Born Again Brisbane




I first moved to Brisbane about 23 years ago, and since then Brisbane and I have had a kind of love-hate relationship. I’d always been on the move as a kid, and I spent a lot of time in the desert towns, country and coastal towns. So when we moved to Brisbane I thought “wow, the big city.” I don’t think “big” is how I would describe it now. I’d say it is quaint, but I like quaint ūüôā

I don’t think i fully appreciated the music and art scene until my early teen years, those days when there were numerous free outdoor gigs. Once I hit 16, ditched the piano and picked up a guitar, I hit places like the Valley and West End hard. I would look for people my age who wanted to start a band and we’d meet up and play. Back then everyone just wanted to play for the love of creating something, to rid one’s self of teenage angst etc. So after having been a part of the music scene on and off for ten years, I took a long hard look at all the changes around me, and I stopped completely. I had seen nightclubs and high rise developments taking over these culturally relevant places I used to frequent. Places like Thee Depot and Tongue and Groove had disappeared. The crowds were a lot more judgmental, vain, out on the pull and drunk as fuck. Not the friendly sort of drunkenness I was accustomed to. Alright, so times change and so do people and trends. But I used to go out almost every weekend with my friends to see obscure bands play, gatecrash impromptu backyard parties without being kicked out. And what happened to GOTHS?! They shat me to tears, but they were interesting as hell to observe. What happened to The Rev?!

I stopped playing and writing music, I stopped going out to the places I once enjoyed. I think this was probably the start of a major depression. Even the people I had once considered mates began changing and conforming to what would now be classified as Hipster Norms (that would actually be a great name for a hipster venue). I gave up on Brisbane altogether and wanted out. I think I complained about nothing else for years, which I’m sure annoyed everyone immensely.

After all that, things seemed to improve ever so slightly. It took a long time but I was starting to see a rejuvenation in the live music scene. It was definitely an underground movement, but it was there and you could hear the hum of it all. Then last year, March 2013 to be exact, I met someone who completely changed the way I felt and thought about Brisbane. He called bullshit on a lot of things I thought about this little city, and I owe him a debt of gratitude for it. I was introduced to events and bands, artists and new acquaintances who had existed all along. They’d just been harder to find. And although I was still depressed from years of being creatively starved and unmotivated, I kind of fell in love with Brisbane again, for real this time. So now I want to contribute to the growth of the music and arts scene in Brisbane. There is absolutely no point in being miserable about it, or complaining really. After living in Melbourne and seeing just how diverse it is down there, I do believe that Brisbane can reach that same level. It’s a matter of supporting our people, bringing them out into the open for everyone to see and admire. Brisbane needs more diversity and I’m just one of the many MANY voices here who are willing to do something about it.

I’ve been asked, on a few occasions now, why it is that I would want to be a critic/reviewer of bands when I should just start one. Oh, I’m starting a band again alright. But I don’t see myself as a critic, and I never will. I’m a fan of music, first and foremost, and therefore if I want to see a change, I’ve got to make it happen. Lone Riot is my little contribution in finding local talent and putting it out there. I’ll even review bands and artists from other cities if it means they’ll have a following in Brisbane. So that’s why I’m doing this. I see myself living out the rest of my days here, and I might as well make it the kind of city that I will never regret living in. I’m proud of this place and the talented Brisbane people that I know. So keep up the good fight.



Dr. Peppernickle’s Orphanarium of Obese Aristocrats



Searching for sounds, grasping the escaping exhaust fumes of their souls, they lay down honest grooves and explore the abject through bitter eyes.¬†An asylum for the childlike elite of the world, fed by Dr Peppernickle’s wonderful fruit-flavoured creations… something festers in their bellies… something crude, something smelly…” –¬†DPOOA


I don’t find twangy circus bass lines or odd beats appealing. I like sounds to be heavy and murky. That’s not to say I’m not one to appreciate experimental music. On the contrary. Give me your best! ¬†Enter Dr Peppernickle’s Orphanarium of Obese Aristocrats (DPOOA). DB a.k.a Adam Bloom ( 6 string bass, vocals) and George Crimmins (drums) hail from Brisbane. They’re huge fans of Primus, Les Claypool, Cake and Beck (to name a few) and you can hear some of these influences in their music. On the other hand they have very eclectic tastes which is probably why their dynamic works so well. It could also come down to the fact that these guys just don’t give a dog’s bollocks about what people want, token band images or how many people come to their gigs. There are no methods to Dr. Peppernickle’s madness, and there should be more bands, locally, following suit. Forming in 2011/2012, these long time friends have combined their life experiences and self-taught ideologies to make their mark on the Brisbane music scene.


Dr. Peppernickle

I’ve seen DPOOA play a handful of times, and I’ve always managed to be consistently in awe of their intensity and passion for what they do and the sounds they create. They’ve done the rounds at Scribble Slam and Lost Movements, events that promote and nurture local performance art, artists and music. When DB and George play, not everyone “gets” it, which I think is generally a reflection of the Brisbane scene right now. However, once they’ve played a few songs, especially their more upbeat tunes, you will see people stop to take it all in. A scattering of people becomes a small group who are intrigued by the sights and sounds of a tall, long haired, handsome but modest bass player who sometimes produces out of tune notes. Then they’ll notice the badass mysterious drummer with a really lovely profile, providing hard and heavy beats that are occasionally not timed and perhaps a little improvised. I had no idea that a bass guitar could produce such a diverse range of sounds, but I suppose it’s how you use it. And DB seems to view his beloved instrument as one that has no limitations. Sometimes the effects are industrial and grungey, and sometimes they are ethereal. Both band members have made their instruments a reflection of who they are, not playing according to convention or theory, but playing as if the drums and bass guitar are an extension of who they are. Alright, you might say that’s a big call, but if you see them live then maybe you’ll get it.

Dr. Peppernickle have released two albums; Fruity Asphyxia and Bread (which features Craig Brunton from Denizens). Each song is lyrically and musically distinct. Some are more easygoing and tongue in cheek while others take you on a journey through the realities of life; money is shit, consumerism is fucked, trying to live according to your own convictions often means you have to eat a shit sandwich etc. ¬†My favourite tracks are Counting Sheep, Fuck You, A Little Bit and Tickled Pink. Why? Because the build up in each song is epic, because the vocals are understated and unpretentious, honest and raw, the vibe makes me want to gyrate with sass, and because the instrumentation is fucking brilliant. But it’s not something I can describe with precision. Listen and I hope you’ll understand why. I feel like I’m in the heads of two intelligent madmen on a mission, and somehow it all sounds like sex in my ears. What I appreciate the most about Dr. Peppernickle’s Orphanarium of Obese Aristocrats is that there’s no one like them in Brisbane. They stand proud on their own and forge ahead because it’s what they’re born to do. I’ve got a lot of admiration for bands like that and I hope they succeed in everything they do.

For more info on these gentlemen go to:










A furious DIY train wreck of a band that incorporates punk rock, metal and comedy with classic results.” –¬†I Am Duckeye

If I had known about these guys when I lived in Melbourne last year, I would have been a little more optimistic about the music scene there. This talented and high-larious Melbourne foursome reminds me of a hardcore Monty Python sketch, and they are madly talented. Sam (guitar/vox/yelling), Matt (guitar/back- up yelling/vox), Julian (sweet dirty bass) and Sean (drummer) cite comedy, punk, ¬†Gojira, Lamb of God and the Universe as just some of their influences. This is pretty evident in their latest offering,¬†Son of a Riff, which was launched at the Espy last weekend. This lead single has been released with a side single,¬†The Riff, which is from their debut album Husband. Confusing, yes, and I’m not sure I’ve got it right, BUT when Sam offered me the opportunity to review the single, I took a listen. Oh man, I haven’t been on a trip like this in awhile.

So what is¬†Son of a Riff¬†about? Well, it’s not to be taken lightly because it is obviously NOT about cooking. Or is it? Not cooking in the traditional sense, but maybe proverbially cooking up some tasty sonic treats, about not writing a shithouse song.

“This is a song, a song about cooking riffs
A cooking song!
Not a cooking song, a song about rolling spliffs
Smoking a bong!
No not smoking a bong Matthew, but writing yourself a hit
Hitting is wrong!
Yes hitting is wrong, unless your song is utter shit

The song opens with punk-like palm muting and heavy drums, leading into an epic momentum of metal and grunge guitar parts. It builds up and progresses over really comical lyrics. The vocals remind me of the sort of conversation you’d have over the fence with your next door neighbour, or maybe the sort of conversation you’d have with someone down at the pub. I love the causal demeanour of the delivery over really good musicianship. These guys know their metal and they know how to combine various elements to make it unique. When you think of metal you can probably rustle up some imagery of doom and vikings. When I listen to Son of a Riff, I’m seeing Vikings in spaceships and a drunk unicorn wearing a leather horn protector. It’s pretty cool. This song provides comedic relief but also allows room to head bang, stomp your feet, attempt air guitar or whatever the kids are doing these days. As someone who started off listening to punk and deviating to other guitar driven genres, it’s important to feel that burst of energy from a band, and I definitely feel it with I Am DuckEye. They’re good fun!! So remember:

“Quit your bitchin’
Get in the kitchen
And cook me up some riffs”


For more info and tasty morsels:

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