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CD Reviews

CD Review: This Can Hurt – Worlds Apart


This is album number two from Belguim’s This Can Hurt. The music features a seamless fusion of grunge, prog-rock, rock, and electronic/trip hop creating a smooth sound that is full of energy and atmosphere, showing off all the good bits of each style. Like many emerging rock bands coming out of Belgium there is a certain familiarity, even a kind of feeling of nostalgia for those that grew up with 90s alternative rock in the sound. At the same time there is something new and exciting which is achieve because the various sounds and styles fit together so well. 

‘Hourglass’ provides an atmospheric rock anthem sounding somewhere between Alice In Chains and the Screaming Jets. The music bustles along with great energy and urgency.

‘Worlds apart’ is a more subdued and calmer experience with a faint electronic backdrop.

‘Fate’ Is a full on rock assault. The music blasts out with great intensity driven along by roaring guitar and some screams for good measure. 

High tide’ is a speedy electro rock tune sounding like a more upbeat version of Depech Mode. 

‘Rivers run deep’ Has a smooth lounge sound that gradually builds into a blast of grunge rock anthem reminiscent of Soundgarden or the Stone Temple Pilots. 

‘Illusion’ Lifts the intensity even further taking on a heavy hard core sound that barges through with a cool trip hop backdrop. 

Some days has a soft industrial / trip hop feel with occasional blasts of full on heavy rock, the two contrasts complementing each other brilliantly. 

‘Diane’ sees things go full metal, with a solid and intense industrial sound, reminiscent of Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. 

A lot of musical ground is covered across the 12 tracks. Some of which is covered concurrently, and all of it is pulled off with exceptional flair. With Worlds Apart, This Can Hurt have produced something that ticks all the nostalgic boxes while also offering something new!

Check out This can hurt’s website to find out more!

CD Review: Jet Plane – Falls feathers


The five piece prog-rockers from  Bryansk are back with album number four! This album is heavier, darker, and more guitar orientated than the Russian outfit’s previous work. There is a much more heavy metal / hard rock feel to the music as the band thrash things out relentlessly over the 45 minute duration. At the same time, the band maintain their folky roots with he violin and Glockenspiel getting a good work out and giving the music a shape for the grungy guitars to mood around. 

Each track goes for around six minutes or longer, allowing the music he space and time to slowly evolve and and be fully realised. 

The album opens with the breezy sounds of ‘All through the day’. The music drifts along in a wintery fashion with occasional rays of light shining through.


‘Ocean’ sounds something like  crosses with My Friend the Chocolate Cake. For most part the guitars take centre stage putting on a massive heavy rocking show, with every so often they make way for the powerful violins to shine through, the different styles working together harmoniously. 

‘Wildflowers’ turns the notch up to eleven, blasting out a massive dose of metal. There are elements of Rammstein and Sonic Youth as they band explore both thrashing rage and atmospheric distortion. 

‘Morendo’ is (as far as I’m aware) the band’s first offering to include vocals. The deep opera sounds of Vladimir Zyuzko open the song up before it heads down a deep dark path. 

The album closes with the soft and beautiful, ‘Tea’ reminiscent of Mike Oldfield’s early work. The track opens with some soft spoken words before taking on a wintery journey full of cold yet vibrant musical textures. 

Jet Plane has flown a slightly altered course this time round with more heavy and rocking energy. This has led to a powerfully energetic long player that maintains their unique folky atmosphere. There are some great rocking elements that will get your head banging, balanced brilliantly with some beautiful atmospheric soundscapes. This is another great album that sees the band’s music continue to evoke and explore new ground.

Check out Jet Plane’s Facebook page to find out more!

CD Review: Tia Gostelow – Thick skin

Since popping up as one of Triple J’s Unearthed High finalists a few years ago, Tia Gostelow has graced the Australian scene with her unique brand of atmospheric indie rock. She has now put out her debut album which shows off her amazing writing over these years.

Like many debut albums, this acts as a quasi “best of” with many of her great singles from the past few years making the cut.

Included in the album is the breezy atmospheric epic that is ‘Hunger’. The music drifts along blissfully carrying a huge fug of dreamy shoegazery along the way!

There is also the latest single ‘Phone me’. This sees Tia take on a more 80s esq poppy-dancy feel in the vein of Cindy Lauper or Olivia Newton-John. The result is a colourfully tune that shows off Tia’s great musical range.

‘Stranger’ is perhaps the most laid back tune on the record. Floating along in a chilled out fashion the music creates the perfect relaxed vibe. The calm duel vocals from Tia and Lanks add further to the relaxed feel.

Vague utopia brings in a great earthy rural atmosphere that floats in and takes you somewhere far away! Tia’s gusty and beautiful vocals gives the song a create character and further add to the hazy vibe!

Towards the end of the record is a reworking of ‘State of art’. This epic soundscape still has the amazing mesmerizing powers it possessed when Tia Gostelow burst onto the Unearthed High scene!

The album finished with the bright and breezy ‘That’s what you get’. The song has a faint Go-Betweens feel to it, with a bright colourful vibe felt the whole way through. Tia’s vocals are bright and catchy and finish off the bright and bouncing sounds beautifully. This is quite different from what Ms Gostelow has put out before, but really it shows how she can take on many musical styles and make them her own!

This is a fantastic debut record that really shows off Tia Gostelow’s incredible musical ability. Each song paints a gloriously colourful soundscape full of feeling and life. Given this is the first full length, there is no doubt many more glorious sounds to come!

Check out Tia Gostelow’s website to find out more!

Designer Mutts – Virtue Signals

This is the debut full length release from the self proclaimed hottest anti-folk bedroom pop duo to come from Porpoise Spit, Australia. You may listen to this and think “this sounds a lot like Royal Chant”! That isn’t a coincidence, the line up is basically the same as that of Royal Chant. So what’s the difference? Well while Royal Chant are a loud and raving garage rock band, this release shows off  the guys’ softer side. The tracks are in most parts acoustic, taking on a sound somewhere between Elliot Smith and Bob Dylan. The music still has the rough, raw, and gritty feel that has made Royal Chant stand out over the years, it’s just a bit softer and quieter.

A major highlight is the the catchy almost electo-pop sounds of ‘I don’t want to race you’ that opens the record. The sound bounces around playfully, while Mr Spence’s soft yet gravely vocals gives it a somewhat sinister edge. Especially with lyrics such as “I don’t want to chase you but you won’t stay still!”

Also on offer is a mellowed out and atmospheric re-working on Royal Chant’s thrashing rock tune ‘Bored awake’. Wait given this is listed as a different band does this count as a cover version? Or is it a re-work as it was sung by the same person? I don’t know! But either way you should listen to it as it is one of the more creative interpretations of a past song out there!

As to be expected, there are a lot of the elements of Royal Chant re-appearing here so if you like Royal Chant you will like this record and may well consider it part of the expanded catalogue. At the same time it offers a different feel, with a much more placid and atmospheric vibe! Either way it’s good so you should listen to it!

Plus you can listen to the whole album by clicking the play button below!



Check out Designer Mutts’ Facebook page to find out more!

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