WHISKEY & SPEED: THE LAUNCH

 

IMG_1357

 

Last Saturday at the Underdog Pub Co (Fortitude Valley) was a phenomenal night for several Brisbane bands. Lip Sinder, Forward Beast, Buttermilk, The Seal Club, Whiskey & Speed, Flangipanis and Baron Samedi showcased new songs, EP’s and albums for our listening pleasure. I still don’t have full hearing capacity and my body hurts from busting some moves, but I regret nothing! I was in the presence of some of the loudest punkest bands in Brisbane, namely Whiskey & Speed. Oh yes.

This was my first Whiskey & Speed gig, so based on stories from friends and what I’d read about them, I prepared myself. Rightfully so, because even before they played their first song of the set which was Sanity I believe, my best friend and I were pushed further back, inch by inch. We ended up right up the back where the pinball machine was, hence why the photo quality is so utterly shite. Not to worry. At least I could hear them and see remnants of what was going on: streamers (I think), people filming, shirts coming off and being flung into the crowd, many viking-lookalikes headbanging, and a surprisingly calm band. I’m sure they’d seen it all before. This would definitely make for a grand DVD. It was packed to the rafters that night, with the stench of booze and sweat wafting back and forth. Fitting for a grunge/punk album launch, I thought. Dayne (frontman for the band) warmed up his vocals by screaming the crowd into a bit of a frenzy. Jesus. What a voice. No wonder my left ear is still humming, but then again with a bass that sounds like hell’s bowels as well as the full band in effect…….I’m surprised my head is still intact. Being a new fan, I’m not sure if they played the whole album or just a few songs off it, but what I heard was brutally good. It’s the sort of band you want to see on a Saturday night, not some twangy hipster shite band. You want to remember it the next day, body aches and all.  The crowd was beyond stoked and I’m sure a couple of people ended up bruised and bloody. I’m of the opinion that Brisbane needs heavier bands like Whiskey & Speed to remind people that Rock is alive and well.

After listening to the album, The New Dumb Idea, I’d have to say my favourite tracks are Braindead, Bunny and Sanity. There is a mix of grunge, old punk and metal on this album, and maybe even a tiny bit of funk on one of the tracks. It’s pretty diverse and has already sold out in Rocking Horse. Pretty sure you can buy it online or just go to their Facebook page and have a gander. Thanks Whiskey & Speed!!!

 

https://www.facebook.com/whiskeyspeed

Advertisements

WALKEN: DEBUT EP

 

walken

 

I’m a lucky lady. The perks of doing what I do is that bands give me access to their minds AND their music, uncharted territory for some. It’s a privilege. And I’m quite chuffed that Walken not only let me write their first review, but have now given me access to their finished EP/Demo. Actually, I’ve been listening to the rough edits and the finished product for some time now, and let me tell you this: Walken sound JUST as brilliant on stage as they do on the EP. Almost carbon copy quality. Want to know what’s unique about Walken and this EP? The songs are varied and don’t sound the same, which is great for a first EP! Each song has a theme, I think, and lets the listeners in on what Walken is capable of. And in my opinion, Walken are capable of taking it to the next sonic level. Let’s have a look at the EP and what you can expect to hear when you get your sticky little hands on a copy. Also, if you’ve not been to a Walken gig, this will be a very good introductory lesson for you.

 

Float

I remember telling Matt that this song was my least favourite when I first listened to it. I don’t hate it, not at all. BUT, music is subjective. Here’s the breakdown. Float is a sad and angsty tune about, quite possibly, one’s need to find comfort in loneliness and solitude. “Float away, hang out on your own cloud.”  The song opens with a foreboding and hollow guitar sound, each note resonating melancholy vibes profusely. The soundscape builds up beautifully as Matt’s understated vocals provide the sombre narrative, all the while being supported by Joe’s down-tempo hollow beats. This song just makes you feel hollow inside, allowing you to empathise.  Just when you think it’s all sad though, Matt and Joe unleash what seems to be frustration, through sharp distortion and Cobain-esque yelling, but less bronchial. “I just need some SPACE!”………well don’t we all? I like to think of this song as a young person’s existential crisis, with the chorus  painting a picture of a young viking making their way out into the world.

This One’s Like A Summer Guy

I LOVE this song immensely. I cannot tell you enough. When I first reviewed Walken I remember saying “It’s actually like Mudhoney and the Beach Boys had a baby.” I wasn’t really joking. This is one of the reasons why I love this band. Their ability to say “we’re going to do a pop/punk/surf/grunge song” and actually follow through with it. It’s quite a feat. In this song you’ve got kickarse distortion, badarse heartattack drumming, punk chord progressions and vocals that remind me of Mark Arm (Mudhoney). I’m not sure if Matt is being sarcastic, lyrically, but any song that starts out with “Hey Johnny” is fucking alright by me! This song really takes me back to the early 90’s, but it also makes me think of Iggy and the Stooges. You know? A sort of double fork to the mainstream jock mentality.

My Friends Are Machines

The Walken lads refer to this tune as their “doom rock” song. I like to agree. It is a bit “doomy”, in the sense that it’s full of bass drone and haunting vocals. It’s almost ethereal in sound and metaphor. I like to think of this particular tune as the pilgrimage song in their EP trilogy. Although it is dark, there is possibly a glimmer of hope in it, almost a sort of acceptance of one’s lot in life. Music is subjective obviously, and this is only my gut feeling about this song. I really dig the build up and the sonic landscape Matt and Joe have created. I’m not sure exactly what the song is about, as the title is open to interpretation, but I think I get the gist and the overall mood of it. I really dig this song a lot.

So, there you have it lovely folks. If you still don’t get it, you’ll just have to go to a Walken show and be blown away by the synchronicity that exists between Matt and Joe. Brilliant! Truly talented individuals with the ability to channel anything from punk, grunge, surf and doom into one EP.

 

ASTRAL SKULLS

Astral Skulls

Synths and guitars from beyond the stars, words and water from the planet Mars.”

I gave up on listening to Synth-based music awhile ago. It’s only recently (last year) that I found it attractive again thanks to Trent Reznor. Yes, that’s right. Good old Trent. Occasionally I’ll see a local act utilising the myriad of sounds available to them via Synthesizer and it’s hit or miss. Of course it’s open to interpretation and some sounds work quite well, more so than others.  And then I chanced upon Astral Skulls.

Astral Skulls a.k.a Kurt Eckardt is a Brisbane based musician who currently resides in Melbourne, I believe. This is a recent project of his, having started it this year but so far he has produced a few catchy lo-fi tunes that I am hooked on. The keyword here is lo-fi. “Guitars, synths, drums, mpc 2500, too many pedals, not enough metal.” And the result is somewhat equatable to sitting in a corner in space, turning it into your bedroom and hibernating, being enthralled and lulled by shooting stars, questioning the possible existence of alien life, and questioning your own.

I love the fact that the drums are heavy, which is sometimes a weak point in electro music. If you listen to Astral Skull’s False Future you’ll get a sense of what I’m talking about. There are whining and soaring guitar lines amidst vocals that aren’t forced. Definitely a fan of the vocals. Out of the Suburbs is my favourite track because it incorporates that quiet-loud-quiet sound so relevant to grunge, a warm synth hook and fuzzy bass lines. It gives you a sense of hope when you feel curious about the Universe.

Hopefully Astral Skulls will do a show in Brisbane. If you’re curious about this dude and you dig  Synth Pop/Rock, please go to his Facebook page and have a listen, then give him your support. Well worth it!

https://www.facebook.com/astralskulls

http://astralskulls.com/

THE BUZZBEES

1972279_549500141815618_949551172_n

 

The Buzzbees held their James Street single launch last Friday at  Black Bear Lodge, sharing the stage with George Higgins and The Vultures. It was an intimate affair with a nice show of support for the five lads from Brisbane.

So, who are The Buzzbees? They are a young band having formed in 2011, consisting of Josh Martin (Vocals/Ukulele), Michael Alexander Waite (Guitar), Rick Garry (Vocals/Guitar), Luke Philips (Drums) and Nick Paton (Bass). They have garnered attention on local radio as well as playing various live shows, more notably a spot alongside Grinspoon and Ball Park Music at the Golden Days festival, 2013. With influences including girls, fresh strings, cold beers and iguanas, it’s evident that The Buzzbees don’t take themselves too seriously. Refreshing.

Although their genre is Indie Rock, I would actually go so far as to say that they are Indie Pop. If you listen to songs such as The Drifter, Lady Plagiarist and of course James Street, you will hear a very subtle fusion of various influences such as folk, alternative rock and reggae (more so on Lady Plagiarist). The vocals are soulful and minimalist against a backdrop of moderate guitars and drums. The use of a Ukulele adds a nice Folk/Tropical flavour to the medley of riffs that flow between verses.

Whilst I do prefer music that is much rougher around the edges, I see potential for The Buzzbees and a niche on mainstream radio. Theirs is a relatable sound that could appeal to various subcultures, for sure. If you’re looking for music that is a little softer on the ears, something to chill out to, you should support The Buzzbees because they are quite a talented up and coming group.

https://www.facebook.com/TheBuzzbees?fref=ts

https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/buzzbees

http://www.thebuzzbees.com.au/

CLAIRE ROSENBERG: ZIGZAG PR

IMG_1332

 

” Hello. My name is Claire Rosenberg and I’m a PR Consultant for ZigZag PR.”

I rarely meet with industry professionals.  When Claire invited me out for coffee (at the cosy little Blackstar in West End), I decided to take the opportunity with a dash of aplomb. Claire is a brilliantly funny, vibrant-haired and switched on lady. More importantly, she  has a genuine passion for the creative industries in Brisbane and wants this little city of ours to bloom. Read about her thoughts, experiences and advice here.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Tell me a little about what is involved in your role at ZigZg PR.

Well as a PR Consultant at ZigZag I manage a series of clients, and just recently we’ve taken on a lot of music clients. Some are ongoing, like Dane Adamo and band, and some are on a campaign by campaign basis with Tall Poppy Productions. My role is to see where a band fits. I would never push a hardcore band for a lifestyle publication, for example. I would never sell out my personal taste to cram music into where it isn’t suited. Karlee (from Tall Poppy) gives me all the information I need on the bands so that I can start my campaign.

How is it all working out for you?

It’s really fun! Basically, I get to go to work every day and write about music, talk to people involved in the Brisbane music scene and publications that I’ve known for years. It’s really cool to get behind the bands and promote them, and to do the best that I can to show people that this isn’t just a standard music release; this isn’t a band you can just look over. It’s someone you should really get behind and go support.

 

What was your motivation to get involved in this role?

My background is interesting in that I studied Journalism and Creative Writing. Through my internships I’ve been really lucky. Everyone has acknowledged that I’ve got a passion for music, and so from starting in Rave Magazine and interviewing bands, editing articles, it was a massive learning curve and then going on to the Good Guide where they let me write about music again. It just went on and on you know; creating playlists and contacting bands. Everything has led to this moment where I can take a client and sometimes go outside the box and pitch them how I see them. I think that goes a long way in the music scene where people appreciate the personality you put behind it. You listen to the bands and understand where they come from and what their goals are, and Brisbane being a “big small town”, you can definitely tell where they’ll fit in. It’s definitely personalised, because how else are you going to be remembered as a music publicist? You know, some publicists will spend months and months promoting a gig, and the night of the gig they’ll make sure the photographers and journalists etc have their media passes, and then they’re sitting comfortably in their home. Whereas I’m seriously standing in front of the stage making sure everything goes smoothly, and it’s so awesome to be able to see the payoff.

I’m so lucky to have found a full time job where I can do what I love: marketing and social media. If I can inject my personality into it or put a cheeky pop culture reference into it, I WILL. It’s really cool that my workplace will say “Claire, write whatever you want”. It’s so refreshing and such a good workplace to go to. And in the end you just want to make sure the band is happy with the finished product.

 

 What would you say about the camaraderie amongst industry professionals?

I think everyone has crossed paths in one way or another. It’s one of those things where you know that person and there’s a respect there because you’re all in that industry, and you want Brisbane to do well. You don’t want bands going to Melbourne, to get lost in the crowd. There are opportunities for bands to be the big fish here, and I think that they should stay in Brisbane and let that part grow.

 

What do you think about the Brisbane scene now, compared to 5 years ago?

I was fresh to Brisbane in 2008 (I’m from the mid-north coast of NSW). So I can say that from 6 years ago there were some really good venues that have closed, but they have been replaced by little bars in the outer area. It’s one of those things where bands that were popular back then have grown older and almost given up on their music career…they’ve gone into full time work and it’s really sad. But then there are bands that are so committed and so passionate and they’re everywhere. It’s really cool. And in terms of that camaraderie now (compared to then), like Indie Rock party is the perfect example of just so many genres, and all of them are thanking each other, they’re mates having a beer together, promoting each other on Facebook…..it’s really cool. Usually you wouldn’t pick Cassia, (a Prog-Rock band) to support George Higgins  (an Indie-Folk artist), but it’s happening and it’s awesome. I think the Brisbane music scene is promising and there are a lot of cool things happening here that are pretty unique to our area. It’s so awesome that we’re getting things like Big Sound happening here every year, where people that might just be starting out as musicians can see this massive showcase of Australian music in their backyard.

Do you think there’s room for improvement here? In terms of more artist support like cheaper resources etc

I’ve had friends who have received grants to record their EP’s, which I think stops people from giving up on their dreams and their goals. I think there should be, regardless of whatever government we have for the next three years, consistent support for bands so they don’t just give in. I mean, there are unsigned bands who tour and a lot of those tours come out of their savings. And they might just be working at JB Hi- Fi or Officeworks or something, then they have to take time off from work to pay their way to tour regional QLD. It’s so tough. It’s hard because where does the funding and support come from? But it’s one of those things where Brisbane could definitely use a little more support *Claire literally points her finger at this point* from the Council. There are some Council initiatives here that bands might not be aware of though, like Fete De La Musique which is annual. Bands can be playing at South Bank on a council ferry, for example, which does show that Brisbane can think outside of the box, but if we could make that a regular thing then things would improve for sure.

What advice do you have for struggling artists and bands?

Definitely record any sort of demo that you can and get them online. Connect with bands in your area, whether they’re friends or playing similar genres. It is an industry where it’s all about who you know, so it could just be a matter of combining with six other bands and doing a house show, and then doing another one. Then your Facebook “likes” jump from 50-300. I mean, it IS a shame, but that’s unfortunately what booking agents look for. At the end of the day it’s not necessarily those “likes” but the people who follow you too. You just have to keep going and persevering with it. There are other ways if you’re just starting out. Why not record a demo in your bedroom just to get a couple of tracks out there? To be underground, I understand that they don’t necessarily want to “promote promote promote” and sometimes “networking” can be a dirty word but….. it’s more like helping out friends where no-one’s forcing you to talk to someone you don’t want to talk to. It’s one of those easy free ways of building your fan base and then you can get into those venues. There are always new venues that replace the old ones, like The Brightside.

 

What are some of the best gigs you’ve been to in Brisbane? Favourite genres?

I saw The Growlers at Black Bear Lodge recently, they were amazing. And I love The Kramers (they’re a Brisbane band) and The Plastic Fangs too.  Cobwebs did a gig at the Underdog and I saw them at a random Lawn Bowls last year. Castles Sunk Below the Sea (a post hardcore band), the Flavour Machine (a psychedelic band), and they’re playing Crowbar later this month. There’s so many, but in terms of genre I listen to everything from Pop, Rock, Punk, Ska, Post-Hardcore, Country, Folk. I’m late to the game but I do like Hip Hop and Rap now . When no-one’s home I crank Jay Z’s “99 Problems” (laughter and jokes were had).

 

Have you had much experience with local radio stations like 4ZZZ?

Yes. I have a working relationship with Terry Pascoe who is a really lovely guy and a Presenter/Producer at 4ZZZ. We’ve had a few of our artists do live performances and interviews with him. He’s a gem.

 

Final Note.

Don’t be afraid to connect and get together with the other bands. I’m all for house parties to start out. Keep playing and keep your ear to the ground about council gigs and grants. You’d be amazed at how easy it is to get those grants. And don’t move to Melbourne!!

 

 

(High fives all around).

 

Matt Jamez Cochran – An Intro & Insight

1959308_594608223963716_1164696060_n

 

I decided to conduct my very first interview with the lovely young gentleman, Matt Jamez Cochran. Why? Well, I’ve met a lot of people I’d love to interview and eventually will end up doing so in the near future, but there is an easygoing, playful but somewhat wise nature that surrounds him. And I was curious. Matt is the sort of dude you want and need to know in the Brisbane music scene. He’s got his hands busy in many different projects, and he is certainly switched on in regards to the business side of things. Anyway have a read 🙂

___________________________________________________________________________________

 

1. List all of your creative projects and your role in each.
Minus Nine – Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Muddy Chanter – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Walken – Lead Vocals/Guitar [Lead/Rhythm/Bass]

2. What are the differences between each of your creative projects? I.E Why different bands?
Well all the bands are different in their own right and the reasoning between each one is just purely
to have another creative outlet, a different band with a different direction. It just keeps life interesting
and means I can write as much as I want and still be able to utilize most of my material!

Minus Nine is my main project and the one I’ve been involved in the longest.
I’m the primary writer, manager and booking agent so it’s my busiest role.
We’re more Alternative Rock, Grunge and Punk Rock inspired but stick to pop structuring and whatnot.
I tend to refer to it as ‘Pop Grunge’ hahaha.

Muddy Chanter is where I can unwind and not have to worry about vocal duties as much,
probably my favorite band to play with out of the three purely because I have the freedom of not
having to sing all the time. I can let loose, rock out and just move around. It’s fun as!
We’re more Indie/Indie Rock, Alternative Rock, Grunge, Blues and Pyschadelic influenced.

Walken is my most recent project that I started with Joe Daley.
It was merely kind of a band that I wanted to form to see kind of test the waters of writing as a two piece (as Minus and Muddy
were the only other bands I’d been in, I’ve only been accommodated to writing as a 5 piece)
It was also a band based around my Fender Jag I was getting modified to replicate Scott Lucas’ (from US band Local H) bass/guitar hybrid set up.
We also primarily write whilst we jam. So we don’t write any parts before we go to rehearse (at Tall Poppy Studios), we write as we jam
so we can get a natural and improvisational sort of feel about it all. It’s really just a different way to do everything for myself
and I’m really loving how it’s all turning out!

3. When did you first become involved in writing and playing music?
I started playing guitar when I was in Grade 9 (so 2008),
I started learning to sing in 2010
and I’ve dabbled in as many instruments as I can in the past few years as well.
But according to my Mum, the first song I wrote was when I was 7 years old (I don’t remember it but she does hahaha).

4. What was the first gig you ever went to and when?
Well I’d been to a few shows of bigger bands (RHCP, Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys, etc.) a while ago,
But the first local gig I went to (that I didn’t play) was Violent Soho at Tym Guitars for Record Store Day.
During Minus’ first year of gigging, we were all 17 so going to local gigs was typically a no go due to mostly being 18+

5. What was your opinion of the Brisbane music scene 5 years ago?
To be quite honest, I’m not really too sure.
Being in Grade 10, my knowledge of the Brisbane music scene was very limited!
But I have heard it was pretty decent.

6. What do you think of the scene now, in terms of music, art, culture and anything else you want to add?
I honestly think the scene is great.
In the past year it has honestly just gotten so much bigger, better and beautiful-er. I love seeing all these amazing bands play,
let alone playing alongside them! And all the local artists are just amazing.
There’s honestly some amazingly talented musicians and artists in Brisbane.

7. You have an EP and live recording coming up. Where do you think this will take you? An album? A tour?
Well everything is really ‘up in the air’ at the moment.

Minus Nine is recording our live EP at The Zoo on Saturday, 31st of May which should be great.
We’re releasing that a few days after the show online for free.
We’re in the final writing stages of our next EP (which we’ll hopefully record late this year)
and hopefully we can do an East Coast tour as well late this.

Muddy Chanter is in the final tracking process of our Demo CD (recorded at Worx w/ Bones from Dead Wolves)
and that is sounding absolutely unreal so far.
Hopefully we can get to the studios again late this year and record our debut EP, as well.

Walken has just gotten our final masters back for our debut EP, which is awesome.
So we have a single launch (debut single ‘Float’) at The Waiting Room on Saturday, 24th of May which should be great
and then hopefully we can keep writing, gigging and get another EP done for  a release late this year/early next year.

8. What do you think about the current state of live music venues, given that the Tempo has closed down, the Hideaway seems to be closing too (rumour?)
It’s a shame about The Tempo, really. I hadn’t even heard about any news on The Hideaway, but that sucks too.
It happens though in this business and in a scene were there’s all these great bands but not enough people/places to support them.
But to be honest I’m too busy looking at the positives in terms of our venues (i.e. The Underdog’s opening a few months back,
Brightside’s opening this month, etc.)
I think it sucks when venues close but I’m glad that there are still new venues opening up.

9. In your opinion, do you believe that music venues are heavily swayed/influenced by current trends in music? Do they choose bands to play at their venue based on what is popular?
I think venue bookers will just book music for the sort of audience that attends their venue.

10. What are some of your experiences with booking gigs? Has it been difficult or easy? 
Well I usually book all of Minus, Muddy and Walken’s shows.
I honestly find all the local venues and bands real easy to work with.
The only times I’ve had a bad experience with organising a show is when I have to deal with
people who aren’t from Brisbane, organising on behalf of other bands, etc.
Some of them are just so slack and can’t even give you an answer to some of the simplest questions.

Like Minus’ played Rics a few months ago with two Sydney bands and it was organised by a Sydney based booker.
He gave me the wrong date for the show, wrong set times and wrong info about the backline.
It’s not exactly a ‘hard’ job to give someone the correct information and even if you’re unsure about it, just ask the venue! Haha.

11. How would you describe the band camaraderie in Brisbane right now? I.E tight knit? accepting of up and coming bands? etc.
In the past 12 months I’ve really noticed alot of the Brisbane rock scene uniting and building a bigger scene all round.
There’s all these awesome bands being formed by members of other bands and all these bands always playing shows together, it’s great.
It’s honestly just become this giant Brisbane rock scene…family, almost.
And I love all the guys I get to play with and hang with, like family. They’re amazing.

12. What influences your writing and playing?

Well my musical influences would have to be Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies, Violent Soho, Blink-182, Elliott Smith, Nirvana, Title Fight, QOTSA, Screamfeeder, Red Hot Chili Peppers,
Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Jawbreaker, Sunny Day Real Estate, Postblue, MBV, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Foo Fighters, White Walls, Basement, Luca Brasi, Toadies, Jeff Buckley, Heatmiser,
Billy Talent, Interpol, Pedro The Lion, The Strokes, My Chemical Romance, The Cure, The Mars Volta, Jamie T, Sublime, Children Collide, Custard, Aeroplane Flies High, Cable 35, etc.
The list goes on and on and on.

My first ever really big guitar influence was definitely John Frusciante.

13. What are your favourite Brisbane bands currently?


There’s honestly way too many to name but standouts are The Keepaways, Junkyard Diamonds, The Grills, Columbus, Whiskey & Speed, Dead Wolves and Elston Gunnn.

WHISKEY & SPEED: SANITY

 

Well this is some crazy melt-your-face-off music and visual stimulation! I only got to know the music of Whiskey & Speed last year through mates, because you know, my head was buried under tonnes of bullshit and I have probably missed some good things. It’s never too late though. The four lads from Brisbane who pride themselves on bringing back good old sex, drugs and rock n roll have released a music video for their song Sanity, which is one of the tracks on their upcoming release The New Dumb Idea. The release will be official on May 24th at the Underdog Pub.

Now I’ve heard some crazy stories about this band, stuff of myths and legend. I’ve seen the photos, I’ve heard the first hand accounts, I’ve heard the music, and now I’m watching a video that sums up where these dudes are at right now. I’m thinking old Alice in Chains, a little Kyuss, a little Black Sabbath, and a whole lot of grit and balls. Sanity really strikes the main vein for me in terms of pure and blatant expression, not just the song itself but the video: strobe and laser lighting, straitjacket torment, feelings of claustrophobia, contrasting imagery which is enough to send you insane. I love it! The scream, the low pitch vocals, that opening guitar line leading you into some melancholy wonderment, deep and dark palm muting and bass that you can feel in your nether regions, and sexy sexy drumming. Yes. Oh yes. Thank you Whiskey & Speed. Can’t wait to hear the new material at the upcoming launch. Lordy lordy!

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1429612850620429/

https://www.facebook.com/whiskeyspeed

FLANNELETTE: VALLEY NIGHTS EP

 

 

Flannelette 01

 

May 2nd stood to be a huge night for showcasing Brisbane bands. The Hi-Fi bar in West End was the ideal venue for the second Indie Rock Party (hosted by Tall Poppy Productions), which included Brisbane bands Fox ‘n’ Firkin, Leaven, Cassia, The Thrill, Dead Wolves and Sydney based The Sidetracked Fiasco. It was also a very special evening for the four lads in Brisbane based Alternative/Grunge rock band Flannelette, as they used the Indie Rock Party platform to release their EP, Valley Nights.

Flannelette are Scramble (vocals/guitar), Gordo (drums), Krispy (guitar) and Jimi (bass). Emerging from the sad loss of original band members and a close friend, the four lads have aptly dedicated Valley Nights in memoriam. Beginning their musical crusade in 2012, Flannelette have scored second place on Triple Zed’s Hottest 100 as well as headlining the Hi-Fi Bar. They have done the gig rounds in New South Wales, Gold Coast and Toowoomba, which is surely indicative of a band that is not afraid of hard work and broadening their horizons. The turn out on Friday night at the Hi-Fi Bar was a testament to their burgeoning popularity. Driven by grungey acetone vocals so reminiscent of 90’s forefathers, slick guitar/bass riffs and classic drumming, Flannelette showed Brisbane their potential which is all out, fast paced, energetic and fun Rock n Roll. Valley Nights is teeming with sounds of inspiration, hope and celebration, sort of a battle cry to live life to its fullest. Their single, Way Down, is the first single to be released off the EP accompanied with a video, which is a montage of fun times and hilarity. It’s a fantastic example of the current direction Flannelette are heading in. So if you like your Alternative rock with a grunge twist, check these guys out as they will not fail to please your sonic needs. Valley Nights is also now available to purchase.

 

https://www.facebook.com/flanneletterocks

http://flannelettemusic.com/

LEAVEN

IMG_1311

 

Leaven are a trio from Brisbane who describe their sounds and influences as “the somber tones of a neck pickup, roaring Orange distortion and the loud-quiet-loud dynamic of the turn of the 90’s.” Rob Gilbert (guitar/vocals), Linda Dark (drums) and Michael Fedrick (bass and also from one of my favourite Brisbane bands, Junior Danger) were second on the bill at the Indie Rock Party/Flannelette’s EP Launch (Hi-Fi Bar, West End), hosted by Tall Poppy Productions. It was a great opportunity and venue for them to showcase their melodic and angst-driven tunes.

I love music that is driven by genuine emotion, and Leaven seems to possess this in spades. There is a nice simplicity in their dynamic, with Linda keeping a heavy-handed and steady beat that doesn’t involve a lot of fills in order to convey that 90’s sound. The crisp  tone of Rob’s guitar gives the songs a sometimes somber yet surreal lift, and the use of string bends (which I am a fan of) is definitely suited to the songs. Michael does some awesome bass work in Junior Danger so it’s nice to see him take a different approach with his playing in this band. He produces a nice smooth bass tone which complements the drums rather well.  There are elements of Placebo (especially with the vocals) and Vast in their songs, maybe even a little Something For Kate, so fans of these bands will be able to relate to the themes that are explored on the album. This is the sort music to listen to when you’re feeling the bitterness and panic from the loss of love, when you feel melancholy or just indifferent. Maybe you just need music to chill out to. I suppose I’d say there are layers of bittersweet frustration within their music. Leaven has a digital album called Live at The Zoo which you can purchase if you visit their Facebook page. This is a band that you have to see live in an intimate setting, so check them out and give them your support.

https://www.facebook.com/leavenmusic

http://leaven.bandcamp.com/

WALKEN

 

IMG_1303

 

Brisbane just got a little grungier with the addition of Walken to the currently blooming scene. No, we’re not referring to the smooth talking boss hog actor, Christopher Walken. This power house duo are Matt Jamez (Vocals/guitar/BassStang) from Muddy Chanter and Minus Nine, and Joe Daley (bangin’ drums). They played their very first show at Rics last night, along with Brutet Ben and Muddy Chanter. The love was felt and support was in abundance for this fantastic band, who probably are the heaviest two piece in Brisbane. My ears are still recovering, my inner teen is still angsty.

I’m always interested in side projects and offshoot bands. After all, a band is made up of individuals who (although sharing a single vision) do have their own distinct and unique viewpoints and influences. Walken are slightly darker in some songs such as My Friends are Machines, which I had the pleasure of listening to last week before it went through a final mix. The song opens with a face-slap drum beat and the seductive melancholy drone of a bass line. Matt’s vocals are kind of haunting, inviting the listener to join in on this dreamscape of sorts. When the distortion kicks in I feel like I’m on a bit of a journey to Valhalla or some promised land. Walken refer to this song as “doom rock”. I’d say it’s a doom pilgrimage and a really enjoyable one, if one enjoys doom. Then there is a song like Float, which is actually rather melodic and pretty AT FIRST. But that  gravel-grind guitar and heavy drumming doesn’t let you feel too sad for long. My favourite song, which sounds just as blistering live, is a little pop/punk/grunge ditty called This Ones Like A Summer Guy. It’s catchy as fuck utilising that token punk beat and distortion, with the chorus adding the pop element. It’s actually like Mudhoney and the Beach Boys had a baby……if that makes sense? My favourite part: Matt’s sarcastic “Hey Johnny!”. You have to see them live to fully appreciate how good these two are.  And I do believe there will be more Walken gigs in the future. So don’t be lame. Check them out.

https://www.facebook.com/walkenbandbne?fref=ts