Archive for the ‘Elder’ Category

And The Rest of the Best of 2015

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

We close out our 2015 end-of-year list-a-thon with contributions from LIFE IS NOISE friends and contributors Sally Townsend, Louis Dunstan, Liam Matthews and Gram the Son of Sam.

Sally Townsend, Perth-based music photographer
I am a lover of music first of all, and firmly believe in supporting live music and local artists. I will travel for the indescribable magic that is live performance, and am trying to capture it the best I can with my camera. I’m a riff-worshipping, doom-loving, dedicated listener and participant in both the local and international heavy music scenes. There was too much good stuff released this year, so it seemed fitting to do a top 15 for 2015. In no particular order…

Bell Witch – Four Phantoms

High On Fire — Luminiferous

Windhand — Grief’s Infernal Flower

Uncle Acid — The Night Creeper

With The Dead — With The Dead

Dopethrone — Hochelaga

Monolord — Vaenir

Elder — Lore

Blackout — Blackout

Watchtower — Radiant Moon EP

Chelsea Wolfe — Abyss

Cult Of Occult — Five Degrees Of Insanity

Space Bong — Deadwood To Worms

Holy Serpent — Holy Serpent

Deafheaven — New Bermuda

Louis Dunstan (EXTORTION/Big Bread)

1. Ghost — Meliora

2. High On Fire — Luminiferous

3. Drowning Horse — Sheltering Sky

4. Tame Impala — Currents

5. Napalm Death — Apex Predator/Easy Meat

6. John Carpenter — Lost Themes

7. Jaakko Eino Kalevi — Jaakko Eino Kalevi

8. Elder — Lore

9. Ufomammut — Ecate

10. Ahab — The Boats of Glen Craig

Liam Matthews (Fourteen Nights At Sea, Old Bar/Public Bar, Melbourne)

1. Godspeed You! Black Emperor — Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

2. Hope Drone — Cloak Of Ash

3. Self Defence Family — Heaven Is Earth

4. Deafheaven — New Bermuda

5. Nadia Reid — Listen to Formation, Look for the Signs

6. Luke Howard – Two & One

7. Mogwai — Central Belters

8. Mares — Mares

9. Closer — Heartache/Lifted

10. The Electric Guitars — The Electric Guitars

Gram the Son of Sam’s top Oz doom, occult and stoner of 2015

1. Witchskull – The Vast Electric Dark

2. Tarot – The Warrior’s Spell

3. Aver – Nadir

4. Hydromedusa – Hydromedusa

5. Space Bong – Deadwood to Worms

6. Seedy Jeezus – Seedy Jeezus

7. Watchtower – Radiant Moon

8. Roundtable – Dread Marches Under Bloodied Regalia

9. Drowning Horse – Sheltering Sky

10. Little Desert – Saeva (This could have been #1 but just not enough time to shine)

Jack Midalia’s Top 10 Albums of 2015

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

10. Sunn O))) — Kannon
Consider this a provisional tenth place for Sunn O))), as I still haven’t had the chance to listen to Kannon on a sound system large enough to do it justice. But I can tell already it’s got everything you’d want in a Sunn O))) album — a whole pile of dark, intense drone, with a sense of focus and purpose often missing from the genre. Kannon is a relatively short work, but it still feels like an epic journey from start to finish.

9. Fourteen Nights At Sea — Minor Light
Alternating between soaring noise and sparse, beautifully textured ambience, Minor Light is another staggeringly fine piece of work from Melbourne’s Fourteen Nights At Sea. I’ve frequently put this album on in the background while working, only to find myself just staring off into space, transfixed. As well as impeccable production, Minor Light’s real strength is the sense of restraint found throughout; everything on the album is essential. A brilliant recording.

8. Kurt Vile — b’lieve i’m goin down…
Kurt Vile’s sixth record, b’lieve i’m goin down…, doesn’t exactly reinvent the KV wheel. Having said that, the usual elements work together perfectly here to create a little gem of an album. The usual reverbed fingerpicking guitar is pretty constant throughout b’lieve, with the pace and intensity changing depending on the mood. Vile’s voice seems to be getting better with age, sounding fuller and richer, while maintaining its distinctive slacker drawl. A wonderful slow burning record to add to a rapidly growing catalogue of excellence.

7. Mount Eerie — Sauna
Despite being released in February, I still feel like there’s a world hidden within Sauna that I’m yet to discover (a song like “Turmoil”, for example, is a simple, straightforward song imbued through its instrumentation with a sense of uneasy depth). There’s the usual juxtaposition of traditional folk and almost-noise, and experimentation that works together to create a beautiful, haunting and mysterious world. One well worth exploring.

6. High On Fire — Luminiferous
A flat out awesome, conspiracy-filled riff-fest… what’s not to love about High On Fire’s latest record, Luminiferous? There’s been a lot of attention on the Icke-influenced lyrics that fill Luminiferous, but nowhere near enough attention on just how much of a brilliant, perfectly-produced album this is.

5. Elder — Lore
Elder’s brand of doom-tinged psych is on excellent display on Lore. From the sly nod to “Immigrant Song” of opening track “Compendium”, Lore expertly walks the fine line between hypnotic repetition and monotony. There’s a dynamic typical of heavy three-pieces that can sometimes prevent the emergence of depth and texture. Elder avoid this, imbuing their tracks with a sense of space at some times, as well as a sense of balls-out rock at others. Lore is an impressive record for such a young band — one that promises much in the future.

4. Low — Ones and Sixes
Forgive me if I don’t sound enthused about this record. It’s not that it isn’t great (it is), or that Low are just going through the motions (they’re not). It’s just that the band are such a reliable producer of ridiculously good records, that I always have a certain amount of an “oh, another masterpiece… yawn” attitude for Low releases. That being said, Ones and Sixes takes everything you’re used to from the Minnesotans (breathtaking sparsity, chilling harmonies), but with a focus, clarity and added intensity from their recent output.

3. Drowning Horse — Sheltering Sky
Another example of a band in 2015 that took a stunning live sound and perfectly translated this to record. I’m going to skip any attempt to describe Sheltering Sky, and just link to The Black Captain’s perfect review.

2. We Lost The Sea — Departure Songs
I’ve had the privilege of seeing We Lost The Sea a few times this year, and they’ve completely blown me away every time. There’s plenty of Australian acts, however, that can pull it off live but not lack something on record. No such problem here. With Departure Songs, We Lost The Sea have eschewed the usual tired post-rock tropes and created something uniquely brilliant and beautifully poignant.

1. Sufjan Stevens — Carrie and Lowell
I love pretty much everything Sufjan Stevens has done, but Carrie and Lowell might be his masterpiece. The record finds Sufjan in stripped-back mode and makes you realise what makes him such a great artist — it’s not the bold production choices or layering, it’s just simple, well written songs and an instantly recognisable, beautiful and stark voice.

Despite the fact that the world can be a dark place (and this record does go to numerous places lacking in any light), the fact that the darkness can spawn such incredible beauty as Carrie and Lowell is, at least, a small comfort.

Dave Cutbush’s Top 10 Albums of 2015

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

LIFE IS NOISE’s head honcho shares his favourite releases from 2015, with Elder, High On Fire and Shlohmo among the year’s best.

10. Sunn O))) – Kannon
The drone giants Sunn O))) return in 2015 with another crushing display in the form of Kannon. It is heavy, it is slow, it is fearful and it is imposing. My only criticism is that it is a little short. I wanted more than just the three songs. Who knows, perhaps this is just a tease for another Sunn O))) album in 2016. After all, six years is too long to wait for such epic majesty.

9. Echoes of Yul – The Healing
The Black Captain introduced me to Polish act Echoes of Yul. Ever since I have loved their work. You can read The Black Captain’s review here. I love the dreamy dark quality of this record. It is a melancholic masterpiece.

8. Windhand – Grief’s Infernal Flower
Windhand return with the their third record Grief’s Infernal Flower. As heavy as ever and featuring the hauntingly beautiful vocals of Dorthia Cottrell, Windhand have a great balance between the depth and crushing on one had and the ethereal and haunting on the other. Grief’s Infernal Flower is a consistently good album and confirms Windhand’s pre-eminence in the worldwide doom revival.

7. Church – Unanswered Hymns
My favourite debut album of the year came out of the blue from Church (or Chrch as they are now known). Unanswered Hymns has a musical bed of depravity and destruction with vocals that sound like a demon sacrificing a virgin on a satanic altar on top. An occult masterpiece from these Californian natives.

6. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell
Sufjan returns to his folk roots on record number seven. He gets to me when he is super sad, and on this album he is at times at his most serenely melancholic. ‘Should Have Known Better’ is my favourite in this respect. It is what folk music should be and most often isn’t. Stripped away from the overburdening production of previous work, Carrie and Lowell gets down to basics. It has beautiful melodies and thought provoking lyrics. Dare I say it — a return to form for Stevens.

5. Ahab – The Boats of Glen Carrig
Funeral doom/nautical doom/progressive rock/post-rock whatever. The Boats of Glen Carrig may be an interesting fusion of styles packaged in their ever expanding worlds of boats and krakens and wrecks but when you boil it down it is just a great heavy record. Super riffs aplenty, great clean vocals and brutal growls. Super catchy in a destructive way.

4. Drowning Horse – Sheltering Sky
The latest Drowning Horse album is totally crushing. Read The Black Captain’s review here. No other words need be spoken.

3. Shlohmo – Dark Red
Shlohmo is a consistently amazing electronic producer. His latest album Dark Red is no exception to this. He inhabits a dark and weird world most of today’s beatmakers dare not inhabit. But the final word on this should come from the press release for the album, where we are told Dark Red would sound like “if Electric Wizard tried to make an R&B record, or if Boards of Canada met Burzum by the River Styx” – maybe not true but certainly an interesting concept.

2. High On Fire – Luminiferous

Lyrically mind-altering and musically earth-shattering, the latest effort from High on Fire is another pummelling journey from the metal three-piece and a great addition to their great catalogue. All members are in great form. Des Kensel’s drumming is relentless, Jeff Matz’ bass work is as always without fault and team leader Matt Pike’s vocals and guitar work have reached a new pinnacle. But with all the Motorhead-style fast fury, it is the slower tracks that stand out for me. ‘The Falconist’ has a sneering menace, while ‘The Cave’ is the standout for me. High on Fire have developed as a band with Luminiferous. There is power aplenty but listen further and you can reach other dimensions.

1. Elder – Lore
In 2015 nothing beat the power riffs and melodic mastery of Lore from Massachusetts band Elder. It is a tip of the hat to the iconic rock legends of the 70s but Lore is a furious modern stoner take on all things psych and doom. I love how Elder meld various passages in their songs so seamlessly. At times monolithic and bludgeoning and at others beautiful and delicate, Lore is impressive from first to last listen. It’s an album I have punished but continues to give me great joy every time I put it on. Thanks Elder – you just keep getting better.

Honourable Mentions
Vhol – Deeper Than Sky
Glowsun – Beyond the Wall of Time
Hope Drone – Cloak of Ash
Sumac – The Deal
Dungen – Allas Sak
Bell Witch – Four Phantoms
Tangled Thoughts of Leaving – Yield to Despair
Kowloon Walled City — Grievances
We Lost The Sea – Departure Songs
Ecstatic Vision – Sonic Praise
Built to Spill – Untethered Moon
Fourteen Nights at Sea – Minor Light
Joanna Newsom – Divers
Wrekmeister Harmonies – Night of Your Ascension

Chris Pearson’s Top 10 Albums of 2015

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

The host of PBS 106.7FM’s Po-Jama People shares his top picks from 2015.

Here are 10 nuggets from a year that brought shite loads of great music from home and overseas. Five Australian albums to start:

Tangled Thoughts of Leaving — Yield to Despair
A band that can only just squeeze five tracks onto a double LP is OK in my book. Tangled Thoughts play some of the most interesting proggie art-rock around. Check out ‘Albanian Sleepover’ parts 1&2

Fourteen Nights at Sea — Minor Light
Following on from their excellent Great North, released last year, Fourteen Nights at Sea carry the bleak and moving nature of their post-rock to infinity and beyond. I look forward to seeing how their sound evolves with a new band member.
Check out ‘Chiltern Justice’.

We Lost the Sea — Departure Songs
Since the death of We Lost the Sea’s vocalist Chris Torpy in 2013, the band’s reinvention as an instrumental behemoth has been achieved with great aplomb. This album as a tribute to Chris, intended or otherwise, has a darkness and a sorrow with a little glimmer of light.
Check out ‘A Galant Gentleman’.

Seedy Jeezus — Seedy Jeezus
Seven tracks of the best 70s-inspired psychedelic rock around with a big twist of stoner. Recorded live at the iconic Tote Hotel. Great songs, huge riffs and more hair than anything this side of ZZ Top.
Check out ‘How Ya Doin’.

My Disco — Severe
Five years since their last album, this latest offering has elements of post-rock and noise, with a little post-punk sprinkled in for good measure. Well and truly worth the wait, in my opinion.
Check out the track ‘Our Decade’.

And five international albums…

Elder — Lore
Their latest album Lore added a big block of prog to the already brimming bowl of psychedelic-stoner-doom-metal. Much cleaner sounding than the epic Dead Roots Stirring, this is an album recorded by a band wise beyond its years.
Check out the title track.

Mogwai — Central Belters
The Glasgow five-piece need no introduction. A band that can do no wrong (in this Scotsman’s eyes). I am usually doubtful about compilation albums entering the arena just before Christmas, but this is an exception to that rule. Central Belters is a three CD (or six LP) monster. It’s a 20-year retrospective, above and beyond the call, 2 CDs of album tracks and one of b-sides and rarities.
Check out the 20-minute long closer ‘My Father My King’ (recorded by Steve Albini).

Papir meets Electric Moon — Papermoon Sessions, Live at Roadburn 2014
Danish trio Papir are joined here by Sula and Lulu from Electric Moon and Mogens from Oresund Space Collective. Three of the best heavy psych jam bands rolled into one, recorded two massive slabs of the best improvised space-rock this side of Uranus.
Check out the track ‘Powdered Stars’.

Sunn O))) — Kannon
A late addition on many of this year’s best of lists I am sure. An album in three tracks, clocking in at just over half an hour. It may be short on time but lacks for nothing else. This trio of tracks manages to be subtly uplifting while conjuring the soundtrack to your worst nightmare. Do not listen to Kannon after midnight.
Check out the middle track ‘Kannon 2’.

Various Artrists — Electric Ladyland (Redux)
The classic Jimi Hendrix double album is reimagined by All Them Witches, Earthless, Wo Fat, Mos Generator, Gozu, Mothership, Elder and many more. This could be the best tribute album ever.
Check out all 15 minutes of All Them Witches’ version of ’Voodoo Chile’.

Chris Pearson presents Po-Jama People on Melbourne’s PBS 106.7FM.
All the psychedelic-stoner-post-space-doom-rock that can be squeezed into the last two hours of Wednesday night.

Two Minutes With Fuck The Fitzroy Doom Scene

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Before they open proceedings for Earthless and Elder at the Corner on Saturday October 24, we spend a couple of minutes with Melbourne’s doom revellers Fuck the Fitzroy Doom Scene.

Describe your music in five words or less.
Birth. Life. Love. Death. Peace..

What’s going on in the world of Fuck the Fitzroy Doom Scene?
About to embark on our second album recording. The plan is to track, mix and master ourselves, all on tape… Here’s Dave with the gig updates: “We’re Supporting Elder and Earthless on their Melbourne Show!” Pretty stoked!

What motivates you to make music?
Life seems to pile up in the subconscious and spew out through music. It’s cheaper than a shrink ;) . But only just.

What have been the high and low points of your musical experiences so far?
The first record is something we are immensely proud of and the Boogie Festival show was very special. There was a blood red moon rising up over the crowd as we played — that place just rocks!
The low point was nearly driving our car off a cliff in dense fog at a Mt. Hotham show but even that was fun. P.S. Luke, you’re designated driver from now on ;-) .

What music are you listening to at the moment?
Apart from our phone demos: Down, Mad Season… Lots of live and local stuff including Magic Mountain Band… also Elder’s Lore! Luke’s griming on the Mark Ronson/Mystikal collaboration, Feels Explicit. Ali’s car radio is tuned to ABC Classical for late cruising.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which member of the band would get eaten first?
Dave. His hair smells scrumptious.

Here’s an opportunity to bitch about something, whether music related or not. What really pisses you off?
Dave’s hair in my teeth.

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.
In no particular order:
Bon Scott w/ AC/DC, Fraternity, Madder Lake, ’80’s-Midnight Oil, EasyBeats, Daddy Cool, The Purple Hearts, The Birthday Party, The Scientists, The Church, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Master’s Apprentices, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Chain, Buffalo, Dragon, The Dirty Three, Pirana, The Zoot, GutterSnipes, The Missing Links, The Drones & Frantic Toss… All at the Espy Front Bar for $5!

Fuck the Fitzroy Doom Scene support Earthless and Elder at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne this Saturday October 24. Tickets are on sale now through

Interview: Earthless

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Earthless weave dreams. Reaching the limits of what three human beings can achieve with a guitar, a bass and a set of drums, the California trio have carved a sonic palette the size of the Mojave desert with blistering guitars, inimitable grooves and an allegiance to the might of the riff. Here, on the week of their upcoming Australia tour with Elder, guitarist Isaiah Mitchell talks intuition, religion and playing on the fly.

Matthew Tomich: Earthless has been operating for almost a decade and a half now with the same three members, which is a pretty rare feat. How have you guys kept it together so well over the years?

Isaiah Mitchell: I don’t know. We just kind of do stuff on our own terms, I guess. Not overdoing it. If we can’t do something, we won’t do it. We all got along before we were in a band – Mike and Mario were friends and I was good friends with Mike. I knew Mario – we all came from the same town and knew each other. It’s easy. They’re easy going guys. I think the three of us are easy going for the most part, about playing music and everything. No assholes in the band or anything like that.

MT: Does the dynamic still kind of evolve now you’ve been playing together so long? Do you still find ways to surprise each other?

IM: It seems like there’s clearly the same formula to everything in the past couple of albums. I think we’re just getting better at listening to each other. I think we’re getting a lot more dynamic about feeling what each other’s going to do. I’d say that’s definitely it – being a little bit more intuitive with how someone’s going to react to something someone else does.

MT: I’ve read you talk about intuition a lot. How long did it take to come to that level where you felt you could read each other well and allow yourself to improve in a live setting from that?

IM: I think it happened pretty quick. They’re great musicians, so if you’re a good musician, you can play by feeling instead of being extremely mathematical about it. That stuff is already there and finding like-minded people that maybe come from the same place – it came pretty quick. It wasn’t this difficult thing, which is why we keep doing what we’re doing. I don’t know. When I hear other bands that do that, it’s like I really like that band because I can tell they’re kind of getting into the jazz a little or something, I don’t know, just being intuitive. Not saying we’re exactly like that, but just that feel and intuitiveness.

MT: Do you reach that similar level of intuition with the other players in Golden Void or any of your other projects?

IM: Yeah. I’d say so because the drummer and I, we were in our very first band together. I know him really well. In junior high school we were in bands, so I know him pretty damn good. I know what he’s going to think about. You can communicate with a look, and if you work something out in a practice space, same with Earthless – OK we’ll go this long, then do this fill to move to the next part, this riff to move to the next part – I feel like we gel really well and we take our live performance on a little trip sometimes.

MT: Does that mean you guys don’t really put together strict set lists? Do you kind of leave a lot of room to feel how the set’s going so you have different directions you can take it?

IM: Yeah, sure. We do that. Are you talking about Golden Void?

MT: With Earthless, mainly.

IM: Yeah, of course. We know what we’re always doing. We talk about it beforehand but there’ll be times when we do something – if we’re in the middle of a part that we know is going to be a long, drawn out section where we’re mainly improvising — that’s always spontaneous and we don’t talk about that. Sometimes we’ve taken it to really weird places, which is awesome. It’s invigorating. Sometimes we kind of stick to what we’re used to and somewhat planned out. It just depends on the night.

MT: I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately about the link between spirituality and music and how certain genres – usually the ones that break away from the pop song structure like doom metal or post-rock or psych – work to fill this psychic void that non-religious people have. What’s your experience with religion and faith – did you have a religious upbringing?

IM: Not really. My parents are groovy, I know that much. They were brought up going to Catholic church or some Christian church or whatever. One of the two. They didn’t force it on me. It’s something that I was just by myself a little drawn towards and interested in. I got really into Buddhism for a long time, meditating and all that. I definitely spent a good portion of my youth really involved in that. Playing music and being involved in religion and mediation and all that, it really goes hand in hand.

MT: Are you still practising that – do you still consider yourself a practitioner of a particular belief or faith system?

IM: I mean, I don’t know. A lot of it is just golden rule kind of stuff. Just treat people great. Treat them vas you’d like to be treated. But no, I don’t really immerse myself in reading religious texts all the time. Actually, more so Native American ideas and the spirituality of that, I’m really into that lately, so I guess that counts. But just trying to be more in harmony with the Earth and yourself. It’s just like a daily thing. I don’t really think about it too much all the time unless I’m reading about it.

MT: The reason I ask is because in the live footage I’ve seen of you guys, there’s that sense of something ephemeral going on – you’re locked into some kind of immaterial groove and you’re not just playing music but conjuring it. I know that sounds kind of cheesy but do you know what I mean? Does that reflect how it feels for you?

IM: Yeah. There are times when it feels like I’ve gone to a different place. I might not be feeling very good – I might be upset or I might be sick or I might be in pain or whatever, and then you go play music, play a show, even rehearsal — it all stops. All that stuff stops. You’re just in the moment and you don’t feel any of that pain any more. But as soon as you stop you’re like, “oh shit, here I am again. There it is.” So it definitely takes that stuff away for me.

MT: What’s the status on a new Earthless album? Are there songs in the works? Is there a rough timeline for anything?

IM: Yeah. Last time we got together, we had to record something for a Vans surf video so we ended up writing a few songs for that. But we had a bunch of leftover stuff that we didn’t use for that. Last time we rehearsed, which was maybe a month or so ago, we were focusing more on that. I feel like we probably have half a side of a record, more or less, started. We just have to hone and tighten stuff up. We’ve got stuff in the works.

MT: Will you be playing any of that newer, unreleased stuff while you’re over here?

IM: I don’t think so, but you never know. We might play something new. It’s hard to say. I think it was two times ago when we were in Australia, we did an in-store at Tym’s Guitars in Brisbane. We were waiting for Mario – he was out in the back or something – and I just started to jam and he got on the drums and that’s how he opened the set and we thought that was really awesome. It was something totally brand new and we just played that for the rest of the tour and that became “Uluru Rock” which we recorded. Stuff like that happens – we just start doing something out of the blue and that becomes a new song right there. But I mean, that’s quite possible that that’ll happen again. But yeah, nothing planned. Nothing planned right now.

Earthless and Elder hit Australia next week on the following dates:

Thursday October 22 — The Rosemount Hotel, Perth
w/ Puck
Friday October 23 — The Corner, Melbourne
w/ Fuck the Fitzroy Doom Scene
Saturday October 24 — Newtown Social Club, Sydney
w/ Hawkmoth
Sunday October 25 — Hermann’s Bar, Sydney
Monday October 26 — Crowbar, Brisbane
w/ Hobo Magic

Tickets are on sale now through, Oztix and venue outlets.

Two Minutes With AVER

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Before they join Elder and Earthless on one of the psych bills of the year at Hermann’s Bar in Sydney on October 25, we spend a couple of minutes with heavy, handsome lads of AVER.

Describe your music in five words or less.
Heavy psych. Three extra words.

What’s going on in the world of AVER?
We’ve recently signed with Ripple Music in the USA, who are putting our latest album, Nadir, out on vinyl. We’re in the process of recording a couple extra tracks for it at the moment so the whole thing will be a fairly beastly hour an twenty minutes or so over two vinyls. This has also given us an excuse to give in to our GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and spend far too much money of new noise making trinkets. Oh, and we’re organising a tour overseas next year.

What motivates you to make music?
That’s a tough one. After you’ve been doing it for long enough the question of “why” sort of becomes alien. It’s just part of your routine like eating breakfast. Or sneaking a couple of beers immediately after breakfast. I guess the easiest answer is that it’s cathartic, meditative, and you’re hanging out with your mates while finding an outlet for your nervous energy.

What have been the high and low points of your musical experiences so far?
The high point has definitely been the love we’ve gotten online for our two albums. It’s weird being in this rinky-dink city (Sydney) that doesn’t have a lot going on in terms of a stoner/psych scene, but at the same being contacted by people all over the world about your album, asking when you’re coming, or just saying “hi”.

As for the low point? You’ve got to remember, we started this band in high school. That means we were using absolutely rubbish gear, with no rehearsal space. So we were all crammed into our drummer Chris’ bedroom. So imagine it’s the middle of summer, four sweaty teenagers crammed into a tiny bedroom with a drumkit, three amps and no air conditioning. It’s weird, whenever we get to spread out on stage and not have a guitar headstock inches from your face you get slightly agoraphobic. On the plus side, we’re pretty grateful for any less-than-terrible travelling or performing arrangements, so there’s that.

What music are you listening to at the moment?
Child and Comacozer, who we just had the pleasure of playing in Melbourne with. Also, Sahara Surfers’ new album which just came out and absolutely slays. We’re also in the middle of a Supertramp revival period. There just came a day where we were hanging out, and somehow Supertramp’s greatest hits ended up playing. And then again. And then every week. We’re pretty sure this is just something that happens to everyone naturally with age along with back aches, nose hair and not trusting teenagers.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which member of the band would get eaten first?
Jed (bass). He actually goes to the gym so he’s got some muscle on him, while the rest of us look like particularly neglected mops. Although this would most likely lead to our downfall as he’s probably the most prepared for a desert-island type scenario, whereas the rest of us would immediately regress to a state of child-like panic upon realising there’s no Wi-Fi.

Here’s an opportunity to bitch about something, whether music related or not. What really pisses you off?
Honestly? The live music venues in Sydney dying off. Every few months we end up losing another one. And there’s only so much blame you can try to level at people who move near venues and then suddenly discover that live music venues aren’t silent after 6PM every night. The truth is that it’s the mentality of a lot of people in this city to not bother seeing live music unless the band is already trendy and you gain some scene-points for being there, or they’re mates of the band. We just got back from Melbourne and people just went to gigs to see some music, places were packed at 3 in the afternoon. About 4000 people went to the last ever show at the Lansdowne in Sydney when it closed last month, as if they really cared, but where were they for the years before? People go on about how sad it is to lose all the iconic venues they never visit, and the dwindling of scenes they never support. These are usually the same people who think nothing of dropping 50 bucks in the pokies and spending a hundred bucks on cabs in a night, but being part of a scene and supporting live music is a bridge too far, and it brings my piss to a boil. Rant over.

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.
One more heavy show at the Annandale, loud enough to dislodge the new owners’ monocles into their daiquiris. Tumbleweed, Child, Comacozer, Kaleidoscope. And probably Savage Garden. Gotta have some sweet with the sour, y’know? Some yin with your yang. Some gin with your tonic. Some Simon with your Garfunkel.

AVER join Elder and Earthless at their second Sydney show on October 25 at Hermann’s Bar. Tickets on sale through

Noiseweek: Rollins on tape trading, TTOL crowdfunding, NYC hardcore and more

Friday, March 6th, 2015

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


After the overwhelming response to the Perth Needs More Music and Arts Venues Facebook group and the subsequent meeting in light of the impending closure of The Bakery, The West Australian is reporting that Culture and Arts Minister John Day has expressed his support for a new government-backed venue. The tentative frontrunner is Rechabites Hall, a former theatre on Williams Street. People power!


LIN favourites Tangled Thoughts of Leaving are edging closer to their Pozible goal of raising $5,000 to fund the pressing of their forthcoming second album, Yield to Despair. They’re over 80% of the way there with 10 days to go, so if you’ve got a few dollars to spare and you like vinyl copies of post-psychosis-prog-jazz-beardcore, help them out. They’ve also just announced a European tour — including an appearance at the jealousy-inducing dunk! festival in Belgium — alongside Bird’s Robe labelmates Solkyri in May. They’re also touring the country with 65daysofstatic starting Saturday at Adelaide Festival.


Speaking of jealousy-inducing festival lineups, All Tomorrow’s Parties have announced the next wave of acts for their Iceland festival this July, adding Public Enemy, Swans, Lightning Bolt, Bardo Pond and more to a bill that already includes Iggy Pop, Drive Like Jehu, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Froth.


Henry Rollins: Confessions of a Tape Trader | LA Weekly

“Almost as soon as I began gathering paper evidence of this emerging scene, I became aware of cassette recordings that bands and fans were making. The mere existence of these tapes — music you could play over and over again, which could not be found in a record store — was in itself a small miracle. That someone had the wherewithal to wrench these moments from the ether was like beating the odds and defying the bastards who would have been happy for us to go the way of the proverbial tree that falls in the forest, unheard and unwitnessed.“

Kid Millions Talks The Importance of Mentors | The Talkhouse

“A mentor is your trusted guide and companion. Some mentors have no idea they are providing this kind of service. Maybe they show you how not to represent yourself. Maybe they show up to a gig completely drunk and cancel the gig. Perhaps they are assholes to everyone they deem unworthy of their attention. But in the best scenario the mentor sees your truth before you can grasp it yourself. She holds up a mirror that reveals your pure, undistorted truth.“

United Blood: How Hardcore Conquered New York | The New Yorker

“The New York scene was never monolithic. Shows drew skinheads, punks, and plenty of average-looking young people in T-shirts; many of the fans who followed Agnostic Front also turned out for False Prophets, a sarcastic and theatrical punk-inspired band. Even so, many scene participants nursed an inferiority complex. The Manhattanites disdained the guys from Queens; the Long Islanders hated being thought of as “interlopers”; virtually everyone resented the scenes in other cities, where the band members seemed to have enough spare time and cash to tour and promote themselves. “The kids from New York, we were like these crazy fucking street rats,” Todd Youth, who played guitar for a band called Murphy’s Law, says. “The kids from Boston and D.C. were really well off.” While most other early-eighties scenes gave rise to influential independent record labels, New York’s generated war stories. “You were getting chased down the street by gangs of Puerto Ricans that wanted to fucking kill you,” Youth remembers; Avenue A was contested turf. Alex Kinon, who played with Agnostic Front, says that he was once shot at in Tompkins Square Park, and that Vinnie Stigma responded by rushing toward the gunfire, armed with only an improvised shield in the form of a garbage-can lid.“


Sannhet — The Revisionist

Boutique San Fran label The Frenser are off to an excellent start to 2015, first with the earthshaking King Woman EP and now The Revisionist, the pummeling sophomore album from the similarly quake-inducing trio Sannhet. Better watch that faultline.

And So I Watch You From Afar — Wasps

Is there a modern heavy label as forward-thinking as Sargent House? From post-rock to doom to shoegaze to noise, the LA-based management outfit covers every base of exciting guitar music. Belfast quartet ASIWYFA settle into a groove on this preview of their fourth LP Heirs, balancing the frenetic guitar work with some rare vocal harmonization before the absurd double bass drumming kicks in. And for once they finish a song under the five-minute mark. Set guitars to kill.

Elder — Lore

Not to be mistaken with Jimmy McGill’s latest attempt at legal specialisation, Lore is a ball-tearingly heavy offering from a Rhode Island power trio with just the right amount of moxie mixed with the obligatory Kyuss/Sabbath worship to satisfy all your stoner/desert/metal/psych cravings. Is it insecurity that drives all these power trios to write songs that sound fucking gargantuan? Whatever it is, don’t stop.

Flowers & Fire — Demo

Raw riffage energetic melancholy abound in this first offering from a Vancouver post-punk outfit with virtually zero web presence. There’s a distinct Siouxsie/Banshee vibe throughout but the notes ring with a panic immediacy. Uneasy listening, but it’s not supposed to be easy.

The Austin 100 — NPR

The nice folks at National Public Radio have gone to the trouble of rounding up 100 tracks from 100 artists appearing at this month’s SXSW so you can better navigate the veritable shit-show that is trying to decipher if a band name is real or made-up for a hipster-baiting Jimmy Kimmel bit. There are a few familiar names, though — including Slanted & Enchanted guests METZ and Melbourne weirdos Twerps.


THAW — Last Day

The Black Captain has written extensively about THAW, the Instant Classic label and the doom/black developments in Poland, but it’s a scene so far away, us Southern hemisphere residents are unlikely to ever witness it in the flesh lest you make the costly journey to the old world yourself. In lieu of such a pilgramage, here’s some HD footage of the sonic tyranny in action.

The Last Song Before The War

Tinariwen’s origin story might be the most rock ‘n’ roll in music history, but its members are merely one part of the Tuareg music tradition of Mali. In this hour-long documentary, director Kiley Kraskouskas documents the 2011 iteration of the three-day Festival in the Desert amongst political turmoil and sectarian conflict.