era line-up playing under the name “Heaven and Hell” (due to legal reasons) that once again stands as a wonderful tribute to the Sabbath legacy. All of this however was overshadowed by the main question of whether the band would ever re-unite with Ozzy Osbourne and release a new album. In 1997 this finally occurred and after only releasing two new studio tracks via a live reunion album it became a sixteen year on / off relationship with the rumours of a new album always surfacing every other month. This all changed in November 2011 when it was announced that the band would be mounting a massive reunion tour and also be releasing a new Rick Rubin produced album. It was the kind of news that Black Sabbath fans had been waiting for and finally, here it is.

There is so much joy exploding from the new Black Sabbath album “13” and that is all I wanted from this record. I wanted to hear those Iommi riffs trickle all kinds of sludgy doom with the magic bottom end of Geezer Butler shaping the groove and giving the proceedings some jazzy swing and finally I wanted to hear that pain back in Ozzy Osbourne’s voice, I wanted to hear him sing about despair once again. The best evolution for Black Sabbath at this point was to stick to the template that made us all fall in love with them but to do it in a modern context. Through doing exactly just that Black Sabbath have taken more leaps into the future than before. By staying exactly the same they have sounded the freshest and after repeated daily listens I have nothing but praise for the masterpiece that is “13” and that Black Sabbath have succeeded where a lot of other nostalgia reunions would have failed, thank fuck we have new Black Sabbath music in 2013.

From start to finish this album is pieced together with the template that made the first eight Sabbath albums so special. It all plays out with such beauty and engages you the listener with a fierce dedication to the band’s sound and legacy that it’s hard not to have a smile on your face the whole time. It is just so incredibly vital sounding yet there is also a hint of sadness once this record ends. Is this the last time we’ll hear the magic of Black Sabbath on record?

The final track “Dear Father” ends the way the band’s first self-titled album begins with the thunderstorm and the church bells chiming. This provides a weird eeriness that has hints of a funeral march swoon. It deeply moves me every time I hear this and when you delve deep into the lyrics of this album you can see that Ozzy is writing about the fact that he is aware that time is running out, there is a lot of musings on Death and “The End” on this record. From a theatrical standpoint it plays into the whole doomy theme of a lot of Black Sabbath’s music but this time round there is a real degree of paranoia and sadness that death is indeed a closer reality for the members of this band. It is both a scary thought and really enhances the intensity of the music.  That is where the album succeeds as a new piece of communication; you get that dread and despair circa 2013 with the band almost at times mourning the sadness that death brings and also carving out a new wonder for what does indeed “come next” both from a career stand point and a philosophical one. It is very powerful stuff and I love the doom of it all because that is what made me fall in love with Black Sabbath, the doom.

You can be a standard fuckwit about things and review this album based on its merits and relevance in the “marketplace” of new music. I haven’t got time for that kind of review because a band like Black Sabbath are so important to me and I don’t want to get scientific about this track or that track and whether this is a relevant piece of communication. For me this album is incredibly vital and whether it sounds as amazing as it does because it’s been so long in the making or because it genuinely is a beautiful piece of art depends on what kind of resonance you seek from music. I think this album is flawless and with the joy of it all comes the sorrow that the band may have just made their final collection of songs as a band and to be honest if this is the last entry into the Black Sabbath catalogue it is a damn fine one and demands all of your attention.

Black Sabbath’s “13” is a modern classic that should be worshipped by anyone who values great rock n roll. I love you Tony, Geezer and Ozzy for making such a wonderful piece of art. The powers of your riff compel me and in 2013 I’m mighty grateful to hear the pioneers still bringing all kinds of doom with their music and art.

10 Cassette Tapes Out of 10

By: Dan Newton

ALBUM REVIEW: “Tomorrow’s Harvest” by Boards Of Canada

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The most beautiful movement of music to be released in 2013 so far is without a doubt “Tomorrow’s Harvest” by Boards of Canada. This album had a wonderful sound full of eerie late night seduction and visual swoon. The mood on this record is incredible and Boards Of Canada once again prove why they are such an important musical institution.

You could spend decades debating over what to call the kind of music that Boards of Canada make but I simple refer to it as mood pop with a heavy to thick dollop of soundscape shiver. This is the kind of album that helps explain what I love about music. The way it plays out like one piece as opposed to individual songs. As a band, Boards of Canada are like modern new romantic composers whose albums carry deep spiritual and philosophical noise. This is the kind of music that will haunt you deeply and unlock all kinds of emotions. You’ll slip deep into your mind and be reminded of all of the human beings you’ve loved with a unrequited fever and it is the perfect companion for the lonely late night drive when you are trying to search for some clarity amongst the cruelty of existence. If you could emotionally capture the experience of dying with music Boards of Canada would be one of the best bands to do it. There is something so overwhelmingly beautiful about the music this band makes and each album is built like a religious experience providing context to not just the beauty of this world but the mysterious cycle of destruction and death bestowed upon all of us. Boards of Canada do indeed make powerful music.

From the moment I turn this record on I am hooked, I am thrust deep into myself with the outside world being suspended and put on hold for a while as I become hypnotised by my own emotional intelligence and memories of my existence. I thought about human beings who no longer exist in this physical world and I also craved the power and yearn for ex-lovers / crushes who made my world both a painful and beautiful place. I wanted to kiss a stranger and engage in the excitement of a late night stroll with a new lover where you do everything in your power to connect personally, emotionally and physically. The eeriness of this music made me feel like I was surrounded by the spirits and ghosts that I could not see in the room I was situated. I felt like this album had plugged those departed souls directly into my headphones and I slipped into all kinds of past lives both evil and wonderful. When the album reaches its climax and endpoint you feel cleansed with the entire negative bummer residue of this world floating away with the outside world now feeling like a beautiful abyss that demands to be conquered. I feel like I am once again able to love and able to succeed at being a good human being. All of the doubt and all of the uncertainty and all of the fear is erased with the silence of the night now being a safer place to request slumber. This album unlocks my desire to connect with everyone and through my curse of feeling along with everybody I am indeed a lucky and much loved human being.

If someone was to ask what I desire from music I would point them to Boards of Canada and this wonderful album. The band has made important and vital sounding music for the past 17 years under many different guises and “Tomorrow’s Harvest” is just another example of the bands power. This album and band teach me how I want all genres of music to sound and the mood of it all is the perfect example of that eeriness I love to interact with when it comes to both creating and listening to music.

Anyone who has a heart and knows the power and fun of the dark shiver of music needs to buy a copy of this album and go on the adventure it provides. Each time you listen to it you will learn at least 11 new things about yourself and will be able to silence the fear and edge yourself that bit closer to inner peace.

10 Cassette Tapes out 10

By: Dan Newton

ALBUM REVIEW: “Kveikur” by Sigur Ros

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I have to admit that I am a late comer to the Sigur Ros party and although I’ve secretly wished I was a fan of the band for the last eight years of my life the truth is I haven’t been. This is my own fault and I’m willing to admit that. The reason this is my fault is because I let something as stupid as the very people I should have related to (the fans of the band) turn me off. I know I’m not alone in this type of feeling that occurs when fans of a band are incredibly feverish and annoying about the genius of a particular artist. It has that same kind of feeling of when someone says to you “You’ll really get on well with my friend (insert name here), they are exactly like you.” For some reason that sentence really irritates me and almost puts a social pressure on your shoulders that you must like this person simply because you are so “alike,” fuck it irritates me. The same thing I guess happened with Sigur Ros, so many people telling me “this is the band for you” and through my own stubbornness I boycotted liking the band even though I enjoyed what I heard. I think a good relationship is not rushed and you arrive at it in your own time through your own interaction. In terms of Sigur Ros that took me eight years and from January to February 2013 I went out and brought the bands catalogue and have been enjoying it ever since.

So there you have it, I was wrong and a fool for being so stubborn about liking Sigur Ros but you know I pride myself on being a balanced human being who is able to admit my faults and point the finger inwards when the moment calls for it. You’ll be heaps more radical with your life choices if you admit your mistakes and character flaws instead of deny them but you know that is up for discussion in another blog post.

After the release of one of their best albums (in my humble opinion) last year – the amazing “Valtari” – the band returns just a year later with “Kveikur”  which sees the band take a new more “band direction” compared to the ambient hums of “Valtari.” This feels like a “two steps back five steps forward” kind of record with all kinds of familiar sounds being torn apart and re-assembled giving the band a new flavour as they enter their 20th year as a group.

That mood and that journey is still there and the album sucks you into the amazing Sigur Ros universe from the moment it starts. As promised by the band the album is indeed more “aggressive” but not in an “attack, attack, attack” kind of way. After having lived with and studied the music of the band for the past six months this album feels as close as we’d get to a “rock” album from the band and trust me I use the word “rock” very loosely. All the weirdness and beauty is still intact but the band plays it with a bit more clarity and a little less “post rock” formula. This feels like the freshest statement from the band in a very long time but it also feels like the kind of record that a band would use to announce the end of their career. It has a magnificent type of “finale joy” to it and exists almost as a celebration of the bands history. Although that is purely my speculation the band sounds both free of the past and excited about the present but that excitement also carries a hint of uncertainty with the album scattered full of “roll the end credits” type songs. I guess that is the power of Sigur Ros though the way they can be so dramatic and cinematic, it really does engulf you.

All of that aside I have only spent 24 hours with this album but after some intense listening sessions with this record I have to say that I love it quite deeply. This is how pop music should sound in 2013 and I’m once again thrust into regret for not following this band sooner. They provide so much joy but the journey to reaching that joy is an intense and emotional ride, the kind I love to experience every time I put a record on.

Don’t wait before it is too late, get into Sigur Ros now and make sure you check this album out because it is a delicate movement of pop music for the free thinkers and tea drinkers.

10 Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

NOT ANOTHER FUCKING LIST: 2013 in Music so far – Heavy and Weird’s favourite stuff

H&W

Albums and Songs

Album of the Year so far

“…Like Clockwork” by Queens Of The Stone Age

Song of the Year so far

“Where Are We Now?” by David Bowie

Australian Album of the Year so far

“Vs Head Vs Heart” by Emma Louise

Australian Song of the Year so far

“Josie” by Go Violets

Rock Album of the Year so far

“Self-Titled” by Chelsea Light Moving

Metal Album of the Year so far

“Disarm The Descent” by Killswitch Engage

Pop Album of the Year so far

“Mosquito” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Re-issue of The Year

Above by Mad Season

Top Eleven Albums of the Year so far

1.”…Like Clockwork” by Queens Of The Stone Age
2.”mbv” by My Bloody Valentine
3. “The Next Day” by David Bowie
4. “Self-Titled” by Chelsea Light Moving
5. “VS Head Vs Heart” by Emma Louise
6. “Push The Sky Away” by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
7. “I See Seaweed” by The Drones
8.  “Tomorrow’s Harvest” by Boards Of Canada
9. “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” by Alice In Chains
10. “Oddfellows” by Tomahawk
11. “Disarm The Descent” by Killswitch Engage

People / Bands / Artists

Favourite New Artist of the Year so far

 Go Violets

 Band of the Year so far

 Queens Of The Stone Age

 Solo Artist of the Year so  far

 David Bowie

 Australian Band of the Year so far

 The Drones

Australian Solo Artist of the Year so far

 Emma Louise

Film Clip of the Year so far

“Swerve City” by Deftones

Gig of the Year so far

Deftones at The Tivoli

Top Five Brisbane bands / artists of the Year so far

1. Go Violets
2. Little Planes Land
3. Foxsmith
4. Emma Louise
5. The Mercy Beat

Favourite Live Music Venue of the Year so far

The Zoo

Top Five Bands who will take over the world in 2013

1. Palms
2. Go Violets
3. Foxsmith
4. Emma Louise
5. Baroness

Bands / Artists  who we reckon you should check out who have done or will do amazing things this year

1. Jen Cloher
2. Courtney Barnett
3. Kathryn Rollins
4. Amanda Merdzan
5. Pool Shop
6. The Androgyny
7. Babaganouj
8. Kellie Lloyd
9. We All Want To
10. Balloons Kill Babies
11. Ghost Audio

The 2013 Wishlist

1. Tool release a new album
2. Pearl Jam release a new album
3. Deftones release their lost album EROS
4. +++ (Crosses) release their third EP and a debut full length album
5. Soundgarden tour Australia
6. Nine Inch Nails tour Australia
7. Queens Of The Stone Age tour Australia
8. Palms tour Australia
9. +++ (Crosses) tour Australia
10. Melvins tour Australia
11. Fiona Apple tours Australia

and who do we predict will make the greatest album of 2013

This band of course

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with this amazing album (only seven days to go until it is released)

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Just listen to the amazing first single

and now listen to this as well, the opening track to the album

Big Love

Dan Newton xo

 

INTERVIEW: Stuart Rudd of The Superjesus

The Superjesus worked their way out of Adelaide to become one of Australia’s favourite rock bands in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  Featuring one of the country’s most charismatic frontwomen in Sarah McLeod, the band had a slew of hits including ‘Shut My Eyes’, ‘Down Again’, Gravity’, ‘Secret Agent Man’ and ‘Stick Together’.  After releasing three excellent albums they split in 2004.  Luckily, for those of us who missed out on seeing them live the first time around, they recently reformed to tour some of the best music venues in the country once more.  Bassist Stuart Rudd was good enough to take some time out of The Superjesus’ busy Resurrection Tour schedule to answer some questions about what it’s been like getting the band back together after nearly a decade apart.

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What was the catalyst for the reunion show at The Gov in February?

Sarah and I had breakfast two years ago and just touched on the idea. Here we are!

There has been such a huge reaction on social media to the hometown show in Adelaide.  Were you prepared for the rabid response from your old fans or did it take you a bit by surprise?

We were not prepared for the response, and yes, we were surprised. It was crazy how fast that show sold out, and the reaction, not only in Adelaide, but around the country was overwhelming.

Mainstream Australian music seems to be dominated by television talent show winners and flimsy dance pop at the moment.  Do you think that 90’s nostalgia has played a part in the reception to news of The Superjesus reforming, or are we lacking in great rock bands right now?

Maybe a bit of both.

 Sarah has had a fairly high profile career, both solo and with Screaming Bikini, and Tim Henwood has played with The Androids and Rogue Traders since The Superjesus first went on hiatus.  You and Paul Berryman have flown under the radar a bit.  What have you both been up to?

Paul has been in Australian band Faker, writing and touring, while I have been recording with my band Southpoor, and also playing with Australian singer and songwriter, Nick Barker.

Was there ever any suggestion of getting Chris Tennent back on board in some capacity when the idea of a reunion was floated?

There was, and I think it may have come from Tim. The idea of having a couple guitars. But that’s about as far as it went I think.

 What was it like getting back into a rehearsal room together?  Was there a particular moment when you realised the magic was still there?

The first day was magic. It was crazy. We played those songs like it was yesterday. This band has always worked hard, and it showed as soon as we played. What a buzz. In fact I am still buzzing.

Sumo and Jet Age could be seen as the definitive Superjesus albums, but Rock Music was criminally underrated when it was released.  Is there a record that you’re proudest of?

Sumo was a hell of a lot of hard work, but I am really proud of it the most.

What’s been your favourite Superjesus song to play recently?

Loving all of them, but maybe Shut My Eyes or Down Again.

I assume there will be more time spent on planes and less in vans for this tour than back in the 90’s.  Are there any memories that really stand out from the road trip days?

Always a lot of memories, we managed to film a lot of it too! I think seeing Australia has been a huge highlight, but the moments when you are pushing it all up hill, and manage to come out on top are the best for me, from running out of petrol in the middle of nowhere, to doing 72,000 miles in under 6 months across America!

Do you have any plans for the band to release new material in the future?

I hope so.  I would love to see another album or two out of this band.

Personally, I can’t wait to see The Superjesus at The Zoo in Brisbane this weekend.  Having been a fan since I saw their Cold Live At The Chapel performance on TV as a teenager, this is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time.

The Superjesus’ Resurrection Tour is taking in the following dates:

Saturday, April 20 – Stone Music Festival, Sydney
Thursday, May 30 – The Annandale Hotel, Sydney
Friday, May 31 – The Annandale Hotel, Sydney
Saturday, June 1 – The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Friday, June 7 – Gershwin Room, Melbourne
Saturday, June 8 – Gershwin Room, Melbourne
Saturday, June 15 – The Zoo, Brisbane
Sunday, June 16 – The Zoo, Brisbane
Friday, June 21 – Amplifier Bar, Perth
Saturday, June 22 – Amplifier Bar, Perth
Friday, June 28 – The Gov, Adelaide
Saturday 29th June – The Gov, Adelaide

By: Clint Morrow

ALBUM REVIEW: “13” by Black Sabbath (Tyrone Blackman’s Review)

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New releases have been disappointing of late. I can’t remember the last new album I heard that not only excited me, but also inspired me. Established bands seem to have been the most disappointing of all, (David Bowie’s recent album being a prime example). I was harbouring a secret dread that the hugely anticipated new album from heavy music originators Black Sabbath would be just another let down. This was abated somewhat after seeing Black Sabbath perform live earlier this year, where two new songs were unleashed upon the rabid fans. Any further fears dissolved once I played “13” in its entirety for the first time. This album is extremely good.

The first thing I noticed while listening to “13” is that the songs are cohesive. A lot of albums these days, particularly hard rock or heavy metal albums, seem more like a collection of random songs that have no flow, but here we have Black Sabbath delivering music that seems more like an hour long suite instead of 11 separate tracks. End Of The Beginning and God Is Dead?  kick the album off, setting the tone perfectly. This is Black Sabbath sounding like Black Sabbath. Tony Iommi’s riffs coupled with Geezer Butler’s lyrics, with complimentary, orchestrated drumming and wailed mournfully by The Prince Of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne. Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine proves that founding member Bill Ward’s decision to abstain from taking part in the album was not detrimental, but in fact added to the sonic template. Ward’s jazzier influence is slightly missed, but everything else about the album more than makes up for his absence.

The songs themselves sound like they are the unholy spawn of “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and “Sabotage”, with Ozzy’s voice and melodies akin to “Technical Ecstasy” and his solo album “Ozzmosis”. The result is songs like Loner, which bounds along with little regard for anything in its way, and the angry sounding Live Forever, who’s riff would sit happily next to Symptom Of The Universe. One of the biggest surprises here is the amazing Damaged Soul, which features Ozzy laying down some tasty harmonica toots, and has some of Iommi’s best blues phrasing since the second side of their eponymous debut.

Other songs of note are the three songs included on the “deluxe edition”, Methademic (brilliant riff, and what a title!), Peace Of Mind and Pariah. Why these songs are not on the standard release of the album is beyond my understanding, but sadly it seems like a cheap marketing ploy. But hey, a couple of extra dollars for three songs that are better than any you’re likely to hear in a long time is nothing to complain about. Zeitgeist could be thought of as Planet Caravan Part II, and Age Of Reason features some of Ozzy’s best vocals in a long time. The standout track for me is Dear Father. Listen to this song once and then put it on again, only with the volume turned up even louder. It is everything a Black Sabbath song should be and more, looking to the future, while cheekily looking to the past (the song brings Black Sabbath right back to the very beginning in fact).

I won’t assign a rating to this album, as frankly there isn’t a single contemporary release that it can sit next to without making them look bad.

Black Sabbath’s “13” gives me a flicker of hope for sinister, blues based, riff oriented rock, something which the genre desperately needs.

Buy it now.

By Tyrone Blackman

Useful Links:

Official Website – www.blacksabbath.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath

Heavy and Weird House Rules xo – Please Consider

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Some Points About Articles On Heavy & Weird

Given some recent feedback about some of our articles, it might be a good time to tell you a little more about what we do here and why we do it. This is a guide to musicians hoping to have their music or gigs reviewed, and for whoever reads the articles on this site.

1. Music is subjective. A music review is by definition an opinion piece. We have as much right to express our opinion of your music as you do of making it in the first place. The articles are the author’s opinion only. Just because one author in Heavy & Weird does or doesn’t like your music does not mean everyone else here shares the same opinion.

2. We do not get paid for this. This is not Rolling Stone and we are not journalists. We are musicians and music lovers. We write about music because we love music. If you want to read music journalism go and buy Rolling Stone. If you want to read about what music lovers do and don’t like, read Heavy & Weird, or any number of other music-related blogs.

3. We aim to express how music makes us feel, not give a blow-by-blow description of everything about the band, the song, or what happened during the gig we attended.

4. We will aim to, but will not necessarily review everything we get sent.

5. We will sometimes review music that we have not been asked to review. If your music is in the public domain it is fair game. If you don’t want people to talk about your music then keep it in the rehearsal room. Don’t play shows and don’t release records.

6. When we write we will be honest in what we think about the music. We’re not going to sugar-coat our opinions just in case someone gets offended.

7. We all get bad reviews sometimes. Most of us are in bands. You take the good with the bad, and believe me, we’ve all had some bad reviews over the years. We’ll always aim to tell you why we don’t like something, and sometimes even give our opinion on how to improve what you’re doing.

8. For every person who loves your band there will be someone else who hates it or couldn’t care less about it. If you get a bad review, don’t take it to heart. Your fans will defend you and your detractors will see themselves as vindicated. It means people are passionate enough about your music to voice their opinion. Remember, a review is one person’s opinion of your music. It’s not a personal attack on you. We have found plenty of music we love by reading bad reviews of bands we would never otherwise have listened to.

Heavy and Weird is committed to providing a high level of customer service and appreciates any feedback that you may have. Heavy and Weird apologises if we did not meet anyone’s service expectations and note that any feedback will be provided to the relevant parties. We would like to thank you all for taking the time to communicate your concerns to Heavy and Weird. It is feedback such as yours that enables us to further refine and enhance our level of service to the bands we review and the audience who reads our blog. We take this opportunity to offer you an apology on behalf of Heavy and Weird for any inconvenience you have experienced as a result of any review we have written.

Big Love to you All

The Heavy and Weird Writing Team xo

HEAVY and WEIRD’s TOP 100 SONGS of the PAST 20 YEARS

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Over the past two days Triple J counted down the hottest 100 songs from the past 20 years as voted by their listeners. I won’t lie, it was a pretty shocking list and it was surprising just what did and didn’t get voted in. It’s hardly worth getting upset over though because you know it was what the people voted for so the people get what the people want, I’m not going to be the kind of thundercunt who cries over a floor covered in milk.

When I first heard Triple J were doing this countdown I felt inspired to sit down and make a list of what I think is the top 100 songs from the past 20 years. I’ve been doing this for the past fortnight and I’ve loved every minute of it and if anyone wants to plug me into a radio station for 14 hours or so I’d happily count it down and play you all these lovely tunes.

So whatever Heavy and Weird means to you as a reader take stock in the fact that if we (well me mainly) had our way these would of been the songs / bands / artists that everyone would have been playing worship and tribute to this weekend.

Heavy and Weird’s Top 100 Songs From The Past 20 Years

  1. The Diamond Sea by Sonic Youth
  2. Movement One (Gardenia / Asteroid / Supa Scoopa and Mighty Scoop) by Kyuss
  3. No Surprise by Fugazi
  4. Dopesmoker by Sleep
  5. Delirium Cordia by Fantomas
  6. DJed by Tortoise
  7. Didn’t We Deserve A Look at You The Way You Really Are by Shellac
  8. Elegy For All The Dead Rock  Stars by Thurston Moore
  9. Radio Baghdad by Patti Smith
  10. Change Your Mind by Neil Young and Crazy Horse
  11. The Grudge by Tool
  12. I Am Not Lonely With Cricket by Papa M
  13. Complicated by Heavens To Betsy
  14. Kettle Whistle by Jane’s Addiction
  15. On Demon Wings by Bohren & Der Club Of Gore
  16. Authentic Celestial Music by Dirty Three
  17. The Czar: I. Usurper II. Escape III. Martyr IV. Spiral by Mastodon
  18. Alone by Dinosaur Jr.
  19. I Got ID by Pearl Jam
  20. Minerva by Deftones
  21. King For A Day by Faith No More
  22. Entertain by Sleater-Kinney
  23. Fade Into You by Mazzy Star
  24. Night Goat by Melvins
  25. Nude as The News by Cat Power
  26. One Armed Scissor by At The Drive-In
  27. Sullen Girl by Fiona Apple
  28. Ever (Foreign Flag) by Team Sleep
  29. Get A Room by Jim O’Rourke
  30. Two Sides Of Myself Part One by Tarentel
  31. Skin Of The Night by M83
  32. Ice In The Sun by Tex Perkins
  33. Better Living Through Chemistry by Queens Of The Stone Age
  34. Horses In My Dreams by PJ Harvey
  35. There’s Something On My Side by Down
  36. Birdsong by Tomahawk
  37. Overfloater by Soundgarden
  38. New Noise by Refused
  39. La Cienega Just Smiled by Ryan Adams
  40. Kid A by Radiohead
  41. The Day The World Went Away by Nine Inch Nails
  42. The World Has Turned and Left Me Here by Weezer
  43. The Loneliest Guy by David Bowie
  44. Electrolite by R.E.M.
  45. Far Away by Martha Wainwright
  46. The Great Southern Trendkill by Pantera
  47. Choke by Sepultura
  48. Disciple by Slayer
  49. Deliverance by Opeth
  50. Cygnus… Vismund Cygnus by The Mars Volta
  51. World Coming Down by Type O Negative
  52. The Bends by Mr. Bungle
  53. The Only Moment We Were Alone by Explosions In The Sky
  54. Svefn-g-englar by Sigur Ros
  55. Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans by Smashing Pumpkins
  56. Baby, Can you Dig The Light by Mudhoney
  57. The Beginning and The End by ISIS
  58. Protection by Massive Attack
  59. Wake Up by Mad Season
  60. Violate by Machine Head
  61. I Can’t See New York by Tori Amos
  62. Blank by EyeHateGod
  63. Rotten Apple by Alice In Chains
  64. Rhoda by Slint
  65. Will You Smile Again For Me by …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead
  66. Elephants by Them Crooked Vultures
  67. When My Baby Comes by Grinderman
  68. The Sides by Ataxia
  69. Out Of This World by The Cure
  70. One Hot Minute by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  71. As I Sat Sadly By Her Side by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
  72. Exhausted by Foo Fighters
  73. Paris Train by Beth Orton
  74. Shark Fin Blues by The Drones
  75. Mojo Pin by Jeff Buckley
  76. Keep The Streets Empty For Me by Fever Ray
  77. Revolver by Rage Against The Machine
  78. Excuse Me Mr. by Ben Harper
  79. Low Desert Punk by Brant Bjork
  80. Stonebreaker by Corrosion Of Conformity
  81. Cocainium by Baroness
  82. Glory Box by Portishead
  83. Great Big White World by Marilyn Manson
  84. Disconnect by Rollins Band
  85. Pillars by Sunny Day Real Estate
  86. Archetype by Fear Factory
  87. California by EMA
  88. The Stations by The Gutter Twins
  89. Sprout and The Bean by Joanna Newsom
  90. Evangeline by Cocteau Twins
  91. The River Rise by Mark Lanegan
  92. Hope There’s Someone by Antony and The Johnsons
  93. Her Middle Name Is Boom by Glassjaw
  94. Did My Time by Korn
  95. Listless and Satisfied by Tumbleweed
  96. Saturated by Beasts Of Bourbon
  97. Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  98. Devil’s Haircut by Beck
  99. XXXO by M.I.A.
  100. War? By System of A Down

Big Love

Dan Newton xo

ALBUM REVIEW: “…Like Clockwork” by Queens Of The Stone Age

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Fuck the sentimental thundercunts who will disagree with my next claim but I’m convinced that “…Like Clockwork” is the best album so far by Queens of the Stone Age and before the choir of stuck in the mud voices hurl their clichéd responses let me tell you I’ve been a fan of this band since the first record, so I think I’m fully qualified as a fan to make that statement.

Look, being a fan of Queens of the Stone Age post “Songs for the Deaf” has been both frustrating and rewarding. The rewarding aspect has been the amazing albums released since (Lullabies to Paralyse and Era Vulgaris) but frustrating because every idiot on the bandwagon jumped off because Nick Oliveri quit or something similar to that. I understand that resonance plays a part in everything and all that but I still view the post “Songs For The Deaf” material to be more adventurous and just better overall. That is not to take away from what came before it I just think with “Lullabies to Paralyze” and “Era Vulgaris” Josh Homme directed the band to the sound he first envisioned when he started the band.

All of this bullshit aside the fact remains I’m a bit of a fiend for Queens Of The Stone Age and their brand of rock n roll. I just love it so very much and it is a love affair that extends from my previous engagement with Kyuss and of course all the other members of this musical family tree. Courtesy of my brother Ben I was able to hear the power of the band’s debut “Self-Titled” album when it was first released back in 1998. I already knew and loved Kyuss but when I heard the debut Queens Of The Stone Age album I heard the natural progression of what Josh Homme hinted at on the final Kyuss album “…And The Circus Leaves Town” and fuck, it was amazing. If I had a revelation when I heard the band’s debut, I was thrust into full rapture when my brother showed me “Rated R” for the first time when it came out in 2000. The song that got me was the mysterious darkness of “Better Living Through Chemistry” which still stands as one of the bands best songs. With “Rated R” the band proved that they really were going to be the most important rock band of the new decade and when they released “Songs for the Deaf” in 2002 this claim was fully realised. I remember being so excited about the release of this album and I was there the day it came out. I’ll remember the release of “Songs for the Deaf” as one of those incredibly important moments in not just my history but music history in general. This same ritual of being blown away continued when “Lullabies To Paralyze” and “Era Vulgaris” were released. There is something wonderful about the way a Queens Of The Stone Age record pops up in my life when I need it most.

That brings me to “…Like Clockwork” and its place in this long line of life changing rock n roll. I honestly thought that after his work with Them Crooked Vultures that Josh Homme couldn’t get any better in my eyes. The album he released with Them Crooked Vultures is one of the best things to happen in the past 20 years and its impact was so powerful on me that I was convinced that Homme himself may have topped the work he did on “Welcome To Sky Valley” by Kyuss which is my favourite album of all time. The music of Them Crooked Vultures was a saviour for me at a truly dark time and I really didn’t put too much stock into where Queens Of The Stone Age may take their sound next. After six years I was not expecting to be this in awe and blown away.

There is some special kind of magic happening on this new record that the band has hinted at previously but fully embraced on “…Like Clockwork” and thank fuck, the results are astounding. Fuck, this review is harder to write than I thought; I just love this album so much and I struggle to put into words as to why. This album is all I am thinking about from the moment I wake to the moment I go to sleep. Every inch of it has sunk in but I’m still finding more and more with each listen. It feels like Josh Homme has honestly made the album he’s always dreamed of as well because he looks so excited every time I see him play these songs via a live youtube clip. A triumph for him considering the darkness he had to live during the albums conception. I think that is part of what makes the album so amazing, the fact that it was born out of such darkness yet it provides so much light. Since the album’s release I’ve found myself leaving for work earlier just so I can listen to the whole album before I have to face the day and the same when I leave work, I take the long way home just so I get to hear every inch of this record. Every night when I go to sleep this is the album on my headphones. Fuck, have you got the point yet, I LOVE THIS FUCKING ALBUM.

The other night rather foolishly I proposed a clear link to Queens of the Stone Age and the The Beatles that was not understood by the audience of faceless internet data. That’s okay, I understood what I meant and to repeat my point, I think that Queens of the Stone Age are the logical evolution of The Beatles and that Josh Homme has the combined charm of all four Beatles in one beautiful package. I know, it’s a hard theory to accept or digest but you know I believe in evolution and I am also fanatical about both bands and I think it is a theory that I’m going to stick with.

Fuck, I love “…Like Clockwork” and Queens Of The Stone Age on a hardcore level and I feel like I want to live another day in this fucking cruel world as long as I get to listen to the beautiful music made by this band.

Thank you Josh Homme you beautiful human being

10 Cassette Tapes Out Of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Official Website: http://www.qotsa.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/qotsa

ALBUM REVIEW: “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” by Alice In Chains

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There is so much power, beauty and intensity to the new Alice In Chains record “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” and quite frankly it is an even bigger triumph than the band’s first album without Layne Staley “Black Gives Way to Blue” which came out in 2009. The reason why it is such a triumph is because after losing such a vital part of their band – lead singer Layne Staley who passed away in 2002 – the band have managed to re-unite and continue their journey with grace never forgetting but also doing their best at moving forward.

When I first encountered Alice In Chains without Layne Staley back on 2009’s “Black Gives Way To Blue” I must admit to being against the idea of the band continuing. I have been a fan of the band since I was 13 going on 14 and just couldn’t picture an Alice In Chains without that amazing voice of Layne Staley out the front. After I devoured “Black Gives Way To Blue” for the first time I was convinced that the band had indeed moved on to a new era and it sounded so fucking awesome. It still had the flavour and mood of previous Alice In Chains albums but there was a new story to be told and I regret not being 100 per cent behind and in love with the way the bands new singer William DuVall has slotted into the band from the beginning, he really belongs out the front out of this band in regards to their move into the future.

This brings me back to “The Devil Puts Dinosaurs Here” which is hands down a career highlight for the band. It picks up beautifully where “Black Gives Way To Blue” did and drives the dense dark sound of Alice In Chains into its third decade as a band.

I wish I could explain why the music of Alice In Chains resonates so deeply with me because if I could plug you in to what I’m feeling when I listen to them then maybe you’d understand that they are more than just a “rock” band. There is this this mood and spooky kind of darkness that swirls all through their music and it has a beautiful capacity to heal all that pain and cruelty encountered during the course of your life. There is also the sheer brutality of it mixed with the heavenly sense of melody which frames the riffs with this amazing power. I firmly believe that it is those multi-layered vocal harmonies that give the songs of Alice In Chains their intensity. They act as this choir of doom but through that doom you are elevated to such a beautiful realm of bliss. It just feels so nice having it all wash over you after you’ve been emotionally injured. Perhaps I’m totally wrong but on both of the post-Layne albums there seems to be this intentional space left on each song, almost out of respect to Layne, where he would of slotted in with his vocal. I may just be searching way to deeply in these songs but I firmly believe that whether or not it is intentional or not there is a Layne sized space in each of these new songs. That in itself is a positive thing and again, perhaps I’m searching way too deeply into it but it feels like this weird sign of respect to his legacy with the band.

On “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” I’m reminded of everything I love about Alice In Chains and how influential they are as a rock n roll band. So many bands borrow the dynamics of this band but few of them rarely reach the depth. I think it is because they lack that special darkness that swirls inside each member of the band (both past and present). The future of this band is set in stone and I can’t wait to welcome more albums from Alice In Chains to the world.

10 Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Official Website: http://aliceinchains.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aliceinchains

ALBUM REVIEW: “Summer Songs” by My Left Boot

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I first caught My Left Boot playing live at Devil’s Kitchen at the Annandale a few years back and they were talking up an album coming at some point. I estimate that was 2005, so to have the new Summer Songs long player in my hands has been a long time coming, and it’s very very rewarding. I have to say, the immediate Soundgarden vibe I get from the first half of this album is profound, singer Chappy’s fantastic vocals channel a primal Cornell howl set against tasty grooves and hard rock that could have been culled (for quantity, not quality reasons) from King Animal.

Opener ‘Closest’ unfolds slowly, taking it’s time. There’s a heavy 70’s feel (Robert Plant is another comparison that a good friend made) channelled through a 90s sensibility (and by 90’s, I mean the whole Seattle rock thing). ‘Your Ancient Bones’ is an early standout, and most heavily stamped with the Soundgarden influence, the Boot’s sound recalling the heady days of grunge for all the best reasons, and brimming with life and vitality. Extended jam ‘You Good Mutt’ marries a great vocal line and a slinky guitar line to great effect, and rocker Just Have Ta is vintage Boot, great fun from go to whoa.

The second half of the album takes on a different feel, ‘Sometimes Love’ features Neil Young and Crazy Horse style hand claps, a great lumbering riff and a shrieking vocal refrain that gives way to a spiralling solo. Their take on Rodriguez’s fuzz laden ‘Only Good For Conversation’ is suitably swinging, and the full throttle ‘Suck It Up’ is a late gem, full of wah pedal action and boasting a great chorus.

It’s worth checking out the killer live version of the above mentioned song on the following link where Chappy’s voice is really in its full glory:

All up this is a fantastic album that demands and rewards repeat listens. Pick up the album at http://store.myleftboot.com/ and get a bottle of Boot Beer to go down with the album, quality drop to go with a cracking album.

By: Roger Killjoy

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/myleftboot

ALBUM REVIEW: “This Is Not The End” by Baby Animals

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Suze DeMarchi has possibly the greatest female rock & roll voice of all time.

It’s an absolute pleasure to hear her in front of a virile, muscly rock & roll band again.  Sonically, not much has changed since 1991, DeMarchi is in phenomenal voice throughout the entire record, and the band sounds like the late 90’s and 00’s never even happened.  This is an unashamedly big, stadium rock record, full of Dave Leslie’s guitar solos, a rock-solid rhythm section, and that voice.

That voice also has a lot to say.  The album kicks off with lead single ‘Email’, a volatile stab of anger that sounds like it’s aimed squarely at DeMarchi’s ex-husband Nuno Bettencourt.  Real heartbreak and anger seem to be at the heart of the record, and this means that nothing comes across as manufactured or forced.  The end result is that in this day in age it sounds completely refreshing and new, even if the band is stuck in 1991.

It’s not a particularly short record, clocking in at 43 minutes, but it seems to fly by in half that time.  This is a very good sign, as soon as it finished I had to put it on again.  I predict this will be on high-rotation on my stereo for quite a while.

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This Is Not The End doesn’t quite reach the heights of their debut record, Baby Animals, but it gives Shaved And Dangerous and absolute belting.  It’s easily up there with the best material they’ve ever released.

Thank god they still make rock bands like Baby Animals.  Suze DeMarchi, I could listen to you sing all day.

Rating: 9 / 10

By Clint Morrow

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/babyanimalsmusic

SINGLE REVIEW: “Came Back Haunted” by Nine Inch Nails

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I am so excited that in September Nine Inch Nails will be releasing a brand new record. I could spend days, weeks, years, decades explaining to you why Nine Inch Nails are such an important band but for now I’ll keep it simple and focus on the brilliant new single “Came Back Haunted” which was released on Friday.

I’ve listened to this song non-stop since Friday and I can’t get this song out of my head, fuck, it is so damn good. It has all the wonderful templates and more with that amazing mood and atmosphere we’ve come to know and love from Trent Reznor, oh boy I’m excited. This song just sounds so alive when you compare it to anything modern (both above and underground) and it births so much wonder in terms of how this new album will sound.

It’s safe to say that when the band’s new album “Hesitation Marks” is released on Friday 30th August 2013 I will be at the Record Store when it opens to make sure I secure my copy. After being flawed and in love with How To Destroy Angels debut “Welcome Oblivion” for the past few months it thrills me beyond belief to have two Trent Reznor masterpieces released in the same year.

10 Cassette Tapes Out Of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ninofficial

SINGLE REVIEW: “Out Of Time” by Stone Temple Pilots

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I have a massive dilemma with this new Stone Temple Pilots song “Out Of Time” and it is the simple fact that it features Chester Bennington on lead vocals. It is just another frustrating turn of events in the unpredictable career of Stone Temple Pilots and after proving once again what a fuck up he really is the band once again parts ways with the original singer of the band Scott Weiland and this time it seems permanent. I’m not going to get into the drama and the history of Stone Temple Pilots because it frustrates me too much, I’ll do my best to focus on reviewing this taste of what’s to come for the band.

In terms of a song it is a fairly pedestrian / paint by numbers Stone Temple Pilots song which is fine, it does all the things a rock song from this band should do. Vocally, if I didn’t know I’d assume it was Scott Weiland singing the song. I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing, either way Chester Bennington sounds a lot better out the front of Stone Temple Pilots than he does with his own band Linkin Park who are a band I just can’t ever really enjoy. The weird synergy with both bands is that they rode into popularity on the back of better bands (grunge / nu-metal) and it’s sometimes hard not to see both Stone Temple Pilots and Linkin Park as the major label endpoint of something that starts out pure and sincere.

That’s an argument for another blog post, because despite the history I really enjoy the music of Stone Temple Pilots and even though they have made some great rock n roll through the years I can’t see it getting any better which is fine because it is a nice template that the band draws on. I’m convinced that if they put out an album with Chester Bennington that it will be enjoyable and I’ll definitely buy it but fuck, all of this dysfunction makes it hard to like Stone Temple Pilots sometimes.

8 Cassette Tapes Out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/stpband

SINGLE REVIEW: “Josie” by Go Violets

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Stop everything you’re doing right now and go and download the brand new single “Josie” by Go Violets who are without a doubt the most exciting band happening in Brisbane at the moment.

Go Violets make fun simple pop music that on the surface has that obvious link to lo-fi summer pop music like Best Coast but dig a bit deeper and you hear a more optimistic version of the breeders. I’m also hearing a weird but totally right on Jackson Five sound as well which gives all of the bummers and darkness a nice sunshine sheen. This is a band who knows how to rock and how to construct vital pop music. I love how you can hear the pain buried inside all of the sweetness and that there is indeed a plea for escape oozing out of the pop skills. Sometimes I like teenage angst with spoonful of sugar.

I’m sure glad I stumbled across this band because they have sailed into my heart and set my world on fire, fuck, I love this song and I can only imagine how amazing their forthcoming EP will be.

Clear a space in your top five singles list of 2013 and make room for “Josie” by Go Violets because it deserves to either top it or sit comfortably at number three. There is all kinds of joy, rage and sunshine exploding from this band, don’t fucking miss a minute of it.

10 Cassette Tapes Out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

http://gogoviolets.bandcamp.com/track/josie

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/goviolets
Bandcamp – http://gogoviolets.bandcamp.com

SINGLE REVIEW: “One Month Without Sex (DTF)” by The Boys

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I’ve found being a fan of The Boys a frustrating exercise. It is that usual frustration that creeps in with most local acts I’ve enjoyed over the past decade where I love the band in the live arena but find that the recorded material never matches up. While The Boys debut EP provided initial excitement it didn’t have the longevity that I was hoping for. The bands live shows have however continued to be exciting and a lot more thrilling experience. So it was with excitement and also a degree hesitance that I sat down to review the new single from The Boys called “One Month Without Sex (DTF)” which was recently released as part of the 100 songs in 100 hours (Indie 100) compilation.

The title I must admit instantly turned me off and I had to really push past the shallow theme of it to make sure that I did my best to listen to the song objectively. For some reason that title really bugged me, it is a little too careerist for my tastes and I debated if it was titled in this way because it was meant to be tongue in cheek humour or a literal first world complaint song, I have a sneaking suspicion it is the latter. The title aside, my main goal was to find a way for this song to resonate with me, to leave me feeling changed and most of all I wanted to see if the song had the capacity to heal the woes of a bad day. Since the 29th May 2013 I’ve been living with this song and playing it through my headphones, my home stereo, my car stereo and making sure I listened to it at all times of the day. I attempted to make it my “Start the Day” song, my “Car Ride from the Day Job” song, my “Public Transport” song and of course my “I’m in Emotional Pain” song. I treated this song like it was going to be the only thing to save me. I don’t think I’d lived with a song as much as this one before reviewing it and after eleven days I think I learnt a lot about what I do and what I don’t like about The Boys and their music.

To begin with I will say that this is by far the strongest song The Boys have ever written and the band has certainly evolved creatively since their first EP. The guitars soar and the rhythm section is ultramega tight which give a good pace to the song. My main complaints about this song come down to its length, lack of dynamics and the vocals. I reckon the song needs to be half the length it currently is. If it was about 2 minutes and one second long then it would have been more effective as a piece of communication. Due to the song being as long as it is it runs out of ideas real fast hence the lack of dynamics being a problem. So straight away by shortening the song the band would kill two birds with one stone and after listening to it just now I’m convinced that it would also tackle the issue of the vocals. There is a passion in the way Jordan sings for sure but it has a habit of veering into the kind of over singing that your talent show contestants indulge in.  I think overall the vocals could be more dynamic in regards to how they are used within the song. I want to believe the words and the pain but the truth is I just don’t, it all sounds a little too rehearsed and clichéd drama wise. I’m sure for someone younger than me it may just be what they need to hear but the kind of pain in this song has a used by date and clearly I’m way past it.

Look, I feel terrible being this critical of a band that I think are so great every time I see them live but my job is to report the truth and what I feel when I listen to the music I’m asked to review and I have to be honest and say I was underwhelmed by this song. I gave it quite an epic amount of air time to give it the chance to sink in and there were moments where I was merely entertained by it as opposed to being emotionally saved. The reason I rush out to buy a record by a band is because I am looking for it to act as a vehicle of escapism and to really help solve and soothe the cruelty of life. All the bands that I love are wonderful at providing this and for the last eleven days I tried to get that rush and thrill from The Boys and their song “One Month Without Sex (DTF)” but it just didn’t happen.

Does this make The Boys a bad band?

Not at all, it just means that I’m not really the target market. They are still a band that I support regardless of my feelings on this song and as I said in my previous review of their debut EP “more arty, less party” is the best way forward for the band.

It’s clear who The Boys are influenced by when you listen to “One Month Without Sex (DTF)” but I reckon if they want to be artists as opposed to entertainers then they should stop listening to rock n roll and delve a bit deeper into some of the more alternative forms of artistic expression in order to strengthen the way they communicate their feelings and emotions.

My first piece of advice would be for every member of The Boys to buy a copy of “Big Science” by Laurie Anderson and study the following song “O Superman” on a daily basis:

“O Superman” is a great pop song about pain, angst, struggling with your sexuality and the dilemmas of growing up and remaining sexless for longer than one month.

7 Cassette Tapes Out Of 10

By: Dan Newton

The Boys will be supporting US band THE BELLRAYS at THE HI-FI on THURSDAY 13 JUNE and will be playing alongside DZ DEATHRAYS, MILLIONS and GUNG HO at VALLEY VIBES 2013 on SUNDAY 16 JUNE.

Listen to “One Month Without Sex (DTF)” on the following link:

http://100songsproject.bandcamp.com/track/one-month-without-sex

Useful Links:

FACEBOOK: WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/THEBOYSMUSIC

SINGLE REVIEW: “Too Loud Too Naked” by Bertie Page Clinic

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I have to give a pre-warning here, I’ve never been a fan of Bertie Page Clinic and I feel I need to provide that disclaimer because quite frankly I never really wanted to review anything they released as a band. It’s not because the people in the band are bad human beings or anything like that I just don’t really vibe with the music they make as a group, it just does not resonate with me at all. I’ve got no business reviewing music I have no resonance with.

So why am I reviewing the new single “Too Loud Too Naked” by Bertie Page Clinic then?

Well it was emailed to me via their management team and quite personally I love the challenge of reviewing something that I already know I don’t really like.

Here is the new song from Bertie Page Clinic called “Too Loud Too Naked”

I must admit that whenever anyone mentions the name Bertie Page Clinic to me the first two things that pop into my head are the following:

and

That may however be due to the following song that they released last year sometime

This new song, I don’t know I just get nothing out of it. I mean the band is tight and everyone plays well and all that but I just don’t understand the point of this song.

I think I’ll let Mike Patton sum it up for me once again:

Sorry Bertie Page Clinic but this is not music that I really enjoy at all, it’s just way too dated and bland for me to even care enough to support it. I know you have a big following and established fan base so this review won’t really serve any purpose but I thought I’d give it a shot and yep, nah, sorry pass.

This music and band are way too dated and careerist for my liking, but then again I’m a miserable complaint rocker so I’m probably the worst person to be reviewing a band like this.

0.5 Cassette tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/bertiepageclinic

SINGLE REVIEW: Clint Reviews ARIA’s Top Ten Singles Chart as of 3rd June 2013

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I’ve decided to expand my horizons.  I liked pop music when I was a kid, so why not now?  Let’s see what’s changed since 1995 in the world of ‘pop’.  Here are my thoughts as I listen to each track:

10. Bruno Mars – Treasure

Oh hello Funk.  I’m unfamiliar with Bruno Mars, and this was unexpected.  This is a very inoffensive beginning to my Top 10 experience.  Think prime-era Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder.  Funky, groovy, but in this case, unimaginative.  I don’t hate it, it’s a bit of fun, but I won’t be listening to it again either.

9. Mariah Carey feat. Miguel – #Beautiful

For a song ‘featuring’ Miguel, he gets a lot of airtime; Mariah doesn’t chime in until 1:30.  To be honest, I wish they’d both kept quiet.  The track is musically uninspired.  How this crap was put forward as a single I have no idea.  And to be honest, who buys this shit?  Stick to early 90’s Mariah if this is your thing, at least she showed off her pipes, rather than her legs back then.

8. Paramore – Still Into You

Guitars!  Hoor-…oh wait, it just sounds like Avril Lavigne.

7. Jason Derulo – The Other Side

Autotune.  Die.  Oh, and sampling in the chorus.  How original.  How long does this thing go for?  I’m at 3 minutes and I want to stick a power drill in my ears.  “Are you sure you want to do this?” Derulo asks at the start of the song…

6. Rudimental feat. Ella Eyre – Waiting All Night

Props for the inspiring video, but the tune is the aural equivalent of this:

5. Matt Corby – Resolution

Matt, I can see what you’re trying to do, but ditch the major label polish, play some dives for 12 months, then go and re-record in a garage in Byron Bay, because that’s the sound you’re actually after.

4. Bastille – Pompeii

I hate lazy electronica.  I can’t put my finger on it, but I’ve heard the melody before.  The backing vocals are interesting.  The rest of it’s shit.

3. Passenger – Let Her Go

When did twee indie become popular?  Oh, right, this is all Bon Iver’s fault.  This guy’s voice is incredibly annoying, but other than that it’s probably the least offensive song so far.  I just can’t get over the gloss on these songs.  Don’t people realise that music is supposed to breathe, not bombard?  Go easy on the compressor next time…

2. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky

So, uh, isn’t this just Jamiroquai in helmets?  I think this is how top 40 radio works, they just bombard you into submission.  After half a dozen songs your brain switches off and you start getting used to it.

1. Robin feat. T.I. & Pharrell – Blurred Lines

THIS is the most popular song in the country right now?  “I take a good girl, I know you want it”.  Cool story, bro.  That shitty Michael Jackson wannabe ‘OH!’ throughout the song is really annoying too.  I have no time for anyone who writes songs about how shit-hot they are.  Compensating for something?

Now for the cleansing:

What have we learned from this little excursion?  People will buy any old crap if you market it well.

By: Clint Morrow