Tag Archives: rock

Falloe – Falloe

The press release for Melbourne-based band Falloe playfully quips that it’s members “got into music for free booze and women, but have had limited success in both”. Maybe their haircuts are keeping the ladies at bay. Beards-a-plenty, dreadlocks thicker than those sported by the Predator and one member boasting what can only be described as “Weird Al Yankovich” hair, these guys need a barber. Stat.

Hairy follicle follies aside, the self-titled second album from Falloe is rather enjoyable. Woozy slide guitars and hushed vocal harmonies make ballads poignant without being sappy and the folk-tinged rockers make me want to get drunk with “salt-of-the-earth” types. Looks like someone has to dig through his wardrobe to find his jean jacket.

Artist: Falloe
Album: Falloe
Label: Independent

Snag some mp3s (courtesy of Triple J Unearthed)

Buy Falloe Falloe

*previously published in Rip It Up issue #1206

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Ty Segall & White Fence – Hair

Hair is a masterfully crafted ode to psychedelic and garage rock from the 60s and 70s. The record tells the story of Ty Segall and White Fence, two longhaired hippies of the Age of Aquarius living a bohemian lifestyle and fighting against the conscription of writing shitty pop songs in the modern musical landscape.

The duo uses their music to rebel against record labels and society’s so-called “Top 40”. Will Ty and White Fence succumb to the pressures of conventional songwriting? Or will they succeed in their quest to liberate the brainwashed masses that greedily consume manufactured bubblegum pop?

Artist: Ty Segall & White Fence
Album: Hair
Label: Drag City

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The Cribs – In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull

For a decade we have watched The Cribs grow from their lo-fi roots, and hung on every self-deprecating word. Even legendary guitarist Johnny Marr was not immune to the innate charm of the DIY garage rock the Jarman brothers cooked up.

Granted, The Cribs have never been wholly original. Their debut was released on the coattails of all those other rambunctious British bands of the early 2000s, however The Cribs’ ability to write killer hooks and towering choruses has given them a significantly longer lifespan than their contemporaries. Their fifth LP, In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull, is easily their best yet.

Artist: The Cribs
Album: In The Belly Of The Brazen Bully
Label: Wichita

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Wavves – Life Sux EP

At this point in Nathan Williams’ career it is safe to say that he has become the buzzband reincarnation of Willie Nelson.  Oh, wait, Willie Nelson isn’t dead?  Huh.  Well good for him.  Do I want to hit this?  Of course.  What was I saying?  Wavves.  Right.

It seems to me like naming your EP Life Sux is an open invitation to journalists to trash your music.  Maybe that was the intention.  But he’s just doing his thing, hanging out with his buds, making music. I wonder if Williams only wants to be Dave Grohl because it’s a pain in the ass to spell Krist Novoselic.

Artist: Wavves
Album: Life Sux
Label: Ghost Ramp

Buy Wavves Life Sux

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The Smashing Pumpkins – Oceania

Supposedly Oceania is part of the 44-track mega-project Teargarden by Kaleidyscope, or whatever. It is also officially the seventh (or ninth, depending on who you ask) album from Billy Corgan’s angsty, grunge peddling Smashing Pumpkins.

It comes as no surprise that Corgan has been trying to make a worthy successor to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness since 1995. You can’t blame the guy for trying, but Corgan is a victim of his own pomposity. Singing about quasars with a straight face is risky business, but Corgan whole-heartedly believes that listeners are hanging on his every word.

Unfortunately Corgan seems to have forgotten that he was able to unite a generation with simple words like, “Today is the greatest day I’ve ever known”.

Artist: Smashing Pumpkins
Album: Oceania
Label: EMI

Buy Smashing Pumpkins Oceania

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The Enemy – Streets In The Sky

In their relatively short career, The Enemy have been criticized for being an inauthentic, manufactured band at nearly every turn.

Most of the resentment stems from the fact that the band spends most of their records preaching about the class struggles and shackles of modern life, while playing to stadiums and darting around the globe in Learjets.

The only sin The Enemy is really guilty of is that they believe they are doing something more meaningful than playing pub rock anthems to drunken Brits that can relate to lyrics like:

“Half the kids who you grew up with,
Were pushin’ prams by the time that they were just sixteen”

Its safe to say that this record continues the downward spiral of self-parody that began with Music For The People.

Artist: The Enemy
Album: Streets In The Sky
Label: Stiff Records

Buy The Enemy Streets In The Sky

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The Raveonettes – Into The Night EP

When a band makes a career out of peddling songs full of dark lyrical themes of murder, drugs, betrayal, lust, crime and suicide, they usually aren’t heralded for releasing catchy pop tunes. Featuring healthy doses of The Jesus & Mary Chain and surf pop, The Raveonettes have enjoyed a lengthy career doing just that.

The duo’s ability to balance depravity and sadness with uptempo beats and fuzzy power chords has always resulted in enjoyable, slightly morose songs that deliver on a visceral level.

The band has stated that the songs on Into The Night are an ode to lost loves, but I had too much fun with this EP to think about a bunch of bitchy exes.

Artist: The Raveonettes
Album: Into The Night EP
Label: The Orchard

Buy The Raveonettes Into the Night

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Shearwater – Animal Joy

When I first glanced at the laughably bad photoshop cover to this album, I thought that the chicken scratch at the top read “Stillwater”; which would’ve been awesome because I’m a big fan of the song “Fever Dog” by the fictional band from the movie Almost Famous.

Instead, Animal Joy is a self-absorbed album with a bloated sense of importance. The running theme throughout the record has something to do with animals, how we should celebrate them, or revert to our animalistic impulses, or some nonsense. In reality, the plodding pace and vocal vibrato wears thin rather quickly. In Shearwater’s defense, pitches love vibrato.

Artist: Shearwater
Album: Animal Joy
Label: Sub Pop

Grab some mp3s here courtesy of Sub Pop

Buy Shearwater Animal Joy

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Without Wolves – Lights Out In Finland

With the likes of Wolf Gang, Wolfmother, Sea Wolf, Wolf People, Wolf & Cub, Wolf Colonel, Wolf Eyes, We Are Wolves, Wolves in the Throne Room, Wolfkin, Turbowolf, Superwolf, Seasons of the Wolf, Tiger Bear Wolf, AIDS Wolf, and Peter and the Wolf, I think it’s safe to say that the wolf is the most overworked animal in indie music. This fact didn’t seem to concern Without Wolves, a band hailing from some “surfing hotbed” in Victoria, Australia.

Without Wolves sound like We Are Scientists if they were fronted by Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump.  It is easy to picture vocalist Harry Newling while hitting a high note: right hand pressed firmly against the strings of his guitar, left hand waving about spastically like Christina Aguilera.

Artist: Without Wolves
Album: Lights Out In Finland
Label: independent

Download mp3s (courtesy of Triple J)

Buy Without Wolves Lights Out In Finland

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