Wil Wagner is an angry young acoustica dude from Melbourne who has released a few EPs and now plays in The Smith Street Band. Us Boys Run is a 10 track album that runs the gamut on what someone can do with an acoustic guitar, a few ideas and a need to express themself. There's evidence of punk roots in the energy and the way he sings in the music's emptier spaces (see Track 5: I Don't Want to Live Here Anymore) but there's also a willingness to push the songs into indie territory with the use of glockenspiels, accordians and gentler tempos.
Dozers are a three piece from Melbourne who play crotchety garage-sludge rock. Check out the EP cover, it's texta work all over a fridge! When you pull the CD out of the case it's actually a picture of a plate with some half-eaten sausages and three veg adorned by the word 'Dozers' written in tomato sauce. Interstellar!
Legion is the first track and it's cool garage rock slopping all over your face with cruisey vocals and big trebley riffs. It's probably one of the two strongest songs on the EP. The second track, Daze of the Week is pretty cool - I'm a fan of anything that uses rimshots as a deliberate part of the drumming.
For some odd reason the Beach Boys of the 1970s commands my interest to no end. I guess there is something fascinating about a group that fell from dizzying heights to such eventually embarrassing lows, with all of the personalities and conflicts that both caused and resulted from their remarkable career downfall. To some extent this is purely a biographical curiosity, which is just as well because the decade saw the release of some incredibly poor material.
When I first heard Lemuria's debut album Get Better I wasn't into it right away. I had adored everything I had heard previously on their various splits and 7" releases (my first Lemuria experience being their split with Frame on Salinas). 7" after 7", the fuzzy, 90s indie and grunge influenced pop-punk songs would hit me and instantly I was hooked. But the debut album just didn't strike me in the same way everything else had. However, after repeated listens the songs had seeped into my brain, it finally clicked and turned out to be one of my favourite records of 2008.
Much like their last, the new album Pebble didn't leave me stoked.
The immensely popular Dropkick Murphys released their seventh and latest album, Going Out In Style, back at the start of this month.
According to the band, it is a concept album about a deceased fictional character named Cornelius Larkin that is a personification of all the band members life experiences and Irish heritage.
It features some catchy and fast punk songs that they are known for (Hang 'em High, Going Out In Style) as well as others that are pretty mellow and subdued (1953, Cruel) which are more in relation to the work of another American Celtic rock band, Flogging Molly.
Forget for a moment the absolutely horrendous album art and perhaps if Chips from the... ever makes it into your collection, maybe just design your own sleeve instead to accompany it. Pre-conceptions aside, this is a combination of two previously-released Dukes of Stratosphear recordings where they've basically just put all of the songs together. As this equals a well-rounded 16 tracks (standard LP length), there is really no point in getting the prior two unless your completist streak dictates otherwise.
Slingshot Dakota are a duo consisting of Carly Commando on vocals/keyboard, and Tom on drums. Their debut album Their Dreams Are Dead, But Ours Is The Golden Ghost contains ten super upbeat tracks that are somewhere in the ballpark of Lemuria’s earlier, more pop punk moments… if you were to replace the guitar with a keyboard. The songs are hopeful but never come across as self righteous or pretentious. Commando’s vocals are powerful, tough and cheerful. The keys are bright, sparkling and complex. And everything is wonderfully rounded off with Tom’s solid drumming that provides a strong backbone for whole forty minutes.
I started paying attention to The Measure [SA] when they released their debut LP Historical Fiction on Salinas & Don Giovanni back in 2006. It was fairly standard punk rock fare, but it was catchy and I liked it a whole bunch.
Shores are a duo from Michigan who exist in the vein of bands like Codeine, Bedhead, Low and I Hate Myself (IHM’s quieter moments anyway). I had been anticipating their record due to them sharing a member with Midwestern pop-punk band North Lincoln (drummer John Massel) of who I am a fan, but upon the records release discovered that the North Lincoln link is fairly meaningless as Shores are pure slowcore brilliance. The anticipation however, was still well worth it…
The eight songs that make up Coup de Grace are mesmerizing and extremely compelling.
Pink Houses are a punk rock band from Bloomington, Indiana USA featuring Ryan Woods from Defiance, Ohio. The songs are driven by Ryan's shouty vocals and extremely prominent, distorted basslines, providing foundation for the drums and screechy, fiddly guitar work to weave their way around and through, creating a sweet wall of sound. The songs feature socially conscious lyrics and are fairly technical but still really creative and energetic in a way that fans of Fugazi may appreciate.