HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie – Artist Announcement – three of nine – O.J Mengel

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Heavy and Weird are proud to announce the third of nine artists performing at “Loving The Alien: A Tribute to David Bowie”

O.J Mengel 

O.J Mengel beautifully crafts music that has a strong folk narrative at its core whilst lyrically it has the travelling troubadour flavour with some real powerhouse vocals. Caught somewhere between Neil Finn and Bon Iver, Mengel’s sound is an exercise in simplicity which helps amplify the emotional yearning underneath the melodic and lyrical passages presented in his songs. All in all, Mengel’s music is a late afternoon elegy that recalls the romanticism of overseas travel and the yearning for your hometown with an ache for some kind of romantic partner buried deep inside.

Mengel specialises in that floaty inner city feeling that a band like the Go-Betweens illustrated so perfectly on songs like “Bachelor Kisses” – perhaps it’s a Brisbane thing. Mengel’s acoustic daydreams produce an atmosphere that slowly seduces you surrounding your environment with that special sigh that reminds you that all great music is about giving shy lonely souls the chance to prove to the world just how perfect they are at revolutionising people’s feelings.

O.J Mengel is one of the few modern day revolutionaries attempting to help restore peace to the galaxy and allow people to fill those god shaped holes with some kind of meaning.

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/O.JMengel
Bandcamp – https://ojmengel.bandcamp.com/releases

 

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

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HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie – Artist Announcement – two of nine – Willow

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Heavy and Weird are proud to announce the second of nine artists performing at “Loving The Alien: A Tribute to David Bowie”

Willow

Willow uses her voice and guitar to create a unique modern take on the blues. Willow’s musical dialogue is influenced and informed by the pure emotional experience that music can provide. It tingles every bone in your body and makes you want to scream. There is no agenda to her music other than to connect with her audience on that kind of level where the business of art doesn’t matter. Willow is another fine example of a young artist striving to make music for music’s sake and to avoid the pressure and cliche’s of what modern audiences have come to expect.

Willow’s early demos illustrate what a master communicator she is as a creative human being and as music history has shown, if you want to be an artist that connects with other humans you got to be a great communicator. Dynamically and Stylistically Willow crafts a wonderful wall of mechanically aided landscapes through various instruments but it is her voice that is the true star of her creative arsenal as it roars with all kinds of pain and celebration. There is a very human element to her sound and its warmth and sincerity is what allows for the mood of her music to build and rush in and out you, it’s a fucking thrilling experience.

There is nothing more refreshing then experiencing an artist as real as Willow. Although her journey has just begun, Willow has the potential to soundtrack the lives of many different human beings who are always on the hunt for a movement of music to help them heal from being dragged down by the weight of existence. Her mysterious yet majestic sounds are the best trusted pain reliever for those who still believe in the kind of rock n roll that Page, Plant, Bonham and Jones tapped into all those years ago.

This will be Willow’s debut performance as a solo artist – so come and be part of history as she pays tribute to Bowie whilst also indulging us with a few of her own tunes – heavy and weird feel incredibly fortunate to have Willow be part of this line-up.

Useful Links:

Choose your own adventure…

 

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie – Artist Announcement – one of nine – Angharad Drake

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Heavy and Weird are proud to announce the first of nine artists performing at “Loving The Alien: A Tribute to David Bowie”

Angharad Drake

Angharad Drake is a bright light in an often predictable and redundant landscape of singer songwriters. Her music is dark and moody and is clearly influenced by the many different faces of music. Now Brisbane based, Drake grew up on Australia’s famed Sunshine Coast, where she began writing music during her early years of high school, and scoring gigs at small local venues. She later went on to study a Music degree at Brisbane’s QUT. Influenced by the stylings of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Laura Marling and Bon Iver, she began to develop her own individual style during her University years and recorded a self titled debut EP in 2010. Since then she has completed two more self­produced EP’s (2013’s ‘Lay Down’, and 2014’s ‘Swing’), all in preparation for her debut full­length album, ‘Sword’ which was released in 2015.

The genius of Drake’s music comes down to the mood and how she approaches the melodic structure of her songs. Drake saturates each song with darkness and a spooky whisper and it becomes hard not to be pulled into her psyche. It is real journey-person material and you can hear that Drake has lived every inch of pain contained within her lyrics. There are also pinches of resolve and hope swirling in and out of the music but it is more attached to an acceptance of ones weirdness as opposed to anything found in positive thinking handbooks. As is the case with all good pop music, the intensity is front and centre and Drake doesn’t waste time grabbing your soul and taking you on a journey through the dark and light regions of our existence and the other dimensions she is channeling. Drake makes both very intellectual but also very spiritual music and when you mix the science with the soul you get a beating heart that is well balanced and rooted in purity.

 

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/angharaddrake
Official Website – http://www.angharaddrake.com
Bandcamp – https://angharaddrake.bandcamp.com/

 

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

ALBUM REVIEW: “Post Pop Depression” by Iggy Pop

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There is a great sadness weaving in and out of the new Iggy Pop album “Post Pop Depression” and as satisfying as it is for long time fans musically the fact that this stands as a potential final statement stains the listening experience. It doesn’t hijack the joy of hearing Iggy once again hitting some career best form but if the recent David Bowie loss has taught us anything, no one is safe no matter how immortal we thought they once were.

Perhaps it is my own personal sadness that infects the listening experience with “Post Pop Depression,” still spooked by the madness of what happened with Bowie and the whole “Blackstar” experience, an album which mirrors “Post Pop Depression” at least lyrically in how it highlights the psyche of two creative giants facing their own mortality. Where Bowie may have sounded cryptic with his fear, all reports point to the fact that he didn’t want to die (who does really) and he wanted to just keep making music. In the same way it sounds like Iggy has had an injection or jolt creatively but if you are to believe the lyrics of “Post Pop Depression” this sounds like Iggy is fed up with the struggle and is looking for the next great adventure, death.

The first time this becomes clear is on album highlight “American Valhalla” which puts the theme of death and one’s own mortality front and centre. In Norse mythology, Valhalla is a majestic, enormous hall located in Asgard ruled over by the god Odin. In Valhalla, the dead join the masses of those who have died in combat known as Einherjar, as well a various legendary Germanic Heroes and kings as they prepare to aid Odin during the events of Ragnarok (thanks Wikipedia). It’s a pretty strong metaphor when applied to what Iggy is tackling emotionally in the lyrics to this song.

That’s not to say that “Post Pop Depression” is a funeral dirge affair. Scattered among the sadness are lots of groove laden rock tracks that realistically rival the strength of Iggy’s debut album “The Idiot.” A lot of this comes from the fact that Josh Homme has been one of the first collaborators since Bowie to really push the strengths of Iggy to the front and centre. I’m a strict disciple to Iggy’s full discography and while there have been some high points post 77 across the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s the sounds contained on “Post Pop Depression” outline that Iggy is at his best when he has a collaborator who takes the time to push the intellectual side of his ego to the front. Iggy has always been a great wild rock n roll frontman but his intellect has always been downplayed and misunderstood by both his fans and his critics. Lucky for us Homme has approached this project like a true fan and brought the best out in Iggy.

 

 

On a basic level this is a just a flawless rock record full of groove and glam rock riffage. Not quite punk but not quite rock and not quite nostalgic throw back. That dark desert mood suits the Iggy Pop mythology perfectly. Fans of Homme’s work will embrace the warmth of his production with the music contained within being able to offer a sonic duality where it can be both mournful but still thick with swagger. It makes you realise just what a musical giant Josh Homme is and how with time people may finally catch up and see that like Bowie and Iggy, he is indeed a legend and genius in his own right just as responsible for adding a few different dynamics to the rock n roll and pop singer rule book.

For long time Iggy Pop fans this album will be beautifully satisfying and for fans coming to him for the first time via Homme’s involvement this album will stand as the perfect launch pad. If this is the final statement from Iggy then he has made it a strong one, leaving the way he came in. People will have their various reasons for loving an artist like Iggy Pop – for me I was always in love with his wit and intellect. The way he could be so poetic but so vulgar without ever having to resort to shock tactics. He is the great misunderstood performer who the greater music industry have admired from afar but rarely ever given or paid dues to for his deep influence. Everyone who discovers Iggy Pop has a life changing experience that helps sort out parts of themselves they didn’t know they needed sorting out. He set me free and gave me the confidence that I could be some kind of artist and I’ll always be in debt to his influence.

With “Post Pop Depression” we are reminded that Iggy Pop is, was and always will be the Godfather of everything and anything to do with Punk Rock. The world’s forgotten boy, the one who’ll forever search and destroy.

By: Dan Newton

 

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Useful Links:

https://www.facebook.com/iggypop
www.iggypop.com
https://twitter.com/IggyPop
www.youtube.com/user/iggypop

ALBUM REVIEW: “Incarnate” by Killswitch Engage

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There is something exciting for me about a metal band releasing a new album, an excitement that I’ve been attached to since I was a teenager. For some reason the hype and excitement surrounding a metal band releasing a new album just differs from any other genre that I enjoy. I think it’s because on a sentimental level it drags me back to the complete emotional release that heavy metal has provided me my whole life. As a teenager and early twenties human the cruelty of this world was dulled by heavy metal and the bands that I adored became like superheroes to me, they were these pillars of strength and through their music I was able to survive and find strength in some incredibly dark times.

Heavy Metal helped me graduate from being a confused teenager to becoming a driven and well adjusted adult. As I get older I seem to crave metal more because the sound of it just gets better and better with time. As a genre it never dissapoints and I love the way it can be brutal, emotional yet at the same time there are bands within the genre who experiment with the idea of extremes to some absolutely breathtaking results.

Since 2002, Killswitch Engage have been saving my life. Their debut album “Alive or Just Breathing” is responsible for bringing a massive amount of light to a dark existence and gave me the strength and power to rise and to ask myself the question “am I alive or just breathing?” – it was almost like a religious experience hearing Killswitch Engage back in 2002. I followed the band since then and my love for them has grown deeper over time and I would put them in my list of top eleven metal bands of all time.

To paint a picture for you, in 2002 the metal landscape was still in the hangover that Nu-Metal had caused. The genre had been both strengthened and weakened by aspects of this sub-genre. There was a lot of press given to bands who claimed to be “the death of nu-metal” and a lot of them promised a lot but rarely ever delivered metal to a more pure place. At this point in time my thirst for metal had increased since my high school devotion. I was quite immersed in bands like Meshuggah, Soilwork, In Flames, Opeth, Strapping Young Lad, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Frankenbok, Alchemist, Pod People, Allegiance and Devolved. I was particularly in love with Meshuggah at this point in time and I thought they were one of the most revolutionary bands I had ever heard and to this day they remain one of my favourite metal bands.

In terms of what was coming out of America, nothing really grabbed me as it was all still rooted in that nu-metal template and the only bands from that template that I enjoyed were System of A Down and Korn who both outgrew that terrible genre tag and to be honest never really were what I defined as Nu-Metal. It was also a period in time where bands like Pantera and Fear Factory had split and Machine Head were in a transition between the big nu-metal cash in and a return to their groove / thrash metal roots. I missed having bands of this ilk around and it felt like there was a big hole left in the metal community without them. The only positive thing to come out of the Pantera split was Phil’s new band Superjoint Ritual and his return to Down.

In 2002 I was signed up to the Roadrunner Records street team and subscribed to their monthly fanzine called “Outsider.” I was also quite friendly with a lot of the people in the Australian Roadrunner Records office. I was quite a devoted street team member and had been all through my teenage and high school years. I received the Roadrunner Records fanzine for January and it came with a sampler disc of new music being released that year. The magazine itself put a focus on three of the 14 or so bands on the CD. Those bands were “Five Point O,” “36 Crazyfists” and “Killswitch Engage.”

I really dug all three bands and I brought the “Five Point O” record and although I enjoyed it, the record itself still had hints of rapped vocals and wasn’t quite as fresh as I thought it would be. I brought the 36 Crazyfists album “Bitterness The Star” and I really dug it, it was very similar to Deftones but with a hardcore edge to it. Still, it didn’t revolutionise the way I thought it would but unlike “Five Point O” I remain a fan of 36 Crazyfists to this day. They went on to release some truly amazing pieces of music and they keep getting better with each new release.

Killswitch Engage weirdly were the band I focussed on least when it came to this sampler. Their song “Life To Lifeless” reminded me of Fear Factory with hints of that Swedish melodic death metal sound. As I got deeper into Meshuggah and freaked out on the new Down album I really didn’t pay much attention to the upcoming release from Killswitch Engage.

A month out from its release date I got another little fanzine in the mail, no sampler this time, that once again praised and promoted the upcoming Killswitch Engage release. This time round I was more curious based on the interview and review of the album. I was excited but I invested no expectations.

On Monday the 20th May 2002 I went to Sanity (I was living at home with Mum and Dad in Bundy at the time, it was the only record store we had) at 9:00am and picked up my copy of one of the greatest heavy metal albums of the new decade. I am of course talking about this masterpiece:

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To say that “Alive or Just Breathing” changed my life is an understatement. From the moment I put this album on I was hooked and it was an obsession that lasted for quite a while. There is something inside of this album that just gets me off again and again. Doesn’t matter what era of my life I find myself in, I always have time for this album. Even now, fourteen years later I can still put this album on and find new things about it that thrill me. Going back to 2002, I was finally pleased that one of the bands who were listed as the one to “kill nu-metal” did indeed do just that. I was not prepared for how popular this band was going to become.

The bands beautiful way of mixing the pain of existence with a positive “carry on, be strong” message is always what hits home the most. This band understands the darkness but they want to help direct you to the light and at so many points in my life they have been vital to helping me see that light.

So it was with great joy on the that I took the day off work on the 11th March 2016 so I could get up early and make a journey to the local JB Hi Fi’s to buy the brand new Killswitch Engage album “Incarnate” and to slip into the beautiful sounds that this band creates.

From start to finish “Incarnate” is a re-birth for Killswitch Engage. It is still 100 per cent what we all know and love about Killswitch Engage but there is a new intensity to it all. The heaviness is heavier and the melodic moments are even more melodic. This record soars and unfolds itself beautifully with there not being one moment where I wasn’t hooked. Emotionally the record connects deeply and the band has once again made you apart of the journey and this is just as much a celebration for the band as it is for you the fan.

I have listened to this album quite a bit over the past week and I can’t find a weak moment on it and the joy of it still comes down to the fact that this album has a longevity attached to it. I know the album so well yet each new listen provides a new surprise and a new favourite song. That is the power of a great album, it connects instantly but still gives you the space to grow with it and learn more with each new listen.

The songs on “Incarnate” get stuck in your head and the whole album is quite addictive. Like all great music that I love, I find it hard to talk about “this song” or “that song” because quite simply the album is what needs to be heard. No one song will sell the brilliance of this band, you have to sit down with the whole album and consume it because that is the only way to connect with it.

 

This is an album that was carefully crafted so that every note means something. Beyond the metal of it all, underneath the riffs and the intensity is a great bunch of songs. That is what makes any metal band worth something, the ability to still craft amazing songs, not just riffs and wankery. This album soars above everything else at the moment and proves why Killswitch Engage have been such an influential metal band over the past 17 years and why so many bands line-up to rip them off, but the truth is you can’t beat the real thing and “Incarnate” is the real deal and it strengthens the star power that is the Killswitch Engage legacy.

I’ve been a fan of Killswitch Engage for the past fourteen years of my life. I was 18 going on 19 when I first got into the band and now I’m 32 going on 33. I’ve loved the band deeply for all of those fourteen years and their music has always meant something to me. Regardless of what stage of life I was in or music I was listening to, heavy metal has always remained a constant. I don’t believe in being the kind of jerk-off who has “guilty pleasures” or “I can’t believed I listened to that” moments in my life. I still love and have time for every band or artist I ever got into.

Some bands like Killswitch Engage are untouchable however and I think for me the reason I love them so much is because beyond being a heavy metal band, you can tell that each member involved are just fans of music in general, it goes way beyond just metal. I think that’s an important quality to have for a band who strive to make timeless heavy metal, they have to be plugged into so much more than just the history of metal. You can hear that Killswitch Engage respect music as a whole and when they plug in and play they are drawing on so much of it to make their unique blend of melodic heavy metal.

With their new album “Incarnate” Killswitch Engage have launched themselves beautifully into the new decade and proved that they will be one of the most important bands in the heavy metal language. I just love them so much and this album is so incredibly satisfying. Everyone who knows me understands that a lot of my favourite bands are artists like Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Fugazi, Pearl Jam and Deftones but I think a band like Killswitch Engage is just as important as all of these bands. I don’t base my personality on genres of music, I fund it purely on good and life changing music. Killswitch Engage are one of the bands who fit this bill quite well and “Incarnate” is a fucking triumph and a beautiful piece of art.

By: Dan Newton

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Useful Links:

https://www.facebook.com/killswitchengage
www.killswitchengage.com

 

ALBUM REVIEW: “Waco” by Violent Soho

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Before I dive into the review I must quote a line from one of my favourite Nirvana songs “Serve The Servants” that may give a bit of context to how I feel towards the kind of music that Violent Soho make and that line is as follows:

“Teenage angst has paid off well now I’m bored and old”

This is a phrase that kept ringing in my head the more I listened to Violent Soho because indeed I am no longer too heavily invested in teen angst. I still love intense / deep sounding music that harvests pain but teen angst; it doesn’t really have a place in my life anymore.

The complications and pain of existence as a 33 year old is way more confusing than anything that happened in my teens and early to mid-twenties. So I guess this affects the way I hear modern angst ridden rock n roll. My first reaction is to always default to that Henry Rollins philosophy “Life won’t break your heart it will crush it” and that to be honest is the kind of rush I need from music in 2016. Something that only the other 33 year old single / childless humans will understand.

In 2016  though I will admit that I’m excited that a band like Violent Soho exists. I’m too old and past it to enjoy it but I get really excited every time I see a young human talk about the passion they have for Violent Soho. The reason I get excited is because this band know the art of writing to the point punk infused rock n roll. I guess you could call it grunge but I hear it as being punk infused rock n roll. You can tell that the members of this band are fans of sophisticated guitar music and they do their best to pay tribute to that and also put their own twist on it. The other reason I get excited is because a band like Violent Soho is the perfect “bridge” band for younger human beings to other cool sophisticated guitar bands and Violent Soho have always been humble enough to put a spotlight on those types of bands which is something I can deeply respect.

Violent Soho are the perfect gateway drug and because I view music as lots of different historical artifacts we need the gateway bands like Violent Soho to help usher the new generation of youth culture to the amazing punk infused rock n roll and indeed the whole history of sound that came before them. So in short, Violent Soho is the perfect history lesson for young human beings but also a reminder for cynical old jerk-off’s like me about the healing power of raw as fuck punk rock n roll.

This brings me to their new album “WACO” – who cares what I think and the science behind why it is good and bad, Violent Soho do a great job of playing rock n roll. This is perfect youth culture music for 2016 and it makes me jealous that I’m not in my teens or early 20’s because if I was this would be a band that I would worship. As a 33 year old jerk-off it makes me nod my head in appreciation. The album goes alright and the songs contained within it will be causing riots in many a mosh-pit during the festival circuit of 2016 and 2017.

 

 

As an artistic achievement “WACO” is miles above “Hungry Ghost” and the band has indeed taken their sound to some new places. Despite the production being a bit cleaner and more “world stage” sounding the aggressive nature of the band still has them sounding incredibly tight and sincere. Upon first listen it is quite exciting but the more I pressed play the less impressed I was. When the songs really rock they are angry and full of that teen angst that has fueled young punk rock fused bands for decades. When these dynamics are rinsed and repeated however on later tracks it starts to lack the crunch to resonate.

Humans of my generation who grew up with Silverchair, Jebediah, Powderfinger, Grinspoon, Magic Dirt and You Am I dominating Triple J radio may understand me when I say that Violent Soho are for the people who only ever liked “Frogstomp” and “Freakshow” – I’m more of a “Diorama” and “Young Modern” kind of person but in the grand scheme of things there is no wrong or right when it comes to emotional resonance and music listening habits. I’m sure that the well adjusted humans who read this will understand that I’m purely making an honest claim about a band who makes music that no longer rings the bells in my stomach but to the Violent Soho faithful I’m sure I’ve offended them deeply. Just let me say I’m in no way sorry about that because there was a time when I thought music couldn’t get any better than “Slightly Oddway” by Jebediah but as I grew up I realised that it did. That doesn’t mean I was wrong for feeling the passion for that band back in 1997 it just means that I walked across the bridge and discovered the music and bands that got ignored so that Jebediah could be pushed to the front.

In 2016 there are a lot of great bands that got ignored and overlooked so that Violent Soho could be pushed to the front. There is no one to blame for that because resonance, timing, hard work and a small degree of clever marketing skills will always allow some bands to succeed over others. This is the cruel fate of the music industry and while I believe that a band like The Drones should be front and centre of what modern young humans are listening to the reality is that it isn’t their time or place to be that band.

Right now Violent Soho are the perfect band for modern youth and my excitement regarding their sound purely hinges on the handful of humans in their fanbase who’ll walk across the bridge like I did back in 1997 when I thought bands like Jebediah and Grinspoon were high art, to see that awaiting them on the other side are a bunch of other artists who are equally as talented and hard working who were just a bit unlucky when it came to timing, resonance and the business of art.

By: Dan Newton

 

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Useful Links:

https://www.facebook.com/violentsoho
http://violentsoho.com/

 

 

SINGLE REVIEW: “Stonapop” by Ultrafeedy

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It always bothers me when I read some clickbait bullshit article on any online music website about the “death of rock n roll” in the modern age. The reason it annoys me so much is because I hate to break it to all of you, but the real enemy of rock n roll is the ignorant music listener who is too much of a fucking idiot to look a bit deeper. Considering we live in the age of the internet I would have assumed that finding new music for people would have been so much easier but apparently somehow all the good “rock music” just magically disappeared.

There is an ample amount of good rock music being made on both a mainstream and underground level and it isn’t hard to find. In fact over the past few years a lot of my listening has been dominated by amazing rock records and the brand new A-side / B-side single release from Ultrafeedy is a great example of the type of great stuff being made and what’s even better, it’s made right here in Brisbane.

Ultrafeedy make gloriously “right on” rock n roll sounds and after their fantastic debut EP the band are back with “Stonapop” which uses the past sounds of the rock n roll artform to catapult the band deep into the future. Aesthetics aside though this new group of songs just flat out fucking rocks.

 

This is a no nonsense group of tracks that combines hardcore punk energy with thick Black Sabbath riffs and in true Ultrafeedy fashion it flips a middle finger to the popular vote and goes straight for the gold by using the rock n roll launch pad and in the process sounding as sincere and brutal as ever. There are some humans who can lean on nostalgia and sound contrived and formulaic but when it comes to Ultrafeedy they manage to push the idea of the riff forward to new and exciting places whilst still bowing down to our lord and saviour Mr Tony Iommi although in Ultrafeedy’s case I think that lord and saviour may just be Mr Josh Homme.

I pity any fuckwit who says something as stupid as “where has all the rock music gone” – open your fucking ears dipshit, great rock music is everywhere and once again Ultrafeedy are leading the pack as one of its great innovators locally. Turn this motherfucker up loud and nestle into the warmth of all those sludgy riffs, you’ll feel inner peace in no time.

By: Dan Newton

 

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Useful Links:

https://www.facebook.com/Ultrafeedy
http://ultrafeedy.bandcamp.com/
http://www.soundcloud.com/ultrafeedy

 

SINGLE REVIEW: “Glow” by Amanda Merdzan

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The brand new single from Amanda Merdzan is called “Glow” and it is a masterpiece of a song that combines the ethereal dream pop skills of artists like Cocteau Twins and Julee Cruise with a modern electro / hip hop aesthetic. The end result is a slow moody dirge which beams with a beautiful rush of winter sunshine. Lyrically the song touches on many different emotions with the main melodic gallop of the track fixating on the idea of escapism and the thrill of being immersed deep inside the suffocating stillness of the blank canvas. Naturally there are all sorts of links to heartache and heartbreak but all good songwriters find the time to bury these kinds of aches in their music despite the tempo.

Amanda Merdzan once again proves that she is an artist to watch – it personally excites me because her music has always had a deep personal connection. It’s like she’s singing directly to your environment and circumstance and there is nothing better than feeling like an artist you admire is somehow swirling inside the same kind of spiritual and physical chaos that you are.

 

With “Glow” Merdzan may be singing about the damaged life she has experienced but lucky for us, the music she delivers in order to communicate her pain is without any imperfections or defects, it is true perfection – clear, unblemished, unmarked and beautiful.

By: Dan Newton

 

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Useful Links:

https://www.facebook.com/amandamerdzan
www.amandamerdzan.com
www.amandamerdzan.tumblr.com
www.myspace.com/amandamerdzan
www.twitter.com/amandamerdzan
iTunes/amandamerdzan
www.noisetrade.com/amandamerdzan

 

HEAVY AND WEIRD PRESENTS: Loving The Alien – A Tribute To David Bowie

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“Right now, it feels as if the solar system is off it’s axis, as if one of our main planetary anchors has lost it’s orbit. That said – I am certain that wherever Bowie is now – I want to be there someday.” – Micheal Stipe

For 69 years David Bowie was a gift bestowed upon planet earth to help our species understand the power and importance of pop music. There was something truly Alien about his presence that gave hope to the freaks among us that we had a spokesman. His curiosity for the weird and wonderful avant-garde artforms helped inform and influence the music he made. Bowie understood and believed in the unpopular, the insignificant and the overlooked humans of society and he gave them a voice. David Bowie was a warm hug for the alienated youth of every generation from 1960 through to 2016 and his influence and power went way beyond just being another pop singer. He invented new ways of communicating musically and he also championed the artists and bands that the music industry elite chose to ignore. There is a lot to celebrate when it comes to David Bowie but his greatest legacy is the way he has inspired the other aliens among us to pick up an instrument and to express themselves through art and music.

Despite his iconic fashion statements it was Bowie’s music that mattered most and on 14th May 2016 Heavy and Weird are proud to be curating their first live musical event – “Loving The Alien” – A Tribute to David Bowie

This event will see a diverse group of artists pay tribute to the music of David Bowie and to dive a bit deeper into his catalouge to share with you some of his most popular and unpopular songs. This is a celebration of alienation and how Bowie’s music helped save and give purpose and comfort and remedy to that feeling of being different to everyone else.

Stay Tuned for our Line-Up announcement

All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Leukemia Foundation

Saturday 14th May 2016 at The Bearded Lady
138 Boundary Street West End

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Cost: $10.00

https://www.facebook.com/HeavyAndWeird

EP OF THE WEEK: “Closure” by Red In Tooth

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Red In Tooth are the future of rock n roll and in 2016 they will prove just what an important band they are with the release of their new EP “Closure” which is out today.

 

 

After releasing their amazing “Self-Titled” EP in 2014, Red In Tooth have reached an interesting point in their career were they had a choice to become “just” another metal / rock band or to become one of those genre defying acts like Tool, Mastodon, The Mars Volta, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead or The Melvins where they make a commitment to art as opposed to simple attack. Thankfully for the music world Red In Tooth have chosen art and “Closure” is the first step for a band on a new Journey to rock n roll and personal revolution.

The first major positive of “Closure” is that it is an exercise in emotion and the music flows together with a consistency and narrative that takes you the listener on a journey through many different emotional landscapes. “Closure” is a great example of a movement of music that succeeds in terms of its continuity.

Over the course of four tracks Red In Tooth cover a lot of ground from anthem soaked sludge metal to forward thinking psychedelic passages. Compared to their earlier material, a lot has changed. I wouldn’t even call them a metal band anymore. The music contained here has more in common with the type of psyche rock that Soundgarden released on “Superunknown” but add into that some more modern flourishes like the Explosions In The Sky and Mogwai dynamics. Furthermore I can hear how bands like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., My Bloody Valentine, Slint and Flaming Lips may have influenced their more traditional metal sound.

When you mix this together you get a sound that is more unique and more forward thinking than any other rock n roll band making music in Australia at the moment.  The obvious influence circulating through the bands sonic blueprint though is The Melvins and although it isn’t an obvious one, the spirit of experimentation and “anything goes” approach that The Melvins have adopted their whole career to me has always run thick through Red In Tooth’s whole aesthetic.

“Closure” is not an album that has individual standout tracks as it is one movement of music that needs to be consumed from start to finish without distraction. It is a journey in the pain of modern living and the eruption of light and dark that arrives with broken hearts and general disappointment in any relationship breakdown. Sprinkle some fantasy storytelling in-between these real life musings on pain and you start to see a new landscape of colour explode out of the speakers. If you shut your eyes and go on the journey you start to unlock new emotional ground for yourself, like some kind of sonic drug you get transported to different dimensions of thought that help plug you into new levels of understanding all while you settle into your own pain and desire to evolve through it and reach some kind of next level.

Red In Tooth write the kind of music that allows your personal and spiritual growth to flourish, it is the same kind of journey that Tool take you on and it is one hell of a fucking racket they make taking you there.

The music has a horror movie creep mixed with a Murder Mystery steam. It is very soundtrack sounding but disconnects you from that standard idea of “movie soundtrack” music because this album is still communicated like a rock n roll record – this music is incredibly cinematic. While it remains emotional the music itself is not direct in terms of its lyrical delivery. The lyrics are more like mini-scripts that give the mood of each song a unique beginning, middle and end. It does wonderful things to your mind as you listen to it and you are consumed by every inch of it. Whether it is pure nonsense or something meaningful the surrealist nature of the music contained within “Closure” reminds me of a really mind-bending art-house film. In fact if I was to pitch a genre title for the kind of music made by Red In Tooth I’d call it “Cinematic Pop / Art-house Metal.”

You won’t leave with any of your questions answered, it’ll just drive you to ask more and more questions about “what does this all mean?” and that is a great thing to hear considering the amount of empty calorie rock music that exists in 2016. There is nothing clichéd on this EP and it has been meticulously sequenced with all 4 tracks moving together like one big composition.

Red In Tooth have made a mature, intelligent and more forward thinking EP with “Closure” and you have to ask yourself a question, do you want to waste your time with childish and foolish babyisms when it comes to music or do you want a real emotional experience that will plug you in to a deeper understanding of yourself and the world around you? I know which one I’d prefer and I’m thanking the higher regions of thought that they sent out the right level of energy into the universe so that Red In Tooth could make a masterpiece like “Closure.”

By: Dan Newton

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RedInTooth
Bandcamp – http://redintooth.bandcamp.com/

 

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: “Full Closure and No Details” by Gabriella Cohen

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The debut album from Gabriella Cohen is called “Full Closure and No Details” and it is a fantastic journey of avant-garde framed pop music full of poetic lyrics and intense emotional stories dripping in heartache and the overall sting of being disconnected from the modern whir of circa 2016 culture. White Middle Class Male Cockheads will say such bullshitery as “She is an old soul” and all sorts of other dick stained opinions but the truth is Cohen makes music for the true aliens and she is not interested in the past or the present, she is all about the moment which will always mean she is 100 per cent authentic and an artist in the truest sense of the word.

 

 

Most humans will only focus on the instant and familiar aesthetics that jump out at them when they hear Cohen sigh and ache throughout this album but if you dig deeper you hear that she is someone who is more in debt to radical artists like Bertolt Brecht, Marcel Duchamp, Hugo Ball, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Laurie Anderson, Salvador Dali, Allen Ginsburg, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and of course the Poetry and Novels era of Leonard Cohen. These revolutionaries provide the heart and soul for what makes Gabriella’s music so special and this is why it avoids the cliches and instead favours pure emotional expression.

This is art for arts sake with all the dust and damage turned up to high in order for Cohen’s imaginary world to explode out of the headphones and to stain the listeners psyche birthing an extreme stimulation of the senses. It almost makes you numb with satisfaction after repeated listens giving your heart and soul some spiritual oxygen to help you suffer through this life with a bit more comfort. It helps remind you that sometimes being the alien is the easiest path to divinity.

Cohen’s music is designed for those of us who swallow the cliche’s and shit out quiet revolutions whilst the white male elite attempt to harvest our gold but never truly understand what true heartache and alienation feels like. Each song in the track-list is the sound of modern anti-music / anti-art designed to destroy the world that continues to make false idols out of white middle class privileged males. I can’t stand to see an album this forward thinking destroyed and buried under the kind of regime that supports that kind of big budget mediocrity.

This is an album that needs to be experienced up loud on the stereo of your speeding car as you are escaping the city late at night when you are exhausted by the weight of existence. Music this powerful can only be consumed alone. Such consumption is sure to breed some unique fans for Cohen because she sings so confidently about the pain of disconnection and yearning. The swoon and shiver of the vocal arrangements all across this record is fucking hypnotising. I found myself delving deeper and deeper into those lyrics, trying to find some kind of meaning to Cohen’s mysterious wordplay. It’s hard to focus in on the words because her melodies and backing vocals are  beautifully constructed. The various vocal effects and arrangements help build a wall of protection around Cohen’s emotions making sure that as close as you try to get you will only merely glimpse the true meaning of what she is trying to communicate with her art. This is what makes the listening experience of this album so exciting, it keeps you on the edge and always eager to press play again after it is all over.

I don’t want to make this a political issue but fuck it, I’m going to – if the white corporate male music elite spent more time putting artists like Gabriella Cohen on the cover of their magazines instead of boring middle class white rock boy nostalgia fiends who offer nothing more to the creative landscape than “hell fuck yeah” then maybe just maybe we’d see peace restored to the galaxy. Unfortunately we don’t live in that world and corporate music magazines still fucking suck but that doesn’t really matter because Cohen is building her own secret history and is going to triumph and trail-blaze without the assistance of the fuckhead rock n roll boys club back slapping and dick massaging.

I don’t want to live in that world, you know the one, the one where we once again have to be subjected to a bunch of stoner fucking idiots playing guitars and riding skateboards – I want to live in a world were Gabriella Cohen has the spotlight because she is willing to go deep and dark in order to scatter some new dynamics onto the table. She lives deep in her imagination and her music is an invitation for us mere mortals to come in and indulge and escape and just for one moment realise that the best pop music is made by human beings who are weird aliens bent out of shape by the suffocating rules of societies and scenes.

Perhaps even Gabriella Cohen doesn’t even realise how vital she is but either way her new record is poised to be the launch pad for a career artist who is no doubt scheduling in more masterpieces for us to devour in the not too distant future.

Gabriella Cohen reminds me that girls invented punk rock and that Yoko Ono will always be my favourite Beatle – in the spirit of Patti Smith, Cohen is about to go beyond gender positioning her as one of the first real new millennial avant garde poets.

By: Dan Newton

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(photo by: danni ogilvie)

 

Useful Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/gabriellacohenmusic/
Buy The Vinyl Here – https://dirtypowerstudios.squarespace.com/shop/