Archive for July, 2015

Noiseweek: Nardwuar, Blank Realm, Ought, Gold Class & Minor Victories

Friday, July 31st, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


33 1/3 have announced the longlist of pitches from their latest callout. Bloomsbury received a whopping 605 submissions for its call for submission which closed earlier this week. Included in the list were 8 pitches for for Tori Amos’ Boys for Pele, 6 for Weezer’s Pinkerton and 4 for Guns ‘N’ Roses Appetite of Destruction. There’s a fine selection of gems and modern classic’s in the list — Coil’s Scatology and Gold is the Metal (With the Broadest Shoulders), Failure’s Fantastic Planet, two submissions for Fugazi’s In on the Kill Taker, Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s Lift Your Skinny Fists… and The Cure’s Disintegration amongst the highlights. You can check out the full list here. Series editor Ally-Jane Grossan says she plans to compile a shortlist of 100 titles within two months before making the final selection of titles by the end of November. Check out the full long list here.


30 Years Of Eclectic, Eccentric Interviews: Nardwuar On Nirvana, Snoop Dogg, Blur And More | NME

“Time and time again people don’t take Nardwuar seriously — they either wish to end the interview or simply become dismissive or antagonistic. But gradually Nardwaur will charm them into submission. This approach has created some incredible interviews over the years: his research left Pharrell utterly speechless whilst it caused Slipknot to walk off mid-interview. He’s asked Iggy Pop and Henry Rollins about their penises and become a personal favourite interviewer of Snoop Dogg. Dave Rowntree of Blur, meanwhile, managed to put in one of the most horrifying on-camera interviews ever committed to tape with Nardwuar. Trying to sum him up in words is tough though: “I have a hard time explaining myself to myself, so I can’t imagine people trying to explain me to others,” as the man himself explains… ”

Turning Bridges into Music | The New Yorker

“As part of her research-and-development process, Di Mainstone has experimented with the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge in Omaha, Nebraska, which produced “a beautiful zapping noise,” she says, like “Star Wars” lasers. She has experimented with Tower Bridge, in London, which made “the sort of sound that would make your ears bleed, static and screechy.” She has experimented with the Brooklyn Bridge, in New York City, including a movement test using modified dog leads for strings. Currently, she is organizing a road trip across America—a “mobile laboratory,” during which she will test and refine the Human Harp prototype on bridges and other structures all the way to the West Coast. “Imagine a farmer playing a giant grain silo in Idaho,” Mainstone says. “Or a musical old lady playing a wind turbine in Colorado!” Her ultimate goal is to release the Human Harp as an open-source design, allowing others to build their own version of the instrument so they can play any resonant structure in the world, from a submarine to the Eiffel Tower.”

How to put on a mega-gig: the production manager’s story | The Guardian

“It used to be different. Up until 10 years ago, the record companies would give us money to fund tours. Now, touring is the main income, which is obviously good for my business. It’s almost snowballed, in that bands have needed to play bigger venues to generate more income. The productions have had to become bigger to catch up. This has driven an industry of companies who design massive productions and have created the means of taking them down and putting them back up again very quickly. If I can do two or three more shows a month than another tour, we’re going to be making lots of money, and by creating greater income, you can move things very quickly. We’ve got to be able to build a massive stadium show from grass pitch to doors opening within around 48 hours and we’ve got to be able to take it down within four hours, and clear the pitch for the next day. As a guitarist finishes with one guitar, someone will be packing it away. We turn smoke machines and whatever that aren’t going to be used any more off, and they’re in their cases before the show is over.”


Ought — Men For Miles

The second track from Sun Coming Down sees ought frenetic and scattered, but it’s that unpredictability that makes the Montréal outfit so compelling. Tim Darcy may never sing like a regular vocalist, but he boasts a remarkable range, at once fragile, confident, disaffected and threatening over Men For Miles’ six minutes. Sun Coming Down is out through Constellation on September 18.

Blank Realm — No Views

Ever-evolving Brisbane outfit Blank Realm are a restless psych-punk war machine on No Views, the raucous, harmonica-laden single from the forthcoming Illegals in Heaven. That record takes its name from the present refugee crisis in Australia and the batshit response from all parts of the political spectrum, as the band explain in an interview with Noisey. No Views feels like a head rush, an eruption of pure adrenaline speeding down the Autobahn where destinations don’t matter. Illegals in Heaven is out September 4 through Bedroom Suck Records.


Minor Victories — Film One

Film One isn’t strictly a music video. Nor is it a short film, a teaser trailer or a preview, but all of these things at once. Minor Victories is the new collaboration from Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell, Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite, Editors’ Justin Lockey and a series of co-conspirators-to-be (including Mark Kozelek), and this intimate piece — half of which is virtually silent — does a great job of building intrigue in what’s sure to be an excellent collaboration, especially if the track that starts at 2:30 is anything to go by. Colour me very interested.

Gold Class — Life As A Gun

Adam Curley is disaffected as the Christ figure in this knife-play-heavy clip for Life As A Gun. It’s a trait reflected in his vocal delivery — distant, at times overwrought, somehow disconnected yet always compelling as he plumbs emotional depths over a barrage of jaunty rhythms and nervous guitars to create a post-punk noir tapestry. The single is taken from the group’s debut, It’s You, out September 4 through Spunk.

Anger Management: Kekal

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Every fortnight, we check in with all things heavy on RTRFM’s Critical Mass show.

2015 marks the 20th anniversary for Jakarta’s Kekal. Since 1995, they’ve carved away at their brand of extreme metal/prog that has been getting more avant-garde and interesting. 2003’s excellent and well-received 1000 Thoughts Of Violence brought the band further into the public eye and seemingly gave them the confidence to forge on into the unknown, adding more experimental elements to their sound.

The band experienced some lineup shuffles in 2006 when one of their key members, guitarist/vocalist Jeffray moved to Canada. Kekal became a studio project and, bizarrely, all members at one point between 2006 — 2009 have left the band. Kekals bio states: “Since 2009, Kekal has become a band with no official members, but some of its former members still continue to make music and to release albums for Kekal, albeit as contributors.”

This creates an interesting situation. Kekal is now an institution that the members work for instead of as. Kekal is now less a band and more of a brand, so to speak. Having no official members means there is no style or image and allows free reign musically.

Mulilateral is Kekal’s 10th LP and they have taken more chances with this release than ever before. Each song melds elements of post-rock, black/extreme metal, electronic sounds, vocal effects and drum machines. Three songs on the album feature the use of the Vocaloid software singing synth program/idol Megurine Luka which works strikingly well. And what better way to underscore the fact that your band has no official members than to have a computerised idol singer on your album? The track “Crossroads” utilizes this the best as hammering riffage and pounding drums juxtaposed to the Vocaloid makes for a very interesting contrast.

The whole album is full of little surprises. Just when you think a track might be a bit off a riff or distorted drum beat comes out of nowhere and enhances the song. A good example of this is “Metropolis Noir” which starts off very dreamy and mellow. Acoustic warbly guitar, a triphop beat and the vocaloid singer glide along for 4 minutes before an abrupt interruption of distorted beats, growling vocals and an awesome black metal riff in the background.

Kekal have utilized their chance to make music free of image and as a result, Multilateral is an excellent release. They’ve taken so many chances that many would dare not to; every individual song features more ideas than most band’s entire albums. As their bio says: “Let us enjoy Multilateral, without preconception and presumption!”

Critical Mass airs every Wednesday from 9PM (GMT+8) on RTR FM 92.1 in Perth, Australia.

Hope Drone — Cloak of Ash

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

The Brisbane-based quartet Hope Drone have suggested through their first two digital releases that they were gifted with the potential to produce music of enormous atmosphere and depth. It comes as no surprise, then, that such promise was recognised so soon after the black metal band’s inception, being picked up by Relapse Records (a label who have so often displayed a canny ear). The time of Hope Drone’s first full-length album to come out through Relapse has now arrived, and with Cloak of Ash, such clear promise has well and truly exceeded what it inferred.

Hope Drone might share some similarities with some other notable artists tagged with the “post” prefix on their black metal (which should really only be taken as a signal that an artist has sought to evolve and expand, rather than stick to some Dogme 95 style treatise that stems from a handful of interviews with Norwegians in the early 90s). Comparisons with Vattnet Viskar, Altar of Plagues, or some of the USBM figureheads may instinctively spring forth. However, with more focused attention and repeated immersion in the devastating tsunami of black metal that is Cloak of Ash, it is stealthily apparent that there is plenty that sets Hope Drone apart. As a sum, it belies its references and, even more, that this is a work at the very early stages of Hope Drone’s musical journey.

Cloak of Ash is immense and demanding. This is clear from the outset, with the album opening with a track called “Unending Grey” that just sneaks over 20 minutes. Like The Master awakening in Salem’s Lot, the song opens its eyes with a brief lingering of dreams before exploding into frenzy. The vocals of Chris Rowden are rife with emotive despondency and scorn, yet elegantly and masterfully understated in the mix, like a tormented spirit rasping withering observations as it floats amidst humanity’s idiotic and self-flagellating procession to extinction. Violence dissipates into the soporific, before bursting into something akin to a monumental passage of early Finnish funeral doom. “Unending Grey” exemplifies the density of Cloak of Ash. It is as though, by its end, you have heard what many other metal bands would achieve in an entire album. But with six songs to go, it is but a quarter of the experience in terms of time.

It is a brilliant thing that, for a genre that has its roots in disdain for humanity, the music that bands such as Hope Drone create is stretching far beyond such seminal simple black and white depictions and approaching a complexity more appropriate for reflections on the human condition. As Cloak of Ash progresses, the density of ideas and the thoughtful nature through which they are delivered becomes more striking. Never once does it come across as scattered and thrown together simply for the sake of such lofty aims. There is never the impression of Hope Drone forcing a progressive approach to black metal. Whether it is the mellow beauty of idyllic post-rock or desert rock influences, momentary ambient flourishes, or their astonishing brilliance when delving into full on doom, the compositions are so skillfully blended that such ambition never distracts from the immersive nature of the songs. Seasoned as though with veteran hands, Cloak of Ash never dwells ponderously upon its own deviance from black metal dogma.

The enthralling nature of this richness of ideas is something that is best appreciated through continuous revisitation. To do so becomes as effortless as it seems for Hope Drone to shift stylistically. Even so, Cloak of Ash commands your involvement, particularly with the detail and scope treated to what is, in some sense, a more traditional black metal mix in the album’s sound. This is not background music, something to have on whilst you have a conversation. Such thoughtful and detailed work requires your full attention.

It certainly isn’t easy to create something that will instantly appeal to the established fan base of a particular style without being hopelessly derivative. Hope Drone’s full length debut has done so, a triumph surfing upon ravenous waves of nihilism and intoxicating beauty. In spite of perceptions, perhaps justifiably, of a staunch obsession with strict and safe traditions by the darker enclaves of Australian metal, once again one of the most compelling and interesting black metal albums of recent memory has set sail from these shores.

Cloak of Ash is out now through Relapse Records.

The Black Captain will be DJing at the Electric Funeral Club at The Velvet Lounge on July 29th.

Two Minutes With Inverloch

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Inverloch emerged in the wake of early 90s death/doom outfit diSEMBOWLMENT and the subsequent 21st century live tribute/reincarnation d.USK. Their thunderous opening statement came three years ago with the Relapse Records-released Dusk | Subside, a three track, 22 minute collection of pulverizing dirge and uneasy atmospheres. As they prepare to support US doom giants Yob in Melbourne on August 21, we spend a couple of minutes with Inverloch’s bassist Chris Jordon and guitarist Matt Skarajew and find out what’s new.

Describe your music in five words or less.
Chris Jordon: Heavy, atmospheric, death doom.

What’s going on in the world of Inverloch?
CJ: We’ve recently finished recording the follow up to Dusk/Subside; audio is mixed, currently being mastered. Artwork is being finalised. This will be released via Relapse Records.
There are a few killer shows on the horizon for us. In August we are honoured to be opening for Yob in Melbourne, late September we are looking forward to playing again at Black Conjuration in Adelaide, as well as opening for the legendary Boltthrower in Melbourne. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for more updates.

What motivates you to make music?
Matt Skarajew: It’s very hard to quantify — I honestly thought at this age the desire to make this kind of music would have passed by, but I still hear new ideas in my head, and I get a buzz hearing the songs take shape and develop in the studio. Realizing the songs as a group amplifies the enjoyment, then hearing of the pleasure you have created for listeners takes it to another level again — and that is a very motivating force.

What have been the high and low points of your musical experiences so far?
CJ: Low point: Pulling out of Maryland Death Fest XIII in the US. It wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly, but unfortunately it was one that had to be made.
MS: High points: Definitely Roadburn & Europe in 2012, our new record is very satisfying, and the opportunities we get to take our music to new places.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
MS: Of late — mostly The Skull album For Those Which Are Asleep. Alternatively, lots of very dark, a-rhythmic ambience.
CJ: Evoken has seen a lot of rotations lately. The first two Asphyx albums. Thergothon. A lot of classic doom/death.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which member of the band would get eaten first?
CJ: Haha, you’re asking the wrong guy — if things were that dire then we’re all doomed!

Here’s an opportunity to bitch about something, whether music related or not. What really pisses you off?
MS: Extremist view-points pushed onto others… that annoys me.

You’re putting together your perfect gig featuring Australian artists. Who would you get to play and where? Feel free to include acts/DJs/bands/venues that no longer exist.
CJ: List is too long! So many killer bands in the scene. In no particular order: Mournful Congregation, Stargazer, Portal, Impetuous Ritual, Grave Upheaval, Whitehorse, Cemetary Urn, Ignivomous, Eskhaton, Contaminated. Abominator… I’ve been blessed to play with some of the above already, some it’s yet to happen! Not sure what venue? The (olde) Arthouse certainly holds a special place. So many killer shows resonated through those walls.

Inverloch join Whitehorse in support of Yob at Max Watt’s (formerly Hi-Fi) in Melbourne on August 21. Tickets on sale now through

Noiseweek: Stars of the Lid, Battles, We Lost the Sea, Chelsea Wolfe, Lycia

Friday, July 24th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


How Stars of the Lid Made Two Ambient Masterworks | Rolling Stone

Sometime after the release of their sixth studio album, 2001’s The Tired Sounds of the Stars of the Lid, Austin-borne drone duo Stars of the Lid quietly, patiently moved from obscurity into semi-obscurity, renown as the most acclaimed ambient musicians since the heyday of Brian Eno. The three-LP opus featured more than two hours of melancholy, wistful orchestral drones that swelled and dissolved, a home-brewed sound with the ambitions of minimalist composition and the insularity of indie rock. It didn’t make too much of a ripple upon its release beyond raves from alt-leaning press, but it slowly spread. In the 14 years since, a generation of similarly evocative composers — Max Richter, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Ólafur Arnalds — have risen to prominence in Stars of the Lid’s wake. Vinyl copies of follow-up, 2007’s Stars of the Lid and Their Refinement of the Decline, have sold for more than $200.

My Internet Band Signed a Record Deal Without Ever Meeting IRL | The Daily Beast

“The fact that we’re even in a band is a little crazy. For one thing, I live in Colorado. Our singer lives in Brooklyn. Our bass player lives in New Jersey about two months per year and spends the other 10 months touring the world with his other (very successful) band, Revocation. Our drummer lives in Virginia and also tours internationally with his other (also very successful) band, Municipal Waste.
As if geography weren’t enough to overcome, consider this: I knew the singer and the bass player, but had never met the drummer. Our drummer knew the bass player but had never met me or the singer. Our bass player knew me and the drummer, but had never met the singer. The singer knew me, but had never met the bass player or the drummer.
Confused? Let me put it this way: there wasn’t a single person in the band who had met all three other members. By the time I met the drummer—making me the first member to have met all three of my bandmates—we already had the bulk of an album written and had a handful of demos recorded and released, and we were considering signing to one of two labels.”

Unpopular Opinion: Jack White is the Worst Thing that Ever Happened to Rock | LA Weekly

“It’s not just Jack White’s music that I hate. I hate everything about him. I hate him for making Eric Clapton look like Son House. I hate his stupid hats. I hate his “Look at me, I’m so obscurely retro!”–shaped guitars. I hate that his entire career is built on matching outfits and twee appropriations of what is actually good music. I hate him because Brochella is filled with guys in bucket hats and koi sleeves who know every White Stripes song but have never heard The Mooney Suzuki, The Oblivians, The Delta 72 or the approximately 50,000 other bands who did the same thing Jack White tries to do but way, way better.”


Lycia — The Fall Back

At a little over two and a half minutes, The Fall Back sounds like an interlude — but that doesn’t make it any less devastating. Lycia remain masters of soul-crushing soundscapes, and even with the odd major key melody, Mike VanPortfleet’s dispassionate delivery over makes for a truly depressing yet truly beautiful listening experience. The track is taken from the trio’s forthcoming album A Line That Connects, out August 21 through Handmade Birds.

We Lost the Sea — Departure Songs

Sydney outfit We Lost the Sea lean towards the blues on their first instrumental album. While lead single and opening track A Gallant Gentleman feels like a celebratory eulogy for the group’s late frontman Chris Torpy, the rest of the record takes on a distinctly more downbeat tone. Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise: the album’s copy describes the record as inspired by failed journeys, and the uncertain tone that permeates the record’s five songs seems like appropriate company for a road trip across uncharted territory. In any case, it’s a journey worth taking. Departure Songs is out now through Bird’s Robe and Art as Catharsis; see them on tour with Hope Drone this July and August.


Battles: The Art of Repetition

Step backstage with Battles in this Ableton-sponsored as the trio work on their new record, La Di Da Di, out September 18 through Warp Records.

Chelsea Wolfe — Dragged Out (Live)

It’s remarkable that Chelsea Wolfe can capture the menace of their studio sound in a live setting. In this professionally shot footage of Dragged in Amsterdam from the forthcoming Abyss, Wolfe and her band plod through the song’s droning, sludgy verses while eerie samples — either sonically manipulated field recordings of wind, or a voice twisted and imbued with the creepiness of horror cinema — sound out beneath the deluge. Abyss is out August 7 through Sargent House.

Foxes — Stomp the Earthworm

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Foxes channel Eleventh He Reaches London on this taste from Organic Vessels, the Perth outfit’s latest album which is available now on Bandcamp. But whereas Eleventh’s songs were about the build and release of tension, Foxes fast-track the process into explosive bursts of emotion and energy. Foxes have always been about juxtapositions — chaos with harmony, introspection with emotive confession — and on Stomp the Earthworm, the quintet embrace those qualities in full.

Foxes launch Organic Vessels this Saturday at Amplifier with Puck, Statues and Apollo Den.

Day Ravies — Liminal Zones

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Day Ravies’ 2013 debut album Tussle was one of the most promising new Australian shoegaze albums of the year. Its mix of Joy Division’s driving drums and angular guitar lines with shimmering dream pop and psychedelic rock was a memorable addition to the local shoegaze scene; matching, and in some cases even exceeding, the high standard set by similarly-inspired local acts like Summer Flake or Flyying Colours. Day Ravies differentiated themselves not only through their musical influences and technical proficiency, but also their sense of playfulness and musical experimentation. Their debut developed a spontaneous, exploratory type of sound, and a feeling of untapped potential; the free-floating promise of new development in unpredictable directions. It’s difficult to write a follow-up release to such an album, immediately strong and self-contained, but stretching out to something even better. But this month, Day Ravies did just that, releasing their second full-length album Liminal Zones. How does it compare to other recent dream pop and shoegaze releases? Does it live up to their earlier potential?

Opening tracks ‘Fake Beach’ and ‘Couple Days’ set the scene with jangly, shoegaze chord progressions over hypnotic guitar riffs and parallel bass lines, driven on by pounding drums. The songs are short and saccharine, with an undertone of darkness to them. So far, the sound is pretty much what you’d expect from their 2013 debut, with a couple of telling minor differences. First of all they sound a lot more confident in themselves and what they’re trying to achieve, and secondly, there’s a faintly audible electronic influence unique to the new album. But it’s really third track ‘This Side of The Fence’ where all the pieces start to come together, where a drum beat and synth melody similar to the opening strains of Joy Division’s ‘She’s Lost Control’ is matched with strange, psychedelic female vocals and reverb-soaked electric guitars. The drums are lo-fi, stuttering and electronic, reminiscent of the FM synth beats of Silent Shout–era The Knife, adding an unexpected new dimension to the music. Dream pop is a guitar genre ordinarily, so it’s interesting to see Day Ravies using elements of electronic art-pop to help them generate the atmosphere on their new release. It makes their songs sound really fresh and original, while at the same time maintaining the sort of energy and spontaneity that made the band so enjoyable in the first place.

The effect is even stronger on tracks like ‘Immaculate Escape’ and ‘March Comes Around’, where the digital elements are allowed to drive the songs forward and almost take the place of the guitars, creating this really novel hybrid of psychedelic post-punk and electronic pop, while at the same time never really straying too far from their traditional influences. They’re a bit like an edgier, more experimental version of Flyying Colours, and what they lack in genre purity they more than make up for with playfulness and sheer originality. And while their music sounds remarkably consistent here and self-contained, it still feels like there’s plenty of ground created here for further exploration in the future. Will they continue mixing FM synths with dream pop or go down a more electronic road? Will the references to 60’s psychedelic music, like the organ sounds in ‘Hackford Whizz’ or ‘Halfway Up A Hill’ take more precedence in a future album, or will they go for something else entirely? Their intentions are impossible to determine, but the album does show that they don’t intend to stop at recreating past successes. It lives up to the potential of their first release while creating even higher expectations for their albums still to come. It sounds like they haven’t hit their peak yet. The band is still rising, still trying to figure everything out, while at the same time being completely confident with where they are, and where they want to go.

With Liminal Zones, Day Ravies has achieved the improbable. They’ve managed not only to exceed the high expectations set by their debut album in innovation and technical quality, but also to set a new and more exciting standard on which this band, and others in its genre can be judged. This is high praise considering the strength of the competition, but this is by far the best new album of its type to come out in Australia this year. Liminal Zones is a landmark achievement. It should not be missed.

Liminal Zones is out now through Sonic Masala and Strange Pursuits.

A Minute With Dirac Sea

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Before they support YOB on August 19, we spend a minute with Perth heavy quartet Dirac Sea and find out what’s new.

Describe your music in five words or less.
A glass case of emotion

What’s going on in the world of Dirac Sea?
Getting our first release ready, solidifying more gigs and perfecting our craft.

What motivates you to make music?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what motivates us, but there is a unanimous feeling of enjoyment within the band when we do make music.

What have been the high and low points of your musical experiences so far?
The high and low point are one in the same as it entails our initial second guitarist departing the band, which also allowed us to hone in and define our sound.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
For a definitive list, we’d be here all day, so one from each would be Abandon, Amenra, Explosions in the Sky, Neurosis and anything that makes your spine tingle.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which member of the band would get eaten first?
Mike, ’cause he’s already dead inside.

Here’s an opportunity to bitch about something, whether music related or not. What really pisses you off?
The heart-wrenching and never-ending drop off of quality that is The Simpsons.

You’re putting together your perfect gig featuring Australian artists. Who would you get to play and where? Feel free to include acts/DJs/bands/venues that no longer exist.
Fourteen Nights at Sea, Mournful Congregation, Beyond Terror Beyond Grace, Arterial Hemorrhage, Drowning Horse, The Filth, Drohtnung, Woods of Desolation and Clagg, all playing at… The Castle.

Dirac Sea join Alzabo in support of doom lords YOB at their first ever Australian show at The Rosemount Hotel on Wednesday, August 19. Tickets on sale now through

Noiseweek: The Decline of Western Civilization, Black Wing, Protomartyr, REW

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

The sights, sounds and words of the week in noise.


The Punk Director: Penelope Spheeris Revisits Her Decline of Western Civilization Trilogy | Pitchfork

“I like to think about society as being a flock of birds: There seems to be a common consciousness in different time periods, and the new common consciousness reacts to the old standards. Punk rock was tearing down traditional rock’n’roll and totally pissing on disco, then heavy metal came in and squashed the punk rock, and then grunge came in and squashed the heavy metal. It’s an organic way of making our musical society evolve.”

How Live Aid Ruined My Life, by John Doran | The Quietus

“The screen I’m watching is only four inches across and part of an upright turntable and cassette recorder hi-fi combo. The technology that is allowing today to occur is blowing my fucking mind. Stu’s Mum comes into his room carrying a tray of roast chicken legs. Adam Ant walks on stage. “Yes!” says Stu. “Yes!” I say. He isn’t dressed as a pirate or a highwayman wearing makeup but as some kind of rockabilly duffer but it doesn’t matter because nothing can ruin this moment of righteousness and vindication. What is he going to play? ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’? ‘Prince Charming’? ‘Mohok’? Two billion people are waiting. They play ‘Vive Le Rock’. “What?” I say but by the time he does a scissor kick I know the 80s and my childhood are over.”


Black Wing — If I Let Him In

Black Wing is a sonic typhoon, and on this preview from …Is Doomed, Dan Barrett is at once gentle, devastating and heart-breaking. Barrett is the man behind Connecticut post-punk outfit Have A Nice Life, as well as Giles Corey and a slew of other acts. Black Wing is his digital-only moniker

If I Let Him In is awash in a digital haze as a cacophony of metallic synths envelope Barrett’s disembodied intonations and a simplistic beat. This is one of the most moving pieces of music you’ll hear all year. …Is Doomed is out September 25 through The Flenser.

Protomartyr — Why Does It Shake?

Joe Casey oozes sarcasm in the newest slow-burner from Detroit’s Protomartyr taken from the quartet’s upcoming third album, The Agent Intellect. Why Does It Shake? is post-punk at its most essential: low-key and brimming with nuance, frustrated yet reserved, intellectual and visceral all at once. The Agent Intellect is out October 9 through Hardly Art.


REW — Swan’s Melody

There’s nothing kinetic about the low-key piano refrain of Swan’s Melody, yet it’s a beautiful accompaniment for the mirrored footage of the New York Trapeze School, which sees its acrobats disembodied and reformed in a monochrome kaleidoscope. Swan’s Melody is taken from Olive Skinned, Silver Tongued Siren Sings Swan Songs, available now on Bandcamp.

Premiere: Hail the riff with Puck’s Take The Day

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

It’s a privilege to debut the latest single from Perth riff machinists Puck, because songs like Take The Day don’t land in your inbox everyday. We make so much fuss about mythologising The Riff in talking about stoner rock and its others. The Riff is the pinnacle, the focal point, the Son and Father and Spirit. And sure, it’s a little cliché, but when you hear an earth-splitting riff like the one that explodes into being 43 seconds into Take The Day, the cliché makes perfect sense. These sounds are addictive, and with an industrial strength rhythm section and vocals that channel Layne Staley, Josh Homme and John Garcia, this is as refined as stoner rock gets. With Puck, we’ve found modern Australia’s answer to Kyuss.

Puck are touring the country next month in support of the single’s release — check them out on the following dates.

August 6 — Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney
August 7 — The Public Bar, Melbourne
August 8 — Crown & Anchor
August 29 — The Odd Fellow, Fremantle
September 4 — Prince Of Wales, Bunbury
September 5 — The Boston, Perth