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.
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
These 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.
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 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.
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
Sydney 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.
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).
I'd be hard pressed to think of a recent album more fantastically depressing, crushing and suffocating than Cough's Ritual Abuse. The good news for all of Australia is that Cough are currently on tour as part of 666 Entertainment's Doomsday Festival. Definitely one not to miss!
Sydney-siders can catch Cough this weekend at these two dates:
Doomsday Festival 2011
Saturday 15 October at Sandringham Hotel
- Cough (USA)
- Clagg (VIC)
- Pod People (ACT)
- Looking Glass (ACT)
- Mother Mars
- The Devil Rides Out
- Rituals of the Oak
Doors at 3pm, entry $30.
Facebook event: http://on.fb.me/oJQtJr
Sunday 16 October at Sandringham Hotel
- Cough (USA)
- Boonhorse (ACT) - album launch
- Arrowhead - album launch
- Adrift for Days
Doors at 3pm, entry $20.
Facebook event: http://on.fb.me/oDYaAH
One of the most positive elements of the Sydney underground music scene are the annual one-day "mini-festivals" that pop up. After a couple of successful years these festival become anticipated staples in a music-lovers diet.
Personally, there are three which I look forward to above the rest;
- 666 Entertainments' Doomsday Festival: The premier festival for Australian stoner, doom, sludge and drone.
- Grindhead Records' Slaughterfest: A nice mix of grind, metal, hardcore, stoner, sludge and whatever else takes the promoters fancy.
- Welkin & Birds Robe Collective's Progfest: The highlight of Australia's post-rock and progressive music scene.
There are certainly others. Bastardfest is trying to make a splash in the metal scene this year with dates all across the country. Devils Kitchen provided an awesome day of stoner rock and psychedelia until they decided to take a break. Birds Robe Collective's alternate fest Featherfest is also one to watch out for.
What makes these festivals so good? Simply because they represent a critical mass of quality bands and promotional resources. Sure, dozens of disjointed, poorly promoted little pub-bills fail each month, but it is these mini-festival promoters who are bringing in solid attendance records by aiming a little higher than your average pub-gig --- and the dedication is paying off.
Be sure to check these dates out;
After successful festivals in Melbourne and Canberra, 666 Entertainment's Doomsday Festival finally came to Sydney last weekend. And after all the hype it definitely didn't disappoint.
After suffering a number of venue changes (from The Bald Face Stag to The Town and Country Hotel to the Sandringham Hotel) and a minor line-up shuffle that saw Pod People and Blarke Bayer’s Black Widow pull-out in return for yet another Fattura Della Morte reformation, everything ran smoothly on the night. Ivan's work in keeping 10 bands who specialise in long, droning sets with plenty of potential to overrun their designated time slots was impressive.
Boonhorse played a solid set of catchy, bass-heavy sludge rock, and I also really enjoyed Fattura Della Morte's set - which was a first for me. My personal highlights were Space Bong's relentless droning stoner/doom in a set which was their best show within New South Wales, and - not suprisingly - Looking Glass who absolutely stole the show once again. It's awesome to have seen a band like Looking Glass gather up a solid Sydney following over the last 12 months. It is extremely well deserved.
All day I'd been hearing about this two-piece Agonhymn. They were spoken about in hushed, reverent tones - and I became really keen to check them out. However, I ran over to Brian Campeau's CD launch at The Macquarie Hotel in Surry Hills to find that show sold out; and Agonhymn finished by the time I got back to the Sando. Lame.
All in all it was a fantastic festival and definitely the best local show in recent memory. Cheers to Nathan of 666 Entertainment for organising such a great line-up and giving so many bands a well deserved platform of doom. Check out some videos of the festival below; and maybe keep an eye on our Grindhead Records YouTube channel - I'm going to start throwing up more and more shows on there. I've recently thrown up some clips from Captain Cleanoff, Space Bong, Michael Crafter, Boonhorse, Dining in Tuscany and Looking Glass up there.
Space Bong at Doomsday NSW 2009
Boonhorse - Beau Bag at Doomsday NSW 2009
Boonhorse - Flight of the Boonadactyl at Doomsday NSW 2009