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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!

CD Reivew: The Omnific – Kismet

The Omnific are a Melbourne based three piece a consisting of 2 bass players and a drummer, creating a unique new age / rock / metal sound. This is the band’s second EP, showing off an amazingly colourful collection of sounds and atmosphere!

The duel bass guitars bring out a very unique sound that is charged with energy and atmosphere. The moving slides seamlessly from intense industrial metal sounds to calm chilled out new age sounds and a fair bit in between. The basses bring out all sorts of interesting sounds full of character and colour!

‘Proem’ opens the EP in a out new age fashion. It quickly thrusts into top gear speeding along with great energy and life. ‘Objects de vertu’ has a subtle jazzy feel to it bringing in a cool chilled out vibe.

‘Bugbear’ shows off the exceptional range the band can achieve with their bass guitars, bringing out a cool mix of rocking and electronic style sounds. The title track follows in a similar fashion putting forward a mix of metal and new age sounds sounding like Metallica remixed by Mike Oldfield.

‘Ersatz’ is a short, sharp, and intense metal tune. Going for just under tow and half minutes the track blasts through with great power! The EP closes with the Mike Oldfield-esq epic ‘Sonorous Pt 2’

This is a very cool EP with 8 action packed tunes. The band have demonstrated amazing sounds can be created with just drums and bass guitars.

Check out The Omnific’s Facebook page to find out more!

 

CD Review: 10 Years – (How to live) as ghosts

Tennessee Rockers 10 Years have returned with album number eight. With their previous record being alluded to as a swan song and the return of Brian Vodinh and Matt Wantlan, this album acts like something of a second coming for the group.

The album sees 10 Years pick up from where they left off and building on and further defining their own sound. There is a great deal of rocking energy which is matched with a calm and smooth atmospheric backdrop.

‘The messenger’ slams its way in with a barrage of loud metal backed with a deep atmospheric backdrop. The song charges along at great pace building up in energy and intensity as it thrashes through. ‘Novacaine’ is a thumping rock tune with subtle elements of Faith No More in the mix. The breathy but calm vocals give the track a cool kind of charisma that it driven along by the powerful sounds belted out.

‘Catacombs’ is a more upbeat offering, with the music moving about brightly while maintaining the tight energy.
‘Ghosts’ is a somber, metal ballad with a slower deeper sound in the vein of Tool’s softer moments.
‘Blood red sky’ is a deeper atmospheric tune that takes you out into a vast desert space! There is a certain calm yet energetic vibe that is experiences here creating an endearing experience.

‘Phantoms’ is a dark but smooth metal tune. The song charges along in a slow but steady page picking up a great slow burning roar.
‘Lucky you’ puts out some slow cold metal vibes creating an unnerving soundscape.

The album closes with the blasting fuzzy rocking sounds of ‘Insomnia’.

This is a great collection of atmospherically roaring metal tunes. 10 years have continued to put out their very own brand of metal that is full of oomph!

Check out 10 Years’ website to find out more!

CD Review: Michael Cullen and the Soul Searchers – Live @ Lazybones

Former Hardheads and Watershed frontman Michael Cullen as assembled his new Soul Searching backing band to perform this emotionally charged cinematic experience. Performed in the art deco splendour of the Lazybones Lounge in Marrickville, an inner Western suburb of Sydney, the EP features 5 lives tracks, all taken from Michael Cullen’s second solo album True Believer.

The live performances do the songs great justice, with Mr Cullen’s emotionally charged charimia being the driving force that unleashes a new sense of life and an electrifying kind of soundscape.

The set opens with the brooding (Tomatrax Top 100 winning) ‘Black dog.’ The slow and dark sounds paint the perfectly bleak soundscape that sets the scene for the gig. Mr Cullen’s movement from “spoken word” to barotone vocals gives the song a massive emotional charge.

‘Nothing special’ brings about the sad tale of loss, delivered in a sharp tongued and facetious manner showing off Michael’s great dark sense of humour.

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‘Black coffee and cigarettes’ sees country and western meet post punk. The complementing melonchollic and bleak elements interact and amplify the feelings of loss and despair.

”Believer’ brings in the signs of reflection and hope for better things. The live version brings in an extra layer of atmosphere that provides a hypnotic yet energetic trance.

The EP closes with the slow and trippy ‘I walk alone’. The slow burning and roaring guitar provides the perfect shoegaze esq hazy atmosphere that carries you too in a fug of smoke before then disappearing.

This is a great live EP that sees all tracks take on an extra layer of atmosphere and an extra shot of energy. Mr Cullen has used his subtle charisma to create an electrifying yet hypnotic show! Here’s hoping there is more touring to come!

Check out Michael Cullen’s website to find out more!

 

CD Review: Linger – tuple

 

This is the debut EP from Sydney’s Línger. With an abundance of feeling, colourful soundscapes, and vibrant atmosphere, this shows off an artist worth taking note of.

The EP shows off a vibrant collection of textures and sweet electro-pop vibes. There is a chilly earthy atmosphere felt across the tracks. This is topped off by Línger’s cold but beautiful vocals that are full of passion and feeling.

‘Avoid’ opens the album with an infusion of colourful sounds wafting about among each other creating a rich and delicate soundscape. This is topped off by Linger’s powerful vocals giving a chillingly beautiful feeling full of passion and emotion.  ‘Earthlike’ brings in a subtle electro-pop vibe that builds up energetically as the song progresses to have a heavier industrial feel. The beautiful vocals have a cold feel to them like the fog of an early winter’s morning, adding further colour to the song. ‘Seaway’ has a new-age feel to it, sounding like Robert Mills crossed with the Cranberries. There is a fresh chilled out vibe splashing across the sound like gentle waves, held together with a solid electronic tune in the background.

‘Flyon’ is a sensational new age / indie pop tune. There is some great energy exerted in a cool and chilled out manner. On top of this Linger’s beautifully powerful voice charge along giving the song immense power while also being claim and relaxing. ‘Downfall’ is a relatively stripped back and minimalist offering that delivers a beautiful yet tear-jerking close to the EP.

This is a beautiful EP showing off five heart felt songs that are full of energy and feeling providing a stunning yet chilling atmosphere from start to finish.

Check out Linger’s Facebook page to find out more!

CD Review: Rosetta – Utopioid

Genres such as “post-metal”, “prog-metal”, “experimental metal” and ‘”heavy no-wave/shoegaze prog rock” have been used to describe Rosetta’s sound. While none of these descriptions are incorrect (nothing that I may have made the last one up), they don’t fully capture the sound that is Rosetta. There is an amazing mix of heavy and soft, and light and dark, all rolled in at once. The band has the intensity of Ministry while also achieving the hazy atmosphere of Sonic Youth. Somehow they are able to mix the best of seemingly contrasting worlds to create an amazing sound that is packed with intense rage while also providing a light fuzzy vibe. The songs are all quite long with 7 of the 9 on offer going past the 6 and a half minute mark. This allows the ideas to be fully realised while in many cases the sounds developed in their own time at a steady but engaging pace.

‘Ámnion’ eases the album open, taking on a calm and collected vibe bringing out a thick hazy atmosphere reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine. The music flows along nicely in a slow but steady pace building in depth at its ease. ‘Intrapartum’ brings out the rocking out in a Mike Oldfield-esq way. There are some cool guitar riffs rocking about in a new age fashion backed by subtle charismatic vocals that act as an ambient soundtrack that guides rather than dominates the sound. As the song progresses a fug of low growling guitars emerges and floats around to become all encapsulating. ‘Neophyte Visionary’ brings  out the heavy metal sound while doing so in a placid manner. There is lots of yelling, screaming (and headbanging) while at the same time there is a thick overlaying no-wave style cloud that allows you to drift off at the same time, achieving the best of both world. ‘King ivory tower’ produces a thick blast of earsplitting metal sounds, thrashing out with great energy and intensity, achieving an epic hazy atmosphere at the same time! ‘54543’ is a beautiful instrumental, taking on a Robert Mills / new age vibe it brings out a sweet soft sound to calm the nerves a little.  ‘Hypnagogic’ throws metals out of the window and instead takes on a soft yet deep prog-rock journey. The song slowly draws you into the deep dark cave with the soft echoing vocals proving a chilling soundscape to explore. ‘Óohelet’ brings our a deep dark post-punk atmosphere, reminiscent of The Cure’s Faith days mixed with some heavy Devin Townsend-esq outbursts, creating a chilling yet compelling experience. The album closes with the soft but growling and ever evolving instumental ‘Intramortem’.

This is a phenomenal record! The band manage to capture the best bits of atmospheric soundscapes, and hard hitting heavy metal and combine them into something greater than the sum of their parts. The music evolves from soft to heavy, light to dark, and even mixes all together in a seamless evolution to create an epic journey with no dull moments. This is the ultimate album to crank up loud and absorb the fuzzy metal vibes.

Check out Rosetta’s website to find out more!

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