This week we cast our eyes over new releases from Matt Skiba and the Sekrets, Best Coast, Waverley, Hot Water Music, Infinite Void, Daytrader and The Peep Tempel. See below for our thoughts on each of the releases.
MATT SKIBA AND THE SEKRETS – BABYLON – CENTURY MEDIA – AVAILABLE NOW – [Buy on CD]
I wasn’t too sure what to expect going into this one, the latest project from Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba. While it’s all written by him, he’s assisted in the studio by members of AFI and My Chemical Romance. Would it be an ‘out there’ type side project that falls in a ditch, or something special. While it has a while to go before becoming something special, it was definitely good to hear it doesn’t fall all that far from the Alkaline tree, and is for the most part a good rock album. There’s no ‘experimenting’ or going out of his depth, just an extension on the quality songwriting we know he can dish out. With his distinctive voice there is always going to be an instant familiarity about it, which probably makes it a little easier to get right into, but as you listen more, the tracks start to win you over on their own merit, and there are some real cracking numbers on offer. ‘The End Of Joy’ is an early favourite, ‘All Fall Down’ is infectious and ‘Olivia’ stands out too. There’s no tracks that have you reaching for the skip button, and it’s quite easy to fall into multiple listens. Very pleasantly surprised with this one. As I’m sure many of you will be too. Especially the Alkaline Trio fans needing a fresh dose of Skiba.
BEST COAST – THE ONLY PLACE – POP FRENZY / CO-OP – AVAILABLE NOW – [Buy on CD]
Following up their previous gem of an album wouldn’t be an easy task for this group, but they have managed to have a decent crack at it. Not as instantly infectious as ‘Crazy For You’, this one will take a little time to grow, but so far after a handful of listens, it’s getting there. Fun factor is still there even if some tracks are a little slow, while the distortion may not be as prominent, the vocals have definitely gone up another level and really drive the tracks which are a bit more mature in nature I guess when compared to the last record. If female led catchy, simple, and a little dreamy pop-rock is your go, then you’ll be all over this. Worth giving a run, especially if you dug their previous effort, the teeth may not be as sharp, but it still has bite. The two opening numbers, ‘The Only Place’ and ‘Why I Cry’ are my highlights.
WAVERLEY – CHALLENGER – INDEPENDENT – AVAILABLE NOW – [Buy on CD]
Out of Melbourne comes this four piece melodic rock outfit and their debut full length. A tight, consistent and really well sounding bunch of tracks are on offer here. They sit somewhere in the relm of fellow Melbourne names like Tiltmeter and The Statics sound wise, there’s another band I’m reminded of, but the name isn’t coming to me at this moment. ‘Who Will You Find?’ is an early highlight on first few listens with it’s instantly memorable chorus, sure to inspire a bit of crowd participation at live shows. ‘Where Were You?’ is another stand out. This genre often takes a little bit of growing, and the additional push of seeing the band live before listening to give that slightly familiar touch making it easier to get into for the first time listener. Thankfully I have caught them in action and their live energy does edge out the studio sound, as good as the production is, the visual element just adds a bit more. For a debut album this one is great quality, and hopefully will push the band into the ears of more folks and onto stages around the country. If they do come near you, they are worth checking out, and you won’t be disappointed by the album if they win you over live.
HOT WATER MUSIC – EXISTER – RISE RECORDS / SHOCK – AVAILABLE NOW – [Buy on CD or Vinyl]
I’ve tried many times in the past with this band, but it just hasn’t stuck beyond a few tracks that i dug. Their music and my earbuds just weren’t getting along. Something seemed to happen in their hiatus, because this time around sparks are beginning to fly. Slowly, with each listen I’m finding more and more to like about this album. I’m not completely sold yet, but tracks like, ‘State Of Grace’, ‘Drag My Body’, and ‘No End Left Inside’ keep dragging me back, and with that, the others continue to grow. The opener ‘Mainline’ and ‘Drown In It’ are also showing appeal. Pretty sure that with a few weeks more off spinning, it’ll become more complete. Can’t compare it to previous stuff, because it’s been years since I tried giving them a go, but the general vibe I’m seeing around from fans is that they too are digging this one. So give it a run, fan or not, you may be surprised too.
INFINITE VOID – INFINITE VOID – POISON CITY RECORDS – AVAILABLE NOW – [Buy on CD or Vinyl]
One of those albums that is just plain better to listen to, than to try and describe. At the bottom of it all, is a punk record, with elements of all sorts thrown in. The duel female, with the occasional male chime in vocal adds a sense of, for lack of a better term, pop to it. Not in the way you are probably thinking though, think kinda gloomy. The guitars and drums are the driving force in the mix with the vocals taking a back seat, but not too far back. There’s a real nice raw feel to the production, i’m guessing it’s all not too far off what they’d sound like live. I’m a little stumped really in trying to describe it properly, so just go and have a listen will ya! It’ll appeal to many, has had many repeat spins around here, and definitely scored them a slot on my ‘keen to see live’ list.
DAYTRADER – TWELVE YEARS – RISE RECORDS / SHOCK – AVAILABLE NOW – [Buy on CD]
The hype machine has been building around these guys pretty quickly in the past 12 months as they head towards this debut full length. Now that it has been unleashed there will be many throwing that next big thing sticker across them, with good reason too. This is one of those albums that I can see many people latching onto and just loving. It’s got all the right bits to appeal to the indie / 90′s type emo crowd, but enough guts to appeal to a rock fan too. The production on this one is superb, particularly on the vocals. Chuck headphones in, and you’ll pick up on a lot of the little things that really make this one great. The songs are diverse, and consistent throughout, there are plenty of hooks, and most of the tracks are instantly memorable, and very addictive. Racking up multiple listens in a row is an easy thing to do. There’s no one band you can really compare them to, they take stand out elements from a handful of bands and blend them into their own thing. Highlights, too hard to pick a few stand outs, after a couple of weeks of listening, I’m still finding new favourite parts. Stop reading about it, and just go listen to it, it’s fantastic.
THE PEEP TEMPEL – THE PEEP TEMPEL – WING SING RECORDS – AVAILABLE NOW – [Buy on CD or Vinyl]
Energetic garage rock with spirit is what these guys do. Takes a few listens for everything to fall into place, but once they do, it makes for a solid listen. There’s a nice raw / live feel about their sound and that comes across well in the production, which is always handy. A few tracks jump out quicker than others, ‘Do What You Want’ seems familiar, but I can’t quite place it, it is a highlight though. ‘Collusion’ is another favourite. 10 tracks, 33 minutes seems to fly by when listening. The kind of album that makes you want to go and see them live, because you just know it’ll be entertaining. If you dig a little frantic, fuzzy rock with some punk vibe to it, then give it a listen.
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