David’s back on the hoops with a mighty entry. It’s all good so live n learn people, this is my favourite David blog yet.
I reckon Red Red Krovvy and NUN are responsible for the best recent (and impending) releases of late. I see both projects as two fantastic and very similar bands despite being quite stylistically different. They meet by way of their sheer musical intensity and the projection of that intensity. A large part of this intensity is manifest in the live presence of respective band members Ash Wyatt and Jenny Branagan. Both excellent vocalists, Wyatt and Branagan channel the punk/synthpunk force of both projects in a captivating manner. The skill of Wyatt as a vocalist is compounded by RRK’s Ben Warnock and Adam Ritchie’s extremely well honed and loud playing, much like Tom Hardisty, Steven Harris and Hugh Young from NUN meticulously craft and sustain a hypnotic and pummelling synth drone which perfectly complements Branagans vocals. Red Red Krovvy’s debut album is out now via Perth label Helta Skelta, and NUN’s album will be out in the next few months – following an earlier release of new single** ‘Can’t Chain’.**
Given that both bands perform live fairly irregularly, in RRK’s case primarily due to the fact that most members live in different cities and are involved in different projects, make sure to catch both them live next time you see a show pop up, hands down two of the best Australian acts out there. Definitely also check out Vacuum another project Branagan is involved in, if they make another live appearance soon.
Older masters of live musical intensity, feedtime, have just released their first new single in 20 years. ‘Any Good Thing’ sounds like it was recorded inside the exhaust pipe of a 1982 Triumph and vocalist Rick Johnson sounds like he has been inhaling exhaust fumes from the same motorbike since the bands inception in 1979. It’s as gravely and heavy as ever, perhaps fitting in most similarly with their 1989 Butch Vig produced album ‘suction’, and testament to their status as one of the greatest bands to emerge from the Australian underground. Being lucky enough to see feedtime live twice in the last 5 years, once at the NSC and once at the Opera House, two VERY different venues – I can’t wait to catch them again as they are pretty much unparalleled live in terms of sheer audible force.
Another recent release I’m really excited about is Shyness from RIN’s own Angie. I think its Angies best – and most different – work to date. I love the sound of the recording and the minimalist feel of the piano and acoustic guitar on tracks. For some reason, in a good way, the whole album reminds me of Sonic Youth’s beautifully crafted piano led gem on Daydream Nation,** Providence, combined with Swell Maps’ melancholic and introspective track **A Raincoats Room. Angie will be playing a few shows around Sydney soon and I can’t wait to hear what these new tracks sound like live.
Kelley Stoltz is a late discovery of mine who has a bit of a reputation for really nicely recorded albums, not dissimilar in feeling to Angie’s Shyness. The San Francisco based solo singer songwriters 2001 album Antique Glow worth a listen if you’d like to hear a really well self-recorded/produced psych pop release that kinda sounds like Olivia Tremor Control and Syd Barrett.
Another embarrassingly late discovery of mine has been Boomgates, the fantastic project which involved Eddy Current/Dick Diver/Twerps members – been really hoping they might record something again some day, just like I’ve been really hoping Reverend Jemima from the Holy Soul will pursue more of his Beefheart/Zappa style solo project stuff.