I was on our local radio station with usual presenter Alex Griffin to talk about Australian punk and post punk from the last 20 years-ish and play a few key tracks. Playlist below the cut, AG is Griffin’s choice, RE is mine and RTR are features for the station. If you click through above, you can even listen to it. Continue reading LISTEN: RTRFM’s Up Late with Alex Griffin, 27.01.16
Hideous Sun Demon are something of Perth, Australia’s best kept secret – shielded from the national spotlight neighbours Tame Impala or POND might enjoy, Hideous have been brewing like the bacteria in that cup of coffee your science teacher left at the back of the classroom that one time, crawling from the ooze with their first album Sweatand practically an ecosystem of fellow grotty boy garage bands: Cool Band, Kitchen People and Aborted Tortoise to name a few.
It’s hard to explain what they sound like without using that tactile language: like the black stuff that comes out of a roadkill kangaroo, like the thick, viscous fake blood – the stuff that smells of liquid plastic – that squirts out of Ozploitation horror films, like pen ink spilt over your foot from a poorly executed stick ‘n’ poke, like that one patch of the couch no one will sit on after that one unfortunate happening at that one terrible party, the one that Gideon brought that THC-moonshine to, the one where the toilet was blocked up five metres down and Tom woke up six kilometres away naked in a park the next day. Or maybe take a bit of grunge fuzz and grind, a bit of psychobilly dexamphetamines, add the manic hoots and screeches of frontman Vin Buchanan-Simpson panting over the muscles of a gym junkie in ‘Flex’ (“Feel them crawling under my skin/Is it bigger?/Is it bigger?”) or word salad of ‘Ohio (Is It Dead Yet?)’, sprinkle a pinch of metal in mad shredding guitar solos and a dash of psych in extended psych-outs like ‘Neon Sound’, and you have an approximation of Hideous Sun Demon. Continue reading BAND PROFILE: Hideous Sun Demon, 08.07.15
Corey only knew a few songs by The Murlocs, but was convinced this gig was destined.
“You know, I get up this morning, making some toast, turn on rage and they’ve got the guest programmer right? And the second song she plays is Murlocs’ Adolescence!” For the rest of the line-up, a solid turnout of friends and fans to Four5Nine packed out the bar, already sweaty for popping punkers Kitchen People. Continue reading LIVE REVIEW: The Murlocs at Four5Nine, 18.04.15
LIVE REVIEW: DOCTOPUS / HUSSY / DARLING RANGERS / SURF RABBITS / KITCHEN PEOPLE / PISSEDCOLAS
Saturday 20 September 2014 at 208s
There is no live music like live music a foot away from your face.
208s, a makeshift venue at best organised by a group of industrious, tolerant music fans in a residential home just behind Maylands’ shopping strip, has remembered this in a time when small venues are hard to come by and younger or niche bands struggle to fill out large ones with a scattering of fans spread over large dance floors. As you trudge down the empty night road and through the dusty gravel car park to the open back door to 208s, the faint drone of the Pissedcolas’ ‘Mind Detergent’ buzzing through the brickwork, there’s no question what you’re in for. A faint smell of weed and sweet cheap beer hangs in the air around the doorway, with a kitchen-cum-foyer filled with instruments and a jar labelled “Soundproofing Fund” on the table, then inside the dimly lit hot room of 208s, ear-busting PA, plastered wall to wall with band posters, and the deaf white cat Sheba perched on the middle speaker oblivious to the slaughtered sounds around it.
The Pissedcolas started the evening with a grinding set sounding tighter than ever. Though battling the heat and the cat’s twitching tail over his pedals, guitarist Fabian Rojas’ sulky vocals opened the night well to a small gathering rapidly growing in the dim backlight of 208s, and with aspirations to the studio in a few weeks they’re rightly locking down on their unique, drilling sound. Their set jittered and throbbed through the brickwork before dissipating into the hot night air, with the guests pouring outside for the change of guard. Around the corner a girl moans to her friend that it’s so empty – never seen it so empty. There’s a piece of lemon in the bathroom sink. Kitchen People are on next.
An off-shoot of Fremantle’s lauded Hideous Sun Demon, the Kitchen People took the floor tonight debuting new rhythm guitarist Charles Wickham, a recruit from Aborted Tortoise, to supplement their sloppy blare with a sharper backlight towed in during intermission. Drummer Thomas Cahill cast long shadows over his bandmates, unanimously engaged in a twitchy little pogo with lead Jake Suriano’s self-conscious cheekiness countered by squirming guitar solos and Dean Eyeball typically throwing his gangly frame about the sidelines. Announcing “This is a song Jake makes me sing, it’s called ‘Planet’,” he attempted to swallow the microphone hands-free, though the equipment put up a fight of its own before being handed back to Suriano. He checks his phone mid-song, juggling mobile, guitar, microphone and lyrics scrawled in texta on his forearm, as they launch into punk-by-numbers closer ‘I Don’t Mind’; “It’s about Jake’s passive progression through life,” claimed Eyeball, then beat a hasty retreat to the band’s closing bars.
The Surf Rabbits, filling a slot for line-up pull-outs, piled into the room boasting short skirts and their own theme song. With vocalist Sarah Taylor bouncing over to scratch the white cat perched on their amp behind its ears, lead guitarist Dave Owen crowed into the microphone: “We are Aborted Tortoise! Or if things go really well we are the Surf Rabbits!” Their rockabilly surf style brought dancers a light-hearted, fast paced set with shrieking Owen matched head to head with Taylor, with songs about sex (‘So Good!’), the scene (‘All Perth Bands’) and monsters (‘There’s Something In The Pool At Adventure World’) picking up the mood only to have it immediately destroyed by the Darling Rangers.
For the first show the Rangers had 208s stuffed full, with gritty solid rock of an instantly familiar Australian ilk backing black-clad lead Drago ‘Drage’ Lyons as he staggered in small circles wailing and screaming with his eyes fixed somewhere in the middle distance of a bad trip. Having produced an organ and a boat hat from seemingly nowhere, the Rangers pressed deranged Lyons into violent throes, collapsing onto the floor after a sheet of lyrics and dragging the mic stand into the audience with him. The clutching, frenzied audience had as much idea of what was happening as Lyons as he wrestled with his mic, narrowly missing an audience member to slam into the wall.
Hussy entered next, an all-girl group with a shrill warble over garage rock with a poppy bounce. Their lead Shinead Ruby stunned with an impressive clear voice like a marble rolling down a course, Hussy’s brooding sound throbbing under chiming vocals and indelicate drum lines. The large band population – five in this one – beckon the audience closer as second vocalist Marcia D’Souza stepped in with a casual air that cooled the night down, welcome after the Darling Rangers’ previous display.
After a brief intermission outside the immense and stoned Doctopus rolled onto the floor, with bedraggled frontman Stephen Bellair getting approximately half way through the first song before producing a spliff as fat as his finger from thin air with a cry of “Hey, buddies!” as he gestured around for a lighter offered by an audience member. The dim lit room stank of sweat, weed and spilt beer as it filled with smoke and heat, the spliff juggled around the audience and finally back to one leaning forward to expel lungfulls of smoke into Bellair’s face as he belted along to bouncing crowd hits ‘Social Anxiety’ and ‘Chronic Fatigue’. The mood dissolves at the set’s close into a settling haze of perspiration and THC, with Sheba ushered around the beer-stained wood floors as 208s started the laborious job of collecting discarded bottles and the crowd filtered out into the night.
‘LIVE REVIEW: Wrong Side Of The Tracks at 208s’ by Richard Moore.
LIVE REVIEW: SOMETHING ON THE SIDE FEST FEAT. CHIEF RICHARDS (PETER BIBBY) / HIDEOUS SUN DEMON / ELECTRIC TOAD
Wednesday 23 July 2014 at the Rosemount Hotel
First published by themusic.com.au 6 August 2014
This Wednesday saw a sink of energy form at the Rosemount Hotel as eleven bands took up the main stage and small bar Four5Nine for double-stage extravaganza Something On The Side. Starting as early as 7:00 with squealing punks King Crime and Robbie Rumble. Punters who made it out early to these new acts were rewarded with intimate, relaxed performances from the small groups leading up to the blooming psychedelica of Hunting Huxley and Dream Rimmy as audiences crossed between stages to glimpse the best of each set.
The smaller Four5Nine Bar was host primarily to aggressive, sonically violent punk bands which made the most of the tight space by getting in the faces of their devoted audience with savage and brutal high distortion and fast, intense sets chewing through the high-density line-up. Kitchen People’s loose punk stagger was quickly tightened by Skullcave before Black Stone From The Sun took the stage, a duo grinding through their songs only to stop at the nine minute mark. “We don’t have a set. We just play it as it comes. Fuck it, we’ll do one more,” Sean Mackay, guitarist, grumbled, coaxed into a slaughterhouse of noise. Aborted Tortoise, popular as ever, were playing next on their home ground, perfectly suited to the close-quarters venue spitting right into their audience.
On the main stage Chief Richards, a sole figure with a loop board, gorilla mask and polkadot trousers, wound digital prog nonsense around a throbbing reverb to a bewildered audience. Mumbling through the mask to hecklers, he coaxed Catbrush drummer Anetta Nevin on stage to accompany a shrieking electrical storm with her thundering percussion, bringing the set to an explosive conclusion. Hideous Sun Demon, the last formal band of the night, then took the stage to a full bar with a stripped-down set as frontman Vin fought for the spotlight against the alarming cling of his trouser crotch. The crowd surged in a throng of violent energy to their breakneck rock, somehow equally aggressive and benevolent as thrashers gave way to their friends for a good time.
At last Electric Toad filled the stage. With 16 musicians crammed on stage and clambering over their instruments, Stephen Bellair, Anetta Nevin, and Blake Hate howled random vocals as remaining revellers struggled to co-ordinate dances to jam songs. A stand-out jam with King Crime’s Samuel Joseph Evers screaming a refrain of ‘it’s okay, it’s all right!’ lasted a marathon ten minutes, until finally the event collapsed into chaos and creative exhaustion.
‘Electric Toad at the Rosemount Hotel’ by Richard Moore.