Social Networking in an emergency I’ve made a last minute change to this column and I’m going to get all serious on you for a sec. At 6am my friends in Boston were posting messages on social networks informing the world they were safe while my other friends in the continental US were sending love and their hearts out to the people of Boston. Through morning eyes and confusion it didn’t take more than a minute to find out that the Boston marathon had been bombed and there were multiple causalities and several injuries. But most of all, my friends who reside in the beautiful city of Boston, and their families, were all safe and ok. The fact I knew that the people I know and love were safe before I actually knew what had happened in Boston was something that really grabbed hold of me. Last year I was travelling through the US and it appeared we were going to be on a crash course with Hurricane Sandy. Luckily we dodged that bullet but my friends bore the full brunt of the storm in New York City. Thanks to social networking we were able to let our family at home know we were ok and we got real time information from our friends in New York, who finally got out of the city after 4 days being stuck there. And we all met up in Vegas and went to the strippers but that’s a story for another column. Only a couple of months ago Brisbane was hit with a severe storm which knocked our power out for three days. One the first day we were able to communicate with people to make sure our friends were ok post-storm, on the second we were offered fridges and power points by our amazing friends and on the third I did use the platform as a bitching ground for how much it sucks not having power but most of all, we knew that Energex were working on it thanks to their comprehensive and constant updating of social media without having to wait hours on the phone only to be cut off after an hour on hold. So it’s pretty obvious that social networking has changed our lives, if only evident by the amount of people glued to their smart phones when the party turns to shit but it’s also changed the way we communicate in an emergency. One post can let a multitude of people know we’re ok while keeping telecommunications services free for those who really need them like the emergency services and police and that is nothing to be scoffed at. The fact that in a crisis, you can let the world and all your loved ones know your
safe in 140 characters or less is a powerful and relieving thing. While social networking remains the realm of kitten videos, Fry memes and Tony Abbott slandering (at least at the moment) it’s in those rare crisis situations that if you sit back and watch it, you have to appreciate how easy it makes it find someone you love or let someone you love know you’re ok. It’s a powerful and beautiful thing and despite all its faults, social networking allows us to communicate easily and gather information at time which used to be stressful, exhausting and time consuming. Now sit back and watch those lolcats going mental over laser pointers and hope you never need to use social networking in this way and be thankful if you do. By Brittles Rixon
People can delete me all day long and I wouldn’t take offense unless it was a family member. I mean hell, I have to annoy some on FB since I like to use my status updates as my own personal soapbox to rant at the world. Maybe it’s a difference in generation, but I could care less if I had 25 ‘friends’ or 300 unlike many on FB. The whole thing just makes me curious how each person decides if someone is ‘friend’ worthy. John
fan said should be called “John Feldman and the monkey’s”. It turns out the band had been having arguments and Feldmann took it upon himself to agree to the tour and come without the other three. A fan asked drummer Darrin Pfeiffer on Facebook, “Can you actually call it Goldfinger still?” To which Pfeiffer replied “Nope!!! That’s been destroyed.” So, this begs the question.. is the band Feldmann is now touring with still Goldfinger? Or some kind of cheap knock off? Herrera now tours the world without his band’s original members (and still charges $130 for a meet and greet!), and Kris Roe, who was at one point part of MxPx AllStars, is the only original member of The Ataris. My point it, at what point is a band still the band you fell in love with? Sure, Goldfinger had mainman John Feldmann behind the wheel, but the rest of the band weren’t there, and you can’t really blame anyone for losing interest. He’s an amazing Going For Gold producer and knows how to write I’ve been into ‘90s punk rock since a catchy tune, but does that give my early teens, and, like many other him the right to overrule his band? avid listeners, somewhat found my A band that has been there since way to the genre via skating video pretty much the beginning. and the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater If you ask me, some of these games. bands are turning into zombies, The graphics of those games were regenerating limbs as they falls amazing at the time of their release, off, and sucking the life out of the but what really caught my attention band until there’s nothing left – or was their soundtrack. The original until there’s no money left in it. And Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series had while it’s still awesome to see bands the best soundtracks, featuring Bad like Unwritten Law even though I always wonder what people’s Religion, Millencolin, Lagwagon and frontman Scott Russo is the only criteria is for adding ‘friends’ on Bodyjar, just to scratch the surface. original member, and all these bands Facebook. I mean, let’s face it…FB I didn’t know any of the bands, but are probably still touring for no other is a great avenue for re-connecting listening along I found myself singing reason than they love what they’re with old friends or for those of us who to choruses, and later tracking down doing, there’s something not quite have made friends overseas. As the some down. One of those bands was right about. years past though and I have more Goldfinger. Their tune Spokesman, Daniel Cribb (The Decline) ‘friends’, more ‘liked’ pages, etc…it’s which appears on 2002’s Open become annoying to scroll through Your Eyes, was on the soundtrack all the status updates and you can’t for Pro Skater 4 and was one of get through them all unless you the best things I’d ever heard, so I check FB every hour. Then I made went out and purchased the album. a conscious effort to start deleting The disc contained enhanced bonus ‘friends’. When I first signed up for material, which was a video for the FB years ago, I added any request their song Free Me, and it featured that was from someone I had been a compilation of slaughterhouse friendly with at one time or another. footage. While that didn’t really Now, I get annoyed by these ‘friends’ turn me off eating meat, it was the that post stuff I don’t agree with and first time I started seriously thinking Religion I think to myself, “I have nothing in about it, and somewhat lead me Bad Religion are now 33 years old. common with these people anymore on a path to eventually becoming a One year older than me. I consider and would never become friends vegetarian. them to be the best punk rock band with them today, so why have them Goldfinger frontman John Feldmann in the history of punk music. In as ‘friends’ on FB? Most don’t ever began one of my idols. At 16, I saw January of 2013 they released their send you a single message, post the band live. They kept releasing 16th and what is maybe their final on your wall or interact with you at music, and I kept listening. album True North. all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not like Last year they announced an Building character these younger high school kids who Australian tour for December, and Bad Religion formed in 1980 and just add everyone they go to school I was pretty bummed that I was began playing punk music affected with regardless if they ever spoke to going to be in Canada at the time. by the early 80’s LA punk scene and them. But because I sat next to you in Then I learned that John Feldmann the bands that revolved around it. 10th grade or we had mutual friends was the only member of Goldfinger The first two releases, Bad Religion in school over 15yrs ago, I should let headed to Australia, and he would and Fuck Armageddon this is hell you have access to my personal life be joined by somewhat of a super- have an all too familiar early 80’s via the Internet? After I delete these group backing band (Mike Herrera West Coast punk sound, the latter people, I feel a little guilty especially of MxPx, Aaron Barrett of Reel Big one especially being sprinkled when you have that one pathetic Fish and Aaron Stern of DRUGS/ with elements of the revolutionary person re-request you as a ‘friend’. Matchbook Romance), which one sound to come. For a little while
the members of the band struggle to find a clear identity for the music they want to play. The 80’s punk/ hardcore sound is withering away and it’s imperative to the band to either move forward by evolving the sound or die along with it. After a failed attempt at playing new wave punk, Greg Hetson of the infamous Circle Jerks joins the band and they release a landmark record for punk music in 1987. Suffer has a clearer sound than any previous Bad Religion material, and any punk record up to that point, for that matter. The songs are simple yet catchy, very melodic and distinct, and are characterized by what punkers still call “intellectual” lyrics. Suffer changed everything. Pioneers The band rides an incredible wave of inspiration and releases two albums in the next two years. No Control and Against the Grain inspire a ton of bands to follow in Bad Religion’s footsteps and raise the bar for producing quality sounding records and generally writing carefully structured songs. Against the Grain is for me, in the top three records of their discography. The “Holy Trinity Of Punk Records” is now complete. Moving forward The band has found its musical identity and naturally progresses from that basis. They enlist a stable and really cool drummer, Bobby Schayer, (for many their favorite up to now), and release another three records in three years. They invent the now nostalgic 90’s punk rock/ skate punk sound doing it better than anyone. 1992’s Generator has some radio friendly tunes and the band becomes an international affair. Roughly 20 years later the song Atomic Garden is still epic. 1993’s Recipe for Hate has some different elements in sound, proving the band can experiment on many different things; and it contains some of their most popular songs. The basic riff off the song American Jesus is one of their most recognizable ones. Some hardcore Bad Religion fans, though, remain unimpressed by this release. Major changes To look at it from a different perspective the band’s wider approach has reached the ears of major label executives. They decide to move on from the independent label Epitaph Records over to Atlantic Records and many fear the affect of that switch on their sound. Recipe for Hate is the first record they re – release via the new label. A year later, amidst rumors that Brett Gurewitz, one the bands leading songwriters, is leaving Bad Religion, as well as rumors of a possible split, they release what is their finest work to date. Every song on Stranger than Fiction is great (yes even Television) and there is no more room for any kind of experimentation. Stranger than fiction has powerful and emotional lyrics, amazing melodies
and guitar work, great production, yet is still more punk than punk rock. Every music lover and record collector should own this album. The answer to why Bad Religion are the best punk rock band off all time is ironically a rhetorical question. What other band has released six consecutive albums in seven consecutive years? No smoke without fire Gurewitz eventually leaves the band, being reluctant about signing with a major label as well as battling heroin addiction. Officially, the band claims he wished to focus on his label Epitaph Records, which later actually becomes the biggest independent record label in the world. Bad Religion now lack Gurewitz’s unique songwriting abilities and unending guitar solos. They recruit Brian Baker of Minor Threat and Dag Nasty to pick up the guitar in his place. Baker states a dream has come true. Grey Substance America The absence of Brett Gurewitz’s songwriting gives sole lyricist Greg Graffin a chance to prove he can handle that kind of pressure. 1996’s Grey Race is the first Bad Religion compact disc I acquired and now the balance between punk and rock weighs heavy on the latter. This record marks the last Bad Religion popular songs for a little while and is very underrated amongst Bad Religion fans. Come join us is still one of my all time favorite songs. The release of No Substance two years later, leaves almost no memorable trace and things spiral out of control with the release of The New America in 2000. Die hard Bad Religion fans are highly disappointed; it even comes to a point where the band gets booed off stage at festivals. Being the opener for a Blink 182 tour doesn’t help either. Drummer Bobby Shayer then suffers from shoulder injury, deeming him unable to play drums ever again. For the second time in Bad Religion history there is serious thought of a break up. Still… there is a glimmer of hope! Believe it Brett Gurewitz co-writes and joins in on recording guitar for one song on what is probably Bad Religion’s least popular record The New America. Thoughts of him rejoining the band turn into action in the form of him contributing to songwriting once again, participating in recordings and playing a handful of shows, mostly in the LA area. The return of Gurewitz meant Bad Religion had to return to their old stomping ground, Epitaph Records. One of the greatest drummers overall and, at the time, relatively unknown Brooks Wackerman replaces the inconsolable Bobby Shayer and for the first time in years everything is falling into place. Reinvent Just before Bad Religion drops The Process of Belief in 2002, Nofx’s Fat
Mike claims “it is right up there with Stranger than Fiction”. And it is. Bad Religion delivered a fast, modern punk rock record reinventing the sound they introduced. Huge props went to Brooks Wackerman and his drumming, for even the older songs played live sound different and more energetic. I cannot stress how much I listened to that record when it came out. That was also the year I saw them play live for the first time and accidentally met them the next day while taking a train from Rome to Bologna in Italy, where they offered me free passes to the next show and backstage. For a 21 year old kid from Greece, back then, it was enough reason to blow my mind. It still would be today, actually. Politics In 2004 the band continues at the same pace. Bad Religion have always been political and all about social matters, but this time it is incumbent upon them to release their most political album yet. The Empire Strikes First is the record that seals Bad Religion’s top three releases in my humble opinion. Some experimentation returns in this record, but the lyrics and music are so compelling I just can’t help but love it from start to scratch. Even Brett Gurewitz’s usual lyrical approach, which borrows ideas and stories from various novels and poetry, is on the political side. In 2007 they release The New Maps of Hell, a darker yet 100% punk rock record. A deluxe edition of that album features some official acoustic Bad Religion songs (new and old), which adds a really nice touch. Approaching the finish line In 2010 the band releases The Dissent of Man reminding the world how important it is to have excellent artwork for your records, among other things. The record is being labeled as “another Recipe for Hate” with a number of songs being on the slower, mellower side. Again, people don’t throw their hats in the air for this one but I must say, Avalon and I won’t say anything are songs capturing the essence of any band’s urge to use variety in their music. While touring for the record, Graffin hints they would possibly release one last album. In first place True North sees the band merging what is, now, the old - school punk rock of No Control with the sound and energy of what constitutes Bad Religion for the last decade. Perhaps it’s a sign of them coming full circle. Everyone loves the record and they seem to have toned down any thoughts of a permanent hiatus. Still, if this is the end then it sure is a good one! Bad Religion have introduced me to melody, punk rock music and independent forward thinking. They’ve sparked my interest in sociopolitical self - education and ultimately shaped a considerable
part of who I am. I can finally say I have found my Religion. Drossos
So I guess being involved in the local Perth punk rock scene for almost 10 years now probably makes me somewhat of a veteran (old dude who should have gave up a long time ago also comes to mind...) Anyway it makes me think I kinda get shit a bit better than some around town. One thing I have learned in recent times and I’m gonna preach about in this here little article is the importance of band relations. I’ve played with a lot of great dudes (and dudettes!) over the time and I’ve played with a lot of douches. I suppose mostly that this form of douchism (if you will) has stemmed from competition between bands - for shows, supports, fans etc etc... Competition I guess is pretty natural in this game but surely to fuck it shouldn’t affect the way you deal with people? And the worst of these douches is the I’m shit hot and gonna make it douche... Sorry dude but chances are that your band aren’t gonna make it... I know it sucks but there it is. But in good news your gonna have a shit load of fun playing shows and hanging round with other bands who think alike. And being that you’re into the same sorta tunes, you like hanging out with mates and drinking beer (you’re at the pub right?) why wouldn’t you be mates? And why wouldn’t you support your mates bands? At the end of the day most people who come down to local shows and support local bands are people who are in bands. These people are the foundation of the scene and if not for them chances are that there wouldn’t be half as many people at our show. In other news our little scene over here in the west seems to be thriving at the moment which is pretty sick. Still got some great venues kicking around and a tonne of shit hot punk rock bands hitting the streets. If you’re looking for a few new tunes to spin you can’t go wrong checking out a few of these dude... SCALPHUNTER - ferocious punk ‘n roll that put on a rad live show... THE BOB GORDONS - drunk punks who go hard and fast... BLIINDSPOT - 90s punk rock with shit hot melodies.... FAIM - drama punk rock with a cracker of a new album out
called “pretty well over the bay”. Being all the way over here in WA means shit is a lot harder when it comes to touring and getting your band name out in Australia. Bands over here dream of being able to jump in a car and tour out of a van. So when you do see the little (WA) behind a band name in your scene make sure you give em a chance and check em out! Joel
for becoming so bloody complacent in life…with everything! I whinge to mates , family and anyone that will listen and I rarely pursue anything that I give a fuck about anymore… it’s just too hard, or I have bullshit excuses like “I just don’t have the time”… But knowing and acknowledging I am like this has been a start. There is so much shit happening to our country, to our states, and to our cities. So much shit that far too many people are tolerating. I’m not necessarily going anywhere with this rant. If anything I’m simply highlighting something that has hit home hard lately and I don’t doubt for a minute that a lot of us are in the exact same situation. I’m not suggesting we all turn into whining old folk, complaining about everything including the price of groceries etc… I’m saying stick up for and re-ignite that passion we once had as children. Do everything with humility and stand firm in what it Something that has hit home with is you believe in regardless of what me lately, is how as we grow older, others may think… I need a coffee… we seem to lose the passion we John MEANtime once had within us to stand up for and argue for whatever it may be we want or believe in, regardless of whether we are right or wrong. As kids we all spat the dummy, or cracked the shits if stuff didn’t go our way… We argued black and blue when we wanted something so bad, even though an ounce of our insides knew it perhaps wasn’t the right thing to do. As kids we were so passionate about all that mattered to There’s a scratchy old recording us, and it was the smallest things like that’s been sampled in a bunch watching our favourite show on TV, of different songs; an American wanting that book, that magazine, preacher shouts at his congregation that cassette or record… or that CD. “…rock and roll is a satanic music! We fussed until we got what we want If you make the music go back, you or we got so damn close to doing so, hear Satan speaking.” In the 1980s, crazy Christian groups’ belief that we gave in appreciating our fight. As adults, it appears we do nothing satanic messages were being hidden but whinge and whine about in heavy metal albums led to record everything and do little to emulate burnings and anti-backmasking laws that raw, childish but pure passion. being passed in several US states, To act out and fight and do it all including California. with humility as we once did…not It’s wasn’t the first time that selfgiving a fuck what we sounded like, appointed guardians of “community what we looked like or how others values” had overreacted to the perceived us. So much happens terrifying threat posed by new in our lives as adults that we don’t forms of music. When jazz was agree with, or don’t support or allow new, conservative members of the to be taken from us and we simply community were sure that it was bend over and cop it, we whinge going to lead the youth of society in the safety or our peers and are into promiscuity and anti-social unfortunately content with it. Now behaviour. Likewise with rock and I don’t know what the answer is roll in the 50s, psychedelic music in to this…we all become all the the 60s, the Sex Pistols (swearing on more mature and conscious of our TV! OMG!!) in the late 70s, gangsta behaviour and reactions to certain rap and heavy metal in the 80s and matters, but really… if we are that raves in the 90s. passionate about something, why Groups of people getting all can’t that childish and passionate worked up over perceived threats attitude rear its head again, lined to their society is so common that with our newfound maturity and it have been given a special name: knowledge. Surely we are armed to Moral Panic. Usually moral panics articulate and argue whatever it is have something to do with young we are wanting or feel we deserve or people, sex, drugs, “delinquency”, have the rights to retain… Surely we race, technology or some other aren’t all that vein that we care more issue that is about to bring about a collapse of society. There have about what others think of us! I’m just as guilty as the next person been moral panics over everything
from Dungeons and Dragons, to “video nasties”, marijuana, and white slavery. If there is a tangible outcome to a moral panic, it usually seems to be in the form of a bonfire (Harry Potter books, heavy metal CDs, women accused of witchcraft), or in the form of legislation (sodomy laws, “tough sentencing” laws, anti-immigration laws). The panicked response is usually massively disproportionate to the actual threat. Sometimes the target of a moral panic sees it coming, and takes steps to appease the mob. In the 1950s, comics were accused of being the cause of juvenile delinquency, so comic book publishers introduced the Comics Code to self-censor comics containing anything related to violence, horror or sex. History doesn’t exactly repeat, but it sure does rhyme. In the 1900s the public were told to be afraid of Anarchists; in the 1950s people where whipped into a frenzy about Communists, and in the 2000s we were doing all kinds of stupid things because we were shit-scared of terrorists. People are easy to manipulate by pressing cheap emotional buttons, and there always seems to be something to gain from being the button-pusher rallying an audience against an outside threat. Manufactured outrage sells newspapers or gets pageviews. Joseph McCarthy was an unknown senator before he started accusing people of being Communists. Politicians, religious leaders, journalists and talkback radio hosts have all learnt the same lesson about generating and profiting from public fear and outrage. There is almost nothing we won’t do if we are just told to “think of the children”. The types of people responsible for creating moral panics see the past through rose-tinted glasses; a mythical golden age that has been steadily eroded by the corruptions of the modern age. I don’t get it; the people back then were dicks! The things that the moral majority thought were going to cause the downfall of society seem more ridiculous the further back in time you go; how was abolishing slavery or giving voting rights to women ever controversial? The past seems like a different country, and the tide of history seems to flow in one direction, which is good news for everyone who thinks that marriage equality is the right thing to do, or who believes that people shouldn’t be put in jail for victimless crimes like taking drugs. But it does make you wonder what things we are getting all worked up about today that will make people in the far future wonder what the fuck we were thinking. Stu Hefner
Everybody has an ‘off’ or a bad day every now and then, and that’s fine and pretty normal. What’s not fine is when those ‘off days’ turn into ‘off weeks’... but not that I’ve ever suffered thru that dilemma before. Honest. So I guess a lot of folks, well, two readers max, are wondering if it was during one of these ‘off days’ that I decided to call it quits on PEE zine? And the truthful answer is no. It was however on an ‘off day’ that I told my wife how I was going to give the list of cunts on my shit list, a list that I’ve unfortunately gathered over the years of being involved in this industry, a huge spray in this column, leaving my final column and issue to be a positive look back over the 17 years since PEE #1 back in 1996. But that ‘off day’ has passed now. Sure, I’ve had other ‘off days’ since, and at times I’d like nothing more than to raise a finger in print at the cunts who’ve screwed over my bands, my label or my zine, but I like to think karma will one day come knocking to each and every one of them rather than wallow in bitterness. Don’t get me wrong, I hold grudges, can have quite a short fuse and have a memory to rival any elephant, but wasting time and energy being bitter just isn’t healthy [let alone unproductive and sure fire way of making sure you won’t sleep at night]. And that karma thing eventually kicks in. I’ve seen so many bands, labels, radio show hosts, record stores and promoters come and go since my first zine, and for the most part I’ve been sad to see many disappear or call it quits. But there has also been a few times I’ve cracked open a beer in celebration of these arseholes who I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with crawling back under the rock from which they appeared. And I have no doubt there’ll be a few of these same selfish, narcissistic, money hungry, fake, thieving arseholes who’ll crack a chardonnay after the next issue in celebration of PEE zine being no more, and that’s fine by me too coz they’re not the reason I feel it’s time to put the zine to rest. The energy’s still there, I’ve really enjoyed slapping this issue together, but my awesome team of contributors have also got lives that have got busier. It gets increasingly hard to dedicate the time to do zine stuff that we once had plenty of spare time to do, and so I feel the time is right. It’s been a blast, and we still have one more in the chamber yet to fire… Pete Pee
Newcastle hardcore outfit Tired Minds released their killer debut EP that was recorded with Mat Taylor at Scabbey Road Studios (Safe Hands, The Delta Lions) and mastered by the popular Alan Douches in the US through Break Bend records last September. The EP has been flogged on the office stereo here which is reason enough to bug guitarist Paul with some crappy questions..
Adelaide hardcore quartet A Ghost Orchestra have only been around for a year or so but in that time have been playing some awesome shows both locally and interstate. Our shit questions were answered by vocalist and all round nice dude Adam Geisler…
We need the brief and exciting history lesson of how you guys all got together to form Tired Minds, but this is where you get to air the true story of who begged and bribed who to join the band... Lies, all lies, Ben and I tricked everyone into thinking they were joining a band that would be like their favourite band, little did they know they were joining the Tired Minds abomination. Do you remember what first drew you to punk and hardcore music? Do you think those elements still exist today? The money, we were totally in it for the huge cashflow that comes with being in a hardcore band First gig, huge success that re-affirmed why you wanted to start the band in the first place, or terrible disaster on stage in front of mum and dad? Combination of the two. Tuning problems, gear problems, no bassist but we were too dumb to realize how bad it was. To be fair shows like this continued for a while.... Anything to read into the band name? And what was the worst band name you guys came up with before settling on Tired Minds? It is an allusion to minds that are sleepy. There was some pretty bad overly metal names that were thrown around. Probably best not to mention them. Can you tell us a little about the recording of your recent ep, what was influencing you guys at the time of writing and recording, and how long the band had been working on these songs... Recording was done by the awesome Mat Taylor and mastered at west west side studios. The biggest influences on the album was the cocktail of panadol, morpheine, alcohol, turps and tetris. I think it all comes through in the recording though. If Tired Minds had a declaration or message you wanted to get out to the punters what would it be? Our drummer is NOT Dave Grohl. Worst thing you’ve seen punk / hardcore suffer thru over the years you’ve been involved? djent So what’s next for you guys? Any plans on a future release you can let us know about? Hopefully a 3 track soon, get a new shirt printed and we are planning to whore Gibbo out on the street corner to fund it all. Thanx for your time mate, any last words, secrets you wanna get off your chest, blatant advertising or folks you wanna thank? The only thing I want off my chest is all this damn chest hair, I look like a rug.
We need the brief and exciting history lesson of how you guys all got together to form A Ghost Orchestra, but this is where you get to air the true story of who begged and bribed who to join the band... Myself and Sean started the band as little, studio side project for a bit of fun a few full moons ago. After writing the demo together we thought we’d recruit some band members and do a thing. We found our Ex-Drummer Stu through various porn sites and looked like a hard pounder. Cianan our bass player joined soon, after finding him stealing peoples mail in the local neighbourhood. Do you remember what first drew you to punk and hardcore music? Do you think those elements still exist today? What’s not to draw you in? It’s raw, filthy and real. Not like all the other shit that’s forced fed to you via radio, tv and media. We think those elements still exist today, you just need to know where to look. First gig, huge success that re-affirmed why you wanted to start the band in the first place, or terrible disaster on stage in front of mum and dad? It was great! We had a lot of our friends packed into the Squatter Arms and shit got buckwild! It was also rad to see how we all gelled together in a live environment too. Anything to read into the band name? And what was the worst band name you guys came up with before settling on A Ghost Orchestra? The name came together after a few nominations. Some that weren’t really acceptable because we were going to call it Metallica. This was as well as calling it something that may have led to the disappearance of the band...A Ghost Orchestra to us means a dead sound. Something that an average person wouldn’t relate to. Can you tell us a little about the recording of your recent demo, what was influencing you guys at the time of writing and recording, and how long the band had been working on these songs... There wasn’t too much of a process of recording the demo. It came together within a month or so. Sean wrote the songs and I wrote the lyrics, but we did both have ideas for song structure and arrangement. We both hail to bands like Norma Jean, Poison The Well and The Chariot. But we’re all individuals and branch off to inner influences such as Adam’s one and only Slipknot/Mudvayne, Sean’s Turnstile, Cianan’s Rage Against the Machine and Billy’s Queens of the Stone Age. If A Ghost Orchestra had a declaration or message you wanted to get out to the punters what would it be? I could go on about this forever Pete, but I will give you some of the main ingredients. I’m not a preacher nor a teacher. I live a life and deal with day to day obstacles. I write my lyrics on what’s happening around me at the time weather it’s negative or positive. I usually write for myself and not others just like i live my life, if you live for someone else you are not being yourself and if people can relate to that, that’s what you want! Worst thing you’ve seen punk / hardcore suffer thru over the years you’ve been involved? I think we all know that one! So what’s next for you guys? Any plans on a future release you can let us know about? Going to new places and playing in front of new heads is something we’ve been thriving off of since we started. You will definitely see us travelling a bit in the future. Sean’s been writing and tracking since the demo dropped but due to the revolving door of drummers, momentum has been lost release-wise. We do have a potential release with another Adelaide band this year. Keep your cocks out! Thanx for your time mate, any last words, secrets you wanna get off your chest, blantant advertising or folks you wanna thank? Come to local shows, Buy local band stuff and Kat for putting up with us. listen to: Safe Hands, Vanity, One In The Chamber, Life Pilot, Mara Jade, Bateman, Statues and chuck the knarliest head bang.
Photo by: Daniel Marx
Sampler CD track #13
Sampler CD track #16
Hailing from Örebro, Sweden, four piece Subwaste have that classic punk sound similar to that of The Causalities, One Man Army and Rancid. After recently releasing their “Broken Machine” album and featuring on this issues Sampler CD we sent our shitty questions to Subwaste guitar and lead vocalist Tobbe Pettersson…
Sydney punk rock quartet Batfoot! like their Ramones records, writing short sharp pop punk songs, and using an exclamation mark in thier band name. Late last year they released their debut album “Brain Dead” so we fired our shit questions at bass player and vocalist Craig Hughes to annoy him…
We need the brief and exciting history lesson of how you guys all got together to form Subwaste, but this is where you get to air the true story of who begged and bribed who to join the band... Hey Pete, this is Tobbe, Subwaste was formed in 2005 by me and a couple of friends of mine who I’d been playing with in different bands since we were kids. Growing up, punk rock music and skateboarding was always on our minds and we just wanted to play, we’d play ten hours straight several times a week without a care in the world. To be a part of a band with your best friends was, and still, is something special and whenever life gets you down, there’s always been a place to go to clear your head Do you remember what first drew you to punk and hardcore music? Do you think those elements still exist today? I grew up on the countryside and my family moved in to the city just before I was about to start school and I remember feeling like an outsider from day one. I guess somehow that’s why I later on got into punk music, it’s just my way to get away.. First gig, huge success that re-affirmed why you wanted to start the band in the first place, or terrible disaster on stage in front of mum and dad? Our first gig was better than expected, most of our friends who showed up didn’t know about this new band so they got a bit surprised I guess... Oh, my mum showed up at a show once and shouted “that’s my son” that was both fun and embarrassing haha Anything to read into the band name? And what was the worst band name you guys came up with before settling on Subwaste? No, not really.. We just liked the sound of it and we wanted to make sure we got a name no other band would use. I’m sure we talked about other band names but I can’t remember any of them, sorry Can you tell us a little about the recording of your tracks on the recent Floored On The Four comp, what was influencing you guys at the time of writing and recording, and how long the band had been working on these songs... We recorded those tracks at Garageland Studios in Strängnäs, Sweden, a studio we’ve been recording at a couple of times before. The two songs on the Floored On The Four comp are two very different songs, “Lifetime” is a song about wasting your whole life working, making money for some rich guy in a suit who doesn’t give a shit if you’re dead or alive. The other song “State of Hate” is about my hometown and how sick it makes me sometimes. If Subwaste had a declaration or message you wanted to get out to the punters what would it be? Always do what YOU feel is right, that’s what punk rock is really about!!! Worst thing you’ve seen punk / hardcore suffer thru over the years you’ve been involved? I don’t know... I’d say Internet, it changed everything, some things for the better and some for the worse So what’s next for you guys? Any plans on a future release you can let us know about? We’re writing new songs for our second album, hopefully we’ll be able to start recording sometime around June/July, we also have some Swedish festival shows coming up and a Europe tour with Saturday’s Heroes (SWE) in August Thanx for your time mate, any last words, secrets you wanna get off your chest, blatant advertising or folks you wanna thank? Check out the Floored On The Four comp out now on Warbird Entertainment!! Visit us on facebook and for Subwaste Merch check out wbestore.com Cheers and thanks!
We need the brief and exciting history lesson of how you guys all got together to form Batfoot!, but this is where you get to air the true story of who begged and bribed who to join the band... I started Batfoot! with Justin in 2007 where we started writing songs. I’ve known Justin for nearly 20 years and we’ve always liked the same style of music. We started as a 3 piece and played our first gig in 2008, within about a year we decided a second guitarist would boost our sound and asked Luke who I worked with at the time to join us. We asked many, many people but everyone else turned us down. We never had, and still don’t have anything in common with Luke apart from the band. A year or so later our original drummer moved away. We knew Joel who drummed in another punk band that we used to play with a fair bit who had just disbanded. Joel started playing for us straight away and it’s worked out great. Do you remember what first drew you to punk and hardcore music? Do you think those elements still exist today? For me, the energy. Fast music with humorous or non-serious lyrics. Growing up listening to bands like Screeching Weasel, Frenzal, Chixdiggit! and The Queers got me hooked. First gig, huge success that re-affirmed why you wanted to start the band in the first place, or terrible disaster on stage in front of mum and dad? Actually our first gig was really great. We were scared stiff but had a blast. I signed Justin’s mums boob. Anything to read into the band name? And what was the worst band name you guys came up with before settling on Batfoot? Without any doubt, ‘Batfoot!’ is the worst name we came up with. The exclamation mark is there to honour our favourite band Chixdiggit!, not many people know that. Can you tell us a little about the recording of your album, what was influencing you guys at the time of writing and recording, and how long the band had been working on these songs... Most of our songs are about girls (some that we know, some that are D grade celebs), food, and video games. We were heavily influenced by girls, food and video games. The writing process was long and gruelling, and lasted almost an entire weekend. If Batfoot! had a declaration or message you wanted to get out to the punters what would it be? Curly Wurlys are, and always have been better than Chomp. Worst thing you’ve seen punk / hardcore suffer thru over the years you’ve been involved? I think it reaches more than just the punk/hardcore scenes, but we’ve seen a fair few venues have trouble in the past few years, and some of them shut down, this is never nice to see. Places like the Sandringham, Annandale, and Excelsior Hotels which were all great live venues have all been through this. In our local area, for 2-3 years all of the smaller sized venues closed down leaving only bigger venues, which sucked for smaller bands like us. So what’s next for you guys? Any plans on a future release you can let us know about? This news is Pee exclusive... we are currently working on a new full length. We are aiming to get into the studio in the last quarter of this year, which should be released early-ish next year. The lyrical content has definitely matured ten fold for this one. Thanx for your time mate, any last words, secrets you wanna get off your chest, blantant advertising or folks you wanna thank? Well thanks for the interview! Thanks to everyone that’s come to see us play, bought merch, uploaded our music to PirateBay (you know you’ve made it when you hit PirateBay), and of course the bands we’ve played with. We’re constantly being blown away by peoples support.
Sampler CD track #7 Adelaide hardcore outfit Starscream are a band who describe themselves as being made up of “five good time enthusiasts”, who clearly show no shortage of passion and energy. Vocalist and local legend Will Oakeshott copped our shit question treatment... We need the brief and exciting history lesson of how you guys all got together to form Starscream, but this is where you get to air the true story of who begged and bribed who to join the band... This question is actually filled with irony and quite hilarious really. Our former guitarist Joel Winton and current guitarist plus song writer extraordinaire Nathan Cunnew started the band after a few too many drinks at home and an intoxicated desire to write heavy music. I ran into Joel on a separate occasion when he was beyond inebriated at gig hot spot Enigma bar one night to him proclaiming: “I started a new band and you are the singer” (I had known him quite a long time, so my choice was already made for me haha). From there, my old band AAAGH! COBRAS! was seeking a drummer forever, one skilled percussionist by the name of Dylan Mortimer tried out but wasn’t the style A!C! needed, he was too technical; obvious answer he should join Starscream. Byron Mortimer, our smooth bassist jumped onboard after hearing the demo and also begun clean singing after the former singer of melody didn’t quite work out. We have had some changes since, but that’s how it all started. Do you remember what first drew you to punk and hardcore music? Do you think those elements still exist today? This all reverts back to the energy of it. I was brought up on The Beatles, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, INXS, Bob Dylan and some of the cooler (for the lack of a better word) bands like The Buzzcocks and The Clash. After hearing Millencolin’s song Olympic as a pre-teen through an old babysitter, I remember I felt the need to run around like a birthday toddler with a sugar high, it was love at first sound. From there it was necessary I expanded this horizon and haven’t looked back since. First gig, huge success that re-affirmed why you wanted to start the band in the first place, or terrible disaster on stage in front of mum and dad? Fortunately every member in this band comes from experience in playing live scenarios, so first gig went actually quite well. Everyone performed their role with minimal hesitation and I earned the name “SpiderWill”, I like to think we have only gotten better since, then again I have played quite a few shows under the influence haha. Anything to read into the band name? And what was the worst band name you guys came up with before settling on Starscream? Actually there isn’t a great amount of depth for this. There was some elongated name originally but it was narrowed down to a tribute to a bad ass Transformer. Pretty much the sum of it all. Can you tell us a little about the recording of your 7” about to be released, what was influencing you guys at the time of writing and recording, and how long the band had been working on these songs... Our influences are expansive yet I think we all have an idea of what the sound of Starscream is has become quite clear in our collective minds. For myself personally, I think the early Poison The Well records (“The Opposite Of December’ & ‘Tear From The Red) are an inspiration on us, especially that era of hardcore or for the genre specific post-metalcore. However, Every Time I Die, Coverge, The Chariot, Norma Jean, The Hope Conspiracy and many others certainly play their part on the band. Fortunately Nate (guitarist) is a song writing enthusiast, the two tracks on the 7” were the best to follow up the demo and a perfect closing chapter on the concept I have created for Starscream’s songs lyrically. Basically the boys jammed them out quite quickly and I finished an episode on the character in the story (the demo and 7-inch are about a paramedic who struggles with his job of fighting mortality and how he has to ignore his emotions and fears with what comes from death). We recorded with a good friend Jack Hartley in his house and tried to keep it as organic as possible with a live feel. I think we achieved that, and then Dan Murtagh mastered it and absolutely nailed it with what we wanted. It’s hard to put a time frame on the writing and recording, but to be honest it wouldn’t have been more than a month if I had to. If Starscream had a declaration or message you wanted to get out to the punters what would it be? We literally just want to have a good time, watch us play; you will see that, even if it terrifies you. Live shows are our life blood. Worst thing you’ve seen punk / hardcore suffer thru over the years you’ve been involved? I think fashion and exclusion are the worse parts of any music scene, unfortunately it affects punk and hardcore too. Worse of all the aforementioned issues can literally go hand in hand also. For example: If there is a girl dressed like Lana Del Ray, why can’t she enjoy Shai Hulud at say Soundwave Festival? And same with the opposite; music is about freedom and artistic expression, not exclusion or fashion, all should be welcomed to enjoy at all times. Thanx for your time mate, any last words, secrets you wanna get off your chest, blatant advertising or folks you wanna thank? Anyone who has watched us play thank you, we hope you had as much fun as we did. All support from friends, family, lovers and of course other great bands thank you a million. Pete Pee you are a hero in every sense of the word. Some bands you should check out: Bateman, Mara Jade, One In The Chamber, Trainwreck, Raccoon City Police Department, A Ghost Orchestra, Life Pilot, Dick Wolf and many more there is too many to list. Keep supporting local music!
Sampler CD track #8 With a killer album out and a recent Asian tour under their belt, Sunshine Coast hardcore quintet Countdown To Armageddon were in the firing line for our shitty q’s. Vocalist Mitch drew the short straw and got stuck with the answering duties... We need the brief and exciting history lesson of how you guys all got together to form Countdown To Armgeddon, but this is where you get to air the true story of who begged and bribed who to join the band... Haha wow that’s so far to think back! I guess it all really started when myself (Mitch) and our drummer (Chas) meant when we would’ve only been 12 or younger haha.. At that age everything musically was new to us and everything blew us away, I can remember we used to ride down to our local music store (Moshpit music) where my brother worked to buy our records. We though the guy who run the shop (Phill) was the coolest dude on the fucking earth and pretty much is the main reason we decided at that age we wanted to be in a band. Everything from then on felt like it all just happened for a reason like a true love story haha. Chas and i then started our first year of high school and in only a matter of months we’d found our guitarist (Sam) from our first class together I gave him shit, felt bad and asked him for a jam haha. At this time we had a close friend of ours on the mic, had finally convinced Sam’s older brother and our present guitarist (Jake) to join the band and slap the bass. But sadly our friend had to leave the country and we were stuck with no singer, so I put my hand up and gave it a shot, convinced my older brother to now slap da bass, moved jake to guitar (as he ones years ahead of me haha) and that’s the line-up we are to date and couldn’t be more happy with. Do you remember what first drew you to punk and hardcore music? Do you think those elements still exist today? It was mainly my brothers I think, at a young age I was hearing shit loads of AFI, Terror, Raised Fist, Pennywise, Madball, early Parkway Drive and Against, considering my brothers were my biggest idols/ influences and I was an angry kid I fell in love with it and wanted to hear more and I still do now! Haha I hear people debating this a lot now a days, most people are either for or against it but they way I see it is that peoples lives are constantly changing and therefor so is the music they play/ listen to. I honestly do think these elements still exist but I think the message has devolved a lot and I think we need that sense of community back no matter what style of music you play but wether or not your helping the scene! First gig, huge success that re-affirmed why you wanted to start the band in the first place, or terrible disaster on stage in front of mum and dad? Wow that’s going back, I think our first show was a community run event showcases local bands with a lot of indie and pub rock shit, people didn’t seem to really understand what we were doing the whole time. Regardless I think it did re-affirm to us we wanted to pursue music as we just fucking love playing music either way! Anything to read into the band name? And what was the worst band name you guys came up with before settling on Countdown To Armgeddon? Haha these are all the funniest questions! It’s kinda cool how the meaning of our band name to me personally has changed over the years, at first it was just some cool name I saw on a T.V show about world war 2 and it looked and sounded way better than ‘Inacore’ haha. But as the years have rolled on I’ve found my own personal meaning in it from dealing with depression as a kid to now it was like a countdown to releasing all the built up rage when I’m screaming to not be a negative person in the other aspects of life. I’ve also grown up and become a lot more aware of the corruption and greed that is prominent in our government and the rest of the world so I guess it’s also a countdown till the day the people fight back for their freedom both physically and mentally that the world is in such a state of armageddon. Can you tell us a little about the recording of your album, what was influencing you guys at the time of writing and recording, and how long the band had been working on these songs… Fuck, this is a novel in itself haha. Well we all decided for a debut album we wanted to make it sound as big as possible! Eventually we decided to go with Electric Sun from Sydney to do 12 tracks I think? Most of us had just graduated high school so we could barely afford it but we made it work, stayed in the stinkiest, wretched caravan park of all Western Syndey and feared of getting stabbed and raped every night. Shit a lot of stuff was influencing us, I know we had Make Do And Mend’s ‘End Measured Mile’ and The Used self title on repeat a lot! But again at the time just getting a lot of built up shit on to record. If Countdown To Armgeddon had a declaration or message you wanted to get get out to the punters what would it be? Shit even the answer to this has changed over the years, the message we want people to hear now is that no matter what shit you’ve got in your head, no matter what shit someone around you is dragging you down with no matter what suffering your going through at the moment there is always someone there to listen or to help. That when you can learn to say ‘Fuck it’ to life and do what you know makes you truly happy then do it. In this cold world we have to hold on tight to the things that keep us warm. Thanx for your time mate, any last words, secrets you wanna get off your chest, blantant advertising or folks you wanna thank? I want to thank you Pete most of all very being such a all round genuine dude and willing to help us out!! RTD Records for showing so much faith in us as a band and every single person that helps us in any kind of way we truly are so thankful for everything. We got a new song coming to ^_^
Interview by: Willy-O Nearing the end of 2012 The Broderick released their debut album ‘Free To Rot, Free Of Sin’ Brash, Abrasive, Heavy, Bleak, Intense and mindbending is one way to sum up the ten tracks that make up the LP which ended up on many “Top Of The Year Lists”, for this writer specifically, it was comparable to Converge’s masterpiece ‘Jane Doe’. Regular PEE contributor Will caught up with Marc Harpur, guitarist and all round nice guy from the band to see how things are coming along in The Broderick’s world… PEE: Hey Marc, thank you for doing this interview for Pee zine. The Broderick’s debut album ‘Free To Rot, Free To Sin’ has been out for around ten months now, how has it been received so far? MARC: In regards to people’s feedback of the record it’s been great, everyone has had really positive things to say and it’s interesting to hear what each individual is taking away from it. P: As with most releases, it naturally comes with jumping into a van and touring to support it. You have been exploring different parts of our fine nation as well as making your debut trip to New Zealand, how have the shows been especially backing the new record? M: To be honest we haven’t really seen any extra people attending our shows than previous to releasing ‘Free To Rot, Free Of Sin’, but in saying that all the shows have been great. We have been really enjoying playing the new songs and have had a lot of fun just touring and hanging out with friends and seeing places we have never seen before. P: One of the more exciting prospects that has come The Broderick’s way with the new LP is the signing to international heavy weight label Deathwish Inc. How did this come about? Surely this is near a “dream come true” status as many bands wish to be on that label with
the incredible roster of artists / outfits on that roster? M: Well we aren’t actually signed to Deathwish they just agreed to distro the album, but regardless it was still great to see a label that you have respected and enjoyed the releases of for so many years take notice of something you created. We were lucky that Marty (Kirby, Carpathian) who produced the record already had a relationship with Deathwish and was able to sort it out. P: On the topic of overseas there is word on the grape vine that you will heading to South East Asia and other parts for some touring, are you excited about that? Where will you be visiting with that tour and is it a pretty intense schedule or do you have some downtime too? M: Yeah we will be in June and July, the tour is super relaxed which is the way we planned it so we could see some stuff and enjoy the fact that we are in another country playing music. We will be visiting Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. We couldn’t be more excited as it’s been a goal of ours to play Japan in particular for years. P: Furthering this overseas topic, Deathwish Inc obviously will support The Broderick by releasing the album in North America, do you have plans to try and tour beyond Australia and South East Asia? M: I wish we could tour the whole world but unfortunately it’s so hard for people to take chances on smaller bands these days. It’s especially hard for a band like ours where we aren’t the most well known and don’t have a label pushing us or funding us to go overseas. But we are super eager so you never know what might happen. P: On the back of playing live you have also acquired some great supports in the last few months including Post-Metal geniuses in Russian Circles, Mathcore originators Converge as well
as Rosetta amongst probably many more. Were you well received at these shows? It must be quite the honour to share the stage with some of the leading musicians in their fields? M: Yeah we had played with Converge the first time they came out for the ‘No Heroes’ tour and it was amazing to play with them again. The Russian Circles show was great, I actually got to talking with the bass player Brian (Cook) and gave him our new record, which he ended up reviewing it online a couple of months later and had some very nice things to say. This was certainly a huge honour as we are all big Russian Circles fans. P: Besides the promo clip for the album which featured a snippet of footage of a performance for the song Black Lung, does The Broderick have plans for an official film clip? Maybe a collection of live performances or something even more intense that could be more haunting than Converge’s Axe To Fall clip? M: We never ended up doing a film clip for any of the songs off ‘Free To Rot, Free Of Sin’ but there may be something in the works in the next couple of months so maybe keep your eyes peeled if you’re interested. P: Thank for your time again Marc, just one final question, what does the next year to two years have in store for The Broderick? M: It’s hard to say really, we could have a new album or we could no longer be a band I guess we will just have to see what happens. Ash Denman - Drums Marc Harpur - Guitar Steve Sousa - Guitar Ben Meilak - Bass Logan Fewster - Vocals
Interview by: John Martin
A band that needs no introduction… Propagandhi have recently put out their sixth studio album, ‘Failed States’. For a group that has dedicated their career to “solidarity” work on top of endless touring and releasing some of the most consciously-aware, thrash-punk over the past 2+ decades… I was stoked that Chris took time out to thoughtfully answer my questions about the band. PEE: Early in your career, did you ever find it difficult to gain respect and grow as a band within the punk community because you were from Winnipeg as opposed to a larger city with a more established DIY punk scene that has many others to lean on for help? CHRIS: I think the last thing on our mind back then was gaining respect from anyone, haha. We were more concerned about antagonizing scenesters than anything else. Maybe you’re right in some sense, compared to some American hotbeds of punk at the time, but I’m not sure we cared. P: In what ways do you feel the band’s sound has evolved from ‘How To Clean Everything’ through your latest release, ‘Failed States’? C: I thought there was a huge jump between ‘How To Clean Everything’ and ‘Less Talk, More Rock’. In the couple years after ‘HTCE’ came out, I think we suddenly realized that more than 50 people from Winnipeg were now listening to what we were doing and we wanted to put in a better, more sober effort. On top of that, we’ve just become more adept at our instruments and our sense of how to put a song together, so the tunes have gotten sharper and heavier as we’ve gone along. P: ‘Failed States’ was recorded in Winnipeg. Did recording the album at home make for an easier, less stressful process and were you 100% satisfied with doing it this way? C: Yeah, that was the idea. I think it worked to a degree. I mean, if you’re ever 100% satisfied… something is probably very wrong with the process. But it was definitely a little freer in terms of not watching the clock so closely, as you do when you’re in a foreign city with a very fixed amount of time to make a record. Both approaches have their pros and cons. P: Personally do you have a favorite Propagandhi record? C: Probably ‘Potemkin City Limits’. I wish Beave could have been in the band for that one… would have been a slamdunk. I also think ‘Less Talk’ is up there. Both ‘Failed States’ and ‘Supporting Caste’ have some of our best songs on
them, so those are also up there. P: Your band is usually associated with Fat Wreck Chords in terms of record labels, but you are now with Epitaph Records. These are widely considered the two biggest “punk” labels. What, in your eyes, is the biggest difference between them? C: Well, from a fairly removed perspective living in Canada, my impression is that Epitaph is more of a well-oiled machine while Fat Wreck Chords has more of a ‘downhome’ vibe. Both ways of being have their advantages and disadvantages. P: In 1997, you formed the G7 Welcoming Committee record label. What were you originally hoping to accomplish with G7 and did the label lived up to your aspirations? C: I guess we just wanted to put out meaningful recordings on our terms, in a way that reflected some core values that are often sacrificed at the altar of profit and expansion in the world of commerce. In a lot of ways we did indeed live up to our expectations, yes, but eventually shut it down in favor of pursuing projects that were less of an uphill battle. P: Did you ever perceive a situation at one of the labels you’ve worked with and adapt that lesson to your own label, whether it had been a good idea or a ‘learning from their mistake’ situation? C: Only in very obvious examples, I think. Otherwise, we generally just went full-steam ahead on our own, regardless of what other labels were doing, amassing our own litany of mistakes and failures in the process. P: Was it a conscious plan in the early days of the band to be politically motivated or was that just what came out when putting pen to paper? C: It was simply what came out. The bands we were interested in were all fairly provocative politically, so it got the gears going in our own young minds, trying to figure out what we thought about this world we were born into. P: Do you ever get tired of being called a “political band”? C: Sort of…every band is a “political” band. It’s just that most are happy to defer to the prevailing political order and hence, are not perceived as being “political”. P: Do you feel bands or entertainers have a moral obligation to use their position to educate audiences on subjects that their listeners may not be aware of? C: In my experience, the bands are usually the dumbest humans in the building on any given night, so I think audiences have a moral obligation to use their position to
educate bands on subjects that they are not aware of. P: If you had the choice to motivate your listener through your music to do one of the following, which would it be; get them to find a way to rebel against the system to help force change or to adjust the way they perceive themselves within society and change their own lives for the better? C: I think those are both part of the same equation. You can’t really have a meaningful former without a meaningful latter. P: Have you ever found it difficult to balance the ethics of the band with a particular reality faced at one time or another? C: Yes, constantly and continually. Commerce, particularly under capitalism, can be ugly and combatative and brings out the worst in people and tends to undermine relationships. The music industry is non-stop shell game. It bores me to tears. P: You guys, both as a band and individually, have worked with many worthy organizations and charities over the years. Do you ever find yourselves spread too thin with your charitable efforts? C: Yes. P: What type of charities get Propagandhi off their feet to proclaim, “we need to lend our support to them”? C: Well, we don’t actually do any charity work, per se. “charity” seems like something paternalistic that rich people do to make themselves feel better about the ravaging inequality that lets outrageous concentrations of wealth exist. We prefer “solidarity” work, where we lend our support to projects directed by marginalized groups themselves. P: Do you have a particular goal or accomplishment as a band that has eluded you thus far? C: Aside from a total reorganization of global society away from corporate totalitarianism? No, nothing… haha. P: If Propagandhi were to cease being a band tomorrow, what accomplishment within or outside the realm of music that you guys have achieved would you personally be the most proud of? C: Putting out a split record with the legendary Canadian band, Sacrifice was the most unbelievable moment for me. P: What can we expect on the immediate horizon for Propagandhi? C: Some live shows in Europe are on the immediate horizon. Beyond that, who knows? We never know where this old bucket of bolts will take us. propagandhi.com
Interview by: John MEANtime Photo by: Dallas Houghton In August last year we released the debut album “This Is Survival” for New Zealand hardcore outfit OUT COLD A.D which received rave reviews and even scored “Album of the Year” by Chuckingamosh.com. John MEANtime got in touch with bassist James ‘Jimmy’ Mazey to wassup with the band ahead of their first Aussie tour… received across the pond? level, so we PEE: Firstly, could you give us a bit of and to take our music to the next J: We’ve only played long How band? in New Zealand since the d comes on soun our background history and thing own our do its just release so we’re itching ences to get over to Australia influ l idua indiv have you guys been around for those who and our hear etc from that. I can play some shows and hang out. We’ve got a may not have had the pleasure of hearing of me member’s playing and each in ss acro e lot com ssages from Aussies wanting to know when tes something about Out Cold A.D. just yet? when we put it all together, it crea we’re touring so we’re really excited to finally e. JIMMY: We’re a hardcore band from clich head that isn’t the same old over there in June. really sticks Christchurch, New Zealand. We formed in 2010 P: Lyrically, the song ’12:51’ P: Ca n you pro vide a little insigh ds behind wor the and have put out a demo, an ep, a split cd and lain t into out. Can you exp prepping and prepa ring for your first in 2012 we signed to Pee Records to release our length t inspired it for those wha and k ful trac l this ? Having released an EP previously that may be a little ignorant to song lyrics? debut full length record. and more recently being included on affected P: Congrats on the latest release ‘This Is amazi the J: That song is a shout out to everyone ng ‘The End Begins to everyone Now’ 5-way split, and e Survival’. It’s been out a little while now, how quak earth rch tchu Chris by the different was it this time around? but how was the initial response and how J: Wit who’s still holding it down here. h our previous release full debut your with guys s you we are happy never really set P: What else inspires Out Cold A.D. on a out with the particular , you release in mind, we length? took lyrical front? As with most hardcore our time with writing, the songs built up and point the to ight J: The day it came out we kicked off a release they stra then guys are assertive and got recorded/released. s contained With the album we sage tour that covered every major New Zealand city talk mes and s lyric r you with ed about it being time to do a full length and to hear what plus a few smaller places too which we wouldn’t then within. It’s always interesting straight away started stoked so were We play. to wri chance the get ting for it. It was inspires such strong words. usually a pretty quick process, demos were flying abo ically and on the response we got and can’t wait to tour imm ut J: Conflict and struggle, both phys ediately. Once all the d. The worl songs were complete the with it internationally. It’s been awesome getting we or mentally with yourself did a quick pre-productio ss quite dark n demo of the album acro e messages from around the world about the album and com can m albu the on lyrics then were in the studio there is quite a week or so later too, especially the ones in broken English haha! rec and pissed off but I also think that ording. let people when though lot a mean does consider ourselves a It really we so them in hope of lot a P: It is all too easy for a band to churn you know what the album means to them. We are ou positive band. t hardcore tunes an d have them sound have played really proud of the album but I think we all learnt ex P: Musically, what bands act ly like every other t of your men hardcore band elop from that experience and have grown as a band ou dev the in part e a hug t there at the mome could list nt. You guys have you of since then too so expect our second album to be dis each If sound and style? tinctly been consis tent in everything , which bands twice as hard. each d ban e urit favo one you have released and quite easily sta P: Can you compare the response to ‘This Is ou nd would they be? t amongst the hardc ore masses… What ences and are Survival’ between home in New Zealand is J: We all have really different influ it about Out Cold A.D and abroad? How well have . that makes you es. genr rent diffe of s heap o int you guys been different from other hardcore bands? When I was riffing J: Without wanting to sound to cheesy it’s f o r important to us to keep pushing the boundries
“This Is Survival” I was listening to a lot of Lionheart, Trapped Under Ice, early Machine Head and I think those influences come across on the record in their own weird little way. Local bands inspire us heaps too, I love checking out new bands and seeing our friend’s bands do well and progress. We all found it really hard to name just one band as a favourite, but if we had too... Sean’s favourite band is Defeater, Brad’s is Polar Bear Club, Brook’s is Bon Jovi and mine is Sleeping Giant. P: Give us an insight into the hardcore scene in New Zealand. Which bands should we be keeping an eye out for? Are there plenty of bands to share the duties with, or are you pretty much playing with the same bands frequently J: Our scene in Christchurch is pretty small and there’s only a handful of bands but we’re incredibly proud of it and do our best to keep it going. The scenes in the North Island have been established longer than ours and we are privileged every time we get to play up there and they’ve been very welcoming to us too which is cool. Keep an eye out for Too Late, Declaration AD and Punisher. P: The overall packaging of ‘This Is Survival’ is great! I am familiar with Tom Gilmour’s amazing work, but for those who are not, can you give us a run down on how the cover art came about and what it represents? J: We found Tom’s portfolio online and really felt that his black & white/sepia styled work would really fit the vibe of how we wanted the album to come across visually. We discussed with Tom the themes of the album and he came back to us with some concepts and we went from there. I really like the hands on the cover which are a physical portrayal of survival, strength and hope. P: Stepping away from the music ever so briefly… How are things in Christchurch at the moment? I hear many different things, but mostly that it is still a city rebuilding… J: There’s heaps of new development popping up and that’s exciting to see but unfortunately a lot of people are still affected by accommodation/insurance issues etc. Things are slowly getting there though. It’s going to be a very long time until there’s no visible signs of damage. P: What are some memorable, drunken, embarrassing tales that you can share from tour or just life in general in Out Cold A.D.? J: Our sleeping arrangements are always the first thing that I think about when this band tours. The two worst sleeps I’ve ever had were at Auckland Airport’s food court and Auckland Airport’s car park in a rental jeep. I woke up on the steering wheel horribly confused. A memorable time for me personally was when I had my birthday last year while we were on tour with Saving Grace. They got me up on stage half way through their set and got everyone to sing happy birthday and then presented me with a penis and balls shaped cake. Top dudes they are. P: What’s next for Out Cold A.D.? Can we expect another split or another release any time soon? J: We’ve got half a new record written and are hoping to hit the studio later in the year to record it. They’re easily our best songs we’ve ever written so we’re pretty excited for people to hear them. P: If you guys were to release a split CD or EP, which band from NZ would you all choose and which band from AUS would you pick? J: We’ve actually already talked with our homies in Too Late (NZ) about doing a split together and tried to make it happen but our schedules kept clashing so it never eventuated. As far as Aussie bands go I’d love to do a split with Crowned Kings from Melbourne. I think our styles would go well together. If you haven’t already got their album “Wise Guy” go get it! P: Finally, thanks for your time. Any last words, shout outs or requests?? J: No worries! See you on tour in June Australia. Peace!
James - Vocals | Jimmy - Guitar Brad - Bass | Sean - Drums
With one full-length under their belts and a new EP on the way, Gold Coast’s Kings At Heart are quickly making their mark on the Australian hardcore scene. They took a break from writing the new songs to answer a few questions for PEE zine... interview by: John Martin
PEE: How long have you guys been together as a band now and have you had a lineup changes in that time? We have been together for roughly 5 years. We have had the chance to work with many musicians such as Kale Waldock, Sam Webb, Liam Pook, Luka Palinich and Darren Budd. P: What’s the music scene like in and around Gold Coast? We only have a handful of promoters so it’s hard to play local gigs regularly. Also with a shortage of venues it is difficult, but the support of the local hardcore scene makes every show worth the struggle. P: You’ve already put out a self-titled, fulllength album. What was the biggest obstacle the band faced in getting this album out? Setting deadlines as we recorded, mixed and mastered the record by ourselves. So we could put the date back whenever we wanted. This was an obstacle in a good and bad way. P: You’re planning a new EP this year. How far along are you in writing the new songs and when can we expect a release date for it? We are about half way through the writing process and we are expecting to have it released mid to late June. We are ecstatic to release what we think is going to be our best music yet. P: On your self-titled album you exhibit a wide variety of musical styles and hardcore subgenres. Is it safe to say that this group has many different influences that seep their way into your songwriting process? Because we took so long to write and record our album…along the way we transitioned musically
and this is why our music has so many subgenres and mixed emotions. P: Delivering such brutal hardcore songs, do you ever get lambasted for using too much melody in the band’s vocals or have the audiences been mostly receptive to your vocal style? We think our audience is most accepting of our vocal style and the way we construct our melodies. P: Do you feel it is necessary to deliver a strong, meaningful message with your songs or as long as you write from the heart, people will identify with the songs and find their own purpose from each? I think that everything I write and put into our songs, comes straight from the heart. As long as I keep true to myself, the audience will definitely find their own meaning to our songs and connect with it in a positive way. P: Which song do you think gets the best reaction from the audience at your shows? ‘A Hearts A Heavy Burden’ always gets a good response every show we play. The emotion we feel from this song as well as the crowd is indescribable. P: What bands are your favorites to play shows with at the moment in Australia? We have shared the stage with a lot of bands but the most memorable would be Savior from Perth. Also it was a good experience releasing our album the same night as In Hearts Wakes ‘Divination’ release. P: If you could share the stage with one band that’s still out touring, which would it be?
Defeater is easily the most common influence we all share in our band. P: What musician could they not pay you enough to share a stage with? Music is subjective, just because we don’t like it musically doesn’t mean they don’t have fans. We would share the stage with any band. P: What’s your personal favorite thing about being a part of your local hardcore scene and what is one thing you would change about the hardcore punk community as a whole? Playing live and getting the vibe you get, when everyone is enjoying themselves and interacting with the bands. The one thing we would change would be the people that come to shows and have a bad attitude, towards the crowd and bands playing and reduces the vibe as a whole. P: What short-term plans does the band have for the next couple years? We haven’t really thought about what’s on the horizon for us in the next few years but we would love to tour overseas and show the world what we are about. Tyson Kerr - Vocals Tommy Ireland - Guitar Median Abdulrazak - Bass Luke Muir - Drums
Interview by: Trev McDonnell
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the guys from Cedron for about a year now after getting my hands on the bands last EP Watching The Sun Turn Pitch Black. Pete recently hit me up to get the lowdown on the band’s upcoming plans and to share some of it with you, the readers of Pee Zine… PEE: A quick bit of back ground. Who are you guys? Where are you from and how did you get together? ANTON: We are from the same small-town in Northern Sweden. It’s the ‘Everybody-knows-everyone’ kind of spirit here, and so one day we ran into each other through the music scene. We were all playing music in some ways, and when we had our first jam session together it just clicked. Ever since that day we have tried to find our personal sound. We all are very passionate about the Metal and Hardcore scene, so it didn’t take long before we decided what kind of music we would use to express what we had to say. P: How would you describe Cedron’s music to someone who has never heard it before? A: This is always a tough one to answer. A mix between Hardcore and Metal. We are fans of band like Have Heart, More Than Life, Defeater and Refused, but we also listen to Bring Me The Horizon, Parkway Drive and other more Metal sounding bands. I love the sentence ”Fast, Fun & Full of Heart” though. I think the meaning of those words are the best way to describe it. P: Anton Larsson you’re the principal vocalist in the band and I assume write most if not all the lyrics. Those lyrics are generally pretty powerful and contain a lot of meaning. Do you approach your writing from a particular angle? A: Of course. There’s a lot of bad stuff going on in the world right now. Economies failing, endless wars, burgeoning homelessness, and on top of that a dark cloud of racism slowly growing bigger over our counties. You can’t help it to feel ashamed to be a human sitting on first row watching this stuff go on without knowing what to do and how to fight it, so why not try and make the lyrics carry the message against this dark cloud. We have to use our minds in these times, thinking for ourselves and not buying all the crap you get thrown in your face every day. P: What is it about Sweden. You have a population less than half the size of Australia’s and yet everyone there seems to be in a band, and most of them are pretty damn good. Why do you think Sweden has such a solid pool of musical talent? A: Haha, I don’t know. Must be because we cannot just GO SURFING (so damn jealous) whenever we want to like you guys. I mean, we can barely get out of our homes during the long icecold dark winters because all of the snow. That gives us 6 months of just sitting home with your instruments trying to survive and waking up from your hibernation. That must be why! P: Söderhamn hardcore. Is it a tight hardcore community? A: Söderhamn, our hometown, is a really small town. Around 18,000 people
live here. The unemployment rate for young adults is very high which make a lot of people feel hopelessness. That was one of the reasons why we started the Söderhamn Hardcore organisation. We put on drug free & all aged shows to make people more interested of another, more positive, way of living. I think the hardcore scene represents the stuff that our city might need. Or at least that’s what me and many other feel the lack of. Keep up the PMA! We need to stick together. Hardcore is unity! P: You guys have done a lot of touring throughout Europe over the past year. In our conversations you often tell me you can’t wait to get back out on the road. What is it about touring that you love so much? A: Touring is the best part of playing music. We love it more than anything. Through touring we’ve met some of our best friends. Friends that have changed our lives the past years. Exchanges with the most incredible people ever. There’s NOTHING like the feeling of being in a city playing a show and hearing people you have never met before actually singing along with the words you wrote in your rehearsal room with your best friends a couple of months earlier. Of course there’s a lot of funny stories about being out of fresh underwear and sleeping in squatted houses, but I’ve got to say that the highlight is the feeling of new people being a part of a really good show. You get to hang out with your best friends, meet new friends, seeing places you’ve never seen before while doing the stuff you love the most. Everything around touring has its own charm. After two weeks of sharing the same car or van you really get to know your band. Oh yeah, we fight as well. I don’t think there’s any touring band not having wrestling fights after this intense way of spending time together. P: Now Australia. Rumour has it (wink wink) that you guys will be heading down this way soon. What is it about Australia on the other side of the world that has you guys so keen to get down here? A: We’ve seen the pictures of your beautiful country. We KNOW you are amazing people. We’ve seen all the surfing videos. For us it is like a dream coming true to be visiting the other side of the globe and to have the privilege to play our songs as loud as we fucking can for you. And... Kangaroos. You guys have got Kangaroos. That is sick and I just want to ride one. Can you do that? See you soon Australia! P: Thanks for your time Anton, sadly no, you can’t ride Kangaroos! But we’ll see you down this way soon! Anton Larsson - Vocals Dennis Bertilsson - Guitar Jocke Östberg - Bass Joakim Pettersson – Drums
Interview by: Willy-O Photos by: Joe Andersons PEE: Hey Diz how are you? First and foremost congratulations on ‘Montenegro’, it’s said that it takes someone their whole lives to write their first album, it must feel amazing to finally have it out? DIZ: Really well thanks! Cheers for the kind words. It’s been hectic to think this band would even get to the point where releasing a full-length was a viable option. So yeah, it’s a pretty awesome feeling to work hard on something and to have it be so well received. Still humbled that anyone likes what we do that much. P: I guess the good times keep on rolling for Safe Hands also; you have just supported hardcore heroes and mathcore giants Converge, been announced on the Norma Jean and Vanna tour as well as having your own Headline tour of Australia and S.E. Asia. It seems everything is coming up Milhouse for Safe Hands. How does it feel to have these accomplishments and honours landing at your feet after the countless hours of blood, sweat, miles and stage destruction you crazy five young NSW lads have endured? D: The last six months or so have definitely been a charmed time for the band. It’s been surreal to say the least but I think we all manage to stay humble. It’s equally as fulfilling to play to a packed Manning Bar with Converge as it is to connect with a crowd of 30-odd sweating it out in a basement bar somewhere. It’s a hell of a thing for people to give us these opportunities and we’re incredibly thankful for each and every one of them. We’ll just keep doing what we do, doesn’t matter what the scale is. P: Coming back to the album, one thing I noticed is that the recording, production
and mastering were all kept local within Australia. Nowadays bands will send a halfcut demo single overseas for a master which is borderline embarrassing in some instances, what made you stay local? D: I think the decision was made sometime after we got our tracks back for our split 7” with Vanity last year. Those recordings were handled by the same dudes too and we were really happy with how they turned out. Mat Taylor we’ve known for a long time and we really get along well as a result. Incredibly easy to work with, knows all his equipment inside out and is constantly learning working to better himself recording-wise. Doing the record with him was a no-brainer and we hope to give him a little more exposure as a result too. Similarly with Simon Struthers out of Forensic Studios in Perth, he did a great job with mastering the split so we were happy to have him master the album. I think a lot of bands tend to aim big as far as production goes but it seems mainly for name recognition in a lot of cases and that’s fine. We’re only a small time band and we don’t make much money so for the time being, aside from it being cost effective, we want to help out our friends and prove you don’t have to go to the ends of the earth to end up with a great sounding finished product. P: ‘Montenegro’ is a wide range of things: A country, a Colombian town, a football team, a kingdom, a footballer, a bunch of models have the name, a character in the show “Bones” has the name, an Italian liqueur and a movie, what is the title in actual reference to? D: The title when translated means “black mountain” which incidentally enough are the first words you hear on the record. As a lot of the lyrical content revolves around life struggles, mental
and physical ailments or whatever they may be, the black mountain represents the journey you go through to move past these difficult times and hopefully in doing so become a stronger and wiser person for it. P: When referencing the lyrics it seems these are stories told from your perspective with quite an elaborate undertone. Are these personal stories or a concept or an array of characters which you are narrating about and from, what I gather your standpoint? D: The songs are written from largely a personal standpoint of mine, but all the band has contributed lyrics. Anthony wrote lyrics to three of the album tracks and Mick and Sandy threw in some great lines to use too. I prefer to write lyrics from a personal place as it just gives more connection for me as far as recording and performing goes. Obviously the listener is free to formulate their own meanings as that’s the great thing about music, hearing that song that just hits home for whatever reason. There’s no real story, more of an overarching theme for the record that I’ve tried to weave through wherever I can. I love artists that allude to their own songs and throw in sneaky references so there’s a few of those too. And while the songs allude to personal struggles I’ve hopefully bit my tongue enough to keep their true meanings and characters all to myself while still leaving enough for the listener to grasp onto. P: ‘Oh The Humanity’ was just a stunning debut in my opinion for Safe Hands, how do you compare ‘Montenegro’ to that EP? For me the album seems like nothing was off limits and experimentation was very valued, is this a fair analysis? D: I think that’s probably the best way of putting
it. Trying to build something that’s cohesive to listen to over the course of 30-40 minutes isn’t an easy task. I’ve always been a fan of records that can hold your attention over their entire course so keeping that in mind there was definitely room to experiment with our sound for the album. Also comparatively the EP was comprised of songs that had been written by various incarnations of the band. Of those songs I think only Good Morning Vermin was entirely written by the lineup that recorded it. So to have the whole of Montenegro written by the same core group gave it a sense of cohesion even though the songs themselves are quite disjointed at times. P: There is an assortment of guest vocalists on the album, what brought about the selection of voices for each track? Especially Jen Buxton who is simply stunning on the title track? D: I see a lot of bands bringing in guest vocalists from bigger bands to gain publicity and use that as a selling point. For us we just wanted to augment our sound with interesting voices and artists we respect. Even the gang vocals we wanted to only use friends of the band in the NewcastleSydney area to keep a sort of local authenticity. We’d played with Endless Heights a few times in 2012 and must have blasted their EP in the van well over a hundred times since. Joel was gracious enough to make an appearance on the record and he has such a unique voice it’s a great counterpoint to my regular vocals on Any Port In A Storm. Marty (Webster), aside from being our guitarist Anthony’s brother is a massively talented folk artist under the moniker From Trees and he’d used some Safe Hands lyrics in one of his songs so we wanted to repay the favour on Alma Martyr. As far as Jen’s appearance goes, I fell in love with her voice way back in 2007 after hearing the first Like...Alaska recordings and it was fantastic to have her on the album. She put up with me still writing the lyrics for the song in the studio on the day at the same time I was recording mine and
she just stepped up and knocked it out of the park. P: Hotfoot records are obviously handling the release in the USA, are Safe Hands making their way there soon? D: It’s definitely on the cards for something we’d love to do. For a small time band being able to travel anywhere under the guise of doing something you love is the dream really. We’re just hoping an opportunity can present itself sometime in the next 18 months with any luck to promote the new album. Obviously we’d jump at the chance to get over there. P: There is a substantial growth in the noisecore, early screamo and for the lack of a better word early metalcore of recent times. What do you think brought about this semi-revolution and who are you favourite bands doing it both here in Australia and worldwide? (Yes I do realise that The Chariot were just here and that Bateman, A Ghost Orchestra and Mara Jade are doing great things in Australia!) D: All genres move in cycles it seems. I never thought people would welcome back boy bands and pseudo nu-metal back with open arms but there you go! I think mainly as an antidote to the metalcore/deathcore influx of acts in the last few years the noisier vein of heavy music has crept back in. But along with that there’s also the added popularity of The Wave-style emotional stuff creeping in too to create a really interesting scene. In Australia aside from the guys you already mentioned there’s bands like Totally Unicorn, Perspectives, Life Pilot, Statues, Raccoon City Police Department, Tired Minds, Travels, the list goes on. They’re all doing a great service to the scene expanding boundaries locally and producing some really top notch material. Internationally I’m a big fan of the UK Swell stuff like Vales, Bastions and Pariso and the US has bands like Code Orange Kids blowing up as well as up and comers like Octaves. It’s a really exciting time to be a music fan and indeed to be
contributing what we can to the whole scene. P: Safe Hands have the reputation of playing anywhere that will have them, what has been the most peculiar venue you have played? A library? An attic? D: Funny that you say library because up until recently our most peculiar show was at a venue called Jura Books in Sydney which during business hours is a bookstore that specialises in anarchist literature. The bands play upstairs in a pretty small room that’s lined with bookshelves so it was plenty cramped but we had blast. But I’d probably say the most peculiar venue title was snatched just a few nights ago in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We played in a room on the 18th floor of a largely abandoned apartment building. Again just hard to fathom that the band could end up in such a place so yeah, if people are going to show up and go berserk we welcome the opportunity to play most anywhere. P: Finally, what’s in store for Safe Hands of 2013 and into the New Year? D: We’re just hoping to get on the road and get the album out to as many pairs of ears as we can. We’ve already been fortunate enough to venture to South-East Asia which was a really humbling experience. We’d never posed for so many photos! And recently we’ve just finished a 5-date run with Norma Jean, Vanna and A Secret Death which was a dream come true really. Hopefully we can get started on writing some new stuff soon too so yeah, very exciting times. Anthony Webster - Guitar Mick Ayton - Guitar Benjamin Louttit - Vocals Ben Sanderson - Drums Gareth Owen - Bass
Interview by: Pete Pee
There’s an Adelaide post-hardcore, screamo band called Raccoon City Police Department that put on one hellova captivating show every time I’ve seen them play. We feature the track “Pathfinder” on this issue’s sampler CD from their recently released 7” EP “Songs Of Self-Loathing” so I got in touch with vocalist and all round nice guy Levi Cooper to tell us all a little more about the five piece… PEE: Hey Levi, getting the background story first off, how did Raccoon City Police Department come about and start out? LEVI: Hey there Pete! It started out with me and Dylan wanting to start a screamo-ish band, after listening to a few other bands that sound the same. We would prac in our bedroom in Goolwa and get heaps of noise complaints. At the time we had Eli (now in LifePilot), Sam (now in the Hardaches) and Brodie in the band with us. Since then we’ve had a few line up changes with the current line up being: me, Dylan, Brodie, Mitch and the newly appointed bassist Davo, as Jake left the band very recently. P: Raccoon City PD is a band name that certainly stands out, especially when trying to fit it on a poster, can you tell me how the name came about? Was it from the movie Sin City, a Simpsons’ quote or the video game Resident Evil by any chance? L: The name comes from the Resident Evil games. Dylan and I are both really into gaming and it just sounded like a sick name. It is so annoying to put on posters which is why we usually just shorten it to Raccoon City. P: Your music includes an ambient blend of post-rock and screamo, who were some of the influences that helped you guys create such music? L: Bands that we really got into when we started were Daitro, Sed Non Satieta, Pianos Become The Teeth, La Dispute, Raein and The Bled. Mitch likes Jazz heaps as well. P: The genre description ‘sceamo’ and ‘emo’ kinda took on a different meaning a few years back with a lot of bands wearing eye make-up hitting the stage. What are some of the changes to the genre you’ve witnessed over the years, and how do you describe the music you play to your parents and grandparents? L: It’s heaps weird for ages (in high school) it was like taboo to call bands screamo and emo and everything was just hardcore to me. But nowadays it’s become such a popular type of music that people understand what it is. Back before this band started I don’t really know about screamo or emo or anything so I just called everything posthardcore and left it at that. But overall I think genres are becoming redundant these days anyway since so many bands mix and match their styles and stuff, and bands are more shaped by their ethics than what they sound like. I say we’re loud angry music to the relatives haha. P: “Songs of Self-Loathing” is a pretty dark and explosive EP with a not so positive title. What is it that brings up this not so positive dark theme? Do you find it easier to pen a fictional song or write about true life experiences? L: Back when the band first started all of the songs were fictional, more narrativestyled lyrics. But I stopped writing like that because I thought that it was sort of a cop-out ya know? Like any one can write about something that hasn’t happened to them. So I started writing more about me and how I feel about myself and stuff and I guess that’s why it got a bit darker. I think this style of music also has a bit of tonguein-cheek humour about how over the top emotional the lyrics can be. P: Do you find song writing therapeutic? L: I find jamming with the band therapeutic but stress a lot when I’m writing lyrics. It’s hard to not feel like you’re gonna be judged harshly when the songs are all about you. P: Do you get a great sense of satisfaction having your lyrics screamed back at you at shows by fans? L: Yeah it’s really awesome. When we went to Melbourne the last time the dudes there were so amazing and were virtually screaming all of the lyrics and I was amazed cause
most of the songs weren’t even released yet. P: How’s the writing and recording of your debut album coming along? Anything you can let us in on as to what’s in store for the release?? L: It’s coming along alright. We can be a pretty lazy band sometimes but it’s something that we are trying to improve on. We have also just had another line up change so that could be a bit of a step-back, but we’ll see how that goes. At the moment it’s planned to be a 12”LP with around 8-10 songs on it. We still have a couple more but we have some really cool ideas in the works that we hope everyone enjoys. P: Is there anything you’ll deliberately try to do differently from the EP when you record your album? L: I think we’ll try and stay away from an all analog recording this time, it took a lot of time and although it sounded great I think we can do a better job this time around. P: You guys seem to have a strong almost cult following, does that suit the band just fine? L: Yeah it’s really cool, we get to know everyone that likes the band and it’s a way more personal feel. We all try and keep in touch with everyone as well and we’ll usually add, follow, whatever the people who help us out online by spreading word and stuff. P: There’s no doubt that Adelaide has been a great breeding ground for punk and hardcore bands over many years, for the outsider would you describe the scene and bands here as supportive of each other? L: Definitely. Adelaide’s such a small city with such a small amount of bands that it would be insane to not support each other. P: What about the punter who shows up at a show to see their favourite band, then leaves or hangs around outside without watching or supporting the bands that play before or after? Your thoughts… L: Yeah this gets pretty annoying. But there’s not a lot you can do about it. Obviously if someone doesn’t like the bands they don’t have to watch but it’d be really nice if people just took a chance with bands they haven’t heard of before and just hung around for a set or whatever. What annoys me more is when bands come from inter-state or whatever and don’t hang out and watch the locals. P: What are some of your biggest inspirations as a musician currently? L: Pianos Become The Teeth are really killing it at the moment. The singer, Kyle has an amazing talent and is a huge inspiration. Also Circle takes the square are always amazing lyrically and musically. Plus a whole heap of local bands that continue to kill it every show they play. P: In many years to come when you’re an old man sitting on the porch, how would you like to look back on Raccoon City Police Department? L: It’d be rad if I could remember the whole thing as a positive experience full of hangs, making friends and rad music. P: Thanks for your time mate, any last words or folks you wanna thank or sledge? L: Big ups to everyone that’s ever come to a show, hung out or promoted us in any way, the bands we’ve played with and everyone who’s ever put us on a gig. As for sledging, fuck that Foxes band off, that band’s full of handsome dickheads. Levi Cooper - Vocals Mitch Waugh - Drums Dylan Cooper - Guitar Brodie Wedding - Guitar Jake Boylon - Bass
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Photo by: Corey Hombre
PEE: Why don’t you give the readers a quick background of how One Vital Word formed and who’s in the band? NUGGS: We’ve had a few lineup changes since first coming together under the name One Vital Word in 2007 (?), but we’ve been touring and writing as the current lineup since 2009-10. In the band we have Owen on vocals, Dan on guitar, Chris on bass, Alex on drums and myself (Nuggs) on guitar. Dan and I throw in some back-up screams here and there too, in between riffs! P: For those of us unfamiliar with your hometown, what is the best thing about being from Newcastle? N: The first thing most people would say is the world class beaches…but hardly any of us surf (whoops)! Growing up here was/is a great thing! The kind of friendships and (if you’re lucky enough) family/community vibe you get from living here is amazing. It’s a good mix of water, bush, burbs and city and everything is nice and close without it feeling like a country town. P: There are currently a lot of strong Australian hardcore acts. Do you find it difficult to standout from these groups or is it beneficial to have great bands to play shows with, as well as push you own band to work harder? N: In a way, the style of music we play automatically makes us stand out from the majority of other bands right now, for better or worse. We have a few different elements to our style, including punk, melodic riffs, melodic vocals, etc... So when playing live next to our peers (especially the more hardcore/metalcore guys) we need to push the ‘heavy’ element of our songs, but often catch the audience with the elements I just mentioned. In saying that, a shitty live band regardless of genre, is a shitty live band. So we work our asses off to maintain our live presence in this scene…given how good bands are right now. P: Which of these bands do you feel are creating the best music at the moment? N: There’s honestly so many bands we could name; Hand Of Mercy (Sydney) are finally taking off internationally, Taken By Force (Newcastle) blow asses out live, Driven Fear (Brisbane) are incredible live and recorded, Staunch (Muswellbrook) are brutal up and comers, Safe Hands (Newcastle) are musically-discordant. mecca-giants... and so many more that I’m a dick for not mentioning. P: What was the most difficult challenge that the band has faced so far?
Photo by: Robert Bailey
N: Like a lot of bands we know, the ongoing challenge of keeping the ship afloat while working/studying is a tough gig. We all have full-time jobs and it’s tough to find time to tour, but writing songs, playing shows, touring, recording, etc…are all constant reminders of why we love this so much! P: What musician or group would fans be most surprised to hear helped influence OVW in any way? N: Unsurprising influences would include Rise Against, Strung Out and Evergreen Terrace. But, like most musicians, we draw influence from everywhere! This may get me beaten, but personally I find the Foo Fighters (tucking away Dave Grohl boner) to be a huge influence. The guys have a strong work ethic, a penchant for melody and structure, are ambassadors of traditions in music (i.e. not cheating and actually playing your instrument!) and have roots in punk…what’s not to be inspired by? P: What are some of the band’s interests outside of music? N: We all do different stuff; Dan likes to drift his fully sick Nissan, Owen indulges in cooking amazing feasts, Chris trains in Muay Thai and beats on me at band practice, Alex plays in 100 bands and I’m a sucker for some Xbox time. P: If you were able to change anything from the first couple EPs, what would you go back and fix or do differently? N: In terms of songwriting… nothing. We still flog our old songs live and they’re fun-as-fuck to play. Aside from the odd frequency change here and there or magically having a zillion dollars to invest in production, not much. Our good friend and 6th member Mitta Norath (@Mitta Norath Recording) has busted his ass over the years to make us sound great and given our limited budget, he has always given us a final product that we can be proud of. P: Your debut full-length comes out next month on Pee Records. What can fans expect from this album in comparison to your earlier EPs? N: It’s so hard to not give a generic answer here, but I have to be honest; we’ve put (literally) years of thought and effort into these new songs. We took the time to demo the songs at home before going to the studio. This gave us the chance to sit back and listen, re-write, re-record, listen, repeat. We’ve ended up with a record that includes all of our strong suits and a record where we pushed past the worry of being criticized by our peers for using melody, production, tone and emotion. The lyrics are honest and
straightforward and the music includes the best of what we’ve previously offered and more. We’ve matured as songwriters and ‘Picture Perfect’ is the ideal representation of that. P: Do you guys have a particular track on this record you just can’t wait for everyone to hear? N: Another tough one! In an ideal world we’d have everyone be stoked on EVERY track! But we all love track 3, “Far Away”. It was a late runner in the writing process, but turned out to be such a satisfying combination of melodic punk and hardcore and is an excellent ambassador of the album. P: What does this band have to accomplish for you guys to consider the group a success in your own eyes? N: Not to take away from some of the amazing shows we’ve already played, but touring internationally would achieve a 5-way testicle tingle! Of course being able to quit our jobs and sustain a living from the band would be the ultimate.
P: Do you have any plans to tour outside the country or are you just making plans as the opportunities arise? N: We’ve spoken to Pete (Pee Records God) about a potential South-East Asia tour, which we’re all very excited about. Our fellow Pee-ers Safe Hands are currently over there and we’re looking forward to picking their brains for advice when they get back. P: Thank you so much for taking time out to answer my questions. I really enjoy your first couple EPs and look forward to getting my hands on the full-length next month. Good luck with everything! N: Thanks for the kind words! We can’t wait to get some feedback on the album and to play it live is going to be amazing. Chris - Bass Daniel - Guitar Alex - Drums Nuggs - Guitar Owen - Vocals
Interview by: Pete Pee Photo by: Natalia Balcerska
All We Have are a five piece melodic hardcore band from Bristol, UK who formed in the autumn of 2008 and played their first show supporting Outbreak. After a number of line up changes and the band even calling it quits at one stage they’ve regrouped and just released an awesome EP titled “Balance And Meaning”. I got in touch with guitarist and original member Phil to get the guff on the band…
Hey Phil, getting a bit of the background story first off, how did All We Have come about and start out? I read you guys played your very first show with Outbreak… We started out in 2008. Our original singer Ric posted on the forum of a local records store in Manchester. I already knew Ric but didn’t realise it was him that had posted until I replied! We got together and then Nate, Heff and Cal followed shortly after. The Outbreak show was a bit last minute. Our friend Kam who puts on all the shows in Manchester had a band drop out and asked us if we wanted to play. We weren’t sure if we were ready but it turned out okay and was a lot of fun. You guys called it quits in 2010 then regrouped two years later, can you tell me what brought about the decision to call it quits after those first two years, and what changed to bring All We Have back together? You’re the sole remaining original member aren’t you? Yeah I’m the only guy left. When we originally split in 2010 we were really struggling to write new material. We had lost a bit of the fire I guess and it just didn’t seem to be as fun as it had been previously. We had a show booked with Touché Amore and we thought that would be a good high to go out on. I moved to Bristol in 2011 and in the summer I really started to miss doing AWH. I contacted the guys to see if they would be interested in getting together for another short tour. Everyone was game so we went out on the road again in Early 2012. Following that I started to write new stuff and wanted to push on again with the band. The other guys were already in other bands and busy with studies and stuff so couldn’t really do it but were more than happy for me to carry on with it. So I relocated to band to Bristol and slowly recruited some good friends to form the line up we have now. You’ve had another recent line up change too with your new singer Ed Gibbs just recently leaving Devil Sold His Soul, how did that one come about? Most of us have know Ed for years. He and Tom (guitar) went to college together and Ed and Ryan (drums) have a musical project together called Anatomy of The Bear. Nate our original guitarist moved on to vocals when Ric left but it didn’t quite work out. We had the whole record written and were ready to go into the studio but had no vocalist and no lyrics. Ed had already made the tough decision to leave DSHS but showed an interest in getting involved with All We Have as he knew we weren’t full time and he would also be able to work and earning a living as well do things with the band. He dropped a couple of demos and were really stoked with them and it moved on from there. What does Ed now bring to All We Have? How will Ed’s vocals differ from those on your debut EP? Ed obviously has a lot of experience and utilises his voice
really well. The original EP was very raw as Ric was quite a powerful vocalist. I think Ed is a lot more dynamic and there are a few sung parts as well as screams on the new record which works really well with the slightly different musical angle. With all your band member changes already in All We Have’s existence what has kept you going when so many would have just thrown their arms up in the air and walked away by now? I’ve always loved this band. Ever since that first riff I wrote in my living room 5 years ago. When we split for that 12 months I was so bored. It felt like something was missing. It won’t last forever, nothing does. But while I’ve still got the hunger I want to enjoy it the best I can. The news guys coming in are all really enthusiastic too. It’s a good place to be right now. You’ve just released your new EP “Balance And Meaning” which is a ripper mate, what was the biggest obstacle the band faced in getting this EP? All of those band line up changes? Thanks dude! The line up changes weren’t so much of an obstacle. Tom came into the band relatively early as far as the current line up goes so we were writing and demoing together from around March/April of last year. We had pretty much all the songs written and demoed by the time Ryan and Larry (bass) came on board last September. Once those guys added their ideas the songs shaped out nicely. I guess the biggest stalling point was losing our vocalist 2/3 weeks before we were due to record. We reached a point where we were unsure what was going to happen. But then Ed stepped in and we’ve never looked back. The title track “Balance And Meaning” is one of my faves off the record, can you tell me about the song… Musically that was the second song we wrote for this record (it still gets referred to as Demo2 pretty often!). We wrote it in a similar way to most of the other tracks on the record. Tom had laid down a few ideas at home and I had some riffs which just happened to fit in well with what Tom had. Ed showcases the different aspects of his voice throughout the song which I think is one of the things that makes it quite interesting. Lyrically the song is about when you’re feeling lost in life and lower than you’ve ever felt you’re friends and family are there to pick you up and keep you going in the same way that you would for them in hard times. I see that you’ve got your first EP up for free download on mediafire, and you’ve limited the “Balance And Meaning” EP to just 200 copies, in this digital age do you think it’s still important and relevant for All We Have to release their music in some sort of physical form rather than just pumping out an mp3? We had 500 copies of Rain City pressed which have pretty much all gone. I am still really proud of that record and we still play everything off it live so it’s cool for new fans to still be able to hear it, learn the words and get involved. B&M is currently limited to 200 copies for a few reasons. 1, we weren’t sure how well received it would be; and 2, budget and how many we could afford to press! We are hoping to release a 10/12” vinyl pressing sometime later in the year if all goes well, so fingers crossed! I’m a huge
believer in a physical format. I think any real music fan loves getting hold of that new record at a store or a show, getting it home and giving it a spin. Reading through lyrics and looking at the artwork. It’s the whole package, be it CD, Vinyl, Tape or whatever. Can you tell us a little about Bristol hardcore, is it a tight-knit punk and hardcore community? With work and other commitments I don’t get the chance to get to half as many shows as I would like. When I do get the chance though they always seem to be quite well attended and you see similar faces so there is definitely a scene. There is a collective called Deadpunk who have been putting on rad shows in Bristol for years. The Bristol scene certainly owes a lot to those guys. How much of your music is a reflection of your lives? And how much of your lives is a reflection of your music? We have all grown up playing and touring in bands of various different styles be them punk, hardcore, metal, crust, emo, screamo or whatever. I think those experiences along with the music we listen to and artists we are inspired by definitely has a huge influence on our music. What’s two words that make you cringe / shudder? “Clean vocals”. IT’S CALLED SINGING, DICKHEAD! With two EP’s now in the discography how soon will it be until you begin writing a full length album? And now the new EP is out do you think there will be anything you’ll deliberately set out to do differently next time you record? B&M was predominantly written my Tom and I as we didn’t really have a line up at the time so it will be cool to get into the practice room and write songs as a band now we have a stable line up. It’s always fun jamming out ideas and trying different things. As far as the format of the next release, who knows! It’s always good to have an album but I think people’s mindset towards music has changed a lot and people get bored quickly. Albums are good if you’re on a decent label as it gives them something more to push. I think when you’re a small band like we are it’s arguably better to release a small EP or two each year or even a track every few months as you write them. It keeps you in the public eye more frequently and stops people getting bored as they are getting something new more regularly. Anth has picked up your EP for distro down here through Break Bend and you guys were meant to join Safe Hands on their recent southeast Asia tour but couldn’t, does that mean there’s any international touring on the cards for the future? Maybe Australia? We certainly hope so! Due to work commitments we can only really do two small/mid-sized tours a year. We’ve been around Europe a bunch of times so next year it would be nice to travel further afield. I’ll guess we’ll see what happens! Thanx heaps for your time mate. Any last words? Just thanks to Anth at Break Bend and anybody else who cares enough about our band to listen to the records or get down to a show. It means a lot to us, especially from places as far away as Oz! Cheers! all-we-have.bandcamp.com/album/balance-andmeaning
Interview by: Buf Photos by: Christian McGuinness
Are Mark My Words one of Australia’s most unnoticed hardcore bands? Yes, probably. With a bunch of releases and tours nationally and internationally under their belt MMW continue to pump out their brand of straight up hardcore and their latest full length ‘Indicators’ is no exception. Guitarist and all round nice dude Luke McComb talks about the bands’ past, present and what’s next... PEE: Why are you a band? What started it all? And what’s your singer so angry about? LUKE: For the obvious reasons, groupies, drugs and money! Haha nah mate, simply as a form of expression and to have a good time with a couple of mates. For me, I think to start with (as a 14 year old joining my first punk band), I was really just stoked on music and emulating what I seen, but as you grow older, everything changes, you start to see the world in a much different perspective and being able to communicate my experiences through this medium feels natural. I mean even if this band were to break up, I’d imagine each of us would go on to do something of the like. As for our singer Michael, he’s just
pissed that he couldn’t play guitar well enough to be doing that in the band haha! P: You’ve had the same core members since the beginning but I’ve noticed some new guys in your line up over the past few years. What have they brought to the table? L: Michael (vocals), Ryan (bassist) and I (guitarist) have been playing in bands together since we were at school. Since we started ‘Words in 2006, we’ve had a few guys rotating around us. On our demo we had Nick, a gnarly jazz/metal drummer and old childhood friend. The way he approached my riffs kinda set the tone to how we would go on to write in the future. After the Demo he went on to get married and have kids etc as you do when you have a real life haha. This is when we got Corey (drums) and Alvin (guitar) into the band after a few months absence. Both were cut from the same mould as us and we all clicked quickly, even though they lived an hour and a half north of where we are based. Having Alvin meant I was free to do some lead bits and that expanded our
sound a lot. Corey had some big shoes to fill and he killed it, dude played everything at break neck speed and we pretty much became a thrash band live haha. We did a few really cool tours and parted ways after doing Europe, Corey to work in the mines, Alvin to party in the Alps. So in came Jason and Jordo. Jason’s a freak, one of those guys that started playing too young and everything just comes second nature to him. He can play anything you throw at him and our stuff probably doesn’t do his playing justice, but it’s all about the end result not the individual so I think that’s cool. Jordo, haha, he’s been a mate of ours from way back before the band started, and before joining, couldn’t play guitar at all. We didn’t really know anyone keen locally and didn’t just want anyone in the band, so I told him to knuckle down and riff and shown him some technique and he stepped up in a big way. To think he’s only been playing for like 2-3 years is mental! P: Tell us about your latest release, Indicators, what was influencing you guys and the motivation behind writing it?
L: Well as with all our releases, we just try to be honest with ourselves lyrically and just talk about topics we feel to be relevant at the time. On Indicators we went for a slightly darker sound and tried to add a different feel to our previous releases just to keep it interesting, whilst still trying to emulate the speed and sound of what we would define as Mark My Words. As always, I was jamming heaps of Bad Brains, Cro Mags and various other classic NY bands when writing it, but my spectrum of hardcore influence covers a fairly wide spectrum, so it’s hard to define what bands really inspire me when I’d lump Ringworm, Pennywise, Infest, Arms Reach, the Decendants and Go It Alone in the same playlist. P: What has the response been like from Australians vs Europeans? L: It’s hard enough to gauge what it’s been like here let alone the other side of the globe. I don’t really worry about it, I just write for myself, but people have said they rate it from both sides so I’m definitely happy with how it’s been received. P: Your lyrics cover a lot of different issues, a lot of them pretty personal. Do you find song writing therapeutic in any way at all?
Photos by: Christian McGuinness
L: Yeah mate definitely. For example, the title track ‘Indicators’ I written from experiences I’ve had with friends who have experienced varied levels of depression, worst of which was a friend who taken his life two years ago, whom I had absolutely no idea there was anything wrong with. He was always the stereotypical happy-go-lucky guy and to think there was such a battle raging inside his head without anyone knowing just really blew me away. Everyone has to deal with depression in some form or another, and my intent when writing this song was to try high-light how hard it can be to communicate these feelings with others, and from the outside perspective how someone can be in such pain without showing any signs of it. It’s a tragedy how many people suffer from depression in silence and I tried not to take any angle where I would be offering some kind of conclusion to the problem, but for me talking about it hopefully goes in part to making somewhat less of a taboo subject amongst our society/scene. P: Is there anyone or any topic you’d probably never write a song about? L: I have never felt compelled to share the intricacies of a relationship I’ve had or will have in a project like this, so I guess don’t hold your breath for any love songs on our next jam? haha. Other than that, if it’s something we feel passionate about or want to express, then we’d just do it. It’s not punk if you’re worried about how people are going to react to what you say. P: You’ve been to Europe and toured with hardcore veterans Strength Approach, and I’ve heard are soon to return. Will you be touring with SA again? How does the Euro hardcore scene compare to our scene here in Australia? L: Well it’s just speculation at the moment, I mean, it’s going to happen, that’s almost 100% - it’s just nutting out dates as to when we will be available and what suits us. All I know is that it will be later this year and yes with the mighty Strength Approach boys, yew yew. We really lucked out when we got there the first time, we had toured here in Aus with them and shown them around the country, taken them surfing and shown them kangaroos and shit, and they were just really stoked we put the effort in to help them make a bit of a holiday out of it and nearly immediately were on the phone booking dates for us over there. So when we arrived we played mainly squat shows and mini hardcore festivals, including shows with No Turning Back, The Mongoloids and Good Clean Fun, so we kinda fell into the right scene. It’s a lot like it is here, you’ve got your new wave of hardcore/metal shows that pull all the kids, and then you have the underground, straight up scene, where there may not be as many people, but its real and the people are there for the right reasons. It’s grittier, you don’t know what to expect and making ends meet can be hard, but I
wouldn’t really want it any other way. P: You’re also about to release “Indicators” in Europe on vinyl on the label Destroy Your World, can you tell us how that came about, who runs the label and will we see any 12”s available down here? L: The label is run by the singer and ex guitarist of Strength Approach, so as soon as we told them we were dropping Indicators here, they were keen to help us put it out there, and because we didn’t get the chance to press it on wax here, it was the catalyst for us doing the collaboration together. Yes I’m going to get a few
copies sent out here, being that I’m a big record nerd myself, I’m chuffed I’ll be getting my hands on one. As soon as they are available I’ll put up details on our facebook page or something nerdy like that. P: I read the vinyl LP will also feature new artwork, I thought the CDs art was great though. Any reason for the new art? L: Dom who runs the label just wanted it to be a limited edition thing, and felt it would help reiterate just that., I loved the art for the CD too and wasn’t sure about it, but since he is dropping it, I don’t mind seeing what it will come out looking like. P: Being involved in hardcore scene for some time already, what bands or individuals have been influential to you? L: When I was first getting involved in going to shows, being from the Central Coast, there really was no scene here whatsoever, so a few of my friends and I would jump in a car and head to either Newcastle or Sydney on the weekends for shows, so both those scenes are where I’ve taken the majority of my influence from. Bands like FMD, Conation, Last Nerve and Taking Sides were a few of the first bands that really inspired me to do this. I think maybe Luke Dolans lyrical approach was the single biggest individual influence on how we approached vocals... always on point, no bullshit
straight to the topic and has a vocal character totally unique to each project he does. Hate to think he’d read this haha, but the guys a legend weather he likes it or not. P: Have you guys already begun writing for your next release? Anything you can let us in on? L: We taken so long to write Indicators and recording it was an incredibly frustrating process, so I taken some time away from writing so I could come back with a fresh approach to it for the next release. We’ve got a few joints here and there in the works now, and are looking to drop a 7” later this year, fingers crossed. P: Thanks for your time mate. Any last words, shout outs etc? L: No worries my man, just a huge cheers to Pete for everything you’ve done for the band, to anyone reading, without this guy we would never have been put onto the Strength Approach Australian tour and subsequently never travelled across the world and rejuvenated our approach to MMW. In no small part has Pete helped this band get to where it is and its guys like Pete that make hardcore a community of friends and not just another pretentious ‘insert cliché genre’ scene. Thanks again my man!
Photos by: Robert Bailey Newcastle punk quartet Local Resident Failure joined the PEE REC family last year after they finished writing the debut album many wanted out years earlier. After reviewing their album “A Breath Of Stale Air” in the last issue of PEE zine, Matt Woodward fired a bunch of questions at vocalist and bassist Dal who clearly thought were all “good”... PEE: So I guess the main question that people would like to know the answer to is this: why did it take you guys so long to finally release your debut album? It was starting to seem as though it would never happen! DAL: Good question... well we had a lot of confidence issues, as in, we’re not really that good, so it took a while to record all the instruments precisely. The drums were easy coz Smitty is a trained professional, but as for the other stuff, we definitely needed a lot of help. And don’t get me started on the vocals.... P: How did you approach recording A Breath Of Stale Air as opposed to all of your previous EPs? Did you feel as though you had to write things differently to suit the full length format? D: Good question... In the past I always set myself a 15 minute window to write songs, and if they weren’t completed in the set time then they were thrown out the window, but this time I told myself to take it easy, and try to the songs to make sense and be more musically complicated. There were a couple of songs were the lyrics took 2 or 3 months to complete just to get them finished. P: “The Funeral” is definitely a highlight of the new record, but it is certainly a different style for you guys. What exactly inspired you to slap a five minute reggae track on the end of a thirty minute skate punk album? D: Good question... well, you always need that variety on a punk rock record, there are some good records that are just flat out for the whole thing, which is fine but we figured to change it up a bit, we needed to write a slower one so Smitty can get a rest from playing fast all the time. P: So your band is named after a Frenzal Rhomb song, your song “Please Don’t Sue Us” is about Frenzal Rhomb, and your singer has a Frenzal Rhomb album cover tattooed on his arm... What is it about Frenzal Rhomb that you love so much, and which album do you think is their best? D: Good question... They were the first punk band I ever saw when I was 15 and I thought it was just chaotic, and from that moment in I knew this was for me, and here we are 15 years later still playing the same genre and
earning no money what so ever. But hey, we’re having a time doing it. Best album... probably Not So Tough Now. P: Issues of race, reconciliation and multiculturalism have always been prominent in your music, so it seems fitting that we spend a bit of time discussing them in this interview. Firstly, what is it about these subjects that continue to inspire you write songs like “Fuck White Pride” and “The Opener”? D: Good question… it pisses me off so much that were are living in the 21st century, and people still have a problem with issues such as race. In a perfect world, we would be judged on what’s in our hearts rather than the colour of someone’s skin, does it really matter what’s on the outside? As long as someone is an honest, respectable human being then what does it matter if they are black, white, yellow or green… we all come from the same place, mother nature. P: How do you think Australian society has progressed in terms of racial equality within your life time? Are things getting better or worse? D: Good question... Obviously were moving forward in some way, I mean Indigenous people weren’t even allowed to vote until some time ago, we can always move forward but there are always backlashes when events such as the Cronulla riots take place. I guess it’s ironic when a race that was bought here on a boat and colonised in this country are telling folks from another country to fuck off, when the people that were here to being with are getting pushed to the side. P: In 2008, Kevin Rudd apologised to the Aboriginal community for the damage done by decades of racist politics and laws. Do you think in his time as Prime Minister Rudd made a genuine difference within Australian society, or was The Apology a hollow gesture intended to score political points? D: Good question... I’m not sure what to think. A lot of people didn’t want it to happen but he went against the grain and decided to do it... then again, nothing much happened after that. There are still indigenous communities out there struggling to survive, you can sorry to anybody and still stab them in the back, after all it’s just a word.
P: Recently we have seen tensions between mainstream and Islamic Australian society flare up again due to events throughout the wider international community. Do you think that the tensions which exist between “White Australia” and “Islamic Australia” are rooted in the same phobias and fears as those which exist between “White Australia” and “Aboriginal Australia”? D: Good question... I think this one comes down to religion. There are so many people who just want to live their lives without being bombarded with some sought of religious propaganda, not just from Islamic communities but from mormons and catholics etc.You never see and indigenous community starting shit because someone says that the dreamtime is a lie, do you? P: Do you think that true reconciliation is ever going to be possible in Australia? D: Good question... Yes, I do, and I’m going to be the person who starts the revolution. P: Anyway, time for a few less serious questions. I really want to know: Have you ever had the pleasure of dining at the Coogee Bay Hotel, or is “Defamation by Defecation” all just based on hypotheticals? D: Good question... I saw NOFX for the first time at the Coogee Bay Hotel, never ate there. I threw up there, but not from eating a shit based dessert. That’s just a song about what it would be like to have a dining experience there. P: If Local Resident Failure had been around in the 1990’s when skate punk was popular, you may have been able to make a living playing music. Is it ever frustrating or disheartening knowing that if you had been around 15 years ago you could have been rich and famous? D: Good question... I think about that every day, it’s definitely disheartening to know that there are so many shit bands who are making a living out of playing shit music. I mean, all you have to do is turn on the TV and watch all the karaoke competitions, when there are decent bands who love and mean everything they do and just can’t catch a break. On the other hand I don’t think that a band such as us, could ever popularise the music we play anyway. I’d rather keep the genre underground for the people that give a shit about the music, rather than one song that they’ve heard on the radio or the interweb. P: Who are more fun to play a show with: The Decline or Wiseheimer? D: Good question... they are both good, but if I had to choose, I’d say neither...HA. P: Finally, what plans do Local Resident Failure have for the future? And will it be another half decade before we can expect album number 2? D: Good question... just gonna play a few more shows, a disappointed a few more people, but have fun doing it. As for album number 2, it won’t be half a decade.. but you never know. All I’ll say is keep your ears pricked coz we’re just about as unpredictable as a visit to the Coogee Bay Hotel...
Words: Pat Decline Vocals/Guitar
May 2nd - No Show/ Travel Day -Land in Paris at 6AM - Worry about getting through customs, -Discover that if you come from a country that’s part of the Commonwealth, getting through customs in Paris is easier than finding a southern cross tattoo at a Rockingham supermarket, even if you don’t have a working visa and you do have a suitcase full of 150 shirts and 125 CDs. (They just stamp you through, and you collect your luggage after - too easy). -Hire Van, using our good friend Kye O’Sullivan from Local Resident Failure’s credit card as a guarantee (Sorry Kpax!) -Borrow gear from Greg of French band Icons Down - Cheers Greg! May 3rd - Show: Nenzing, Austria After driving all day we arrived in a small rainy town at the foot of gigantic mountains at 9PM, Hello Nenzing. At midnight we played to a small but fun crowd in a smokefilled, beer-fuelled basement with no security, the bar gave us more beer than we could handle, and I was ridiculed by my bandmates for seeming pissed after two pints - We’d been driving all day, so I hadn’t had any water or food! Fuckers. May 4th - Show: Sankt Peter Am Wimberg, Austria When we arrived in Sankt Peter Am Wimberg we couldn’t find the venue or anyone who spoke English. I managed to find a tour poster for the show. I took to the local bar asking for directions in English, and also pointing to the photo of myself on the tour poster. I eventually I found a dude in a Catch 22 shirt, who offered lead us to the venue. I know you’re not meant to trust strangers in small towns in Europe, but he had a ska-band on his shirt... The Mezzanine Club packed out with young
people and after our set, we partied with our new Austrian friends. They kept saying “You were very good, but too loud” May 5th - Show: Antwerp, Belgium Played a rad show with The Octopussys (Best Band Ever) and Generation 84. Great crowd, first time all tour that people knew the words to our songs! Made some great new friends, and my band members tricked me into thinking they got pizza without me and I cried about it. Also, on the way to Antwerp, Nathan accidently ate a bacon sandwich hard times on tour! May 6th - Show: Utrecht, Netherlands, IN A SKATEPARK Today’s show was only 90 minute drive away (Belgium to Holland) and it was on a fucking skatepark! Easily the biggest indoor skatepark I’ve ever seen. We had a heap of friends come down to see us, it was a pleasure playing with Oskoed Slotters. We had shitloads of fun getting to skate round and the dudes from Running Late requested old songs we’d forgotten we even had! After the show this rad dude called Roel told us that our lyrics had influenced him to change his career path and get into a free trade chocolate business. Also we filmed a new music video! May 7th - Show: Krefeld, Germany Today we played our first German show, our GPS led us to the wrong destination, so we drove around Krefeld for two hours looking for the venue. Show was pretty fun, made some new friends Andy, Garett, and the support band SCHALLHARTE. We ended up staying in a loft apartment where Big D & The Kids Table and The Flatliners had spent the night in the past, as well as Aussie band The Resignators. May 8th - Show: Frankfurt, Germany After a rad show in Frankfurt, the legend soundguy Mike took us further into the city to our band apartment - it doubled as the band room for the artists who were playing downstairs, we shared our sleeping space with who I can only guess were Frankfurt’s best up and coming 40 year old cover artists. A few of us went down to watch the bands that played past midnight, and Harry got a little too drunk with a suicide girl. May 9th - Show: Innsbruck, Austria We arrived at our venue at 9.30pm due to being lazy in Germany all day, (And getting our van searched by a German Cop who was certain we had drugs on us for 2 hours). We played one of my favourite gigs of the tour and then after a few too many shots with Kathi, the dancefloor descended into a total party with Nate behind the bar “pouring himself drinks” and Dan and Kpax taking over DJ duties bring on the 8 hour drive tomorrow! May 10th - Show: Wermelskirchen, Germany Wermelskirchen is about an hour away from the major city Cologne, I think. Ajz Bahndamm is a legendary venue that hosted the likes of Green Day, The Offspring and NOFX in the 90s. Great times with our new friends from Kazimir and Venturas. We were following in the footsteps of Big D and The Kids Table and The Flatliners. I messaged Dave McWane from Big D and told him how it felt like we were following them around Europe and he replied “You guys must be on a pretty rough tour then!” May 11th - Two Shows: Herenthout & Mol, Belgium What a day, we played a huge Belgium Festival called Clamotte Rock on a massive stage. It was awesome getting to play in front of a festival audience. After our set we headed to a little punk rock show called El Topo Goes Loco about 30kms away to share the stage with a bunch of Belgian punks in a packed out youth centre. We met Jeroen from Kickass Records who offered us a show two days later in the Belgian City of Leuvin. Kickass Records distro some rad bands through Europe and I was surprised to see Newcastle Punks Wiseheimer for sale at their stall, small punk world.
May 13th - Show: Leuvin, Belgium Today was the first time I’d been crowd surfed while playing my guitar. We played in a tiny upstairs room above a bar in Leuvin with English hardcore band Stillbust and their Welsh mates THEKIDISFIREWORKS. These English lads knew how to party and played a drinking game called Southpaw Claw. This was a great show, we played on the floor, and the British boys lifted me into the air while I was playing my guitar, I ended up singing Worlds Apart on my back being supported by a sea of hands, someone was even kind enough to lift a microphone up for me - legend. May 15th - Show: Paris, France w/ The Story So Far Tonight we supported American dudes The Story So Far. We played a packed out club full of excited TSSF fans and sweat dripping ceilings. My amp blew a fuse minutes before our set but Will from TSSF lent me his head, cheers dude! It was a great feeling playing in front of a packed out sweaty room and having a lot of people know our songs. A big thank you to Lotfi for fixing my amp and to Get and Kat for having us! May 16th - Show: Lausanne, Switzerland We crossed our most difficult border so far today, and they even taxed us 90 Euros for our own merch - Hi Switzerland. Tonight’s show was in a city called Lausanne. Dan and I played an acoustic set, while Harry slept upstairs in the band room - and we ripped on him for our entire set, well at least we did when I wasn’t lying about Dan’s new solo EP The Memory Lasts. A whole CD dedicated to Dan’s new spacious hard drive. We also met our favourite Swiss man, Flo from Sirkel Pit Records. May 17th - Show: Geneva, Switzerland Hung in Geneva at a local landmark: The Fountain - This giant hose shoots water 100 metres into the air, at 200kph. Obviously we took photos with it pretending it was our piss and Nathan got up real close and destroyed some bananas in it. Tonight’s support band/promoters Signs Of Misfortune told us it was probably the offensive equivalent to throwing a banana at The Statue Of Liberty. We played with metal bands tonight, the aforementioned SOM and One Hour Before Breakfast - a name which they are given for partying so hard. Cheers to the Nati, Flain and the whole SOM crew. They also informed us it is in fact fine to flush your toilet after 10pm, despite what we read on the Swiss government website. May 18th - Show: Lausanne, Switzerland Back to Lausanne for a full band show. We spent the day eating the appetising Swiss delicacy Fondue with our good mate Flo before we punk rocked it out with French band Sport, and Swiss bands Archers and Arrows and The Nutcutters. After the show, Flo showed us the bomb shelter under his apartment building where he keeps his extra vinyls - good day! May 19th - No Show - Trip to Italy Today we drove pretty much all day. On our way through the Swiss alps we saw snow, a first time for me - my bandmates threw it at me and I cried about it. About half an hour later we had the pleasure of being strip searched by a lovely Italian gentleman at the Swiss Italian border who was certain we had drugs on us (again?). May 21st - Show: Rome, Italy. Pizza and Pasta are some of my favourite foods, so I probably enjoyed Italy the most on this whole tour. Today we did all the touristy shit. Tonight’s show was one of my favourites, Bedtime for Charlie absolutely stunned me with how awesome they are. Their guitarist Alex was nice enough to let us stay in his studio, we all got a little bit too drunk and probably were a bit annoying, apart from Harry, who is well behaved and perfect at all times. May 23rd - Show: Zagreb, Croatia Homemade liquor, no security, crowdsurfers, backflippers, mic steals, circle pits, Dan singing Showertime while riding the crowd, old fans, new fans, new friends, parties til dawn, 24 hour bakeries, a very generous exchange rate, So Untouchable, Fast Response, Sinisa, Nino, best show of the tour. It’s hard to put this one into words, but tonight’s venue was an old punk squat with rad graffiti everywhere that had been converted into a venue, shit went off, the promoter got wasted and disappeared, but he found us in the morning. May 24th- Show: Lasko, Slovenia Man, Lasko gave Zagreb a run for their money, this one was amazing, there’s actually a video on our FB page that will paint a more vivid picture of how good this show was. This legend wore a bunny suit because of our video for Excuse Me, he was a party animal so I think he got smashed and lost it before our set- but it’s the thought that counts. The amount of Fuck Yeah this show had was through the roof. May 25th- Show: Bystrice Pod Hostynem, Czech Republic If you stay in Slovenia all afternoon and then drive 5 hours north through Austria to get Czech Republic you’re going to have a bad time. If you then discover, that you left a crate with all of your pedals and leads and Greg’s footswitches in Slovenia you’re going to have a worse time. However, after belting out 13 songs in a smoke filled castle I certainly appreciated the awesomeness which was Czech Republic. These awesome locals forced alcohol down our throats and made us feel welcome. After a confusing altercation that none of us remember we found ourselves with nowhere to stay the night, however the show’s promoter Barry was nice enough to let us stay at his brother’s place this was an amazing end to an awesome 4 weeks of shows. Cheers Czechs! May 27th: No Show - Travel Day We came dangerously close to missing our flight (we suck) but we made it, bring on 24 hours of travel and we’ll see you next Tuesday Perth! Also thank you so much to everyone else who helped us make it through this tour, sorry if I forget to mention any of you, it’s Ross’s fault.
Melbourne punk, ska, reggae, party band The Bennies recently ripped out their 7” EP “Better Off Dread” through Jackknife Music. Regular PEE contributor Matt (Woody) got his mitts on a copy then fired a few questions at singer / korg player Anty... PEE: For those who have never heard of you guys before, how would you sum up the sound and attitude of The Bennies? ANTY: We play psychedelic ska death metal doom punk rock reggae from hell!!! We are a pack of uptight cunts who hate everyone and everything for no reason… just gagging, we are the best dudes ever P: Where does the name The Bennies come from? A: A ‘benny’ is what they used to call pingers/knuckles back in the 80’s. Our music is meant to be like being at a party loaded on bennys – so it made the most sense. P: What was it like touring all over Australia with The Smith Street Band? A: The best fun ever!!! Those dudes are complete legends, and their band is so sick. We never got tired of watching them shred and pack out rooms. We learnt heaps from that tour and it also gave us an awesome opportunity to play to heaps of people that had never heard us before. Wherever The Smith Street Band go people welcome them with open arms, we were extremely blessed to be included in those hugs. P: Is “My Bike” based on actual events or is it just a ridiculously catchy song that you wrote? A: Haha! It’s true. I had cuts up and down my legs and arms for a while and was apparently banned from going into the city for four months. I have no idea how they intended to police that. It was a completely ridiculous situation. The police were cracking down on drunks or something in the cbd – I happened to choose the wrong night to not wear a helmet (and be drunk and high and try and escape a cop). I have never really understood why not wearing a seatbelt, jaywalking (jay smoking), riding bikes without helmets and other shit of the same vibration is illegal. I know it’s not a wise idea – but surely that’s up to me. You don’t get arrested or a fine for eating too much maccas. P: The title track of your new EP Better Off Dread is a tribute to all of your favourite ska influences who never get a shout out - apart from the usual suspects, could you name a few ska or reggae bands that you don’t think get enough recognition? A: Pretty much all of them. I’ve never really understood why Hightime aren’t the biggest band in the world - but I spose they aren’t strictly ska. P: “Return To 9-5” is a track that is sure to piss off many a punk or reggae purist - so what inspired you guys to write a hip hop song?
A: I just read a review of this 7 inch and the guy absolutely hated this song. It’s funny that you say this song is sure to piss off some purists. We didn’t even think twice about it, we just did what we have always done (and will continue to do) write songs that we want to and are feeling at the time. Our attention spans are all really short, so we like to mix up the styles we play. Some people like this about us and some people hate it. Who cares what anyone else thinks. In terms, of what inspired us to write a hip hop song, I actually can’t remember. We had a fair few beats and loops kicking around while we were recording, so we just put vocals on them and we were happy with that one. We have a fair few more recorded actually - hopefully we can piss off more people by putting them out. Haha. P: So The Bennies have proven to be a fairly relentless touring machine - who are some of the best bands you have shared the stage with over the past three years? A: We have played with so many excellent bands and getting to see friends (old and new) melting faces and breaking hearts is the best shit ever. But, if you went back in time and told a younger me that my band would get to support the Aggrolites and the Mad Caddies I wouldn’t have believed ya. They were sick moments for us. P: What plans (apart from more touring and partying) do The Bennies have for the near future? A: After this tour that we are on at the moment we are going to record our next album. We are all super pumped, and more excited about the songs and recording than we have ever been. The 7 inch is a taste of what is to come. Thanks heaps for the interview dude! Always a pleasure and I hope I wasn’t a twat (well, too much of a twat)
Anty - Vocals, Korg Jules - Guitar Bowie - Drums Craig - Bass
Newcastle punks Excitebike released their rockin’ self titled debut EP last year so we got Brittles to bug guitarist Steve Hall on what Excitebike is all about … PEE: So tell me a little diddy about Excitebike? STEVE: Not much to tell really, were a four piece band from Newcastle NSW, been around for ages, not exactly the hardest working band around, played plenty of fun gigs, recorded some stuff (not a lot), probably should’ve done a hell of a lot more for how long we’ve been a band! P: You released your first (real) EP in 2012. You’ve been around for almost forever. Just exactly how slack are you? S: VERY! As a band we really had a slack 2012, we didn’t exactly plan that whole year very well, basically we recorded and released the EP and then we systematically all went on holidays one after the other which basically prevented us from doing much at all for about 6 months of the year. I think we’re working at not being so slack, though other than gigs, we’re big fans of half-assing it, rehearsal never goes the full time unless were writing new songs that’s for sure. P: Once upon a time you guys were a threepiece. How did adding a second guitar change your sound or not change your sound? S: Once upon a time we were a three-piece, then a four piece, then a three piece again and then back to four. I think we really laid the foundation of what has become our sound the second time we became a four piece (current line up), Stew and I really work well both playing guitar and we have similar playing style (sloppy) and in Adam we actually got a bass player that is a bass player and not just a guitar player playing bass which makes a huge difference. I guess the best part about the two guitar thing is both Stew and I get to come up with cool things we want to play and know the
other person will hold down the rhythm, plus it just sounds bigger. P: You’ve been described as too hardcore for the punk kids and too punk for the hardcore kids. Where do you think you sit in this spectrum and why? S: We probably sit in some weird sub-genre that nobody cares about! I think it’s probably a pretty fair assessment really, I guess the big thing I’ve noticed with our band is we really can’t be compared with other bands too much, we have our own sound and our own thing going on. I guess it’s a blessing and a curse, I mean our EP sounds aggressive but live I think it’s even more aggressive but as far as getting people to take notice, we just keep doing what we do and the longer the band has been going the more and more proud we are that we’re kinda out there on our own, it’s become a bit of a badge of honour. P: You claim to be writing new material. What will you choose to do with this material once it’s been recorded? S: It’s not exactly a claim, it’s a fact! At this point we have 4 or 5 new tracks as demos. We put a lot of thought into what we wanted to do with these tracks after they were recorded and after talking about it for a while we decided that we thought it’d be the most fun for us to release the new tracks via a series of split 7 inch records with other bands, we’ve done a split before and really like the format (the band has two vinyl nerds so they were keen) and we didn’t feel that a full length was were the band was at right now. We have the first split lined up so once we get in and record the tracks it’ll get moving, it’ll be two tracks a side with our mates Mental Giants from Brisbane who we toured with earlier in the year, and the 7 will come with a disk with the tracks on it so you tech savvy types can put the tracks on your iPod or whatever. The disk will also have an extra track from each band, I’m really looking forward to this series of releases actually. P: It’s also been touted as your angriest / heaviest shit yet. Are you doing this intentionally or do you find that as you get older you are just becoming more cynical and jaded as people? S: A little from column A and a little from column B, more from B actually. Honestly the way we write songs doesn’t really lead itself to intentionally doing anything at all, we basically all get in the rehearsal space and someone will play a riff or
chord progression and away we go, not much at all comes in pre conceived it’s mostly spur of the moment but in saying that we kind of went into this with the mindset that while other bands are getting slower and playing acoustic guitars and all that stuff, we wanted to go harder faster and be more intense, basically were morphing into a thrash metal band minus the guitar chops, It’s going to be a fun ride! P: It’s believe that most members of Excitebike are connoisseurs when it comes to instrument knowledge and acquiring said instruments. Who has the most expensive piece of kit and exactly how precious are they towards it? S: If I’m totally honest I’d have to say that my gear collection is most expensive BUT anyone that’s seen me play guitar would probably admit that I’m not overly precious about it, I give my guitars a pretty hard time and bar spilling a beer down my amp I’m not going to hurt it. As for the other guys I’d say Aubo is pretty damn protective of his drum kit (the tangerine dream), after having numerous people break stuff on it, including someone trying to screw a cowbell to one of the shells I can see why he gets nervous, but man it’s always polished to a shine and ready to kick ass and he’s defiantly a heavy hitting drummer! P: If Excitebike gets put on a bill, what is your preferred slot to play and why? S: This really depends on who in the band you ask, but as a general rule we like to play in the middle of the bill, Adam and I can have a few beers without getting messed up and it’s always nice knowing you’ve left the bands after you a good task matching our intensity. Plus then we can drink more before the place shuts. P: What is your favourite pastime outside of playing in a punk rock band? S: Kind of a tough question really, I enjoy going to different places (travel), seeing bands and all these things involve drinking, so I guess drinking must be top of the list. P: What’s the plan for the rest of 2013? Touring? Kite-flying? Dutch rudders? S: The rest of 2013, the main plan at the moment is to get some recording done, mix/master/press previously mentioned records, play more gigs, Brisbane/Melbourne/Sydney/Canberra, hopefully lots of other places and basically keep on keepin’ on.
Words: AnthonyWebster (guitarist) Photos: Joe Andersons
When Pete asked me to write up a tour diary of our little excursion to South East Asia I jumped at the chance. I had always planned on putting our trip into words one way or another and why not the tried and true Tour Diary format? But as I got going with it I really struggled to find that perfect fine line between brief but informative and fleshed out and interesting. It also ended up reading like a giant Thank You note to everyone who made the trip what it was. So for the sake of anyone reading this, I bailed. Instead, here’s a super brief bulletpoint of what we did each day and some ‘points of interest’ I jotted down during the trip. Also some happy snaps courtesy of Uncy Joe Andersons. Enjoy!
Tuesday March 12th: Landed in Bangkok at 1:30am. Spent the day exploring and playing futsal with some kids under a bridge. First night in Bangkok, got rowdy. Wednesday March 13th: Recovered lost memory/brain cells/band members. Thursday March 14th: Played first show at Baa Baa Bar, awesome bands and awesome people.
Friday March 15th: Went to a massive shopping mall and got our feet eaten by fish. Saturday March 16th: Flew to Kuala Lumpur and played a show on the 18th floor of a mostly abandoned building. Hung out with good folk then shared a floor bed with 10 or 15 people, plus cats.
Sunday March 17th: Flew to Banda Aceh, visited tsunami museum, played a show in a cleared out café to an awesome crowd then drank delicious coffee and electric green drinks at a different café. Monday March 18th: Spent our day off at the beach and visiting a local school, followed by night time scooter rides through Banda Aceh plus more delicious coffee.
Tuesday March 19th: Drove through the mountains to Lhokseumawe. Saw monkeys and an elephant. Played a show upstairs at a café despite the best efforts of a couple of power blackouts. Wednesday March 20th: 10 hour drive to Medan that ended with us all stinking and hating each other. Amazing show in a packed out futsal centre to some insane kids got the smiles back on our faces, despite apparent knives in the pit and snoopy immigration officers. Thursday March 21st: Giant shopping mall in Medan where everything is just as expensive as in Australia, also, Pizza Hut salad bar wasn’t all you can eat. Bummersville. Friday March 22nd: Flew to Bandung then drove through giant mountains of tea fields to Bogor. Visited a totally legit and not even a little bit illegal mushroom farm in the hills. Played a show in a massive bungalow. Saturday March 23rd: Explored area around the hotel, swam in the pool, fought gastro.
Sunday March 24th: Bus and plane to Bali, played at Twice Bar with some insane bands. Late night beers in the pool at our villa. Monday March 25th: Beers in the pool. Tuesday March 26th: Beers in the pool. Wednesday March 27th: Flew home, giggled quietly at the amount of sunburnt dudes in Bintang singlets on the plane. Things I jotted down along the way: - Awesome stewardesses who bring you free shots just because they like you definitely make 8 hours in a flying tin can a whole lot more bearable.
- It’s amazing how you can be driving to a show 8000 kms from home, looking around at the city and the scenery and everything seems so foreign, then you pull up at the venue to find a bunch of dudes standing around in Converge and Touché Amore shirts and suddenly you feel right at home. - No matter how many times I try, I will never get used to the butt hose. - When customs officers stop you to ask what’s in the case make sure your ‘guitar’ mime is on point and not even a little bit close to your ‘automatic rifle’ mime.
- Kids like to introduce me to their fat beardy mates and say we are brothers. I like to blow their minds by showing them photos of my skinny ass real life brother. - Riding scooters to an almost deserted beach, swimming in crystal clear blue water and drinking coconuts in bungalows on the sand, our mates in Banda Aceh definitely gave us an experience we will never forget. - Visiting a school to hang out and chat with the kids is another awesome unforgettable experience we had in Banda Aceh, though it may have been more suited to a pop group than a hardcore band. When they asked us to sing them a song I don’t think they expected us to belt out an off kilter rendition of the Australian National Anthem (the only song we all knew at short notice) but they seemed satisfied or maybe just too polite to boo us out of the room. I’m betting on the latter.
- Touring is always tough, you try to get as used to sleeping on floors and rationing out hygiene as much as you can, but add to the equation that darn South East Asia humidity and it didn’t take us long before we opted for hotels with traditional showers and wi-fi as often as we could. - Medan kids like to trade shirts with band dudes like football players at the end of a big game. The fact that I’m a good four shirt sizes bigger than them doesn’t seem to bother them as much as it does me. - Buying gastro medication from attractive pharmacy girls. Sup shawty?
- If I thought landing in Bangkok at 1:30am and still being hit in the moosh with a bit of humidity was a decent enough indication of what we were in for I was dead wrong. We thought we’d played hot shows before but man, there are some post show photos floating around where we all look like we’ve just been for a swim. Nothing says South East Asia like playing half a set with a steady sweat drip from your elbow. - The only thing more insane than the driving in SEA is the fact that the only crash/ prang/dingle we saw the whole time we were over there was totally the fault of a pedestrian and everyone walked away fine. - Bali. I’ve never seen so many loud bogans and carved wooden dicks. Also street vendors selling Fuck Off We’re Full southern cross stickers? What?
Sincere thanks to everyone who booked anything, drove us somewhere, gave us somewhere to crash and helped us feel at home even though we were a long way from it. Especially to Teuku at BNA Youth Booking and all of the Banda Aceh crew. We hope to see you all again very soon.
Interview by: Pete Pee Photo by: Denise Borders
Karbomb are a punk rock quartet from Athens, Georgia who’ve toured heaps, played at The Fest and feature on this issue’s sampler CD. Vocalist and drummer Nick took a minute to answer some of our q’s with some input from bass and back up vocalist Jay… PEE: Thanks for the interview guys, for those who have not heard of Karbomb yet, can you familiarize us with your band? You’ve been around since 2005 right? JAY: Thanks for the opportunity! NICK: We’re a punk band from Northeast Georgia. Established in 2005, yes. P: Eight years as an active band is pretty damn good effort these days with many bands breaking up after an album or two. What do you put the bands longevity down to? Do you think some of the bands d.i.y ethos have contributed to your eight years and counting? J: Being really close friends before and during Karbomb has helped a lot. Also our goals are the same, just make the best music we can for us. If people dig it and can get behind it, then right on! Bands now a days rush to put out music for the check, not really focusing on the quality or brand that they have become. I think that the D.I.Y ethos has helped for sure, creating steps that are necessary to climb higher. But even doing everything on your own can burn you out so quick. As of now, we’re keeping a good balance of having help but staying true to ourselves and what we want for the band. N: It’s been a rough eight years, but there have been some highlights. So far no one seems to be done, that’s why we’re still doing it... We love it. P: You’re probably completely sick of this question but I’ve gotta ask about the band name, I read an interview you did where you said you give a different answer every time and you’re usually lying. Does that mean Karbomb actually means nothing really other than a one-word band name you liked? N: The real reason is because we liked Irish car bombs. Making it into one word and spelling it incorrectly just helps to find us in a search rather than a list of terrorist attacks and drink menus. J: To be honest we all kind of slacked up on drinking car bombs. Maybe we should be called, The White Russians, or The Gin and Tonics!!! P: Have you had any negative feedback from anyone misinterpreting your band name and it’s meaning? N: Not really. Some people ask why we spell it with a ‘K’ but that’s about is negative as that gets. We like to lie and say it because we like ‘Korn’ haha
P: Can you tell us a little bit about recording your last album “Nose Before Toes” with Joe Queer producing, and how the hook up with Warbird came about? J: It was great. They got the sound we were looking for, the gritty not overly polished sound. Everything on the record is us. No computers, no auto tune, just us. Most of what you hear is recorded with us playing live, with only and hand full of over dubs. It was a killer experience. I’ve recorded before where it’s everyone in separate rooms, at different times, and the energy is just gone, and the record reflects that. It sounds cheap and plastic. True; run it through a few thousand dollars’ worth of gear and you can achieve it, but what’s the point? Joe and Dan heard us and knew which direction to point us in. We met Warbird after playing a show with Down by Law (totally awesome.) Drew came up and talked to us for minute, but we didn’t really think anything of it. We weren’t really out looking for label support at the time. I think that struck a chord with him, in a good way, that we weren’t up under his ass the rest of the time begging to record and be signed or whatever. We stayed in touch and became really good friends, and when the time was right we both decided to put some music out together. It’s been great being a part of the Warbird family. N: Recording with Joe Queer and Dan Dixon was rad! I mean, think about making a record with one of your heroes... That’s what it was like. Joe is a great guy and has done a lot for KarbomB and Warbird. P: It’s been a while since your “Nose Before Toes” album was released, and we feature your “Kickstart Your Face” track from the “Floored On The Four” compilation on this issue’s sampler, is there a new recording in the works? J: We’ve got a couple things coming up. We’re constantly writing and evolving. We’re growing as a band and reaching into new territory, territory that we all are excited about. So that always makes for better writing. I know me personally; I have what seems to be an endless amount of ideas running in and out of my head all day every day. To the point where I can’t sleep cause I have to lay a guitar track down. We’ve spent a lot of this year figuring out the next step and venturing in some uncharted waters in the music aspect. P: Can you tell us a little about your “Kickstart Your Face” track on this issue’s sampler…? N: The song is about being frustrated with your work. About how sometimes working for your dreams doesn’t go the way you thought it would or wanted it to. It’s about sticking to your goals no matter how fucked everything seems. P: I just heard you recently got added to this years’ line up for THE FEST in Gainesville for the second year in a
row. Well done mate, that’s great news. So how does a punk band from Athens get added to one of the USA’s biggest punk rock festivals two years running? N: In short, Tony is the man. Haha we were fortunate enough to be asked back... Not sure how, but I don’t wanna jinx it haha fest is the best shit all year! J: What Tony and Fest does for the punk rock community, or should I say just the music community in general is totally badass. They bring real bands and real people together for one huge party. I’m totally honored to have been a part of it and then asked to come back again. P: Do you find it’s getting easier to get your band name out there with tools like Facebook and ReverbNation in such a digital age? J: Most definitely. You can stay well connect to all your fans and friends. It gives a way for fans to reach back out to the artist, with comments, messages, etc. Makes them feel more a part of the bands mission, which is always awesome. Of course with the good, comes the bad. With this digital age, it’s easier for everyone to jump on board and think they will be the next big thing. So now you have to help people swim through this ocean of music and noise to find your one single vessel. This can be time consuming and frustrating. I will say I miss the days where you HAD to tour for people out in other states and countries to know who the fuck you are. Now people in one country can hear a song written from a kid who lives in another, and has never left his room. So in a way it has its pros and cons just like anything else. P: So do you guys have any international touring line up other than The Fest in October / November? N: We’re touring the east coast in July. Nothing international just yet. Stay tuned. P: Thanx heaps for your time mate. Any last words, folks you wanna thank or secrets to get off your chest? J: Thanks to everyone who is helping keep the scene alive. It’s easy to get lost in the sea of noise. Especially PEE MAGAZINE! Karbomb and our buds in Subwaste have brand new t-shirt designs up on our labels web store. Be sure to go and pick one up!!! Also check out us, Subwaste, and Race Riot 59 on the comp. and let us know what ya think! Hopefully some of you can come join us at FEST 12! We look forward to hanging out with ya and shooting the shit! We love hearing from peeps so hit us up on the standard social networking sites!
NOTE: CDR / PROMOS / MP3s FROM LABELS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED. SEND THE REAL DEAL WITH ARTWORK OR WE BIN IT. DEMOS FROM INDEPENDENT BANDS ARE ACCEPTED. 30 MILES - The Smiles Of Rage & Paranoia (Bells On) CD Apparently, and be ready to be as shocked as I was, melodic Italian hardcore is where it’s at. That is according to 30 Miles and their new full length ‘The Smiles Of Rage & Paranoia’ of course. The group have a unique take on the genre which refuses to let the punk rock/hardcore world be too stock standard, they instead blend in mathcore ideals. They don’t do enough of this however and the diversity in their tones is lacking, but those are the only two negative points of this record. The album begins on its title track, setting the pace early with aggressive drums and piercing guitars, incorporating melody heavy vocals immediately. This is the formula that the band sticks to for the duration of the record, but with plenty of extra structure changes to keep you hooked. The pace changes do not suffer the same lack of attention that the tones do, things slow down for the classic rock influenced, “Dancing In Her Eyes”, and get a little creepy for “Jezebel & The Clown”. The mid section of the record is where the tones become a problem and it is easy to get lost in a sea of blast beats and buzzsaw guitars, this is until the acoustic number “Miss Anthropy”, a heartfelt ballad to break up the aggression. The standout moment is the energy fuelled “Here I Am”, which also interestingly doubles as the most straight forward track on the record, but when the band want to be like everyone else in punk rock, they kill it. The album ends with some metal in LSD, a song that is a little disjointed within itself as it clumsily shifts back into the hardcore punk genre and probably should have just stayed metal all the way. Regardless of the minor pitfalls, 30 Miles are a band to watch as this record is really good, but it is simply setting up brilliance on the next one. Pee is calling it now. RATING: 80 REVIEW BY: LC A BRIDGE TO MANY - Weights (Distorted Charly Brown) VINYL
This debut 7” for French five piece A Bridge To Many comes out swinging after a slow pressure building intro with the ensuing four intense hardcore tracks in the vein of Battery, Champion, Count Me Out etc. Although we were only sent a copy late last year the EP is a couple of years old now, but still worth seeking out for some well written and structured hardcore songs with plenty of gang vocals, octaves and driving riffs all adding to the urgency of the band’s sound. And you can grab it all for free at abtm.bandcamp.com but go grab the 7” if there’s any left coz the artwork is great and the baby blue wax is well, pretty.
REVIEW BY: PETE
ALEX THE KID - Awkward Timing (Independent) CD
I’ll admit it – my first impressions of Perth-based Alex The Kid were not exactly kind. The opening dialogue of “Dishonourable Discharge” and the inevitable realisation of the true meaning behind its title did little except induce cringes in me. Given a little time however, and the group’s
immaturity and obvious Blink 182 worship began to grow on me. By the time I reached the record’s one truly serious track “Jackson Strother Vs Bruce Willis”, the ridiculous lyrics and Tom DeLonge-meets-Fat Mike vocals were suddenly hilarious and awesome at the same time. True, Alex The Kid’s musical chops are fairly unoriginal and the intellectual content rarely moves beyond the standard pop punk fare of teen angst/self loathing, but there is something honest and endearing about the group. It won’t change any lives, but Awkward Timing is an EP that is sure to bring a smile to the face of any pop punk fan, especially the kind who grew up knowing the lyrics to every song on Cheshire Cat and Dude Ranch.
track “Shadowed”, which has a lot more of those Strike Anywhere elements. Their epic closer “I’m Overcome” is another stand out hardcore track that has a spine tingling ending to it putting the final icing on cake. The worst thing about this record is the length, full length please!
REVIEW BY: PETE
ANIMAL HANDS - S/T (Independent) CD
Generally speaking, Animal Hands attempt to take the road that lies roughly somewhere between postgrunge and 90’s indie rock. The Mount Dandenong 3-piece utilise a basic vocals/guitar/bass/drum setup, with their female vocals serving as their main point of differentiation from the hoard of other rock RATING: 70 REVIEW BY: WOODY bands currently occupying Melbourne. While it’s hard to ALKALINE TRIO - My Shame Is True comment on what the group’s live sound would be like, (Epitaph) CD on record they sound somewhat restrained - opener Alkaline Trio have proven to “Defiance” is a powerful rocker, but could have been even be quite a mercurial act over better with the addition of a thicker and more distorted their seventeen year career. guitar sound. Similarly, frontwoman Danielle Whalebone’s When you consider that their vocal performance is impressive, but she seems unwilling influences stretch roughly to completely cut loose. The loud/soft dynamic of grunge from Screeching Weasel is deployed frequently throughout the EP’s runtime, with to The Cure however, most tracks surging from restrained verses into massive, this is understandable. distorted choruses. Single “Bed Of Dolls” is the record’s While their last record This standout however, featuring an almost Mudhoney-esque Addiction saw the group speed and attitude that perfectly suits the group’s retro adopting a more stripped sonic aesthetics. On the whole, this is an EP that shows back songwriting approach, it still failed to completely a group with promise - whether that promise ultimately recapture the irony, loathing and fire of their early work. pays off is yet to be seen. This time out with My Shame Is True however, the group RATING: 70 REVIEW BY: WOODY have finally come full circle with their best album since Good Mourning. With Bill Stevenson heading production ARMY OF CHAMPIONS - Animal Versus Man at The Blasting Room, it is clear where at least some (Arrest) VINYL of the extra grunt has come from, with the guitars and The debut full length bass sounding noticeably thicker and more forceful from Brisbane’s Army than they have in yeas. Derek Grant’s drums too have Of Champions delivers benefited from the production, with every nuance and ten anthemic punk rock accent clearly shining through. The fact that Alkaline Trio tunes with a sound direct are writing more aggressively than they have in recent from Gainesville Florida, times helps as well, with tracks like “I, Pessimist” and a popular blend of genre “I’m Only Here To Disappoint” in particular standing out giants Hot Water Music, from the pack. The band haven’t completely ditched the Against Me and the Gaslight more moody and gothic feel of later records like Crimson Anthem. You know the however, with the concluding three tracks of the album sound, a gravelly main vocal devoted to slower and more vocal-centric efforts. What is and a smoother backing vocal over a clean guitar sound particularly noticeable is that for once it is Matt Skiba and akin to Smith Street Band and Gaslight Anthem topped off not Dan Andriano who manages the best “slow” song, with catchy anthemic choruses. Nothing groundbreaking with “Until Death Do Us Part” playing largely the same that’s gonna change the way punk records are written role in closing the album that “Fine” did on This Addiction. from now on, but still an extremely well crafted record Alkaline Trio have and will always be a contentious band that should loft this band to the top of the heap for for fans, because opinions vary so widely as to what Aussie gruff punk rock bands. Their mid tempo Bruce they should sound like - on My Shame Is True, the group Springsteinesque third track “The Day Away” is my pick seem to have found a good middle ground between their with its rolling ‘whooooa whooooooa’ sing-alongs along disparate influences that once again reiterates why they with the thumping opener “Before We Were Bones”. have built such a large and varied fanbase over the years. RATING: 76 REVIEW BY: PETE
REVIEW BY: WOODY
ALL WE HAVE - Balance And Meaning (Break Bend) CD
I gotta admit I can’t name a single hardcore band to come from Bristol in the UK, so when Anth from Break Bend sent me All We Have’s new EP “Balance And Meaning” and said “check these guys out, I think you’ll dig them”, I didn’t really know what to expect. What I got when I hit play [after the brief build up intro “Nerves” that features crowd chatter at a gig as the band begins playing and gathers your attention] was an instant melodic hardcore slap to the face, and I liked it. Think Defeater meets Strike Anywhere in a blender. Vocalist Ed Gibbs has that “balls ‘n all” strained delivery that I’m a fan of, and it grabbed my attention instantly with their [first actual] song “Undone”. AWH mix the tempo up well with loads of intensity and passion followed by these big atmospheric almost calm moments which serve to slowly build the tension back up for another explosion of intense hardcore. Their title track “Balance And Meaning” is one of my picks off the EP, along with the following
ATTITUDE - Too Easy Too Bad (One Voice Asia/As One) CD
Well it’s taken me far too long to get my shit sorted out and get this review done so here tis. One Voice Asia have added Tuscan Italianos Attitude ( formerly known as Bad Attitude) to their world wide tribe of hard core soldiers to deliver us ‘Too Easy Too Bad’. A relentless slab of streetwise tough guy hard core with an obvious nod to the New York scene. Madball and Agnostic Front worship is the best way to quickly convey the flavour of this dish. Lyrically the content covers politics, friendship, drugs, unity and a torrent of other hard core themes. Now while Attitude serve up a pretty solid offering for this style, it’s nothing you haven’t heard before that’s for sure. Having said that, is there anything wrong with that? No there isn’t at all , I just was not grabbed enough by ‘Too Easy Too Bad’ .When in need a dose of NY style to get down with I have my ‘go to’ faves. Maybe if I listened to half as much tough guy stuff as I used to this album may have struck more of a chord with me. By no means am i knocking these
mothers , I’m just not buzzing hard off them. 12 tracks of enjoy Batfoot! is going to be directly related to whether or bouncy, mean mouthed, gang crew hc attack. You know not they enjoy the Ramonescore genre - if short, simple songs about meaningless topics are not your cup of tea, what to expect... then Batfoot! are probably not going to do much for you. RATING: 63 REVIEW BY : MACCA On the other hand, if you are the sort of person who BAD RELIGION - True North already owns countless records by Teenage Bottlerocket, The Riverdales and The Queers, then Batfoot! may just (Epitaph) CD Is this band ever going to be your new favourite band. stop making records and RATING: 75 REVIEW BY: WOODY touring? Usually when you BEAVER - On The Record make that statement, it’s (Arrest) VINYL in a negative tone. When The debut EP for Adelaide speaking of Bad Religion’s punk trio Beaver saw light 16th studio album, however, of day just a year after the this is not the case. Sure band forming with early they’ve made some less90’s influenced punk rock than-stellar tunes over the delivered in short sharp long years, but you won’t find any on ‘True North’. Although this record will never bursts, meaning you get be mentioned alongside ‘Suffer’, ‘Against The Grain’, to hear five songs before ‘How Could Hell Be Any Worse?’, etc… as one of BR’s even having to flip the 7” legendary offerings, it still is a solid album from start to over. This all takes me finish. It took me a few listens to get into these tunes, but back to when Fearless once I did, there was no mistaken their quality. The band Records used to release great punk compilations like has stuck to the gameplan that earned them ‘legendary’ their ‘Fearless Flush Sampler’ in the mid ‘90s featuring status over the years and although there isn’t too many bands like Bigwig, 30foot Fall, Glue Gun, Straight Faced surprise on these tracks, it’s still an enjoyable listen. My etc. Short fun punk rock songs is what Beaver serve up only issues with this record is that the vocals are mixed ala Descendents and Dag Nasty. The B side delivers a a little low on some tracks (and Greg’s lyrics/vocals are couple of awesome covers, Face To Face’s “I Won’t Lie my personal favorite aspect of BR songs) as well as Down” and Dag Nasty’s “Circles”. Their opener “I Think I the guitars being too thick throughout the record. They Might Be Dying” is my pick along with their Face To Face seem hellbent on creating a dense wall of sound with the cover. Top stuff all round. guitars and it can muddle the quality at times. These are RATING: 85 REVIEW BY: PETE minor complaints and if you’re already a Bad Religion fan BITTER LUNGS - What Doesn’t Kill You Only (how could you not be?), this album won’t disappoint you.
REVIEW BY: JM
BANDAGE - A Glitch In The Hive (World’s Appreciated Kitsch) VINYL
Makes You Bitter (Independent) CD
Bitter Lungs hail from the Gold Coast and this is the band’s debut independent EP. With 5 tracks in total and some extremely lengthy song titles, this band play what reminds me of early chaotic Every Time I Die, Dillinger Escape Plan and early Norma Jean… to name just a few. Tracks are intense, heavy and chaotic, but with structure and substance. Hardcore riffs and rhythms are prominent throughout whilst still maintaining a dominant technical style and approach. This is in no way boring or to be lumped with anything generic of this genre. These guys have produced an impressive and polished EP. Standout tracks for me are 4 ‘Compulsive Button Pushers’ and 5 ‘Long Live the Mongrel’…a little toned down in comparison to the previous 3 tracks but heavy and gripping.
I know I wrote the same thing in my review of their self-titled EP (PEE #47) but I can’t get over the similarity of Bandage vocalist Drossos with The Vandals frontman Dave Quackenbush. With that now off my chest, Greek melodic punks Bandage have released the 7” follow up to their self-titled EP which delivers three up-tempo melodic skate punk numbers on a neatly packaged black piece of wax, which also includes a CD for those of us struggling to get the turnable to play in the car. “A Glitch In The Hive” is a great, albeit short, progression from the bands previous release which is full of enjoyable melodic punk and a borrowed riff from Blink 182 that’s over all too quickly. No real surprise that these guys score local supports for RATING: 80 REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime punk bands touring thru Greece such as MXPX, Strung BLKOUT Point Of No Return Out etc. Grab the mp3s for free at bandage.gr
REVIEW BY: PETE
BATFOOT! - Brain Dead (SP) CD
When it comes to Ramonescore, you’re either on the train or you’re not. Derivative, clichéd and completely lacking in evolution, it is a sub-genre that is as loved by its fans as it is loathed by its detractors. Having said that, Sydney’s Batfoot! are one of the finest Ramonescore outfits I have ever come across, and while they stridently uphold the tradition of bringing absolutely nothing new to the table, damn do they make unoriginality sound like fun. On the group’s recently released debut album Brain Dead, they manage to smash out sixteen tracks in just under 24 minutes, covering everything from girls and curly wurlys to playing Nintendo. While there is very little variation to speak of throughout the record’s playtime, Batfoot! certainly know what their musical strengths are and they stick to them – fast tempos, simple melodies and a handful of power chords form the basis of pretty much all of their songs. This formula in particular pays off on album highlights like “Rebecca’s a Racist” and the lightning fast “She’s a Punker”. Ultimately however, one’s ability to
Here they are again after a seemingly lengthy absence from the Aussie hc scene Blkout return and in mighty fine form. The ‘Total Depravity” lp set the bar very high and let me say the bar has been met if not set higher with the release of ‘Point of No Return’. The band are once again in top form and have delivered a total corker of pumping hard core that is hard to fault in any way. Its a relentless pace that proceeds the baiting instrumental intro of ‘Sun God’. As soon as ‘Something To Remember’ kicks in so does the entire album. Without a doubt ‘The Bottom’ is one of my favourite hc jams of late and probably set to make the all time list. Heavy chugga chugg bounce accompanied by the solid as vocals from the small man with the big voice, Scott Angel. This track rips in every way and is bound to have the kids and big kids losing their shit at shows. Pure filth. One of those anthems you can have on repeat constantly. Ok, there are more tracks to rave about so I’ll get off ‘The Bottom’ and onto ‘Face of Fear’. Yet again another blinder of Blkout mayhem. I could rave and rave and kiss the ass of this album all night and just end up sounding like a love struck pansy so I’m gonna limit my love and maintain my man hood. This album
has copped an absolute flogging of late in my stereo and has had my work mate Sean letting out things like “ Fuck man, this sounds sick hey”. Ha ha, yes it does bud. Blkout sound tight as ever. A definite must have album. Butt kissing session closed.
REVIEW BY: MACCA
BORN LION - S/T (Independent) CD
Despite the badass artwork and song titles, describing Born Lion’s self titled debut EP as strictly punk rock does not really encapsulate their sound. While it’s true that their brisk tempos and angsty vocals are keystones of the genre, the group’s taut, angular guitars have far more in common with The Strokes than NOFX. Similarly, the quieter moments that Born Lion indulge in owe a lot to the type of indie rock that has inhabited Triple J for the past decade. All of that said, the Born Lion EP is pretty good – it’s tight and melodic, and even if it isn’t the hardest hitting thing going around, it is still better than most of the “punk” that gets played on the radio these days. “Adolescent Oaths” in particular is a highly memorable track, while both “Winter” and “Wild Animals” show the group stretching out compositionally. Overall, a slick yet enjoyable listen.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
BROOZER - 12.04.12 (Grindhead) CD
I was excited to receive this record as I usually enjoy the bands Grindhead discovers and releases. Broozer proclaim to play “tough technical modern sludge metal” - with a description as blurred as that you will probably invent some awesome new genre in your head (like I did) and then be disappointed when you learn that Broozer sound nothing like ‘awesome-core’ or whatever name you gave your genre. To me Broozer sound like a bunch of washed up metal Dad’s having a thrash in their shed with a slab of cold ones for an excuse to get away from their wives for a few hours every Sunday. It’s obvious there was not a huge amount of thought put into the song writing when you hear (almost) the exact same riff you heard a few songs back and say to yourself “Did I have my CD player on repeat? – oh no, this is a different track”. Sorry dudes, I hate this CD and will never listen to it again, however I do give props for the art and packaging, and to your guitarist who busted a fat solo on ‘Vomisa’. That was dope.
REVIEW BY: BUF
BROOZER - 12.04.12 (Grindhead) CD
Recorded by Blood Duster bassist Jason Fuller was the first thing that stood out for me before even playing this CD. With a name like Broozer and a Jason Fuller endorsement, how could this possibly be bad in any way? It is distinctly Aussie. Broozer is a 3-piece featuring bassit and vocalist Retch Bile, drummer Dario Amati and guitarist Bruce Ibbotson. The first thing upon reading that a band is a 3-piece is a natural need for concern. I don’t know… I just think there is greater potential for lack of depth or intensity in a smaller band. Not this time around! Broozer play what they themselves accurately describe as “technical modern sludge metal”. Unfortunately I can’t think of a more apt description. What this band has described is perfectly fitting. Featuring 7 great tracks, all containing elements of the above, Broozer deliver this in such a tight and confident manner. Opening with ‘Feeder’, I’m immediately reminded of great Aussie bands such as BUDD, Christbait, Dern Rutlidge and others present in an era when Melbourne metal was at its peak. ‘Feeder’ is a little progressive, subtly technical but intensely heavy in its delivery. Track 2 ‘Sanctuary’ begins with highly appropriate feedback and kicks in
with a groove laden doom inspired riff. Reminiscent of High On Fire or Eyehategod, Broozer don’t hold back on the heaviness on this one. The middle of this track throws straight forward time signatures out the window and seemingly gets more involved before concluding to an epic ending. Track 3 ‘Bland’ is far from it… This track highlights the superb musicianship within this 3-piece, with awesome metal riffs, alternate tempos and all still driven by such a huge dense sound. Dario Amati’s drumming is amazing, and being a drummer it’s hard not to appreciate that above and beyond other musical talents within the band, but in all, this band delivers a solid wall of metal. ‘Coma’ reminds me of the mighty Fudge Tunnel with its odd time signature and pummelling bass line and in fact, having said that…Broozer do remind me a lot of the old Earache Records band, but with that drunken distinct Aussie sound. There is simply nothing at all to dislike about this release or this band…it’s heavy, straight forward and intense. It may sound simple enough to the untrained ear, but this bands technical side and the depth in this 3-piece’s sound is remarkable. It’s a huge sound reminiscent of the 90’s metal scene; it’s the death rock that Blood Duster do so well, it’s the groove & fuzz that BUDD were renown for and the intense sludgeness that made Christbait so distinctly themselves. Awesome release!!
REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime
BURNING LOVE - Rotten Thing To Say (Southern Lord) CD
After the demise of the act that bought him infamy, Cursed, Chris Colohan decided to keep the train rolling and form a new band with members of Our Father, known as Burning Love. The album is a combination of dirty southern rock n’ roll with hardcore punk aggression which makes for one of the most exciting acts to come out of Canada in recent times. Much like Cursed, the music will make you want to eat your own face, but this time there is more melody, catchy hooks and an element of blues rock. The band is by no means “new” and ‘Rotten Thing To Say’ is a follow up to a previous full-length plus a stack of EPs and split releases since their formation in 2008. The main run of mayhem which is constantly present in the music was captured and bottled beautifully well by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou who recorded and produced the album with the group. The first track No Love explodes out of the gate, if their was a horse race from hell, in which big black zombie horses with flames coming out of their nostrils raced against one another with the winners eating the losers afterwards, this would be the soundtrack. The guitars are bricks of distortion which thud along, with some breaking off to solo uncontrollably while the rhythm section and gritty vocals lock in and provide a tight backing. The craziness continues into the next track Karla, the guitars seem to be able to do whatever they like whilst still providing a wall of noise which makes the music incredibly heavy. Almost just as surprisingly, the constant punk rock pace still manages to nod its head to sludge and blues rock along the way, almost as if it isn’t trying to but naturally expels that vibe. Ballou has done well to smash everything together but still give every instrument the space it needs to say what it has to. 12:31 kicks off with a dirty bass line and an evil riff provided by the entire band, slamming its way along with echoed screams and pure chaos followed by one of the fastest, most punk rock moments on the album, Hateful Comforts. The assault of the record is relentless with the one-two punch of the Pig City duo managing to encompass every element of the band in two powerful tracks. ‘Rotten Thing To Say’ is pure energy and aggression captured in musical form extremely well on record. You’ll need a breather when it’s done, but the trip is well worth a little sweat, Burning Love have the new music you’ve been needing lately.
REVIEW BY: LC
CASTLE BRAVO - Castle Bravo (Independent) CD
Castle Bravo is a four-piece punk outfit out of Perth and its self-titled seven-track release is a decent slab of melodic uptempo punk. Catchy opening track “Self Hatred” kicks things off splendidly with great lyrics, while my highlight “Finish Song” slows things down slightly and has a great chorus. Instantly, I was a fan of Todd Fishwick’s vocals,
which are a lot more mature and assured than a lot of up-and-coming Aussie outfits. Castle Bravo isn’t afraid to up the aggression, as evident on the blistering “Nothing Left”. “Australian Genocide” is another corker, while “Honorary Member Of The First High Society” is a rocking parting salvo. One of the better compliments I can give Castle Salvo is my inability to directly compare them to any other bands. While there are familiar elements, which had me thinking Nearmiss, Huntsman, None More Black and latter Good Riddance, this really is Castle Bravo and not a sum of its peers. Loved the Bobcat Goldthwait-esque closing sample too. Fans of punk rock should definitely seek out this extremely assured debut effort.
REVIEW BY: NO SHOW
CERES - Luck (Independent) CD
Melbourne quartet Ceres have kicked off their bands discography nicely with this five song taste of their catchy indie rock. They play the kinda stuff that would have been right at home on Deep Elm Records back when the label was thriving and producing awesome records by bands like Latterman, Benton Falls, Brandtson and Red Animal War. The indie rock that has enough punch to it not to be tossed aside in our office bin as another boring middle of the road band most likely to appear on the next less than average sampler CD stuck that glossy mag’s cover. Opening their debut EP “Luck” with the rolling drumbeat and bell ringing guitar riff of the standout “Damn Lies” definitely gets my thumbs up with its mid tempo head nodding beat and catchy “I’m a liar” chorus line. Songs like “Notes” and “Luck” are melodic with a mix between a quicker paced rhythms and indie rock harmonies that are brash enough to still retain a passionate sincerity rather than sound like that over-polished turd on [insert radio station name]’s high rotation. Frontman Tom Lanyon’s voice is fitting and unique with his tone striking a familiarity within me from those earlier years of being a fan of all things Deep Elm. The haunting low-fi closer “Hughes St.” just rounds out the EP perfectly. In all five songs just aren’t enough, more please.
REVIEW BY: PETE
CEDRON - Watching The Sun Turn Pitch Black (Slitvarg) CD
I’m not going to lie… When Pete sent through this EP for review, simply looking at the cover, I was expecting another shoddy progmetal release; something to rip to shred and bag the shit out of… Instead, I am introduced to Swedish 4-piece Cedron! I know there are some great bands from Sweden, but to name one off the top of my head right now, I can’t do. These guys have a huge sound, this EP is superbly produced and if played loud enough will have your bowels and insides precariously shuddering with every pummelling riff, breakdown and devastating drumming. Beginning with a lengthy intro titled…’Intro’… ‘Watching the Sun Turn Pitch Black’ begins subtly, but then without warning into a barrage of what this band do best. You’ll be drawn immediately to the immense sound and huge presence Cedron deliver and the best is yet to come. Track 2 ‘Rumours’ will leave pleasant tastes of bands such as Bring Me The Horizon, Reign Supreme, Narrows, Refused and bands alike. Musically, it peaks in parts, bursts forth in others and in all this EP is consistently heavy and dense. There are ample amounts of emotion within this band’s sound and it adheres to you the entire time you listen. With 6 tracks in total, the only negative is that it ends… Having said that, they could release a mammoth 36 song CD and I would still be disappointed with it ending. This band is great! Track 6 ‘Wither Away’ is the standout; intense, melodic, angry
and with some super addictive rock riffs… a perfect way to end this EP. Seriously love this release…has been on repeat since receiving it a day ago. Well worth checking these guys out!!
REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime
CEDRON - Watching The Sun Turn Pitch Black (Slitvarg) CD
A running theme with a lot of band’s debut EPs is a lack of congruency. Most bands smash out their first EP when they’re still not entirely sure what it is they’re hoping to achieve. This can definitely be said for Cedron’s Watching The Sun Turn Pitch Black. The Swedish four-piece describe themselves as ‘in the vein of Bring Me The Horizon with the intensity of Refused’ and that’s probably a pretty good start. But there’s a lot more in this. Fans of Architects in particular should enjoy their love for fist in the air gang vocals and an inherent lack of shyness when it comes to the odd beat down. Throw in some infectious pounding half time sections and some great d-beats that are sure to have even the most stoic of concert goers considering joining the circle pit, and Cedron have themselves an EP that they can really be proud of. The fourth track, Goodnight Luna, is particularly interesting, deviating somewhat from the theme, the song takes on a more sombre approach rather than relying on flat out energy. The final track, Wither Away, on the other hand feels a little forced with it’s bar brawlin’ rock’n’roll riffery, and though it settles in towards the end of the song, it’s still a rough end to a solid record. Despite my first point about a bit of a lack of congruency, WTSTPB serves it’s purpose as a taste tester and definitely a promising preview of things to come. Keep an eye out for these guys dropping a full length, my money’s on it being a banger.
REVIEW BY: ANTH
CHINESE BURNS UNIT- S/T (Poison City) VINYL
What an instantly addictive piece of melodic Aussie punk this flippin’ thing is. 4 tracks of very catchy 90’s influenced punk rock that channel the spirits of past bands like Meanies, Bodyjar, Game Over, Line of Departure etc etc. Lead vocalist Glenno has one of those throats that just seems to carry the songs with no need for any screaming,yelling or aggressive edge. The point is that the guy can actually sing and sing fucking well. Chinese Burns Unit immediately reminded me of the sort of stuff that Kip ( from 99 Reasons Why, Line of Departure) would be involved in. Kip, needless to say thats a compliment bro. The 4 tracks on offer are all pretty much on par and it’s hard to single out highlights coz they’re all prime cuts. I don’t really know if there’s many bands kicking around doing this sorta stuff that well anymore or if it’s just that my radar points mainly in different directions these days but one thing is for sure, this 7” will be getting played for a long time yet and I really would love to hear what’s next in store for the band. So good is this 7” that it will have the ability to stand alone and take the test of time regardless of what the future holds. Those of you who used to frequent the Holdy to catch the surf/skate punk bands back in the day (before the local resident dick brains got sick of the noise and drunk maggots stopping off for a pee on their front lawn after the venue shut and had the fun times put to an end)will dig this for sure. An absolute belter release from Poison City.Oh, and P.S. Frenzal Jay plays bass, Jonny T guitar and Jonny Bones drums. Onto it. I’m gonna buy that farm.
REVIEW BY : MACCA
CONVERGE - All We Love We Leave Behind (Epitaph) CD
Boston hardcore legends Converge released the exceptional “Jane Doe” 12 years ago and, in the time since, I have (rightly or wrongly) compared every subsequent release to that landmark effort that assaulted my senses like no album before it. Unsurprisingly, none have come close. In fact, I had resigned myself to the
thought Converge was on a steady descent from that lofty peak. Four albums later and Converge has bucked the trend to release a collection of songs that could very well end up being viewed as the veteran outfits’ standout effort. Opening track “Aimless Arrow” begins auspiciously enough with an almost subdued vibe before “Tresspasses” belts you right between the eyes as a warm-up to the one-two punch of the brilliant “Tender Abuse” and absolutely amazing “Sadness Comes Home” which combines great guitarwork, clean vocals and a brutal chorus. At this point, it’s clear the production is playing a huge part here, with the album having a raw and gritty 80s punk feel to it. Guitarist Kurt Ballou has again done a wonderful job behind the desk, with this one. As “AWLWLB” rolls on, the dynamics play a huge part with tracks like “Empty On The Inside”, the title tradk and “Glacial Pace” becoming more brutal due to the moody passages, rather than in spite of them. Of course, Converge can commit brutality to disc better than any other hardcore band, as “No Light Escape” and “Shame In The Way” attest. Time will tell whether “AWLWLB” will be considered Converge’s greatest effort or not but, one thing that is certain, it is one bloody awesome hardcore album.
REVIEW BY: NO SHOW
COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON - Hollow Thoughts Of An Aimless Man (RTD) CD
Countdown To Armageddon is a 5-piece from the Sunshine Coast, QLD. I for one have never heard of these guys until now and initially these guys are pretty impressive. ‘Hollow Thoughts Of An Aimless Man’ is the band’s debut full length following the 2010 ‘Exodus’ EP. Featuring 11 huge tracks, there is nothing particularly different in this band’s sound and style, but what they do, they do it damn well. Chock full of heavy laden riffs, catchy melodies, intense bass lines and pummelling rhythms; these guys deliver a sound very reminiscent of all that is highly popular at the moment. Think The Ghost Inside, Parkway Drive, As I Lay Dying, The Amity Affliction and bands similar and you’re on the right track. However, what these guys lack in originality, they make up for in execution. Tracks like ‘Colours’, ‘Discoloured’ and ‘Catalyst’ highlight the bands intensity and brutality, suggesting a likeness to later As I Lay Dying. Tracks such as ‘An Endless Dream State’, ‘Disconnected For Infinity’ and ‘Monolith’ showcase a glimpse of a more mature and structured approach to all the great elements this band has bottled. Vocally is where these guys emit the abundance of feeling within their songs, overlaying the brooding rhythms and brutal melodies. Guitarist Sam backs guttural front man Chaslem with contrasting emotive cleanly sung verses, not unlike the support Ahren provides Joel in The Amity Affliction, but in this case a little more effective. Although it’s nothing new, I’m digging this release. For a debut full length, Countdown To Armageddon has succeeded in avoiding the mid CD lull…the point where you skip to the next interesting track. This release is solid from beginning to end.
been totally out of the loop to have not taken notice of Crisis Alert. The band features ultra active members from the Adelaide scene. Footy, also from Stolen Youth and Starvation takes charge of the mic and I believe played bass for the recording prior to recruiting the very busy , very ripping Shannon to take the spot. He rips through his debut (lead) vocal role with extreme urgency and frantic delivery of his social commentary. If you have caught the band live, it’s all out, leave nothing behind. Any between songs banter is usually combined with heavy panting as he gasps for a lung refill. Tom, also of Stolen Youth, Sex Wizard and Jungle Fever continues to totally shred his guitar whilst ( as just mentioned) Shannon , also of Kamikaze, Richochet Pete, Shit Magnet and former fill in/part timer for Blood Sucking Freaks( and probably a number of other bands) contributes her cracking bass duties as Shaun aka Muppet of Stuffbox smashes his kit hard and fast. It’s no wonder with a line up like that that you have a product like this. Crisis Alert have come together to deliver the ultimate exercise in old school hard core punk, with a very heavy nod to the early 80’s U.S. sound delivered by bands such as Minor Threat, SS Decontrol, The Faith, Void, The Teen Idles, State of Alert etc etc. I could have summed that up a lot easier by saying Crisis Alert are nailing that old Dischord style. 10 blazing fast, raw, os hardcore punk tracks that could well have been written 30 years ago are all crammed in to a very solid 8 or so minutes. If you don’t get down with this 7” you need help.
REVIEW BY: MACCA
CURBSIDE - The Sound I Know (Bells On) CD
It may be twenty years since Punk In Drublic was released, but try telling that to Ontario natives Curbside. Their debut album The Sound I Know has just dropped, and it sounds somewhat like a skatepunk time capsule. Drawing heavily from Millencolin (especially the Pennybridge Pioneers through Kingwood era) with a touch of No Use For A Name, the only telltale sign that this record wasn’t recorded in the mid-90’s is the fact that the production is so good - there is enough separation to hear every instrument, the drums are punchy and prominent throughout, and the guitars are driving and warm without being gutless. Musically the group are tight and energetic, with Kyle Dolson’s drumwork in particular standing out as a highlight, with something interesting always on offer without ever overdoing it. Similarly, the group’s vocals are impressive, with a good mix of melody and punchiness helping the group to escape the usual cliché that “punks can’t sing”. While it is true that the group aren’t particularly original in the scheme of things, the fact is that their target audience is probably more interested in nostalgia and familiarity than cutting edge musicianship. Definitely worth a listen if your copies of Pennybridge Pioneers and Making Friends have been worn out from overuse.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
DECLARATION - Before It’s Too Late (Call To Arms) VINYL
EVERYBODY’S ENEMY - La Noche De Los Enemigos (One Voice Asia) CD
Everybody’s Enemy are a Japanese band who play energetic pop punk soaked hardcore. Think of the fast 90’s bands that Swedish label Bad Taste used to put out in hordes and you would be headed in the right direction. Everybody’s Enemy have an extensive back catalogue indicating their long term presence in the scene. Their you tube footage looks like their shows are a helluva lotta fun with everyone getting loose and thrashing out. Bleeding throat vocals and blazing fast riffs accompany underlying melodies creating adrenaline filled 2-3 minute shots of punk mayhem. “Negative Hardcore” is a scathing attack on scene heavy weights who preach unity and practice the opposite. Some clever, critical, lyrical hate there. “Life’s A Bitch” once again attacks social ‘kings and queens’ who get a dose of their own. I’m not sure if the vocalist is french or spanish as their web pages are all in Japanese. A worthy band to check out if you like skate punk and fast 90’s hc in the vein of Burning Heart/Bad Taste style bands.
REVIEW BY: MACCA
FAIM - Pretty Well Over The Bay (Independent) CD
With their distinctive blend of punk rock and stage show theatrics, Perth based FAIM have returned with their first full length. Whereas the group’s sound was not entirely developed yet on the Dork EP, they now seem far more comfortable (and ambitious) in transferring their vivid musical visions to tape. Tracks like “Burt Bacharachnophobia” and “Contraband” fuse breakneck skatepunk with soaring and often unpredictable guitar and vocal melodies, while “When It Rains” is a moody tune that would hardly sound out of place on the soundtrack of a Webber production. These competing sounds, attitudes and aesthetics are the essence of the group and are the factors which ultimately define them and set them apart from the rest of the punk crowd. Because of this however, FAIM still won’t be for everyone - the vocals are borderline Billy Talent in their whininess, song structures sometimes take a backseat to mood and flare, and the group’s rhythm section are generally relegated to little more than a backing role on most tracks. At the end of the day though FAIM’s greatest achievement is the fact that they steadfastly refuse to sound like anyone but themselves, with little regard for what the “tru punx” think. An energetic, sometimes frustrating but always unique listen.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
FEATHERWEIGHT - It Keeps Me Awake (Independent) CD
The debut EP “It Keeps Me Awake” for Adelaide five piece melodic hardcore band Featherweight bleeds heartfelt passion. Four tracks featuring some damn engaging melodic interludes within their songs, that then explode with dual vocals from their extremely passionate tall lean frontman Daniel Smith and the multi-talented guitarist Alex Yap. Their song writing talents displayed on this debut are brilliant, their music recorded is as captivating as their live show is. Smith’s raspy screamed vocals are the throat shredding type, and he literally bleeds his lyrics out all over the floor at their shows. Great band with a 12” due out any day now which will be worth checking out if you’re a fan of While She Sleeps, Saints Never Surrender, Raccoon City Police Department etc. No real surprise they scored the local support for La Dispute either. Standouts for me are all four songs, check them out at featherweighthc.bandcamp.com
Awesome looking five song, 7” picture disc for Melbourne’s Declaration that features cool line art of a burning Flinders St Station RATING: 88 REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime on the records’ face, and a live photo montage of the CRISIS ALERT - Crisis Alert band on the flipside. For (Resist) VINYL the few unfamiliar with the I’m not a fan of having to Declaration sound, they provide critical (positive or can be likened to a mix of negative) reviews for bands bands like Bane, Youth of Today and Good Riddance all involving friends or people I delivered at a break neck pace with Adz’s high pitched know for obvious reasons. vocals adding to the urgency of the band’s sound. Five Luckily however when I was well written, uplifting and anthemic hardcore songs hit up by Pete to forward littered with plenty of gang vocals and flat out drumming my thoughts on the Crisis to whip the pit into a frenzy. “Burden” and “Before It’s Too Alert 7” I had no need to feel Late” are my picks. This is definitely worth picking up if edgy about it as I have been you’re a fan of fast, intelligent hardcore, but be quick as digging this for quite some time now. Also, regardless of the fact that most of the the vinyl is a limited edition with only 260 pressed. Be band are made up of good friends of mine, no bias has sure to read the lyrics too. RATING: 85 REVIEW BY: PETE been included. By now you’d pretty much have to have RATING: 83
REVIEW BY: PETE
FOR TODAY - Immortal (Razor & Tie) CD
Regret is a beautiful sentiment and I am sure this quintet is filled with it after there now ex-bass player said homosexuality was a sin because they are Christian and without issues. Unfortunately modern day society doesn’t give a shit. You are now about as internationally relevant as the last time we had freedom. Sorry fellow men, you are now minimalists.
REVIEW BY: WILLY-O
FOXTROT - Gone Fishin’ (Jackknife) CD
Melbourne’s Foxtrot are like an onion, yes I am aiming for a “layers” reference here. On the surface, fairly standard Aussie punk rock, but once deeper has been delved, you will find much more in the song-writing abilities of this group. Thing like the surprising grooves of the bass when verses drop down for something a little more subtle, before exploding into a melody heavy, yet very rough chorus line. The vocals are gritty but still manage to offer enough melody to make sense, even though they refuse to be anywhere near as diverse and dynamic as the music. The mid way section of the album starting with instrumental track ...How We Live... is the point where things get interesting, in both a good and bad way. This aforementioned track should have been left out, it destroys the feel of the record, however the lo-fi introduction of Don’t Forget To Smile, a mellower number the builds to a mess of distortion at its ending and the blues/punk rock assault of (The Jerks Have Already Lost) prove that this band will tweak the punk rock genre every now and again for kicks. It may not have been executed as smoothly as possible this time around, they are still teething with ‘Gone Fishin,’ but Foxtrot have made it clear that they want their punk to be a little more adventurous than the standard.
REVIEW BY: LC
FRANK TURNER - Last Minutes And Lost Evenings (Epitaph) CD
Frank Turner, the former frontman of the brilliant but defunct Million Dead, has released this great collection of songs from previous releases and paired it with a DVD of his concert at Wembley to 12,000 fans, if you don’t mind. Turner is an extremely talented man and personally, I find it comforting that his brand of what the man himself calls “English punk rock country songs” can draw such a crowd. The CD has many highlights and would be a brilliant starting point for newcomers to his music. The alternate version of “I Still Believe” is my highlight, but it is a very onsistent effort. “Long Live The Queen”, “Try This At Home” and “Reasons Not To Be An Idiot” are other personal faves here. However, the real reason to go out and grab this one is the brilliant DVD. Turner belts out 24 ripper songs, including “If I Ever Stray”, “I Am Disappeared”, I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous”, Father’s Day” and a cover of “The Times They Are A-Changin’” which the brilliant Billy Bragg helps out on. The sound and vision are spot on and proves the masses were very lucky to experience this performance. This may be a punk zine, but if you’re a fan of well-written folk music with great lyrics and a storytelling mindset, I think you could very well become a Frank Turner fan. If you’re already onboard, you’ll love this DVD and the CD is a great compilation for road trips.
REVIEW BY: NO SHOW
GATEWAYS – S/T (Hotfoot) CD
and has a heavy Bridge 9 feel all-around. Aside from the aforementioned Defeater, they also draw from bands like The Carrier and Blacklisted. What these guys do though, This album came as quite they do it extremely well; pinpoint percussion, focused a nice little surprise for this rhythm, accurate guitar sequences and emotionallywriter. Knowing practically charged vocals that are never forced. These songs zero about this band, it are melodic yet unforgiving in their intensity. Although became easy to be slightly I spent most of this review comparing them to Defeater dismissive on whether and other B9 bands, I also believe these guys will quickly this debut full-length was find their own niche to incorporate into their influences. worth a thorough rotation, But don’t get me wrong; this is still an album you should even a repeated spin. have in your collection. I just think they will grow into This was weeks ago and an even better band than they are at the moment. I’d I am happy to announce that I have given Gateways ‘Departures’ quite a bit put my money on this band to blow-up in Australia very of attention. Capturing a sound that is along the lines soon and gain a respective international following shortly of the new wave of melodic hardcore punk with just a thereafter. slight hint of post hardcore thrown in for good measure, RATING: 88 REVIEW BY: JM the ten tracks which make up this record kept myself intrigued, but in contradiction not amazed. The musical LIZARD PUNCH - Perfect For Romancing talent here is certainly predominant between these five (Independent) CD Maybe someone should Michigan fellows, however the songs seem to follow a very similar formula which becomes monotonous. The have told Lizard Punch title track Departures is easily the standout, mostly due that old saying, “Everybody to it’s more progressive nature and cleanly sung vocals likes a joke but no one (throughout the record this facet is very impressive), but likes a fool”. I get that they fortunately there is a lot of room for growth. If the idea of are deliberately trying to Defeater mixed with Such Gold and a trace of Irrelevant be a “funny” punk band, sounds like a winning formula, ‘Departues’ will be right up but when the material is your alley. What the quintet’s next step is has me more this juvenile it’s hard to get fascinated as this debut album isn’t quite on the mark of on board. Even this might not be a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that there is memorable. nothing else at all going on here - the production is lo-fi RATING: 82 REVIEW BY: WILLY-O at best, instrumentally the group are only passable and HUMAN DEMISE - Of Wicked Men And Their the vocalist is frequently out of tune. And given the fact that I am a half deaf drummer, the fact that the singing Devices bothers me is really saying something. “Beer Snorkel” (WTF) CD and “Pirates” just manage to cross the line between shit Human Demise hail from and average, and as such could probably be considered the Southern parts of The “highlights”. Which brings us to “The Brown Note”. Yeah, Netherlands and play what it is stupid, but the lengths to which Lizard Punch go for has been described as a fart joke is pretty commendable - don’t ask me why I “holy terror hardcore” and found it to be funny when I was left unimpressed with the we have been assured that record’s other twenty tracks, but there is just something whatever label one puts on endearing about a bunch of adults making poo noises the band, we are guaranteed that really made my day. Perfect For Romancing is a to be “blown away”. Having record that would be perfect for the 12-14 year old crowd begun in early 2004, Human who are just getting into punk rock, but will on the whole Demise has a vast period of history behind them and has obviously conjured up leave most other listeners wanting. some intense hatred over those years. This band plays RATING: 25 REVIEW BY: WOODY pretty intense, assertive, evil and hate filled hardcore / LOYAL TO THE GRAVE - Against The Odds thrash in the vein of Trap Them, Ringworm, Integrity and Holy Terror. Musically they sound polished and (Eulogy) CD Probably the last thing incredibly sharp and they highlight of this band is their like Terror shredding and blistering riffs. Track 1 ‘False Idols Versus purveyors False Altars’ is what you would expect from the above- and Hatebreed needs is mentioned description and comparisons…it’s hardcore / wannabes. So lucky this thrash with an evil edge and presence. Riffs are distinctly quartet are NOTHING but hardcore, drums are pummelling and vocally its coarse similar, except Japanese. and intimidating, reeking of hatred and anger. Track Good on them! Lame 2 ‘Falling Empires’ is much of the same though add name, horrible sound, no some subtle breakdowns and melodies. Track 5 ‘Feast originality but they are doing Of Neptune’ begins a little laid back in comparison, but this because they want to. with something no doubt brewing, almost like an old CREDIT! Bring them to Slayer tune. Sure enough, it’s a prelude into the blistering Australia with Terror or JagerMeister Gurus Crossfaith. ‘Raptio’, complete with pummelling double kicks and a I’m sold! chugging riff almost resembling that of a 90’s Florida RATING: 72 REVIEW BY: WILLY-O death metal outfit. Everything about this release is LOYAL TO THE GRAVE - Against The Odds intense and lyrically it is no exception, not holding back on their views on religion and Christianity. Packaging is (Eulogy) CD superb with great artwork and the production is spot on. Japan’s Loyal To The Grave It is no wonder then that the first pressing of this release are old timers having formed in 1998. Having released sold in excess of 500 copies… material via several labels, RATING: 90 REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime including our own Skull KINGS AT HEART - S/T & Bones Records, this band are no strangers to (Independent) CD the scene. Touring the US The first thing that comes with big known bands and to mind when listening to consistently delivering the this album is Defeater. Not goods, Loyal To The Grave necessarily ripping their have earned the respect and reputation they hold. This sound off, but there definitely is the bands 3rd full length and it pulls no punches in its is a heavy influence here. intensity and brutal hardcore approach. With 11 tracks It’s not uncommon for in total, these guys simply do what they do best. They young bands to wear their deliver barrage after barrage of rhythmic, razor sharp riffs, influences on their sleeve crushing drums and tempos, together with shuddering and it’s rare to not be able to bass lines and intense vocals. So many times this band identify them on any group’s debut release. This Gold Coast band is no exception reminds me of Mindsnare, both musically and vocally. Song structure is always interesting and not generic of
this genre and this is one selling point for this CD. If it weren’t for that, it would be easy for me to say once again, that this is just another hardcore / metalcore release. Overall, I dug this release the first few times through, but then it just becomes another heavy hardcore release… another Loyal To The Grave release…consistent, but slowly becoming all too mundane. They do what they do well and it’s a solid release, it really is, and if this is your thing, you’ll dig it… In the end for me, the riffs and vocals become far too monotone and monotonous.
REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime
MARK MY WORDS - Indicators (Skull & Bones) CD
The debut album “Indicators” from central coast hardcore champions Mark My Words is banned from ever being played in my car again. When I received it lived in my car’s CD player, until I realised my driving was being influenced by their songs, so for the sake of retaining my drivers’ license and not ending up with a pile of speeding fines “Indicators” now lives back on top of the player. The album continues on from the aggressive tracks they showcased on last year’s split 7” with Suffer Survive, and Mark My Words have once again proven they’ve matured in their songwriting and mastered the art of crafting some of the best heavy hardcore ever ripped out by an Aussie band. Seriously, if you’re a fan of heavy hardcore that oozes obvious NYHC influences and don’t already own this record then you’re only reason could possibly be that you’re holding out for the 12” version. This is a quality packed album full of heartfelt sincerity and relentless rhythms that all prove that, like a stack of other independent Aussie hardcore bands I could name, these dudes should be getting more recognition than they are for what they do so well. Highlights are “Killing Machines”, “Indicators”, “Driftwood”, “Restless” and the rest of the record. Recommended.
REVIEW BY: PETE
mentalGIANTS - Pop-A-Mono (Independent) CD
On paper, mentalGIANTS should be a winner. Not only do they feature members of Stolen Bikes Ride Faster, Vomit Bullets and No Trust, but their debut EP was recorded by none other than B2 from Bad Day Down. On the whole however, while Pop-A-Mono is certainly an enjoyable listen, it never quite manages to reach the level that it should considering the pedigree of its creators. The record certainly gets off to a good start with the absolute blitzkrieg that is “One To A Thousand”, but from there the group seems to falter somewhat. Sure, the remaining four tracks on offer are fast, tough and gritty, but they are certainly far from spectacular. A lack of memorable guitar riffs in particular hurt the group, with most of the EP’s songs relying on simple and uninspired power chord progressions. Furthermore, while Mark’s vocals are passionate and searing, a little more variation in pitch and tone would have helped mix things up a bit. Despite these flaws however, Pop-A-Mono is an encouraging debut from a group who are obviously still finding their exact niche – their stated purpose is to play fast and hard like the many punk outfits which emerged in the early 90’s, and given their muse they have done a pretty good job. However, if mentalGIANTS are looking to reignite some kind of skatepunk revolution, they are going to have to tighten up and add a few more tricks to their repertoire. Only time and a few more records will ultimately show what this group are truly made of.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
CDR / DIGITAL DOWNLOAD / STREAMS FROM LABELS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED. DEMOS FROM INDEPENDENT BANDS ARE ACCEPTED.
MISH - The Entrance (Grindhead) CD
Every now and then, a CD arrives here to review or I hear something online that reminds me that I am aging and my musical taste is less inquisitive as it used to be. At the same time however, a CD this good reminds me of all the elements of more experimental and progressive rock / metal I used to like. Mish is a 4-piece outfit from Sydney and ‘The Entrance’ is the band’s debut full length. Mish is the kind of band that’ll draw you back into the realms of all things artful about rock and metal. That writing music doesn’t have to be just riffs and a steady back beat. This is evidence that good music conjures and stirs emotions. The opening track ‘Preocial’ begins as you would imagine from what’s described above. Its opening riff is amazing and immediately highlights the great production and sound on this recording. It’s not too long though, until the artful and progressive characteristics take centre stage. Haunting vocals soar above odd time signatures and a barrage of intense riffs and intricate beats. For someone my age, this band already stirs thoughts of bands like Godflesh, Fudge Tunnel and the likes. Track 2 ‘Janitor’ begins like a great Tool track, with a steady and contagious rhythmic riff. Vocally, Rowland opts for a more straight forward approach; clean but still coarse enough to deliver ample amounts of emotion. The delivery of amazing riffs and intricacy continue in track 3 ‘Resilience’ and it is amazing to hear such depth and atmosphere in such a heavy sound. Once again, it is very hard not to acknowledge the amazing production on this release…absolutely perfect, recorded by Clay at The Brain Studios in Sydney and mastered by Alan Douches (Converge, Mastodon, Between The Buried And Me). The remainder of the CD is much of the same; it peaks and it troughs throughout, both musically and emotionally. Huge chorus’s such as that in ‘Fire Inside’ bring you back for more and this song for me is the highlight of the release. There are times at the bands serene moments where you will yearn for the intensity and prog metal goodness, but it loses its impact without the contrasting lulling moments. In all, this band and release is a surprise package. I am generally not a fan of local prog rock / metal bands, but this has restored faith in an otherwise lacking genre here in Australia.
REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime
MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK - Go (Epitaph) CD
Long before mainstream media bastardised the term and applied it to such shitty acts as Fall Out Bay, emo wasn’t a derogatory term – not only was it a legitimate style of music, it was a badge of pride worn by those specialising in it. Motion City Soundtrack are one such band who existed long before The Black Parade and continue on now that My Chemical Romance have inevitably faded from popular consciousness. On their fifth full length, the group live up to their prehistoric emo roots whilst continuing to increase the melody and popishness inherent in all of their previous works. It is perhaps ironic therefore that Go is the group’s rawest recording for some time, stripping back the layers of major label sheen which characterised their last album My Dinosaur Life. Opener “Circuits and Wires” is the perfect example of Motion City Soundtrack’s direction on Go, featuring a straightforward musical structure, a moderately fast tempo and powerful vocal melodies given preference over the rest of the song’s instrumentation. “True Romance” follows a similar pattern, except with a few layers of acoustic guitars and piano thrown in for good measure as well. For a change of pace, the group still manage to slow it down a bit on “Bad Idea” (which features a much heavier than usual indie influence) and the ballad-esque “Happy Anniversary”. While I am hardly a fan of emo (in either it’s past or present forms), it’s hard to argue that Motion City Soundtrack are masters of the style. Although Go isn’t going to convince any of the naysayers, it will surely be a welcome addition to their canon for fans of the group and style alike.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
MY CITY SCREAMS - Surroundings (Independent) CD
Sydney’s My City Screams have released their second EP ‘Surroundings’ to much acclaim. Having not heard these guys before, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed when I initially listened to this release. Sure it is what every other band is doing at the moment, with heavy as fuck riffs, subtle melodies, contagious cleanly sung vocals in contrast to guttural verses and a little electronica, but these guys do it well and deliver it with conviction. Riffs are huge and this band’s breakdowns are shuddering! The electronica part I could do without however I suppose it adds to the immense atmosphere within the sound. Track 5 ‘Surroundings’, for me is the highlight, straight forward in its approach and showcasing all the elements that contribute to this popular style and this particular band’s sound. It has a huge, soaring chorus and the clean vocals aren’t as annoying as some others within this genre. With 6 tracks in total, before you know it the EP’s at its end. Track 6 ‘My Last Goodbye’ is a fitting send off, epic, catchy and more up tempo than previous tracks. This only highlights the bands array of elements and influences that I feel we are yet to see the full capacity of. Pretty keen to see what unfolds for these guys. A huge second EP; much anticipated and well received.
REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime
NEVER BEEN FAMOUS - Mesh Of Lies (Bells On) CD
Although Never Been Famous do at times risk being labelled as NOFX clones, their debut full length Mesh of Lies is nonetheless a tight and energetic exercise in replicating the mid 90’s punk rock sound. Using Fat Wreck Chords style skatepunk as their foundation, the group have also tempered their sound with elements of both techpunk and old school hardcore. The result is intense yet highly melodic, with snotty vocals galore and Bad Religion-esque three part harmonies getting dropped all over the place. While it’s true that the group could have mixed up the tempos a bit more, their sheer exuberance for the style is infectious and largely overcomes any such limitations. Highlights include the instrumental middle eight of “Mr CEO”, as well as the truly pummelling “Club of Desperation”. Never Been Famous may not be particularly original or inventive, but with Mesh of Lies they have crafted a passionate and lively record that is sure to get any 90’s punk fan excited.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
NINETYSIX - Caught In The Grips (Hotfoot) CD
This little ripper caught me off guard! I wasn’t expecting what i heard when the cd went for its maiden spin. What a great blend 96 have going. My initial reaction was one of surprise when the almost Bay Area thrash opening riffs of “Had Enough” emerged. While I reckon there is definitely at least a few thrash records in the 96 record collection the band are definitely more of just a blazing hardcore band and at times sound alike to bands such as Downpresser, Think I Care, Backtrack and Cold World, maybe even a little Internal Affairs, Trapped Under Ice and one of my old faves from the past, Last Nerve. The pace varies from standard hardcore bounce to lightening fast thrash metal influenced bursts of adrenaline. The vocalist Corey really sounds like he is using 96 as a total outlet (usually the case obviously but here more than many others). Full of snotty, defiant attitude this latest offering from 96 is a non stop adrenaline soaked assault to get psyched too. You should find yourself getting pumped listening to this. Prime cuts: “Had Enough”, “Losing Grip”, “Hard
Luck”, “Dried Up” and “Sixteen Inches”. The whole thing is actually solid as though and no duds to be found on here. A wide variety of lyrical inspiration here too. Topics include pollution, occupational pizza delivery, money, iced tea and more. i.e not your standard hc fare. Put this on to get loose to.
REVIEW BY: MACCA
NO REGRETS - Natural Justice (Independent) CD
Pretty solid sounding gear here. No Regrets are a bunch of dudes from Perth whose second 6 track ep’Natural Justice’ is mosh heavy straight up hard core. Whilst pretty formulaic, this ep is very well done and is streets ahead of many other bands who fail to stand out from the pack. Plenty of chugga chugg bounce and escalating energy to get the dance boys and girls moving and plenty of heads nodding. ‘Natural Justice’ is the opening track that serves as an intro before leading into ‘Judge’. There are moments that ring in the classic 90’s Trial style of approach, elements of Detonate bands like Up The Fury and Signs of Hope, and on the local front Melbourne’s Hopeless (evident especially in the track “Padded Cell”). A full length ‘Rogue’ has since been released and is no doubt a release that should be checked out . Keep an eye out for the lads when they hit town, I’m sure they will deliver. Impressive.
REVIEW BY: MACCA
NO TRUST - The Trust Issues (Independent) CD
No Trust are a Brisbane four-piece who play hardcore the way it should be: fast, short and to the point. There may not be anything particularly flashy about their approach to the genre, but this in itself is one of their greatest strengths. Rather than get bogged down by pretensions of artistic grandeur, the group stick to the basics of writing tight, hard hitting punk rock that features just enough melody to get stuck in your head. This bare bones philosophy is present throughout the entirety of their 6 track debut EP The Trust Issues, a brisk yet telling affair that shows just how indebted the group are to both skatepunk and 90’s hardcore. Considering how many modern hardcore bands rely on metal to supplement their musical attack, it is refreshing to hear a band cut the crap and just play straight up punk rock. The Trust Issues is a promising first offering that will hopefully lead to an even better full length in the not-too-distant future.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
NOFX - Xmas Has Been X’ed (Fat Wreck) VINYL
fact, having heard this version of the song, I actually think NOFX would have been a lot smarter to include it as the final track on Self Entitled rather than “Xmas Has Been X’ed” – it’s certainly a better song, and it would have made both of the track featured on this EP exclusives. At the end of the day, Xmas Has Been X’ed just isn’t that good. For completists only.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
OBEY THE BRAVE - Young Blood (Epitaph) CD Remember Despised Icon? Here’s the post band development. It’s kind of cool, but not new. Bit of mosh, but not a lot of originality. It will suit The Ghost Inside fans, even Confession. However, DI were a bit more unique and in a abstract sense - more developed. Hit and a miss.
REVIEW BY: WILLY-O
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS - Home (Epitaph) CD
On their second full length for Epitaph, Minnesotan based Off With Their Heads haven’t changed their approach so much as they have streamlined it. Generally speaking, the group’s songs have become tighter and more concise, with lead singer Ryan Young’s distinctive vocals remaining just as gruff and abrasive as ever. The production job courtesy of Bill Stevenson’s Blasting Room really helps bolster the band’s attack however, emphasizing both their intuitive sense of melody and the rough edges of their blunt instrumentation. Unlike their last album (2010’s In Desolation), Off With Their Heads have finally managed to find a way to vary their musical approach without compromising their trademark sound – “Don’t Make Me Go” is a slow building rocker not that far removed from modern Pearl Jam, while “Start Walking” might be the most stripped down, balls out performance the group have ever committed to record. This differentiation is important, as it prevents everything blending together into an amorphous blob (something which was constantly threatened on In Desolation). With a runtime of just over 30 minutes, Home is a solid collection of tunes which finds Off With Their Heads writing some of the best material of their career.
ONE VITAL WORD - Picture Perfect (Pee Rec) CD
After hearing this hardcore punk band’s impressive EPs…I was really looking forward to letting this debut full-length loose on my ears. OVW are one of the most impressive young bands I’ve been exposed to in some time. They display an unapologetic mix of aggressive hardcore and Southern California skate-punk. These influences have been combined by other bands, but off the top of my head, I can’t think of any who have done it so well. The melody of both the guitars and vocals are what attracted me the most to the ‘Early Days’ EP and it is on full display here on the new album. They took the melodies they’ve incorporated in the past and ran with them on this disc. If you want a teaser to the album, to decide if you want to buy it…I recommend starting with ‘Far Away’ and ‘Caroline’. I’ve only been able to listen to these tracks all the way through a handful of times so far. If you give me another month to repeatedly listen to this album, I’m sure it will grow on me even further and get a near-perfect score. It’s rare that Australian punk bands get noticed in the U.S. market since the sheer number of American bands alone dilute the market and as a punk band…you need to play live shows to get noticed. But if I had to pick a current Aussie band that could carve out a small niche internationally, I would put my money on One Vital Word.
REVIEW BY: JM
ONE VITAL WORD - Picture Perfect (Pee Rec) CD
Yes, One Vital Word are a Pee Rec band and yes, I write for Pee Zine, so you’re probably thinking ‘of course this will get an amazing review because this dude works for Pee’ right? WRONG! This CD will get an amazing review because it is amazing! I’ve been a fan of OVW since I heard their first EP a few years ago, I didn’t mind their second EP either, now maybe 4 years later they’ve put out a full length record and holy shit it’s been worth the wait! With every cool drum fill, painful yell or bass line sparking some sort of emotion within me it’s clear the boys have poured their heart and soul into making this record. There’s not a dull moment on the album but I do have a few baby-sized criticisms, and here they are: the RATING: 78 REVIEW BY: WOODY second track ‘Promises’ features guest vocalist, Scott Bird, and whilst his vocals suit the song well I feel like at OLDE YORKE - Shallow World only a few minutes in I am still getting a feel for the band (WTF) CD and don’t want to be interrupted with guest appearances I used to listen to a lot yet. Petty? I know, but there’s really not much else to flaw, of NYHC and still do love well there’s also the synth string part at the end of the blasting the classics but I song, which I wasn’t too keen on because I’m a purist cant really say there has asshole and fake strings piss me off. Knit picking aside, been anything in recent this record kicks ass! Huge melodies, catchy vocal hooks, times that has really floated sing-a-longs and harmonies (which I really hope the other my boat too wildly. Olde members can pull off live). Buy this CD and go see this Yorke succeed where so band when they are on tour. They are my favourite, or many others have failed in maybe second favourite, Australian punk hardcore band keeping that old school stuff and I highly recommend them to you! FFO: Comeback alive. While it’s nothing that hasn’t been done a million times before Olde Yorke nail Kid, Strung Out REVIEW BY: BUF that bouncy, groove laden sound and instantly brings to RATING: 95 mind the mighty Madball and Maximum Penalty. Catchy OUR LAST NIGHT - Age Of Ignorance as hell and a 90’s NY punch “Shallow World” kicks off with the tough opening tracks “Peeling Paint” and “Hatred You (Epitaph) CD Spread”. Solid gang vocals appear throughout as to be Apparently Linkin Park are expected on a NYHC album. “Entropy” kicks off in more of way cool again. Not quite my a Youth of Today /Gorilla Biscuits fashion. Ted Wohlsens calling, but Our Last Night voice is a perfect match for this type of vocal delivery. are on the band wagon of “On and On” has that H2O feel to it especially from the imitation. So are the bigger “Nothing To Prove” era. All in all, a pretty impressive than Jesus band Bring Me The Horizon, Our Last release from one of the current bunch flying the NY flag. Night’s second track has an RATING: 81 REVIEW BY: MACCA emulate with Send Me To Hell. This writer is not sold,
Let me start by saying that I’m not really a fan of “holiday” themed songs (except “Halloween” by The Misfits obviously). Taking this into account it should be pretty obvious that I was going to be prejudiced against this record from the outset. Two themed songs, one about Christmas (which was already featured in exactly the same format on the group’s last album, and was already the worst song on it) plus another about New Year’s Eve. Neither are particularly spectacular, and in fact “New Year’s Revolution” is at times pretty boring – it features a stock standard chord progression and structure, and the chorus isn’t even that lively. In truth, the only real reason to get this EP is for the B-Side, a re-recording of “Wore Out The Soles Of My Party Boots” which originally featured on the Epitaph best of The Greatest Songs Ever Written (By DON’T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT! Us). Surprisingly, this new version transforms what was a pretty lacklustre affair by invigorating it with more energy, All reviews are only the personal opinion of those who write them... so for the artists sake go have a listen for yourself and make up your own mind. a rougher vocal take and a much better guitar intro. In
Triple M will blast what this now young quartet are trying fourth studio release posed and proud to admit as their sound. But this is a case of the question of whether the band would continue first album syndrome. Don’t try or buy. to evolve or if this offering RATING: 11 REVIEW BY: WILLY-O would simply continue where OUT COLD A.D. - This Is Survival ‘Deep Blue’ finished… Highly anticipate worldwide, (Pee Rec) CD following an ARIA Award Kiwi’s Out Cold A.D. has winning release, ‘Atlas’ if come out, fists clenched and anything proves that these guns ablaze with this debut guys from Byron Bay have full length. In a day and an epic arsenal of brutal metal goodness that continues age where hardcore bands to mature and improve with age. Beginning with ‘Sparks’, can sound all too much like an ambient and acoustic track for the best part, it already every other hardcore band provides something obscure from previous material out there, Out Cold A.D. do warms the listener to something a little different. That’s sound distinctly similar to the until the full barrage of track 2 ‘Old Ghosts / New Regrets’ likes of Terror, Cruel Hand and Trapped Under Ice and others alike, but what this kicks in, reigniting all the early elements that have made band does is deliver their music with sheer and aggressive this band what it is today. This track will no doubt remind conviction. ‘This Is Survival’ sits you back on your arse the you of all that you have come to love about Parkway and second the glass shatters at the beginning of the opening highlights, as mentioned above, that they will never let go track ‘Survival’. Featuring 10 huge tracks, Out Cold A.D. of their initial beginnings. Track 3 ‘Dream Run’ is another mix the most important elements of heavy and metallic snippet into the evolving sound and subtle changes in the hardcore and deliver them with assertion and integrity. bands style. Guaranteed it is heavy, though riff patterns, Tracks like ‘Blind Leading The Blind’, the sheer intense intricate melodies and a more meticulous approach to ’12:51’ and ‘Constant Fight’ are what all great hardcore the song structure are evident here. ‘Wild Eyes’ is the tracks are made of; break neck speed, neck snapping metal anthem, or the all in sing-a-long track…this is rhythms and intimidating vocals. The production on ‘This pure and distinct Parkway at its very best; blistering riffs, Is Survival’ is top notch with a huge sound. The beginning breakdowns, melodies, blast beats and Winston’s deep of the final track ‘Aftermath’, with its pummelling drum guttural growls. ‘Dark Days’ continues the barrage of intro, showcases the crisp and immense sound on this Parkway brutality, but with some great snare patterns disc. It would be fair to say that I am slowly losing interest through the verse that may otherwise go unnoticed… in this genre, preferring to remain loyal to old hardcore The intro to ‘The River’ is another sombre inclusion bands that did it for me back in the day, rather than seek into the band’s sound. It sounds a lot like the intro to out new bands doing something similar. But then a band ‘Carrion’, but with more ambience and atmosphere this like this puts forward an impressive debut full length and time around. ‘Atlas’, the title track, is epic with acoustic it immediately reminds you that there are bands out there inclusions and piano. This track alone display’s the bands simply playing what every other band has played, and maturity and willingness to experiment with alternative then there are bands like Out Cold A.D. doing it all and so elements, other than what we have all come to know and expect from them. This track for me is the highlight of much better than everyone else! the CD. Parkway Drive is where they are for a reason; RATING: 92 REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime they are solid and ever so consistent. Introducing new elements into the band’s sound and style as subtly as OVESEAS - O’ Captain! My Captain! they have has provided enough to make this new release (Pee Rec) VINYL stand out above and beyond previous releases whilst still Overseas, as far as we here maintaining everything about the band that everybody in Australia are concerned, worldwide loves. are most certainly from overseas. Costa Rica in RATING: 85 REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime fact, and while for some that PROJECT MAYHEM - Live at Ya-Ya’s may conjure up thoughts (Blazing Strumpet) CD of calypso style jams and One of Perth’s hardest marimba’s, the group’s working rock/punk bands, debut EP ‘O’ Captain! My Project Mayhem stormed Captain!’ is far from that. the city’s many live music Instead the band offer up a brash style of punk rock that errs on the side of pop, venues with frightening extremely close to the like of Four Year Strong. The regularity for many years, thirty-five second opening track “Bulldozer” explains shared the stage as supports it all, fast paced drums, dirty but bold guitars and gang to a number of international vocals which continue through the fast paced energy of acts, as well as assailing “Call It A Day”, which injects some hefty melodies into interstate audiences on a the mix for good measure. This is a fun release and the number of occasions with slight touches of angst that the band throw into tracks like their turbo-charged guitar fury. However, the nuclear “Last Word” via both the vocals and guitar lines give the reactor which drove the atomic Mayhem machine for songs a little boost, but there isn’t a lot of diversity in the over 10 years went into meltdown in 2012, and the band tracks, that is of course until the bonus acoustic tracks was no more. Their last release prior to the split, “ Live at the end (Pete Pee’s favourite) [haha not! P]. Whilst a At Yah-Yah’s “, stands as a very fitting epitaph, capturing fairly standard an unimaginative addition they do show Project Mayhem at their finest - raw, uncompromising , off the group’s song-writing talents, which are evident beer-fueled good-time rock. One glance at the song titles throughout the entire release, just given emphasis by and there’s no doubt these boys liked to drink, party and the stripped back nature of these particular recordings. rock out - “ Party At Your House “ , “ Rock Up Fucked “, The EP’s closing track “Sake Of Sanity” throws its style “ Last Man Standing “, you get the drift!. Their entire 14back to late 90’s punk rock reminiscent of band’s like song set recorded live at Perth music venue Yah-Yah’s Millencolin, suggesting the group understand and respect in February 2012, it’s totally unmixed and unmastered the evolution of their genre quite well. Such Gold fans will - so raw, you can almost feel your feet sticking to the enjoy the guest vocals from Ben Kotin and everyone else carpet! There’s just no let up, the Mayhem tear through can brace themselves for Costa Rican punk rock, which each track at break-neck speed, furious guitar action and relentless driving bass and drums, with Benny Mayhem’s apparently is pretty darn impressive. powerful vocals driving it home. With the album still RATING: 80 REVIEW BY: LC available online through redstripeclothing.com, those who love their hard’n’fast punk shouldn’t hesitate to seek PARKWAY DRIVE - Atlas out these Perth punk legends at their very best. Rest In (Resist) CD Parkway Drive is without a doubt this country’s biggest Peace, Project Mayhem - “ For those who used to rock, metal export, surpassing most if not all local metal we salute you! “ bands that ventured beyond before them. From humble RATING: 92 REVIEW BY: PANTS beginnings, and not a band to ever let those early days PROPAGANDHI - Failed States go, Parkway Drive gave a glimpse of an intently and meticulously evolving band, with a much loved mature (Epitaph) CD sound on their third release ‘Deep Blue’. ‘Atlas’; the bands On their sixth album Failed States, Propagandhi have
finally done what they have been threatening to do since they released Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes – they have released a record which is more metal than punk. For long-time listeners, this shouldn’t really come as a shock. The group’s last album Supporting Caste attempted to play the best of both worlds, mixing straight up metal tracks like “Night Letters” with almost pop punkish efforts like “Human(e) Meat (The Flensing of Sandor Katz)” and “The Bangers Embrace”. This approach however resulted in an album what at times lacked cohesion and a definite identity. On Failed States, Propagandhi have retained their punk lyricism and cynical world outlook whilst fully embracing a form of prog-ish thrash metal as their instrumental muse. The results are at times as breathtaking as they are punishing, with tracks like “Ratten Cane” and “Hadron Collision” managing to transcend the aggression of both genres. Elsewhere, the group slows things down to show off their more melodic side, such as on the sprawling opener “Note To Self”, which neatly transitions between subtle guitar arpeggios, mid tempo hard rock and metal. Ultimately however, the group reach their pinnacle on the record’s closing track, “Duplicate Keys Icaro (An Interim Report)”, a song that rivals even older fan favourites like “Purina Hall of Fame” and “Iteration” in its musical grandeur. With Failed States, Propagandhi have once again created something which is both entirely different yet entirely their own, as well as musically and conceptually challenging for the listener. Sure, it is an album that is going to once again piss off punk purists wishing for another How To Clean Everything, but for everyone else it should instead serve as yet another reminded why Propagandhi have gained such a loyal and (let’s face it) rabid following around the world.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
RATIONS - How Much Land Does A Man Need? (Pavones) VINYL
Seeing a simultaneous release across ten labels worldwide, “How Much Land Does A Man Need?” is the second EP from New Yorkbased Rations. Cramming five songs into its ten minute playtime, the group do a good job of showing off their abrasive yet melodic brand of punk rock. The EP’s lofi production only further enhances Rations’ strengths, adding an extra layer of grit and distortion to their sound. While it’s true that the group don’t push the stylistic envelope too far, every track has something about it which helps it stand out – whether it’s the Leftover Crackstyle guitar harmonics of “A War Of All, Against All” or the bizarre-yet-awesome glockenspiel of “No Answer”. The highlight of the EP however is saved for its concluding title track, which sees the record’s primary question screamed at the listener over a dirge-like slab of noise rock. Combined with an incredibly well laid out booklet, “How Much Land Does A Man Need?” is a strong offering from Rations that shows a group with a lot of promise.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
REACTIONS - S/T (Independent) CD
No info came with this CD, but upon a little research I have since found that this 4 track CD is the four tracks Adelaide band Reactions contributed to their split release with fellow South Australians Concepts. Reactions play pretty straight forward hardcore; ear splitting riffs, cymbal chokes, pummelling rhythms, intense vocals and breakdowns. Track one has some interesting verses and subtle changes that aren’t expected and the guitar tone sounds amazing. Musically it’s pretty generic to the genre…It’s a lot of what we have already heard from so many Aussie hardcore bands, but it is done well. Track 2 features a more groove orientated riff before a more
addictive chugging verse and once again it is more of the same, but done extremely well. Track 3 ‘Keep The Piece’ proves these guys are more than capable of mixing it up and bit and adding something a little more diverse into their sound and having heard what is next in line for this band, I know that their new material has exactly that and sounds great! So pretending I haven’t heard the bands new material, these 4 tracks are still solid and impressive. The bands next release will be a 7” titled ‘Out Of The Dark’ available in June and I urge you to seriously check them out on Bandcamp.
REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime
RECURRENT PAIN - S/T (Independent) Demo CD
Austrian hardcore from Tirol…pretty much sums up this band and demo quite bluntly. There is nothing overly special about what this 5-piece deliver it is straight up intense and heavy hardcore with an abundance of metal elements from blistering riffs to moderate blast beats… Think Hatebreed with some overly assertive and aggressive lyrics. Front man Rani gutturally yells at one point about smashing ones head into a wall or something, but just hearing his vocal presence, you would be quite convinced he would and with little reason to do so. There are 6 angry tracks on this Demo and to be honest, it isn’t bad. They sound solid, but just don’t do anything ground breaking or different from any other heavy hardcore band out there. Riffs are simple; groovy at times but simple, and songs are over as quick as they begin. Production is great for a demo, resembling that of a professional recording, but in all it just lacks an interesting or distinct trait. Maybe I’m being a little critical, but in this day and age, it is all too easy to release a CD or play music that sounds incredibly like so much of what everyone else has already done. It’s too easy to sound dated and old when trying to deliver something new. Recurrent Pain is heavy, solid and assertive, but lacking something that’ll have me playing this demo again.
REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime
RIGHT MIND - Architects Of Our Fate (Call To Arms Music) VINYL
Vicco bunch Right Mind‘s 7” ‘Architects of Our Fate’ is a four track offering of conscious, message filled hardcore (dare I say youth crew?!!!???). With a sound not unlike Just Say Go, the band deals with serious subjects that we are faced with on a daily basis. The horrors of sexual abuse, gay marriage and the oppressive discrimination that is still rampant in todays backwards attitude held by so many, materialism, and finally ,unjust law. Each track is explained and makes for some message filled hc with a purpose other than just a soundtrack for dancing. I’m not sure about the current activity of Right Mind but give this a crack and get behind a band with something to say.
REVIEW BY: MACCA
SAFE HANDS - Montenegro (Pee Rec) CD/VINYL
I don’t know where to start with this record. On the first couple of listens I was like “yeah, this is pretty cool but I don’t know how much staying power it has” then I gave it a few weeks rest and re-listened. This is an album that will take you on a journey, if you let it. There is a lot going on here and it might take a few spins to sink in. There are moments of beauty, darkness, chaos and anger. Safe Hands play a disjointed style of (dare I say) metalcore by blending dissonance, melody, groove and aggression into a multi-layered cake, which would probably taste pretty awesome if you could eat it. ‘History’s Fucking Afterthought’ is probably the best example of this, go
jump on peerecords.bandcamp.com and listen to that someone smaller than me. FFO: Nails, Mind Eraser track, if you like it it’s safe to say you’ll probably dig this RATING: 75 REVIEW BY: BUF record. FFO: Norma Jean, Poison The Well
REVIEW BY: BUF
SAFE HANDS - Montenegro (Pee Rec) CD / VINYL
I’m already calling biased, I loved this band before a fulllength. I should not review this record because I preordered every option Mr. Pee and SF offered. I am a sucker, I love The Chariot and everything these five men are offering and they should be regarded as noise-core royalty. Rant finished. This is why they supported Converge and why they SHOULD be supporting Norma Jean. If you don’t know Safe Hands, now I’m sympathetic which is rare. Thank you for the song Montenegro because Jen Buxton is royalty as you young fellows are getting very close to being. My honour is writing this review.
REVIEW BY: WILLY-O
SEX WIZARD - Grey Matter-White Matter (Clarity) CD
Back with bells on, Sex Wizard have unleashed their follow up to the awesome debut from a few years back, this time on home grown label Clarity Records. I was a big fan of the first release (Trial and Error Records) and this offering is a continuation from where it left off. I’ve been asked a few times if i was surprised by this when i first heard it as if I should have been shocked in some way but no, I wasn’t. It really is what I associate with past Sex Wizard. Still, this is a progression. A blinding slice of precise aggression. Jiggsy’s vocals sound just as angry and powerful as ever. The man fronts Sex Wizard like a wild boar. The whole band are in peak form (no doubt considering their collective musical exploits). The dual drumming is done with ultimate precision and the bass is thumpingly heavy whilst the guitars rip your innards out. At times this is a gluttonous riff fest of the highest order. Tom is slaying the beast with his axe in a very violent manner. Who would think such a nice guy was capable of such aggression. Definitely, there are a few surprises (there I go contradicting myself) though. ‘Freight Train’ kicks off with an almost Coerce vibe before the beast is unleashed. The other surprise is ‘The Outside’ which really i can’t kick the likening to Regurgitator’s ‘Black Bugs’ for the first few minutes. Sex Wizard through pure genius carry melody with rampant anger without sacrificing one element to the other. ‘Grey Matter-White Matter’ is a fairly progressive album that constantly builds on it’s own momentum. It’s great to see (as with their last album) bands rooted in punk and hardcore pushing different directions. The lyrical content is worth a mention too. Angry, down trodden and spitting hateful disgust at the world. As with their past output, this recent offering should be lapped up by the widest variety of underground freaks. If you are a metal head, punk ass, hardcore mosh pig, stoner, doom or grind consumer then this should tickle your fancy.
REVIEW BY: MACCA
SHACKLES - Dissolve To Nothing EP (Arrest) VINYL
Pre-listening thoughts: The cover of this record is fucking mad, I’m excited to listen to this. Post listen thoughts: Shackles music is pretty immature and angry and that’s exactly why I like them. It’s just raw aggression. I hope they get in a jam room and just play whatever the fuck they want as fast and as hard as they can, and then stop at some point and look at each other and say – “reckon you can do that again, exactly the same?... yep, then I reckon we’ve got a song”. The songs are short and furious and make me want to smash beer cans into my eye and punch
SHACKLES - Dissolve To Nothing (Arrest) VINYL
Following their previous 7” ‘Maunder’, which I quite enjoyed, Byron Bays flag bearers of violent thrash core Shackles have unleashed their new 7 track 7” beast entitled ‘Dissolve To Nothing’. If you haven’t sampled this bunch before they play brutal, fast, devastating hardcore in a similair vein to the almighty, sadly defunct, power violence titans Suffer. Whilst I can’t even begin to imagine another band coming as close to the mind blowing intensity of Suffer (the records are one thing but the live show was like pure Armageddon) , Shackles are delivering unfriendly bursts of sub one minute hardcore that should be investigated by the same crowd. There is savage riffs aplenty, squealy feedback sections, sludgy sections , brutal drumming and hoarse vocals that bring to mind maybe Jason Clegg of Think I Care. Thrown into the mix there is enough groove there to keep the moshmeisters raging too. A four way spilt on Arrest featuring these guys, Downpour, Anti Venom and Beartrap is worth a look too even though ‘Leech’ and ‘Warped’ both feature on both releases. Fast, intense and heavy. Spin, flip, spin, flip, spin, flip, spin, flip.....
REVIEW BY: MACCA
STILL SCREAMING - Stick At Nothing (WTF) CD
Still Screaming is a German hardcore outfit and, excusing it’s terrible promo sheet from its label, has put out five great hardcore tracks (which for the label’s benefit, has as much in common with Comeback Kid as a I do with John Holmes). OK, I will try and get past that absolutely shitty A4 piece of paper that came with the CD, since it’s about the music. Right? What I was treated to with “Stick At Nothing” (should it be “Stick To Nothing?) was some awesomely raw and aggressive hardcore, which had elements of Blood For Blood, Until The End, Violent Abuse and Cleansweep. “No Excuse” was a ripper, while “Coming Home” was another personal highlight. Awesome tunes and a release fans of the more aggressive, non-metal influenced hardcore, should check out. Did you know that booking agency MAD is backing them up?
REVIEW BY: NO SHOW
STRANGE FEAR - A Permanent Cold (Indelirium) CD
The first album I’ve heard from Indelirium in quite some time. The Italian label has put out some absolute crackers in the past. Time has definitely been a good thing as I really have grown to appreciate Strange Fear a lot more. These guys have a savage sound overflowing with hatred. Alongside fellow Indelirium label mates Straight Opposition, Strange Fear have one of the more aggressive approaches to hardcore that I have heard from Italy. As I’ve said in past issues, the scene must be solid in Italy judging by the amount of it that has made its way in my direction. The duration of ‘A Permanent Cold’ clocks in at around the fifteen minute mark and considering there are 12 tracks you know it’s a brief and blunt affair. The cd is pretty freakin’ raging and it was a perfect choice of guest vocalists to include maniac Ivan Di Marco of Straight Opposition (if you haven’t checked out Straight Opposition get onto it asap, the ‘Gathered Against Mediocracy’ is an epic affair of violent hardcore spitting hate as is the follow up Fury Stands Unbeaten (G.A.M. by far my pick of the two though)) on the ripping track “Freedom For Sale”. Another fine release from a great label to check out for fans of raw,
fast, old school stuff like Negative Approach.
REVIEW BY: MACCA
SURVIVING SHARKS - ...And Living To Tell The Tale (Furry Red) CD
Adelaide brothers Sean and Drew Kemp have been playing music around Adelaide South Australia since the mid-90’s, their most notable project being rock outfit Tendahook. Their latest project Surviving Sharks and their 6-track release “...and living to tell the tale“ is musically very much rooted in the 90’s, which has resulted in their latest offering being a very bland slab of neo-grunge commercial-rock. Each track seems to ape some sort of familiar sound from the last 20 years, with opening track “Russian Tide“ evoking horrific memories of crap English grungers Bush, “Days Into Night“ getting a bit Smashing Pumpkins (and more recently SP clones Silversun Pickups), while “Bleed and See“ and “Sever“ attempts some sort of Wolfmother vibe with its 70’s retro keyboard sounds. Making this contrived mini-album even more painful to listen to it, is the utterly flat production of the entire recording, completely draining any remaining life out of the songs. Yes, it’s not unusual for musical trends to nostalgically reference and reinvent sounds of another time, as part of their continuing evolution. If Surviving Sharks appear to be the next evolutionary step, we are doomed to be stuck forever in an outer suburban pot-andparma pub on a Saturday night, listening to a bad cover band playing Pearl Jam and Nirvana covers....
REVIEW BY: PANTS
SCARRED BY BEAUTY - Sutra (Independent) CD
Forming in 2006, Denmark’s Scarred By Beauty has a huge, notable list of credits behind them; huge tour supports, awards and amazing reviews. ‘Sutra’ is the band’s debut independently released full length and reeks of a band hard at work and putting all into what they are passionate about. Featuring 10 mammoth tracks, this 5-piece is an extremely tight and polished unit. Opening with ‘Indika’, immediately I’m drawn to compare this band to I Killed The Prom Queen, Machine Head, Bring Me The Horizon, As I Lay Dying, The Ghost Inside, or others alike. This is melodic, heavy as balls, intense and pummelling. More importantly it is all executed with precision…it’s perfect. Time signatures are odd at times and a pleasant surprise and song structure propels huge choruses above intimidating verses. Track 4 ‘Oh Brother, I Believe’ is a glimpse of early Norma Jean, chaotic yet still maintaining immense melodies and a soaring chorus, showing that this band can really mix things up. Vocally, front man Jonathon has a huge guttural growl not unlike Winston of Parkway. Track 9 ‘Woman’ is a wall of mammoth melodies and huge riffs and showcases the vocal abilities. This guy has a huge growl on him. I could go on and on, track by track but would find myself repeating everything all over again. This band is huge, delivering a slab of intense and emotive melodic metal. The production on this debut is enormous and dense. These guys are no doubt putting in 110%, and their 7-page “one sheet” tells that story on its own. Their list of supports and accreditations is impressive and they are a band consistently and constantly touring… Expecting to see so much more of them and won’t be surprised when a huge label snaps em’ up.
a few, it triggered some interest. As the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” speaks very true in this situation, all the press quotations taken from Metallhammer UK and even Mario Duplantier from Gojira in the thorough information booklet speak very true. This debut album ‘Sutra’ is a stunning debut LP. Incorporating a whole heap of heavy music genres in their sound but by no means becoming overloaded, Scarred By Beauty have really put the “marvel” in marvellous with this record. Consider a Progressive Metalcore outfit that encompass Math-Metal, odd time signatures, breakdowns and a hint of Djent in their formula with practical ease and this is what these five lads from Denmark have concocted. Confused? In simple words, blend early Architects (UK) ‘Ruin’ era, with early Misery Signals ‘Of Malice And The Magnum Heart’ and your close to Scarred By Beauty. This quintet has made it to China touring; hopefully someone can bring them a little further south as a supporting role. The world should know about SBB. Hopefully with their promised 2013 follow up to be released, they really carve out their identity.
REVIEW BY: WILLO
THE BENNIES - Better Off Dread (Jackknife) VINYL
The latest EP from The Bennies might be a mere four tracks long, but it covers a lot of ground in that time. While primarily a third wave ska punk band, the group mix in hardcore, reggae, dub, hip hop and two tone to create an eclectic yet clearly Melbournian sound. Opening with the druggy ska stomp of “Mushroom Tea”, The Bennies prove that they aren’t afraid to work outside of the genre’s usual boundaries – elements of dub float through at whim, a massive almost sludge metal breakdown makes an appearance and phasers get thrown in whenever they seem appropriate. “My Bike” is far more straightforward, an anthemic punk rock tune that comes, goes and gets stuck in your head before you know it. The record’s title track however is easily its strongest, a reggae rave up that features shout outs to all of the group’s diverse influences that also features a synth solo that sounds like something out of Mario Kart. Finally, we are left with “Return To 9-5”, a bizarre yet admirable hip hop effort that sounds about as Aussie as is humanly possible. Better Off Dread is a record by a band that is not afraid to experiment and make music that doesn’t necessarily fit the mold – an admirable quality that many of their peers do not share. At times bizarre and clearly fueled by a healthy diet of various illicit substances, this is fun loving party music at its best.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
THE GHOST INSIDE - Get What You Give (Epitaph) CD
letter box after having seen The Lizards open for the Ten Foot Pole show earlier in the year. The band blew me away when i saw them that night. They really killed it. The Lizards are a bit of a down south band and don’t play town much so I guess thats why they had escaped my radar thus far. Anyway, on a night playing alongside Beaver and Ten Foot Pole, they definitely completed an awesome night of 90’s style melodic punk and will be a name I’ll be stoked to see in the gig guides from now on. The Lizards really are carrying on the same sound and attitude/vibe as some of my favourite local bands going back 15 or so years. Numbskulls and Where’s The Pope? in particular played super fun shows at places like The Holdy and Glenelg Surf Club and the whole vibe was very different to a lot of the shows today. The carefree, beer soaked, surf/skate/ punk scene produced some great bands and the whole thing seemed to have died out until now. Carrying the torch these dudes are obviously all about having a good time doing the things they love best. Smashing out tunes, hunting down girls, surfing and skating, drinking beer and clocking up major lads time. The Lizards remind me of not only Numbskulls and WTP? but also classic bands like D.R.I., Massappeal and the almighty Hard Ons. Fizz Guts, Panel Van Party, Eternal Lizard Freedom, Livin’ The Dream etc etc should give you a fair idea what these fellas attitude is, pretty laid back and runamuck I would bet. The pro’s and cons of a boys surf trip are described in Desert Fever “We got desert fever, we got no beaver”. Funny, simple lyrics about mates pretty much dominate all the tracks on this sweet little slice of Adelaide punk. If the previously mentioned bands plus Fat Wreck stuff and Pennywise etc etc are what gets you going then get onto these dudes, The Lizards rule.
REVIEW BY: MACCA
THE MISFITS - Dead Alive! (Independent) CD
It took Jerry Only more than a decade to finally release a Misfits studio record postMichale Graves, so it is somewhat surprising that he has already gotten around to putting together a live album – until you look at the tracklist. Yes, the first proper Misfits album since Evilive (don’t give me that Evilive II crap; it was a fan club only release and it sounded like shit) is basically little more than a means to further promote The Devil’s Rain, with its entire first half drawing from that release. The rest is filled out with half a dozen Gravesera cuts and a competent-but-not-entirely-original Rock Horror Picture Show cover. So let’s cut to the chase – is it worth it? Sort of. Getting over the brazen laziness of the setlist, the tracks taken from The Devil’s Rain are pretty good. Just like the studio version, Dez Cadena’s guitar is buried way down in the mix, but at least Jerry’s chunky bass lines are now audible, giving the songs the much needed bottom end they previously lacked. The second half of the record is not always as successful however – it is clear that the group have simply sped everything up to compensate for Jerry being unable to hit all of the high notes vocally. While this approach works on “Helena” and “The Shining”, it absolutely butchers both “American Psycho” and “Dig Up Her Bones”, stripping them of all their inherent melody and rendering them little more than an unsatisfying, thrashy mess. It is highly surprising therefore that the record’s closer, “Saturday Night”, ends up being a highlight and almost as good as its studio counterpart. Maybe it’s Jerry’s enthusiasm or the fact that it is actually played at a reasonable speed, but it somehow just works. Overall, Dead Alive! is a decent album, but it still suffers from the context within it was released – the spectre of Glenn Danzig continues to loom large even when none of his songs are on the record, and the shameless frontloading of “current” tracks does little except depreciate the music that the reformed group produced between 1997 and 1999. A decidedly mixed bag that will continue to divide listeners.
After the years of being underdogs, this quintet are now internationalists. Epitaph records, Yep! After way too much worldwide touring and way too much notoriety in the general public, here is some fruits for your labour. It’s heartfelt, it’s produced by Jeremy McKinnon (Supermen A Day To Remember), it’s still moshcore and tough but now it’s got melody. A win? Probably not, but it’s not generic so RATING: 94 REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime much now, then again the production is notable. Now they aren’t a suitable support band anymore but actually SCARRED BY BEAUTY - Sutra one who could headline, or maybe help fill some void (Independent) CD It can be a scary prospect sometimes opening a promo Bleeding Through have left behind a bit, not that TGI package, especially when a band is called “Scarred By could ever be that amazing. Beauty”, which is a name that certainly left this writer in RATING: 73 REVIEW BY: WILLY-O hesitation to say the least. However, seeing the track THE LIZARDS - Frill Seeker record of who Scarred By Beauty have toured with: RATING: 65 The Black Dahlia Murder, I Killed The Prom Queen, (Independent) CD Messhugah, For The Fallen Dreams and Gojira to name I could not have been happier to see this cd arrive in my
REVIEW BY: WOODY
THE RESIGANTORS - Down In Flames (Care Factor) CD
Melbourne’s greatest ska band The Resignators have just dropped their latest EP Down In Flames, and boy is it a cracker. Building on the strengths of their last full length (2010’s See You In Hell), the group have further focused their instrumental attack with a fuller brass section and the more confident and consistent usage of keyboards. Opener “Rocket Ship” is a full on ska-punk assault, grabbing the listener from the get go with its massive chorus and lyrical themes of political disenchantment and escapism. The record’s title track is probably the CD’s best however, with a definite Latin vibe showing the group’s ability to work outside of the usual conventions of the 3rd Wave Ska genre. “Summer Girl Smile” is another gem, a bouncy reggae number that harks back to the band’s fun loving roots. Topping the whole thing off is the obligatory ska-punk cover, this time out a very classy remake of the Rancid classic “Old Friend”. While most ska bands are willing to simply crank out formulaic covers with the same degree of effort as a daily bowel movement, The Resignators have put their own stamp on the track whilst staying true to the original – so much so that I found myself going back and checking that Rancid’s version didn’t actually feature horns! Another quality release from one of Melbourne’s most consistently good bands.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
THE TAKEHOLD - Assume Control (Pause Break) CD
The front cover artwork for this falsely had me thinking this was some sort of ska punk or pop punk thing for some reason. I guess it was all the pink, orange and baby blue on the cover. It all looks kinda like one of those sorta bands art work. Cartoon picture of a devil spooning out some office workers brains to eat. Mmm fair enough. Anyway, The Takehold are a young east coast hard core outfit who bust out jump around dance jams. I’m sure the kids get down to this when the band plays as it is that real easy stuff to move to. Very much in the vein of stuff like Backtrack, Iron Mind and also the Kiwi Pee Rec signing Out Cold. ‘Assume Control’ hovers between an ep and mini album with a total of 7 tracks. Screaming youthful energy and with a polished sound to boot , these lads have put out a pretty decent cd of modern hardcore that also brings to mind Down To Nothing... just don’t be fooled by the art.
REVIEW BY: MACCA
THE WEIGHT - Prisoners of the Flock (Clarity) CD
Oh shit this is heavy! I have heard a little about this band but haven’t actually got off my arse to give them a listen, so this is a first. The Weight is a 5 piece from Adelaide and this beauty is the band’s debut full length and immediately you are drawn to the amazing packaging and presentation; extremely slick and professional and first hand evidence this is a band bloody serious about what they produce.Musically this band is intense. Sounding much like a more strategic and meticulous version of the mighty Mindsnare, these guys are brutal and unpredictable. Instead of purely piecing together a barrage of blistering and heavy hardcore, The Weight has a style that reeks of strategic planning and premeditated structuring. Opening with ‘Born from the Spear’, immediately bands such as Ringworm, Mindsnare and Trapped Under Ice will come to mind, and for the most part this first track remains in this similar field. It is intense and extremely heavy. The guitars sound evil and production is perfect. Track 2 ‘Fundamentalist’ begins more in the vein of Dillinger Escape Plan or early Every Time I Die, but still retaining that almost overpowering shredding and evil guitar tone. It’s not all speed and ferocity, but it
is hard hitting, rhythmic and dominating. Track 3 ‘Intro’ is superbly placed; an epic and brutal instrumental with subtle melodies and intensity, the perfect prelude into track 4 ‘Impervious to Influence’. Keeping traditional hardcore elements and adding sheer aggression in levels that I haven’t heard since listening to Mindsnare endlessly back in the 90’s, this band has delivered an immensely heavy hardcore release… This is something belonging on the Deathwish label or something similar. Lyrically it is assertive, mature, aggressive and intense; musically it is all of the above and then some. The Weight is no doubt intent on delivering what they produce with assertion and integrity. This release is flawless… that’s it.
REVIEW BY: John MEANtime
THEM SHARKS - The Bunnies/A Day As Jones (Independent) CD
Far too often, punks attempting to play reggae ends horribly. Inevitably, amateur acts which attempt such a crossover will mix reggae verses with punk choruses – an approach which will ultimately expose their inability to compose music which expands beyond a simple soft/loud dynamic. The hallmark of a good punk reggae acts is therefore the skill to blend these two contrasting styles seamlessly together so that they feel like they belong together. Perth natives Them SHARKS prove themselves to be just such an act on their debut double A-side single, The Bunnies/A Day As Jones. Utilising elements of reggae, dub, punk and funk, the group do a good job of sounding both cohesive and diverse within the space of four songs. Opener “The Bunnies” is a Sublimeesque track that progresses through dynamic peaks and troughs, all the while propelled by a warm and muscular bass line. Standing in glaring contrast is “A Day As Jones”, a dark dubby affair with a massive bottom end and just the right amount of reverb and phaser thrown in for good measure. Although the remaining two tracks which make up the release are not quite as good, they do show the group dabbling in both ska and funk to differing degrees of success. On the whole though the single is a surprising success, showcasing a still young group flourishing in a style which few acts have truly mastered. With the promise of an album in the not too distant future, it will be interesting to see how Them SHARKS are able to adapt to the full length format. Definitely a group to watch out for.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
THORN - Babel (One Voice) CD
Japanese hardcore / metalcore outfit Thorn has delivered this 9 track release, showcasing the bands intense and heavy hardcore style. Not unlike Madball, Hatebreed, Earth Crisis or bands similar in the heavier side of hardcore, Thorn is straight forward and pummelling. There’s nothing fancy… production on this release is great and there are some amazing little bass lines, such as in track 5 ‘Evergreen’. But unfortunately for the best part, it is simply hardcore in the vein of the above mentioned bands. Lyrically, I am certain 80% is sung in Japanese with some emphasis on a few select words in English. Track 7 ‘Faceless Ghost’ is almost industrial with its blast beat beginning and a highly tuned snare and the final track is a bonus cover of Black Flag’s ‘My War’. I’ll be honest and say I prefer the original, but this is alright. I wish there was more I could say about this release… it’s solid and sounds great, but I’m a little unimpressed…I’m left listening for that distinct trait that make this hardcore band a little different from any other hardcore band and Japanese lyrics just don’t cut it for me.
REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime
THUGONAUT - Hollow/Blood Rainbow (Independent) CD
mellower of the two, utilizing elements of progressive rock and metal not that far removed from acts like Tool and Porcupine Tree. Intricate polyrhythms, tempo changes and a strong use of dynamics are all featured throughout, showing off the group’s powerful and impressive instrumental chops. The EP’s title track in particular is a literal workshop in song composition, with tension building and easing through dynamic peaks and troughs, harmonized guitar melodies playing off the vocals, and even occasional electronics all displaying an immaculate attention to detail. Closing out the EP is a pleasant surprise for Declamation fans, with the defunct group’s signature tune “Featherweight” making an appearance with a slightly rejigged sound and a much ballsier bass tone. Compared to Hollow’s subtleties, Blood Rainbow is a much less delicate affair. Indeed, at times the phrase “sledgehammer approach” definitely comes to mind. Featuring punchier and more aggressive compositions, it sees Thugonaut grafting in a more direct Deftones-like sound, with more definitive choruses and grittier guitar lines. “Xenophobia Day” is the EP’s centerpiece, with a monstrous bass line propelling it throughout its 4 minute playtime. In a similar vein is “Dead Signal”, which features a schizophrenic guitar lead that is borderline thrash in its deployment. Some niggles do persist throughout both Hollow and Blood Rainbow (like the fact that the vocals are sometimes a little illsuited to the group’s style and that several tracks could have done with been a little bit heavier), but these are overall minor in the scheme of things. Ultimately these are two tight EPs that display Thugonaut’s stylistic range and songwriting capabilities. Not your average metal band, that’s for sure.
REVIEW BY: WOODY
TORTURED - A Lesson In Holocaust (Grindhead) CD
Canberra occasionally sprouts some musical gems, of all styles and genres… I doubt any have been as heavy and intimidating as this young bunch. Tortured has the looks, the face paint, the blood and the subtle theatrics to go with the slightly melodic death metal they produce. ‘A Lesson In Holocaust’ is the band’s debut full length featuring 10 intensely heavy and distinctly death metal tunes that, to me, are reminiscent of early 90’s death metal in the vein of Massacre, Death, Morgoth, Cannibal Corpse, Cadaver and the like. I would love to say this Aussie band are as good as the above mentioned bands, but I feel there is something lacking here…and it may simply be the production of this disc. Musically it is what it is…although sounding a little dated. There is an abundance of razor sharp death metal riffs, pummelling drums, blast beats, steady death metal rhythms and intense bass lines. Brendon’s vocals are guttural and effective but sound strained and somewhat immature at times, like he is yet to find that deep guttural gurgle that would otherwise bring some balls to this bands heavy style. Lyrically it is exactly as 90’s inspired death metal should be…about all things necrophilia, murderous, blasphemous, gore and torture, just to mention a few, and lyrical structure is stripped back and simple, once again not unlike their death metal peers from the 90’s. Track 8 ‘Corpse Eater’ is the standout, reminding me so much of the great Massacre track ‘Corpse Grinder’. Unfortunately for me, I have grown out of this genre of music…I’m aging now, I’m a husband and Dad, so moments of happily singing along to songs about fucking dead people and eating flesh in the car or around the house are pretty much non-existent these days. I acknowledge that this style and breed of death metal is dying a slow death, but what holds me to appreciation of what this band and others are doing, is I spent so much of my youth enjoying this stuff for the sake of enjoying good music with amusing lyrics and great theatrics. Not enough bands are doing this these days. In all, this is a solid release, but I feel these guys need a huge “balls” button on the mixing desk. I would be keen to see these guys live.
Emerging from the ashes of disbanded Melbourne progmetal outfit Declamation, newly christened Thugonaut have just dropped two EPs which attempt to show off the opposing sides of their musical personality. Largely picking up where Declamation left off, Hollow is the RATING: 70
REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime
TRIUMPH & TRAGEDY - S/T (Conquest Sound) CD
with “Wicked Mess”, which is a little slower but just as passionate and infectious. It’s always the best albums There’s almost a Sainte that I find difficult to do justice Catcherines feel here. Dig to with my reviews. The It Up opens up with “Move debut from Manahawkin, My Way” which is more NJ’s Triumph & Tragedy is aggressive than anything a must-listen if you’re into Prevenge brought to the thoughtful, heartfelt melodic table, whilst still retaining punk. Do you remember that midwest US punk feel. those great bands that Dig It Up have more humorous lyrics as well, but I have defined the ‘90s East Coast to give the points to Prevenge here. A huge fan of both pop-punk scene before pop-punk meant ‘irritating’; Shades Apart, Jawbreaker, bands. This one is worth picking up if you’re a fan of Samiam, etc? Like this band, they had just enough pop decent raw and occasionally aggressive punk music. I’m with their punk that it was catchy, yet, not annoying… hanging out for a Prevenge full-length now. enough honest intensity, while not being sappy or RATING: 77 REVIEW BY: NO SHOW whiney (see: late ‘90s ‘emo’)…and the perfect blend of polish & grit to keep both the punk kids and ladies happy V/A - PREVENGE / SHARED ARMS - Split 7” altogether. Opening track, ‘10 Years In The Making’ is a (Pavones) VINYL great lead song that will make sure the listener won’t give Another Prevenge 7”. I’m up on this EP prematurely. In fact, I can’t picture anyone feeling rather spoilt as I’m giving up on these songs at any moment. Each song is becoming a huge fan of just as strong as the previous and there isn’t a dud on the these Canucks. Opening record. The album finishes stronger than it began with track “Missing Out” is a great trio of songs; ‘Runaway’, ‘Carry On’ & ‘Letting awesome. The more I Go’. I’ll stop short of saying this band “sounds like” any hear of these lads, I’m particular band but if you’re into the aforementioned confident that 18 years ago groups or more recent bands like Hot Rod Circuit and they’d have been signed Bayside, I think it’s safe to say, you’ll love this band! And to Revelation Records and if you’re wondering why I didn’t give them a 100 score… been a huge success. By no it’s because this EP leaves me feeling that Triumph & means do I mean that to be insulting, quite the opposite Tragedy will only get better with subsequent releases actually. This slant on punk rock has been missing too and I’ll save that perfect score for when they record their long and I am very excited to hear a band put out music like this. In the previous review, I suggested D4 and masterpiece. Shades Apart. I reckon you can add North Lincoln to that RATING: 98 REVIEW BY: JM comparison, based on how this 7” opens. Follow-up track UP AND ATOM - S/T “Patron Saints” ups the tempo and absolutely kills it. You can add early Dead To Me and a bit of Lawrence Arms to (Independent) CD that comparison. I can only hope Prevenge accepts that Melbourne punk quintet Up as the huge compliment it is. Brilliant song. Shared Arms And Atom’s self-titled EP is get a tough gig following up those two tunes, whilst only 15 minutes of great melodic offering one song, but “F.O.A.B.” is damn good. There’s a mid-tempo tunes. Opener bit of Rise Against vibe happening here, but not so ‘major “Clarity” is great and, I hope label’ polished, thankfully. This is another Prevengeit’s not just because of the dominated 7”, but the Shared Arms song is damn good. female vocals, but I hear similarities to the brilliant but For $5, you get three awesome punk songs. Get on it. defunct Idle Hands. “Ruin” RATING: 85 REVIEW BY: NO SHOW is a ripper but closing effort VA - SAFE HANDS / VANITY - Split EP “Kites” sees Up And Atom trade female and male vocals to great effect and is my (Arrest / Pee Rec) VINYL How fitting that Pee highlight here. It’s such a catchy song and a great closing and Arrest tune. I commented on it earlier in this issue with Castle Records Bravo, but I am loving the great quality of debut releases Records would pair these for young Aussie outfits. Listening to this disc, you’d be two amazing local outfits hard-pressed to hear much that would make you think for a no doubt awesome this is a debut. Em, Matt, Marcus, Brad and Michael 7” Split EP. Newcastle’s Safe Hands released what should be very proud of this release. Good work guys! is by far my favourite Pee RATING: 79 REVIEW BY: NO SHOW Records release ‘Oh The V/A - Downpour / Anti Venom / Beartrap / Humanity’ back in 2011, with Shackles Split 7” their chaotic approach on something not unlike that of The Chariot, early Norma (Arrest) VINYL Jean, Converge, or now defunct bands The Jon Benet Side A features 6 tracks or The Deadly. Perth’s Vanity delivered an amazing from Downpour and 4 from and impressive ‘Hitting Home’ EP in 2010, followed Beartrap. Remember that by the equally intense and impressive 2011 release ‘A this is a 7”… ten tracks on Thousand Feuds’. Starting with the SH side; this band one side of a 7” is pretty never ceases to amaze me. Standing so far apart from punx and kind of makes what so many local bands are spewing forth these days, the bands sound like they Safe Hands continue to produce and deliver their chaotic, recorded in one take in a yet meticulous brand of hardcore / punk / rock with pure public toilet somewhere, conviction. ‘Somnambulance’ is a track full of razor sharp which is pretty cool I guess? riffs, lifting bass lines, pummelling drums and intricate Just like this 7” I’m going to keep my review on each band short: Downpour - Heard and subtle melodies. Vocal harmonies in contrast to front it all before, unoriginal hardcore. Wasn’t offensive, wasn’t man Dizzy’s general guttural scream, adds so much good. Beartrap - Fuck yeah! Messy street punk influenced depth and emotion, it is hard not to be enveloped in hardcore on a meth comedown. Anti Venom - Thrash this bands mammoth sound. ‘Forest’, the bands second metal influenced hardcore. Too tough for me! Shackles offering, is more of the same but with an almost Dillinger Escape Plan-esque approach. More chaotic than the - Angry hardcore / grindy stuff. Not bad, not their best. previous track, this’ll sit you down and have you in awe RATING: REVIEW BY: BUF of odd time signatures, shredding riffs with overlaying V/A - PREVENGE / DIG IT UP Split 7” high end melodies and aggressive vocals. Very few bands of this genre pull this off with intense depth and (Pavones) VINYL This split release between Canada outfits Prevenge and substance… Safe Hands do it perfectly! Vanity follow with Dig It Up is pretty sweet. Prevenge open proceedings their 2 track contribution and immediately you’re drawn with the reaking awesome “Buried Alive”, which is one to comparisons to the other side of the 7”… Don’t do catchy tune. To the unitiated, think a cross between it… Vanity is more on the Converge end of the scale, a Dillinger Four and Shades Apart. Prevenge follow it up little less melodic and meticulous than Safe Hands and
deserve nothing but your undivided attention. Both bands are amazing for their own reasons. Opening with ‘At The Brink’, this band just shovel chaotic metal inspired posthardcore / punk with mammoth riffs and a battering wall of bass and drums. Vocally, it is intense…sheer screams and ounces of emotion layered over a slab of engineered mayhem. Track 2 ‘Dead Exit’ is immense… I can’t think of any other word to describe it. It begins and builds through the length of the track almost ending with a sludge or stoner-esque barrage. In fact I would love to hear these guys incorporate a little more doom and sludge into their already amazing sound. In all, I expect nothing less from these two bands. Their individual releases are sensational and to have both on a vinyl split is a pure gift. The vinyl loses none of the substance and depth and only compliments the amazing character of each band. This is a must have and it is awesome to see both bands supporting Norma Jean on their upcoming Aussie tour… Much deserved!
REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime
VESSELS - Black Teeth (Hotfoot) CD
Maybe in this modern age of digital music the necessity for good album artwork is becoming less and less, but in my opinion it couldn’t be more important. Artwork is more often than not the first impression someone will get of a record. If it looks haphazardly and unprofessionally thrown together why should I assume the music will be any different? In the past I’ve been known to write off and not even listen to a record because of decidedly average artwork. Had it not been my job to review this record I would most likely have never even cracked the spine on Vessels - Black Teeth. Super lo-res, pixelated and some awful font choices, it could actually be used as an example of why you should always get someone with proper print design experience to if not wholly design, then at least look over your artwork before you send it off to the printers. All that petty shit aside, I would now like to make extremely clear how glad I am that I got over my initial hesitance to give Black Teeth a listen because, well, it’s fucking great. An EP stacked with arse kicking riffs and bouncy grooves guaranteed to have you whipping your hair back and forth. The first six tracks really typify what Vessels seem to be about, which is that Gutter Phenomenon era ETID perfect blend of hard and heavy with a little bit of rock and roll. The last track Atlas however is a massive departure from the rest of the EP as Vessels take on more of an old Hopesfall approach with some big epic half time sections. It is a fairly drastic shift from the other tracks that is not only entirely forgivable but massively welcome as it is executed near flawlessly. Over all a really enjoyable listen, clocking in at under 20 minutes, perfectly timed to leave the listener gagging for more. Really excited to see what Vessels do with a full length hopefully in the not too distant future. Here’s hoping they ditch their pirate copy of Photoshop 3 and bring in a pro to make it the complete package.
REVIEW BY: ANTH
VOMIT BULLETS - Rad Mobile (Place Name Here) CD
“4 dudes having fun, and coming up with a few songs” - the blurb from Bris-punks Vomit Bullets pretty much sums up their 2012-released 6-track EP “Rad Mobile”. There’s no pretensions here, just some straight-down-the-line punk/ hardcore tunes. Clocking in at just on 10 minutes, the EP opens with “$1.75 a Litre”, a slow-storming number of punk-rock heartbreak - in fact, these boys appear to not have had a lot of fun in their romantic lives, with other tracks on the EP including “Shattered Hearts Breaking Like Glasses” and “Take Your Face Away From Me” . Vocalist Ryan Vitanza channels the angst through generally impressive vocals (somewhat flat in patches), which combines competently with some furious guitar work and a driving rhythm section. It’s fast, it’s somewhat fun, but that’s the way Vomit Bullets like it, and fans of
today’s punk/hardcore sounds are sure to like it too.
REVIEW BY: PANTS
WEIGHTLESS - Self-Adjustment (Clarity) CD
Adelaide four-piece Weightless perform the clean alternative rock sound of the late nineties better than anyone else who has attempted since the genres cool period. Whilst the eight tracks on their impressive debut ‘Self Adjustment’ are all very similar in sound, the craftsmanship of the songs themselves will keep boredom at bay. The highlight is the beautifully crafted guitar lines which intertwine with each other perfectly, never moving above their smooth clean tones while the rhythm section keeps things simple and plays a strong supportive role. The vocals never really add to or take from the songs and really just support the collective of the song itself. The record begins with some pretty harmonics and a gentle organ on Anxious In A Crowd before the guitar layers take hold. The rolling drum line and reserved vocals then pave the way for a wave like build up from the guitars. The record is a solid, cohesive listen from start to finish, and with only eight songs, the band really do leave you wanting to hear more. The title track is faster paced, driven along by the drums before the intricate lead riffs of Museum Of Expired Life kick in. The melody heavy closer Holding On offers an interesting drum line and is an album stand out, but it is hard to pick a highlight when everything on a record is so damn good.
REVIEW BY: LC
WHILE SHE SLEEPS - This Is The Six (Halfcut) CD
I’ve been listening to these guys a lot as of late, watching clips on Youtube etc…that I have trouble coming to grips with the fact that this is the band’s debut full length. It feels as though this band has been around for years! While She Sleeps released their EP ‘The North Stands For Nothing’ late in 2011 and has wasted no time in delivering the goods once again with ‘This Is The Six’. For those unacquainted with this British 5-piece, While She Sleeps play a stripped backed, raw edged style of post-hardcore / metalcore. It is ferocious in its delivery, hard hitting, fast paced at times, pummelling at others. Lawrence Taylor is a born natural front man, with character, attitude and a voice to match; gratingly coarse, intimidating, strong and almost punk rock-ish. Taylor’s vocals reek of emotion within every word sung or shouted. Tracks like ‘Seven Hills’ showcase this and the bands ability to add anthem like choruses, complete with gang vocals, that pull back the barrage of intense heavy melodies, just for a moment. Tracks like ‘This Is The Six’ are just perfect; a little chaotic with a slab of intense riffs, subtle melodies and crushing drumming. Driven by a steady tempo, it all preludes to a huge, memorable chorus. Track 7 ‘The Chapel’ is haunting and deep, melodic and atmospheric; a sign that these guys can really mix it around and have the musicianship to back it up. Leading into the contagious and harmonic ‘Be(lie)ve’, which for me is the standout track, pummelling and memorable on all fronts. This track features absolutely everything this band does extremely well. In all, this release is huge and it is no surprise these guys are as popular as they are right now. This is the CD you’ll go back for again, and again, and again. Production is crisp and emphasises the bands aggressive tone and sound. I am living this more now as I listen to it, than the abundance of times I listened to it previously. Get it!
REVIEW BY: JOHN MEANtime
WISDOM IN CHAINS - The Missing Links (I Scream) CD
Wisdom In Chains has yet to release a dud or even a mediocre album to date. ‘The Missing Links’ is no exception. If you are unfamiliar with this band, they are an unapologetic hardcore band that pulls influences from seemingly any other genre of music. The band utilizes street punk/oi!, metal and even a little hip-hop in varying degrees throughout these tracks as well as their past
releases. They draw just enough melody from their punk influences to keep the tracks memorable. And have just enough metal riffs to keep the songs hard without crossing that dreaded metalcore line. Vocalists Mad Joe has an amazing knack for being both a great storyteller as well as delivering the tracks in such an anthemic manner, that you can’t help but sing-along. Even though WIC has a handful of releases under their belt, they don’t ever seem to become repetitive, which is no small feat with hardcore bands. Whereas some of their early releases had songs that jumped out at you as instant classics upon first listen…’The Missing Links’ seems to get better the more I listen to it. This is such a thoroughly complete album that you won’t skip a single track.
REVIEW BY: JM
WOLFPACK - A Benefit Release For The Lost Dogs Home (Independent) CD
One of Melbourne’s hardest working rock/punk bands at present, Wolfpack have made quite an impact on the live music scene since forming in 2011, rising from the ashes of legendary rock outfit Sin City. Centered around the powerhouse drumming / vocal talents of Tom Brownrigg, Wolfpack have shifted lineups since their inception, and this recording features Version 2.0 of the band, featuring former Sin City members Josh on guitar and Kane on bass. Always willing to lend a hand with any good cause, and frequently donating their time to benefit gigs, Wolfpack have put together 3 tracks of their rockin’ finest, with proceeds of sales being donated to the Lost Dogs Home in Victoria. “Pins and Needles” opens proceedings with chugging, driving rhythms, “No More” tells a tale of broken and angry hearts and “The Calling” blasts along at breakneck punk-rock speed, with furious riffs and earth-shattering drums. Naturally there is still a lot of Sin City’s rock/hardcore style and sound within these tracks, albeit a little heavier in its presence, but it’s a time-worn formula that has worked well for them in the past. With this 3-tracker but a small taster for further plans for an album down the track, it’s still available for download at wolfpackrock.bandcamp.com/ Good rockin’ action for a good cause, can’t beat that!!
song structure and it’s hard to count the aforementioned ambition against them, because one day, that same ambition is going to work in their favor when setting them apart from their contemporaries. So I really look forward to seeing them grow as musicians and songwriters in the near future. They’re not far off from being an excellent band and certainly are worth checking out and keeping a close eye on for now.
REVIEW BY: JM
PARKWAY DRIVE - Home Is For The Heartless (Resist) DVD
2010’s Deep Blue was my introduction to Byron Bay metal outfit Parkway Drive. At that stage, I was sure I was one of the last in Australia to hear their music. Since that review, the five-piece has gone from strength to strength, releasing “Atlas” and this, their second DVD. For a band with a sound that is not radio-friendly, it’s refreshing to see the success Parkway Drive has had. For me, the live tunes are what I buy a band’s DVD for. In that respect, PWD fans will love this one. Hell, since I’m so slack at reviewing, most what already own it. But for those who don’t, you get nine or so awesome live tracks. My picks were “Sleepwalker”, “Home Is For The Heartless” and “Dead Man’s Chest”. The sound quality is pretty good, with only a couple of hiccups, but nowhere near as bad as some releases I have seen. The band narrates the whole thing, giving a good insight into the band, as well as providing a few laughs. I never saw their first DVD, so can’t compare the two, but if you’re a fan of PWD, I reckon this is decent value for money. Oh, and it’s also available on Blu-Ray, if you want to see the lads in highdefinition.
REVIEW BY: NO SHOW
IN CONVERSATION WITH... A5 Free? firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a great concept for a fanzine, Bendan from Jackknife Zine has grabbed eight Aussie artists he digs and got them to interview the bands and artists that inspired them in their own works making for some pretty interesting reading. There’s a great mix of genres covered in here too from hardcore to RATING: 82 REVIEW BY: PANTS indie rock and punk. In this YOUR PERSONA - So Easy issue Melbourne hardcore band Outright interview H2O, (Independent) CD the talented Jen Buxton chats I can sum up this South with some dude I’d never heard of before called Cory Jersey band with one Branan, yea he’s an American singer-songwriter ok, Perth word…’potential’. They have band Grim Fandango fire questions at Propagandhi, loads of it, but need to show Lawrence Arms answer The Bennies probbing questions a good amount of growth and The Decline lads drill Joey Cape of Lagwagon. Other as well going forward. This bands interviewed in the zine include Murder By Death, band is a cross between Descendents and Good Luck making a for a great pocket The Hurt Process and sized zine. Not sure if this is a once off zine coz there’s Further Seems Forever no issue number on it, but I hope Brendan continues with with the technical ambition it coz like I said it’s a great idea and tops read. No price of early Thrice. And this essentially is wherein my issues with this EP lie. They listed either but send an email away to organise a copy attempt too often in doing too much with the songs at and include a few bucks to cover printing and postage. times and there are a few awkward glitches that distract REVIEW BY: PETE from the finer moments of the band. ‘Beyond The Sway’ is a perfect microcosm of what I mean. The first half of the song does more wrong than right and sounds like the band’s personal collage of ideas that didn’t fit the other tracks before its excellent finish. ‘I’m Coming Down’ is perhaps the album’s strongest track and is the blueprint they need to follow going forward in concentrating more SEND ALL REVIEW FODDER TO: on the basics of good song-writing first before growing PEE ZINE - ATTENTION REVIEWS into the more technical and experimental stuff. With that P.O BOX 238 MARDEN said, these guys do many things very well. The singer SOUTH AUSTRALIA 5070 doesn’t have the voice that those aforementioned band’s CDR / DIGITAL DOWNLOAD / STREAMS vocalists have, but more than makes up for it with his raw FROM LABELS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED. emotion and delivery. The drum arrangements were well thought out and performed almost flawlessly throughout DEMOS FROM INDEPENDENT BANDS ARE the EP, which is rare with young bands. The guitar work ACCEPTED. is good the majority of the time when focused on the