Category Archives: Sibel Kutlucan

Album Review: Heroes For Hire – “No Apologies”

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
Heroes For Hire have delivered again with a third full length album, No Apologies, which holds its ground as a great pop punk album.

No Apologies is enthralling and contagious, and is bound to appeal to many. Though a little bias, having liked most of Heroes For Hire’s music previously, it’s great to have a fantastic pop punk band representing Australia, and No Apologies has delivered such a fantastic pop punk album to make us proud.
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Album Review: Punk Goes Pop 5

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
Whilst many have argued about labels and band choices for the covers, Fearless Records has delivered another popular album in their Punk Goes Pop series. Released this month, Punk Goes Pop has delivered more interesting covers of hit songs such as Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” and Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend”.

Punk Goes Pop is a fun, light-hearted listen that promises some infectious beats, that whilst isn’t for everyone, still delivers some unique covers. This is one of those albums that will have varying views and opinions, some wondering whether the bands and artists are typically ‘punk’ or ‘pop’, however personally I thought some songs were better than others.
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Album Review: Marilyn Manson – Born Villain

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
Born Villain is the eighth full length album from Marilyn Manson and has been deemed as the “comeback” and its fourteen tracks definitely reflect the reinvention. It is unique, catchy and offensive, all elements that definitely emulate the colourful frontman.

Born Villain is a great album, and I dare say one of the best from Marilyn Manson. The album tells a story and the fourteen tracks have a clear beginning, middle and end. It has the usual shock tactics so iconics of the band with confronting lyrics, such as Pistol whipped with “You look so pretty when you cry. Don’t wanna hit you but the only thing, between our love is a bloody nose/a busted lip and a blackened eye”. However some of the songs portrayed a more personal side and definitely had depth. ‘The Gardener’ which opens with Marilyn Manson whispering “I’m not man enough to be human but I’m trying to fit in and I’m learning to fake it” seems to be autobiographical and has a fantastic dance party on acid vibe.
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Album Review: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Here

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have returned with their brand new second full-length album ‘Here’. The album is melodious, magical and yet sleep inducing. Having big shoes to fill after the popularity of their first album “Up from Below” (2009) and their hit single, “Home” they have made some distinct changes, some for the better and alas, some for the worst.

‘Here’ channels a relaxed 60’s vibe, with sing-a-longs, acoustic guitars and simple rhythms. It certainly hasn’t been as catchy for me as “Up from Below” and I was silently disappointed with how ‘tame’ it was mostly. With the opening track “Man on fire” frontman Alex Ebert singing “I want the whole damn world to come dance with me” and with the upbeat rhythm, I was anticipating an album that I could actually dance too or have something to really get into. Maybe it’s just me, but I did find it too smooth throughout after “Man on fire”; this wasn’t a particularly bad thing it just made more for background music and not something I would particularly go out of my way to listen to.

That being said they did have some high points for me, and ‘Mayla’ was definitely one. It was hypnotic and soothing, I just wanted to close my eyes and drift away. Its sweet ‘Kumbayah’ campfire sing-a-long quality was definitely something I could have on repeat if I just wanted to kick back and relax.

Jade Castrinos definitely has more of a primary singing position on ‘Here’, where she takes the lead on one of my preferred tracks, “Fiya Wata”. The track has more of a classic-rock sounding vibe in comparison to the rest of the 60s folk-rock sound on the album.

Ebert and co. have hinted at a third album coming out this year, and that the second release of 2012 with be the more ‘celebratory of the two’. Hopefully, we can expect another album with a bit more oomph. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are quirky and lovable, they may not appeal to the masses but ‘Here’ was pleasant sounding and didn’t have any ugly bits. I’d say I wasn’t completely won over but I’ll definitely have a listen to their upcoming material.


Review by Sibel Kutlucan

Live Review: Simple Plan @ Hordern Pavilion, Sydney with We The Kings, The Never Ever – 1 June 2012

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
Simple Plan are well loved on Australian shores and for the last decade they have been dominant in the punk-pop scene. Fans young and old were in for a night like no other on Friday June 1st, when thousands of Aussies packed Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion in support of the French-Canadian quintet. I entered the venue as a 20-something year old music lover who once shared quite a strong love for their earlier music, and found myself leaving as my 13 year old self, excited and jittery. The night was a hot-bed of excitement, slightly naughty one-liners and infectious beats.

A quick glance at the line-up and you knew you were in for a night worthy of your funds and time with Simple Plan, We The Kings and local sensation The Never Ever! Teenage girls were practically frothing at the mouth right there! The Never Ever were a pleasant surprise; catchy, dancey and all that jazz. They even looked the part with vibrant clothing and slightly bizarre moves. The audience thriving around energetically enjoying their ‘Paramore’/’Cute is what we aim for sound’.
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Live Review: The Maccabees @ The Metro, Sydney w/ Argentina – 10 May 2012

Review by Sibel Kutlucan

Thursday night got underway at 8pm when early punters began filling into the doors of the Sydney Metro. The darkened room was a hotbed of activity, buzzing conversation as indie fans alike milled around drinking beer and anticipating the first time visit of English indie rockers The Maccabees to Australia. The quintet who are visiting this autumn for the Groovin’ the Moo festival, has a local bunch of Aussie fans who are eager to welcome the boys to the country for an intimate sideshow.

Argentina, the first and only supporting act of the night was greeted warmly by early-comers. The Brisbane based indie act seemed to have a bit of difficulty with their first song, technical difficulties and possibly nerves got the better of them. Gladly, by the second song they had sorted out their problems and they delivered a really enjoyable sound. The vocals were fantastic, with songs “Bad Kids” and “Plastic Excuse” they definitely played to their strengths and let their softer indie side come through, focusing on delicate lyrics and a steady beat that wasn’t competing with the vocals. Argentina played with a lot of heart and have a bright future ahead of them.
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CD Review: Gemma Ray – Island Fire

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
Gemma Ray sparks a flame in the hearts of everyone with her brand new album Island Fire (Shock Records). With her recent visit to Australia to play Peats Ridge Festival, the alluring pop-noir songstress has intrigued audiences and built up her Australian fan base, whom won’t be able to stop listening to the infectious melodies of Island Fire!

It is easy to understand why Gemma Ray has become one of the UK’s most independent and critically acclaimed female musicians with a listen to her unique sound that resonates throughout Island Fire. Ray effortlessly creates beautiful tunes with her vintage pop vocals and her fantastic song writing. This fantastic harmony of a sweet pop sound, with the hint of yester-year in the melody on “Put your brain in gear” is a clear indication of Gemma Ray’s presence as a fantastic musician, and definitely is a highlight of the album for me.
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CD Review: Silverstein – Short Songs

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
Short Songs by Silverstein is anything but boring.

The 22 track album, which runs for just under 20 minutes, is composed of songs and punk covers which all fall under the 90 second mark. Whilst unique and upbeat, it can seem a bit fanatical and fervent at times and often it felt like a few of the songs were too abrupt (which is understandable when you try to keep a song under the minute and a half mark). Warning, the album is not for the faint hearted, and it isn’t something you want to listen to when you want to kick back and relax.

Short Songs is definitely short, fast and louder than anything Silverstein have produced in their previous five albums and the Canadian boys definitely have taken a unique risk with a number of elements. Short Songs features guest vocals from Tim Mcllrath (Rise Against), Chris Hannah (Propagandhi) and Mike Hranica (The Devil Wears Prada), just to name a few.
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CD Review: The Summer Set – ‘Everything’s Fine’

Review by Sibel Kutlucan
The Summer Set’s new release lives up to its title, “Everything’s Fine”, as it isn’t horrible but it’s not great either. For me, it’s just fine. It does have its high points and alas, it also has its lows.

Everything’s Fine is the second full length from the Arizonian quintet and it delved further into the ‘pop’ territory that was hinted at in Love Like This (released 2009), which had more of a pop punk sound. The Summer Set worked with ‘super-producer’ John Fields, who has previously worked with the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Jonas Brothers and Switchfoot, for Everything’s Fine and this was definitely reflected throughout the album.

It’s easily to understand the popularity surrounding The Summer Set, with their sweet sounding melodies and their catchy lyrics. These elements for me really shone when teamed with acoustic guitar on “Mona Lisa” and “About a girl”, a unique choice for the album opener.
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Review: Big Day Out 2012 – Sydney – 26th January 2012

Review by Sibel Kutlucan

Celebrating 20 years since the first ever Big Day Out in Sydney 1992, which boasted incredible bands such as, Nirvana and Violent Femmes, the Big Day Out has had a reputation to uphold with line-ups that every year do not disappoint. This year was no exception.

For 2012, Big Day Out offered an impressive line-up that consisted of a range of rock, dance, pop and hip hop acts, including Kanye West, My Chemical Romance, Noel Gallagher, Soundgarden and Kasabian.

The morning weather was bleak, with rain and threatening storm clouds looming. However, the masses of music fans still poured into the Sydney Showgrounds from 11am, anxious for a sure day of excitement, great music and the ambience of bare flesh, and despite the weather, did not scare away the summer attire of short shorts and bikini tops.

Earlier acts such as Sydney rockers Papa Vs Pretty and Victoria’s Stonefield enticed crowds and brightened up the sky. The busy schedule of all six stages charged on and as the bands played and the crowds grew the storm clouds slowly disappeared and the typical Australia Day sunshine arrived.

Sydney indie-rock band Bluejuice owned the Boiler Room, with their infectious music and attitude whipping their eager fans into a whirlwind of odd dance moves and great times, especially when they erupted with their hit, “Broken leg”.

Boy and Bear were another standout act in the afternoon as they took to the orange stage and showed why they were recent ARIA winners with their amazing cover of Crowded House’s “Fall at your Feet”, which commemorated Australia Day with the crowd enthusiastically singing along.

Kiwi songstress Kimbra had her audience enthralled as she took to the Converse Green Stage thrashing about and singing her lungs out of her waif like frame. Her powerful voice was contagious and her act was a definite standout of the festival.

Jersey alt-rockers My Chemical Romance pulled a huge crowd at the orange stage, with front man Gerard Way sporting new blonde locks and clad all in black, led their set through an impressive range of tracks off their discography including old favourites “I’m not okay” and “Helena”.

Brit indie-rockers Kasabian were welcomed to the blue stage with flashing neon blue lights and smoke slowly filling the stage, as their crowd erupted in cheers, eager to welcome Kasabian back to our shores. “Shoot the runner” as always was a definite crowd-pleaser and resonated with festival-goers long after their set finished.

Kanye West did not disappoint as he took to the blue stage for his hour and a half long set where he dominated the other acts of the night. With his eye-catching back-up dancers to his rather unique dress sense and contagious tracks, Kanye West delivered a fantastic set.

Amongst all the great music on the six stages, the Guvera skate ramp always had their crowd entertained; however it was when Tony Hawk took to the ramp that the skate ramp attracted more festival-goers that even some of the headliners. It was a moment not to be missed, and the epic skating was a nice break between the countless sets to take in.

Celebrating an amazing 20 years of festivals Big Day Out came home to Sydney this Australia day despite earlier problems involving the spilt of co-founders Ken West and Vivian Lees, as well as the announcement of BDO’s withdrawal from New Zealand next year. This dark news however, did not impact the festival and West said that the festival will come back stronger and that Big Day Out’s heart will always remain in Sydney, as it began here 20 years ago.

Once again the Sydney leg of the Big Day Out tour delivered an amazing Australia day to all the music lovers who bared the bipolar weather for a day of great music and experiences.

Review by Sibel Kutlucan


* Review our review of: Big Day Out 2012 – Gold Coast Parklands – 22nd January 2012

PHOTOS: Big Day Out 2012 – Gold Coast
Soundgarden, My Chemical Romance, Stonefield, Cage The Elephant, The Amity Affliction, Kimbra

Kanye West, Kasabian, Abbe May, The Jezabels, Foster The People, The Living End, Mariachi el Bronx, Calling All Cars, Papa vs Pretty, Parkway Drive, Boy & Bear, The Vaccines

Crowd Pics

Album Review | Every Avenue – Bad Habits

Review – Sibel Kutlucan
Every Avenue have returned with their brand new album, Bad Habits, which packs a punch and will definitely remain on repeat. The quintet hailing from Michigan had a reputation to uphold after the success of Picture Perfect (released 2009) and I was a little anxious to listen to Bad Habits; not wanting to sully their past tracks that I had grown fond of, but at the same time wanting to hear more. In the end I gave it a listen and I was glad I did!
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Album Review | Unwritten Law – Blue Room

Review – Sibel Kutlucan
I have to admit, I had kind of forgotten about Unwritten Law for awhile now but when I heard they were remastering Blue Room, their debut released in 1994, I was pretty stoked (no offence but the original sound quality-wise was a tad shocking), it was a great album! For those who haven’t listened to Blue Room, and are familiar with Unwritten Law’s newer stuff, post-2002, then listen to this! It is completely different, but Blue Room showcases the band at their best and in their early days with their 90s punk rock sound.
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Album Review | Breathe Carolina – Hell Is What You Make It

Review – Sibel Kutlucan
Breathe Carolina’s third full length album, Hell Is What You Make It is great for when you want to dance, but can’t quite bring yourself to listen to full on pop or dance anthem tracks…and you still require that bit of ‘rock’ in your music.

Breathe Carolina is an assemblage of power duo Kyle Even and David Schmitt hailing from Denver, and their styles and choices definitely create a bipolar sound. Combining an electro pop sound with synthesizers and screamo/crunk-core, mixed with ‘traditional’ rock guitars and drums, Breathe Carolina certainly is interesting to listen to. Personally, I think it’s fantastic!
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Album Review | Art Brut – Brilliant! Tragic!

Review – Sibel Kutlucan
Brilliant! Tragic! definitely is anything but tragic. It is the fourth album from Berlin-based English and German punk rockers, Art Brut. It is a great 10 track album that promises rather drastic changes which have sparked quite a few heated discussions since its release in May this year. Art Brut as always promise a contagious concoction of strong gutsy instruments and cheeky punk vocals which are prominent throughout the entirety of the album, with some tweaks here and there.
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Album Review | The Elected – Bury Me In My Rings

by Sibel Kutlucan
Jeeze, where have The Elected been all my life! I was shocked that the band managed to produce two albums previously without me realising, however I’m glad to have been introduced to them with their third album, Bury Me In My Rings, which released earlier this year (may 17th) truly is a fantastic indie rock gem. After listening to the first minute or so of the album’s opener “Born to love you”, the LA based indie-rock band had me captivated and I am pleased to say that the album only got better.

“Babyface”; listen to it! If you only have to listen to one song off the album I would recommend this one (the second track), although you would be doing yourself an injustice to only stop here.
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