Thrash for a red hot two minutes, travel back to high-school or sweat it out all in a sauna/apartment in the East Village of some other town. Regardless of where you are, here's our picks for the best new local stuff from the week.
Another bullet of blues-infused garage rock from this ever-impressive Sydney outfit. Across a mere 120 seconds of pounding stomps, fuzz and contrasted soulful emotion, the duo flirt with collapse, crafting teeth-clenched tension through this not-so-delicate balance of full-throttle forcefulness and inviting compassion.
"My House" is the first track from their forthcoming double-A side 7", due out later this year.
"Hallelujah Heartache" is the first preview from Childsaint's forthcoming debut LP, the follow-up to the Perth four-piece's impressive 2014 EP, Sick.
From sparsity the song slowly constructs, introducing the hypnotically brooding vocals by initially allowing them stand in almost complete solitude. As a monotonic thud slices through to introduce the full composition, so does a flatly-delivered harpoon: "what would you give to live like this". With sentences punctuated by the repeated, haunting hook, the angelic vocals are delivered almost expressionless, a stern rebuttal to the far-looser clattering surrounds. Reminiscent of Melbourne's Batrider — with their permanent darkness dragged back from the swamp edge to a far more aesthetically brighter space — as Childsaint operate on a similar structural division, dodging the imposing and inevitable chaos of the composition with plainspoken vocal clarity.
Amongst the contradictory sleaze-soaked groove and accompanying dance-like-its-not-being-filmed clip, Sydney's Hedge Fund deliver a deadpan assessment — we're getting old. Down we go, down memory lane, "ten long years" ago when being able to share your Discman with only one other person at one time was your lone concern. Despite the efforts of both our energetic video subject and the throbbing, minimal disco beat, the sombre tone persists, the ideal accompaniment for both the droned Future Islands-esque delivery and the consistently quotable quips: "forever fifteen, at least in my dreams."
The band continue their Summer's Getting Shorter tour in mid-April, remaining dates here.
Psych-infused surf-rock with a harmonic twist, "Planet Absorbed", the new song from Sydney-based band The Jim Mitchells delivers potent hooks, throaty growls and breezy harmonies. The track hints at The Monkees with a wink and a smirk, but ventures deeper into early rock 'n' roll, reminiscent of The Who or The Kinks.
Directed by frontman Jim Mitchell (pictured above) and filmed by Sydney filmmakers The Lagoon Collective, the clip is straight out of the 1980s, when technological advances were being used in the least subtle ways imaginable. Swirling neon circles, splattered eggs and fuzzy lines that inadvertently warp the display, it's a patchwork of light and colour that aptly matches the track's own untamed energy. [L.S.]
"Randy's Apartment", the first song from Mickey Cooper's debut album, Hit The Ceiling, directly recalls a sleepless night during a New York heatwave. "At four or five o’clock in the morning I gave up on sleeping because it was so hot and wrote the first three stanzas", the Melbourne songwriter explains, adding that "the rest of the song was born out of several beautiful moments of clarity throughout the day that managed to pierce through this anxiety-fuelled haze." Tangled in words and accentuated quips, the song slowly unravels, unwinding from literal documentation to a beautifully subtle, heart-sleeved reflection on his own life and relationships.
Additional descriptions by Lucy Shanahan, as noted.