Archive for the ‘DEAFCULT’ Category

Matthew Stoff’s Top 10 Albums of 2015

Saturday, December 19th, 2015

Regular LIFE IS NOISE contributor Matthew Stoff shares 10 of his favourite releases from the year that was.

Ten albums seems like way too few for a year as packed with great releases as 2015. Because of that, I wanted to talk about the albums that I keep coming back to, rather than trying to come up with a more definitive list of albums of the year. You might not think of these as the best releases of 2015, but they’re the ones that spoke to me the most. With that in mind, here’s my end of year list:

1. Algiers – Algiers
Cold wave, Marxism, and soul might seem like a funny combination, but after Algiers self-titled album I can’t imagine what my life would be without it. This is one of most innovative albums of the decade, and its hard-hitting, courageous, and challenging political commentary is the icing on the cake.

2. Gold Class – It’s You
I can’t get enough of Gold Class. They’re smart, passionate, and totally authentic. Their live show is amazing too. Gold Class are indisputably the best traditional-sounding post-punk band in Australia at the moment. Maybe even in the world.

3. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love
Sleater-Kinney’s revival album could have been a lot of things. It could have been out of touch, or lacking energy, or just a simple rehash of their old material. What it was, was nothing less than a masterpiece. It feels as though they’d never left at all.

4. Ought – Sun Coming Down
Sun Coming Down is a weird album. It’s post-punk, but it isn’t really post-punk, with atypical vocals, rambling song structures, and pop-but-not-really-pop-at-all melodies. A singular experience.

5. Heat Dust – Heat Dust
Heat Dust play traditional post-punk really hard and really fast, and I liked this album a lot more than the similarly inspired recent release from Protomartyr. Your results might vary. They’re both incredible, high-octane albums, even if this is the one that made my final list.

6. Ceremony – The L-Shaped Man
Some people might see this album as a contentious choice. It’s pretty generic, and looking at reviews after the fact, it feels like mine is one of the only ones that presents the album in a positive light. But nostalgia is powerful thing, and my nostalgia for the indie pop-infused post-punk revival of the early 2000s is very strong indeed. The mix of that and Ceremony’s lingering hardcore influences gives this album a novel sound that keeps me coming back for more.

7. Deafcult – Deafcult
As far as dream pop goes, these guys are the reigning kings. Dense, melodic shoegaze with great production, played at ear-shattering volume from a Brisbane band. What’s not to love?

8. Mourn – Mourn
Everything about this band is so unlikely. Their place of origin, their age, their musical inspirations: everything that makes them who they are. But that’s why this release is so important. It’s got a youthful sound to it. A sense that anything is possible. And it largely succeeds at all things it’s set out to do. A truly inspiring album.

9. JuliaWhy? – Wheel
I reviewed this album once for 4ZZZ and never mentioned it again, probably because it falls between the lines of various genres, and was hard to compare with anything I wrote about for LIFE IS NOISE this year. But I wanted to mention it here, because it’s a fantastic album, combining high energy delivery with lo-fi production, and subtle feminist politics. My choice for sleeper hit album of the year.

10. Metz – Metz II
Sure, it’s a little shallow and not too different from the first Metz album, yet the brutal but fantastically melodic noise rock of Metz still brings a smile to my face whenever I hear it, and that’s enough for me.


Saturday, December 5th, 2015

DEAFCULTIn an honest world, you wouldn’t be able to escape a band like Deafcult. They’d be played in supermarkets all over the country and they’d be interviewed on Sunrise as the newest darlings of booming, national shoegaze scene, widely recognised as our most distinctive cultural export, and the populist extension of an equally well-regarded avant-garde Australian underground.

But we don’t live in an honest world, so it’s possible you haven’t heard of Deafcult, a Brisbane shoegaze band whose devastatingly loud, but blissfully melodic self-titled debut album – released digitally in May – is set for a vinyl release on Sydney label Black Wire this month, just in time for their recently announced east-coast Australian tour. The album is melodic enough for almost anyone to enjoy, while still offering the musical depth and authenticity craved by the modern indie scene. It’s heavy without being challenging, dark without being depressing: an overwhelming and instantly gratifying addition to the sunny side of local shoegaze. It feels like flying through a kaleidoscope of coloured clouds, relaxing and powerfully psychedelic, while the force provided by the band’s four guitarists creates unparalleled feelings of immersion and intensity that set the band apart from everything else that’s happening in Australia at the moment.

It’s world-class, anthemic alt-pop, and the vinyl release will allow you to enjoy it in greater detail than you ever could have done before. There seems to be a lot of awesome music coming out from Brisbane at the moment, but as far as dream-pop goes, Deafcult make some of the best. If you missed out on the band when they made their debut in April this year, now’s the perfect time to check them out. In an honest world, you wouldn’t have a choice. This is powerful, novel, and emotional popular music, that represents the best of the Australian shoegaze scene; it demands your recognition and support. Check it out if you’re a fan of local acts like Flyying Colours, Day Ravies, or Forevr, and prepare to be blown away.

Deafcult is out December 10 through Black Wire Records.