AusGrind: Australian underground grindcore, punk, doom and DIY culture.
1Feb/12Off

Hydromedusa heaps cult tape release

Posted by Lachlan

Hydromedusa cassette tapeHydromedusa are a killer new doom and stoner rock band from South Australia.  They have a fancy new cassette tape out.

You should:

Hydromedusa exploded onto Australia’s stoner/doom scene in 2011 with their stunning self-titled debut album. With the CD-version of their album already sold out, Art As Catharsis is very pleased to print a limited run of 100 cassette tapes. The tapes are professionally dubbed, with DIY digitally printed artwork and inserts.

Hydromedusa's brand of blues-tinged sludge metal is marked by a psychedelic streak, dark downtempo detours into passages of heavy doom and bursts of high-energy rocking stoner tunes.

Fans of Witchcraft, Church of Misery, Space Bong, Looking Glass and Graveyard - check it out!

O)))

15Dec/11Off

Lachlan’s best of 2011

Posted by Lachlan

Eagle fucking Twin at Manning Bar. Incredible.Well, 2011 was yet another year dominated by souless, watered down music in the mainstream music industry. Bland garage/indie and horrid R&B-pop were, once again, the order of the day. Perhaps more disturbingly, some styles previously associated with underground music continued to be watered-down and repackaged into acceptable pop culture products - namely hardcore and metalcore, who have now seemingly completed their transition into music forms completely devoid of any human emotion or feeling. The post-rock scene similarly provided an endless supply of bands that sound exactly the same.

In spite of my general misanthropy towards the wider music scene, there were still some more unique gems to be had if you dug deep enough. What's more, I really felt like this was a great year for the various underground music scenes in Australia. I feel like there are more bands of more diverse styles going the DIY path, putting on great shows and releasing original, soulful music.

What more, Sydney was lucky enough to have Black Wire Records to actually support underground punk, hardcore, crust, powerviolence and grind.

Here's what I dug in 2011.

Top 5 releases of 2011

  • The Devin Townsend Band - Deconstruction: Brilliant. Possible Devin Townsend's very best.
  • YOB - Atma: If anything just for Before We Dreamed of Two and Adrift in the Ocean. An incredible doom record.
  • Bjork - Biophilia: The best Bjork release since Homogenic.
  • Graveyard - Hisingen Blues: I struggle to think of a better rock album released in the last decade.
  • La Dispute - Wildlife: An honest and genuine emotional catharsis. Honest and genuine.

Top 5 grind(ish) releases of 2011

  • The Kill - Shower of BricksThe Kill - Shower of Bricks: the perfect distillation of intense grindcore.
  • The Reverend Jesse Custer - The Reverend Jesse Custer: sludgy, raging metallic grind and hardcore.
  • Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt - Counter Transference: techy polyrhythmic, sporadic math/grind bliss.
  • IDYLLS - Amps for God / Plague Hell: furious fucking grinding metallic hardcore.
  • Wormrot - Noise: blistering and intense.

The 10 albums I couldn't stop playing all year

  • Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton - Knives Don't Have Your Back
  • Roots Manuva - Brand New Second Hand
  • YOB - Atma
  • Bohren & Der Club of Gore - Black Earth
  • Bohren & Der Club of Gore - Sunset Mission
  • Dax Riggs - Angel in the Dopesmoke (live bootleg)
  • Neil Young - Dead Man soundtrack
  • Neurosis - The Eye of Every Storm
  • Worlds End Girlfriend - Hurtbreak Wonderland
  • The Cinematic Orchestra - Every Day

The 10 Australian releases you really should have heard

  • Hydromedusa's debut albumHydromedusa - Self-titled: Adelaide stoner rock that just oozes bluesy class. (It's FREE! Get it!)
  • sleepmakeswaves - And So We Destroyed Everything: An interesting post-rock record? Well I never!
  • Pirate - Left of Mind: Fantastic Sydney instrumental prog.
  • An Emerald City - The Fourth: Technically Kiwi, but a great, cinematic album.
  • Tangled Throughts of Leaving - Deaden the Fields: These guys came outta nowhere (Perth)! Incredible progressive, piano-driven music mixed with progressive and post music.
  • Mother Mars - Fossil Fuel Blues: Perhaps Sydney's greatest stoner/desert rock band.
  • Arrowhead - Atomsmasher: Or perhaps these guys are?
  • Serious Beak - Huxwhukw: Okay it's my band, fuck you.
  • Squat Club - Corvus (remixed, remastered and re-released): Now with even more mind-bending polyrhythmic clarity!
  • Fat Guy Wears Mystic Wolf Shirt Counter - Transference

My favourite live shows of 2011

  • Portishead at Sydney Harvest Festival
  • Eagle Twin at Manning Bar
  • Gotye at Angel Place City Recital Hall
  • Kyuss at The Big Top
  • The Reverend Jesse Custer at Town Hall Hotel
  • Captain Cleanoff and Death-Cult Jock at Black Wire Records
  • Ruins, Darth Vegas, Slimey Things (Featherfest 2011) at TONE
  • Clagg and Agonhymn at The Pony
  • Space Bong, Looking Glass and Hydromedusa at The Sando

Australian grind hero of the year

  • Jack of Die Pigeon Die. Just an all around good bloke who never relents in his selfless passion to support Australian grindcore.

You disagree? Oh what a surprise! What did you guys dig this year? Was it a good year? A shit year?

12Dec/11Off

Attack of Sydney stoner rock: new albums from Arrowhead and Birdmouth

Posted by Lachlan

Arrowhead - AtomsmasherIt would seem that a duo of Sydney stoner rock bands have launched new this December. Birdmouth have released their debut Convalesce through Grindhead Records, while Arrowhead have put out their long-awaited full length Atomsmasher through Green Media.

Arrowhead - Atomsmasher: Well-produced stoner / desert rock trio bringing to mind Kyuss, Black Sabbath, Queens of the Stone Age and Monster Magnet. Take a listen over on ReverbNation or buy the sucka from Waterfront Records.

Birdmouth - Convalesce: Retro, blusey stoner rock oozing pure class. Calls to mind the likes of Down, Graveyard and Soundgarden. Take a listen over at YouTube (up on Bandcamp soon) or buy the sucka from Grindhead Records.

8Sep/11Off

5 Questions in 5 Minutes: Blastasfuk Grindcore, WeEmptyRooms and Animal House

Posted by Lachlan

Alright; a new regular feature. We sling 5 questions at a range of underground labels, distros, venues and bands to get their take on the best and worst of 2011, and their outlook on the health of underground music in Australia.

This edition features:

  • Roby of all-blasting, all-grinding Melbourne underground label Blastasfuk Grindcore (and also the fucking incredible The Kill).
  • Jem of Melbourne underground label and promoter WeEmptyRooms (also of DEAD, Inappropriate Tough Guy Behaviour and many others).
  • Joey of the Adelaide-based underground venue Animal House (who also happens to play in Hydromedusa and Prisonbitch).

5 Questions with Roby, Blastasfuk Grindcore (Melbourne)

  1. Favourite releases in 2011 so far?

    Wadge - Grindcore Lu'au on Grindcore Karaoke. Lucifer D Larynx and the Satanic Grind Dogs of Death 7" 666 EP on Must Play Fast Records.

  2. Most anticipated upcoming release?

    Wadge - Discography CD. Roskopp - Mutation Voodoo, Deformity or Disease CD.

  3. Best live show of 2011?

    Noisear and The Communion at Shea Stadium, New York.

  4. Is the outlook for underground Australian music dandy or doomed? Why?

    Doomed. Way too many trendy she males floating about. All image and fuck all good bands.

  5. Complete this sentence: _______ will save the Australian underground music scene.

    Robert Doyle will save the Australian underground music scene.

    Check out Blastasfuk!

5 Questions with Jem, WeEmptyRooms (Melbourne)

  1. Favourite releases in 2011 so far?

    Unstoppable Death Machines cassette (self released).

  2. Most anticipated upcoming release?

    Vaz - Chartreuse Bull.

  3. Best live show of 2011?

    Total Fest in Missoula, Montana, USA. In Australia - every time Wicked City play.

  4. Is the outlook for underground Australian music dandy or doomed? Why?

    The outlook is great. We have great bands and most of them know we can only do it for the love here and will never make it big. But people need to stop moving to Melbourne so the other scenes can grow too! Melbourne is not the be all and end all.

  5. Complete this sentence: _______ will save the Australian underground music scene.

    People who go to live shows will save the Australian underground music scene.

    Check out WeEmptyRooms!

5 Questions with Joey, Animal House (Adelaide)

  1. Favourite releases in 2011 so far?

    Graveyard - Hisingen Blues and Royal Headache - LP. There are clearly heaps more but this is all I can think of off the top of my head.

  2. Most anticipated upcoming release?

    Pusha T - Fear of God II and Space Bong's new album (when it's Chinese-Democracy-like extended editing stage wraps up).

  3. Best live show of 2011?

    I played show with Hydromedusa a few days after new years in the East Gippsland forests. That was one of the strangest gigs I've ever played but it was incredibly well received. Plus we were in one of the most beautiful places in Australia, drinking heavily and with good people. Seeing Earthless a few days before that in Geelong was also mind-blowing.In terms of Animal House shows: Stolen Youth's 'last show before Europe' gig was incredible. We maxed the place out with just under 250 people. Other notable gigs were Iron Lung, Fleshworld + The Zingers, Extortion.. Can't narrow it down, I've had too much fun this year.

  4. Is the outlook for underground Australian music dandy or doomed? Why?

    That question is HUGE. Music will always exist. People will always write it. Individuals that are into live music will always encourage artists to perform. It'll go up and down definitely in terms of how enjoyable it is for bands to play live and how easily it is to pull numbers. Venues in Adelaide can be hard to come by, and barely anyone really gives a fuck about organising anything for themselves.I am confident however that no amount of tumblr, destroy all lines clubs, dub step parties or inner-city noise restrictions will be able to kill off Adelaide any time soon. A lot of people are getting their shit together and making interesting things happen. This isn't just people writing cool music, it's people who are booking shows, who are endorsing the idea of watching a band on a Saturday night. I respect people who get over themselves, realise Adelaide is very small and therefore don't bother trying to acknowledge any clicky scene. Instead they support the idea a musical community, where people engage with all sorts of individuals, helping each other in sharing venues/spaces/equipment.

  5. Complete this sentence: _______ will save the Australian underground music scene.

    Giving all your money to ANIMAL HOUSE will save the Australian underground music scene.

    Check out Hydromedusa!

That's it for this edition. Plenty more to come. Running count: 1 doomed, 2 dandy.