Category: Alternative

The Griswolds

With their debut album Be Impressive debuting at #5 on the US iTunes Alternative charts and gaining them new fans across the globe, The Griswolds have touched down on Australian soil for their album launch tour today.

With their constant global touring in 2014 paying off in spades, their single “Beware the Dog” continues to climb the US top 20 alternative radio charts and has given the band the opportunity to cross a line off their bucket list: completing a live set on Los Angeles’ famous KROQ.

The Griswolds “Beware the Dog” video has set blogs alight and been hit on over 100,000 times. It has been a triple j staple throughout this year (where they’ll take the Like a Version challenge next week), been added to Channel [V] and hit the top five in the Hype Machine global blog charts and the band will be taking it round Australia with ten shows hitting six states and territories celebrating the album release.

Recorded under the guidance of producer Tony Hoffer (The Kooks, Beck, M83, Ladyhawke), Be Impressive is living up to its name with early reviews citing the juxtaposition between the album’s party vibe and its poignant lyrics showing a depth that continues to provide over repeated listens.

On the home front, the band’s debut album Be Impressive is out now through Chugg Music/MGM
THE GRISWOLDS BE IMPRESSIVE ALBUM RELEASE TOUR
Supported by triple j, The Harbour Agency and Chugg Music

Thurs 25 Sept – Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC
https://corner.ticketscout.com.au/gigs/2731/Griswolds
 
Fri 26 Sept – Karova Lounge, Ballarat VIC
http://karovalounge.oztix.com.au/?eventId=46299
 
Sat 27 Sept – Zierholz @ UC, Canberra ACT
http://tickets.oztix.com.au/?Event=46280
 
Sat 4 Oct – Yours & Owls 4th Birthday, Wollongong NSW
  (SOLD OUT)
 
Thurs 9 Oct – Small Ballroom, Newcastle NSW
http://kingdomsounds.oztix.com.au/?Event=46172
 
Sat 11 Oct – Metro Theatre, Sydney NSW
http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=GRISWOLD14
 
Fri 17 Oct – Jive, Adelaide SA
http://www.moshtix.com.au/v2/event/the-griswolds-be-impressive-album-tour/72903?&ref=prom
 
Sat 18 Oct – Amplifier Bar, Perth WA
http://tickets.oztix.com.au/?Event=46283
 
Thurs 23 Oct – The Brightside, Brisbane QLD
http://tickets.oztix.com.au/?eventId=46295
 
Fri 24 Oct – Solbar, Maroochydore QLD
http://tickets.oztix.com.au/?Event=46279
 
Sat 25 Oct – The Spotted Cow, Toowoomba QLD
Free Entry
 
Sun 26 Oct – ‘Byron Bay Surf Festival’ @ Beach Hotel, Byron Bay
Free Entry

BE IMPRESSIVE IS OUT NOW THROUGH CHUGG MUSIC / MGM

Unify

UNIFIED and THE HILLS ARE ALIVE are proud to announce the first year of a new event UNIFY: A Heavy Music Gathering. UNIFY is a two day boutique camping and music gathering set in the beautifully picturesque pastures of South Gippsland, a relaxed 2 hour drive from Melbourne. The site is set across a secluded Recreation Reserve surrounded by Greenery and just a short 10 minute drive from the ocean.

The concept is to create a community driven event of 3000 punters across the Punk, Hardcore and Metal world, with an all Australian lineup that showcases the quality and diversity of our heavy music culture. The site includes a camping area, full Stage and Production setup, BYO and licensed areas, and a punter friendly atmosphere. The camping element of the gathering is inspired by the European festival culture that takes place across their Summer.

Headlining the gathering will be The Amity Affliction, who recently sold out their entire ‘Let The Ocean Take Me’ tour including their Festival Hall show in Melbourne which sold out in under a week. With three Gold records and two number 1 albums under their belt, Amity have become one of the leading draws on the Australian touring circuit.

Northlane will also join the event, their first Australian show since their massive Free Your Mind tour in May and June, and their last before heading to record their highly anticipated third album. These shows will come shortly after playing 3000-7000 cap rooms across Europe with Parkway Drive this coming December.

Byron Bay’s In Hearts Wake will be playing in their perfect natural setting at UNIFY. Having received a huge buzz for their epic Soundwave performances earlier this year, they will bring their environmentally conscious message to South Gippsland for the first time.

Thy Art Is Murder have become one of the hardest touring metal bands on the planet, and have become a worldwide headline act in their own right. As the heaviest band on the lineup, and possibly in Australia, expect one of the craziest performances of the evening.

No party would be right without the boys from Deez Nuts showing up. They will be fresh from recording their fourth album when they take the stage at Unify, their first show since supporting The Amity Affliction on their recent Australian tour.

One of the key drawcards on the gathering will be the return of Break Even, who are reuniting to play UNIFY. As one of the most loved hardcore bands of the past decade, Break Even broke up in 2013. This reunion will be a reminder of what made them so special.

The lineup will also feature a who’s who of Australian hardcore and metal including Confession, Buried In Verona, Hand Of Mercy, Antagonist AD, Hellions, Storm The Sky, Endless Heights, Aversions Crown, Stories, Electrik Dynamite and Earth Caller.

As well as live acts, UNIFY will also feature Live DJs, mini golf, sports-field, chill out areas, street cart food, late night cinema and much more. The site features both BYO and Licenses areas, and all tickets will include free camping on site. The event is strictly 18+.

Tickets for UNIFY start from $99 and are available from October 2nd. Tickets will come in special bundles that can include event-branded sunglasses, t-shirts, stubby coolers and posters. All tickets are available exclusively from 24Hundred.net with limited tickets available at certain outlets. For full ticket information please visit unifygathering.com/ticketing.

 

Trophy Eyes

Newcastle natives, Trophy Eyes have announced their upcoming debut full-length, Mend, Move On, which will be released in Australia on October 31st, 2014 via Hopeless Records/Unified. The album is also now available for physical and digital pre-order.

Today, Trophy Eyes are premiering a new single and music video for ‘In Return,’ taken from Mend, Move On. Fans can watch the video here. The song is available for instant download when you pre-order the album now on iTunes.

Trophy Eyes’ new single, ‘In Return,’ holds a special meaning for vocalist John Floreani. The vocalist states, “‘In Return’ is about my Mother and the events following her divorce when I was about 13 years old. We moved house and began our lives again – or so Mum tried. Even though my mother had never let it show, I know now that it must have been a very lonely and hard time for her. Supporting three children through school and working three jobs and still making sure we never went without. When it finally came time for Mum to love again, I was totally against it and made it very hard for her and her new love (they’re happily married now and have been for many years) to be together. Not long after that, Mum received the news that she was suffering with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and we were told that she could be reduced to a wheelchair for the rest of her life – so the degenerative properties of her disease. I wrote ‘In Return’ to apologise to her. Not for her forgiveness, but to let her know that I remember and I am sorry.”

Regarding the content of the record, Floreani shares, “Mend, Move On is made up of the stories and memories that I think defined my life so far and acted as lessons throughout my transition from adolescence to adulthood. Those significant moments and events range from nearly driving off a cliff in an old friend’s car to giving the girl of my dreams my sweet Grandmother’s earrings for her 21st birthday. I’m fortunate to have lived my interesting little life – I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Mend, Move On will be released in Australia October 31st, 2014.

You can preorder Mend, Move On now at 24Hundred, or digitally on iTunes.

Jxckxlz cover

Year: 2014

Label: Art As Carthasis

Track Listing:

  1. Cicada – Grasshopper (Fat Man Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt)
  2. Carpenter Ant (Fat Man Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt)
  3. Distractions From You (Jxckxlz)
  4. Solace (Jxckxlz)
  5. Trophic Level (Jxckxlz)
  6. Cause And Effect (Jxckxlz)

Subculture Entertainment ‘Fat Man Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt vs Jxckxlz’ – Fat Man Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt/Jxckxlz Review:

As Art As Carthasis continues to grow to becoming one of Australia’s heaviest labels it brings together two of its very unique acts to form a LP that is going to be a sought after classic as it lifts to the alternative music scene in Australia to whole new level.

Kicking off the album are the brutal Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt kicks off the LP with the short and manic ‘Cicada – Grasshopper’ and then follows it up with the drawn out ‘Carpenter Ant’ which sees vocalist K deliver another healthy dose of mania vocally.

Then it is Jxckxlz (pronounce Jackalz) turn to step up to the mic… and boy of boy do they deliver. If you are yet to hear these guys at full flight then you really are missing something. Jxckxlz show what they are all about with their opening track – ‘Distractions From You’ a track which first of all hits the audience with some real brutality before then taking them on an epic journey.

Brutality is also the key to ‘Solace’ which then sees the band switch to a more atmospheric sound within a heartbeat while they deliver a pure wall of sound with ‘Trophic Level.’ It’s then back to their heavy best to close out the album with ‘Cause And Effect.’

‘Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt vs Jxckxlz’ may just be six tracks in length but this is an album that heralds in a much needed new sound into the Australian alternative music scene. This is some of Jxckxlz finest work and they clearly show why they are a band that everybody must now have in their collection.

 

 

Rating (out of 5):

Jxckxlz

Subculture Entertainment’s Dave Griffiths chats to Lachlan from Jxckxlz hot on the heels of their LP release alongside label mates Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt. The two bands are about to hit the road as well so make sure you don’t miss their shows:

19-Sep: Dive Bar, Geelong
20-Sep: The Dropout, Melbourne
21-Sep: The Tote, Melbourne
26-Sep: Crowbar, Brisbane
27-Sep: Fat Louie’s, Brisbane
11-Oct: Black Wire Records, Sydney
16-Oct: The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
16-Nov: The Alleyway at Tommy J’s, Sydney

You can check out our Jxckxlz interview here.

Grindhouse Sleeping At The Peeps

Year: 2014

Label: Desert Highways

Track Listing:

  1. Dapto Dazzler
  2. Wild Sex And Machine Guns
  3. If You Say So
  4. Demolition Dirtbag
  5. Suss Us Out
  6. High On The Side Of The Road
  7. Two Dollar Spoof Bin
  8. Muthaf**ken Punk Rock Power

Subculture Entertainment ‘Sleeping At The Peeps’ – Grindhouse Review:

It’s ironic that the closing track on Melbourne punk rock outlaws Grindhouse’s latest offering is called Motherf**ken Punk Rock Power because to be absolutely blunt that is exactly what this album is… it is the only way to describe it.

If you’re a new fan of the punk genre and have been little confused by these so called modern punk rockers who are actually pop-stars in disguise then one listen to ‘Sleeping At The Peeps’ is going to jettison you back to the mid-1990s and show you exactly how good Aussie punk rock is supposed to sound.

There is no mucking around for Grindhouse ‘Sleeping At The Peeps’ simply creates a punk rock sound so pure that it sounds like it could have been recorded in a suburban garage or your local bar. For the most part lead vocalist Micky ‘Two Fingers’ Simpson lets his high vocals (seriously these guys are right up there with The Darkness) do the talking on tracks like ‘Dapto Dazzler,’ ‘If You Say So’ and ‘Demolition Dirtbag.’

Then there are the fun songs, stuff like ‘Wild Sex And Machine Guns’ and the afore mentioned ‘Muthaf**ken Punk Rock Power’ but the one thing you could never label Grindhouse is a gimmick band. Oh hell no, these guys are a lot better than that, if anyone needs proof of that then simply listen to Rick ‘Pony Club’ Audsley’s guitar work throughout the album. Or take a quick listen to ‘High On The Side Of The Road’ a track that ventures into rock territory more than punk but just shows how good these guys really are.

At the end of day ‘Sleeping At The Peeps’ sees Grindhouse deliver a healthy dose of pure hi-energy punk rock and no punk fan is going to complain about that.

 

Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4)

Sleepwalks

Year: 2011

Label: Independent

Subculture Media Reviews:

(originally published on Suite 101)

Brisbane, Queensland. You couldn’t get farther from Seattle or Colorado, yet it is in Brisbane where Grunge music is being reborn, for it is here that Sleepwalks call home. Over the years, many young bands have claimed that “they are the new Nirvana”, but Sleepwalks don’t even have to make that claim, because after just one listen to their debut album The Milk Has Gone Sour, their audience will be doing all the talking for them.

It’s not surprising that this trio has been able to capture the Grunge sound so well — not when you realise that The Milk Has Gone Sour is produced by Steve Albini, a producer who has worked with the likes of Nirvana, Stooges, The Pixies, PJ Harvey and Dirty Three in the past. With his experience and Sleepwalks’ talent mixed together, The Milk Has Gone Sour is an album that allows you to lay back, close your eyes and then find yourself being transported back to the glory days of grunge. The good news is that Sleepwalks haven’t just rehashed an old sound; no, they have actually pushed it forward into modern day and completely reinvented… and as a result, The Milk Has Gone Sour is a must-have. It is 11 tracks of pure Grunge bliss.

This is a bliss created by lead vocalist Kevin Fincham’s vocals. After just a few lines of opening track “Clicks”, you realise that he captures the 90s Grunge sound to a “T” with his vocals, and by the time “Pith” swings on by, you are completely in love with the sound of his voice. He has one of the finest styles of any vocalist going around at the moment.

“Grimless” sees Sleepwalks pick up the pace, and its raw sound will be welcomed back with open arms, as computer technology has meant it is now a rarity. But if its the Nirvana sound that you are craving then you can’t go past “Bottle It”. This is a great Grunge track that proves that Sleepwalks have a solid future ahead of them.

The faster pace of “Negatives” and “Rufus” gives drummer Damian Masters a chance to showcase his wares, while Fincham ones again steals the show on “Rufus”. Even punk fans may find themselves impressed by “No No Yes Yes”, a track that opens with a sweet instrumental beginning and then gives one to some strong brute force.

Fincham once again proves why he is one of the best vocalists going around when he wails “just as long as you feel alright” (on “Fingers”) and “not my problem” (on “Bile Duct”). It is this kind of styling that made Nirvana’s Bleach such a masterpiece, and Grunge lovers will be ecstatic to hear this style reborn in the hands (or should that be vocal chords) of Kevin Fincham. Sleepwalks are such a good band that even when they produce a slower track like “Grenadier”, it sounds awesome and not like they have lost their way.

Hearing how great The Milk Has Gone Sour really is is a terrifying prospect when you realise that this is Sleepwalks’ debut album. It really makes you realise that you have discovered something great, and only time will tell if these guys are the next Masters of Grunge.

Subculture Media Review #2: This review first appeared in Buzz Magazine.

Hailing from Brisbane, Queensland Sleepwalks are a trio that really know how to surround themselves with the right people. The Milk Has Gone Sour may be their debut album but it was produced by the legendary Steve Albini, who can list artists such as Nirvana, Stooges, The Pixies and PJ Harvey on his CV. And he certainly brings the best out of these guys. There are many bands who claim that they will be loved by Nirvana fans, but Sleepwalks can (and have) produced the goods. Close your eyes while listening to The Milk Has Gone Sour and you are quickly transported back to the glory days of grunge.

The good news is that Sleepwalks haven’t just rehashed an old sound, no they have actually pushed it forward into modern day and completely re-invented… and as a result The Milk Has Gone Sour is a must have. It is eleven tracks of pure grunge bliss.

As soon as the opening track, “Clicks” starts pumping out of your stereo Kevin Fincham’s vocals transport you back to the 90s and by the time “Pith” swings on by you are completely in love with the sound of his voice… he has one of the finest styles of any vocalist going around at the moment.

“Grimless” is faster-paced and has a great raw sound to it… something that computer technology has wiped out for many bands. But it us on “Bottle It’ where Sleepwalks really capture that old Nirvana sound. This is a simply a brilliant grunge track that showcases a band that must have a great future ahead of them.

The short and sweet “Negatives” shows that Sleepwalks gets better the faster they play while drummer, Damian Masters’ skills are there for all to see on “Rufus”. ‘Sheep” once again displays some brilliant vocal work by Fincham while a soft instrumental opening on “No No Yes Yes” gives way to some pure brutal force… that may even win over some punk fans.

Fincham sounds even more like Kurt Cobain as he wails ‘just as long as you feel alright’ (on “Fingers”) and “not my problem” (on “Bile Duct”). It is this kind of styling that made Nirvana’s Bleach such a masterpiece, and grunge lovers will be ecstatic to hear this style re-born in the hands (or should that be vocal chords) of Kevin Fincham. And just to show that they really can’t put a foot wrong Sleepwalks close with the slower “Grenadier”… which may be slower but is no less fine.

Hearing how great The Milk Has Gone Sour really is, is a terrifying prospect when you realise that this is Sleepwalks’ debut album. It really makes you realise that you have discovered something great and only time will tell if these guys are the next Masters of Grunge.

Rating: 5/5

Amanda Palmer - Amanda Palmer Goes Down under

Year: 2011

Label: Independent

Track Listing:
1. Makin’ Whooppee

2. Australia

3. Vegemite (The Black Death)

4. Map Of Tasmania (feat The Young Punx)

5. In My Mind (feat Brian Vigilione)

6. Bad Wine And Lemon Cake (with The Jane Austen Argument)

7. New Zealand

8. On An Unknown Beach

9. We’re Happy Little Vegmites

10. Doctor Oz

11. A Formidible Marinade

12. The Ship Song

Subculture Media Reviews:

(originally published on Suite 101)

You don’t get the nickname Amanda ‘F**king’ Palmer for no reason. It’s a name that Palmer has earned for her brash-in-the-face style of performance that she begun with The Dresden Dolls and has continued on into her solo career. Now, after an ugly spat with her record label Palmer has independently released her second full-length album titled Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under. As the album art suggests this isn’t music for little ears, but the more mature audience will love the fact that she has mixed comedy with her typical cabaret-punk style and ended up creating a very special album indeed.

Palmer shows she is the ultimate performer by not just releasing a live album, instead she recorded live the songs that she wrote on her recent tours of Australia and New Zealand… meaning that for anyone not lucky enough to be at her live shows everything is completely new.

Palmer lets her comedy do the talking from the start with her own warped version of the classic, “Makin’ Whoopee” and then thrilling her Aussie audience with her ode to ‘going to Australia’, the simply titled “Australia”. Palmer then takes a leaf out of Tim Minchin’s book with the over-the-top comedy track, “Vegemite (The Black Death)”. And it’s great to hear that while she lashed one of Australia’s icons the audience laughed instead of getting offended. It’s a pity that the comedy in her new single, “Map Of Tasmania” doesn’t match the rest of the album, because to be blunt it really is a let down and an embarrassment to Palmer’s normally great works of art.

The bad taste that was “Map Of Tasmania” soon leaves though when you hear the sweet “In My Mind” and her brilliant duet with Tom Dickens, “Bad Wine And Lemon Cake”. The laughs keep coming with her crass tribute to New Zealand, titled “New Zealand” (what is it with Palmer and simple titles). The only thing is if you are easily offended than it is best to give “New Zealand” a wide berth.

Palmer returns to seriousness with the moody “On An Unknown Beach” which despite its darkness is actually a highlight, while “Doctor Oz” sees her return to her Dresden Dolls roots. And for the diehards Palmer includes her quick cover of Australia’s unofficial anthem, “We’re Happy Little Vegemites.”

However, it seems that Palmer saves the best for last. The legendary, Mikelanglo joins Palmer on stage for the sexual innuendo-laced “A Formidable Marinade” but even that is outclassed by her closer, a cover of Nick Cave’s “The Ship Song”. This is an amazing cover that really showcases just how good Palmer really is. This really is the album that shows Amanda Palmer has a strong, unique solo career ahead of her.

 

Subculture Media Review #2:

originally published in Buzz Magazine

Amanda Palmer has had a rough past twelve months. Many have mused whether putting her popular duo, The Dresden Dolls, on hold was a wise move and she also had an ugly split with her record label. Now Palmer comes out swinging with her second solo album, an album consisting of songs she recorded live or wrote on her recent tour to Australia.

As the title, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under (and the cover art) suggests Palmer doesn’t exactly write music for children… but remember this is a woman whose nickname is Amanda ‘F**king’ Palmer, and hey who said it’s bad to be crude occasionally. In fact one of the best things about this album is the fact that Palmer can seamlessly switch between her regular cabaret-punk and full-on comedy (think Tim Minchin) in a heartbeat.

Palmer opens with the comedy bone in full swing with her own take on the classic “Makin’ Whoopee” and then easily wins over her Australian fans with her original track about ‘going to Australia’… strangely-enough titled “Australia”.

Her Tim Minchin-esque comedy comes in to play on “Vegemite (The Black Death)” where she savages one of Australia’s icons (much to the humour of the locals), however her new single “Map Of Tasmania” does let the album down. It’s supposed to be funny, but most listeners will barely raise a smile.

Palmer lets that slip pass by with the sweet little folk song, “In My Mind” and then follows up with a great duet with Tom Dickens. Palmer then pays homage to Australia’s sister, New Zealand with the crass (but of so funny) “New Zealand” and then hits a new high with the moody and dark “On An Unknown Beach”, it sounds forlorn but is so attractive to listen to.

Palmer continues to win over Aussie fans with a cover of Australia’s unofficial national anthem “We’re Happy Little Vegemites” and then returns to her classic Dresden Dolls style to pump out “Doctor Oz”.

Another highlight on the album is the sexual innuendo-laced “A Formidable Marinade” but even that is overshadowed by a brilliant cover of one of Nick Cave’s best tracks “The Ship Song”. Palmer brings such emotion to this album, that she makes it a must listen.

If you’re a fan of The Dresden Dolls chances are you’ll love this album, and if you saw Amanda Palmer when she was Australia then you’ve certainly got to add it to your collection… and you’re extremely lucky. A funny little album that shows that Palmer has more than one string in her bow.

 

Rating: 3.5/5