SKEGSS.

3 09 2018

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Hailing from Byron Bay, Skegss are one of the most exciting bands you’ll listen to this year and probably, ever. They make music that holds a sunny disposition that just makes you happy, even if you feel the total opposite. They’re definitely one of the best bands around who are making this kind of noise. It’s addictive Surfer Rock that just makes you want to have a good time, all the time.

On Friday, their debut record, My Own Mess will be released. I could have held off and just wrote about it then but this band is way too good for me to wait this one out. I cannot get enough of their feel good songs, and the way they just make you forget all your troubles. I’ve spent most of my morning at work with a migraine thinking I’m going to puke, but as I listen to Skegss on my dinner break- I feel alright!


Skegss make the kind of music that makes you want to just hit the beach and watch the world go by. They have such gorgeous songs that just make you feel so good, you know. Sometimes this is just what the mind, body and soul needs. I am so excited to hear the record on Friday. It’ll be a dinner break well spent writing about it. As I listen to them for the god knows how many time, I can’t get my head round the fact that their debut record hasn’t come out yet. They sound like a band who have been at this for absolutely ages and are about to release their fourth or fifth.
In November they’ll be touring the UK, and are playing one of my favourite venues in Manchester- The Deaf Institute, and get this- Dumb Punts are supporting them! That’s one of the best line-ups this year. Also, my birthday is in November so I’ll treat this as a belated celebration. I love how Skegss can just flip your mind inside out with their infectious songs that just make every part of you feel pretty damn great.
They’ve released a handful of singles and EPs, so if you’ve heard them then you’ll already have had a taste of how exceptional their debut record is going to be. I can’t wait to catch one of their shows in November. They give off such a DIY feel, and I’m pretty sure that their live shows are going to be just as wild as they sound on record. Australia sure knows how to hit us with amazing Surfer/Garage Rock. Skegss are a band that you cannot help but constantly praise. There is something about them that makes you really root for them, and hope they last a long, long time. We need bands like this. We need bands like Skegss to make us feel good especially when the world can be quite cruel at times. Their gentle and freeing sound is so consistent, and it’s definitely most apparent in the gorgeous song, Stranger. This is one of my favourites but to pick just one is impossible. Stranger is such a captivating song that I want to listen to on a loop. It feels like a soothing ray of sunshine. Then you’ve got New York California which is just a sublime song. This is the one that I cannot get enough of, and I really hope they play it in November because I’ve just GOT to see this one live.


I’m super excited to listen to the new record on Friday and to write about it. I’m pretty confident that it’ll be one of the best records we will hear this year. Sure summer may be over for most, but Skegss give us that summer mood in every song. Take some time out, and let Skegss provide the songs to watch the world drift by.

My Own Mess will be out this Friday on Ratbag Records.

Oh, one last thing- just listen to this song, and let it make you feel entirely free and let everything go:





LOS SCALLYWAGGS.

30 08 2018

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For the past three or four years, Australian Garage/Punk kings Los Scallywaggs have been treating us with their insanely great music. They truly bring a sense of anarchy and Garage Rock delight to us all. They’re the kind of band that makes you want to drink beer before 12pm and waste your day napping and eating pizza. Sounds pretty ideal, right? Their sound is everything you’d want from a Garage/Punk band, and the way they totally control the listener with this brutal sounds is something to be in awe of.
With any great band like this, being able to make the listener feel as if they are at one of their live shows covered in god knows what is something you look for. You want to be able to feel like you’re in a stupidly cramped space that has no air-con, and smells like warm beer and decade’s old sweat. The sheer rawness of Los Scallywaggs makes you automatically feel like you’ve been transported to the best show of your life. If you caught them on their EU/UK tour this month, then you’re pretty damn lucky. Sadly, there wasn’t a Manchester date but hey, next time right? They played the Shacklewell Arms in London which is the kind of venue that is made for a band like Los Scallywaggs.


With a name like Los Scallywaggs you’d probably think that these cherubs have songs that are for ruffians and the like. They probably are, and that’s a pretty cool thing. They have this raw feel to their music which makes you feel as if you’re there whilst they are practising, and I think them having this sort of vulnerable (I don’t mean in an emotional way with this) style makes them easy to love. The songs are so bare and raw, and hearing them in this way is so good. There is nothing about them that is over-produced or bland or repetitive. They’re effortlessly cool. You know when you hear a band and you just think, “How have I gone this long without listening to you?” well, that’s what you get with these guys. They make you feel like this is the band you’ve been waiting for. There are a number of places that are giving us some amazing Garage/Punk bands right now, and Australia is definitely up there.
I have about 20 minutes left of my dinner break at work, and I made sure I had enough time to write about my love for this band. I love how noisy they are. I love this fuzzy almost Shoegaze-y like sound they have- their sound however, does go beyond what you expect from a typical Garage/Punk band. There’s this awesome hyperactivity in the song R.I.P which is up there as being one of my favourites. They sure know how to make really dominant songs that take you totally over. You can waste your days doing a whole load of nothing whilst listening to them, and it would feel like the best day ever. There is something really joyful about them and that’s part of my love for Garage Rock bands- there’s this unconventional joy in the music that just makes you forget anything bad has ever happened to you, and the world.
These three cherubs are such a joy to listen to, and the way they can create such a wonderful noise is pretty damn cool. I love how the song, Day That I’m Dead reminds me a little of What’s Your Problem by The Gruesomes. The Gruesomes are of course, one of my favourite bands EVER, and to hear a band have that thing about them that got me hooked onto The Gruesomes is an absolute pleasure to hear. I have no idea if The Gruesomes have been influential to Los Scallywaggs but regardless, they’re brilliant and do at times, make you feel like you’re not in 2018 which isn’t always a bad thing.
Los Scallywaggs are the band to really stick with if you want to hang on to that summer mood a little while longer. They’ll always make you feel like you’re at a skate park or at the beach on a summers day watching the world go by. I feel like the song American Dreams is the best song to do all this, and more to. I love how rowdy it is.


I seriously cannot get enough of this mind-blowing band. They have everything and more that I look for in bands, and they really hit you hard with their astounding talent. The songs are massively catchy, the vocals are on point and the music will make you want to totally act out- so do it!
If they come to a city near you, make sure you go see them. Stand by the speaker and let yourself go a bit deaf from their filthy Garage/Punk sound that you’ll never be able to get enough of. They’ll just make you keep on craving more and more. That’s when you know you’ve found a really iconic band.

VIVA LOS SCALLYWAGGS!





DUMB PUNTS: The Big One.

23 08 2018

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On the other side of the world resides a record label that is home to one of the most exciting Punk bands around. This band, yesterday, finally released their debut record and it is such a solid debut record, and I can’t get enough of it.

Melbourne is home to a band called Dumb Punts, and the label they are on is brilliantly called Pissfart Records. Alright so some may turn their nose up at the name and label it immature. If you know anyone who does that, ignore them. They’re probably a right fun sponge. You don’t need that. Pissfart Records have some really great bands on their label, and I’ll end up writing about most of them soon enough. But for now- Dumb Punts.

With a name like Dumb Punts you probably think they’re a super snotty and obnoxious band. You might think they’ll sound like Dead Boys or Sex Pistols. Push that right out your mind- they sound nothing like them. Dumb Punts are a great Punk band, but they’ve got something about them that goes beyond what is expected from a Punk band- especially Punk in 2018.

The record opens with No Use which is like a massive wake up call to the system when it kicks in. The vocals are real snarly on this. It’s definitely got the echoes of New York in 1977, but there’s something else going on and you can’t help but wonder- is this how Punk is in Melbourne? If it is, then we have ignored it for far too long. There’s nothing relaxing about this record, it’s a proper kick in the face kind of record- but not like what you’d expect. There are moments on the record where the vocals change up and become a little tamer, but for the most part this could be the blueprint of how Punk should be from now on.

What I am crazy about on this record is how the vocals can really make the record. The snarly and shouty vocals are what moves you the most- but that does not mean that everything else is overshadowed. The vocals is what lures you in, then the rest just puts you in a chokehold and you cannot help but go along with it. The songs are full of this energy that you wish you could put into your daily life, but it can only kick in when you play this record. Loud. So loud.

Headfuck is a minute and a half of sheer ferociousness in your ear, this is then evened out when Heating Up starts. The record is full of equal balances of loud and tame. The Big One is the name of the record, and it’s a bold name for a debut record. Truth be told, it’s worthy of that and more. It is a phenomenal record, and since it came out yesterday it has been all I have been listening to. I love how you don’t know if you’re going to get a real rowdy song or a more lo-fi feel. It keeps you on edge, and it adds so much excitement to such an incredible record.

Listening to this record, it is hard to believe that this is Dumb Punts debut record. They have a sound that makes you feel like you have been listening to them for years, decades even. You just know that this band are nothing short of amazing in a live setting. On record they just have this insane ability to mess with your head, but I reckon live they’ll take over your body also. Going absolutely wild and throwing your limbs and drinks about. I really can’t get enough of this record, and I am so happy with how great the record has turned out. I’ve listened to Dumb Punts for a bit now, and to finally hear this debut record is so great. I honestly couldn’t be prouder of this band, and I cannot wait to hear more from them.

What you take from this record is that Dumb Punts are a band that’ll test themselves, and also the listener with how far they will go with their sound. If a band isn’t going to push themselves, what’s the point? And if a band aren’t going to leave you in awe with their debut record, then again, what’s the point? The Big One is, like I said, a brilliant debut record. Get yourself a copy and play the damn thing as loud as you physically can.





AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS.

8 07 2018

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I’ve waited far too long to write about the best Punk band around, Amyl And The Sniffers. A band that deserve all the praise imaginable. A band that have been sent to rip open your guts and tear your eardrums. Sounds vicious, but when you listen to them- you’ll understand why.

Amyl And The Sniffers are such an incredible band, and in the time they’ve been putting music out into the world they have truly showed themselves to have the real essence of Punk about them. They have songs that rarely hit over the 2 minute mark. Big Attraction & Giddy Up came out this year, and the record doesn’t even hit 20 minutes. Their songs are as fast as the Ramones with the obnoxious smuttiness that the Sex Pistols had. I absolutely love this band, and they’re just so brilliantly cool. They make you want to sack everything off and start a band, and live outside of society for the rest of time. The release that came out in May is basically two of their EPs put together, and both are a punch in the kisser. The songs are amazing regardless of how you hear them.

The snarl in Amy’s voice is something that stays with you. She yells the lyrics, and my god you better listen.  Dec and Bryce keep up the aggression via guitar and drums. Then Gus comes along with his slick bass playing skills. You can’t pick your favourite, that’d just be stupid. You can pick your favourite moments in the songs though. I love the punchy sound in Balaclava Lover Boogie that Dec produces with his guitar, and they all just play this vital role in making it such a rowdy song.

Sadly, I’ve yet to see the band play live. I can’t help but feel that their live shows would be something that just sticks with you because on record they have this power to just make you feel like it is you and them. They have this way of making you feel like you’re in a dive bar with them covered in various fluids and whatnot. All in the name of Punk. All in the name of Music. I honestly can’t give you a band to put them against in terms of who they are for fans of. They’re for those who want something off kilter and something that they haven’t heard before. Something loud to take away how much of a drag daily life can be. There is something so soothing and relatable about the song Caltex Cowgirl (which does hit the 3 minute or so mark) and it just takes you somewhere nothing else has done.

One of my favourite songs by them is Stole My Pushbike. I love the fury in Amy’s voice. I love how she can make something like having her bike being stolen sound like one of the worst crimes a person could commit. In one minute she absolutely rips apart the culprit that took her bike. Bryce, Dec and Gus with their sounds make it seem like they are part of the gang that are going to fuck you up once Amy finds you. But to be honest, Amy will handle herself. Her buddies will be there just to make sure you can’t steal anything ever again. It’s a great song to let any frustration out to.

If you’ve ended up going through something recently that has left you battered and damaged- this is the band for you. I couldn’t stop listening to them before, but now it’s become a ritualistic listen that tames parts of my mind certain things can’t touch. I guess that’s just how powerful music is you know?  Amyl And The Sniffers are band to really invest in and to become obsessed with, and to play as loud as possible.





LOS TONES.

2 02 2018

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It can be utterly criminal at times when a band you love are hardly written about. You look for past articles written about them, and you find virtually next to nothing. Maybe the odd review of a record that’s only a couple hundred words long- nothing to make you believe that someone else loves them as much as you do. Sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands. I’m going to do that with Sydney’s finest, Los Tones.

Los Tones catapult you way back in time. They make you feel like you’ve discovered The Standells, The Vagrants and The Gruesomes for the first time. They are a combination of everything amazing about Garage Rock and modern day lo-fi sounds. They’re the kind of band you play on a lazy day doing a whole load of nothing. I’m pretty sure that if you played them to someone who was around when The Standalls first came out they wouldn’t thing that Los Tones are from now.

Los Tones have a solid catalogue of music to really feast upon. It’s totally fine to over indulge in their music and shut the world off for a few days to soak it all in. With their two records and a few singles, they have definitely developed a sound that is soaked in wonderful reverb and murky vocals to get lost in. The songs are loud in all the right places. Songs like Cry have this amazing part where it just goes off, and the only reaction you can have is to just turn it up as loud as you can. Bands that can do this are great. They let loose and just go for it. This exciting energy that just bursts from their music is so good. It’s beyond being ‘so good.’ That’s a weak ass description on my part- sorry!

You can’t really compare their two records. Psychotropic came out in 2014 and What Happened came out last year. In the years past between these two records, you can hear a steady growth but you can definitely hear in both that Los Tones are a band that know exactly how they want to sound and how to make it work. There is something really beautiful about this, and both records are just out of this world. Their music is appealing to any and everyone. No need for snobs or pretentious wankers here- Los Tones has this brilliant laid-back sound that just eases the mind, body and soul. Even when some of the songs are more rowdy than others, they still have this blissful relaxed glow to them. You can easily zone out to their music, especially on songs like Ordinary Man but at the same time you can lose yourself in the likes of the glorious Battery Acid. There is something for everyone, and I’m sure your Grandma would enjoy them too.

Los Tones have such a raw and urgent. It’s almost as if they HAVE to get these songs out of their system and to create this beautiful music. They are everything I want from a band. They have every element that I just adore about music. If you’ve got no plans this weekend, spend it by listening to Los Tones. If you do have plans, maybe you should cancel them and just listen to Los Tones instead and allow yourself to be transported into a time and place that only they can take you. They’ll be your escape route and your cure for boredom.

Los Tones make you wish you could join their band or be in a band that tours the world with them. They’ve got this mesmerising energy to their music that makes you want to constantly hear it and be around it.

Some bands you just fall in love with instantly- Los Tones are one of those bands, easily.

You know what to do:

https://los-tones.bandcamp.com/music

 





VHS DREAM.

6 11 2017

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If you take a band like Beach House and mix them with Slowdive, you pretty much have the perfect band- right? VHS Dream is as perfect as you can get. Their sound is part relaxing, part brain-melting. In fact, you’ll probably zone out way too far and never be able to return. Quite frankly, I don’t see an issue with this.

VHS Dream is a duo from Australia, and they have this effortless way of conjuring up all kinds of emotions in your mind as you listen to them. Superstar (taken from their latest release, Departure) for me just oozes absolute sadness. There is nothing wrong with this, and I think this sadness is something that at times filters throughout the whole record. It’s one of my favourite songs by VHS Dream. Departure came out last year, and it is one of those records that are just instantly something memorable. You don’t feel as if anything else can touch this record. For me, it just eases the mind quite poetically and beautifully. Superstar is about 6 minutes and 45 seconds of ethereal bliss. It’s such a comforting song, and I think even if it was just an instrumental track it would still have the same gorgeous weight to it that just transports you elsewhere. Departure is dedicated to those they have lost, and you can truly sense the sadness and pain on this record. But you also pick up on the hope. And sometimes, hope is all you are left with.

As I listen to them, I can’t help but think that they are the kind of band you accidentally find at 3am when everyone is asleep and your mind is racing. They’re the kind of band I listen to after I have a panic attack, which at the moment is all too often. They are the ideal band to use to shut the world off for a little while. We need those safety nets to stay sane, or cling onto whatever we may have left. Their sound is like a dream whilst being trapped in a walking nightmare. There is a wealth of comfort and security in their music that really cannot be ignored or topped. It’s something you simply treasure within your first listen. What you do after that is all on you. It’s probably best to let VHS Dream work their magic and let them take you away.

One of the things that I really love about VHS Dream is that they don’t make me think that they are a NOW band. I don’t feel like they are a band from 2017 (Departure came out last year, I know.) I cannot put a time frame on this band nor could I tell you that their sound is typical for where they are from. I personally think they sound like a band that has been sent to us from outer space and to show us their world. They’ll take you if you want to continue on their journey with them. Or you can look from the outside with snippets of their songs to let you in, but only slightly.

Some bands just straight up take every part of you with first listen, and I’m fairly sure that VHS Dream will do that to anyone who listens. I was on the bus to work this morning, and I had Departure on repeat. I kept going back to certain songs. There are some songs on the record that stand out a tiny, tiny bit more than others. The moments they create will hit you in the gut and all will seem okay for a little while. Like I said earlier, these are the bands we need. These are the bands we must treasure.

VHS Dream a delicate lullaby for the catastrophic mind. Let them do what they will, and go with it.





THE LIVING EYES- Living Large.

16 02 2015

 

 

I’ve had my copy of Living Large for a while, but sometimes I’m stupidly lazy. Then it all comes in spurts.

Living Eyes are a brilliant Garage Rock kind of band. They are pleasantly loud and foolishly underrated. They’ve got hints of Ty Segall and Wavves flowing through their music, but their record Living Large sort of feels like something by The Vagrants mixed with the Beach Boys. Kick a can hopelessly on the beach until everything becomes clear. That’s what you get from this record.

Boredom. It hits us all. Saying we’re bored because we’re not bored, we just don’t know. It’s a state of mind and it’s an unflattering way of life. But the thing is, The Living Eyes make this sloppy way of living feel alright. They make you want to waste your days away doing nothing. If this is the soundtrack to it, then please sign me up now. The Living Eyes are one of the most exciting bands to come from Australia in a while, but don’t let that make you think that they don’t have a decent music scene there, because they do. There’s a lot of great bands there who will hopefully soon get the exposure that they deserve.

Living Large is not just a Garage Rock record. They’re not just a Garage Rock band. There is something else there, something that’s dying to come out and of course it will. Living Large lures you in, and once it has its grip on you, you won’t want these 4 guys to let you go. They’ll put you in a sweaty choke-hold and you’ll want more. Living Large may end up being quiet, but come the summer months it will get played constantly. It’s exactly what it was made for. Living Large wasn’t made for the pissing rain. It was made for the blistering heat and the desire for shade to protect you from the rays.

Some bands you fall in love with instantly when you hear them, and if you’ve never listened to The Living Eyes before, this record will make you sway, swoon and fall in love. If you’ve felt hopeless, bored and lifeless then this is the record for you. It was designed to make you feel a little better. Buy it, stick it on, learn the words, wear it out and make The Living Eyes your favourite band.

Living Large is gloriously frantic, chaotic drumming, beastly guitar riffs and all in between. This is what you need if you’re in need of a kick up the arse or a punch to the eyes. The Living Eyes are unapologetically loud and brutal. Their song, Bad Example justifies fully why this band demand your attention and you know you better give them it.

I’ve never seen them live, but I’m fairly sure it’ll be a lively sweat-fest and massively brutal. Just how it should be. They say perfection doesn’t really exist, but they’ve never listened to these guys have they.

I’ve kept this brief as my piece on them a few months ago explains why I love them, and I won’t shut up otherwise. Just go buy the record. It’s out now, go to your local record store and treat yourself.