Category: Alternative

 

One of the most experimental band in Australia at the moment has to be Sydney’s Party Dozen. Brought together by saxophonist Kirsty Tickle and percussionist Jonathan Boulet the outfit is what the term ‘wall of sound’ was created for.

Party Dozen’s debut album back in 2017 was well received critically and since then the band have toured relentlessly even appearing at Falls Festival and Dark Mofo. The band have now released their brand new album – titled Pray For The Party Dozen – so I sat down to have a chat with them about it.

“We were really just trying to push our boundaries out,” says Boulet when I ask him what the band were hoping to achieve with the new album. “We just wanted to push them out and see if we could be louder, to see if we could be softer and we were just trying to see how many different directions we could take this in because we have a pretty simple formula – we have drums, sax and loops. So we just wanted to get faster, louder and slower and try all of that in a new space. So yeah, we went after all of that.”

The style of music that Party Dozen plays also changes the way they approach the song-writing process. “I think most of it is vibe based,” admits Boulet. “If we get a cool loop going that gives you a feeling then it is worth pursuing. We create loops and then you can hear a song pretty quickly. It just kind of forms itself around it and you find yourself envisioning it, so if that happens we know that it is a good loop and we know that we should try to pursue that.”

“I mean there are just so many things that inspire us,” says Boulet continuing. “I mean I love old movies, just the fucked up nature of humankind and it is all that kind of stuff that inspires us, you know.”

Of course being a movie lover myself Boulet’s comment about being inspired by old films opened up a rabbit hole that I couldn’t help but go down and I asked him what kinds of movies inspire him and what does he find himself doing when they inspire him. “I’m not sure,” he says laughing as we talk about it. “Just recently I’ve found myself watching a lot of old films on this streaming service that I use that shows a lot of old films. They are not necessarily financially successful films but more so like independent films and imported films I guess. I never stop a film because I have had a spark of inspiration I get a vibe going and that seems to influence our art and then whenever we make a video clip I am always trying to make them look and feel like an old film – there is always a very unique aesthetic to it I guess.”

Our conversation shifts and I ask Boulet whether or not the band felt any pressure this time around because of how well received their debut album was. “I don’t think we did,” he says after thinking for a moment. “I think that’s the thing with this band, we have created it so that can’t happen. Like it is really is a self-serving, self indulgent project so whatever happens with this we don’t really care. It is really nice to get good feedback, like we love that people are into it and follow us but if there is negativity or somebody doesn’t like what we are doing then we don’t really give a fuck. This band is funny to me, it is so ridiculous that it has a sense of humour. So if anybody doesn’t like anything we can be like – well that was sarcastic.”

Pray For The Party Dozen is out now through Grupo Records.

 

 

Art As Catharsis have released a new video for ‘Rabbit’, the latest single from Sydney-based psych rock outfit Turtle Skull.

Shot over a week in a sun lit studio, ‘Rabbit’ gives an intimate glimpse into Turtle Skull’s recording process for their upcoming album, Monoliths. Produced and edited by Ali Vann, the clip shows the band as they go back and forth writing, recording, listening and playing music in an unfolding, organic way.

“Rabbit is really just raw and behind the scenes look at the recording process,” guitarist Dean McLeod explains. “(Video producer and editor) Ali Cabb was there with us for recording and was able to capture some great footage. So not so much a grand design as just a great montage of the recording as it happened. I don’t think it could have been such an intimate video if Ali wasn’t such a close friend of the band.”

As a record, Monoliths undeniably displays a much more fleshed-out realisation of the doom, psych rock and indie fusion that launched the five-piece into the public eye following their self-titled release. Tipping between heavy and catchy is the strength of Monoliths – the roar of the fuzzed-out amps is counterbalanced by feather-light vocals, creating a contrast as clear and harmonious as sun and sky. For fans old and new, this is fusion at it’s finest – a record with something to offer every listener.

While the final product contains a faint similarity to the sounds of King Gizzard & The Lizzard Wizard, Khruangbin, or Kikagku Moyo, Monolith is distinctively its own beast. It’s a record that heaves and soars, taking joyous compositions and steering them headfirst into a realm of fuzz and fury.

Turtle Skull’s Monoliths is out 28 August 2020 on Art As Catharsis and Kozmik Artifactz.

 

Heralded as “the most polarizing metal band since Limp Bizkit” by Revolver MagazineEMMURE has always let the music do the talking, and they don’t plan on stopping. Today the band has announced that they are releasing a new studio album, Hindsight, digitally, on June 26, 2020 via Sharptone Records. Physical copies will be released July 24, 2020.

In support of today’s announce, Emmure has released a new single ‘Uncontrollable Descent’ off the forthcoming album.

Regarding the new single, lead vocalist Frankie Palmari shares, “The label asked me to attach a quote about the new album and this new single so that there can be some words to chew on as this press release goes out. I am not sure what to say. I simply hope the fans enjoy the song as much as we do and look forward to the full album releasing this year. Beyond that, I don’t believe in explaining what the music is supposed to be about. In fact, I consider it creatively bankrupt to rob people of a chance to experience, dissect and create their own unique ownership of what a song potentially represents to them. I want people to hear the music and take away whatever feeling they want. If an artist is outright telling you why a song or album was written, not only do I personally find it pretentious, but they might as well spoon feed you your meals and pick out your clothes for you, since you’re clearly incapable of thinking for yourself. What makes explaining it even worse than what I already mentioned, is that the message within is literally and figuratively already spelled out for you, so if you can’t figure it out or at the very least surmise your own explanation, then you’re better off just reading a dictionary if you’re too lazy discover the meaning in something for yourself.”

Hindsight continues the creative partnership between the band’s singer (and sole remaining original member), Frankie Palmari, and whirlwind guitarist Joshua Travis, who injected fresh energy into 2017’s Look at Yourself. It reunites the band with producer WZRD BLD, aka Drew Fulk (Dance Gavin Dance, Motionless In White, Bad Wolves). But where its predecessor viciously fought through suicidal ideation, feelings of hopelessness, and failure, Hindsight is somehow more savage and refined.

Emmure’s confrontational spirit and irresistible hooks won them fans on Rockstar Mayhem, Warped Tour, Knotfest, countless festivals, and on tour with a diverse range of bands that includes Five Finger Death Punch, Killswitch Engage, As I Lay Dying, and co-headliners Whitechapel. Across eight albums – like the genre classics Speaker of the Dead (2011), and Eternal Enemies (2014) – Emmure battled their way into the extreme music scene like uninvited but necessary guests.

The band’s moniker references “immurement,” a particularly brutal form of execution where a person was trapped behind walls and simply left to die. Emmure has defied all death sentences, however, from without and within. And while they’ve never been one to court awards or accolades, the fact that heavy metal tastemaker Loudwire put them alongside iconoclastic troublemakers GG Allin and Marilyn Manson in a list of 10 Bands That Didn’t Care If You Hated Them, just before the release of Hindsight, was exactly the kind of press to earn Frankie’s retweet.

 

Tenacious, raw, and uncompromising in a sea of fakery, Emmure proudly stands apart.

 

Hindsight is out June 26, 2020 via SharpTone Records

Kate Miller-Heidke’s ethereal voice makes this empathetic gesture on her new single, “This is Not Forever.” The sentiment behind the song is simple but weighty – a plea for a loved one to hand over their hurt.

“I could see someone very close to me was falling into a depression. I’d seen it before and I wanted to let them know I was there for them in a very serious way. The song was written about six months ago, before all this happened,” she explains, referring to the global shutdown amidst the spread of Covid-19 – a context that imbues “This is Not Forever” with new resonance. “Listening to it in these changed times, I feel it more deeply than I did before. It just seems like the right time to put it out.”

Cinematic in scope and sound, “This is Not Forever” is a testament to people: trusting them with your ideas and your emotions, and allowing yourself to be close to them emotionally if not physically, just for now.

That belief extends into the music video for “This is Not Forever”. A collaboration with director Christiaan Van Vuuren and choreographer Lucas Jervies, the poignant video sees dancers trade the stage for their living rooms and backyards, encapsulating the hopeful spirit of the song in communal motion. Shot in isolation by each dancer on their phone and pieced together by Van Vuuren, you can watch the video here:

In late 2019, just months after Kate brought her unique blend of indie-pop, folk and opera to the Eurovision Song Contest with her song‘Zero Gravity’ and where she was also the first Australian artist to win the Marcel Bezençon Artistic Award (an award presented to the best artist as voted by the Eurovision commentators) – she threw herself into another new challenge. Paired up with producer Justin Stanley and songwriter Ingrid Andress at the APRA AMCOS SongHubs on the Gold Coast, and challenged to make a song in a day, the trio embarked on a collaboration that had evaded Kate during her career.

“I’d always kind of shied away from the pop song-writing tradition of baring your soul to strangers, and then writing a song. But I think after the whole crazy Eurovision experience, how exposing that was and that super hectic year, I was just feeling confident enough for the first time to do that, to sit in a room with strangers and write a song that way. And I’m so glad I did, because it’s really changed my whole approach.”

Kate had been writing music for over two decades, during which time she followed the path laid by her idols, one that involved channelling her deepest feelings alone in a room. “It was personal. It was like a pure channel, between the muse and the songwriter.”  But following her experience at Eurovision, she realised there had been seeds of fear and social anxiety that led to her distrust of doing it any other way.

“After Eurovision I felt like, I can do anything now. Nothing’s going to be as exposing; I’ve been as vulnerable as I can be.”

In surrendering to the collaboration, she tapped into the intimacy of the song, and found that writing with others led to her ideas becoming more distilled, more effective.

Kate Miller-Heidke is one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, a sublime vocalist who effortlessly traverses the worlds of contemporary pop, folk and opera. She has released four studio albums including O Vertigo! which debuted at number 4 on the ARIA Albums Chart, Nightflight, which reached number 2, and Curiouser, which reached double platinum sales and spawned the multi-platinum hits ‘Last Day On Earth’ and ‘Caught In The Crowd’. Her yet to be titled fifth studio album is slated for release later this year.

The past couple of years have seen some major changes for Japanese hardcore outfit Crossfaith. While the band has continues to build a strong fanbase they decided to leave the label that they had been with for a number of years and set up their own label in Japan. While that kind of decision sounds like it would lead to great stress I recently found out while chatting to the band’s front-man Kenta Kole that it has made them feel like they were working with a blank canvas as they prepared to work on their new Species EP which is out this week.

“We didn’t have any concept at all with this album,” he says with a happy tone in his voice. “We just decided to make every song stronger than anything we had ever done in the past. That was our only mindset. We had also started our own label and this is the very first record from the label so it felt like a new beginning and working on this EP felt like it brought us right back to the very start. That was a really great feeling and it seemed to give us a really strong confidence with this album.”

As our discussion goes on we talk more about the band’s decision to start their own label and what it means for them now. “We had been with Sony with five years I think,” says Kole. “They were a great partner but we needed to make a decision and we made the decision to start our own label. That gave us the chance to go out by ourselves and that was one of the main reasons why we decided to start the new label. And yeah it is tough but we needed to make the decision and we decided that we just had to do it. We now have to make all the decisions ourselves.”

The move also means that Kole and the rest of his band mates now feel a more sense of freedom with their work. “That is exactly right,” he agrees when I ask him whether they feel freer now. “Sony is also a major label, they are one of the biggest in the world and sometimes label like that can ask you do to stuff or ask stupid questions. We were lucky that we had some good guys at Sony and we never got any stupid questions, but now we feel like we are freer although we do have more responsibility aside from our music. That means we are free but at the same time we do have major responsibilities… I think that is the major difference.”

With that decision giving them a blank canvas to work on with this album I ask Kole what kind of things that meant for them as they started to work on the Species EP. “With this EP we used some different things that were inspired by 90s culture. I was born in 1988 so the 1990s in our generation. I looked back at the 90s and I felt that the 90s vibe has more excitement compared to right now so i wanted to use the 90s vibe and the 90s style.”

“We were looking at the movies… movies like The Matrix,” explains Kole when I ask him what kinds of things from the 90s did the band use for inspiration for the album. “I think that came out in 1997 or 1998 and when it came out it was like it blew my mind with the movie. I had never seen that kind of movie before when I was young… I got so many shocks. And that music at that time, there was Nu-Metal was so big. Back in the 90s rock bands were the kings but at the moment I would say that rock bands are getting weaker so it was good for me to go back and take a look at those movements because I still think that rock music is one of the most exciting kinds of music in the world. But yeah the 1990s had so many great cultures especially when you think of things like movies and like PlayStation, there was so many new things, it wasn’t just improving the 1990s had so many new things, so many cool new things. So we wanted this EP to be like that, and we had that idea before we even started out with the EP.”

 

Species EP is out on May 22nd through UNFD.

 

 

Last month, The Used called upon fans to submit videos of their frontline fighters as part of a very special project sharing “Every day you wake up and leave your loved ones to fight to keep us safe. We want to showcase them in our new music video.”

Today, the band has unveiled the music video for “The Lighthouse (feat. Mark Hoppus)” featuring Nurses, Doctors, First Responders, Gas Station Attendants, Grocery Store Clerks, Delivery People and other Essential Workers as well as members of The Used and Mark Hoppus at home with their families.

Fans can watch the heartwarming video today at https://smarturl.it/BeYourLighthouse. It is a beautiful tribute to the people that are tirelessly working to keep all of us safe through these unprecedented times. The video also showcases how truly diverse and dedicated The Used family is.

Speaking to the message behind the track, front man Bert McCracken shared the following message:
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” – William Shakespeare

Doubt can be an avalanche. It can cascade out and infect everything it touches. Inspiration is also infectious. The original chorus lyric was “I can’t be your lighthouse”, until I was reminded by my 6 year old daughter that I can be and I am. It helps to remember that we all have the capability to inspire someone in our own way. Please enjoy our song The Lighthouse as much as we do. Love, Bert

“The Lighthouse (feat. Mark Hoppus)” comes from the band’s recently released eighth studio album Heartwork, which was released last month via Big Noise. Heartwork celebrated a strong first week, locking in #2 spots on both the Current Alternative and Record Label Independent Album charts, #3 on both Current Rock and Top Current Album charts as well as landing in the Billboard Top 200 at the #87 spot.

The album arrived with the unbound spirit of the pair of platinum albums that first introduced The Used to the world, mixed with the dramatic air of their gold-certified third. The emotion, sincerity, and vulnerability found on The Used (2002) and In Love and Death (2004) is more urgent and insistent than ever on Heartwork, a diverse 16-song offering filled of self-examination, hyper-literate exploration, political pyromania, and keenly self-aware yet unrestrained whimsy.

Songs like recent singles “Blow Me”, “Paradise Lost, a poem by John Milton” and “Cathedral Bell” take their place alongside some of the best-known jams to emerge from the frenetic “screamo” world, anthems that conquered hearts and minds and Active Rock. “The Bird and the Worm,” “The Taste of Ink,” “All That I’ve Got,” “I Caught Fire,” and “Blood On My Hands” are beloved for their raw emotion, authentic defiance, and inviting empathy, all of which etched them into the spiritual DNA of a legion of likeminded listeners across the globe.

Twenty years ago, The Used was brought to life and has since released a collection of albums that shaped the space of the alternative rock scene. High energy live shows, gut wrenching relatable lyrics, and melodies that blended pop sensibility and hard rock was the perfect combination to make an everlasting impression on fans globally. Heartwork is exactly the album Used fans need right now.

Fans can stream Heartwork and purchase exclusive merch bundles today at https://theused.ffm.to/heartwork. The Used is Bert McCracken (Vocals), Jepha (Bass), Dan Whitesides (Drums) and Joey Bradford (Guitar). Heartwork is out now.

 

Fearless Records will be hosting a one-time only, global event featuring the label roster. Fearless At Home will take place Sunday May 10 at 5am AEST via the label YouTube channel!

Today, Fearless has announced which artists will be participating, making Fearless At Home a “can’t miss” event. On deck are acoustic performances from As It IsGrayscaleIce Nine KillsLocketPlain White T’sSet It OffThe AlmostThe Plot In YouWage War + The Pretty Reckless.

Fans can also expect appearances by All That RemainsAugust Burns RedCapstanEat Your Heart Out (AUS), iDKHOW, I PrevailKill the LightsMovementsMy Kid BrotherOceans Ate AlaskaStarsetThe Word AliveUnderoathVarials, and Volumes.

This live-streamed, virtual event also functions like a “festival” to help raise funds for bands + crew.

Fearless will also releasing two event-branded merch items where all net proceeds will be donated to Crew Nation. Be sure and tune in to Fearless At Home on Sunday, May 10 or be felled by FOMO!

 

Fearless Records will be hosting a one-time only, global event featuring most Fearless artists, and even a new artist signing announcement!

Fearless at Home will take place Saturday May 9th at 3pm ET/12pm PT (Sunday May 10 5am AEST) via the label’s YouTube channel. The website Fearlessathome.com is now live as well with more information!

Expect everything from live acoustic sets to fun, at-home segments. You will see our bands like you NEVER have before. This live-streamed, virtual event also functions like a “festival” to help raise funds for bands + crew.

Fearless will also be releasing two event-branded merch items where all net proceeds will be donated to Crew Nation.

Details about which bands will be taking part in Fearless at Home will be revealed shortly. So stayed tuned and set a calendar reminder in your phone for May 10th 5am AEST!

 

For Canberra rockers Biilmann 2020 is turning into a really big year. The band kicked off 2020 with the release of their powerful debut single “Bad Man/Good Intentions” that was quickly picked up by over fifty radio stations including Triple M. Now the band are about to release their debut EP so I sat down and had a chat with frontman Jack Biilmann to find out a little more about the band that everybody is talking about.

“This is a new band that my brother and I hatched a few years ago,” says Biilmann when we begin our chat by talking about how the band started out. “We played around with the idea for awhile because I play as a singer/songwriter and have another side to my career and I have always done that. But I have always wanted to rock out and I have that beast inside of me and I had done a lot of solo touring and I just felt like I needed a break from all of that. I also needed a new exciting project to inspire me.”

“At the same time I had been writing a lot of rock & roll riffs,” he says continuing. “My brother listens to predominantly heavy music – stuff like Parkway Drive – and we are not as heavy as that but anything heave he kind of thrives on so we got together and just started to write these heavy riffs. Then Toddy who plays bass with my solo project he is really into rock as well so he came on board and then we decided we wanted to thicken it up so we brought in another guitarist and then suddenly we had this four piece rock band.”

With the band members all seeming to like different kinds of music I asked Biilmann what it was like the first few times they all got together and tried to find a sound for the band. “Yeah we all do have different musical backgrounds,” he admits. “But we had all kind of agreed that we wanted to just play something really heavy. We wanted really heavy, tight riffs that created that really heavy rock sound. Basically with all that in mind we just all brought our influences along so the band just took off with the rest of the stuff. We were all on the same page with what we wanted to achieve and we were all strictly going for the one thing and we just all brought it together with all the boys from the different backgrounds.”

When it comes to the lyric writing for the band though everything falls on Biilmann himself. “I do all the lyric writing,” he says. “Usually with my solo stuff over the years I have written about common things, things that are happening in my life and telling stories, as a singer/songwriter that is kind of the road that you go down, but with this this felt like I wanted to create a little more mystery in the minds of the listener. There are a couple of songs that have that story telling element but that is always going to shine through with anything I do I think, but I think really I just wanted to put things out there and the listener could have their own take rather than it just being a black and white story.”

With the band in lockdown at the moment they have had to cancel their upcoming shows but help them out by buying a copy of the EP and a merch pack from their Facebook page.

 

Sink Like A Stone EP is out now.