Posts Tagged ‘Perth’

Their new record, “And Now For The Whatchamacallit”, is sitting at the very top of the Australian vinyl charts, and for good reason. They scratch an itch in Aussie music that strikes a rare balance between immediacy and complexity the sheer momentum of their riff-based psych-rock nearly outruns its own anxious underbelly.

Since the advent of language, all things have needed to be called somethingespecially rock bands. To break out of the psych-rock hotbed of Perth, Australia, a truly absurd moniker was chosen: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. What does it mean? We have no idea and neither do the fellas in the band. However, like their music, it’s undeniably memorable. Hailing from the same pub and club scene that spawned psych-pop superstars Tame Impala and cult favourites Pond, the Crumpets’ brand of psychedelic rock is decidedly more over-the-top than the fare their compatriots put out. The Crumpets make brash, exuberant music that takes the intrigue and textures of classic psych and injects it with an unhinged, restless energy that feels like peaking on LSD while riding a rollercoaster.

At the core of the Crumpets’ sonic universe is an unabashed love of cartoonishly large and colourful guitars. With their third LP, And Now for the Whatchamacallit, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have created a loose concept album which applies the aesthetic of a 1930s carnival to the turbulent circus that is touring life for a young band. Tracked chiefly in frontman/principal songwriter/guitarist Jack McEwan’s bedroom studio (with some overdubs done at Perth’s Tone City Studios), And Now for the Whatchamacallit is indeed a guitar carnival that revels in dazzling multi-layered harmonies, chunky, fuzz-laden riffing, and delicate ambient passages that’ve been tweaked, warped, or pitch-shifted in interesting ways. Finished with a dash of ’70s glam pomp and a hearty dose of indie-pop melody, the album ticks a lot of hallowed guitar-rock boxes while forging unique territory.

And yet, lead singer Jack McEwan is anything but world-weary. Gleefully sipping a schooner on a Monday morning with the rest of his exhausted band behind him, he seems as stoked as a man could be. With occasional interjections from bright-eyed keyboard player Chris Young, we chat about escapism, how Perth shaped their music, and the way song writing fills the void.

Beyond being a compelling listen, the Crumpets’ latest release is a fine example of how good a guitar-focused album can be without access to expensive gear, or much reliance on tube amps or even high-end modelling rigs. The Crumpets’ musical identity is a by product of Perth’s isolation, where bands are decidedly less overwhelmed by an influx of outside art and additionally forced to use whatever tools they have at their disposal in a place where American-made and/or vintage gear is difficult to come by.

A big fan of the “work with what you’ve got” philosophy, McEwan tracked almost all of his guitar parts in Ableton through DI and employed clever production techniques (like eschewing amp sims altogether for an extremely hot compressor) to get his guitar sounds, which are rarely sterile, despite often sounding like anything but a guitar. While McEwan’s guitars live almost exclusively in the digital realm, lead guitarist Luke Parish is a fan of vintage gear and has hunted down and imported some gems, including a ’60s Sears Silvertone amp and a ’68 Fender Deluxe Reverb, which he used to add organic warmth to McEwan’s digital guitar pastiche. The pair complement each other exceptionally well as guitarists despite having vastly different backgrounds as musicians: McEwan is a converted bass player and Parish came up playing in jazz bands and then followed the typical blues-rock heroes of yesteryear.

With McEwan and Parish riding in the back of a tour van, traversing a Welsh highway. The duo discussed the band’s writing process, unique home-recording techniques, the travails of sourcing decent gear in an isolated locale, and what makes Australia such a fertile place for rock ’n’ roll.

They are certainly channelling some of King Gizzard magic . With its slashing garage rock riff and driving bassline, it starts out like something out of the Gizz’s Nonagon Infinity, particularly with its hushed vocals. This docks it a few points for originality. However, the song’s distinguishes itself a more melodic cerebral second half.

Image of Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

If you had to name just one band that this year has made you miss witnessing on the live stage, it would have to be Western Australia’s Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. 

Hope everyone’s chirping as loud as the hundreds of migrating parrots who’ve become fond of the trees outside my window, from 6am to 6pm, sqwarking all sorts of jumbo. But, they sound happy, which makes me happy, and on the plus side I’ve been lucky enough to start every morning with rainbow lorikeet on toast, little bit of salt and pepper, avo, poached egg, delicious.

But back to music, actually before that… Do you think that some people get synesthesia and instead of seeing colours they have the ability to taste different foods? Or smell popcorn? Like I was thinking Radiohead would be a pack of wine gums in a freshly cut field whereas chemical brothers smells like a Tom Yum soup but tastes like that crackling soda pop lolly thing, remember the one you dip into the sherbet?

Anyway, childhood reminiscing aside. We’ve got a new single out called “Mr.Prism” which will hopefully be the answer to all your questions. *no parrots were harmed in the making of this email.

Arguably one of the most impressive bands you’ll see on a live stage anywhere, the group have been hard at work dishing out blistering tracks at every turn. Earlier this month, they emerged from lockdowns armed with ‘Mr. Prism’, their first new track since the release of ‘Mundungus’ last year. As singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jack McEwan explained at the time, the new tune was inspired by a rather rough experience while on the road.

“After our last tour of Europe I had a plethora of reasons to see a doctor,” McEwan explained. “First, he thought I had tonsillitis, so prescribed me penicillin, which didn’t help at all. I did Falls Festival over New Year’s and barely got through – turns out I had pneumonia. While it remains to be seen whether or not we’ll be receiving new music in the near future, the group are however set to hit the road again soon, performing a run of socially-distanced WA shows next month, before joining Ocean Alley on their Aussie tour next year.

Band Members:
Jack McEwan,
Luke Parish,
Danny Caddy,
Luke Reynolds,
Christopher Young

Carla Geneve

Carla Geneve released her debut self-titled EP on Friday 7th June via Dot Dash / Remote Control Records.

Carla explains the meaning behind latest single, ‘Yesterday’s Clothes’ – “Yesterday’s Clothes is about falling out of love with someone and feeling guilty about it. I wrote it at time when I was burning the candle at both ends and had no energy left to try to deal with the end of a relationship. Most of the words came when I was doing a long drive back from some gig or another in regional Western Australia. I’d been up all night and had to be somewhere the next day, so I hadn’t had a shower or changed clothes. When you’re on your own driving for hours and hours it’s hard to avoid thinking about stuff that you don’t want to, so I guess I wrote the song to try to come to terms with my thoughts and situation.”

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With a captivating live show and relatable lyricism, Carla Geneve burst onto the WA scene in 2017. After being hailed by Pilerats as one of their ’18 Artists to Watch in 2018’, her debut single ‘Greg’s Discount Chemist’ was released to overwhelming support including love from radio stations triple j, triple j Unearthed . The single was the #1 most played track in Perth community radio station RTRFM.
After releasing her second single ‘Listening’ and garnering praise for her showcases at BIGSOUND, Carla Geneve has landed back-to-back grand prizes at the coveted West Australian Music Song of the Year awards. the Albany-born country rock artist took out the top gong with her song 2001, which was inspired by the Stanley Kubrick classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Geneve also won the Rock category with 2001 and the Folk category with Things Change. Her album was released June 7th, 2019.

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There’s no common sense in codependence,” Fraeya Evans sings in the quiet opening stretch of “Housewarming.” In a song about coming to terms with new love, those early moments register as melancholy whispers, but they’re just a stop en route to a raging cataclysm: The song ultimately winds up someplace grand and magnificent, as Fraeya (the band) envelops Fraeya (the singer) in majestic waves of distortion. It’s a gripping journey for a young band that already sounds boundlessly dynamic. sad folk with hopeful undertones.

Perth four piece powerhouse Fraeya releases debut single ‘Housewarming’. Expect honest, hard hitting lyrics and a strong performance fuelled by raw emotion. Fraeya wears her heart on her sleeve.
“When I wrote this song it just came out of me all at once, and since then we must have played it live 100 times. It’s evolved and grown with us and now it’s finally encapsulated into a 3 minute track, it’s our first ever recorded song and we can’t be happier with it. This song means a lot to me and I hope it gets to mean something to other people as well” – Fraeya

Originally released June 5th, 2019

An Australian singer-songwriter with a gift for deadpan observation and deftly deployed guitar licks, Carla Geneve sneaks up on you: Her songs can feel like overheard conversations, but also she’s got a keen instinct for just when and how to crank up the dramatic tension. She’s only just released her debut EP, and Geneve has already locked down a pitch-perfect mix of booming peaks and seething near-silences.

Fremantle’s own Carla Geneve is back with another heartfelt track, guaranteed to have you belting the lyrics back at her. Don’t Wanna Be Your Lover is the first taste of her debut full-length album which is due to be released later this year.

In the coming weeks Geneve will be supporting Julia Jacklin on her Australia tour, while Carla and her band were planning on heading to Austin for SXSW 2020, this Perth muso may have a little more time on her hands following the cancellation of the March festival for the first time in 34 years). Check out the intimate video for ‘Yesterday’s Clothes‘ released alongside the EP. Directed by Matt Sav, Carla says of the video, “I wanted the video to reflect the personal nature of the song. To me, sitting alone in front of a camera is a vulnerable situation, a lot like releasing a song to the world which describes private parts of my life. I also think that the simplicity of the video serves the live sound of the track“.

Don’t Wanna Be Your Lover up close and personal music video screams Carla Geneve from start to finish. Easing in with a classic beat, Geneve’s shot from different angles, some accompanying her pastel pink guitar and application of her signature eyeliner. It intersects progressively between the concepts of masculinity and femininity. Director Duncan Wright says the video aims to “promote Carla’s bold and unique outlook through a wide range of emotions, vulnerabilities, tension and braveness” – and it does just that.

Chorus line “Don’t wanna be your lover, you bring out the best in me, but I don’t wanna touch you,” is emotive and powerful paired with a heavy indie-rock instrumental that builds epically, notably from the bridge onwards. Stripped from its visual element, this track stands alone and powerful in its meaning and musicality. As she continues to grow before our eyes, Geneve’s fans will have this one on repeat.

From ‘Carla Geneve’ released on Fri June 7th via Dot Dash Recordings/Remote Control Records

David McComb

When the music world lost David McComb in February 1999, Triffids fans felt they’d lost their torch-bearer.

For many, McComb’s lyrics represented a small measure of comfort for the heartbroken, or guidance for those lost in isolated spaces.

McComb’s songwriting was sophisticated and poetic. Buoyed by the love of Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan but twisting his own post-punk and pop influences, the music he made with The Triffids some thirty years ago continues to inspire, influence and remain relevant, even in the digital age of streaming.

The Triffids steadily built a cult following through the 1980s, with the adored Born Sandy Devotional, a timeless album heavy with nature, remoteness, and foreboding. It contains their classic ‘Wide Open Road’, which reached the UK Top 30 in 1986 and has become even more cherished in the years since. It perennially appears in polls and tastemakers’ lists whenever the Australian sound or significant songs of our era are mentioned.

In England, where they spent much of their time, the band was critically acclaimed by the British music press and they earned a loyal following across Europe.

Triffids guitarist Robert McComb describes his brother’s passing as ‘everyone’s tragedy’, such was the reverberation that shook him and all who loved David.

‘You can grieve but you never get over it,’ he says softly.

Over the past couple of years Robert and a number of close friends have been bringing to life a treasure trove of superb unreleased material. The songs were recorded over a couple of summers by an assemblage of musicians including members of The Triffids, The Blackeyed Susans and people who had shared a stage and other delights with the man himself, along with musicians who knew him and loved him through his music.

Most of the songs were demo’d in the 1990s by David and had been left lying around on cassettes. Trusted long-time friends ‘Evil’ Graham Lee (Triffids) and Phil Kakulus (Blackeyed Susans/Triffids) were also involved.

There is something seductive about the humble audio cassette. The clunk and rattle as it settles into the player; the hiss as the tape winds its way around the heads. For Graham Lee, listening to the captivating audio was a way back to David – back to a snapshot or a moment time.

‘Many of the tapes were rough, with Dave strumming away on the electric guitar and pressing record,’ says Lee. ‘Then, there’d be things like just the strum of a bass line or him just saying random words.’

Sometimes, the din of the late night television could be heard in the background or the occasional dog barking. Many of the tapes had David’s familiar scrawl emblazoned on the outside, indicating ‘new songs’. For Lee, it was clear that the versions David left behind were the ones he was happiest with. He’d recorded over any previous takes.

Truckload of Sky was never intended to be an album. Initially the idea was to garner a keepsake of David’s lost songs. However, it was soon apparent they were too good to keep for a selected few.

Lee assembled a core band of luminaries including Mark Dawson on drums, Phil Kakulus on bass, JP Shilo on guitar as well as David’s older brother Robert on rhythm guitar – their closest collaborators and friends.

‘Most of us have played together for more than thirty years,’ Lee says of his fellow band mates, ‘and we found the songs came together quickly.’

An array of talented vocalists were then chosen to sing. Chosen mainly on the criteria that they were enthusiastic and available, including Rob Snarski, Angie Hart, Romy Vega and Alex Gow. It is clear on first listening to Truckload of Sky, that every singer brings their own elucidation of the late David McComb. The songs are brought to life with passion, emotion and the prose McComb was renowned for; almost reinvigorating his post-Triffid’s career.

Opening track ‘Kneel So Low’ highlights McComb’s way with words through Romy Vega’s haunting vocals.

Childhood friend and former Triffid, Phil Kakulus was a co-producer. It was a task he found both daunting and joyful.

‘I did feel pressure and responsibility to not f**k the songs up,’ he says matter-of-factly of his time in the studio. ‘I know there were occasions when people would say, “What would Dave do?” and I always appreciated that, but we had to adhere to Dave’s own rule that the song always comes first. I’d like to think if we did that, it would have made Dave happy.’

When talking about the work of The Triffids, McComb’s lyrics are generally grounded in the landscape of Western Australia, whilst being universal in their reach.

However, in 1996, three years before his death, McComb underwent a heart transplant after developing cardiomyopathy. Truckload of Sky features a number of songs written after the operation, which head off into a more personal direction and contain a deeper sense of gravitas than his previous work.

Songs like ‘Lucky For Some’ paint a picture of the late McComb helpless in a hospital bed, (I heard your steps on the hospital tiles and the thought of your arms around me kept me warm for a while’) whilst in ‘Look Out for Yourself’, McComb asks “Tell me do you see someone else, and if there’s someone you can turn to now, in your sickness and your health.’

Reproducing David’s work in the studio with the cream of the country’s best and accomplished musicians, (Dan Luscombe, Mark Dawson, Bruce Haymes et al) was fairly organic. ‘Dave was definitely the dedicated songwriter,’ says Graham Lee. ‘He’d fill endless notebooks with words and rhymes and various lyric ideas and spend a long time refining things. Lucky for us, even on the cassettes, most of the forms are good and workable and intact. There’s very little work we had to do in that respect. We just had to dress them really.

Meanwhile, Phil Kakulus felt working on Truckload of Sky brought about a closeness to his childhood friend he’d not experienced before. ‘It wasn’t like he was in the room, but it did feel like we were making music with Dave again through his words and cassettes, which is something I thought was never going to happen.

‘Just being able to work on those songs…it kinda brought him closer to me in a way that I hadn’t felt for quite a while. It was a real honour to be able to do that.’

Kakulus recounts personal stories of mucking about with David when they were kids of 10 or 11 in Perth. Of Sunday afternoon’s eating Mrs McComb’s fantastic roast beef around the kitchen table and of sneaking into clubs with Dave as teenagers to watch Kim Salmon perform in his band the Cheap Nasties. His friend’s death at just 36, had an impact on him.

‘I remember writing the obituary for The Age newspaper with Graham and Rob (Snarski) and thinking it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.’ Triffids steel pedal player ‘Evil’ Graham Lee, remembers the 17th of February 1999 very clearly. His mate Steve Miller from The Moodists came knocking on his door.

‘Steve had been trying to reach me all day, but I was on my computer. It was back in the days when we had dial-up modems so he couldn’t get through to me.’ When Lee saw Miller on his doorstep holding a six pack of beer, he knew why he was there. ‘He just said, “Dave’s gone.”

Truckload of Sky is an amazing chronicle – a collection of songs with the unmistakable intelligence, literary clout and atmospheric arrangements that fans associate with The Triffids. ‘This is how we remember David,’ says Rob McComb, proud to help preserve his late brother’s legacy. It’s a fitting body of work to add to David McComb’s cannon – and a serendipitous find for those still seeking solace from a talent lost too soon.

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“I have to feel kind of worthless again to want to make music,” Kevin Parker said of the long gestation time between the forthcoming Tame Impala album “The Slow Rush” and 2015’s world-beating “Currents”. While the dreamy introspection of Parker’s past music treats the passing of time as a man-made construct, recent Tame Impala output suggests he has been thinking a lot about the subject of late. Patience, the first of his three 2019 singles, extolled the virtues of waiting around, but It Might Be Time flips the script, seeing him obsess over friends growing up and moving on, realising he isn’t as young as he once was. “Nothing lasts forever,” he sighs as if just realising this truth, while a prominent synth swings from side to side like a pendulum – or is it ringing out like an emergency siren? Either way, there’s an urgency to this track that we’ve yet to hear from Tame Impala, and we’ve got all the time in the world for it.

Band Members
Kevin Parker – Guitar / Bass / Drums / Sing
Jay Watson – Keys
Dominic Simper – Guitar / synth
Cam Avery – Bass
Julien Barbagallo – Drums

An Island Records Australia release © 2019 Modular Recordings Pty Ltd. Tame Impala’s new album The Slow Rush will be out 14th February 2020.

Tame Impala almost single-handedly brought about a psych revolution as soon as their track ‘Elephant’ dominated the airwaves in 2012. It wasn’t long before just about every other guitar band started experimenting with effect pedals and tried to mimic the production genius that is the bandleader Kevin Parker.

Many people have put Tame Impala’s unique sound down to the fact that their hometown of Perth is the most isolated major city in the world. But the band grew out of the vibrant Perth scene that also produced other notable Australian bands like Pond and GUM.

“The Slow Rush” was recorded between Los Angeles and Parker’s studio in his hometown of Fremantle, Australia. The long-awaited 4th full-length album from Tame Impala

The twelve tracks were recorded, produced and mixed by Parker. “The Slow Rush” is Parker’s deep dive into the oceans of time, conjuring the feeling of a lifetime in a lightning bolt, of major milestones whizzing by while you’re looking at your phone, it’s a paean to creation and destruction and the unending cycle of life. Parker told the New York Times earlier this year, “a lot of the songs carry this idea of time passing, of seeing your life flash before your eyes, being able to see clearly your life from this point onwards. i’m being swept by this notion of time passing. there’s something really intoxicating about it.” the album cover was created in collaboration with photographer Neil Krug and features a symbol of humanity all but swallowed whole by the surrounding environment, as though in the blink of an eye. in the last six months Tame Impala have headlined multiple major festivals including Glastonbury, Coachella, Primavera, Lollapalooza, Acl and more. he debuted two new songs on Saturday Night Live and sold out arenas around the world including two nights at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

“A lot of the songs carry this idea of time passing, of seeing your life flash before your eyes, being able to see clearly your life from this point onwards. I’m being swept by this notion of time passing. There’s something really intoxicating about it.” – Kevin Parker

Perth-based artist Daisies Net (Emma Stokes) releases On the Apple Island, her debut EP via Healthy Tapes featuring singles Go Far, Kunanyi and Sounds Rivulet. 
On the Apple Island was recorded and written during a six month period that Emma sought refuge in Tasmania.

“I had been really sick for a long time & trapped in a situation that was irreparably hurting me. I somehow bundled myself up and moved to Hobart without any definite local connections or places to stay. I’d never intended to record while I was there so the equipment I used to make this E.P. fit inside my carry-on luggage. These songs are the narrative of my time on the island; it was a bit strange & utterly surprising- Set against a backdrop of unparalleled natural beauty, a source of healing, treasured companionship, and real magic.”

The EP is intricate and elaborate, yet accessible, allowing the listener to become lost in the worlds Emma composes through the use of both field and studio recordings. Daisies Net’s part- surreal / part-ambient compositions are mostly made in bed – the project acting as an outlet for Emma teaching herself how to produce music to cope with the diagnosis of chronic illness.

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On the Apple Island will be released by Healthy Tapes digitally and on limited cassette on October 9th.

Western Australia’s finest The Southern River Band continue to tease the release of their upcoming second album “Rumour and Innuendo” with the brand new single “Second Best” out now!

Showing their melodic side, “Second Best” is a hooky slice of 70’s FM rock with tight-ass harmonies and of course the band’s patented tasty guitar work courtesy of lead vocalist, guitar slinger and in-house stand-up Cal Kramer.

The song’s video, directed by Steve Browne and shot by Drew Kendell, features an amazing retro themed wrestling drama where try as he might, our hero Cal does indeed only manage to come off second best. As renowned Melbourne rock ‘n’ roll man about town and Cherry Rock impresario James Young attests, “Second Best has soul, swagger and power-pop sensibilities. Don’t let anyone say that The Southern River Band sound like The Darkness or Lynyrd Skynyrd. They don’t.”

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With a video for “Second Best” due on release, more new music on the way and some big news to come SRB are stepping it up in 2019 and ready to take on the world. Young concludes, “When I think of Southern River Band I think of Countdown on the ABC in the 70s. Colour, movement, magic and a guaranteed global smash hit.”

Released July 19th, 2019