The variation of influences throughout The Exploders second LP, Easy and the Sun, are easily identifiable not only by a familiar feel of all that was good of the 70’s to the current era’s commercially successful rock songs, but also a nice harmonised original approach to certain tracks that only enhance the listening experience.
This album is a well balanced mix of raunchy rock, roll and pop with a splash of tailored grunge. The first four tracks, for me, were the most outstanding.
‘Little Summer Dress’ is a feel good song, bringing back the innocence and boppiness of the early Beatles era.
‘Straight Ahead’ with its well grooved bass riffs, tightly woven lead riffs and fast pasted lyrics will leave you pumped. If you’re after an in-your-face, attitude levels to the max, Rock, Roll, Jump and Shout experience then look no further.
With adrenalin pumping, ‘Cola’ delivers a steady paced catchy song that safely delivers you back, but not too softly, to the ground.
‘Blueberry Lane – for me, a five minute journey spanning a number of emotions. This is due to the many characteristic changes e.g, driving verse, floating chorus, raunchy guitar interlude and more!
There are enough hooks (but not too many) to promote a few songs to commercial airplay – and rightly so, the well crafted punchy songs, in my book, are a winner.
Reviewed for: TheDwarf.com.au
Lifting Matt Banham to new heights in musical expression is his 6-piece band No Though Road. Hailing from Adeliade, No Through Road comprises of Matt Banham, Steph Crase, Nic Datson, Marcin Kobylecki, Steve Banham and Ianto Ware.
The album “Too Much or Not Enough” offers twenty, yep that’s right, twenty tracks. 12 tracks are the main CD while we are also given 8 BONUS tracks. So, depending on your musical tastes, this will either be too much or not enough. With this many songs, spanning a year and a half of recordings, you can expect the unexpected. From numbers that offer high energy, get up and dance, to forelorn ballads and some unexpected, surprising off-beat diversions.
A number of songs from this album including “Die For Something” have been doing the rounds on radio stations throughout Australia and rightly so. But, I want more! I’d like to see added to station’s playlists – “I Want You”, “Crush this Town” and “The Next Bob Dylan”. These songs totally rock! “I Want You” is more of a soft rock ballad, but boppy none-the-less. Both “Crush This Town” and “The Next Bob Dylan” are a faster paced – in your face – tracks that would have all punters jumping.
Track 7 – Die for something starts off with recorders (reminding me of “here we come just a marching down the street”) then quickly moves to raw energy then to 60’s psychodelica – excellent.
Another surprise on the album was the last track (21) “She is only in your DREAMS.” It sounds like the band started partying hard prior to recording this. I have heard similar songs (if that’s what you can call them) at parties where everyone has partaken of copious quantities of alcohol. I think the word I’m looking for is cacophony.
Overall, to sum up, the re-incarnation of Matt Banham into No Through Road, with his unique artistic view of the world can only strengthen his foothold in the Australian Music Industry.
Revied for: TheDwarf.com.au
Brisbane rock band Upsize totally rocked the Basement Bar to over a crowd of a 1000. Upsize are playing gigs around Brisbane promoting their debut CD West End Delicacy . They were the perfect band to get the crowd worked up in anticipation of The Radiators and The Angels performances. Upsize’s performance was outstanding, playing all the songs off their debut CD plus a few others which had the crowd jumping and yelling for more!
When The Radiators hit the stage, a wave of people surged forward. If it wasn’t for the guardrail the band would have been engulfed completely. The crowd varied in ages, from late teens to mid to late sixties. The Radiators had everyone nodding, feet tapping, jumping up and down as well as singing along. Everyone, no matter what age, appeared to know all the words to all the songs.
The Radiators started with a few of their slower and older classics like Summer Holiday , and by the time they started playing You Gimme Head , you couldn’t hear the band over the crowd singing. After decades of playing live gigs, The Radiators continue to wow their audience with an adrenaline filled performance.
The Angels. What more can be said? The name itself makes you want to bow down low and chant “We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!” The Angels have a repertoire spanning nearly 3 decades with countless hits including Take A Long Line, After The Rain, Mr Damage, Straight Jacket and their first major hit Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again? , which were all performed to the delight of the audience. All that experience has been polished to the extent that you almost feel that you’re listening to the CD.
Friday night was surreal. Not only did we have more Australian rock’n’roll history than you could poke a stick at, the rock’n’roll was picked up and carried forward into the present by Upsize. As I said at the beginning of the review, Rock shall never die!
The Mares – Love billows from my soul to consume you splendid people as an avalanche does a mountain….. Now that’s a mouth full and a half. I think that in itself is a record – the longest name for an EP ever.
The beginning of the first song ‘Biscuit Tin’ reminds me of the song ‘Echo Beach’ by Martha and the Muffins. This of course, soon changes to the darker side – maybe to Goth Graveyard.
‘Silver Scream’ offers an electric, hard driven yet refreshingly upbeat song that deserves air play and is sure to get the populace up and jumping. J must have been wearing tighter pants to hit some of the notes that he sings, but, all in all – I LIKE IT !
‘New Day’ is my favourite of the five songs. Even though it starts off dark, this song is the only one on the EP that offers hope of life after the EP – it will make you nod your head, tap your feet and generally feel good.
‘Feel’ – What can I say to this? The lyrics are dark, the mood is dark, the music is dark. After listening to the EP fifteen times or so, you get a feel for the dark side of life.
‘Copilot’ – the grungy undertones, favored with resonating guitar bring this song together to form another dark, slightly unhinged mood. I swear that if I was on drugs I would enjoy this immensely.
After days of listening to this EP I feel that I have been (with tongue in cheek) enlightened to the Dark Side.
Seriously, this EP offers a great cross section of punk, grunge, rock and pop. Go out and buy it. Listen to it at least 50 times and you’ll never get it out of your head. Like me, you will be totally wowed.
Review for: Thedwarf.com.au
If you’re into variations of blues, grunge and rock then look no further than the Sydney band – WALRUS. Five years of accumulated practice & playing the traps, has resulted in a fairly outstanding CD – The End Of The Earth Show.
I was comfortably ensconced in my computer chair, head thrown back, eyes closed listening to one of my partners’ guitar pieces, which I had nicknamed “floating”, due to the fact that the music relaxes me to the point of hypnosis, when the song ended and the bluesy guitar of Walrus’ track ‘WAR’ filled my head. Suddenly Roland Smith was yelling at 50,000 decibels “NO ONE GIVES A F**K ABOUT THE WAR. At this point, my eyes flew open, my heart stuttered, my chair scooted back, my knees hit the top of the computer desk and my derriere promptly landed painfully on the floor. What had happened is similar to lying in the sun on a hot summers day and then having a bucket of ice cold water upended over you. Profoundly Shocking! I stayed on the floor for the rest of the CD either entranced by the music or still in shock. I haven’t yet made up my mind on that one.
This music is so full of attitude and basic raw energy, that I’m amazed my mind (and body) is still in one piece. The CD has 5 tracks, the first being ‘WAR’. The bluesy guitar start to the song is soon rocked to bits by Roland Smith with the start of the vocals, shaking up the pace and feel of the song straight up. War will soon have you jumping up and going Yeah! That’s only if you’re not sprawled on the ground in shock of course.
The 3rd track, ‘LIPS’, more of a softer rock is probably my favourite, but might not be the song for hard core rock fans. All in all, even though I’m more of a Rock N Roll person, I have to admit that after playing this CD five or six times, I found myself enjoying it immensely. With their tracks ‘Corn Coloured Vomit’ and ‘Armageddon With You’, I can imagine that this band would be great to see live!!!
Reviewed for: TheDwarf.comm.au
Band Site: Walrus on MySpace
The Gin Club are a Brisbane-based musical collective who have been performing since 2003. Their self-titled debut album, recently released through Plus One Records and distributed by Reverberation is an eclectic mix of traditional folk, blues and country styles, featuring five distinctive song-writing voices backed by cello, accordion, piano, acoustic and electric guitar, drums, harmonica and saxophone. Their influences include Hank Williams, The Band, Bob Dylan, Crowded House, and Neil Young. Live, they often perform covers by Will Oldham, Spiritualized and The Rolling Stones.
The Gin Club have performed extensively throughout Brisbane and have recently completed a tour of New South Wales with Sydney’s theredsunband. Their growing reputation as a powerful live act has seen them gain support slots for international artists Papa M and Iron & Wine, and Australian heroes You Am I. They have also been featured in TripleJ’s Aus Music month program as part of the ‘next crop’ of Australian artists.
Buy Now! Available from Plus One Records
Fear Of The Sea
Buy Now! Available from or Plus One Records
Gabriel + Drugflowers
Buy Now! Available on or Plus One Records
Buy Now! Available on or Plus One Records