Very good year for Australian music if you ignored enough shit. A+++ would experience again.
Dallas by the Native Cats is a very special record. It brings together everything I love about language and music – aesthetically, musically and lyrically – and I often use it for solidarity in moments of introversion. I was also addicted to Primitive Motion’s Worlds Floating By when the door was closed; it has been the soundtrack to the mental void countless times after dark and/or in the dead of the night. I’ve used Superstar’s A Toast To… for the same purpose, although I needed to dim the lights and wear a dressing gown to give due respect to its post-sex, haze-like evocations.
Angel Eyes’ Final Fare puts me in a similar place, but it elicits in me a very disturbed peacefulness. Multiple Man’s tape gives me an indescribable rush, kind of like being pre-pubescent and not knowing why your heart is beating faster when you’re watching a sex scene on TV. M.O.B’s live show ramps that alien aggression up a notch, but is much more threatening and confusing (see previous sentence). I look forward to their LP more than almost anything for 2014.
Seeing Oily Boys dominate every bill they were placed on has been fucking nuts, particularly at Maggotfest where I felt a sense of Statriotic pride while they destroyed the Gaso and made a storm water drain under a Flemington underpass feel as maniacal as it sounds. Seeing Melbourne’s hardcore fraternity develop so quickly through tapes by Dribble (tape of the year for me) and Velvet Whip – and Maggotfest performances by them and Gutter Gods (!) – inspired a lot of jealousy. Sydney’s got a bit of work to do, hopefully something rides on the coat-tails of Oily Boys and Housewives (who had two 7s which were juvenile as shit, i.e. good). While I’m pigeon-holing, the Gruel tape from Byron Bay blew me away (so loud that it sounds like nothing). Also, sets in Sydney by Canine (a pseudo-
continuation of Shark Bait who I idolized last year) and Ache have been very good.
(On that note, Distort’s reissue of Anus is a Pussy by the Grabbies is one of the most hilarious punk 7s I think I will ever hear in my life: Italian migrants drunkenly insulting everyone in a room – thumbs.)
– I really enjoyed the Constant Mongrel record.
– The A-Side to the Cured Pink 7” is so good that I’ve barely listened to the B-Side.
– I like how the Exhaustion LP makes the ugly so accessible.
– Yes I’m Leaving made a really good album that reminds me of being warm-longneck drunk.
– No band more closely suits my musical sensibilities right now than Model Citizen.
– I listen to the first side of the Lace Curtain 12” EP and feel like I’m Michael Douglas.
– Seeing Flat Fix twice this year made me feel dance music again.
– Ruined Fortune in experimental mode with Angie on a grand piano and Nic W. doing spoken word over tape loops was one of the coolest things I saw all year (sounds terrible in print though).
– Glan from Sky Needle bashing a fence against me at the Sky Needle Repressed in-store was fun, slightly annoying, but I love Sky Needle so it’s A-OK.
– I think The Friendsters are important in a way I can’t express.
No apologies, but the two big-hitters for me this year are dumb guitar records. I’ve talked far too much about the Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys record. It’s my record of the year for both musical and personal reasons; it’s very important to me. The big-riff-dumb-smile, beer-drunk-too-fast enthusiasm is very disarming, which is maybe why the howled lyrics hit so hard.
Secondly, the TV Colours record is the nerdiest piece of shit ever, I love it. I grew up in an alienating suburb of South-West Sydney, which is pretty much what the record is about (except Canberra). Its immediacy kills me. The equal lashings of introspection and retrospection make it feel like I’m reliving my teenagehood really loudly on VHS.
Best of 2013:
LP: Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys – Ready for Boredom
7”: Cured Pink / Housewives (tied)
Song: Lace Curtain – Falling (II)
Clip: The Friendsters – Every Street