I LIKE THAT | MANOR CAN YOU HEAR ME TALKING AT YOU

Melbourne duo, Manor, have been making music for quite a while, with a string of singles being released from their camp from 2011-2013. It was after this though, that the pair decided to construct their own private studio and take full advantage of the musical possibilities stirring inside them.

The first single to emerge from these walls is the fantastically, kaleidoscopic (is that a word?) Can You Hear Me Talking At You, which will feature on their soon to be released debut EP. The track is a nostalgic, psychedelic journey, broken up by fuzzed guitar riffs and complimented by the hazy vocals of singer Caitlin Duff. Its an interesting little gem of a song! Check it out below!

I LIKE THAT | DEAR PLASTIC ZERO

From the first note a husky female voice croons: “Do you want to know the meaning of life?” Hint: the answer is in the song title. Melbourne pop quintet Dear Plastic have released a new single Zero which emanates part 90s apathy, part modern pop seduction and fits into the realm of something like the Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.

For all the space synth and talk of “kings” and “queens,’” this track illustrates the lingering legacies of Bowie carried on by living lyricists and musicians eerily well . And in true Bowie style, among the minor chords and looping baseline, Dear Plastic put the power on the individual: “Reach out/you got it now.”

If you’re a fan the vocal distortion of Pond, the melancholy melodies of Big Scary or the strong, female vocals of The Preatures then chances are you will dig Dear Plastic. They don’t sound like any other Aussie act at the moment and sure, they’re not for everyone, but who isn’t curious to discover the answer to the meaning of life?

I LIKE THAT | DAPPLED CITIES THAT SOUND

Hey Dappled Cities! Great to hear from you again! That Sound is the first taster off the Sydney bands upcoming, fifth album, which is due in October and it certainly carries a heap of pop swagger. The band have clearly stepped away from their previously, heavy produced sound and created something much more breezy and care free, which echoes the likes of David Bowie and Spoon. The sturdy bass line in the track allows the guys to experiment with a wave of vocal harmonies and guitar hooks, creating a completely fresh atmosphere thats sure to set them up for an exciting album release!

 

I LIKE THAT | CHRISTOPHER PORT BUMP

Talk about making an entrance. New guy, Christopher Port has just become the most recent artist to sign to Pieater (Big Scary, Airling, #1 Dads) and it is definitely not what we were expecting. Ports debut single Bump kicks off with a rush of warped percussion and chopped vocal samples and while it is a far cry from Pieaters previous releases, the unique production and attention to detail is very similar to what Tom Iansek of Big Scary / #1 Dads has released lately. That all makes sense, as Port has been a touring member of both bands and has apparently been fine tuning his solo project during his days off on tour. There are so many little things going on in Bump, that its hard to pinpoint WHY its so damn infectious but its definitely an intriguing listen, finely complimented with dark synths, that reminds me a bit of early Hot Chip.

Good to see yet another talent emerge from the wave of bands on this Melbourne label (Also check out our review of Gus Rigbys debut single). Looking forward to hearing what else Christopher Port has in store for us. Check it out below and follow Christopher Port on Facebook.

GIG REVIEW | SPLIT SECONDS DING DONG LOUNGE

SPLIT SECONDS

In support their latest album You’ll Turn Into Me, Split Seconds took to the Ding
Dong for a night of intimate and emotional rock tunes performed with a carefree
attitude.

Bayou kicked off the proceedings with a casual set as the crowd filtered through
the doors of the venue. The five-piece slow danced their way through the
evening as they delivered the audience a dreamlike brand of noise rock. The
guitars laden with effects, and dual female harmonies abound, Bayou presented a
dense sound that pricked the ears of those present and warmed up the room for
what was to come.

Building on this energy, a group of five ragtag young men stumbled on stage and
announced themselves as Dirt Farmer. Their bright and sunny indie pop inspired
movement in the previously frozen room as a small group of punters initiated
a dance floor. Distinguishing their sound from other bands with similar post-
Strokes garage rock sensibilities, Dirt Farmer employed the use of a harmonica,
setting off the climax to more than a couple of their tunes. Mics were shared and
toes were tapped as these Melbournians delivered a bustling set.

At the time of Split Seconds arrival, the room had finally filled and was ready
to cut loose. The self-described ‘Perthies lost in Melbourne’ contradicted this
statement as they played as if they owned not only the Ding Dong, but the entire
city. With a sound beckoning for a stage larger than the one they performed
upon, Split Seconds’ passionate rock n roll took influence from a range of sources
that resulted in a dynamic set brimming with sentiment and energy.

The banter was blokey, as the band joked around and talked footy, and these
Perth boys seemed completely in their element despite being miles from home.
The hooks and harmonies of ‘Bed Down’ captivated the audience, while ‘No
Dramas’ sensitivity showed that the band actually did care about something
other than the Dockers’ latest win. However, the highlight seemed to be ‘Top
Floor’ as the dance floor ignited to the prancing rhythm of You’ll Turn Into Me’s
lead single.

Charged and excited to be there, Split Seconds performed with conviction
to a crowd that is sure to grow as their debut album picks up steam. Seeing
these personable fellows perform in such an informal setting was fitting for
the intimacy of their song craft, and the passion for their music was evident.
Returning in October in support of Oh Mercy, Split seconds are certainly ones to
keep an eye on.

REVIEW | GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD DUNGOG 2012

1070KM | ONE COUNTRY TOWN | SEVEN ACTS | ONE WEEKEND | TWO TEENS

GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD: DUNGOG STOPOV

 

Dungog, a placid country town three and a half hours north of Sydney, resides a minuscule population of 2100 people. It runs an annual film festival, which draws crowds of up to 6000 film fanatics, but nothing could prepare the town for the announcement that one of the world’s most popular Indie-Folk bands was interested in holding a day-long music festival, featuring some of the largest local and international bands.

Our journey began on Friday October 19 at 6.45am where we departed Melbourne airport aboard the flying kangaroo. We arrived at Sydney Airport at around 8.10am to the warmest, sunniest day I had seen in months. Catching the train from Sydney Central to Dungog was a grueling four-hour leg, but it was a great opportunity to catch up on some R&R before a whirlwind weekend. Arriving in Dungog at 3.30pm I thought I was going to die from heat exhaustion. The temperature saw the red pass 38 degrees, and the half tanned face is evident of that.

Walking through the main street of Dungog, you could already tell that this festival was going to be one of the most epic events this simple town had ever encounted. Walking past one of the only café’s in town (FYI, Best toasted Ham, cheese & tomato sandwiches) I noticed Jade from Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zero’s, one of the extremely talented bands on the tour. It was at this moment that I completely came to realize that this whole experience was actually happening.

The campground on the edge of the town was massive. On arrival it was fairly quiet but it filled up quickly, much like locusts swarming around crops. Amongst the thousands of tents, camper vans and portaloos were two swimming holes where every man and his guitar could be found jamming out tunes. The atmosphere was electric, like nothing I had ever felt before. Later on the Friday night, the festival opened to a viewing of a documentary entitled “The Big Easy Express” which followed the journey of Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zero’s and the Old Crow Medicine Show touring around the states on a huge train, gigging and jamming throughout their tour. This picturesque film brought a realization to the bands’ exceptional love for music, with many interviews and live performances to add to the excitement of the coming festival. After the film, dj’s performed some timeless classics for the oldies to have a jigg to, I for one, went to bed!

Waking up early to a roasting hot day made me even more excited for the coming festival. Wandering through the town, it was hard to miss the swarms of people. Tattoo’s, beards and interesting attire exposed the fact that this festival was going to be an absolute riot! Lining up for the campgrounds opening at 1pm, being ushered through the gates that had an enormous “GENTLEMEN OF THE ROAD” sign above it, walking to the front of the stage and waiting for the most amazing day of my nineteen years of existence. The Boys of Mumford and Sons greeted the small audience by introducing the first act, Husky, a four-piece band,

opening with their gratifying song “Tidal Wave.” It was evident that a lot of people had never heard of Husky, as I seemed to be one of the only one’s singing along and having a dancey dance. Among songs such as “Dark Sea” and “Hundred Dollar Suit” was “Need You Tonight” by INXS, which had been heard on Triple J’s Like a Version, and their fantastic rendition of “Lover Lover Lover” by Leonard Cohen in which, much like Jeff Buckley’s cover of Hallelujah, put Leonard Cohen’s original to shame. We saw the lead singer; bass player and pianist stand around a microphone and each of them singing, showing the versatility of this truly amazing group. To end their set they played the crowd favourite “History’s Door” which many people were seen to sing along with.

As the crowd began swarming in, Willy Mason began to play. One man, his guitar, killer vocals, all the way from Massachusetts. I for one had never heard much of Willy Mason before the festival, but he delivered a very country, Johnny Cash like sound, which sent the crowd crazy. Each of his songs told a brilliant story which captivated the ears of all the audience members. Willy Mason had finished in under an hour, as the roadies came along and revealed the sign that read “Matt Corby.” At this point, the audience was congregating towards this small stage in a large field located in the middle of nowhere.

Matt Corby revealed himself graciously, as he walked straight up to the microphone and instantly began performing. He had come to the festival for one thing: To entertain his audience with his amazing vocals and song-writing talents. This, he succeeded. Moving across the stage between his guitar and keyboard, songs such as Souls a Fire, Letters and Song Bird had the audiences screaming. Lastly came the much anticipated, commercial success known as Brother, which had the crowd jumping and yelling the lyrics at the top of their voices. The immense vocal range of this young twenty year old was enough to leave shivers all the way down the spine of a giraffe. Sarah Blasko was next. The entire festival was pumping at this point, where eighteen thousand revelers were gathered to join in this musical phenomenon. Sarah Blasko lived up to this expectation, jumping around the stage, feeling every note that she sung. Never hearing much of Sarah Blasko made me immediately iTunes up her music the moment I got home. As the crowd was still pumping from Matt Corby, I did feel that Blasko’s performance dropped the energy of the crowd somewhat, only because her music style is so different and chilled in comparison to the strong rhythms and style of Matt Corby.

After Blasko received her cheer of highest acclaim, the stage was littered with guitars, a free standing piano, drums, two accordions, trumpets, keyboards and any instrument you could think of. The banner fell to reveal ‘Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero’s.’ I could feel every individual of the swamping crowd behind me, push forward to be closer to the brilliant performers that were about to stand in front of us. Out they came, to the deafening roar of the crowd. Jade, one of the lead singers of the band casually strolled out in a denim jacket, a hand bag and ray bans, not looking as if she were about to perform, but almost as if she was going to take a wander through Coles. Opening with 40 Day Dream, the crowd went wild. Immediately the lead singer Alex, known by his alter ego of ‘Edward Sharpe’ jumped off the stage and out into the audience where he latched

onto the hands of the revelers watching in awe as he gave his performance. The energy from the performers and crowd alike was like nothing I had ever seen before. Performing several songs from their first album “Up from Below” and their new Album “Here” had the band of ten owning the stage and living every moment of their set to the fullest. Each musician got a spot of the limelight, where each received credit at some point where they were about to break out and do a solo. I had never seen an accordion used within a set before, nor a trumpet for that matter which emphasized the one of a kind nature of this band. After performing songs such as “Man on Fire” and “Up from Below” the crowd favourite “Home” was exposed to see the audience jumping in all directions, singing along with every word. Jade performed a solo “Fiya Wata” that features on the band’s second album. Jade, much like Edward Sharpe was one hell of a performer, wanting to crowd surf. Ending their electrifying set with the tribal-like classic “Om Nashi Mi” left the crowd screaming for more. To be honest, I was a little upset that their set was over; I had never experienced music like that, in such a unique atmosphere!

Sure enough, the headliners appeared upon a dark stage with loud uproars from every angle. Opening with the brilliant “Sigh no More” from their first album of the same name brought a tear to my eye, as I had been waiting four years for this day. The versatility of the musicians was outstanding, with Mark Mumford alternating between a 12-string guitar, drums and the Madeline. Throughout their set of 18 songs, saw the biggest Australian fans lift their arms in a tribute to these amazing musicians. Through songs such as “I Will Wait”, “Ghosts That We Knew” and “Holland Road” came the crowd favourite, and the song that bought the band to the charts “Little Lion Man” which had the stage light up and the atmosphere lift to an out-of-this-world feel.

As the set progressed, and people had moved meters away from their original position, saw the band exit the stage. The chanting of the audience to play “Babel” and for the band to resume with an encore was enough to leave ears ringing. Sure enough, out they came and performed my personal favourite “Dustbowl Dance” which literally had me in tears. The band had stated that “Babel” had never been performed live, but much to the audiences delight saw the band explode out and began jamming through the song. To finally close their set saw the song “The Cave” which was a perfect epilogue to this amazing set. The band bowed as they left, only to appear once again with Edward & Sharpe to perform a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” which they delivered with pristine precision to the original. My legs were aching; my back felt as if it were seconds from collapse, but the smile on my face could not be compared to anything.

As the gathering began to commute away from the campground, Yacht Club Dj’s took to the stage. In keeping with the festival they played songs that ranged from bands such as Metallica, The Last Dinosaurs, or personal favourite “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” from the Lion King. Dancing like idiots for the next hour to mixes of Dubstep and Rock was a fantastic conclusion to a brilliant festival with some of the greatest bands the Indie-folk world will ever see.

Nothing could ever compare to the experience such as this. Eighteen Thousand music lovers from all across the country band together in a town of that resides 2100 country folk in order to experience the world renowned likes of Mumford & Sons, mixed with a diverse range of local and international performers. The Gentlemen of The Road tour, which had seen stopovers all over the world in places such as Portland, Bristol and Illinois, had stopped over in Australia. Leaving its footprint on the town of Dungog, and left a mark on every person who was fortunate enough to attend.

REVIEW | BRING ME THE HORIZON SEMPITERNAL (LP)

2013 has seen UK metalcore outfit Bring Me The Horizon serve up their fourth studio album. The proudly Sheffield founded five piece have changed up things since 2010’s offering “There Is A Hell Believe Me Ive Seen It. There Is A Heaven Lets Keep It A Secret.” The much anticipated new album composed of eleven tracks entitled “Sempiternal” brings a new label, a new producer, a new band member and a new direction which has culminated in somewhat of an unexpected yet exciting end product.

What is evident from the very outset of Sempiternal is that more or less are gone the early days of the band’s angst filled lyrics, aggressive breakdowns and sheer rawness. Lead singer Oli Sykes brings a more positive approach to the writing of the lyrics in this album, distant to the darkness of past releases. This newfound approach is coupled with remarkably clean vocals, with some tracks such as “Seen It All Before” and “Hospital For Souls” affording Sykes the opportunity to truly showcase his vocal exploits. The choice to utilise very clean vocals is sure to polarise old school BMTH fans, especially aficionados of 2006’s “Count Your Blessings”, however, the change is sure to engage new listeners and/or draw listeners back into the fray who have previously ignored the hype surrounding the band.

BMTH continue to transition along the musical genre spectrum. From the former days of deathcore featuring mindless screaming and disjointed song structures, the band now find themselves constructing an album blending traditional metalcore and subtle elements best characterised as the ever developing genre of electronicore. Whilst some will cite this change in output could be attributed to the band’s decision to get into bed with RCA (a subsidiary of Sony) for the recording of the fourth album, I am one to stand in the corner with others that acknowledge the immediate effect that new member Jordan Fish (keyboards/programming) has had. There was enough evidence in “There Is A Hell Believe Me Ive Seen It. There Is A Heaven Lets Keep It A Secret.” to see an adoption to integrate and experiment with electronica by teaming up with “Lights” and this complemented by Fish’s recruitment.

Putting aside Sykes’ spat with former and most recently departed guitarist Jona Weinhofen, the decision to bring in Jordan Fish (formerly of Worship) soon after as a replacement for the writing and recording of Sempiternal has exponentially paid dividends for the band in my opinion. Not since Enter Shikari’s 2009 album “Common Dreads” have I heard such fine utilisation and integration of synth and electronica into the recording and composition of post-hardcore/metalcore music.  Fish’s influence is no more apparent or impressive than in Sempiternal’s first track; “Can You Feel My Heart”, where the looping of Sykes’ voice brilliantly smacks you in the face and immediately lets you know the album may not be what you were expecting of BMTH.

I would envisage that trying to temper the volatility of a sound such as that of Bring Me The Horizon’s whilst still allowing a band to maintain a uniqueness of their own would be no easy task, however, producer Terry Date (Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Pantera) has done a stunning job to intricately put all the pieces together.  Sykes spoke on behalf of the band to positively acknowledge Date’s contribution in the superb outcome of the album and to state that “some of the work Date has done on the bands production makes Bring Me the Horizon sound like a completely different band”.

As a metalcore fan, regardless of your previous opinions of BMTH for better or for worse, you would do well to find many problems with Sempiternal. Apart from the occasional throwback to the foundation of BMTH’s sound which is somewhat exhibited through tracks such as “The House of Wolves” and particularly “Antivist” and will be sure to please some, fans wanting to inarticulately scream along with Oli on this album are going to be left disappointed. I wouldn’t say Sykes has truly matured as a songwriter or endured an epiphany with regards to the themes explored through the writing of the band’s lyrics but it is nice not have use  to decipher exactly what is coming out of his mouth this time around.

The album’s strongest tracks are unsurprisingly the first two singles released; “Shadow Moses” and “Sleepwalking” with honourable mentions going out to; “Can You Feel My Heart”, “Seen It All Before” and “Hospital For Souls”. Not to take anything away from the band’s previous efforts but this is undoubtedly their best release yet from a personal standpoint. The album does a stellar job in displaying all the hallmarks of a typically great metalcore album and the integration of electronica and clean vocals (be it intentional or not) is sure to open up the band to a myriad of new listeners from more mainstream circles, both in Australia and internationally.

I LIKE THAT | FRAANCIS XX

Meet FRAANCIS  the extremely fresh new project that combines Ben Williams (ex-I Know The Chief) and Jacob Murphy (London). The duo have just dropped their debut single, XX, which is a truly interesting blend of sounds that seem to draw inspiration from the likes of Disclosure and Girraffage. Its a solid debut for the pair, who have kept things pretty low prior to their release (their Facebook page was only launched last night) and who have already shown what theyre capable of when combining their production talents.