Nic Warnock, R.I.P. Society
TOP 5 BANDS THAT PLAYED THEIR FIRST SHOW IN 2012 THAT DON’T SOUND LIKE THE CLEAN, NUGGETS, GO-BETWEENS OR AN IRONIC TAKE ON ELECTRONIC MUSIC.
Al (one half of MOB, also a member of Whores and Raw Prawn) has been involved in more sets of music over the last few years that have made me glad I left the house than anyone else. Mob is the guitar/electronics/vocal duo of Al and Yuta. Although they don’t sound particularly like them, MOB gives me a similar feeling to when I first discovered Wolf Eyes. Bros that bet on both sides of the coin. No need for reductionary character templates, Cro-Mags on the same page as Kraftwerk. There’s a lot of substance here, and it really makes me feel that a lot of folk doing “dark” or “edgy” electronic music are short sighted, dress up dweebs that are as redundant as the garage rock that they see themselves superior to.
I was going to say they’re Sydney’s hardcore band for non-hardcore fans, but I don’t think they’re really a hardcore band at all. Each member has been informed by a wide range of music that’d fit under the very wide banner of punk and brought those ideas to the table. I find a lot of bands whose members originate from the punk/hardcore realm tend to have a very rigid, strict concept of what they want to be. I don’t mean like Morrissey, I mean being like “let’s make a band that’s LA 1979 meet DC 1982” or “power violence meets obscure Japanese band.” Sometimes this narrow scope of musical references can still produce great music (Boston Strangler, Straight Arrows) but usually, even if they aim for something as noble as The Adolescents or Wipers, it comes out all Fat Wreck-a-fied. I prefer when a band has a concept of what they want to be but is as informed more so by how they instinctively play together and develop from there, so it retains the tradition the band is rooted in but sounds like something new. I think this is called being creative? Oily Boys don’t really sound like anyone but I still think some people I know would consider them “generic hardcore” because they don’t have a stupid noise/drone passage, or saxophone, or some tokenistic display of being “progressive” or weird.
I feel in Housewives there’s an equal balance of understanding and being able to sculpt a great punk tune, along with actually being unpredictable, confused, angry, juvenile punks. I generally get weirded out by people (I perceive as) younger than me doing the whole sophisticated songwriter thing, and Housewives are age appropriate and Sydney appropriate. Best punk band.
I’m a lifelong fan of all creative projects Matt Hopkins and Lucy Phelan related. I’d probably even read a friggin’ cooking blog if they made one. Just a hunch here, but I’m guessing that with Naked On The Vague developing into a stadium goth four-piece, Matt and Lucy may have had a hankering to make something a little more out-there? They don’t play songs but it’s not noise. Instead it’s a bunch of sound pieces that weave into each other – “compositions” they could call them? Not many comparisons spring to mind, maybe the more subdued parts of Throbbing Gristle or even Call Back The Giants. Half High have a lot of tact: it’s not easy making this type of thing work like they do.
Love Chants probably played my favourite show this year (tied with any time Woollen Kits or Constant Mongrel played) alongside Prehistoric Fuckin Moron, Mob and Peter Blamey. Love Chants are a tri-state super group featuring Michael of Mad Nanna, Matt Earle and Anthony Guerra. Beautiful, fragile music. The songs are very open (Matt Earle isn’t one to take the straight and narrow path) but still a lot very distinctive sounds with plenty of iconic melodies. Strong songs, strong riffs. Like a half dead but also more alive than ever Neil Young meets the last song on Neu’s first LP. It’s been really nice having Anthony in Sydney this year, he’s been one of the characters that’s helped keep this place interesting.
5 FROM THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE (Excluding R.I.P Society releases)
Meat Thump – Box Of Wine 7”
Straightjacket Nation – Nationalism 7”
Mad Nanna – I Made Blood Better LP (or anything they released really)
Satanic Rockers – Eviction 7”
UV Race – all of it
Aaron Dilloway – The Modern Jester 2xLP
Tyvek – On Triple Beams LP
Call Back The Giants – Incidents Of Travel 12”
Home Blitz – Frozen Track 12”
Blues Control – Valley Tangents LP
OLD STUFF MADE NEW AGAIN
The Consumers – All My Friends Are Dead LP
The Shadow Ring – Remains Unchanged 2xLP
Tronics – Love Backed By Force LP
Poison Idea – Record Collectors / Pick Your King LP
Feedtime – Box Set
Honorable mention to all the great NZ re-issues this year: Pin Group, Max Block, The Clean 2xLP, Dead C, Toy Love live 2xLP, 3Ds etc.
Best digital only / music video…
Vennu Mallesh – It’s My Life
Kieran Hegarty, Superstar
The floating music glimpsed at on Angel Eyes‘ new album…we all got to hear the ‘Final Fare’ track, which goes from glistening to guttural and gives us something to look forward to in 2013. Blank Realm’s Go Easy sounds bigger than their hometown, feelings of the coast, the highway, the eternal sunset, skipping over all the rock ‘n roll cliches without falling on them. The Sky Needle LP rambles along nicely, like Harry Partch and Dagmar Krause holing up in a small Queensland in Brisbane’s Western suburbs. Had the pleasure of playing in Brisbane in April for Bedroom Suck’s Deadshits Festival, with true floating music advocates Primitive Motion, who I saw for the first time. The glistening saxophone, organ and wooden rhythm box are eternal… their editions on Soft Abuse and A Guide to Saints pass the afternoons nicely. The Bee Mask LP Vaporware (Room 40) sits nicely at low volume, the “discreet music” we all need. The Kitchen Floor 7″ got me straight away, a little glimpse into trips to the Paddington bottleshop and long walks home up and down the hills from Spring Hill. The organ and nylon string guitar sit beautifully. Got a beautiful batch of tapes courtesy of Dungeon Taxis, the Tlaotlon tape gurgles and wobbles around the deck leaving a good taste. Matthew Brown records the best music left unreleased. The Scraps 7″ on Disembraining got many plays. The list goes on… we have a lot to look forward to in 2013.
Lack of venues in Melbourne, missed out on Sound Summit, no trip to Sydney, Melbourne Music Week.