AusGrind: Australian underground grindcore, punk, doom and DIY culture.
29Jun/12Off

7 Australian bands you should know about

Posted by Lachlan

Back in 2008 I wrote a piece called 'New bands you should know about in the Australian scene'. Since then, that piece has consistently been one of our highest traffic drivers.  So, I've resolved to update my list to tell you a little bit about the Australian bands that are rocking my world now in 2012.

Hydromedusa

Hydromedusa

These Adelaide-based stoner/doom merchants and quite simply one of the fastest rising stars in Australia's underground. They Combine incredibly classy, high-energy blues-based rock with thc-drenched, psychedelic sensabilities, and an apprenticeship from our nation's greatest doom band, Space Bong, these guys are one hell of a dynamic and versatile

unit. They can make you tap your does, wallow in drugged-out bliss, or drop you into a pit of droning despair - like a magicial amalgammation of Church of Misery, Bongzilla, and Space Bong.

Go download their debut album for free. Word is they've been working on a new one; and I'm hoping they're a staple for this years Doomsday Festival.

The Reverend Jesse Custer

The Reverend Jesse CusterThese Canberra grindpals are awesome, awesome, AWESOME. Seriously, I struggle to think of a more exciting Australian live band at this point in time. Every single time I've seen these guys play, I've been blown away -- and they just keep getting better.

The Reverend Jesse Custer mix up seething metallic hardcore, with gritty sludge, frenetic grind, feedback, fury and groove. As a band they're never sitting still. Their compositions are as intelligent as they are enjoyable. A single-tempo genre band these guys definitely are not.

Just fucking awesome. I don't feel like their recording fully does them justice, but you should check it out regardless. A new one has apparently already been put to tape.

IDYLLS

Man, has these been a buzz about these guys! I'm writing this a few days before IDYLLS hit Sydney as part of their 2-week tour of Australia. Their new album "Farewell All Joy" has been kicking peoples asses for the last few months, and I simply cannot wait to see them unleash their bizarre form of aural carnage live.

These guys play unique, furious metallic hardcore here in the vein of Dillinger Escape Plan, Agents of Abhorrence and early Converge. Awesome. Go get it.

In Trenches

In TrenchesIn Trenches play seething metallic hardcore from Melbourne. These veterans have been instrumental in leading Australia's new brand of hardcore - focused on infusing complex rhythms, post-metal, sludge and even psychedelic and blackened elements.

Their recent album Sol Obscura is a cracker. Check it out.

Killsong

And now for something completely different. These guys remind me of the multi-headed beastfuck spawn of a smokey, seedy jazz band, a rock opera, a group of sketchy gypsy circus toughs, a brilliant improvised spoken-word poet descending into madness, and a degenerate that is forced to clown for meth. Essentially they're indescribably brilliant. Their music / performance is theatric, musically impressive, comedic, and generally just mind-blowing. Absolute insanity.

Features members of Squat Club, Darth Vegas, Gauche, The Bznzz, Slimey Things, Rica Tetas and other awesome things. They've got some live bootlegs up on their Soundcloud, but their debut album should be out through Art As Catharsis a little later in the year.

Jesus Christ Posse

Jesus Christ PosseSydney old school hardcore punk rock executed brilliantly, and with a hilarious militant Christian schtick. Apparently at their last show they begun by reenacting the crucifixtion of Jesus on a giant cross, then raised their front man from the dead to start the first song.

Another one thats more of a live band, but check out the album.

Space Bong

Still the best droning doom band on the planet. Definitely up there with Yob, Iron Monkey, Eyehategod, Sunn O))), Earth and the like. They've got a new album coming out a bit

later in the year, but for now you can enjoy 2010's The Death of Utopia (though I'm not sure if 'enjoy' is the right word if we're talking one of the darkest and most depressive bands on earth).

19Aug/11Off

DOWNLOAD: Vendors Rich – Cactus

Posted by Matt

Melbourne math-metal band Vendors Rich have a new release for free download from their bandcamp, primarily unknown to me but I've listened to this stuff a couple times it's pretty good for those who dig the Dillinger Escape Plan / Robotosaurus style stuff. Mathy with some shoegaze and sludge thrown in for good measure. A bunch of kids that are worth keeping an eye on in the future for some seriously good and fresh music.

Download for free here.

I found their Facebook too.

2Aug/11Off

REVIEW: Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt – Counter/Transference

Posted by Lachlan

Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt - Counter/TransferenceI would argue that a lot of the 'staple'/well-established grind bands in Australia are in a period of stagnation. Nobody is doing much. Sure, Fuck I'm Dead and Blood Duster might get together for the occasional show, but those bands pretty much in a period of sterility, playing old songs they've played a thousand times before. Who is breaking new ground and injecting new energy into the Australian grind scene? Who is touring relentlessly? Who is turning heads whenever they go?

Well one such band is Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt; an energetic, frenetic and chaotic mathy/grindy three piece from the coast of New South Wales. I've kept a keen eye on the band since their live debut in early 2011. Since then they have quite easily become my new favourite Australian grind group.

Their style combines angular, dissonant guitar chords with sharp, clinically precise, jazz-influenced drumming and scorching mid-range vocals. They bring to mind the intensity of Discordance Axis and Agents of Abhorrence, the sporadicness of Calculating-era Dillinger Escape Plan, the rawness of early Converge and Pig Destroyer and the technical absurdity of Cephalic Carnage.

In a word; Counter/Transference represents everything I want out of a grind album; it's fast, frenetic, chaotic and dissonant. For a three-piece (guitars, drums, vocals) the sound is thick, natural and full. The drum sound is open and organic. There is certainly no need for overcompensation via compression and beat-replacement here.

The lyrics are also another highlight. The vocalist (unnamed it would seem on this release) earns his keep as a psychologist. With his lyrics each song providse a fantastic snapshot of emotional wreckage, confusion and mental struggle. The lyrics on Counter/Transference represent a real, actual exorcism of emotion rather than your average garbed gore/horror fucking nonsense gimmick --- real and honest catharsis as opposed to the absurd, insulting caricature offered up by your favourite death metal group. The vocals themselves are delivered with intensity to match that emotion; offering some bizarre mix of Dimitri Minakakis, J.R. Hayes and some unnamed hardcore bloker. Neither the lyrics nor the deliver ring hollow.

Let's review; Awesome sporadic, chaotic and intense songwriting? Check. Incredible drumming? Check. Dissonant, inventive guitar work? Check. Cool vocals? Check. Intense lyrics? Check. Excellent production? Check (and I would expect nothing less from the inimitable Tim Carr of 301 Studios). Great packaging and artwork? Check. Price tag? A steal at $10.

Well, welcome to my most enjoyed grind-related in a long, long time. Fucking buy it. This totally eclipses Gridlink's latest offering, and I don't see this one being topped anytime soon; not by The Kill and not by Agents of Abhorrence. Spend all the time you want pining for your favourite renown grind hobbyist group to get its shit together for an annual gig so that you can hang out with the boys like the old days - but these guys are touring constantly, writing new grind tunes and absolutely shredding anything else I've heard from even the international grindcore scene in recent years.

Dillinger? Watered down. Gridlink? Rehash. In 2011 the Fatwolf is where it's at.

21Apr/11Off

Sad news; Five Star Prison Cell call it a day

Posted by Lachlan

Some very sad news to share; after 7 years Melbourne's Five Star Prison Cell have decided to call it a day.

While it is indeed very sad to hear that this fantastic group is breaking up off the back of their strongest and most diverse release (their third full-length 'MATRIARCH') it seems all involved are at least parting on amiable terms.

Five Star Prison Cell are one of those bands who never received the following, respect and recognition that their immense talents, dedication and creativity deserved. They should be known as Australia's awesome answer to early-Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah and Botch. The sad fact is, it was exactly because of their creativity and originality that they never achieved the success that should have come to them. They did not fit into any specifics 'scene' - they had too many clean vocals for the metalheads (despite being heavier and more chaotic than any death metal or grind band), too metal for the hardcore faux-tech kids (and their watered down psuedo-Meshuggah ripoff breakdowns) and too technical for anyone who wasn't at least a reasonably accomplished musician to really comprehend. They made your average music-jerk feel stupiod, uncomfortable and eager to find any reason to hate them.

Five Star Prison Cell were a band that gave me faith in pursuing my own music with Ebolie and Serious Beak. We viewed them as one of the only kindred-spirits in the Australian music scene. They helped drive us on in an attempt to push sonic boundaries even harder.

On their final tour for MATRIARCH (specifically their show at The Empire Hotel with Adrift for Days) their performances were mindblowing and impeccably tight. It is not a simple thing to play the music they write as well as they do - it takes A LOT of work and practice. Those polyrhythmic nightmares are far more difficult to nail than your favourite sweep-picking death metal jerkoff. I'm glad I got to fully enjoy their music on those few recent occasions.

I won't keep continuing on. I just want to say I have immense respect for all four members of Five Star Prison Cell personally and artistically. I hope they have made the right choice for themselves and I (and many others) would be disappointed if we did not see all the members continuing to express themselves through new musical projects.

Thanks for all the awesome albums and shows guys, you will most certainly be missed. Your absence will leave a hole in Australia's underground music scene that will never be filled.

<3 Lachlan.

Five Star Prison Cell - M (live)

Five Star Prison Cell - I Curse This Vessel

Five Star Prison Cell - Vexed (for reasons torn)

Five Star Prison Cell - Airsharks (at Hot Damn!)

8Mar/11Off

March 20: Michael Crafter, Battle Pope, FGWMWS, Sweet Teeth at Black Wire Records

Posted by Lachlan

The raw sexual POPEtency of Battle PopeWith the number of pub venues continuing to dwindle, it is often Australia’s underground, fringe and niche artists that find themselves on the wrong end of the budget axe. In these times the importance of DIY / independent performance spaces freed from excessive overheads are becoming increasingly important to maintain the extremely diverse, experimental music scenes Australia boasts so strongly.

Black Wire Records are quite simply, one of the only record stores across this sparse nation of ours that still actively supports Australia’s burgeoning underground music scene. For the last 12 months this Annandale-based store has put on at least three in-store gigs every single week, giving a space for Sydney indie, DIY, punk, crust, grind, noise, rock, metal and hardcore bands to perform.

Sunday March 20 - Black Wire Records
Michael Crafter
Battle Pope
Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt
Sweet Teeth
McLovin

Michael Crafter rippin it sickkkkk with 2 piece posviolencegrindCome March 20, Black Wire Records will be hosting an all-ages in-store showcase of some of Sydney’s fastest and most dissonant underground groups – all for a mere $5. The evenings headliners are Dee Why’s positive powerviolence duo Michael Crafter, who provide an extremely unique blast of grinding punk rock mixed with a bizarrely entertaining, almost naïve sense of humour.

Meanwhile Battle Pope aggressively wield their pious brand of hyper-sexualised all-swinging, all-blasting mix of sludge/grind like a Paladin would wield his blessed sword. Then, Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt offer up short bursts of jazz-influenced dissonant intensity bringing to mind Calculating Infinity-era Dillinger Escape Plan with touches of Converge and The Locust.

The afternoon opens up with obnoxious powerpop trio Sweet Teeth and young thrashing punkers McLovin. It all kicks off at 3pm on March 20. BYOB. All ages.

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=111659722242915

March 20 at Black Wire Records: Michael Crafter and Battle Pope

13Apr/10Off

Five Star Prison Cell’s new album ‘M A T R I A R C H’ out May 18!

Posted by Lachlan

Five Star Prison Cell's M A T R I A C HFive Star Prison Cell are finally set to release their follow up to 2007's Slaves of Virgo. Entitled M A T R I A R C H, the album is to be released via RIOT! and distributed through Warner Music from May 18, 2010.

M A T R I A R C H (god that's annoying to type) was produced by Forrester Savell, who has worked previously with Karnivool, Helmet, Human Nature, Mammal and apparently even From the Ashes. Artwork duties are to be handled by Seldon Hunt (Neurosis, Isis, Candiria).

Can't wait to get my hands on this one. These dudes are insanely chaotic - not to mention creative, heavy and above all inhumanly fucking tight. Think Meshuggah meets early The Dillinger Escape Plan and Fantomas. IE: fucking intense. Five Star have been Ebolie's favourite Australian metal band for some time with good reason - though they never receive the credit they deserve as they refuse to produce easily-accessible or easily-categorizable music. They leave your average metalhead absolutely bewildered, which is yet another reason why I dig them.

In a related matter, Five Star Prison Cell are apparently playing in Sydney on the 18th of June with Serious Beak - the new project of Lachlan, Gene and Tim of Ebolie.

Five Star Prison Cell - M (live at the Arthouse in 2007)

http://www.myspace.com/fivestarprisoncell


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