Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 TOP TEN: AUSSIE LPs

BITCH PREFECT - BIG TIME LP (Bedroom Sucks)
This record is great, because it's reduced on the essentials, so don't expect something you haven't heart before. After a few spins you'll realise the quality of Bitch Prefect's well written songs, but it's definitely not that kind of music, that works after the first listening. Made with super simple, but perfect drum beats, discreet and warm melodies and lyrics with it's very own sense of humor. "Big Time" shows influences from 60s folk-pop to the early 80s Christchurch sound and indie comparable to other Bedroom Sucks bands like Peak Twins or Scott & Charlenes Wedding. Great stuff! (Listen to it here)

BITS OF SHIT - CUT SLEEVES LP (Homeless)
Debut full lenght by this amazing new band. Bits Of Shit combine classic 70s Aussie punk a la Razar, Psycho Surgeons or Thought Criminals, with the proto-hardcore sound of early Black Flag or The Dicks recordings including Greg Ginn like guitar squeaks. You can also hear some links to more dissonant music like The Minutemen and weird SST bands in general. On top of that Bits Of Shit have some really amazing shouted vocals with their very own characterizing sound. "Cut Sleeves" is definitely one of this years best classic punkrock records! (Listen to it here)

BLANK REALM - GO EASY LP (Siltbreeze)
"Heatless Ark", their last full lenght captured Blank Realm's experimental and electronic side. On "Go Easy" they return to instrumental music and more typical song structres. But they've remained parts, built with abstract sounds and this chaotic side is still a big part of their attraction. Their songs are rest upon post-punk, psychedelic pop and classic rock. Blank Realm find a good balance between their psychedelic side and more catchy pop approach, that's why "Go Easy" features some of their best songs ever. (Listen to it here)

BOOMGATES - DOUBLE NATURAL LP (Bedroom Sucks)
After a bunch of 7" releases over the last years, this is finally Boomgates first full lenght release. Boomgats take the modern Aussie garage sound, we know from bands like Eddie Current Suppression Ring or Total Control, and combine it with early 90s indierock and some hints of Velvet Undergrounds psychedelic-pop. The result are well written songs with great melodies and a warm sound, affected by the great mix of male (Brendan Huntle from Eddie Current Suppressing Ring) and female vocals. This is the soundtrack for the next summer. (Listen to it here)

HOLY BALM - IT'S YOU LP (Not Not Fun)
Debut full lenght by one of Australia's hottest current acts. Holy Balm is a three-piece band from Sydney, reviving the minimal wave, synth-pop sound of the 80s and dance music from the 90s and mxing it with their very own fresh sound. "It's you" offers dance songs with heavy pounding beats, minimal, but super catchy syntheziser melodiess and great female vocals. "Favourite Sweater" is probably the most memorable track. It should be added to the playlist for your next home party. (Listen to it here)

MAD NANNA - I MADE BLOOD BETTER LP (Negative Guestlist)
This is the vinyl realese of their tape from last year. Mad Nanna sound like a band, that needs no rehearsal rooms. Instead of that they seem to record their music while jamming with a raw guess of what they are doing. Some tracks on "I Made Blood Better" were recorded live and there's one song, where you can hear talks in the audiance. But the band doesn't care and  keeps on playing their monotone, simple folk-rock songs with some links to the Christchurch sound of the early 80s. This is probably the best Negative Guestlist release so far. (Listen to it here

PEAK TWINS / SCOTT & CHARLENE'S WEDDING - SPLIT LP (Night People / Bedroom Sucks)
Finally a follow up release to Scott & Charlene's Wedding much tought after "Para Vista Social Club" debut full lenght back from 2010 and the five tracks from this split LP are definetily their best so far. Not many bands play such a fresh kind of music. They are combining the best parts of Pavement, The Wipers and Velvet Underground to create there very own guitar-oriented melodic tunes. The lyrics deal wih story's taken from the daily life, but they're smart with their very own charm. The Peak Twins side is the debut release by this duo and of course it's hard to top Scott & Charlene's Wedding, but it's great stuff as well: Some kind of moody, dark 60s pop with springy guitars and great gnarly sustained vocals. The "needle and pins" cover is needles for my taste, but the other 5 tracks are all brilliant. (Listen to it here)

SKY NEEDLE - RAVE CAVE LP (Negative Guestlist)
This is weird music. Actually I'm nut sure, which kind of instruments they play. I think most sounds were not made with regular instruments, but certainly it sounds strange: there are no real drums, only a rythm created with some pieces of metal, I can spot something like wind instruments and there's a sound comparabel to a banjo. On top of that there's a mysterious, female singing with many variations. All sounds together produce a very own kind of folk music. But Sky Needle's musical arrangements are not only inspiring and one-of-a-kind, they also sound great. (Listen to it here)

UV RACE - RACISM LP (In The Red)
The cover art looks awful, but that's the only negative aspect of Melbourne's UV Race second regular full lenght. "Racism" combines their Swell Maps influenced uk postpunk sound from their early 7"s and demotape with some hints of krautrock and psychedelic pop. There's one great contrast to most other records: it captures the sound of a band, writing songs while jamming for hours in their rehearsal room. At least that's how their tunes sound like. I haven't been too much into their "Homo" LP from 2010, but this one's really amazing. (Listen to it here)
    
WOOLLEN KITS - S/T LP (R.I.P. Society)
After two amazing 7"s for R.I.P. Society and Periodic Collective this is the first full lenght by this Melbourne based three-piece. Woollen Kits music is grounded in 60s garage, but there's a lot of pop and some hints of postpunk added for good measure. The songs are heavily guitar oriented and within their monotony, you'll find great melodic hooks. The vocals are very deep, gnarly and untypical for this kind of music, but they are a big part of Woolen Kits charm. Reminds of early Televison Personalities and Cheater Slicks, even it's their very own unique style of garage-pop. Awesome! (Listen to it here)