New Music

Listen: The Native Cats – I Remember Everyone


The Native Cats are an acquired taste. A couple of years ago when their debut record Always On came out, its dry instrumentation and incredibly deadpan delivery disgusted me in some innate way. I couldn’t even put words to it: tasked with reviewing that album, I actually just didn’t.

Several years down the track, I’ve found the perfect environment in which to enjoy The Native Cats: terribly drunk and alone. This is not an instruction by any means, but if you find yourself unmoved (or even repulsed) by The Native Cats, I would advise giving it a go. Because there’s a kind of plainspoken profundity to this band. When they’re described as an electro-pub rock band, this description isn’t just literal.

Because listen to the reverb on Peter Escott’s voice: it’s applied in a manner that recalls some regional go-getters on a stage adjoining the pokie room at the Wagga Wagga RSL, probably on a Tuesday night. It sounds like he’s singing to an empty room. And the accompanying music is that empty room. When the lovely synth chimes kick in towards the end, you know someone’s just won the jackpot.

The LP from which this is taken, Dallas, releases in July through RIP Society.

New Music

Listen: Cross Brothers – Live At Rat Palace

crossbrothersThe Cross Brothers are Tasmanians Daniel and Patrick Cross. They grew up in the Hobart suburb of Lutana, which is home to the largest zinc smelter in the state. If you’re a student of strange Tasmanian underground music from the ’90s, you’ll probably be familiar with the Cross’s: Daniel played in 50 Million Clowns (with Sean Bailey of Lakes) and The Gentlemen (with Dave Elk aka Drunk Elk), among others, while Patrick played in Drunk Hands,  Prosthetic Gland and Rentboy (also among others!).

So needless to say, these brothers have a long history, and this isn’t the first time they’ve released music together – they’ve apparently released material on Tasmanian tape label Consumer Productions. Live At Rat Palace is out on Endless Melt, a label operated by Duncan Blachford (Psychic Baggage). I asked Blachford for some background on the brothers and he very kindly delivered:

“The first time I saw Dan, in 1996, he was covered in yellow PVC, hunchbacked and loping around stage with his bass, playing support to Fugazi in an underground club (literally, it was a large concrete ballroom built in a basement) with his band 50 Million Clowns (1992-99). To give some context to this, it was the mid ’90s, there was no internet, and Hobart was a very long way for a band to come. The Clowns were ferocious/atonal/hardcore influenced noise-rock. It left an impression on my fifteen-year old mind.”

For those interested in the Tasmanian network of bands, this old map – now quite out date – charts it until the early 2000s. Live At Rat Palace consists of one, thirty-minute track comprising very noisy, Dead C-esque electric guitar improvisation. The Rat Palace is an artist run space in Hobart with the erroneous address of 71a Brisbane Street – apparently addressed because the church that used to own it didn’t want to use the 69a address (dunno why). Have a listen. It’s available now through Endless Melt.