Sunday, April 29, 2012

"We didn't have to push anything really..." Interview: The Rubens

This interview was originally conducted for, and published by, Tone Deaf. It's reproduced here in its entirety.
‘It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll’ sang the legendary Bon Scott. Nobody, it seems, told The Rubens.

That or they’re harbouring the most well-kept shortcut to fever-pitch exposure in Australian music history. Their story is a PR man’s dream, the fabled rise of three brothers and their childhood friend raised in the isolated town of Menangle, NSW. They knock out a raw slice of bedroom soul which captures the attention and adulation of national youth radio, cue calls from internationally renowned producers, a label bidding frenzy and pending fame.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Big Scary - Live @ The Corner, April 24

Following a confidently rich set from the six-strong Mosman Adler, Big Scary’s other handpicked support act supplied his brand of synth-pop. The bespectacled man in question, Geoffrey O’Connor, along with his three piece band, settled for laconically swaying to the bona fide eighties vibe of his solo record Vanity Is Forever than excite the record. He may have sounded authentic, but seriously lacked in the energy stakes.

There was the familiar buzz of sawing synths, hopping basslines and even drum pads nicked straight from Phil Collins (or the intro to Art Attack). Whatever Leads Me To You mined a fine pulse in its New Order hooks, but soon succumbed to its cool affectation. Though the blue-light new wave of O’Connor’s album works well at home, on-stage, it translates as ‘music to pout by.’

A duet with his keyboardist skirting perilously close to a karaoke parody. Ironic or not, the sight of the two engaging in a mock embrace before standing mawkishly at front of stage was awkward. Overall, it was more Berlin’s Take My Breath Away than Depeche Mode’s Violator.

Though Melbourne duo Big Scary have graced the Corner’s hallowed stage countless times as a support act, tonight marks “the first time we’ve played last,” notes Tom Iansek, opening proceedings alone at the guitar with newly returned “studio beard,” his bronzed falsetto in fine form.

Rejuvenated from their American sojourn playing dates at SXSW, Canadian Music Week and their first international headline slot in New York; the pair of Iansek and Jo Syme (Melbourne’s Coolest Female DrummerTM) are nothing if not creatively restless. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Review: Battles - Dross Glop

Another album review for Beat street press, originally available both in-print and also online. Reproduced here for the AMR'ers.
BattlesDross Glop (Inertia, 2012) 
The unique rumble of Brooklyn art-funk-fusion outfit Battles has always been begging to be remixed. Now, thanks to the sweeping success of their sophomore album, the un-spoonerised Gloss Drop, their music undergoes a full makeover. 

Review: Daniel Rossen - Silent Hour/Golden Mile

An album review for Beat magazine, originally published in-print and online. Reproduced here in its entirety
Daniel RossenSilent Hour/Golden Mile (Warp, 2012)
While the collective musical world awaits the follow-up to Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest with baited breath, their members have instead spent the downtime working on various other projects. The latest of which is this tidy little EP from guitarist/vocalist Daniel Rossen. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Al's Music Rant @ Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2012

So you may have noticed the drop in activity around here lately, that's for one very simple reason. It's Comedy Festival time, and once again, your titular host is taking to the stage to transform this seriously-minded critical music blog, into a hilarious hour of musical-based hilarity by borrowing the same name.

The result is Al's Music Rant: The Difficult 2nd Album and for those of you who follow this humble writer's extra-curricular activities, a lot of this wash might seem redundant. But as it stands, I'm heading into the second (and final) week of the show, and figure my faithful blog readers shouldn't miss out on the action. The key thing is, if you haven't already, 
you should pick a date, book some tix for the show and come on down and have a good old laugh. 

The remaining dates are:

Tues April 17th - Sun April 22nd. 
(No Mondays. 5.15pm Sundays)

6.15pm The Evatt Room, Trades Hall
Corner of Lygon St & Victoria St

Tickets available through: 
 or Ticketmaster online | Ph: 1300 660 013

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"We think of it as music trivia" Interview: Yacht Club DJs

This interview was originally conducted for, and published by Beat street press as well as online here. The following is the unedited 'direcor's cut' of the article.
Has it really been a full twelve months since we’ve heard or seen from Yacht Club DJs, Australia’s leading purveyors of mash-ups par excellence? Having spent nearly three solid years touring Australia, in both regional headline tours as well as a regular fixture of major festivals like Big Day Out, Splendour In The Grass, Parklife and Falls, the partners in crime – Gareth ‘Gaz’ Harrison and Guy Chapell-Lawrence – decided to take some time off from the party-crazed, vodka-swilling, sweaty madness they call their live show. “We were a little burnt out and were a bit sick of the sight of each other,” laughs Gaz, suitably suffering from a hangover. Speaking down the line he recalls, “we were just tired I think, we were acting up a bit because we were cranky kids, being naughty doing all the things we shouldn't do.”