Booking agents, record labels and tour managers have all been a part of what drives the ‘industry’ around music and performing arts for years. In Australia, while we watch the gradual demise of a mainstream model that refuses to change, dedicated individuals and passionate artists are stepping in to fill gaps.
Meet Rachel, the head human behind Sad Grrrls Club. Based in Newcastle (NSW) this label/agency/community is a hive of creative output and they’re doing it all themselves.
Seims are from Sydney, they play instrumental rock songs so utterly slathered in synths, effects pedals and guitar trickery it’s actually sometimes hard to determine exactly what bits are guitars and which are not! It’s reminiscent of old 8-bit video game music..but with guitars…and drums…anyway this is really engaging stuff! Very inventive!
The album is simply titled ‘II’ (or ‘two’ for those who cant read good or do other stuff good) and is 9 tracks of riffy math-rock that maintains an up-tempo pace and high energy from start to finish. It’s not overly complex for a band with these leanings but is probably some of the most fun and accessible music in this genre I’ve ever heard! Highlight track for me was #3 TUN’ with its super dirty opening bass riff, fast driving drums and the glitchy but still really cool slow-down-build-up section towards the end.
On the bands music page they have a spoiler alert: no clean tone was used in the making of this album. They are not lying and it’s clear right from the start that main man Simeon Bartholomew isn’t taking himself too seriously but still wants this stuff sound powerful. It does.
I cant recommend this enough to fans of prog/math & instrumental bands who don’t have 12 minutes to sit through a song. Or perhaps you don’t want to feel super bummed out and depressed whilst listening to your music… this is what you’ve gotta put on!
Newcastle 4 piece ‘Majora’ released a powerful collection of 6 songs back in August in the form of an impressive debut EP entitled ‘Iridescent’.
Gaining some early radio exposure through Triple J and Unearthed (plus favourable reviews on the web site), they drew listeners attention to the bands dynamic prog/post-rock sounds.
Initial comparisons with Sydneysiders ‘Sleepmakeswaves’ would be forgiven (if not welcomed given their success this year) as the two bands subscribe to the same idea of crafting high energy rock with the intricacies of progressive metal and ambience of post-rock.
Interestingly, the band worked on the material and recorded the entirety of this EP before even stepping foot on stage together as a group. In fact the bands live debut coincided with the release of the EP which stands as a testament to patience and preparedness! Since then Majora has been eagerly trekking up and down the east coast on tours and road trips spreading the name and building a national profile which I feel is going to benefit them quite a great deal when it comes time to drop EP #2 should the love from Triple J not be there a second time around.
What you get with ‘Iridescent’ is essentially a very engaging and sometimes heavy riff-driven instrumental record that boats tight clean production, big drum sounds and thick guitars. Tracks are sprinkled with blips and clicks courtesy of samples and synths for added colour. There’s melody a plenty and a more than a few moments of well executed tension building up to satisfying crescendos. All this suggests it isn’t their first rodeo (so to speak) but rather just our first time hearing them under this banner.
The record is available via usual digital outlets..
RCPD are a 5 piece band from Adelaide who play emo/skramz/punk music that reminds me an awful lot of ‘Off Minor’. With that said..I could probably leave the review right there and you should have more than enough reason to warrant checking them out. But wait…there’s more.
Featuring 7 tracks the ‘Nightlife’ EP is only the second release from the band and has proven to be quite a popular one since it dropped back in May. The band put out the CD, Annoy and Destroy put out the tape and soon I believe they’ll be producing a 7” to complete the collection! PLUS the band was offering it for free d/l (until they ran out) so obviously this music is making an impact and people are lapping it up! Luckily Age Crisis Records have copies of the CD for those who missed out on getting a copy during the bands recent tour.
The production is superb on this release and sounds really full!! Instruments are crystal clear, drums are punchy as hell and the vocals carry amazingly well above it all in the mix. Overall the band plays melodic/mathy/aggressive emo that will resonate with fans of Piano’s Become The Teeth/Tiny Moving Parts/Calculator/Caravels etc
There are ambient/reverb laden post rock moments, heavy-crust/hardcore moments, blast beats and impressive guitar noodling..in fact there’s more packed into these 7 tracks than a lot of bands i hear attempt across a whole album. It’s ambitious if nothing else!
Lyrically it’s really got some potency, loaded with metaphors and personal stuff like ‘i guess what im trying to say / its hard to watch a loved one slowly fade away / with every breathe you take / brings death closer this way’ on the opener ‘Lungs’. Wether born from personal experiences or stories, the words seem very personal and are delivered with passion and urgency.
This is CLEARLY AND EASILY in my top-releases of the year. I am smashing this one on repeat. And i dont even like Resident Evil.