My Top Seven Albums of 2014

1. The Afghan Whigs – Do To The Beast

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2. Cold Chisel – The Live Tapes Vol 2

Cold Chisel live in their prime. What’s not to love? Oh that’s right, you think they’re a bogan band full of bogans loved by bogans. Well you’re wrong. They’re uniquely Australian and part of the fabric our our society. For once the masses got it right, this band is worthy of their enduring popularity. Don Walker is one of the finest songwriters ever, and this album is a document of the brutal electricity of their early live shows. Jimmy Barnes is in brilliant form as the powerhouse frontman. Stop being a snobby hipster and get an education on rock & roll from Australia’s greatest rock & roll band in their prime.

3. Galapogos – Feel or Suffer

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4. Galapogos – Strange Species

Any band that releases 2 quality albums in the space of 12 months is worth your time. Sit down, turn off the facebooks, put your iPhone out of arms reach, put some headphones on, shut your eyes and spend 40 minutes with this album on getting to know yourself. You might be surprised at what you find.

5. HITS – Hikikomori

HITS are the best live rock & roll band in the world right now and with ‘Hikikomori’ they’ve finally captured the excitement of their live shows on record. The album sounds like a derailing freight train from start to finish, with the band constantly threatening to crash in on themselves but ultimately emerging unscathed and triumphant. This is how punk rock should sound; it’s the aural equivalent of being smacked in the face with a hot iron. I mean that in the best possible way, this band will change your life.

6. J Mascis – Tied To A Star

J Mascis releases ‘Several Shades of Why’ Part 2 and proves he’s his generation’s Neil Young. A beautiful Sunday morning record.

7. Jimmy Barnes – 30:30 Hindsight

The new Jimmy Barnes album is fucking excellent. He’s singing better than ever, and the new versions of his hits are, mostly, more interesting or better than the originals. The Living End make ‘Lay Down Your Guns’ sound as if they wrote it themselves, and Joe Bonamassa gives a new meaning to the term ‘guitar hero’ on ‘Too Much Ain’t Enough Love’. This is without doubt the best record Jimmy Barnes has released since the early 90’s.


Most disappointing albums of 2014:

1. Bush – Man On The Run

Did anyone realise Bush had a new album out? It sounds like a better version of their last album. Buy it if you liked The Sea Of Memories. If you gave up on them after Razorblade Suitcase then move along, there’s nothing to see here.

2. Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways

Foo Fighters albums seem to be getting shinier and shinier, as if an extra coat of studio polish is layered on each time they make a new record. Just once, I’d like to hear them sounding like a rock band in a room; without the slick production. Opener ‘Something From Nothing’ and closer ‘I Am A River’ are the pick of the 8 tracks on Sonic Highways, with everything in between blending into one long over-produced riff-fest. Foo Fighters have proven they’re a great live band, full of dynamics, talent and excitement; unfortunately this record doesn’t do that justice.

3. Pixies – Indie Cindy

If you’re going to waste your time on this record get the version with the bonus live disc so you don’t feel completely ripped off.

By: Clint Morrow


SINGLE REVIEW: “Alone” by June Low


The brand new single from JUNE LOW is called “Alone” and it is a fine piece of songwriting. This is music shaped by the saturation of the Sunday afternoon sun when you feel your most desperate and the freedom of the weekend gives way to the dirge of time trickling away, edging you closer to that moment where you’ll have to adopt the 9am to 5pm routine. There is something philosophically stored in that “Sunday Afternoon Feeling” – as if all that disturbed bummed out energy is somehow a reflection of just how short and lonely life can be. I’m not sure what the muse for June Low’s song was but that is the feeling it provides. I like that feeling, there is a comfort to feeling disconnected and frazzled by the fractured pulse of existence.

What strikes me instantly about “Alone” as a song is the way in which it slithers with such heat. You can almost feel the perspiration dripping from each note. This is the kind of song that could of only come from a long summer spent indulging the sleepless nights with sweat and vacant disintegration. This is the kind of song that stops you in your tracks and requires you to just be still. The narrative whilst personal lends itself to anyone who has love and lost. When I get swept up in the seductive swoon of “Alone” I get taken to that zone where you are desperately trying to find the “hope” after the heartbreak.

This is simply a preview of what JUNE LOW has in store for her debut album and it is strong indication that she’ll be something special and a true star.

9 Cassette Tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

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SINGLE REVIEW: “Hold You Down” by Love Signs


I was instantly hooked in by the brand newish single from Brisbane band LOVE SIGNS. The song is called “Hold You Down” and it rings out like 1980’s R.E.M. – in fact I’m fairly certain that the chord pattern of this song is somewhere to be found on the first four R.E.M. albums but logistics aside it still races along with sincerity. I can tolerate nostalgia when it is done with sincerity and although the vocals are a little too “trained” sounding for my liking they provide a delicious hook that ensures maximum enjoyment. I’d love to see LOVE SIGNS take some risks with this formula and really expand beyond just a good beat, some cool / faultless chords and a sticky pop melody and really dig deeper and show us the heartache. I know it’s in there somewhere because there is some heavy emotion attempted at points during “Hold You Down” but future communication of this ache all depends on whether you want to regurgitate or alienate.

All in all this is music is lovely and young, framed by some extreme promise that with time LOVE SIGNS may outlast all of the current purveyors of jangle pop and truly deliver something right on.

8 cassette tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

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SINGLE REVIEW: “Come Around” by Stevie


The fantastic new single from STEVIE is called “Come Around” and it is a brilliant slice of pop music. I am in love with this song and it’s one of the freshest things I’ve heard in 2014. The song is a wonderful rush of bliss that plugs into the kind of romantic yearning that drips from a 1990’s Degrassi Junior High nostalgia hit. It is seriously divine and I can’t wait to hear more from this band. The real star of this song is Phoebe Imhoff who continues to weave tales of melancholy through the sweet sting of her voice. Vocally, Imhoff has a classic ache to her delivery and the angst that hangs off her heartbreak gives character to the music. I’m a firm believer that sometimes the sad songs have to escape from your soul with the kind of joyful celebration displayed on “Come Around” because that is when it truly resonates. The exhaustion of heartbreak is fundamentally always soundtracked by the slow dirge but once you’ve wallowed you need to escape and this is song is the perfect dirge rebound.

What does that all mean?

It’s quite simple really, as a singer Imhoff has managed to avoid the redundancy of noisy guitar music to release one of the most heartbreaking songs of 2014 and after being sent a ton of white middle class sad rock boy music this year it is a refreshing burst of bummer sunshine.

I really hope that STEVIE boycott the EP and really commit to making a full length album.

10 trillion cassette tapes out of 10

By: Dan Newton

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