Another year, another Schoolies Week. Yep, the Year 12s have fled the castle that has been their education prison for the large part of their prepubescent lives, and run rampant in the epitome of degradation and sleaze excess - The Gold Coast. I remember when I went to Schoolies - a friend of mine was beaten up for his shoes (he probably deserved it), I got a lift home one night with a Dominos Pizza delivery dude, I had Clayton's sex in an elevator, drank a bottle of Midori because that was a cool thing to do, saw Jebediah and a whole bunch of other crap that is embarrassing to acknowledge. I did play a mean round of mini golf, discovered my love of copious amounts of beer and copped a feel from a girl I always deemed was above my station, so it wasn't all bad. Teenage years, eh? As it will be for the thousands of pulsating bags of hormones that are running around Cavill Ave this week. Eccies, bikies, neon lights and Ripley's Believe It Or Not - Jesus, just drop a bomb on the place, let the 2014 seniors start afresh....
I imagine there will be a bunch of blokes with faux barrel chests in their singlets loving their status as hardcore drinking legends this week. Drunk Tigers. That also happens to be the name of this DC band, whose self titled EP (out on cassette through Funny/Not Funny) is a blast of rollicking power chords and enough Replacements vibes to melt asphalt. Listen to 'Taillights' alone and you will want to throw the flannel shirt on and throw a cup of beer in the air. Music that was made for drunken ranting and spilt drinks. Serendipity abounds - I wrote about Invisible Hand the other day, and now the two bands are on the same bill tonight in New York's Baby's All Right venue. If you're in Brooklyn tonight, head down.
We were at Nathan's place on Sunday, listening to a hell of a lot of music submissions, and we almost overlooked 'Lift Up', the single from Kentucky spaced warblers Street Gnar's new EP Shrine. Last night I was at my mate Jim's place, listening to records and playing about, a fair few beers in, and we had a long discussion on how certain chords or sounds will be replicated ad nauseum, because they are destined to be together, to be played in that order, to sequence together. The chorus here does that for me. The slightly shonky song with its melted beach whimsy takes on a different sheen when that chorus kicks in. Heartfelt yacht rock by heartfelt idiot savants. This song is meant to be - a worldwide hit in a parallel universe. I really dig this. You can buy Shrine (out through Atelier Ciseaux) here. The guys have just come off a mini tour where they've played alongside the likes of Blues Control, US Girls, Alex Calder and Black Dice - expect to hear more of this brilliance in the near future.
Dude York are a trio outta Seattle (via Walla Walla, Washington - I feel it's necessary to say that, just because I come from Australia, the kind of place that has plenty of similar named towns) that are prepping to launch their debut album Dehumanize in January 2014. 'Cannibal' is the first acidic listen from it - a slice of agonised energy and feverish intensity - the brain fizzes before it fails, faculties become redundant, all that is left is the hunger. That bassline around the minute mark is like the Pied Piper, an inherent tug at the heartstrings, drawing your lifeless body to the cliff's edge. Can't wait to hear what else is in store here.
Minneapolis quartet Brilliant Beast are calling Where Do You Want their debut, even though it's their third release since 2010. Maybe because the evolution has finally kicked off in earnest - the quartet have grown into their skin, leaving behind the tentative folk roots and launching forth with a rollicking, distorted aesthetic that seems far more comfortable. 'A Child On Fire' starts off feeling a little shoegaze-lite, but the nature of this beast (pun intended) is far more overt and restless, whilst 'Nepotism Shakes' is a beauty of a slow-burner that echoes through the bones - it's no wonder why the guys at Guilt Ridden Pop have snapped them up.
Africantape are always putting out interesting stuff - one band they have championed for ages has been Swiss rock band Ventura, and current 7" Ananasses is a killer. I feel like I'm listening to a woodchipper mix of Bob Log III, Primus, The Melvins and the Devil. The B-side here is the first song played backwards - and it's fucking amazing. You can buy the Ananasses 7" here.
And let's come back home for the finishing band, The Strange. The Melbourne garage outfit have this double A-side out, Sugar Boy/Cherry Pop, and it's pretty tasty. I feel they are still growing into their aesthetic, but here's as good a place to start as any, right?
Happy Saturday everyone!