EARCANDY #5 – BAND-OGRAPHY

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It’s that time again. Time for your ears to receive some sonic treats and for YOU to see what Brisbane has on offer in terms of the “Alternative”. But I use that word loosely, because each band on the bill are pretty varied in sound. Here’s a little band biography/index for those who haven’t had the chance to see these acts, or if you can’t be bothered going to their Facebook/Bandcamp/Soundloud/Unearthed profiles yet.

*In order of line-up*

 

DPOOA

“Dr Peppernickle is a confectionery maker from days of old, but do not trust this wretched soul. His candies are bittersweet…” Adam Bloom (Bass/Vocals) and George Crimmins (Drums/Vocals) are the two eccentric geniuses behind Dr. Peppernickle’s Orphanarium of Obese Aristocrats (DPOOA). Based in Brisbane and having formed in 2011, Bloom and Crimmins have introduced a sort of quirky combination of Rock, Funk and Psychadelic borderlining on Grunge, with the occasional badass temperament. There literally is nothing or no-one like them around, with an aptitude for finding new sonic horizons while gleaning from influences such as Primus, Les Claypool, Frank Zappa and Queens of the Stone Age. Bloom handles the bass with an exploratory finesse, constantly producing new sounds and challenging the surrounding mediocrity, whilst Crimmins approaches his drumming with  unorthodox and non-formulaic fills, channeling the feel and guts of the music. I’ve seen them numerous times and have come close to primal bliss. Check them out. https://www.facebook.com/DPOOA

FORWARD BEAST

“Inspired by the almighty roar of the Gods of Rock, Forward Beast has assembled, intent on spreading their message of Rock to the world.” Forward Beast are Daniel Flint (Guitar/Vocals), Michael Flint (Drums/Vocals) and Loki Doscordia (Bass/Vocals). This 3 piece band hails from Brisbane and specialise in their own brand of Grunge. With kickass influences such as QOTSA, Nirvana, Melvins and The White Stripes, Forward Beast have a “kick to the guts” guitar-driven bevvy of material ready for every grunge fan alike. They have a 4-track EP Sick Of Tired which boasts some gnarly guitar riffs, occasionally melodic vocals, catchy bass and drum fills. My fave tracks are Should Have Known Better and Hopelessness. Give them a listen. https://www.facebook.com/ForwardBeast

THE MOLOTOV

“2 Fems, 3 Guys, Hvy Alt/Prog Rock w/ many influences & a Hard-Left Twist.” The Molotov (I’m really craving Vodka right now) are Scart (Guitarist/Vocalist/Writer), Jayde (Lead Vocalist/Writer), Claire (Bassist, Vocalist, Writer), Dan (Keyboards, Guitar, Writer), and Paul (Drummer). Driven by the passion for changing the world and provoking a reaction. Their influences are eclectic and include Rage Against The Machine, Tool, Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey, Rancid, Suicidal Tendencies, Richard Dawkins (yeah!), Noam Chomsky, Dead Kennedy’s etc. The list goes on. But having read that you will understand where they are coming from and what they’re hoping to achieve. One could classify their music as Heavy Alternative or Prog Rock, but it definitely varies. They have a 5-track album which is bloody brilliant. It consists of amazingly complementary vocalists that can range from beautiful and harmonious to coarse and angry. The music itself can be gorgeous instrumental landscapes that change to Metal, with some Blues progressions here and there. One word – HEAVY. Another word – THOUGHT PROVOKING. Alright, that was two words, but the lyrics address politics, bullshit bourgeois mentality, corruption and the human condition, to name a few. The Molotov really know how to drive a message home. Listen. https://www.facebook.com/themolotov

BARON SAMEDI

Baron Samedi was born in 2012, consisting of Chris Mediocre (Guitar), Pastor Tommy Gun (Bass), Ben Gorman (Drums) and Michael “Quinny” Quin (Guitar). With a range influences including Misfits, Casualties, Operation Ivy, Leadbelly and Chuck Berry, they have produced something called Skrunge; a genre of music fusing Ska and experimental together. They are listed under the genre of Ska Punk and Crack Rock Steady, so I’m positive that Ska and Punk fans alike will be quite intrigued. The band have released a pretty cool 7-track EP called Sven The Storm Riding Badarse From Outer Space. I now understand the Skrunge factor. There are some really catchy Ska guitar progressions, and just when you expect it to be traditional Ska Punk, you’re hit with a heavy dose of Grunge and experimental bass parts. I think Ska Punk fans and general Rock fans will like this. Loving the gutteral Punk vocals immensely. https://www.facebook.com/baronsamediband

FLANNELETTE

“Flannelette, the hard hitting Brissie Rock band sent from the rock gods to revive rock back into the airwaves. Hard hitting, chunky riffs.” I have actually reviewed Flannelette when they launched their EP at the Indie Rock Party not that long ago. Formed in 2012, the band are Scramble (Vocals, Guitar), Gordo (Drums), Krispy (Guitar) and Jimi (Bass). With influences including Grinspoon, Audioslave, Powderfinger and Metallica, Flannelette produce music that is driven by classic grungey guitar riffs and powerful vocals. There is so much positivity in their music and they have the sort of work ethic worthy of recognition. Their EP Valley Nights is so gutteral and full of “kick in the guts” guitar, you will most likely be blown away by the wall of sound. Any avid fan of true gritty no-nonsense Rock will love these guys. https://www.facebook.com/flanneletterocks

GHOST AUDIO

“A song is a haunting. Allow us to be your bump in the night.” Indeed. Ghost Audio are a Brisbane based band consisting of Kevin Lennon (Vocals, Guitar), Andrew Porter (Bass) and Tim “Bones” Fogarty (Drums, Vocals, Feedback). If you’ve never heard melodic bliss in the form of Space and dingy garages, then you need to give their album a listen. Forming in 2010 and citing influences such as “Volume, honesty & the magic we experience in a room together with instruments”, Ghost Audio produce fuzz-driven, hard-hitting songs that make you do FAR more than shoe-gaze. Oh yes. Imagine if a ghost was singing to you. It’s like that. They just released a 10-track album The Universe Could Kill Us All, and I have listened to it many times. It’s got cool hollow drum fills, FUZZZZZZ, and catchy melodies. Give them a go. https://www.facebook.com/ghostaudiomusic

ANTI-THESIS

“Acid/Art-Punk – Dynamic, obnoxious and fucking brilliant.” Forming in 2010 somewhere in Bundaberg as a two piece, then relocating to Brisbane in 2011 and becoming a 3-piece later on, Anti-Thesis have given Brisbane a dose of loud, insane and improvised noise. The band consists of Andrew Fitzpatrick (Drums), David Beattie (Guitar, Vocals) and Lachlan Strachan (Bass). They have played all of the major venues in Brisbane, as well as playing in Toowoomba and Bundaberg occasionally. I have been to a few of their shows and I can confirm that there is the element of the unexpected. Andrew is a King on the drums, doing double-kicking and fills that really thud at the heart. David is a whirlwind of eccentric chaos on stage, and his songwriting is pretty indicative of the Grunge era – a lot of lyrics about apathy, the political and social climate etc. I’ve not seen Lachlan play yet, but from what I’ve heard he’s pretty badass. If you like your music loud, dirty and occasionally serious, give them a listen! https://www.facebook.com/anti.thesis.music

GALAPOGOS

“Strange Species, we are….” Galapogos are an Ambient Punk/ Death Pop/ Doom Gaze band formed in late 2010. The band consists of Dan Newton, Luke Koster, Benjiban Bohn, T. French and Jerram Gabriel. Citing influences such as Fugazi, Sonic Youth, Patti Smith and The Breeders (to name a few), they encapsulate a lot of what early 90’s ambient music is about. With the gorgeous clean reverb guitars and melodic vocals, expect to be lulled into a sweet headspace when you listen to them. https://www.facebook.com/galapogosbrisbane

DEAD WOLVES

“We drank from a paw-print when the moon was full just to see what it would do. There is no going back so prepare for the attack. Four wolves bent on the desire of playing shows and setting a room near you on fire.” There is an infamous wolfpack in Brisbane, and they are the Dead Wolves. A breed of energetic, primal, fierce rockers who have garnered quite a bit of attention with their live shows. They are Tim “Bones” Fogarty (Vocals), Pat Shipp (Guitar), Heathcliff Shipp (Bass) and Callum Deed (Drums). Their influences include The Who, At The Drive-In, QOTSA, Dead Kennedy’s and Led Zeppelin etc. I’ve seen them a few times now, and their songs are pretty diverse, ranging anywhere between gin mill blues to Psychedelic. They are loud, gutteral, occasionally bloody and bloody brilliant at what they do. If you want music that you can mosh/rock/grind to, go for it! Let them lead you into fantastical glory. https://www.facebook.com/DEADWOLVES4LIFE

PLANET FICTION

“Planet Fiction; Meaning: to be in a state of euphoria(high),a fictional planet,or our very own Earth, when it all feels fake!” Described as Alternative Metal, Planet Fiction are Adam Stewart (Vocals), Matt Lind (Guitar), Gareth Sykes (Bass) and Mick Simmons (Drums). Their influences include Deftones, Tool, Finch, Faith No More and Silverchair (to name a few), and their songs definitely have a melodic Metal vibe, with vocals that fluctuate from intense screaming to soft singing. If you’re an Alternative/Metal head, you’ll definitely dig them. https://www.facebook.com/PlanetFiction

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DANE ADAMO BAND

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Dane Adamo and his band have rejuvenated the Acoustic genre for me. In the last two months, I have seen maybe one or two acoustic singers/songwriters who have captured my interest and emotions. Often it can become repetitive and dull, watching someone strum their acoustic guitar, accompanied by lackluster vocals. Sometimes on the off chance, they’ll have something important to say and it all sounds gorgeous, raw and vulnerable. You know the drill. As I watched Dane Adamo play a week and a half ago at The Zoo, I was reminded that minimalism can indeed arouse emotions, and thus was the case with this 4 piece band.

The band consists of Chris Arthur (bass), Rory Joy (guitar), Jordan Poynter (drums) and of course Dane Adamo (vocals/guitar). Having toured South-East Asia and playing local venues such as Rics Bar, Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Black Bear Lodge and venues outside of Brisbane, it is clear that the band are not novices when it comes to hard work. After releasing two EP’s: Circle of Lies and Hope From Fear, their aim is to record a full debut album in August of this year. Dane Adamo’s musical influences include Roy Orbison, Fleetwood Mac and Alice in Chains, and according to some interviews I’ve read there is also an avid appreciation and love of the Seattle Grunge sound. Talk about eclectic. In saying this I can definitely hear that raw element in their songs – a tinge of the bittersweet and shards of angst. But there is more than that, for sure. If you like fusions of  Alternative, Country, Rock and Blues, you will more than likely enjoy Dane Adamo’s songs. There is a grungey coarseness to his voice that can switch from brooding to melodic in a second; an ability to lull and croon. Quite beautiful. It is refreshing to hear all the instruments clearly with little distortion, which amplifies the vocals and ambience of each song. At times I am reminded of Peter Hayes (BRMC) and Nick Drake, where the storytelling takes precedence over flashy playing or volume. I think there is a definite art to being able to play in this style, and the band does it amazingly. There is such an awesome cohesion between them on stage. You should give them a listen and go check them out at one of their gigs.

https://www.facebook.com/daneadamomusic

Elston Gunnn – No Hype, Just Peace.

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I finally had the opportunity to do a little Q&A session with Mary Lou and Dillon of Elston Gunnn. From the very first time I saw them play at the Beetle Bar, my ears and heart were hooked. From the way Mary Lou connected with her guitar and singing, to the mysterious drummer, to Dillon’s vagabond energy on stage. It was all there. These cats are so down to earth and incredibly cool and collected, and it rubs off on you when you talk to them. My fondness for these guys is not just exclusive to their unique sound, but also because they don’t try to fit into the Brisbane “scene”. They’re like wolves in that sense, and I respect that. They just want you to put your damn “computer phones” down and get some perspective. So here’s a little insight into Elston Gunnn from the married duo’s perspective. These lovelies are the real deal, and they prove that you don’t need to be a big fish in a little pond i.e. Brisbane. There’s a whole world out there waiting for you.

Side Note: This was conducted online so I’ve kept the editing to a minimum for the sake of authenticity.

 

Tell me a little about the origins of Elston Gunnn (when you met and formed etc)

 

Both of us (Mary- Lou and Dillon) – 28/11/13. We went into Rock City Studios for a jam because Nick said he was keen to do some drumming for our duo (The LOve). But before we even left for the jam Mary-Lou and I thought if Nicks really keen lets start a new band and keep The LOve as our thing (we thought Nick was a really good musician and person, so we wanted him to have equal input in writing and creating, we were stoked he wanted to play with us).

The three of us wrote a few new songs recorded them and started gigging all within a month- ish, kinda just all worked and flowed well. Brendan came a few gigs down the track he played with Nick in The Rouse, we wanted some bass and keys and Bren was keen… he’s one of them freaks that can do everything real well, kool kid ha, so yeah now we’re a four piece. Thats about it i think, kinda, yeah. How we all met is a whole different story ha.

 

Elston Gunn is one of Bob Dylan’s aliases. Why did you choose this name?

Both – Dam it took ages to find a name. I think we did two gigs before we had a name, don’t know why just couldn’t find one that fit, then Mary-Lou found this kool little interview with Bobby Vee about Bob Dylan when he was a kid, i think maybe the first band he joined and yeah he introduced himself as Elston Gunnn with three n’s, thought that was kool, plus other things like, numbers and the fact that God is God and Bob is Bob but some might say God is Bob or Bob is GOD. Pretty good place to start trying to find a way home i think.

 

Bobby Vee Interview 

http://youtu.be/D0lDLT1Dmd8

 

 You’ve done some travelling and performing in the U.S. What was your most memorable time there? What has it taught you?

 

Mary-Lou – Yeah we spent almost a month over there on the road, just the 2 of us in a van and hotel rooms. We drove from one side of the country to the other and then back again, so we saw a lot of interesting places and met some beautiful people. We visited places that had some sort of meaning to us like Leadbelly’s grave and Kurt and Courtney’s old house and sang them songs, had a cigarette under Kurt’s bridge on the muddy banks of the Wishkah, played a few gigs in little coffee shop/bars.

Dillon – Yeah it goes on and on… just one of those things you got to do. Most amazing beautiful place. Yeah taught us heaps but everything in life is a lesson of some sort, every step there’s something learned.

 

Aside from Elston Gunnn, you have another musical project called The Love. Can you sum up the differences and inspirations behind this project, compared to Elston Gunnn?

Dillon – The LOve is just Mary-Lou and I, ninety percent of the time. If  The Love ever perform it’ll just be us two on acoustic guitars whispering like mice or howling like wolves. We record with others sometimes (we did a song with the lads from Muddy Chanter) but mostly it’s just us layering stuff up or recording acoustic stories and twisted pop ditty’s. Elston Gunnn is four of us. Elston Gunnn yeah dam Elston Gunnn is Mother Nature herself, an adventure, it’s the calm before the storm and the eye of the tornado, but it’s new and it’s groovin so i’m not sure what it can do but yeah, when all the elements are working together, it’s beautiful, real groovy.

 

Are you technical players (of your instruments)? Do you think there is importance in being technical or just playing what/how you feel?

Both – Ha, you’ve seen us play, do you think we are technical players ha ha, na, no real importance to us, of course you gotta learn a few things but yeah mostly about listening, feeling, and just doing what comes to you.

 

 I was quite mesmerised by Mary- Lou’s guitar. What equipment do you use for that rich Blues/Grunge sound?

Mary-Lou – I play an Epiphone Sheraton, i love that thing to death. Riot Overdrive pedal, Boss DS1 Pedal, Fender Reverb Pedal, Pignose Amp, Gretsch Resonator Acoustic.

 

Dillon – Epiphone Casino, Fender Mustang (tricked out by John) or anything laying around, Big Muff, Vox amp at the moment, Martinez “John’s Green Machine” half size acoustic and a Blues Box acoustic. Nick uses a Strat most the time into our amp or his Twin Reverb and Bren Has a little Magnum bass we got off Griff from Muddy Chanter for $50. Terrible but it’s a kool little thing and makes bass sounds.

John from The Guitar Repairers does a lot of work on our guitars for us, he’s groovy kinda looks like John Lennon, always in overalls, plays left hand, right hand, upside down and any other way you could think man and always does special little things to trick your guitar out and trip you out, has heaps of really nice vintage guitars and stringed things for sale all over the walls. Great shop.

 

As a married duo, is it easier or more difficult to write and play together? What’s involved in your creative process?

Mary-Lou – I haven’t really known any different. I haven’t been playing for long, so I’m still learning. This is the first real band i have been in. When we started The Love I only knew a few chords haha. But it works. We kind of balance each other out with our differences. I kind of do everything backwards and I’m always in my own little world. I guess that could get frustrating at times.

 

Dillon – Yeah both ha. Ummmm creative process, just tinker on the guitar until something sounds kool, write some words and then maybe show the band, they add their bit, done. Like Keith Richards said we are all just antenna’s. We don’t do shit, it just comes to you. You pick up some weird thing from the universe then you got a song.

 

What is your HONEST opinion of the Brisbane music scene?

Both – Ummmm not sure i don’t think we were asked to join so… Is Brisbane even big enough to have a scene? I suppose there is a small but strong net of people and bands doing kool things but a scene has to make a scene, and you have to have people power and be there for each other. If only cats would go put down there computer phones and TV programs. Damn those things are more ritual than church these days, and i won’t go into how much of a head twist and a brainwash the church is but anyways, said fuck off to work a little more, ditched DJ’s and all that club fake bullshit, got together as people and just lived a little more but it’s hard. Life is hard and things aren’t always as kool as they could be but yeah for what there is it’s pretty dam kool and only growing.

 

 What are your favourite local bands?

Both – Really depends what you want to listen to. There’s a bit of everything and there’s heaps of really kool bands and artists.

Matt James is amazing, such a talented and kool kid. Like all his projects; Muddy Chanter, Minus and Walken… well yeah Walken are something different, yeah.

Anything Zed Charles does is pretty dam kool, The Johnny Mustards make me melt, yeah there’s just too many old and new… we could go on forever.

 

Your sound is quite unique in the sense that you don’t “fit” into a specific niche here. Does this help or hinder in booking gigs?

Both – Yeah we’re too soft for the heavy kids and too loud for the quiet kids, but worst of all we’re not hip enough for the psych cats and too white for the blues cats. We do ok but that’s what’s kool about Brisbane…everyone kinda plays together what ever your genre or “genre-lessness.” 

 

 

What are your plans for Elston Gunnn now?

Both – Recording an EP with Bones from Dead Wolves real soon. Should be out around the end of July early August, split single with Walken will be pretty rad probably around September, gigs. Hopefully just keep getting gigs and then going back to America at the end of the year. Our friend Elvicious Cash is hooking us up with some gigs, we met him last time we were there, he’s a great songwriter from Salem, Oregon. Huge voice, plays a mean blues jam and has beautiful silvery blond hair, really genuine dude. Ummm yeah then recording an EP with Dan Kroha from The Gories while we are in Detroit. Can’t wait. Going to be pretty dam kool. Yeah thats about us for the rest of the year… hopefully heaps of gigs in-between. Peace.

 

 

DAVID B: LIVE @ THE ZEDS EP

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Who the heck is David B??”, you might ask yourself. Well truth be told, you might as well pose this question “if a bear shits in the woods and no-one is around to smell it, did a bear indeed shit in the woods?” Ah, you’re stumped. David B is David Beattie, and those who are active in the Brisbane music scene would have heard of him. He’s got his fingers in a few musical pies, including being the frontman of Anti-Thesis and Fractal Mind Implosion. He also organises mini-festivals such as EarCandy. Having said that, he’s a bit of an enigma as I can’t quite pin him down, personality-wise. I do know that he is one complicated human being who will happily pick up a guitar and play to anyone, whether it’s a crowd of 2 or 20…..or more.

David B has released a little 5 track EP “Live @ the Zeds”, a collection of live performances aptly recorded at the 4ZZZ studios. It is very lo-fi, very stripped back and oh so introspective. That’s probably the perfect term for his music. He writes songs about his own perspective on politics, love, hate, angst, depression and on himself.

 

The Breakdown

 Abbott’s Illogical Plan is no doubt about Tony Abbott and David B’s take on the currently confusing and frustrating political climate. It’s pretty straightforward with lyrics like “we’ll stop them from coming to our country” and “we’ll take all your jobs”, hinting at the obvious xenophobia that still exists etc. Conjures up imagery of protesters on the docks. Tired of Fighting is a depressing ditty that has a cool lullaby feel, possibly about heartbreak or being emotionally stunted. It is open to interpretation, but the lyrics and vocals are raw and full of pleading…..makes me quite sad. The acoustic does add a dramatic flair to the song though. The Mariner’s Revenge Song sounds like a sordid tale being told at the local inn. An angsty and passionate sailor’s rant; he has storytelling down to an art form. When listening to David singing this, I can actually picture the chain of events in my mind vividly. “There is one thing I must say to you, as you sail across the sea. Always your mother will watch over you, as you avenge this wicked deed.” Self-Defeated has catchy chord/ time changes and reminds me of Evan Dando’s tunes in that it’s sort of happily depressing. Along with David B’s coarse vocals and occasional American accent, I’d say the lyrics convey a general apathy about the human condition; wanting to be happy, forcing the self to be happy when you are at your lowest. IDT is somewhat along the same vein, in that it is monochromatic, if that makes sense? Bright guitar sounds coupled with introspective and pleading vocals/lyrics. There’s a hell of a lot of torment in this tune, and I respect any songwriter who channels it, unfiltered.

So there you have it. Go to David B’s Facebook page to have a listen, and you will more than likely see him on stage at the Underdog or at some random open mic night. Dude has balls, and is an all round nice guy with the ability to channel anything and everything into his songwriting.

https://www.facebook.com/DavidB.Brisbane?fref=ts

http://davidb-brisbane.bandcamp.com/album/live-the-zeds-ep

THE BEAR HUNT

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Now and then I’ll come across a band that has me transfixed.  The Bear Hunt are one of those bands and I had the pleasure of seeing them last Thursday night, along with Mallory Vanetti and The Buzzrays at The Zoo. There was a truly surreal ambience about the place, and a lot of this could be attributed to the myriad of different guitar sounds and vocals produced by each of the bands. There were no “carbon copy” bands on show that evening.

The Bear Hunt are Bec Wilson (guitar, vocals), Lloyd Martin (guitar), Linda Dark (drums) and Michael Fedrick (bass). They carry themselves with a “keepin’ it real” attitude and write songs that are reflective of living in a small sleepy hazy town (two of the members hail from North QLD I believe). Citing themselves as a Garage band, their influences range from PJ Harvey, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Adalita Srsen and Kyuss, to name a few. I can see why I relate to their sound so much because I adore those bands and musicians. And yet this band are one of those few who have somehow forged their own unique sound, without mimicking their musical influences. It’s a tough thing to do, especially in this day and age where the industry wants us all to sound a specific way. The Bear Hunt have shared the stage with the likes of Lanie Lane and The Medics, and have released an EP called “Can’t Save You” which  showcases some diverse sounds.

Their music takes me back to the late 80’s and early 90’s. When I listen to songs like Stars and Can’t Save You there is a sensation of being embraced by warm lights in a dark room, which is also reminiscent of the Psychedelic era. It is contemplative raw music, unfettered and simple with occasional Blues and Country tangents intermingled (listen to their song Angry Country). The guitars (both rhythm and lead) are warm and fuzzed out; as the lead guitar riffs go from a steel twang to a soaring jetliner solo, the rhythm guitar holds a bold and steady backing. The bass guitar and drums are effortlessly attuned to each other – a bit Fleetwood Mac, if you need a comparison. This band has beautifully imperfect symmetry.

I don’t usually like to ruminate on gender roles in music, but it is oh so satisfying to see female musicians (such as Bec and Linda) who carry themselves with such a laid back confidence. Bec uses her brilliant natural pitch and tone rather than submitting to the token breathy and soft vocals so popular among women now. That’s always been a thorn in my side. There is nothing wrong with women using their natural voices whatsoever. There is also nothing wrong with letting your music do the talking for you. I guess that’s why I was so captivated by The Bear Hunt. Four musicians from Brisbane with so much potential, I can taste it. Go give them a listen!

 

https://www.facebook.com/the.bear.hunt.tsv

JUNKYARD DIAMONDS

 

 

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I can’t remember the last time I saw Junkyard Diamonds prior to their latest gig. Perhaps it was late last year when I came back from Melbourne for a visit. I do remember seeing them for the first time at the Boundary Hotel, a period in which I had given up on the Brisbane music scene, but after their set I walked away feeling hopeful. I guess you could say they were the “breakthrough” band for me in terms of waking me up from a long  coma of musical apathy. So when I think of Brisbane music I will always think of Junkyard Diamonds. They played The Zoo last Saturday for Minus Nine’s live EP showcase, along with Xens Arrival and the uber energetic Dead Wolves (who were liberated in Drag). Waves of nostalgia came flooding back as my ears were greeted with familiarity.

For those of you who have no idea who Junkyard Diamonds are, here’s a little introduction for you. This wall of warm sonic pleasure consists of: Mitch Rich (vocals/guitar), BJ Vaughan (drums), Jimmy Bibby (wailing lead guitar) and Mitch Vaughan (bass/vocals), although I think there was a bit of a change-up on Saturday night. They have been kicking Brisbane’s arse for a few years now, and have played alongside British India and King Gizzard and the Lizzard Wizard. You will also find that a few Junkyard members have various side projects which I have also previously reviewed. I’d like to endow Junkyard Diamonds with the moniker “Godbrothers” of the Brisbane Grunge scene as opposed to Godfathers (they’re not exactly an older band), but influential nonetheless. If you ask a lot of the fledgling bands about their local music influences, JYD always gets a mention which says a lot about their presence. What do they sound like? Here’s the deal. I don’t have a problem classifying bands and allocating specific niches to which they belong, but Junkyard Diamonds are one of a handful of bands that really can’t be pigeonholed. Sure, you could call them Grunge, Garage, Blues, Rock n Roll, Punk, Post-Punk, Indie, Alternative etc. I’d like to propose the term Blue Grunge. This isn’t just attributed to their heavily Blues laden songs or their Grunge influences. It’s more to do with their ability to go beyond that, to elicit swagger and emotions and gutteral feelings. Actually I’m not even going to try to label them. That would just be a disservice. If you listen to songs like Chrysalis (which they played on Saturday night) and Death Potion you might be able to catch my drift. Chrysalis has a slight underlying BritPop feel, combined with Blues/Grunge guitar and bass riffs which remind me a little of the Pixies – gotta love that wailing guitar. Death Potion is dirty backwater Blues and traditional Rock n Roll backed by Grunge distortion and the hollowest of drums. Mitch has the sort of vocal ability suited to this style, reminiscent of a hardworking drifter telling tales of his travels. It’s magical and honest. Each member of Junkyard Diamonds has such a unique relationship with their instrument and it’s nice to be able to hear it individually in each song. Sometimes bands go the other way and don’t really encourage individual expression, you know? But I have to add that Jimmy’s guitar wailing reminds me of Fred Sonic Smith and Joey Santiago. So JYD played a fantastic show on Saturday night and even introduced a new song called Berry Fizzle Bossomo – reminds me a bit of a very young Hoodoo Guru’s and X-Ray Spex. It was energetic and punk as fuck! This is just the sort of sonic diversity I was talking about. And then Mitch pulled out the old acoustic for a little intimate time with Matt Jamez of Walken/Minus Nine/Muddy Chanter fame. Oh the grassroots goodness! Junkyard Diamonds can do no wrong whatsoever.

If you want to see and hear more from these “Godbrothers” of Brisbane, head over to their Facebook page and support them!!

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