Category: Alternative

Since their arrival on the scene a couple of years ago now Zero Theorem have been changing the face and the sound of alternative metal. This is the new form of industrial metal, a sound that we have never heard before. Now following up their successful The Killing EP the band are back with The Killing II and this is sheer perfection. Subculture recently had the chance to sit down with frontman Caesar to chat about the album – so take a listen right now.

Tucked away on an urban street in the coastal town of Port Macquarie, is a vibing little record store, called Dark Alley Collectables. What happens inside at night, when all the customers have left, is nothing short of magic.

The “Dark Alley Sessions” are a series of virtual live music performances “after dark” showcasing talented musicians and artists from all over Australia. The private performances have been pre-recorded from the little record shop, in response to COVID restrictions, with a real desire to discover new music via a pre-recorded instore performance.

Prior to the restrictions, Port Macquarie on the Mid North Coast was a bustling music scene filled with talented bands and singer/songwriters, new music festivals and live performance events. Dark Alley Sessions intends to fill the gap between current restrictions and live performance.

Being halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, it will host touring artists and local artists, with the record shop providing a perfect backdrop of nostalgia, for conveying the powerfully sonic portraits, which will be available free on YouTube.

In order to produce the videos, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council have proudly sponsored the Dark Alley Sessions, providing a much-needed link between the couch ridden music lovers and new emerging artists.

The latest episode to be released TODAY, features singer / songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer “mikk”, who performed three songs in the space.

mikk played two originals, one titled “Company”, which received notable love from Triple J producers on Triple J Unearthed, which in turn scored mikk some Triple J airtime. She is set to release a six track EP shortly.

Self-described as more of a producer than a performer, her main musical goals and passions are in the room where she writes and records with other artists. However, she does not sell herself short in the Dark Alley Sessions, showing that mikk is no stranger when it comes to performing.

She shows true expression of honest emotion in her own originals, and has the ability to perform a cover of Bon Iver’s track “Heavenly Father”, from the soundtrack to the film “Wish I Was Here”, as if she had written it herself and was expressing her own reality through the lyrics.

mikk has lived in Sydney most of her life, but is now based in Port Macquarie, where she has built a cosy home studio and started writing and recording with local musicians.

Dark Alley Sessions is a collaboration between Brad Collins and Josh Thompson. Both are musicians living in the Port Macquarie region. Josh owns and operates “The Thing Upstairs” recording studio in Wauchope, while Brad has his own Photography/Videography business. 

Keep an eye out for this moving Dark Alley Session by mikk, and an ear out for more news on her upcoming EP.

ROB ZOMBIE releases his second single ‘The Eternal Struggles Of The Howling Man’ off of The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, to be released March 12th, 2021 via Nuclear Blast.

 
The LP is ROB ZOMBIE’s seventh studio album and marks his first new album in nearly five years. The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy is a classic Zombie album to its core with high-energy rages like ‘The Eternal Struggles of the Howling Man’ and ‘Get Loose’ to heavy-groove thumpers like ‘Shadow Of The Cemetery Man’ and ‘Shake Your Ass-Smoke Your Grass.’ The new album is produced by ZEUSS.

As a rock icon and filmmaker with a unique vision, ROB ZOMBIE has continuously challenged audiences as he stretches the boundaries of both music and film. ROB ZOMBIE is a 7-time Grammy nominee, has sold fifteen million albums worldwide to date, and is the only artist to experience unprecedented success in both music and film as the writer/director of eight feature films with a worldwide gross totalling more than $150 million. His re-imagining of John Carpenter’s Halloween in 2007 debuted at #1 and still holds a Box Office record for Labor Day Weekend.

The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy Tracklist

1) Expanding the Head of Zed

2) The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)

3) The Ballad of Sleazy Rider

4) Hovering Over the Dull Earth

5) Shadow of the Cemetery Man

6) A Brief Static Hum and Then the Radio Blared

7) 18th Century Cannibals, Excitable Morlocks and a One-Way Ticket On the Ghost Train

8) The Eternal Struggles of the Howling Man

9) The Much Talked of Metamorphosis

10) The Satanic Rites of Blacula

11) Shower of Stones

12) Shake Your Ass-Smoke Your Grass

13) Boom-Boom-Boom

14) What You Gonna Do with That Gun Mama

15) Get Loose

16) The Serenity of Witches

17) Crow Killer Blues

Artist: Growth

Album: The Smothering Arms Of Mercy

Date Of Release: 4th December, 2020

Label: Wildthing Records

Track Listing:

  1. Cigarette Burns
  2. The Treatment For Melancholy
  3. Fortress Of Flesh And Bone
  4. Our Lady Of The Hanging Heart
  5. Lead Us To Our Glorious Times
  6. Darkly, It Tightens Its Grip
  7. Soul Rot
  8. Something Follows
  9. Gird Your Loved In Armour While Yet You Wither

Review:

There are two things that you should probably know about Melbourne prog-death outfit Growth. First of all they are ambitious – I mean what other band jumps head first into their career with a trilogy of albums exploring something as deep as mental illness. And secondly they are a band that will never die wondering. As a band they try everything humanly possible on this album and unlike some other bands out there they live up to their prog description by wearing it as a badge of honour.

From the opening of first track “Cigarette Burns” you know that The Smothering Arms Of Mercy is going to be like no other album that you have heard this year. It opens like a band warming up before a gig, each instrument is all over the place and then everything falls into place as Luke Frizon’s (ex Jack The Stripper) powerful vocals hit… it is at that moment that you know that you are about to experience something very special with this album.

Next track, “The Treatment For Melancholy” has a more traditional opening but the prog side of Growth comes to the fore which crazy and edgy guitar work from Tristan Barnes while Frizon’s manic screams of “let me go” take this track into a dark yet brilliant realm that few other bands have ventured into this year.

That wide difference between Growth and any Aussie artists this year becomes even more apparent with “Fortress Of Flesh And Bone” which starts with some slow, moody guitar that literally has the audience hearing every moment of reflection from Barnes. Then throughout the tracks we are treated to an onslaught of Frizon’s vocals while each instrument seems to be doing its own thing while at the same time also working in unison to bring us some of the most pleasant prog-death that you are ever likely to hear.

Even the more traditional sounding tracks like “Our Lady Of The Hanging Heart,” “Lead Us To Our Glorious Times” and “Darkly It Tightens Its Grip” are made ten times better by Frizon’s amazing vocals while the manic sound of the band’s instrumental side returns on “Soul Rot.”

Again “Something Follows” sees the strong instrumental side of Growth come to the fore and the band’s brilliance is there for all to hear on an epic closing track that never lets up for the entire 11 minutes of its life. It is a track of an epic scale but is sheer brilliance.

I have hear some great albums in 2020 but none even come close to the amazing, epic nature of “The Smothering Arms Of Mercy.” This is an album like no other and heralds the start of a band that is surely going to become one of the heavy greats.

Rating (out of 5):

Artist: Elephant Gun

Album: Now To Survive

Date Of Release: 20th November, 2020

Label: Dinner For Wolves

Track Listing:

  1. Kill Street Blues
  2. Devil On The Dawn
  3. Now To Survive
  4. Mexicana
  5. Surrounded
  6. Caeser
  7. She
  8. In The Light
  9. Handspan
  10. In Hell
  11. Titanic

Review:

There are just some bands that really take you back to a time and place whenever you hear them. Yes, I am going to sound like an old codger when I say this but one listen to the brand new Elephant Gun album and I was transported back to my uni days. Back to a very well spent youth that saw me in live music venues every Friday and Saturday night eager to hear bands like Magic Dirt, The Mark Of Cain and Spiderbait plying their wares. And while Elephant Gun perhaps never reached the lofty heights of the others they were certainly a favourite with the other reprobates that I called friends during my tertiary education.

Flash forward 20 years and Elephant Gun have just dropped a brand new album… an album that thankfully doesn’t change too much from what they were doing two decades ago… and an album I should say that is one of the best damn alternative rock albums you will hear this year.

So many of the bands that I listened to back then have returned over the years and many have made one simple mistake – they try so hard to be ‘new’ that they forget the sound that made people fall in love with them so many years before. Luckily, Elephant Gun haven’t made that mistake. Take one listen to the opening track on Now To Survive, the terrific “Kill Street Blues”, and you straight away hear a familiar alternative rock sound that takes you back to those late 90s live venues in St Kilda and Fitzroy.

If anything has changed it is the fact that Elephant Gun have musically become more mature and seem to be a little bit braver with some of the choices they make. From the haunting opening of “Devil On The Dawn” through to the smooth hard rock sound of “Handspan” there is a feeling though that this is a band that have found their sound and want to share it with the fans that have missed them so much.

The catchiness of tracks like “Surrounded” and “Titanic” certainly doesn’t take anything away from the rawness of Elephant Gun… in fact the band sounds heavier and harder than ever. Then there are “Mexicana,” “Caesar” and “In The Light” that are so raw that you would swear that they were recorded live.

There are two gems on this album though that make the record something really special. First off there is the sensational “She” that showcases the amazing guitar work of Michael Barrett and Todd Angus while Angus’ vocals seem to take the song to a whole new level. Then there is the amazing guitar driven “In Hell” that shows that there is still a place for old school alternative rock in 2020.

Now To Survive isn’t a band trying to re-live their glory days, this is an album that show that Elephant Gun are just as relevant today than they ever were. This is a stunning album that shows for this band the best may still be yet to come.

Rating (out of 5):