My Favourite Music of 2015
Royal Headache "High". My first few listens to this I thought it was an instant Australian classic. At the very least songs like Psychotic Episode and Down The Lane from their first album and High and Carolina off the new album should be radio staples but aren't because of general lameness and it’s not 20 years old yet.
If you're gonna re-unite, make sure you're good as you used to be. Feedtime did. Their Flatiron 7" was the same rumbling, menacing darkness. Bit like Pete Wells playing guitar with Gun Club.
There were two good things from Record Store Day 2015 I can remember. The Metallica "No Life Til leather" cassette and the Neil Hagerty (Royal Trux, Howling hex) James Toth (Wooden Wand) Qalgebra LP. Qalgebra is kinda loose, catchy and ragged but still eccentric and not really caring what people think too much (in a good way). I love Metallica when they do songs about playing heaps of shows and people head-banging (first three albums). "No life til leather, gonna kick some ass tonight!" Have a read of Neil Hagerty's definition of what's metal in his Napalm Death review. It's funny but true. Death to prog metal.
Brando's Island - Liquid Soul 7" Synths, vibraphone and minimal beats come together to make menacing, confrontational and totally Australian music.
Kitchen's Floor - Battle Of Brisbane A real favourite band of mine. I like music with a bleak suburban edge to it and everytime I hear "looking down at the fucking ground, i'm sick of walking down this street" it reminds me of my teens so much. Bored, angry lo-energy punk from a band that encapsulates a lot of Australia to me. Check out the song Kidney Infection from their last album Look Forward To Nothing that is so bleak it's morbidly funny.
Run The Jewells 2 I listened to this heaps this year. I'd listened to El-P a lot over the years but not Killer Mike and he rules. Really tight raps, paranoid illuminati lyrics, loads of energy and excellent production. Angry but fun too.
Sarah Mary Chadwick - 9 Classic Tracks I really liked this album. It was kind of slicker sounding than her previous one. She played in the shop with a keyboard she was lugging around the East Coast with her that perched on two milk crates and the slick impression I had was sort of diluted. Dark, intimate songs with a sense of longing and an album cover designed to make people go "WTF is this?" which I thought was a nice, amusing paradox.
Dick Diver - Melbourne, Florida They're a rad band hey. At their best the tunes are sublime. They combine a weird 70's dry charm and intimate, melancholy lyrics. Go-Betweens comparisons are lazy, boring and superficial (but handy to sell new bands to people!)
Dawn Of Humans - Slurping On The Cosmos Spine LP Nutty, bouncy punks from NY. This album ruled. Their show with Crazy Spirit was heaps of fun. Nice work Lewis from No Patience Records. Hank Wood And The Hammerheads album was great too.
Dan Melchior has made some great albums. He doesn't mind weirding things up a little, but still has a no B.S vibe about him I really like too. Lords Of The Manor is a heavier sounding album than previous with a tough bass sound, but it's still catchy, strange and expansive. He's playing in Australia soon and you should check him out.
The Necks - Vertigo I discovered their 2014 album Open this year too which I like more than this one to be honest, but they really hit home with me this year for some reason. Eerie, dark Australian instrumental music that is part jazz, part psych, minimal classical and experimental all in the space of one long track. Not ABC jazz, don't worry. It's more referencing the instruments used.
Low Life - Dogging really came good for me this year with a bit of distance. Pretty much the essential Australian punk album of the last couple of years i'd now venture to say. Soma Coma attacked the mind and body too. I got the GLOSS ep off bandcamp like some befuddled lost Dad looking for a new thrill, but it’s a rager. Even while being listened to in a Nissan Dualis.
Tyrannamen were this year or last year? Anyway, their self titled debut is a great, soulful and catchy album that should find a loving home anywhere from Melbourne to Memphis. I really like the song about going to jail. It sounds pretty close to home for the poor dude. Blank Realm "Illegals In Heaven" was an in-store favourite all year.
Magic Circle sound a bit like Iron Maiden the Paul Di’Anno years but with a crustier edge. I like them because I’m tired of boring “wistful indie; the sound”, and that’s how I react to things. In a weird, internal, passive aggressive way. Also because it’s great.
Once every couple of years a no B.S punk rock record comes out that makes you go, "yeah, punk rules and rock music can still be good!", and this year it was the Golden Pelicans album. Don't be scared of your guitar.
The 7” EP from Sheer Mag was great. I like the Rangoons tape “Postcard From Rangoon Island” and the Nicky Crane tape and CD that was James Vinciguerra of Total Control. It also brought to my attention the universe of the real Nicky Crane. Gay, neo-nazi head of Skrewdriver security which was one hell of a conflicted life. The Terry 7” was a cool little thing
Angie writes books, is in half the bands in Sydney and her last album Free Agent was great. The cover and first track reminded me of Chris Bell “I Am The Cosmos” for some reason. She should be our next female Prime-Minister.
For 2016 i'd like to tone down my over excited smile a notch. Our 2015 Vivid show was a corker hey. Thanks for the support. We're sponsors of Girraween Eagles JRLFC and my son scored his first try. THAT'S HIM! Sick! They got hammered a lot actually, but you know, they're nice kids.