FRIDAY EDITORIAL: Don’t Download / Buy the record instead (a reflection on the thrill of release day)

H&W

I don’t care what anyone says, the ritual of release day is one of the biggest thrills ever for a fan of music. That is the thrill I’m currently engaged in as I write this and because I can’t adjust the fabric of time I’m writing this reflection in order to watch it pass.

So what exactly am I talking about?

I’m talking about the fact that today Nine Inch Nails are releasing their first studio album in five years – titled “Hesitation Marks” – and because I respect music I have waited until its official release date to go to the record store to purchase it. I could have downloaded it, listened to the stream and of course stole it illegally but there is no thrill in that. I can’t interact with the album on a personal level through that ritual and I respect that the young humans and the older humans who have adapted (sigh) feel that the download (legal or illegal) and the stream option are more convenient but they carry no joy or thrill. I may be speaking strictly for myself but I’m willing to bet that the emptiness that sometimes fills your soul when you indulge purely in data comes as a result of there being zero effort involved in your consumption, I mean fuck, you didn’t even leave your house.

This tradition is a cycle that I’m constantly locked in and I plan my whole life around these release schedules. I budget like a motherfucker and make sure I have the adequate funds to buy these records when they are released and the release schedule – as I look at my own personal calendar – is stretched out to December. All of the great music being released between now and then has been budgeted for and I’m already readying my diary and budget for the 2014 schedule. I love buying records and I love going to the record store to do this. I also love going to the record store and buying stuff “just because” but by and large the most thrilling day is release day.

The reason this day is so thrilling is because it rewards your patience. In some cases you’ve been waiting years for this album to be released and leading up to the release you’ve taken every chance to indulge the glimpses, the singles, the tracklist and the artwork but I never go out of my way to try and hear it. I know this modern era gives you more access and chances to hear it but I’ve got no time for that, I respect music way too much.

So on days like today I always find that I’m up early; my excitement outweighs my need for sleep. Everything around me is totally right on, this is the best mood you’ll ever see me in and for all those fools who want to see me at my most happiest and positive I say to you just come round on the morning a new album is being released by an artist I love and you’ll fucking experience that. The few hours between waking up and the record store opening usually involve listening to the artist’s previous works fuelling the excitement further. Then, once 9:00am hits the first thing I do is ring the record store to confirm the album has arrived and is in stock. Once I hear that it is I then drive to the record store to purchase the album.

Walking into the record store and approaching the shelf and seeing the album on the display is one of the most beautiful things ever. I usually spend a moment just staring at that display with a smile on my face, consumed with so much happiness that I could cry. It has finally arrived, release day and here I am just moments away from hearing the new album. I go to the shelf and pick up a couple of the albums until it feels right and then once I’ve picked my copy I go and buy it, hop in my car and put the album on the car stereo and just drive until I’ve heard the whole thing. The remainder of the day I remain in a zone of pure happiness and spend all of my time listening to the album.

There have been album release days where I’ve taken days off work to make sure I had the whole day to listen to the album and there have also been occasions where I have ended up travelling all over town just to make sure I have that album. I’ve been known to buy both the special and standard edition of an album just because I’m caught up in the rapturous moment of release day. I’ve forgone social activities and food just so I can have the money to buy an album on release day. If it’s the difference between going out and socialising or saving my money to buy more records, I’ll take the buying records option any day of the week. I tried the iTunes thing once but it just felt so empty and there was no thrill, it just felt so fucking impersonal and I just couldn’t live myself doing that all the time.

I guess I feel this way because this ritual has been happening ever since I got into music. The levels I would go to in order to make sure I had that album on the day it was released truly astounds me now when I think about it. In high school, instead of spending tuckshop money I’d save it and put it aside to buy new albums that I knew were going to be released. I’d fucking starve at school just so I had enough money put aside to cover the purchasing of those brand new albums. It was always worth it and I’ve developed such meaningful relationships with the artists I love as a result of this ritual.

So what’s the point of this all?

If you love a band or artist, pay the fucking money man – we live in such free society that we can afford to pay for our fucking music but then again sometimes freedom is wasted on the free

To quote my fellow record buying fiend and participant in the release day thrill Luke Dutney:

“I’ll pay what they’re charging for a band I like. If you like a band, buy it. If you download illegally (STEAL) a band’s music YOU ARE NOT A FAN!!!  If you don’t like what a band charges don’t buy their shit and shut your mouth … I don’t want to hear your whining!!!”

I couldn’t agree more

Happy Nine Inch Nails Release day – now leave your house you lazy fuck and buy a record at a record store and start respecting music.

Big Love

Dan Newton xo

VIDEO REVIEW: “Wanted” by Go Violets

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There’s not much to review in this video really, I just thought it would give me a second chance at once again review this totally amazing song.

So yeah, I’ve had time to live with the song now and my opinion still has not changed. This is a world class pop song that outshines a lot of the music happening in Brisbane; fuck it, the world at the moment. I know there are a heap of indie pop related bands happening at the moment that touch on this sound but none of them connect and I think that’s because they are so busy trying to be someone else they forget to be themselves. I know that is a rather immature thing to use in a music review, the whole “be yourself” quip, but I think that is the secret to why Go Violets sound supremely better because they are being honest with the listener.

Look, I much prefer sitting down to write about music that I like and that inspires some kind of passion in me. This week I had planned to write a whole bunch of reviews that have been piling up but I just haven’t been in the fucking mood to do it. Hearing new music from Go Violets and the pending release of the new Nine Inch Nails record have however sparked my muse once again and I’ve just wanted to sit down and  write endless articles about why the music of these two bands are so brilliant. Worlds apart I know but you know me I’m not a fucking genre dickweed, you either make good music or you make bad music and Go Violets and Nine Inch Nails both make supremely amazing music. Anyway, that is a fucking disclaimer of sorts I suppose blah.

So the film clip for “Wanted” is you know a film clip, it does what a film clip is meant to do and sells the song quite well. This film clip could have been a plain white screen of nothing and I still would have loved it, providing that song was playing.

I know a lot of your internal dialogues are confused  as to why a song like “Wanted” connects with me emotionally the same way a song by say Deftones, Nine Inch Nails, EYEHATEGOD or TOOL does and I can tell you that Go Violets do the self-same thing as all of those bands.  You either respect music or you don’t.  If you respect music you don’t see the difference between what Go Violets and Deftones do, it’s the same fucking same thing at the end of the day. Dynamically you can speak about the different tricks each band uses to communicate their emotions but at the end of the day it has the ache man and that’s all that matters. Genre should never come into how you engage with the music world because that leads you down a path to being a real bummer anti-equality (subconsciously) human and that is bad fucking voodoo for the world around you man, some real bad shit.

Anyway, anyway, anyway, anyway back to the song.

So yeah, the film clip, very cool but it’s giving me a second chance to review the song now that it has had a chance to be a part of my life for longer than a few hours. I wanted (pardon the pun, fucking boom tish boom) to really document with this review why the song is so damn cool. I know I have a habit of being way too fucking deep and intense and I’m sure some people may engage in that kind of conversation after they read this, the whole “shit, that guy looks way to deeply into things” and yeah yeah, fuck off – but once again I descend into disclaimers and not the point, so here is the point.

What makes “Wanted” so amazing is the lyrics and melodic structure of the song. The dynamics of the song itself are in debt to the kind of pop music that Kim Deal creates which will always allow for an instant “kool thing” vibe to leap out at you. There is an undeniable kool to Kim Deal and if Go Violets wanted to put a genre next to what they do they should just call it “Kim Deal Pop Music” because that collision of words really sells the amazing sound of what they do. I know the younger humans reading this will hear the whole Best Coast thing and yeah that does cross my mind but you know for as much as I love Best Coast all roads lead back to Kim Deal. I think in my searching to discover why I like “Wanted” so much I discovered that it has a lot to do with Kim Deal so yeah,” Kim Deal Pop Music” – I’m sure your publicity and management teams will advise against it but you know, that’s what I’ve labelled you in my iTunes library.

Go Violets make music in the same way that Kim Deal does, it is full of pop music spooks and punk rock kooks. There is however another reason, a lot bigger than Kim Deal, as to why Go Violets and the song “Wanted” in particular connects so deeply with me and it has a lot do with the following song:

Please press play and turn it up loud

That’s right, Carole King – everyone who has a healthy investment in all things grrrl and punk rock and slacker know just how important a record “Tapestry” is. The above song “It’s Too Late” is one of my favourite pop songs of all time. The hook and feel of “It’s Too Late” is the same good time vibe I get from “Wanted” when I listen to it. I love a band that can mix pop skills with weirdness and noise and Go Violets have a wonderful Carole King vibe to their pop skills and upon re-listening to “Josie” I’m also convinced that is why I love that song as well. I think The Carpenters are also responsible for that same feeling but “Wanted” has so much in common with Carole King.

So yeah, Kim Deal and Carole King that pretty much sums it up for me. That is why Go Violets fucking rule and that is why “Wanted” is a brilliant piece of pop music because it steals and re-invents the masters of the craft.

I’ll be counting down the days for the bands EP release in October.

10 Trillion Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Watch The Clip and Listen to the song right here:

http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/homeandhosed/blog/s3836035.htm

NINE INCH NAILS – A Reflection

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There is something unbelievably haunting about the sound of Nine Inch Nails. There is a deep sense of loss with a level of angst that flirts with the rage, joy and beauty of our existence. The music acts as a soundtrack to a life stalked by the very real silent spook that is death. When you slip into the bands many different sonic landscapes you are swallowed up and depending on your mood you either achieve an extreme level of resurrection or you dwindle into a black pool of sunshine, either way you experience a silent rapture that both heals and protects allowing you to ask more questions of the world you despise.

The music of Nine Inch Nails helps you escape and gives you the freedom to indulge the dark in order to reach the light. The music can be a warm hug for those true aliens who feel misunderstood by society but it is not music for victims or for those willing to consistently feel sorry for themselves. This is music that is designed to empower you and so that you can use all of that sadness, all of that loss and all of that anger to express your disappointment. Through using a band like Nine Inch Nails to express all of these negative emotions you surge forward and see the energy and rush of all this rage transform into something beautiful, the caterpillar to butterfly or maggot to fly analogy, so that you can soar and achieve some kind of happiness.

Through being a fan of Nine Inch Nails I’ve always felt that what I’m acknowledging to the world is that yes it does get dark but all darkness must pass to give way to the light and that death helps us gain an intense thirst for living. As I’ve learnt through the years, Nine Inch Nails are instruments of good and provide a divine sound for those with god shaped holes in their souls. 

There have been many moments in my life when I have had a crisis in faith due to a breakdown in my relationship with the outside world. In these moments I’ve felt so disconnected and so numb that I push myself into the ultimate state of cowardice where I don’t want to live but I’m too scared of death to invest in ceasing my existence.  It is in these moments that you desperately search for someone or something to act as a saviour.

In my darkest hours of retreat I’ve always found that the only music that resonates has been Nine Inch Nails. This resonance occurs not because it is some clichéd exercise in fashion but because the sound of the music accurately represents this breakdown of trust with the outside illusions known as the real world. When you question the very reality of your outside existence you don’t want to be distracted by the meaningless, you want to be dragged deeper into yourself so you can find that spark and in the process cause that explosion that will get you back to a healthy state of love and light. You want to find the meaning and you want satisfaction and on a basic level you want the face of love to stare back at you. When I think about the three moments in my life where I experienced this intense disconnection, it’s hard not feel blessed that it was music made by Nine Inch Nails that brought me out of my sadness slumber.

I could talk about each Nine Inch Nails album and its role in helping me reach my inner peace but when I muse on the truth of this situation it’s quite clear that the album by Nine Inch Nails that has been responsible for my redemption, time and time again, is “The Fragile” which is a masterpiece of sound and emotion.  From start to finish “The Fragile” offers a journey through darkness and numbness and beautifully soundtracks our need to sometimes disconnect from the world in order for us to plug back into it.

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 The very first song on the album “Somewhat Damaged” is the perfect introduction to that feeling, the feeling of knowing you’ve hit rock bottom and that darkness has once again framed your existence and that the sadness has caused you to lose hope. It isn’t about the ache, the ache is shattered – this is a sigh that wails deep inside of you after you’ve swallowed a lifetime of heartbreak and loss which has now left you damaged.

 This perfectly segues into the second track “The Day the World Went Away” which now gives a full setting to your escape and your hopelessness.

From here, the remaining tracks on the “left” portion of the album illustrate the descent and the weight of your hurt. There is a beautiful way in which this portion of the album drags you down with an almost sinking feeling that trades your anxiety for relaxation. Being dragged so deep into the darkness is allowing for calm to introduce itself back into your repertoire, as if you’ve accepted your fate and you’ve glimpsed peace.

Your retreat into the cocoon of darkness is sealed shut with the final track on the “left” side which is called “The Great Below” – a spooky but very apt title for your final moments trapped inside the weight of your existence and the prefect final goodbye.

What the “left” side of “The Fragile” teaches us is that sometimes you have to die a little bit in order to reignite that thrill for life. It reminds us that it is okay to dwell in a period of sadness and to collect all of your hurt providing it is leading you to some kind of redemption. If through this collecting of darkness you don’t find the way out then you have become an instrument of fear and that is a heavy thing to succumb to, that is a lifelong burden that has no joy or love or beauty attached to it.

After years of studying the “left” side of the album and having it soundtrack my own darkness I can safely say that Nine Inch Nails were indeed illustrating the power of the breakdown is to use it to rise up and to break through the fear, pain and weight of this existence.

This brings me to the second component to “The Fragile” – the “right” side of the album.

After the darkness of the albums “left” side the “right” side of the album opens with the glorious resurrection song “The Way Out Is Through” which is a wonderful collection of spooks and swoons that climax with a crescendo that strikes like a divine hit of fresh sunshine. It truly is the moment where you feel reborn and refreshed and willing to see the beauty of breathing once again. It is one of the most overwhelming songs on this record and like all good moments framed by rapture there are equal parts surrender and joy attached to the way the song is communicated.

Whilst the “right” side opens up with this hit of redemption, there is still a great deal of confusion running through the songs that follow. There is a rage inside each song but it is a rage that is coming from a renewed strength rather than the woe of it all. You have been propelled forward by the darkness and you can taste the light but the distance you have to travel to reach it is still a great many kilometres. This is when your anger turns into frustration and instead of fearing the world you want to take it on and express your disappointment. This is the moment where you start destroying the world around you to build it back up again. When I listen to the “right” side of “The Fragile” that is what the music communicates to me, that you have found your place and your peace but you are still not satisfied. You want to hunt down the darkness, building your strength to a point where the fear will no longer consume you. It is about getting the strength to move forward and to remain focussed.

The final moment of the “right” side is the beautiful “Ripe (with decay)” which puts the perfect full stop to the journey. This song allows for a moment of reflection on all of that hurt, all of that sadness, all of that loss and all of that darkness and how finally this brief glimpse of peace allows you to become one with the darkness. The power of what “Ripe (with decay)” communicates as a piece of music is that you learn that there is no dark without light and no light without dark and in order to have happiness you must have sadness and that all of that hurt is a reflection of the joy. Ultimately – in the end – Love and Pain are one in the same.  

The eerie moodiness of “Ripe (with decay)” brings your thoughts to the one truth, that we all die and that everything both inside of us and outside of us is a coping mechanism for dealing with the great unknown.  Normally, in your more fragile state, this kind of thought would cause an anxious storm to erupt but as you’ve now navigated the darkness you begin to realise the calming nature of such a thought. That for all the truth we can obtain that there is still so many unknowns and that it all ties into our fascination to what happens after we die. As you watch the sun rise you start to realise that there is good air to breathe and that death remains to be the greatest mystery but also the greatest adventure for you yet.

The heaviness of the music on “The Fragile” extends to each album released by the band but when I listen to Nine Inch Nails discography there feels like a clear divide between the albums that came before “The Fragile” and the albums that came after “The Fragile.” The albums that came before the “The Fragile” – Pretty Hate Machine, Broken (EP) and The Downward Spiral – illustrate the struggle, the darkness and the pain giving context to the complicated emotional world of the band and in particular Trent Reznor. All of this pain, hurt, sadness and loss climaxes to a beautiful crescendo of black sunshine on “The Fragile” as the pain finally gives way to joy and redemption.

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After “The Fragile” Reznor took the sound into new territories and evolved how the pain and the hurt felt, giving it a more external world context as opposed to the internal. On “With Teeth,” “Year Zero,” “Ghosts I-IV“ and “The Slip” Trent did a wonderful job at using the sonic landscape to illustrate his complicated emotions and how life does still manage to crush your heart but by using anger as an energy and as a form of self-expression you are allowing a degree of positive light into the world. That whole, it is all one in the same deal (as mentioned above) which helps give context to a continued discipline to the rage.

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When Trent Reznor decided to leave the Nine Inch Nails moniker behind I was not upset at all because I knew that he’d find his way back to his main vehicle of self-expression. As David Bowie once sang, it only took five years and within a matter of days we’ll have the brand new Nine Inch Nails album “Hesitation Marks” available to us all.

From the brief glimpses that I’ve heard I’m proud and quite excited about the direction Reznor has taken the music. It shows an intense growth that puts a spotlight on how he has managed to survive that darkness whilst still being stalked by it. Even though the music has matured it has not lost its rage or its ache, it is simply communicated with middle-age hindsight and understanding allowing room for some joy to poke out through the moodiness and darkness and rage of it all. I’m expecting a journey with “Hesitation Marks” and as a soon to be 30 year old human I’m looking forward to Reznor speaking about what pain feels like once it evolves and grows up. I’m so glad that Trent has decided to resurrect Nine Inch Nails because they are a beautifully unique creative enterprise.

Although I didn’t want to speak directly about my favourite Nine Inch Nails songs I thought that I’d leave this little article by sharing with you one of my favourite songs from the Nine Inch Nails discography. The song I’ve chosen is “Something I Can Never Have” which originally comes from the band’s debut album “Pretty Hate Machine” however the version I’ve chosen is from an EP that was released with the bands live album “All that Could Have Been” – the name of that EP is “Still” and it contains re-workings of old songs and some brand new tracks. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of the Nine Inch Nails discography and the version of “Something I Can Never Have” from this EP really steals the show.

I believe that this version of the song accurately captures what is so special about Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails and why they remain to be one of the most important bands in the history of music.

Plug in the headphones, turn it up loud and bliss the fuck out to this song and witness the power of Nine Inch Nails:

If she ever wanted to know or if she ever wanted to understand how you sometimes feel about her world, then I’d tell her to press play on this song again – it says everything and it leaves open a window for her to observe the disintegration of your yearning and how all of this desire and silent sighing is transforming into an ache that will leave multiple invisible scars. This song will always taste like her name and stands as the best sonic representation of how overwhelming the unrequited can sometimes be.

It is absolutely beautiful stuff and a prime example of why so many of us believe in the healing power of Nine Inch Nails and Trent Reznor.

By: Dan Newton

SINGLE REVIEW: “Wanted” by Go Violets

GoViolets

The brand new song from Go Violets is called “Wanted” and you all need to hear this amazing piece of pop music. There is so much to love about the sound of Go Violets and the bands previous single “Josie” was a slice of sweet slacker shine but “Wanted” makes all kinds of pleasure promises for what our ears can expect on the bands upcoming EP “Heart Slice” which is out on the 4th of October.

Look, I had a whole schedule of reviews and articles to write for Heavy and Weird tonight but as soon as I heard this song I just had to put all of that on hold so I could spend time listening to “Wanted” so I could review this song tonight. I love this band and this song beautifully exceeded my expectations and to be honest I knew that we were in for something pretty special because Go Violets are human beings who respect and believe in the healing power of music, that’s why they sound this fucking good. This was the band our town has needed for some time, the very definition of a breath of fresh air.

From start to finish “Wanted” is a world class song and showcases an array of pop skills and a heavy understanding of the lo-fi slacker dynamic. The band however doesn’t just buy into the thrill of these dynamics they crack them wide open and add all kinds of new flavours which is what allows for Go Violets to sound so fresh in such a redundant climate of humans painfully reminding us about the “90’s” and why the music from that decade was so great. You can tell that the band is having fun making this music and they mean every inch of it.

There is a clear evolution with the sound of “Wanted” compared to the bands earlier recordings, showcasing a band that are escaping any of the “they really sound like so and so” dilemmas that can haunt you in your early days as band. Go Violets have cooked up their own unique taste. It is fucking thrilling as a fan to consume because it just keeps getting better and better.

I don’t really know what the band are singing about or who they are singing it too. I don’t know if there is some deep intense ache fuelling it and quite frankly I don’t care because the song connects deeply when I hear it. It provides all kinds of emotional satisfaction and it really does change the mood of your day for the better and begs for repeat plays. I’ve had this song on repeat all evening and I can say that it still satisfies.

Go Violets will always get top marks from me and I think it is becoming quite clear that they are one of the most vital bands occurring in the world at the moment. I guarantee you that this band will go global and I’ll be proud to fly the whole “hey man, they’re from Brisbane” flag when it happens.

10 billion cassette tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Buy the song from iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/wanted-single/id687585989

Useful Links:

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

 

 

THURSDAY EDITORIAL: Listening With Your Eyes

Lately I’ve been pondering if people would have cared about certain bands if they looked different. It’s no secret that some humans prefer to listen with their eyes as opposed to their ears and the whole music industry is built on image conscious people with no one being spared. Some great artists have suffered because of the way they look where others have flourished, simply for looking the part and showing up. It is a fickle debate to enter into but my interest in the topic was once again sparked when I heard King Buzzo from The Melvins say something interesting about Kurt Cobain. He mentioned that besides writing great songs Kurt Cobain also looked the part and that was part of the reason why the major labels loved him because they could sell the full product. As King Buzzo pointed out, if Kurt Cobain looked like him or was overweight or ugly in any way that the major label Geffen may not have signed them because they couldn’t have marketed them and that sometimes looking the part is what can win the day. I’d never really put Kurt Cobain in this context before because he was the king of alienation and pain but it did open up some ideas in my head and for the purpose of this experiment let me pitch this to all you humans out there, would have the world brought into Nirvana if they looked like this:

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or this

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If this human was the person singing Smells Like Teen Spirit would have he changed the world

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Would the power of “Nevermind” have been lost if the above humans were the people who released it?

It’s a very confronting question because I bet all of you are thinking to yourselves that the power of what “Nevermind” was would have triumphed and it would have still connected. Would have the major label been interested in just the “songs” if Nirvana looked like the humans above and would have just the “songs” changed a whole generation?

I honestly find this a hard question to answer and I’m sure you do as well, the truth of the matter is I don’t think just the “songs” would have made an impact which is sad because they are great songs but somehow – and this is me be incredibly honest with myself – if Kurt Cobain looked like Tad Doyle the Nirvana revolution wouldn’t have happened. A sad fact of the shallow world we live in and it breaks my heart to be so extreme but I just can’t bring myself to believe that humans were capable of embracing Nirvana if Kurt Cobain looked like Tad Doyle.

So who is Tad Doyle and who is TAD?

Well I suggest you watch this video:

and Listen to this album in full:

All of a sudden that new Violent Soho album doesn’t sound so appealing and fresh anymore does it pussycat?

So what does this all mean at the end of the day?

Well to me this is an issue that plays into the equality debate and how the issue of equality goes a lot deeper than the surface minority related issues. Every inch of our behaviour plays into our relationship with equality and the extreme corporate saturation of every industry, no matter how pure, has allowed for so many humans to be forgotten or overlooked simply because they harbour some kind of different human aesthetic that causes other humans to delve into fear. When this fear is fully engaged, either consciously or subconsciously, you feed the beast that is inequality and that my friends is how we have arrived at such a lack of freedom in this so called free world. Don’t try and argue your way out of it, you may have your left wing or right wing politics brand all worked out but that is surface level stuff really, if you dig into the unconscious way you consciously interact with something as basic as music you start to uncover just how much growth you have to undertake as an individual to be a true instrument of change.

So I ask myself again, what does this all mean at the end of the day?

The music industry is a place I like to call home in terms of career interests. I play in a band, manage that band and engage in all of the “Brand Conscious” activities in order to survive an industry that has become so severely soaked in corporate structure that it is hard for anything truly radical and forward thinking – strictly speaking in relation to the manipulation of sound as an art form – to be pushed and promoted through those wonderful money making channels.

I hear your internal dialogues right now, you all probably think and assume that this “corporate structure” I’m referring to is limited to the mainstream areas of the industry. You’d be correct in assuming that this area of the music industry is full of a vicious cycle geared towards image and making money but that is way too easy of a target to pick on. Every human with an intelligent pulse understands how that system of government works, what I’m referring to when I speak about “corporate soaked” facets of the industry is the underground / independent / DIY scenes of music, the place where I dwell most of the time and the place where the so called alternative is meant to exist.

To return to my initial point for a moment, I want to focus on the question that I proposed which is this, would Kurt Cobain mean anything to you if he looked like Tad Doyle?

The reason I’m so cynical about the people answering “yes, I would have liked the music because I’m all about the music and bro, have you heard how good Nevermind is” is because I’m fairly confident that no one wants to look like an obese human being. I’m an obese human being and I don’t want to be an obese human being. I am constantly on the quest of dieting so I can escape this obese shell. There is no fashion in obesity and I can’t really see a time in history where the whole obese look was a thing young humans invested in to “express” themselves. Further to this point, as is the case with most hits of youth culture rapture, there reaches a point where the revolutionary becomes a sex symbol. Through all that connection and desire to be understood it overwhelms our minds and bodies causing us to succumb to the primal urge to fuck and all of a sudden when we find that human in that celebrity / fame realm who acts as a saviour there is part of us that invests in this very basic / low realm ego response.  We’re only human after all. So again, my cynical side says that no one would of felt a desire or need to engage this primal urge with Tad Doyle, which is upsetting because the guy is one of the most talented humans ever. I guess on a really shallow level from my point, and again this is purely based on my experience, I can’t really see all of those tragic trust fund “Abigail got her pony” female humans that I went to school with who had Kurt Cobain plastered all over their books wishing they could marry him feel that same way if Kurt looked like Tad Doyle. In the same way I don’t think all of the trust fund “Dad’s little Champion” male humans I knew who traded in their footballs and jock lifestyle for a guitar would have done that if Kurt looked like Tad Doyle.

I know that takes it to a really shallow level on my part but I feel that if I engage this question honestly the truth is no one would have cared about Tad Doyle if he was the one who made Nevermind. That really makes me sad because I care about and loved Tad Doyle growing up and I still care about his music to this day. I’ve followed what he’s done since and one day I hope I get the chance to meet him and to thank him for inspiring me. You see Tad Doyle was an equal hero for me, along with Ed Vedder, Mark Arm, Buzz Osbourne, Chris Cornell, Mark Lanegan and Kurt Cobain when I first got into the Seattle sound when I was eleven years old.

You see, music saved my life when I was eleven and the intense sounds from Seattle gave me hope. I wanted to not exist when I was eleven, I didn’t want to die but I didn’t want to live. I suffered at the hands of bullies and kept my pain silent. I reached a point where it was part of my existence. I figured and understood that I was different because of the way I looked. When I muse on it I had some truly heartbreaking things happen to me as a result of the way I looked. Although I’m not one for playing the victim I think for the purpose of this argument I’d like to discuss some of the cruelty I had to endure during my life.

As I mentioned I was an overweight human being and had suffered at the hands of Bullying for as long as I could remember. Ever since I was conscious enough to remember I knew and felt different. From my early years as an innocent young child to now I’ve had people point, laugh and go out of their way to tease and bully. It comes from people you know and absolute strangers. Going out in public from then to now has always involved the cruelty of people staring, laughing, pointing, yelling things at you and judging every single thing you do. The simplest of tasks attracts this ritual of abuse and a large portion of the time it is from strangers who just pass me in the street.

With age I’ve simply gotten better at accepting it and a lot of the time it just rolls of me but it doesn’t take away the fact that it still hurts and cuts pretty deep. My days at school were polluted with these experiences and on occasions it would be elevated to public displays of active abuse from those around me. During my primary school days a daily ritual would include people running behind me and stealing my hat and running off knowing that I did not have the capacity to chase them. In the designated lunchtime periods I would have food constantly thrown at me and advised to “eat it you fat fuck” and I’d also have people run along and steal my lunch as I was eating it claiming “you don’t need to eat that you fat fuck.”

One incident that is burned into my memory is something that happened one morning when I had arrived at school. I was in grade five at the time and when I went to the boys toilets all of the grade six boys were in there and they just cornered me. They then proceeded to rip off my school shirt claiming they wanted to see “what a fat fuck” I really was and then when they removed my shirt they spat on me and flushed my shirt in the toilet. I was beyond terrified by this. Instead of going to the principle and reporting it I stayed in the toilets all day until my shirt dried and simply waited until 3pm and left the toilets.

I told absolutely no one out of fear because I was scared of these people. During my high school years the abuse kept coming with the same types of rituals performed and the same old taunts. The hard part about this was the dedication to diets and weight loss through all of these years and how people even when you were dieting would still bully me. They just didn’t know the hell I was going through in order to better my life and lose that weight. I’ve had positive weight loss stories but that cruelty sometimes is what pushes me backwards. I have incredibly bad body image issues and despite how happy I generally am I fucking hate this part of myself, the part that is obese and that it is all that some people see and judge me on. It is something I want to tackle head on and I can tell you that I reached a point in my twenties where I lost so much weight that I looked like this:

DANTHIN

To quote my good friend David Zorzan, by the time I had reached this point in 2007 the damage was already done. I’d already suffered that life time of being fat and I didn’t have the emotional maturity to deal with that change. I had an incredibly hard time with it and I fell into a depression that caused me to eat my way back to this:

DANFAT

I’m currently planning to remedy this with my diet plan moving forward but for the purpose of this story and the internet warriors I think it is important for me to illustrate that the obese epidemic is not as simple as just “losing weight” and then you’ll be happy. I lost weight, but I wasn’t happy. I still had a hurt and a damage that I was unable to shake. I was still unable to love myself.

Through it all though, for whatever emotional damage it has done to me as a human being it has also birthed a drive and a desire for life. I was never interested in being a victim and those who loved me always were great protectors and encouraged me to achieve everything I wanted in life, they believed in my passion for music. Instead of giving into the bullies and becoming the “fat fuck” or indeed “the victim” I chose to outlearn the bullies and become emotionally and intellectually better. So I read books, watched a lot of great films and documentaries, got into music, learned how to create music, learned about poetry and just threw myself into self-education. Living well is the best revenge and chasing what you love is vital. Through the love and support of my parents, family, friends and the music I started to believe and understand that I was better than them all.

It was the discovery of music as more than entertainment at age eleven when I got into Pearl Jam that really changed the game. An eleven year old shouldn’t have suicidal thoughts but I did and if it wasn’t for the rush of Pearl Jam and the Seattle grunge scene who knows what would have happened. With music I had found my saviour and from eleven to thirty (my current age) a lot of bands and artists have continued to save my life.

So what was it about music that saved my life?

It was the way it sounded, the way the pain dripped off it and how it connected so deeply with me. It wasn’t because of how the humans in the bands looked, it was because of the way they manipulated sound and funded their communications with weirdness and emotion. This music helped me escape myself and it gave me the strength to exist. I didn’t want to make me want to get a better haircut or change the way I looked or what clothes I wore, it simply made me want to escape and to create. Through all of those musical discoveries I was able to learn how to express all of my emotions through sound. I was turned on and educated on the importance of self-expression through art. I felt understood and after a life of idolising comic book super heroes I had real life humans who were almost like super heroes because they sang and played music about the kind of alienation and pain I was experiencing. All of those humans whose music I chose to invest in were responsible for inspiring me to live and as I’ve grown as a human and an artist that is all I wanted to do, to heal people and give them a space to escape through the music I create.

Unfortunately though, as I discovered in my twenties, the music industry does not favour music for music’s sake. Thanks to the money making channels humans found a way to market to that “pain” dollar and instead of just a sound it became an image that has now formed the template for marketing campaigns for young youth culture bands. It’s not a new concept and is a process in the hype machine becoming the focus over the art and instead of humans making art that communicates their honest pain and emotional intelligence we have humans writing and creating music in order to fill a formula. Even in the alternative / indie / DIY scenes you have bands and artists whoring themselves to the radio formula and working on a visual image of themselves in order to have other humans make money of them via the music industry hype machine. That wonderful process of having people connect to music purely for the way it sounds has now transformed into people resonating with music because of how people look. It’s like this constant cycle of bad 80’s glam metal that won’t stop and each year it starts to become so painfully clear that everything and everyone is too fucking brand aware to take the power back.

So how does this link into equality?

Well, every time you find yourself in a position where you have to design your band / music to not only have a commercially appealing sound whilst also maintaining a healthy visual aesthetic you are feeding the inequality machine. What you are saying to the world is that you believe in the corporate structure in place across all levels of the music industry and prefer people to listen to your band via their eyes as opposed to their ears. You are feeding the inequality displayed towards other humans and are no better than the racist, the misogynist, the homophobe and any other measuring stick for inequality. You are putting appearance and fear front and centre of your campaign and while it may work in terms of allowing success to pay you a visit, you’re soaking what you do in absolute bullshit. What you are communicating to the world is that you believe looking good, looking the part and fitting inside the box (when you preach being outside of the box) is more important to you than taking a risk. You are illustrating to the world that you won’t do anything unless you get paid and aren’t willing to do it for nothing before people thing it is worth giving you something for your hard work. You aren’t connecting with people on a soul level, but purely a visual low ego level which acts as an optical illusion to what is real and honest about the art you rip off in order to create your music. Instead of fighting the corporate structure you are giving into its demands and you are the furthest thing from being a radical instrument of change. There is no sincerity or longevity to this plan and you are fucking up our planet.

The same goes for those that consume music aka the fans. As art it is a subjective thing, it can’t be seen as a terrible thing to consume a band simply because they look good because you know what resonates with you. You are fucking fast asleep and are the furthest thing from being free. You see, freedom is wasted on the free and as a result of your indulgence in the visual aesthetic you have tipped the balance of power to the corporate regime and you are feeding that machine as opposed to stopping it. Don’t fool yourself, just because you reject mainstream music and indulge the alternative does not place you in a different spectrum. You are just a consumer being marketed too every second of the day and it is all being cleverly targeted to you. There is a lot of money to be made from pain and because of your willingness to suck Satan’s cock and feed the corporate saturation of music you’ve allowed this to happen and have killed and ignored artists with the depth. The hype machine snuffs out the pure and only delivers you the people willing to be inside the box (whilst claiming to be outside the box). You are buying into the product and you sit comfortably at home with your hi-tech devices and telephone machines and consume, consume, consume without even questioning why it tastes like shit. Quite possibly you’d eat shit, real physical shit if it was marketed to you in the correct way. The new alternative, the new sound and the new voice of pain, will require you to eat shit, fucking yum.

All of this freedom has caused you to fall asleep at the wheel and caused you to be too comfortable and this ever evolving corporate structure that pollutes all facets of the music industry is further proof that we are being controlled and told when, what and where to consume. It is the enemy of freedom and deals in all kinds of inequality that you are feeding by participating and adhering to the corporate structure and responsibilities.

Sounds pretty grim?

Well it does but we created it and we also have the power to destroy it. You don’t need to look good, write radio singles, invest in fashion, have a costume, theme or gimmick to your band or music. All you have to do is learn how to connect with people. That is the secret to real success, because music is sound and music is communication and people receive music through their ears. If you love what you do and are selling that love and communicating honesty, passion and your truth it will resonate with people. That is your only aim, to connect with people. No business plans are required, be prepared to do it for nothing and be radical. We can tear down these inequalities that have become part of the corporate structure if we stop feeding it with our desire to be inside of it. You can’t preach about equality and our need for it if you are chasing fame and celebrity over a real genuine connection with people. To my earlier point, music is sound and was designed for our ears, not our eyes. All of that stuff about people listening with their eyes has been established because we allowed the corporate world to control us and dictate to us what success looks like. This formula treats people like idiots and when you treat people like idiots you breed more idiocy and a great misunderstanding and inequality is birthed because people begin to assume what a band or sound should look like. That kind of behaviour is just way to close to how a racist, misogynist and homophobe behave and I can’t stress this enough, you feed it if you choose to engage this behaviour.

To me there has to be a point and I think in order to illustrate this and save a lot of internet warriors tearing holes in my argument I’ll leave you with the following video. If you watch this video and understand the message and point of it then you listen with your ears, if it confuses you then you have to stop letting the corporate world control your existence and choose love over fear:

I love you all, even if some of you do use your eyes instead of your ears to listen to music.

Big Love

Dan xo

SINGLE REVIEW: “The Ethereal Darkness Beyond Planet Earth” by Mega Ogre

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The brand new single from Mega Ogre is called “The Ethereal Darkness Beyond Planet Earth” and it is fucking amazing. It has that entire Doctor Who spook in its execution with some wonderful dream pop vocals courtesy of lead kool things Wailin’ George Alien and Average James who communicate with a delicious swoon. The emotional drama swirls in and out of some supreme pop sunshine ensuring that you allow just enough space for musical healing and indie pop dance floor rapturisms (for those who prefer a more aerobic approach to their catharsis). All in all it is one solid motherfucker of a tune that begs the question, when do we finally get a full length?

Mega Ogre should boycott the absurd unsure nature of release strategy and just launch straight into crafting a full length. An EP is a dandy pre-meal appetiser but when the flavour and emotional pulling power of song like “The Ethereal Darkness Beyond Planet Earth” hits you, you’re not interested in social meal etiquette – you want the fucking main course and with all the intelligence that drips from this song, Mega Ogre have the capacity to craft and intense and very interesting full length album full of shiver pop psyche Doctor who space rock.

You’re a fool if you don’t attach yourself to this band now, they will be fucking huge.

10 Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/megaogre
Bandcamp – megaogre.bandcamp.com/

 

Single Review: New Manic Spree – ‘Ghosts’

ImageDuring the first 30 seconds or so of New Manic Spree’s latest single, one question comes to mind: What happened to music with teeth?

Like a hundred other ‘indie rock’ bands, there’s a bland synth keyboard sound and polished good-boy vocals bemoaning some generic ailment, in this case ‘ghosts in my mind’.  The glassy, overly produced guitars evoke Bloc Party, and the deliberately off-kilter drumbeat would make watching a roomful of kids dancing to it a slightly hilarious sight.

Remember Expatriate?  This is what I think New Manic Spree could sound like:

But unfortunately ‘Ghosts’ winds up more in this territory:

New Manic Spree make a good fist of writing a song, it’s deceptively catchy by the halfway mark, but because of the production it sounds like hundreds of other songs by hundreds of other bands and is easily forgettable as soon as it ends.

But who am I kidding?  They’ll probably be huge on Triple J.

6 Synthesizers out of 10

By Clint Morrow

ALBUM REVIEW: “Walk Through Exists Only” by Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals

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I must make it quite clear that Philip H. Anselmo has been an influence on my life since I was 12 going on 13. My first exposure to Anselmo occurred when I brought “The Great Southern Trendkill” on cassette tape whilst on holidays with my family in Sydney, September 1996. At this point in my life I was quite in love with the whole Seattle thing with my only real exposure to Metal being through early dabbling’s with Guns N Roses, Ugly Kid Joe and that point, my favourite band Metallica. I was quite a massive fan of Metallica and had just gotten heavily into the bands catalogue and loved every inch of it. I had become aware of Pantera through my browsing of the alternative / metal section at my local record store in Mackay which was where my family lived at the time. Prior to the above mentioned family holiday I had heard the single from “The Great Southern Trendkill” called “Drag The Waters” on Triple J’s request fest which at that point was hosted by the brilliant Michael Tunn. I loved what I heard and as was the custom at this point in my life, I sat by the radio most nights hoping it was going to be played and tape it onto a blank cassette tape. I finally managed to capture this song and I was obsessed with it. When we arrived in Sydney for our holiday, my main aim was to spend my allotted holiday funds on purchasing the remaining Metallica cassette tapes I didn’t own and a copy of Pantera’s new album “The Great Southern Trendkill” which had just been released. I brought a lot of cassette tapes (from Artists like Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Everclear, White Zombie and Metallica) on that holiday but the one album and band that truly stood out was “The Great Southern Trendkill” by Pantera.

I still remember my first moment listening to “The Great Southern Trendkill” and I solemnly believe that one of the most important life changing moments for me was when I heard the title track which opens the album which I think you need to listen to right now:

This song changed my whole idea of what music could and should be. It introduced me to the healing power of heavy metal and lyrically it was an education. It plugged me into the importance of going against the grain and at that point in my life I needed something this heavy to save me. You have to understand as a 12 going on 13 year old human who was obese, the navigation of high school and life in general was torture. I was bullied beyond belief and there are some incredibly terrible stories I could tell you about things I’ve suffered at the hands of other humans through both mental and physical abuse, just for simply showing up. The angst of the Seattle and Alt Rock bands I was listening to was enough to heal but it wasn’t until I discovered Pantera that I truly was healed.

You see, what Pantera did over any other band at that point was providing me the strength to rise above those who chose to terrorise my existence. The music of Pantera saved my life, more than I can illustrate with words. This isn’t some clichéd reflection on how something saved my life, when I say Pantera saved my life I fucking mean it. This band gave me strength to rise above it all and to not become a victim, to see the silliness and foolishness of the humans who bullied me and that they were lacking the intelligence and communicative skills to be good humans. It taught me to be compassionate to the underdog and to do everything with an intense passion; life was worth living when I had Pantera in my life. Whilst everyone was busy being influenced by Kurt Cobain it was Philip H. Anselmo, Pantera’s lead singer, who solved and helped me learn from my pain. I become fanatical about everything Anselmo did and he was my hero above everyone else and still is to this day. He was the best friend I’ve never met and throughout his whole career I’ve remained loyal to all of the art he has made and continue to be inspired by all that he is about.

So the prospect of a Philip H. Anselmo solo album was quite thrilling for me as you could imagine and it has been a long time coming.

I could review this like every other asshole and compare it to Phil’s already impeccable and flawless catalogue but why waste my time doing that. I’m not here to get all scientific on why this album is such a brilliant piece of art; I’ll leave that to the other journalist humans. What I do want to do with this review is treat it as a thank you letter to Phil for all he has done for me over the last 17 years of my life.

So to Phil, I’d like to say thank you for being my number one inspiration as both a human being and an artist. No one has ever come close to matching the level of influence you have over what I do and regardless of what music I’m listening to, you always remain to be the original and the best. Thanks to you I have gone on to discover a world of amazing heavy metal and also found the confidence within myself to be a better human being. When I first started playing in heavy metal bands in High School, you were the person I wanted to be. When I attempted to play folk music as a solo artist after High School, you were the person I wanted to be. When I started playing art rock noise music with Galapogos you were the person I wanted to be. When I wanted to be a person who writes about music, like I do with Heavy and Weird, you were the person I wanted to be. Through wanting to be you I have managed to become myself and for that I feel incredibly blessed. I would not be alive if it wasn’t for you and your music. Your new solo album is hands down one of the greatest things you’ve done and since I brought it I have done nothing but listen to it and get lost in the amazing piece of art that it is. You truly are one of the most pure human beings in this world. Although you play intense, aggressive and dark music it comes from a place of love and because you are out there doing what you love you make millions of people incredibly happy. The amount of positive energy that this generates is what helps so many of us wake up each day to face the world. Without your influence I wouldn’t have woken up to just how cruel this world is but in realising this I’ve also understood how I can rise above it and go against the grain and chase my dreams with an intense discipline and passion. Anytime I have been told how good something is that I’ve done I always think of you and how it has been because of your influence.

So thank you Philip H. Anselmo and once again, you have made an incredible solo album that strengthens your already flawless discography.

10 Billion Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook for Philip H. Anselmo – https://www.facebook.com/philipanselmo

Facebook for Philip H. Anselmo and The Illegals – https://www.facebook.com/Philipillegals

Facebook for Pantera – https://www.facebook.com/Pantera

Facebook for Down – https://www.facebook.com/down

Facebook for Superjoint Ritual – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Superjoint-Ritual/7066758901

Facebook for Arson Anthem – https://www.facebook.com/arsonanthem

Facebook for Housecore Records – https://www.facebook.com/housecorerecords

Facebook for Housecore Horror Film Festival – https://www.facebook.com/HousecoreHorrorFilmFestival

Official Website – http://www.philanselmo.com/

ALBUM REVIEW: “I’m A Bird” by Sam Buckingham

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The Brand new album from Sam Buckingham is called “I’m A Bird” and it is a fantastic record full of depth and swoony heartbreak. I have loved listening to this album for the past week, fuck; it is so amazing that I find it hard to find the words to describe it. There is just an amazing quality to the songs and the tales being spun by Sam and the album has been birthed from an intense amount of heartbreak experience.

The other wonderful thing about “I’m A Bird” is the humour sprinkled across these heartbreak tunes. I love the beautiful cynicism of the lyrics, direct and cryptic but full of stories that you can tell were lived quite deeply by its author. I hope she fell in love with her muse after all the drama, I hope it was worth the fight because this album made me want to fall in love, with something, with someone. I found myself yearning for that youthful exchange of asking a human out for a coffee and that “whatever happens” adventure that can occur after that moment, you know where you summon the courage to steal a kiss or two. That is what this album inspires in me when I listen to it, the romantic and the need for a romantic connection with another human being.

I’m sure glad I discovered this album, because it has been the perfect late night soundtrack for standing on my back deck as I sip chai tea, smoke a cigarette and just indulge the silence of late night bliss.

“I’m A Bird” is a fantastic record, buy it now and get lost in all of its beautiful powers.

10 Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

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

EP REVIEW: “Paradise” by Cub Scouts

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Cub Scouts are a much hyped band at the moment and it is hard not to see their band name splashed all over my Facebook news feed. As a music reviewer this can make you feel both suspicious and a tiny bit reluctant to indulge the hype because let’s face it, regardless of how good a band is sometimes you have to break through the hype to try and find the real value of the music being communicated. So I sat down to listen to the brand new EP from Cub Scouts called “Paradise” with a degree of optimism and hope that I’d find something refreshingly new and worthy of the hype.

The EP itself is a joyous piece of communication that has enough indie Dancefloor hits to keep young humans satisfied. There is a wonderful sway to the music that is infectious and from a scientific point I can understand why this band is so popular with humans at the moment. This is risk free pop music that is festival ready and no doubt the very “now” triple j humans will be playing this on high rotation which is cool. I wanted more though and again, this EP is quite an enjoyable movement of music that scientifically showcases the talent of the band. For me though it doesn’t offer anything new to the slowly redundant dialogue of indie pop.

It was the tiny glimpses of “Saturdays = Youth” melodies that kept me pressing play because I’m a sucker for that kind of melancholy but it just wasn’t in abundance. Like most bands in this genre the time will no doubt come when the band has to decide whether they want to explore deeper avenues or to just keep it “pop music” simple in order to keep the smiles beaming from the audiences faces.

All in all, a solid second EP that shows the band as one of the brave new leaders of neatcore and keeping the indie pop tradition alive and well for the new decade.

7 Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

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

ALBUM REVIEW: “Hidden Horizons” by Ghost Notes

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It was quite clear that within the first few moments of Ghost Notes brand new album “Hidden Horizons” that I was sold on the healing power of this band’s music. I listened to this album at least 3 to 4 times in a row before sitting down to write this review and I can say that each listening experience was uniquely different but emotionally satisfying. This is really life affirming music for humans who like to challenge themselves when it comes to the Art they consume. This isn’t music that’s shooting for indie rock darling status; this is music that was made because five humans had a desire and an emotional need to express the complex emotions of life through sound. All of the joy and disappointments pour out of these songs and the lack of vocals add to the intensity because you as the listener have full artistic license to dream up your own meanings and landscapes purely by digesting the emotional performances of each song.

The intense Australian sense of melancholy on display is in line with the stark yet beautiful ache illustrated by artists like Dirty Three and Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. I also hear the yearning and swoony late night doom-jazz sounds of a band like Bohren & Der Club of Gore but I also wonder if a band like Boards of Canada didn’t also influence the direction of Ghost Notes sound. All of these comparisons aside, it is safe to say that even though I use the above mentioned bands as a way to compare it needs to be said that Ghost Notes truly have their own sound and “Hidden Horizons” is the perfect example of how unique this band is.

Look, you can be the kind of human who looks to impress other humans by remaining plugged into what hip modern culture sells you as art soaked independent music or you could actually really colour outside the lines and stand behind a band like Ghost Notes. You may not impress the hip modern vultures but you’ll at least have a pure heart and clean soul for rejecting the beige regime of people just playing “songs” and finally engage something truly unique, envelope pushing and genuinely emotional.  When I muse on the power and importance of Brisbane music bands like Ghost Notes are the ones I’m willing to stand behind and be proud to say are from the same music community that I participate in.

Ghost Notes are an absolutely fantastic bunch of humans making future music for those of us who desire something unique. Their brand new album “Hidden Horizons” is a flawless illustration of when art triumphs over commerce and that the most relevant, dangerous, experimental and emotional independent music is being made by the humans completely disconnected from the cocksucking thundercunts of that big indie dollar machine.

So cancel all your unimportant weekend plans of pointless networking indulgence and just buy “Hidden Horizons” by Ghost Notes on vinyl, pour yourself a nice cup of tea and Bliss the fuck out to this masterpiece of mood, emotion and sound.

“Hidden Horizons” is definitely a contender for the best local release of 2013.

10 Cassette Tapes Out of 10

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Bandcamp – http://ghostnotes.incrementalrecords.com/music
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GhostNotes

 

ALBUM REVIEW: “Rookie” by The Trouble With Templeton

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There are some extreme positives and extreme negatives about the debut (well, technically second album) album from The Trouble With Templeton. Titled “Rookie” the album does indeed showcase some incredible songwriting skills but the borrowed dynamics made me feel like I’d heard this all done before a million times better by more established artists. So it is indeed an apt title for the band’s first big statement because it honestly feels like a lesser version of Radiohead or possibly The National from start to finish without that special flavour. It’s a lovely dialogue because it works and I enjoy the darkness and sway of that kind of London drone but the songs start to become so meaningful they become meaningless. This is an extremely humourless series of songs that could benefit from a sprinkle of humour, they take themselves way too seriously and that’s cool because there is a power to being serious about songwriting but in the case of The Trouble With Templeton it makes the songs a bit stiff and lifeless and the dynamics are a bit suffocated in the process, it all becomes a little too cold and impersonal.

On the plus side, this is a fantastic movement of songs that belong together. It is refreshing to hear an album proper from a modern band. The consistency with the way the album flows together gets big marks from me; the attention to detail in terms of mood and the emotional story is quite powerful. You can tell that this means something to the creators and I’m excited for them, because this is indeed something they’ve been building too for quite a while. Although my main complaint is always going to be the lack of envelope pushing in terms of the song dynamics. Sometimes just playing an “a to b” song without the dramatics of experimentation can thrill people and I have a feeling that “Rookie” will thrill a lot of people.

I’m probably the worst person to be reviewing “Rookie” because I no longer just desire good songs; I like the artist to really scare me with what’s lurking beneath their tortured emotional soul. I want to be thrilled and amazed by a whole bunch of weirdness and noise, a total headfuck framed by some deeply humorous and deeply personal poetry. I just don’t get that from The Trouble With Templeton but I can appreciate that this is a deep emotional release for the band and they are sincere about it which is refreshing to hear. I’m glad a band like The Trouble Of Templeton exist because much like their current Neatcore peers they are helping turn younger audiences on to the power of a deep / intense / meaningful pop song and providing the bridge to some more interesting sounding bands / music.

I reckon by album number three this band will really rock my world by turning their back on formula’s and indie radio rock requirements and all the hype of “next big thing” and just play from their fucking hearts. I can’t wait for that record from this band because they have the intense intelligence to do it.

All that aside, you’ll probably love it and to be honest I’m excited that you’re excited.

7 Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

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