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).
Poisonous Viper Gang are a heavy as hell raw sludgey stoner-tinged punk 5-piece from Adelaide. They're a little hard to nail down style-wise, as they constantly play with a mixture of stoner, sludge, hardcore, rock and punk - but they're damn cool.
They feature a few faces that should be familiar to people hip with the Adelaide underground, including Steve (vocalist of awesome partyfunk group God God Dammit Dammit) on drums and Troy (vocalist of awesome doomstoners Hydromedusa) on guitar.
Their debut full length album is available FOR FUCKING NOTHING over at their bandcamp. You'd be a straight fool not to give it a spin.
Go download it for free, because you're heaps punx.
Endtime Revival, a rad webzine, is putting together a sick international extreme compilation to post on their blog for free download entitled "Burning Enemies/Embracing Friends".
So far the bands onboard are:
Adrift For Days
Pasadena Napalm Division
Reign of Vengeance
There's already one comp posted, entitled Hell Is War! featuring 19 bands from all over the world.
While you're at it, they are also looking for review material. The two things this blog features are free comps and reviews. If you have review material or material you would like to see on this next comp, forward it to staydown1978 (at) hotmail (dott) com.
Artwork and a track listing will be available that people can download as well as the tracks themselves. There will also be contact info for bands and labels and also info on what release the track came from.
- Bbuy their new cassette tape.
- Download their self-titled debut for free.
- Follow them on Facebook.
- Take more drugs.
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!
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 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 - 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?