Category: New Release


PanamaYear: 2013

Label: Independent

Track Listing:
1. Heartbeat
2. It’s Not Over
3. Magic
4. One Piece
5. Stop The Fire
6. We Have Love

Subculture Media Review:

For a long time Australian pop music has been something that the locals have been a little embarrassed about. Sure we have winners of shows like ‘X Factor’ and ‘Australian Idol’ but normally their first album does well and then they simply disappear into obscurity… well come in who knows what branch of McDonalds Casey Donovan and Kate DeAraugo are working the Drive Thru at now?

But if you are an Aussie pop lover then it is really time to rejoice, because along comes a group called Panama. These guys released the sensational ‘Magic’ last year and now they are back with an EP titled ‘It’s Not Over’ which is a great little release.

The opening track, ‘Heartbeat’ reveals a really different sound to what you would normally expect from an Aussie pop outfit… there is no hint of cheese (that’s saved for Casey’s cheeseburger) to be heard and instead it is obvious that Panama brilliantly fuse a the sound of pop, electronic and house music together extremely well.

Fans of Underworld and Joy Division (if you want to feel a little older) will lap up title track, ‘It’s Not Over’ with its great vocals care of Jarrah McCleary and a catchiness that makes very infectious. The groovy sounds continue with the track we all heard last year, ‘Magic’, which of course if you haven’t heard is very disco sounding.

‘One Piece’ delivers a very smooth electronic sound with some high notes that the Bee Gees would have proud to have called their own while the catchiness returns with ‘Stop The Fire’. The EP then closes out with ‘We Have Love’, another piece of pop magic.

‘It’s Not Over’ reveals that Panama are elite amongst pop groups just in Australia but around the world. Make sure you grab a copy of ‘It’s Not Over’ because it’s a must have at any party this summer.
Rating: 3/5

Tired Lion

Year: 2013

Label: Independent

Track Listing:
1. For The Wolfman
2. Bright Eyes

Subculture Media Review:

Katey Steele, Suzie DeMarchi and Sarah McLeod. Now add Sophie Hopes to that list because she truly deserves to be listed amongst Australia’s top female rock vocalists.

It seems every year another great band comes out of Perth and that trend is set to continue with the arrival of Tired Lion who have just delivered a brilliant two-track single (and you thought the single was dead!!!) titled ‘For The Wolfman’.

This is a single that deserves radio play straight away. The title track, ‘For The Wolfman’ is a sensational piece of Aussie rock music, it kind of sounds like Little Birdy but with a lot more grunt. Then thrown in on top of that is ‘Bright Eyes’, a catchier track that just makes you hope that Tired Lion delivers an EP or album sometime soon.

Get on board Tired Lion people, because they are one amazing sounding band.

Rating: 5/5

The Velvets

Year: 2013

Label: Independent

Track Listing:
1. Run For You Life
2. I Really Wanna
3. Nothin’ I Can Do
4. Umbrella Blues
5. Under Your Spell

Subculture Media Review:

Not to be confused with the American band of the 1960s The Velvets are band delivering a great brand of dirty blues rock out of Melbourne, and if you love great music then you’re going to have to add a copy of their new EP ‘The Whiskey Sessions’ to your collection.

This is one EP that jumps straight into the deep end with ‘Run For Your Life’ a track that not only showcases the great gravelly voice of lead singer, Jim Stirton but also announces The Velvets as one of the most promising bands going around.

‘I Really Wanna’ sees The Velvets deliver more great blues while ‘Nothin’ I Can Do’ is one of the finest songs you are likely to hear this year (yes I’m aware it’s only January). ‘Umbrella Blues’ sees The Velvets infuse a great modern country sound that works wonderfully well while the EP closes with ‘Under Your Spell’, an infectious track that makes you wanna see these guys live.

‘The Whiskey Sessions’ is a great little EP and well worth a look if you love your Aussie music.

Rating: 5/5


Year: 2012 (Re-release)

Label: Seasons Of Mist

Track Listing:
1. Malignant Coronation
2. Ghoul
3. Possessed
4. Lord of Swords
5. Helvete
6. Mouth of Madness
7. Unholy Paragon
8. Sacrifice
9. Morbid Lust
10. Primeval Fear (live)
11. Daemons Journey (live)
12. Beyond the Grave (live)
13. The Gate of Nanna (live)

Subculture Media Review:

Some people grown when they hear that a CD is a re-release, they see it as a money-grabbing affair for both the artist at hand and of course their record label. I’m probably naive but I don’t see it that way at all, I see it as a chance for those who missed out the first time around to snap up an album and have a listen to see what they missed out on.

That is certainly the case as Season Of Mist re-releases ‘Desert Northern Hell’ an absolute classic black metal album that clearly shows why the Norwegian Gods known as Tsjuder were (or should that be are seeing that technically reformed in 2010) trend setters in their chosen genre.

‘Desert Northern Hell’ takes you back to 2004, a time when black metal was still in its pure unadulterated fashion… yes that’s right there was a time when it hadn’t been tainted by the other genres surrounding it.

Actually ‘Desert Northern Hell’ sees Tsjuder playing the sound that made 1990s black metal fresh and even now some eight years later this is still one hell of an album to listen to.

Tracks like ‘Malignant Coronation’, ‘Helvete’ and ‘Unholy Paragon’ are absolutely brilliant and thanks to the maturity and skills of Tsjuder the album never once gets repetitive. Lead singer, Nag growls up a storm and on tracks like ‘Sacrifice’ you can really hear the emotion in his voice.

However it is the work of guitarist Draugluin that really makes ‘Desert Northern Hell’ such a wonderful album. He mixes the pace well on ‘Possessed’, brings atmosphere to ‘Morbid Lust’ and gives most guitarists a lesson with his work on ‘Mouth Of Madness’

If you’ve never given ‘Desert Northern Hell’ a chance then this is the time to because this is a death metal masterpiece.

Rating: 4/5

EthsYear: 2012 (Re-release)

Label: Seasons Of Mist

Track Listing:


  1. Pourquoi
  2. La Chair et le Sang
  3. À la Droite de Dieu
  4. Le Mâle
  5. Des Hommes Bons
  6. Autopsie
  7. Dévore
  8. Encore [remix]
  9. Rien à dire (bonus demo track)
  10. Encore (bonus demo track)


  1. Intro
  2. Samantha
  3. Des Cendres
  4. Encore
  5. Volée
  6. Le Projet Humain
  7. Animadversion
  8. Entends-tu
  9. Septum Lucidum (bonus demo version)
  10. Elle s’endort (bonus demo version)


Subculture Media Review:

Sometimes timing really sucks! French death metal outfit Eths have risen to the point of super stardom in France and now they have decided to introduce their rare brand of death metal to the world… just one problem their lead singer Candice Clot has decided that this is the right time to quit the band for family reasons.

That has stopped Eths from continuing on their mission of letting the world hear their music though. No they are continuing on touring with fill-in lead singles and they have just released their two most popular EPs, ‘Autopsie’ and ‘Samantha’ together for the Australian market.

Death metal fans that are not aware of Eths though need to be warned… especially the traditionalists out there. There is a reason that Eths are labelled deathcore and it’s because their sound is something that will make traditional fans of death metal scream their lungs out.

There are times when Eths adhere to the traditional sound. Tracks like ‘Samantha’ and ‘Le Projet Humane’ show Eths death pedigree, but there is that ever lurking need to be experimental so in the middle of the brilliant screams from Candice Clot (she is truly amazing) you’ll suddenly hear DJ scratching and a mixture of other Nu-Metal tricks.

The one thing that really stands out about ‘Autopsie/Samantha’ is the sense of theatrics that Eths bring to their work. The spoken word and whispering that Clot delivers on tracks like ‘Porquoi’ and ‘Le Male’ provides real atmosphere while the sounds of people being tortured and graves being dug on other tracks really reminds you that despite all that is going on this is death metal.

Yes Eths may be more deathcore than death metal but if you’re looking for something new and amazing you’ll certainly have to check out ‘Autopsie/Samantha’.

Rating: 3/5



Carus Thompson

Year: 2011

Label: MGM

Track Listing:
1. Red Sky

2. You Can’t Find Me

3. Fifteen

4. Imperfect Circle

5. You Made Me

6. Caravan

7. Inland Sea

8. Bright Star

9. Beauty Is Your Way

10. I Believe In Love

11. Headstrong

12. Whistleblower

13. Luke’s Song

Subculture Media ‘Caravan – Carus Thompson’ Review:

While Carus Thompson has been winning over fans as he supports famous acts such as Dave Damien Rice, Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews he has pretty much remained unheard of in his home country of Australia… a shame when you consider just how talented a musician he really is. The good news though, is you get that feeling though that his new album Caravan might be about to change all that.

This is one remarkable brilliant country album that showcases Carus Thompson’s own unique style. “Red Sky” shows just how beautiful a love song can be without being too soppy while the catchy “You Can’t Find Me” will soon win over any listener.

Fans of Australian legend Paul Kelly will easily be won over by “Fifteen” and “You Made Me” which are only separated by the best track on the album, “Imperfect Circle” which shows that Thompson is one of the finest country guitarists going around. The chords on “Imperfect Circle” will make most guitarists extremely jealous.

Carus Thompson showcases his amazing voice on “Caravan” and then does what so many artists have tried to do over the years and capture Australia’s beauty in song with “Inland Sea”… good on him for also taking a swipe at city-slickers in the track as well. Thompson then pays tribute to Australian sporting hero, Peter Norman. While many wouldn’t know of Norman, he was the Australian track star who after winning silver at the 1968 Olympics took part in the famous Black Power Salute. Thompson’s tribute to him hear is truly heartfelt and deserving.

Once again Thompson produces a beautiful love song with “Beauty is Your Way” and then he captures an amazing bluegrass sound on “I Believe In You”. A trip to the beach this summer is wasted if you don’t have “Headstrong” playing on your stereo (it’s obvious on this track that Thompson has been spending some time with Jack Johnson) while “Whistleblower” sees him slow Caravan down completely. Residents of Ocean’s Grove will also love the heartfelt “Luke’s Song”.

Caravan really is an amazing album that sits somewhere between country and folk, but is good enough that it has the potential to win over fans of both genres. His great song-writing ability and brilliant delivery really does make you glad that you discovered his album. Carus Thompson announces himself to Australia and the world with Caravan, an album that is uniquely beautiful.

Other Subculture Media ‘Caravan – Carus Thompson’ Reviews: This review of ‘Caravan – Carus Thompson’ by David Griffiths first appeared in Buzz Magazine.

Carus Thompson is one of those Aussie artists who has been making a name for himself overseas while people back home have been unaware of what he is achieving. And with just one listen to his new album Caravan it is easy to see why Thompson has one over fans as he supports the likes of Dave Matthews, Damien Rice and Jack Johnson.

Caravan is a truly beautiful album and Thompson’s great style should attract more fans to his unique country style. “Red Sky” is a great country love song that shows that love songs don’t have to be all soppy while “You Can’t Find Me” has some great lyrics and is extremely catchy.

Both “Fifteen” and “You Made Me” are very Paul Kelly-esque, the former being one of the best tracks on the album. It is only pipped for the ‘Best Song On Album’ gong by “Imperfect Circle” that shows that Thompson is also one hell of a guitarist… it’s chords sound amazing.

The title track off Caravan sees the album slow down and Thompson’s great voice is on show for all to hear while “Inland Sea” truly captures Australia’s beauty and rubs it to those who won’t the cities. Thompson returns to his Paul Kelly style of songwriting with “Bright Star” which is a tribute to an Australian Olympian, Peter Norman who took part in the famous Black Power Salute protest at the 1968 Mexico Olympics which saw him shunned by the Australian Olympic Committee until his death.

“Beauty Is Your Way” is another beautiful love song while “I Believe In Love” is bluegrass at its best. “Headstrong” announces itself like a light breeze and is the perfect summer beach song while Caravan again slows down for “Whistleblower”. The album then closes with “Luke’s Song”, another great track that sends a shout out to Ocean Grove.

It’s not hard to see why Carus Thompson has been winning over fans overseas. With just one listen to Caravan and you’ll be adding yourself to that list of fans.
Rating: 4/5

Lupe Fiasco - Laser

Year: 2011

Label: Atlantic

Track Listing:
1. Letting (feat Sarah Green)

2. Words I Never Said (feat Skylar Grey)

3. Till I Get There

4. I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now (feat MDMA)

5. Out Of My Head (feat Trey Songz)

6. The Show Goes On

7. Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways) (feat MDMA)

8. Coming Up (feat MDMA)

9. State Run Radio (feat Matt Mahaffey)

10. Break The Chain (feat Eric Turner & Sway)

11. All Black Everything

12. Never Forget You (feat John Legend)

Subculture Media ‘Lasers – Lupe Fiasco’ Review:

Many of the genre’s most hardened fans would admit that, over the past decade, true rap/hip-hop has been replaced by some kind of commercial hybrid that sees artists wanting to rhyme about bling, girls and clothing rather than deliver political comments like the rappers of old. But here’s where Lupe Fiasco is willing to step up and separate himself from the rest of the pack. His latest album, Lasers, sees Fiasco deliver an album that most old-time fans would certainly be proud of.

The lead-off track, “Letting Go,” sees Sarah Green join Fiasco and show everyone that commercial R&B can still sound good. Lupe Fiasco then stands up and delivers one of the most rap tracks to see the light of day for a very long time. “Words That I Never Said” sees Fiasco take a huge swipe at Muslim Jihadists and then turns the tables by taking aim at the United States for its war on terror. He really doesn’t hold back.

If you have any doubts about why Lupe Fiasco is in the music industry, then one quick listen to “Till I Get There” will change your mind, while the extremely electronic “I Don’t Care Right Now” is just screaming to be the next radio single. Then Trey Songz teams up with Lupe Fiasco for what is clearly the worst track on the album. “Out Of My Head” may sound like a song that would have been perfect for Michael Jackson, but it certainly doesn’t do Lupe Fiasco any good.

The very commercial “The Show Goes On” is certainly a terrific track, but being overplayed on radio and television has made it lose its message. However, Lasers picks up again with “Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways),” which allows the world to see what a great songwriter Fiasco really is.

“Coming Up” is a real shocker, but if you can get past the cheesy onslaught of “State Run Radio,” you will indeed see that it contains a powerful message. Lupe Fiasco’s love of all things electronic continues with “Break The Chain,” and then he gets deeply political with the brilliant “All Black Everything.” The delightful John Legend then joins Fiasco on the smooth “Never Forget You.”

Lasers is more than just a good album. It shows just how talented Lupe Fiasco really is. Forget the likes of Usher and Kanye West—Lupe Fiasco is the real deal.

Other Subculture Media ‘Lasers – Lupe Fiasco’ Reviews: This review of ‘Lasers – Lupe Fiasco’ by David Griffiths first appeared in Buzz Magazine.

You wouldn’t know by listening to most of the rap/hip-hop that makes it to radio today but there was once a time when rappers used their music to get across their feelings. Not how they feel about ‘bitches or hoes” or how much bling they have, but instead their feelings about politics and other things close to their hearts. Well Lasers shows that Lupe Fiasco knows how to stay true to that old-style rap philosophy.

While the world has fallen at the feet at rappers like Usher and Kanye West, the very talented Lupe Fiasco has been plying his trade in the shadows and now Lasers sees him break-out into the spotlight and truly announce himself as one of the best rappers going around at the moment.

Lupe Fiasco teams up with Sarah Green on “Letting Go” and shows the world that not all commercial R&B has to be crappy and lame, and then he really announces himself with “Words That I Never Said”, a track that seems call the War On Terror bullshit while also taking a swipe at some Muslims… see a rapper that has the guts to come out and say what he feels.

“Till I Get There” sees Fiasco get heartfelt about his career and why he is in the rap game while the very-electronic “I Don’t Care Right Now” is catchy enough to be the next radio single. “Out Of My Head” sees Fiasco team up with Trey Songz and momentarily head down the commericial track with a song about a girl, it doesn’t fit his normal style and the only thing that saves it from being a complete disaster is that it has a real Michael Jackson sound to it.

“The Show Goes On” is an amazing track but you can’t help but wonder if the fact that it has been played to death on Australian TV may mean it has lost it’s heartfelt message. MDMA steps up to the mic on the emotional “Beautiful Lasers (2 Ways)” and once again Fiasco’s great songwriting abilities are on show.

“Coming Up” is a truly forgettable song while :State Run Radio” may sound cheesy but if you listen carefully it takes a fair swipe at modern radio and the military. Fiasco mixes his styles up with the Ministry Of Sound-esque “Break The Chain” and then takes his fans on a poetic history listen with the very important ‘All Black Everything”. Lasers then closes with the smooth “Never Forget You” which is sung with true meaning by Fiasco and John Legend.
Rating: 4.5/5

Lupe Fiasco - Superstar

Year: 2007

Label: Atlantic

Track Listing:

1. Superstar (feat Matthew Santos)


Subculture Media ‘Lasers – Superstar’ Review:

Lupe Fiasco makes his return after the success of his debut album ‘Food + Liquor’ with a little piece of self abuse. ‘Superstar’ finds Lupe criticizing his dealing with his own success rather than dissing all the other rappers around him. The song works well and certainly deserved its place in Triple J’s Hottest 100. Having had the privilege of seeing ‘Superstar’ performed live, all I can really say Lupe Fiasco, Jay-Z and Kanye West are the only rappers around today who really matter.

Rating: 4/5