Firstly, yes the band's name is in fact An Horse, and I am well aware of the frustrations behind the name and when you try to pronounce it out loud, believe me. But that aside this Brisbane duo have been creating quite a stir at the moment, from what I've witnessed anyway. They seem to have just literally come out of nowhere and within a short period of time have people talking around the world. This of course is from the help of American sister duo Tegan And Sara and their generosity of giving the band the support slot as the girls tour America. An Horse are most definitely something unique, comparing to other Australian acts that is. Their sound is exuberant, out of place, but delivered incredibly well. There are hints of familiarities within various songs on the band's debut EP, 'Not Really Scared', with influences ranging from Sleater-Kinney to Rilo Kiley, and even Australian long-time running acts like Magic Dirt and Something For Kate shining through here and there. This doesn't make the listening to the band less enjoyable, it actually turns it into curiosity for the strides they take in getting their sound is something to envy. They blend everything really well and they resurrect the old grunge sound to much delight. This is a band well worth keeping an eye on because there's no doubting that they will only continue to rise.
I know here at Off The Record we do like to keep our main focus on up-and-coming artists, but I think once in a while it's ok to take a trip back to veteran band (of this modern era anyway), and who better than The Black Keys. I've been a fan of the band now ever since the 'Thickfreakness' days, but I don't think I became a real solid hardcore fan up until my ears first took in the band's break-in single '10AM Automatic', which of course appeared on the critically acclaimed album, 'Rubber Factory'. It's now many years later and The Black Keys have returned with their fifth album, 'Attack And Release'. I think by now everyone knows the back-story to this release and how Dangermouse became involved, but god he didn't just have a minor involvement in this project. Dangermouse managed to transform the band without actually transforming them at all, if that makes sense at all. The whole album is covered with the familiar soundings of the band, but there are inklings just here and there that signify the groups eagerness to explore their abilities and play at a whole new level, which is absolutely brilliant to listen too. First single, 'Strange Times', is a gem of a song and probably the most upbeat the band has been in their career. There are plenty of stunning tracks to choose from in this release, and if anything, 'Attack And Release' further establishes the band has one of the most unique garage-rock bands around.
By now, I'm sure most Australian's would be familiar with Sydney based act, Teenagersintokyo, and would be well aware that what they do and make is something to admire and envy. The group are about to descend into unknown territories as they embark on a mini world tour, taking in places like Germany and the UK. I think it's brilliant that they are getting the well-deserved attention from overseas, and they are now another Australian act to take the world on. Like many recent Australian acts before them, there's no doubting whatsoever that this won't be a once off thing for the group. With their debut self-titled EP being released overseas, the group managed to take some time out and compile some recent loved songs.
ALL MEMBERS OF TEENAGERSINTOKYO'S 5 LOVED SONGS AT THE MOMENT.
RUDY'S TRACK: Ben Frost Theory Of Machines Ben is an Aussie living in Iceland. He has this amazing ability to create these strong slow constant changes, to the point where before you notice, the song has gone from warming your heart to making you ears bleed. This song knocks me flat. I had the honour of watching him work while he co-produced the 2nd Gelbison record 'See The World'.
SAM'S TRACK: Ebony Bones We Know All About You This track is off the chain. She used to be a British soap star and now writes, produces and plays all the instruments on her tracks. Someone told me this was co-produced with the dude for Liquid Liquid, but that could be made up. In any case I love it.
SOPHIE'S TRACK: Gang Of Four What We All Want It's just one of those songs that drives along and as soon as it finishes you feel like you haven't heard everything in it and you want more so you put it back on again and again and again.
MISKA'S TRACK Kano Another Life A long time ago a friend gave me a mixed cd with this song on it. Kano is made up of Italian-based musicians who kinda ushered in Italo-disco back in the late 1970s. One of my favourite synth lines ever and such a ridiculously infectious song. Listening to it always brings back lovely memories.
LINDA'S TRACK By The Fireside Moon Lake By The Fireside AKA Daniel Lea, a solo London artist. This song is from the album 'The Great Hartford Fire', and the whole record is about this mysterious fire that happened at a huge circus in Hartford, Connecticut in 1944. So the whole album is telling this horrible, colourful story. ''Moon Lake' is told from the perspective of the guy that supposedly started the fire, after having dreams that an Indian man riding a flaming horse told him to. I love the husky voice and the dark guitars.
As much as I really, really, honest to god don't want to say this, Kes Band is Australia's very own version of Destroyer. I didn't want to say it, but I can't escape it and I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks this. But! This is not a bad thing, in fact it's something quite warm and welcoming. It's excellent to hear an Australian artist taking a bit of a different approach to that of other's at the moment. So, when receiving the band's latest self-titled album I was a little overcome and in a very joyous emotion for I was very familiar with the single 'Owner Has Control' and I guess in some anticipation to hear what else the group had up their sleeves. It's not a disappointment either; although there are only nine tracks featured on the cd, it's the lengthy factor that each song has that makes this release such a happy listen. It's an emotion player, it sort of messes with your mind. It leaves me confused for Ii have no idea how I'm suppose to react to these songs. Their tragic, but there adorable and I know that seems wrong, but this just happens. It really is something worthwhile, just for the enjoyment pleasure alone. I couldn't recommend a local talent more at the moment.
Everybody knows them. Everybody loves them. They are of course one of Australia's best grown talent, The Presets. Their back, for those of you who have been living under a rock, and boy are they just that. It's been three long excruciating years since the release of the band's debut album, Beams, and I'm sure I'm not the only one in saying that it was a wait well worth it. Apocalypso is the name of the new album, and it picks up from where Beams left off. Kicking And Screaming is possibly one of the best album opener's since, well since Steamworks. It just has everything that Presets fans will be familiar, but that little bit more. This time around Jules and Kim have gone more melodic and less sing-along, which is really quite something to hear. It's great to see the band are looking to explore their sound and push their boundaries a little. It's worked off a charm, My People sounds just like an anthem should sound, This Boy's In Love couldn't be more of a perfect second single, and the filmclip that accompanies it is really something else, but I think one of the stand-outs, and mainly for it's obscurity and out of place-ness (and the cheesy lyrics), would have to be Yippiyo Ay. This album is phenomenal, there's really no other way to put it. Not only have the band pleased just about everyone of their hardcore, but there's no doubting whatsoever that their going to attract a whole new audience. Whether or not that's a good thing, only time will tell.
I'm really loving this band at the moment, just everything about them I'm really drawn too. Their whole style, attitude, and their way of going about things is such a rare thing to see these days. And what makes it better, they make some of the most unique and interesting music my ears have laid upon. I think what these guys are doing is as close to the true definition of "nu-rave" as the Klaxons or any others will ever get too. Recently the band's debut album, 'Beat Pyramid', saw it's release down here in Australia and from all accounts it's been receiving some really great reviews. If there's one album from this year that I would have to recommend listening too, this album would come close. Oh! And do I smell a Splendour In The Grass rumour?
I spoke to lead-singer, and all round crazy guy Jack Barnett last week and he was more then happy to compile a list of his 5 favorite songs right then and there for the website, which was extremely generous of him. There's some real crackers in this playlist.
JACK BARNETT of THESE NEW PURITANS 5 SONGS ON ROTATION.
Movado On The Rock His birthday party last year got raided by the Jamaican police and soldiers in helicopters. So he made this song; sort of angelic neo-classical dancehall. Light and I always like cheesy MIDI brass sounds in dancehall.
Crystal Castles Tell Me What To Swallow The last song on their album. It sounds like My Bloody Valentine put through an SU-10.
Brian Wilson Smart Girls In the late 80's the demented Brian Wilson started making a hip-hop album. You can get this song on the internet everywhere.
RZA Handwriting On The Wall RZA's solo albums are really good. I don't know if it's his limitations that make his piano playing so good. He also made a song for a Nike advert that was good and operatic.
I recently had the enjoyable pleasure of witnessing one of Australia's finest two piece act, The Mess Hall, for the first time in action on stage a few nights ago. I have to admit I went into the show without a lot of expectations for the band, mainly because I was more excited about catching their support act (and one of my favorite bands), The Scare, but that's moving off topic now. They surprised me, they really had me from start to finish, opening up with with possibly the best opening track known to mankind, 'Diddley', and closing with 'Disco 2'. Watching the band in full flight was amazing, with Cec Condon going hammer and tongs at his drum-kit and Jed Kurzel swaying and moving about with the music, and just going off into his own little world, it was really something that has to be witnessed. I think what made the show that little more enjoyable was the fact that there was maybe 20 or 30 people there, and it gave me the opportunity to meet and greet all the bands who were playing and see some familiar faces.
I think The Mess Hall really had me from the very beginning of their career. I remember hearing 'Lock And Load' for the first time and absolutely loving that (and still do). It was then their debut album, 'Notes From The Ceiling', that was just the sealer. It did everything for me, and I'm a real sucker for a good drummer, and the beats they manage to wangle within their music has me incredibly jealous. Last years follow up release, 'Devils Elbow', saw the band rack up awards, win over new fans, and prove that their definitely not going to stick to the one sound. The band are still on tour supporting their new single 'The Pulse' and have a handful of dates remaining for that. Those who are seeing the Foo Fighters at the end of the month will gain an extra treat, for The Mess Hall will be supporting on all dates.
There's just something about Cut Copy that causes this great diversion between people, you're either very much in love with with this Melbourne band is doing or you just completely despise it and don't care much for it at all. Me? I'm a fan, I wouldn't say a die-hard fan like some people I've met over the years, but I do appreciate the work that their masterful minds can conjure up. The anticipation leading up to the release of 'In Ghost Colours' was intense, for me anyway. I went and bought the album on the day of it's release, and it came with the sleek slip case and a nice library bag to go with it (maybe I am a die-hard fan?) and I must say, the 6 month wait was well worth it. The album is like a major event, you go into it with high expectations when you know you shouldn't be thinking, but then you come out having realised that the show reached your expectations, but doubled it. There's not a single bad track on this release, and I really have to hand it to the guys. They just can't seem to put a foot wrong and I think the world couldn't agree more.
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please contact either one of us and we will be happy to take it down ASAP.