I Heart Hiroshima

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Aussie super punks I Heart Hiroshima are here and you better fucking listen. They're poised to take over the Australian music scene with their song 'Punks', a timely reminder that joyous punk rock's still alive and well in the sunshine state. It's already getting heavy rotation on Triple J and it's about to get a world wide audience. With 'Punks' being this weeks free Itunes download it's almost guaranteed to reach the global mainstream. Yes, I said it MAINSTREAM, is it really that nasty if the music's of such stellar quality.
The Brisbane trio don't seem all that phased by the pending fame, still relative new comers to the music scene they are releasing their debut record in August. Saying that, in the past year their have played support for Erase Errata, Deerhoof, Ratatat and Peaches. Not a bad lineup to help get the people talking.
Look out for Tuff Teef as it hits the stores, a recommended release with heaps of jealous hooks and bite. After playing support for Tilly and the Wall and the Mint Chicks during the first few weeks of August, expect I Heart Hiroshima to headline there own tour.
Punk rock that's not afraid to be silly and scratch your eyes, the way we like it best, the I Heart Hiroshima way.

I Heart Hiroshima- Punks: MP3

I Heart Hiroshima- Reckless: MP3

I Heart Hiroshima- Myspace

Happy Crayon

Sunday, July 29, 2007

“Don’t spit in my alphabet soup”

What if when you were a kindergartener you formed the bizarre premature ability to chant in unision with your best friend from the sandpit, while destroying casio synths with spades and mashing the effects keys with playdough? Confusing metaphors such as these seem to be the only way to relate the crazy reverie of Happy Crayon. Two siblings who revel in reverting back to their childlike natures to deliver an astoundingly small back catalogue, Happy Crayon is kinda mind-blowing. Like alphabet soup colluding in a muddy pool of old English dance, they have the propensity to piss you off. But to me they’re compelling.
Golden Axe-esque wave form modulations less dirty than our unrivalled local duo combine with death metal scream outros far more riveting than any rehearsed metal band, making Happy Crayon surprising and entertaining. They meld repetitive synth stabs with Coolies-esque femme shouts/chants and their occasional lapses into death metal growls are sorta reminiscent of our hero Bek, from Cortina.
Happy Crayon is actually way different to any of those just namedropped; I’m just grasping at straws here. If these members of the Mentalist Association, a small DIY label run by bored friends in Kent, England, collaborated on more songs instead of throwing sand in eachother’s eyes, I’d be the happiest kid on the block. But with a mere 93 friends on their myspazz, the band is still largely unheard of. However, given their talent for hyper, crazed and colourful music, ears around the world will hopefully take notice of these guys sooner or later.

Happy Crayon- The Horror of Birthday/Drive Thru Marriage: MP3

Happy Crayon- Myspace


Thursday, July 26, 2007

His name says it all, Lake aka Urbantramper is an environmentalist, a tree loving outdoors man who loves breathing in the fresh country air. This may or may not be the reason he's relocating to the UK very soon. It'll be like moving from a country of lush green pasture to a country underwater. But it's the music that brings us to write about Urbantramper. Music is now the main focus in his life and along with his band 10,000 Times Glorious they leave us with some great memories. It's with 10,00 Times Glorious that Urbantramper has recorded arguably his best work. The delightful pop tunes of their recent work come with an innocent child like charm, a reminder of a time when the rose buds bloomed every spring. While extremely serious about making a future in music, the songs have an enchanted quality so relaxed and peaceful.
The current line up for the live performance sees Lake accompanied by vocalist/ guitarist Eli, Joe on Bass and Griff behind the drums. The recorded version is an Urbantramper affair with friends playing support, including members of the live band. The upcoming national tour marks the end of the working relationship between Urbantramper and 10,00 Times Glorious, while they will remain good friends the UK calls for Lake and Eli. Hopefully by the end of the year New Zealand listeners can enjoy All That is Solid Melts- A Workers Album, for now visit the bands myspace, 'I Quite Like Girls' is one great pop tune.

Urbantramper- Sunsets On The Empty Carnival: MP3

Urbantramper- How Do You Have Your Tea: MP3

Urbantramper- Myspace

We Smoke Fags

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bringing the old school charm of the likes of the Sex Pistols back into the often over hyped and under delivering indie/electro scene, I’m betting We Smoke Fags, in their under whelmed, dismissive English way, don’t really give a toss. Some of their songs draw on Joy Division’s pummelling bass and squeaky guitar rhythms, while others sample Teenagers-esque sass with power-pop-metal guitar chords.
Each quest with We Smoke Fags is unique, taking the defining element of a given genre and turning it on its head, juxtaposing it with something completely different. You could just brush them off as another surprisingly catchy irreverent new wave electro punk outfit, but they’re more than that. Disco beats distorted with dirty synth are punctuated with the occasional cheesy club sample and underpinned with driving rhythms and repetitive, simple vocal breaks that are delivered in a restrained Howlin’ Pele fashion. Mixed with low quality, crackly strums, it makes for a mind-boggling pop amalgamation.
Eastenders’ angular post punk guitar and Lust Puppet’s cheesy midi samples give way to exhilarating sweet melodies about girls (yes,) and arcade bleeps. This is really fun stuff for the usual too-cool-for-school kinda crowd that their look typically adheres to, but whatever. Do we ever tire of boys with dress sense?
The Talking Heads pep on Passion For Fashion shows that these chavvy kids know where it’s at, and I’m betting they get many usually stifled indie kids dancing.
It’s clear that We Smoke Fags take many cues from their influences – contemporary and otherwise, but with their brazen attitudes and proven delivery, they can’t go wrong.
Currently on their Does It Offend You, Yeah? tour of their home turf in the UK, I’m shining my dancing shoes now in the hopes that their infectious new wave pop epidemic catches a boat down here and spits some sass on our shores ASAP.

We Smoke Fags- Lust Puppet: MP3

We Smoke Fags- Myspace

Architecture In Helsinki

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A gift came this Sunday evening. It's a new album from Architecture In Helsinki called Places Like This. I have full confidence in saying this is the most anticipated album of 2007, at least in this part of the world and I can report that it's brilliant. The crazy Australians have made another wacky album of vocal stupidity and psychotic instrumentation. You can dance, spin, jump around, nod your head and it's all part of the experience. As bands experiment with all sorts of weird and wild trickery, Architecture In Helsinki take it further than most, it will be a brave person to say this isn't an original groundbreaking record. The entire album is up on the bands myspace so click on the link below and get yourself across there. If you live in Japan you can already buy Places Like This; but for those elsewhere, Australia you can get it from July 28, Europe August 13 and the USA from August 21. It's an album to blow the music world apart, and will surely see Architecture In Helsinki loved by the music press.

Architecture In Helsinki- Hold Music: MP3

Architecture In Helsinki- Like It Or Not: MP3

Architecture In Helsinki- Myspace

The Octopus Project

Friday, July 20, 2007

Check out these multi instrumentalists from Austin, Texas. Named as one the hottest up and coming bands by several top music journalists at this years SXSW, The Octopus Project take experimental music to new uninhabited levels. On one level you get serenaded by soft harmony and gliding guitar laden pop. On a second level you get squeezed and shaken by reverberations and feedback. Going up even one more level, The Octopus Project pound your soul, reaching deep into your brain with striking synthesises and the bizarre but effective Theremin. It really must be heard to be believed.
Their soon to be released third album, as yet untitled; hears the band experimenting more than ever before. Using anything they could get their hands on the band have made one of pop musics true original albums. The studio has been used to the ultimate extreme, creating a wall of sound that stabs Phil Speckor straight in the heart. As a follow up to last years collaborative album with Black Moth Super Rainbow, it's put both bands on an equal path to fame.

The Octopus Project- I Saw The Bright Shinies: MP3

The Octopus Project- Myspace

Fulton Girls Club

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I'm not sure why Grant Gronewold calls himself Fulton Girls Club, after all that's my last name. His music is bizarre, many would say crap. Just Grant and his guitar playing and singing about nothing really at all. The opening line from his latest song 'A Bird I Never Saw' goes something like "I was so beautiful when I told my Sunday school teacher to fuck off". His music is lonely, nerdy and god damn depressing. But underneath all this messy music is a talented singer/ songwriter, one with amazing potential if only he had a little more money to simplify his sound.
His career so far has seen him self release four CD's, starting in January this year with Teeth and Air. These recordings are only available at his shows, he's given up on mail orders. Grant is a real do it yourself kind of guy, offering to play anywhere, in any town as long as he gets a bed for the night and a meal. This means he is very poor and lives of the little he makes from music. He recently posted bulletins on myspace requesting places to stay as he travels across Australia. If you like what you hear I'm sure Grant would love you to get in touch. He's coming to New Zealand in August so if you ask nicely he might come play in your town.

Fulton Girls Club- A Bird I Never Saw: MP3

Fulton Girls Club- My Skeleton Suit: MP3

Fulton Girls Club- Myspace

Victoria Bergsman/ Taken By Trees

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Former Concretes vocalist and famous for being the voice of Peter, Bjorn and John's 'Young Folks' Victoria Bergsman has branched out on her own. After calling it quits with her long time friends and going through a period of complete distaste for music, Bergsman has again found the musical spark. She calls it Taken By Trees and it's essentially music built around her voice. For those who followed her break up with the Concretes, it probably comes as a surprise to hear Bergsman so soon. Leaving the Concretes last year, she sighted burn out and a lack of desire for traveling the world moving day to day. But it was playing live that pushed her over the edge, bets are she won't by playing many solo shows for Taken By Trees.
With the Concretes releasing their first post Bergsman album recently it was inevitable they were going to be compared. Depending on how you look at it, Bergsman's departure has been a blessing for both parties. Hey Trouble has seen the Concretes release their catchiest work yet, full of instrumental hooks and magnificent story telling. Open Field, the title of Bergsman's Taken By Trees, suits her vocal style better than the pop melody of her former band. With minimal backing, it's transformed her into a folk star that sounds more 1950 than present day. After thinking we'd lost Victoria Bergsman forever, it's an absolute pleasure to have her back.

Taken By Trees- Julia: MP3

Taken By Trees- Too Young: MP3

The Concretes- Kids: MP3

Taken By Trees- Myspace

7 Day Weekend

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ask them yourself, 7 Day Weekend are basically a bunch of music fans making music for no other reason than boredom. Now we're all jealous, cose by god we'd all love to be making music this good in our down time. From Perth, Australia, 7 Day Weekend zoomed under my radar a few months back, I happened to lend my mp3 player to a friend and he quickly came back excited, "who sings 'Hot Property' cose it's awesome". For all you good souls who haven't heard 7 Day Weekend, the three female art students make some damn fine electro, new wave noise.
From what you hear and see on their myspace it's made pretty clear the name comes from their lifestyle. They really don't seem to take very seriously the fact that they could be one of Australia's hottest young acts. In fact they are as good as anything else out there; New Young Pony Club, To My Boy, no better, no worse, equal footing.

7 Day Weekend- Party Monster: MP3

7 Day Weekend- Hot Property: MP3

7 Day Weekend- Myspace

To My Boy

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Does anyone else think To My Boy sound like an electronic version of The Cure? Well I do, and I love it. Using only computer and guitar, the Liverpool duo of Sam White and Jack Snape are the latest to join the indie new rave scene. At a time when many artists are dabbling in the electronic music world, it's easy to get tired and stop listening. To My Boy however have come along at the perfect time. While we all lie down bored of it all, it suits them just fine. With a voice like Robert Smith, you can easily lie down and slowly drift to sleep. I emphasise slowly because while your body will try and rest, your brain will be dancing about your skeleton.
2007 has seen the band release their debut album Messages. While it hasn't gained massive attention it deserves a spot on your play list. It's strict computer buzz, combined with jolts of angular guitar make for the warmest cuddly electronic album this year.

To My Boy- Talk: MP3

To My Boy- Myspace

Die! Die! Die!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

It's been a strange year for Dunedin's Die! Die! Die!, first lead vocalist Andrew Wilson had a throat infection, he then broke his arm and to top it off a promotional fiasco left a bunch of English fans out in the cold. Thankfully while all this took place, some good things happened. The trio again played South by South West receiving excellent reviews, they had an extensive US tour and based themselves in the London for a short period. They are currently based in Los Angeles and have a July residency at the Silver Lake Lounge.
A few months ago the band teamed up with fellow kiwi's HDU to release a limited edition 7", featuring Die! Die! Die!'s 'Blue Skies' on one side and HDU's 'Stupormodel' on the other. Both songs hit the ground running, both making there way into the independent radio charts. Following on from 2006's magnificent Locus Weeks EP, 'Blue Skies' continues the punk legacy that sees the Dunedin sound recognised world wide.

Die! Die! Die!- Blue Skies: MP3

Die! Die! Die!- Myspace

Black Moth Super Rainbow

Thursday, July 05, 2007

This is unmistakably the craziest band I've ever posted. Just look at the name, with a name like that you'd have to expect some sort of drug infused form of psychedelia. Black Moth Super Rainbow are just that, a modern version of Animal's period Pink Floyd or Iron Butterfly on extra strong acid. But what makes BMSR so special is the fact that all this racket is made using traditional instruments. No fancy laptops or mixers will be found in the back of their tour van. The textures that come through in their music are so remarkable, it allows the band to glide through a time shamelessly leaving reality as a distant memory.
For the Pennsylvania five piece, 2007's Dandelion Gum is their third album. It sees the band exploring a more eclectic side than previously, exhibiting songs that are as obscure as they are catchy. The three years spent working on it seems to have paid off. The band have landed a tour slot supporting the equally eclectic Flaming Lips throughout September. The thought of the two together can only be described as an acid junkies dream.

Black Moth Super Rainbow- Sun Lips: MP3

Black Moth Super Rainbow- Forever Heavy: MP3

Black Moth Super Rainbow- Myspace

The Brunettes: Blog Exclusive

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The most anticipated New Zealand album of the year is not to far away. Due for release in August is Structure and Cosmetics, the latest offering from bubble gum pop's cutesy cute Brunettes. Meanwhile us kiwi's have been lucky enough to have had the band at home for a brief period, the first single 'Her Hairagami Set' has done the rounds and the band's just completed an extensive nationwide tour. However for the rest of the world, news from The Brunettes camp has been keep to a minimum. It's all because the only New Zealand band to ever sign with Subpop is gearing up for world wide domination. Starting with a leaving show in Wellington, the band then head for Australia, before embarking on a massive US tour in September.
Remaining loyal to their homeland, Structure and Cosmetics comes dressed in homegrown clothing. The album photography was provided by talented young Aucklander Milana Radojcic. Her work as a music photographer is bound to feature in many publications and exhibitions in the coming years. 'Her Hairagami Set' is the first song released from the album and features the Brunettes typical Boy/ Girl playfulness. In the past few days a video produced by Trophy Wife Productions has also appeared, it's already been called one of the best videos ever made by a prominent NZ music television journalist. On the strength of one song, it's fair to say anticipation is rife, hopefully for all sake the album is as good as this first offering.

The Brunettes- Her Hairagami Set: MP3

The Brunettes- Myspace

Milana Radojcic- Myspace


Sunday, July 01, 2007

They describe themselves as Christian Rap/ Black Metal/ Disco House. Possibly the the three weirdest genres of music to throw together but it's probably because CocoRosie don't fit into any genre. For American sister's Bianca and Sierra Casady, music is a place to mix fantasy and science fiction, creating and mixing sounds from all sorts of strange objects. It's dark, Gothic membrane creates a stunning cross over into a world of haunted towers and castles. Add in the slight vocal accent of a female American/French Dracula and the result is spectacular.
The duo's latest effort, The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn hasn't yet taken the world be storm, but it really is just a matter of time. The album is based around a journey into the underworld, where mythical creatures shape the landscape and life is a simple cerebral bliss. Living in France for most of their musical career, the sister's have matured in a environment different from many artists. This may be the catalyst for one the most amazing, inspiring albums of the year.

CocoRosie- Rainbowarriors- MP3

CocoRosie- Animals: MP3

CocoRosie- Myspace

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