Tag Archives: album review

My Own Pet Radio – Unidentified Flying Collection of Songs [Album Review]

Review by: Lauren Sherritt

Unidentified Flying Collection of Songs is the first album released by My Own Pet Radio, the name under which Brisbane artist Sam Cromack works solo. The bedroom recorded, experimental album is a solid example of decent, hard worked music created by a passionate and hard working musician.

Cromack, also known as the front man for indie rock/pop band Ball Park Music, really goes to town on the album cutting samples, employing effects and layering instruments, all played by himself, with intricate and distinct lyrics. The songs collectively move through various styles, bluesy influences sitting alongside poppy rock and folksy, lilting acoustic pieces. Carefully crafted to fit together as a whole album, the spectrum of styles in the songs speaks of the years of work gone into developing Cromack’s skill, and the album transcends the hyped world of sale figures and radio play stats to sit as a thought provoking piece of artwork.
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The Go! Team – Rolling Blackouts [Album Review]

Review By Helen Brown


Rolling Blackouts (Bonus Track Version) - The Go! TeamRolling Blackouts (Bonus Track Version)
  Rolling Blackouts, the third release from British band The Go! Team, can be best described as a breath of fresh, salty sea air. The tracks are energetic and empowering, the kind of album you would take with you on a short road trip adventure. The Go! Team exhibit undertones of Regurgitator’s electronica phase, circa 1997 to 1999.

Their first song, ‘T.O.R.N.A.D.O.,’ is a hip hop-laced number about moving your body to the beat. It is punchy right from the start with no soft introduction to ease you in. The tracks ‘Secretary Song’ and ‘Bust-Out-Brigade’, sound very much like theme songs from sitcoms and crime shows with the use of cheerful clap-along beats and synthesised siren sounds respectively.

The vibe throughout the album is generally to be happy within yourself, enjoy life and have fun with the people around you.
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IGGY POP & JAMES WILLIAMSON – KILL CITY (2010 REMIX) – Album Review

By Maria Bailey
The year was 1975. The Stooges had split and Iggy Pop was at his worst. No record contract, depressed, suicidal and smacked of his tits on heroin. He spent most of his time confined within a mental home battling his demons and trying to get some sort of normality back into his famously abnormal life. Good medicine arrived when former Stooges guitarist James Williamson proposed the idea for a demo album to help get Iggy’s legendry vocals back into the studio, back on the radio and back within the hearts of punk rockers across the world. Two years passed and in 1977 former Stooges front-man teamed with musical genius David Bowie to produce Iggy’s first solo records “The Idiot” and “Lust for Life.” Riding on their success, Kill City finally found recognition from Los Angeles based label Bomp! Records.
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Gareth Liddiard “Strange Tourist” Album Review

Review: Ben Connolly

  It’s an almost shameful admission, but I just didn’t get into The Drones. I don’t know why; their mix of growling guitars, flat-tonal Australian vocals and aggressive, charged lyrics ticked all the boxes for qualities I generally seek out in bands to obsess over. I guess by the time I’d cottoned on to their charms, however, the boat had well and truly sailed and was now somewhat overburdened by eager fan-boys keen to wring the band’s name out for as much street cred as possible. Truth be told, the fan-boy’s fervour (and the self-assured scoff of the object of their adoration) scared me just a little. That said, The Drones’cover of Kevin Carmody’s River Of Tears at

the Cannot Buy My Soul gig remains one of my highlights of recent years (check the clip out on Youtube if you’ve never seen it).
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John Legend featuring The Roots “Wake Up” – Album Review

Review: Jose Eduardo Cruz
One of the most powerful mediums to communicate the general condition of your immediate world is art. Art takes on different forms and its success will ultimately be determined by its public appeal or lack thereof. Art layered with social commentary has the ability to influence public opinion. For example, the Hope stencil piece created during the Obama presidential campaign in 2008.

African American history shows that black artists have had the ability to create transcendent music inspired by their surroundings and relevant political climate. Such music was prevalent during the 60’s and 70’s in response to the civil rights movement and Vietnam War respectively.
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Rocketsmiths “The Bones” – Album Review

Review: Victoria Nugent

  The Bones by Brisbane band The Rocketsmiths is relentlessly, unashamedly rock with edgy guitars, and taut vocals by the bucket load. These guys have been described as vaudevillian rock, and there’s a definite hint at the weird and wacky in their songs.

The first track of the album is Monster Part 1, which features some dark riffs, a catchy beat, wailing vocals, and great dynamics, switching from loud to soft throughout the song.

This song is followed up with a later track on the album called “Monster Parts 2 &3”, and starts off with eerie organ, echoing vocals and a tempo that steadily gets faster, before breaking into edgy riffs and screaming vocals.
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The Magic Numbers “The Runaway” – Album Review

Review: Natalie Salvo

  They say you can pick your friends but you can’t choose your family, so where does that leave a group like The Magic Numbers? The band is made of two lots of brother and sister pairings (Sean & Angela Gannon and Romeo & Michele Stodart for those playing along). They first entered the limelight back in 2005 when they released a successful eponymous debut. The following year would see “Those The Brokes” dropped with breakneck speed but it would also cause the group friction, both familial and otherwise. Now at album number three, “The Runaway”, the quartet initially had to take some time out (read: pursue side projects and make guest appearances) before they could regroup refreshed and ready.

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The Drums “The Drums” – EP Review

Review: Natalie Salvo
The Drums are a young band from New York City who – like The Strokes before them – received a lot of hype very early on. But as their debut EP, Summertime! And now eponymous debut album have proved, this indie pop quartet are more about basking in the sunlit glow of a California beach than being inspired by yellow cabs or shopping on fifth avenue.

The guys ooze retro cool and like Peter Hook’s bass playing in Joy Division and New Order, their sound makes an immediate impact gaining your attention quickly with its old-yet-fresh style. But it seems this quality is also the group’s pitfall because when spread out over 12 songs, it becomes too repetitively simple and the buzz does tend to wear off a little. Like summer itself, you miss it when it’s gone but after enough humid 40+ degree days you can’t wait for winter or at the very least, autumn.
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Black Label Society “Order of the Black” – LP Review

  Review: Lana Harris

Zakk Wylde is known as one of the metal world’s best guitar players, particularly
when talking shredding abilities. He was Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist for two decades, and didn’t let decadence overcome discipline – as well as working and touring with Ozzy, he completed an album a year from 1999-2006 with his side project, Black Label Society (BLS). BLS have their guitars firmly wedged in heavy metal/ hard rock – think Alice in Chains, a bit of Ozzy’s influence apparent in the vocals. But now Wylde’s no longer with Ozzy, and Order of the Black is the first album release by BLS in four years.

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Junip “Fields” – Album Review

Review: Natalie Salvo
If ever there was a group that embodied the spirit of quality over quantity, then Junip’s it.

The trio – made up of José González (vocals, guitars), Elias Araya (drums) and Tobias Winterkorn (keys) – have released a few singles and EPs; taken a 5-year break (where the former toured his solo work); and are now on the verge of releasing their debut album, Fields. It took a lot of effort to get here (although it was by no means the longest spell – Guns N’ Roses anyone?) but in this case people will declare it was a labour of love well worth the wait.

González and Araya have been making music together since they were 14, having started creative life as a hardcore group. In 2010 they’ve taken a different musical route, improvising together to find song sketches and in particular, looking for beats and guitar patterns that stood out for their overall groove and melody. The result is 11 nu-folk and pop songs borne out of patience, perfectionism, inspiration and sheer bloody mindedness.
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The Boat People “Dear Darkly” – Album Review

Review: Victoria Nugent


Dear
Dear Darkly – The Boat People
  It’s hard to decide where to start praising The Boat People’s new album, “Dear Darkly”. The well established Brisbane four-piece has produced an album fluent in the art of quirky pop, a nicely eclectic mix of songs.

The album kicks off with the extremely enjoyable “Under the Ocean” with plenty of “ooohs” and floaty-sounding vocals, coupled with some skilled guitar riffs. “Soporific” is one of the album’s most memorable songs with a great beat, tempo shifts and best of all, clever lyrics. I love the song’s use of intellectual sounding words to a catchy tune. “Boy you’re soporific, but is that your fault or mine? Things they used to be terrific, but now they’re barely anodyne.”

“Echo Stick Guitars” is an amazingly catchy track that starts out with synthesiser and almost robotic sounding high vocals which become loud and chanty for the chorus. The song switches tempo back and forth, showcasing a sound which can only be described as unique. Sure, the lyrics mightn’t always make sense (“Hey champions, hey violins, hey echo stick guitars”) but this shouty pop song had me singing along for the chorus.

“Antidote” is somewhat reminiscent of a Kisschasy love song with its subtle vocals and rolling drums. “Live in The Dark” has a somewhat bold psychedelic sound that’s as complex as it is likeable. “Too Much In My Mind” is an upbeat number with a catchy rhythm, some cutesy synth and fun lyrics about the downside of being too introspective. “Hidden Buses” takes a softer accoustic tone, complete with husky vocals.

Closing out the album, at six minutes long, “You Are Adored” is a musically diverse, romantic (albeit slightly long-winded) ditty that made my heart melt a little bit.

Dear Darkly” is a fantastic showcase of The Boat People’s scope for diverse, unconventional pop. From the sounds of this album, this band isn’t afraid from playing around with sounds and genres, and that is definitely a good thing.


DearDear Darkly – The Boat People


Related:
Photo Gallery: The Boat People, Ball Park Music, Disco Nap @ The Troubadour, Brisbane – March 2010
CD Review: The Boat People – Echo Stick Guitars
CD Review: The Boat People – Soporific Single

Darren Hanlon “I Will Love You At All” – Album Review

Review: Natalie Salvo
Darren Hanlon, the musical raconteur from Gympie is back with his fourth studio album, “I Will Love You At All”. For this record, this citizen of the world wrote his songs in many exciting locations from Paris to Coonabarabran (it’s in NSW people, look it up!)

At it’s essence we’re taken on a journey with a wistful and heartfelt traveler via ten songs full of gentle longing, aching reminiscence and nostalgia. Produced by Adam Selzer (M Ward, She & Him, The Decemberists), it features musical assistance from Rachel Blumberg (Bright Eyes, M Ward, She & Him, The Decemberists); longtime collaborator, Cory Gray on keys; and the velvety, feminine vocals of Shelley Short and Alia Farah.

On Hanlon’s self-proclaimed “mature” record, we seem him again showcase his trademark, homely crafts with great skill and virtuosity. The talented wordsmith is at it again with his lyrical interplay and word games, but this time around things are a tad subtler. He still spins yarns, turning what could be the minutiae of one’s day into if not a revelation that at the very least an amusing aside you’ll want to save up for the next time you want to impress. But there’s no denying that he has toned down his cheeky side. Gone are the really strange pieces of subject matter for the more subdued folk, with perhaps even Hanlon himself realising that he’s getting a little old to be singing love songs about squash, people waving at trains and the like.
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Blue King Brown “Worldwize” Album Review

Review By Jose Eduardo Cruz

  After what has seemed like an eternity, almost four years, Blue King Brown finally drop a new album. The wait was definitely worth it because instead of one album BKB dropped two albums. Northside, a roots/reggae dancing compilation. Southside, a dub driven experience.

Recorded in the legendary Jamaican studio Tuff Gong which now houses the Bob Marley museum, this album has the genuine feel of a legitimate modern reggae album. It may have been the surroundings in which it was made or it could just be that BKB have now truly established themselves as international stars.

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PEARL “Immaculate Little White Fox” – Album Review

Review: Hannah Collins


LittleLittle Immaculate White Fox
  If you dig classic rock, and idolise the genre’s greats, you’ll find this album utterly intriguing.

Pearl Aday‘s first solo production brings with it over two decades of influence from some of rocks finest performers. She’s toured with Motley Crue, Meat Loaf, featured with Filter, hung out with Slash and jammed with Jerry Cantrell. Immaculate Little white Fox is full of grungy riffs, classic rock solos, and intricate lyricism. The shifting track listing rolls like waves and is neither stagnant nor boring. Pearls vocal ability, has been rounded and refined over the years, as she’s moved from stage hand to backup singer and finally found her place, as a stage front performer, bringing all her experience together, in her first singular application.

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The Black Keys – “Brothers” [CD Review]

Review: Natalie Salvo
This is a record review about The Black Keys. But you already knew that didn’t you? So while we’re giving you ‘helpful’ but unnecessary statements, “Brothers” is the sixth studio album from the Ohio-based blues-rock duo.

The pair has been rather busy as of late with guitarist, Dan Auerbach dropping a solo album while Patrick Carney produced the aptly titled side project, Drummer. The boys then collaborated with a bunch of rappers for the hip-hop record, Blakroc.
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