Tagged: Australia

PLAYING WITH SHARKS, the feature documentary from director Sally Aitken and producer Bettina Dalton, has been selected to screen at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival in the World Cinema Documentary Competition section.
The WildBear Entertainment production is one of only 10 films from around the world to be chosen for this prestigious and highly competitive section.
PLAYING WITH SHARKS is a powerful and visually sumptuous 90-minute feature documentary about Valerie Taylor,  living legend and icon in the underwater world. A glamorous shark hunter in the 1950s, Valerie was a champion slayer with ruthless aim before a personal epiphany transformed her into a passionate marine conservationist – notably for the ocean’s scariest creature, the shark. Long before anyone else, Valerie dared to get close. This is her incredible true story, swimming against the tide of human misconception of sharks and putting herself on the front line for sharks for over 70 years.
Featuring a stranger than fiction script, the making of Jaws, a magnetic heroine, and that most charismatic and terrifying of screen creatures, sharks; the film draws on incredible re-mastered film footage captured over 50 years. Valerie’s astonishing bravery underwater will change the way we perceive sharks once and for all.
Director Sally Aitken said: “To launch this film at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival is a dream come true. Valerie’s daredevil exploits and her astounding rich underwater archive are a potent mix for any director. It is a privilege to sink my teeth into her pioneering story. That she is still diving and fighting for sharks at the age of 85 shows Valerie’s incredible passion and that her thirst for adventure remains undiminished. Her life-affirming journey as an unlikely conservationist proves to all of us just what is possible with our interconnectedness to the natural world, if we allow it.”
Producer Bettina Dalton said: “We are absolutely thrilled and honoured to have this film accepted to Sundance and grateful to all those who recognised the power of Valerie’s story and the importance of honouring her achievements so all can bear witness to the fragility of our oceans and feel empowered to protect them as Valerie has.
Valerie Taylor said: “When my producer told me my story was accepted by Sundance it was the most exciting news in a long and difficult year. It took many talented people to produce this piece of ocean history but without the wonderful footage shot by my late husband Ron this film could never have been made. He would be so very proud. “
The Sundance Film Festival takes place from January 28  – February 3, 2021.

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


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):

2020 has been a taxing ride for Australian born, platinum-selling artist Orianthi. Used to a heavy touring schedule that takes her right around the world like the rest of us 2020 has seen her stuck at home because of the worldwide pandemic.

“It has been pretty difficult, I am not going to lie,” says the gifted guitarist and singer as we sit down to talk about her first studio album in seven years. “Emotionally it has been pretty taxing. I really want to be able to see my family and friends and even over here (in the US) I haven’t been able to see that many people. It has got pretty bad out here in LA, we must be heading for another lockdown.”

The one saving grace for Orianthi in this tumultuous year has been the release of her new album O earlier this month. “I have been keeping to just seeing a small circle of people and have been doing a lot of press for my album,” she explains. “It is kind of crazy releasing an album during a pandemic but hopefully a lot of people will be helped by the album and entertained by it. But I really can’t wait for the word to get better again so we can begin to tour again… that would be awesome.”

The great news for Orianthi was that she was one of the lucky artists that didn’t have to find a way to record her album during the pandemic. “The album was actually finished a year ago,” she says as we talk about other artists who have had to face the recording in a pandemic hurdle. “We recorded it in Nashville with producer Marti Frederiksen who has worked with everybody including Aerosmith, Faith Hill, Buckcherry. He has done so much great stuff and he has been a friend of mine since I was 20 years old.”

“I went to Nashville and started to talk to Marti and he was like ‘let’s make a record’,” she says with a laugh. “So I was like ‘awesome’ and we went straight in and we didn’t over think it or anything, we just had so much fun. And you know what, one of the weirdest things was that one of the first songs we recorded was the track called ‘Contagious’ and we wrote that a year ago. For awhile we thought that would be the first single and I was like ‘no we can’t do that, that would be so wrong’. So instead we put out ‘Sinners Hymn’ and then ‘Impulsive’. But it has been pretty crazy because as you would know musicians are very reliant on touring and that’s how artists make money because records are basically free for everybody and touring is the way you get your music out there. That is why I make a record, because I want to tour it.”

O is out now through Frontiers.

At times over the years it has felt like the compilation album is dead and buried. I still remember those days of buying the latest music magazine and then having to get past that sticky stuff (what the hell was that?) to get my prized sampler of new music off the front of the cover.

Well Australia’s very own Rue Morgue Records has brought the compilation album back as they deliver Murder In The Rue Morgue Vol 1 that delivers a killer lot of music from the likes of artists like Fierce Diety, Dan Brittain and Espionage. Another band on the album are hard rock outfit The Vendettas and I recently caught up with them to chat about their track that can be found on the compilation.

“We’ve been together now for about fifteen years,” says vocalist Steve Redden as we start to delve a little into the history of The Vendettas. “Band members have come in and out over that time but Jared the guitarist and myself have been writing together for about 10 years now. In that time we have also released two full length albums and an EP as well and the track that you will hear on Murder In The Rue Morgue is off our third album that we have recorded.”

It is that third album that has led to the relationship forming between the band and Rue Morgue Records. “We had just finished the album back in 2018,” explains Steve. “We had released our other two albums independently but this time we felt that the songs had a little bit more of a commercial sound to them so we wanted to get some help from some labels and some publishing licensing and stuff like that so we sent it out to John (the owner of Rue Morgue) and he listened to it the next day and he was emailing us back after he listened to each song saying how much he liked it. He had a relationship with Golden Robot Records so passed it onto them.”

From there the vinyl relationship that The Vendettas have with Rue Morgue Records has grown and grown to the point where their single “Face To Face” can now be found on Murder In The Rue Morgue Vol 1.

“So we picked the first track on the album, “Face To Face,” says Steve with a laugh. “I think that resinated with John in the very early days because that was the one song that he told us that he wanted for the compilation… he let us know that before we even discussed it.”

“It is a bit of different track for us,” he goes on to explain. “Previously the rock songs that we used to do were punchy and straight from the beginning to end but this one has got a nice long intro. It actually builds for like a minute and a half before any of the vocals even come in. We now like to open with the tracks as well because you can feel the vibe of the rock because the guitar starts and then the bass comes in underneath it and then you have the drums build on the toms and it is just something that you do sometimes think whether or not an audience will sit there for a minute or a half but it does work.”

I finish off the interview by asking Steve how important compilations and labels like Rue Morgue are in the current musical environment. “People like John are so important to the scene,” says Steve with admiration in his voice. “Trying to promote your own band is a tough thing to do and I have been saying to a few people lately that there are two parts to the Melbourne live music scene. There is the rock scene and then there is the rock family. I think it is so important to build that family side of things, so if John ever needs anything from us we will do it no worries because of what he has done for us and vice versa. That’s why I think that having bands on a compilation like this you do feel that sense of family because we are all promoting this together and then we started promoting each other’s shows and each other’s singles and I think that is really important.”

Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol 1 is out now.


As Tumbleweed get set to approach their 30th anniversary in 2021, they return with a new single, ‘Shadowland‘ in 2020, the first new music from the band since 2013’s comeback album ‘Sounds From The Other Side’.

It was 2010 that saw the original five members of the group (Richie Lewis, Lenny Curley, Paul Hausmeister, Jay Curley and Steve O’Brien) reform for the first time in well over a decade to play a run of shows including Homebake and the Big Day Out. They followed up the live experience by getting back to the studio to write and record what would be Tumbleweed’s fifth album.

The album had followed a productive run in the nineties that included two ep’s (Theatre Of Gnomes & Weedseed) alongside the albums Tumbleweed and Galactaphonic before O’Brien and Hausmeister departed the band. Things continued on during the late nineties with the release of the albums Return To Earth and Mumbo Jumbo before the band faded out in 2000.

It was a chance meeting in 2009 between Hausmeister and Lewis that sparked the classic line up reformation and gave the band a new lease on life. Following on from the reformation tours and festivals as well as the release of Sounds From The Other Side, the band were back in full swing before the sudden passing of bass player Jay Curley in 2014 put things on hold once more.

There was uncertainty if the band would return to the stage or studio again but when they decided to get in the jam room with Jamie Cleaves on bass (who had grown up inspired by and was a long time friend of Jay’s), the time felt right to for Tumbleweed to once again return.

Following their own tours and a spot on the national touring festival Day On The Green, the band started writing a bunch of fresh tunes and were ready to get back in the studio. Enter Australian music legend Rob Younger, the frontman of Radio Birdman and The New Christs who also has a huge list of production credits from Died Pretty to The Stems and plenty of others in between.

A conversation between Richie and Steve in early 2020 led to them asking Younger if he’d be interested in producing their new music.
“I was always a big fan of Rob Younger’s work as a singer and as a producer and always wanted to work with him, when we had the idea to record a string of 45’s, we really wanted Rob to produce, considering he was responsible for producing most of our favourite Australian singles. We live in the same town, we have shared band members and crossed paths for the past 25 years but we have never worked together.” states Richie.

Rob was into the idea and before long they were in the studio, the first taste of those sessions is the new single ‘Shadowland’“We surrendered to the process, we listened to his guidance, we learned a lot. We’ve all got a lot of respect for Rob Younger, we wanted to impress him, he brought the best out in us,” Richie says of the experience working with Rob.

A classic sounding Tumbleweed song that has been refined by Rob’s production, it also pushes Richie’s vocals to territories previously not really explored and questions the strange times we live in. “Shadowland is about the uncertainty of the future, these are strange times, dangerous and divisive times. When the truth is not believed, there is little you can trust or count on,” is how Richie describes the content behind the new single.

Tumbleweed’s new single ‘Shadowland’ is out now via Farmer & The Owl/BMG.
Listen here.

The single will feature as a double A side 7” with the next single Rebellion out November 27th.


Frailmind are the freshest name in hardcore coming out of Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Born out of several Brisbane bands in the hardcore/metalcore scene, Frailmind’s members shared a mutual love of modern hardcore – and a collective desire to explore new musical avenues! Today they are bringing their latest effort since their debut EP dropped in February this year – new single ‘I, Expire’.

The single (mixed and mastered by Tim Wheaton) will see its release into all good digital stores and streaming platforms on Friday September 18 – and all options for purchase/streaming will be available at http://ffm.to/frailmind_ie.

The single comes with an aggressive and hard-hitting clip, shot and edited by Andrew Vaughan (FANG).

Vocalist Keenan Kuz says that I, Expire was written “…with the idea of mental health and illness in mind. Lyrically this song puts into words the emotions, experiences, and journey of mental illness, that myself and many others have experienced in life. Specifically, putting trust into people that aren’t worth your time, and fighting through hardships growing up.”

“Mental health is a really important topic to discuss and tackle, as it often goes unnoticed and needs to be addressed.  Now more than ever people experiencing mental illnesses need support, considering the global pandemic is causing mass isolation.”

Mixing the rawness and aggression of hardcore with the groove of nu metal, Frailmind proudly wear their influences on their sleeves. This collective creative vision allowed the band to produce their debut EP ‘Mortal’ in a natural and organic way, playing to each members strengths to create a cohesive and aggressive piece of music.

Frailmind are: Keenan Kuz on Vocals, Cameron Yates on Bass, Sam Ballinger on Guitar and Jesse Dobbyn on Drums – collectively as musicians, their previous bands have shared the stage alongside Norma Jean, Kublai Khan TX, Chelsea Grin, Atilla, Deez Nuts, Make Them Suffer, The Plot In You, Aversions Crown, Polaris, Fit For A King and more.

Frailmind’s new single ‘I, Expire’ will see its release on Friday September 18 in all digital stores and outlets at http://ffm.to/frailmind_ie.