It's ok for you to think "who? never heard of 'em". Honestly, you'd have to be aged 35+, Australian, and a regular listener of Triple J or Triple R. Maybe you watched Neighbours. In the finicky annals of Australian music history, and with no disrespect to Helvelln, they barely warrant a mention. To briefly summarise, Helvelln were an inspired pop/rock 3-piece formed in Melbourne in the late 80's, released two singles and one album and then broke up in the early 90's. Google them and you'll get pictures of mountains. Impressive and rocky, but hardly rock n' roll.
Part 2 of our Secret History of Australian Music retrospective on Helvelln and interview with guitarist/vocalist and songwriter Jeremy Gronow. For part 1 and a more considered introduction, go here. Bedroom critic that I am, I'd be amiss not to suggest that only thing that lets Side 1 down is the lugubrious "Temptation". If I
There's not much point in asking where Bleeding Knees Club got their name. It's the kind of degenerate tag that you'd expect from a couple of Australian garage surf-punks, but for the innocent and curious alike the band spell it out below. If they happen to ask if you want to join their particular club, ladies just say 'no'. Hailing from Brisbane, where every home has its own swimming pool thanks to last year's insane floods, Alex and Jordan of Bleeding Knees Club have "won hearts and minds through a reckless live reputation and with a swag of super-catchy tunes on their debut EP Virginity".
Australia's first lady of rock and founder member of Magic Dirt, Adalita Srsen, adopts a stripped back stance for her debut solo effort.
In complete contrast to a month ago when it was "precipitation nation" Brisbane’s fourth St. Jerome’s Laneway festival could've been subtitled "Boiling Brisvegas". Unlike many festivals Laneway 2011 had a remarkably consistent quality throughout the entire day, so regardless of the weather it was always destined to be a scorcher. We braved the extreme ultra violet index to report on Australia's Rat Vs Possum, Cloud Control and Cut Copy. While sampling UK's Foals and America's best of the best with Beach House, The Antlers, Warpaint, Blonde Redhead, Ariel Pink, Holy Fuck. Oh and LES SAVY FAV!.
Melbourne Modular boys gone global return for their third album with mixed results. Just what the hell is a Zonoscope anyway?
For the third Sunset Sounds festival it rained, it poured, it pelted down. Water came down in sheets, hell it came down in slabs. Even those who came with waterproof clothing were completely soaked not just to the bone but to the very marrow. Sunset Sounds became Sunless Sounds, Soggy Sounds and Mudset Sounds. It brought out the worst in some people and the best in others. Still the show went on and so we report on Sleigh Bells, Cold War Kids, Ladyhawke, Pubic Enemy, The National and Interpol on day one. While for the second day we braved the wet again to deliver reports on The Soft Pack, Peaches, Junip, The Morning Benders, Washington and Paul Kelly.
Lion Island were first encounted playing a free show in Brisbane's King George Square. Their ability to fill a large stage with eight members and the cavernous square full of wondrous music bolstered my mood and had casual passerby's on their way to the train, stop and listen. When seen again three months later at The Hi-Fi Bar a liking for the band was affirmed and proved that Lion Island are one of the city's most ambitious and talented acts. Here are a band able to switch from solo singer-songwriter folk, then become a Brisbane Beirut by adding brass and violin to the acoustic guitar and drums to full out orchestral rock, as if Finn Andrews was fronting The National.
There aren't that many great instrumental duos in the history of rock and roll. I've thought about this for about 20 seconds or so and bored already. To arrive at that musical decision, and to arrive at that musical decision when your bandmate doesn't even live in the same country, is as perverse as it is stupid. Being as they are Australian, perverse stupidity is our calling, and it's why Civil Civic succeed where others have just gone "Dude, we need another member". With the title still up for grabs (or until some smart-ass avant-garde freak shoots me down), Civil Civic could turn out to be the greatest instrumental duo in the history of rock and roll. Wouldn't that be just dandy?
While on first glance Big Scary are neither that big or scary, listen to any of their EPs and the name starts to make sense. At the Mercy of the Elements released earlier this year gave us an idea of the versatility of this Australian band: The Led Zeppelin meets White Stripes heavy rock of "Hey Somebody" rubbed shoulders with epic piano driven pop "Falling Away" and the aptly named "Creature of the Night". Those tracks signposted a more a more mellow direction which was continued on the second of their four season EPs Winter. Currently touring with the impressive folk influenced Spring with Summer just around around the corner and a bunch of live shows in regional Australia we attempted to crack open the hardworking twosome.
Sometimes the best music is just under your nose, as in literally right under your nose on your desk hiding in a spindle of CDs. That’s what happened with Melbourne's Black Cab as after receiving a promo of their third album Call Signs mid last year it was put on said spindle and largely forgotten about until the video for the first single, the chugging rock epic “Church of Berlin” was seen, which quickly made me hunt out the promo disc and give it my full, rapt attention. With Calls Signs recently being given an European release we talked to Andrew and Steve about their visit to the sunshine state, the sexiness of “Sexy Polizei”, the allure of Germany as a source for lyrics, covering alternative classics and new recordings.
Originally known to us as one of the curators of the Hangar venue and lofly label in Brisbane we shouldn't have been surprised that Joel Edmondson had a musical project -- the collective have more fingers in pies than Georgie Porgie after all. What we weren't expecting, seeing as his label mates lean more towards the electronic and experimental side of the musical spectrum, was the polished pop and rock awaiting us on his MySpace page. We fired off our standard 15 questions to Mr Edmondson and his swift response proved wry and illuminating, much like his songwriting.
It's Summer festival time in Europe, but over in Australia it's Winter and Webcuts was there to brave the chill and celebrate Splendour in the Grass' tenth birthday with 32,000 others at the new Woodford location in Queensland. Over the three day weekend our reviewers witnessed a phenomenal selection of old and new favourites including -- Ash, Band of Horses, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Cloud Control, The Drums, Grizzly Bear, Jonsi, LCD Soundsystem, Paul Kelly, Pixies, School of Seven Bells, Scissor Sisters, The Strokes, Tame Impala, The Vines, Yeasayer, and believe it or not, a whole lot more!!
It took eleven years, three albums and a European tour for Melbourne space rockers Black Cab to broach Brisbane but they did and yes, it was worth the wait. Even the prospect of a half empty venue, an OCD stricken punter and the one colour Hi-Fi lights were not enough to dissuade Black Cab in performing anything less than a mesmerising set of original material and two stunning encores that paid homage to the whole space/drone/shoegaze rock genre. Able support was provided by Brisbane alt.rock kings Grand Atlantic.
Is there anything more cliched than the rock and roll break-up? Secret meetings in dark alleys. The guitarist that suddenly pops up on other people's records. The singer who doesn't return their calls. You either see it coming a mile away, or it creeps up on you like old age. It happens to the best and it happens to the worst, and eventually it will happen to them all. Piss and moan about it all you like, but what's done is done. The latest induction to the rock and roll hall of "fuck this shit for a laugh" are Webcuts' favourite punk sons, The Scare.
Melbourne four piece Otouto prove that art pop is not a dirty word on their impressive debut album Pip.
Forever known as Nick Cave's red right hand in the Birthday Party, Rowland was the purveyor of that skeletal, metallic guitar style that along with the bass growl of Tracey Pew, defined the sound of the band. Speaking to Static's Chris Berkley, only a few weeks before his passing, Rowland S. Howard recounts his extensive career and his brief return to music with Pop Crimes.
..with a rejuvenated reappraisal of the career of Melbourne psyche-drone-pop quartet Ripe and their space-rock epic "Moondriven", now with 33 1/3% more added insight courtesy of an exclusive interview with guitarist and vocalist Peter Moran who talks about the making of their landmark Australian debut The Plastic Hassle. Fans of Sonic Youth, Swervedriver and Dinosaur Jr take note.
Sydney art-pop quintet Dappled Cities have steadily grown in status in the last ten years with 2006’s Granddance and their most recent psyche-pop opus Zounds. Last year, we spoke to Dave Rennick, guitarist and vocalist of Dappled Cities about birthing and touring the album.
Standing tall in the face of tragedy, Magic Dirt compile a lucky dip of new, rare and unreleased tracks to coincide with their recent tour.
A first (and probably last) for Webcuts as we jump in the back of a tour van and hit the road with ex-Brisbane trouble makers, now Sydney's problem, The Scare, as they attempt to corrupt the people of Melbourne with their new 'voodoo, and nothing, not even the death of Michael Jackson, was going to get in their way.
The new album from Sydney art-pop five piece Dappled Cities reached forty eight on the Australian chart. Gold Zoundz indeed.
Our love for Love of Diagrams knows no bounds especially for the Melbourne noise merchants freshly minted third album.
If you've been with The Scare lately, you'll be lucky if it's only voodoo you're oozing, otherwise you better see a doctor.
Crucial re-release of the first three albums by these hard rocking legends. From The Axeman's Jazz to Black Milk, the gang's all here.
First there was Something for Kate now singer Paul Dempsey has gone it alone and produced something for everyone.
Two of Sydney's finest epic rock bands; one (Bridezilla) favouring a dark brand of folk and the other (Decoder Ring) post-rock electronica, strut their wares in Brisbane.
Avoiding the solo artist's temptation of self-indulgence, Lisa Mitchell imparts some wide-eyed optimism on Wonder.
We give an in-depth rundown on 2009's Splendour in the Grass festival including the good - The Flaming Lips, Happy Mondays, Bloc Party, Doves, Sarah Blasko, Specials, You Am I, MGMT and the frankly rather appalling - Kram, Grinspoon.
The second splendid day of Splendour in the Grass 2009. We catch Kram, Jack Ladder, Bob Evans, The Gutter Twins, White Lies, The Doves, The Flaming Lips and er, Grinspoon.
Having first dipped her toes in the solo waters for the soundtrack to the movie Suburban Mayhem in 2006, Adalita Srsen has remained steadfast fronting Melbourne's mothers of sonic invention, Magic Dirt. Webcuts catches up with Adalita to discuss her transition into the solo arena.
Both mental and essential, Sydney's pop legends Mental as Anything return with a career-encompassing collection and a brand new studio album.
Brisbane's Grand Atlantic avoid the sophomore slump with a successful swim in the genres of alternative rock and power-pop.
Not ones to throw angular shapes the boys here strive to find the right notes and the majority of the time they hit them.
Second Splendour line up in full and interview with Splendour promoter Jess Ducrou about the tremendous success of the festival, the process for picking the line-up and this year's bands, future expansion of the site and the improvements in ticketing technology.
Watching Gareth Liddiard sing is like witnessing a drunk arguing with his own reflection. His posture is one of vexed irritation, his face is strained, the tendons on his neck bulge, his entire frame in spasm.
Slighty less than groundbreaking, but no less worthy, biography of Australian poet, musician and icon, Steve Kilbey of The Church.
Moving on from Uninvited, Like The Clouds to Untitled #23, The Church near the end of the alphabet but not the end of their career.
The Grates/Children Collide Hi-Fi Bar, Brisbane 1 May 2009 It's not often that you have moments like this -- where you have to take a step back from your surroundings and fathom what is the hell is actually going on. Arriving a little late and unable to find set times we wander into the crowd as the
New No Wave or Narco-Electro? Whatever the case, Marry Me Tonight is well worth making an engagement with...
HTRK Lexington, London 9th March 2009 I first witnessed Melbourne/Berlin noise-makers HTRK in action at a time where any favourable impression would not come forthwith. This was in a dingy low ceilinged East London venue that should've had 'CONDEMNED BUILDING' written all over it. It was as if someone had kicked open the doors, installed
Mr. Maps may not be the territory but this Brisbane instrumental rock band are a pretty amazing act to get lost in.
In the final Australian festival wrap up for the Summer we brave the laneways of Brisbane to report on No Age, Jay Reatard, The Hold Steady, Cut Off Your Hands, The Drones, Stereolab, Spiral Stairs, Augie March and more.
The much lauded ATP festival reaches Australia and we give you the rundown on the Brisbane leg including reviews of Robert Forster, Spiritualized, The Saints and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
We review Brisbane's inaugural Sunset Sounds Festival and see how the likes of The Hives, Santogold, The Kooks, Franz Ferdinand, Faker, The Grates, Tegan and Sara, I Heart Hiroshima and more measure up in the sweltering heat.
In the annals of Australian music history, The Welcome Mat only succeeded in living up to their name, laid down at the gates of opportunity to watch in dismay as their more fated friends were to find out what lay behind door number one. As an underground phenomenon in Sydney, they were the kings of
The ever durable Lucksmiths get up before dawn on their latest album. Don't forget your mittens, boys!
Melbourne's The Fauves prove to be remarkably prophetic with their ninth serve of twisted rock.
Australian alternative legend's [strong]You Am I[/strong] make a glorious return to form with Dilettantes -- "You Am I have turned around their most impressive release in recent years that succeeds without having to rehash the same old moves. "
Cooking Vinyl, 2008[rating:5/10] How times and fortunes quickly change. Where once The Vines were heralded as being part of some new rock and roll explosion, they became its first liability and not even a doctors note could explain away the fact that the Vines were creating more headlines than they were music. Two albums and