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!

 

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 | 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.