Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Punk rules, Pop is cool!

Catcall first grabbed my attention when Off The Record wrote about her last year. It's taken till now for me to post on her but it comes at quite an appropriate time. Catherine Kelleher aka Catcall's debut EP Anniversary is about to be released in February and we have a wee sneak preview for you.

Kelleher takes the soft core side of hip hop, cycles it with Robynesque pop coolness and turns out a fabulous blend of ambient dancecore hip hop. It all seems so different from her early days in the punk band Kiosk, but god, WHO CARES! Her fashion style rates pretty highly as well, just go to her myspace pics to see more.

Her popularity is growing quickly and to prove this she has just played support for Crystal Castles, Dan Deacon and The Gossip during recent Australian tours. Now it's time for Catcall to prance on her own, and with Anniversary in her inside pocket bets are before long she'll be all over indie radio. 'Chicky Babe' and 'August' are from Anniversary, 'Drama and Games' is an older track but remains my favourite.

Catcall- Chicky Babe: MP3

Catcall- August: MP3

Catcall- Drama and Games: MP3

Catcall- Myspace

The Wombats

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Arctic Wombats

Well maybe that's a bit harsh... but some of you liked the Arctic Monkeys right? The Wombats are the new British hype band, and with a twang and wit somewhat similar to their Sheffield countrymen no one can ignore comparisons between the two. The Wombats' claim to music however comes from attending Paul McCartney's Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and growing up near Strawberry Fields. The band even played their early gigs at the Cavern Club. So with Beatlemania tags in the back of their T-shirts... Liverpool presents The Wombats.

Formed in 2003 after meeting at the aforementioned LIPA, Matthew Murphy and Dan Haggis knocked around for a month or two before nabbing Norwegian Tord Knudsen to play bass. Another guitarist briefly entered The Wombat den but was quickly shuffled out through lack of necessity. All this took place so long ago, so why in 2008 are we finally talking about them? The answer is because the trio never really took themselves seriously – initially a joke act, they would burst into uncontrollable screaming mid song and laugh about it backstage afterward.

It's been a long, eventful path to their current state of mind and along the way the band have adopted several different ways of performing. Ranging from a cappella intros to stand up comedy between songs, it's been wacky, weird and wonderful but now it's just jokingly serious.

After supporting both the Kaiser Chiefs and Babyshambles in 2006, the band picked up a record deal with 14th Floor Records. Finally in 2007 the band's heartfelt ambitions came true and in November they released their debut album titled A Guide To Love, Loss & Desperation. Leaving the playful a cappella days behind, Loss & Desperation's wit and intelligence brings Murphy's songwriting into the spotlight. They may not win the Mercury Prize but kids will dance and surely that counts for something.

The Wombats- Little Miss Pipedream: MP3

The Wombats- Let's Dance To Joy Division: MP3

The Wombats- Dr Suzzane Mattox PHD: MP3

The Wombats- School Uniforms: MP3

The Wombats- Myspace

Moron Says What?!?!, Bang! Bang! Eche! and The Conjurers- Live Photo Essay

Monday, January 21, 2008

Live at The Big House- A Photo Essay
Moron Says What?!?!, Bang! Bang! Eche! and The Conjurers
Saturday January 19

Fighting The Shakes

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Autistic Mayhem: Spinning Around Is Not A Hangover Cure

Fighting The Shakes have fast become one of Wellington's most popular bands, and in doing so have achieved goals far beyond any of the band members original expectations. Starting out as a four piece in 2005, Jayesh Ravla (guitars/vocals) and Chetan Parbhu (drums/vocals) quickly became disgruntled with the bands direction. After discarding much of the original material written for FTS, the pair drafted in Hadley Donaldson to play bass and started fresh.

The popularity of Fighting The Shakes quickly became apparent when several big name New Zealand bands (Die! Die! Die!, Cut Of Your Hands) personally requested they play support when touring throughout the country. For the trio who had only previously dreamed of playing with such bands it came as a great honour. But while fellow bands recognised FTS ability, the public and press ear somehow missed out. FTS actually played support in three of the top ten live gigs voted by Groove Guide magazine in 2006, however they were not mentioned once.

Next week you can witness FTS supporting top overseas act Bang! Bang! Aids!, details of the gig can be seen at the top of this post. The poster is drawn and designed by Hadley who is also one the country's leading graphic artists. He works under the name Autistk and has drawn up posters for a number of international gigs, including The Gossip, The National and The Shins.

Backing up the bands live performance is an EP titled All My Friends Are Electric. Released mid-way through 2006, the EP contains six solid tracks of bone crunching angular post punk goodness. A recommended listen for fans of Fugazi and the aforementioned Bang! Bang! Aids! and Die! Die! Die!.

Fighting The Shakes- People Would Say: MP3

Fighting The Shakes- This Is The Trick: MP3

Fighting The Shakes- Shuffle The Deck: MP3

Fighting The Shakes- Myspace

Gay Against You

Friday, January 11, 2008

Gay Against U2

Sugary-sweet powerade-pop-core Gay Against You are one of those bands that give you a mega fright whenever their songs creep on unexpectedly on your computer. And not in the usual "oh, it's some music" kinda fright, more like "OMG IT'S THE CRAZIEST MUSIC I'VE EVER HEARD!?!?!?!" type. Just listen to Tripol Shipol and you will understand; they really are just really really really really really (really) crazy.

Employing the Unicorns' cute naivety and Crystal Castles' spastic synthtastic squabbling, Gay Against You are so far from convention that they should form their own one, and label it AWESOME!

With their later material veering into the realms of more sparse and considered experimental electro, the freaky sounding duo are mixing it up even more than ever thought possible. Best about them is probably their unpredictability, followed closely by the epic intensity of their sound. So many layers of chopped-up and sped-up samples, mish-mashed with hungry vocals teetering on the brink of discordance (and sanity).

(Is it just me or do they look like they're levitating?)

Check out the MP3s below and stream their new single Glorious Dawn on Myspace. Speedcore oldie Gay Unicorn was one of the reasons I even bothered to click on them in the first place. Best speedcore-electropop this side of the universe!

Gay Against You- Triple Shipol: MP3

Gay Against You- Gay Unicorn: MP3

Gay Against You- Sooo Heat: MP3

Gay Against You- Myspace

Bang! Bang! Aids!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Dead!

Bang! Bang! Aids! are an experimental hardcore band from Melbourne, Australia. The duo will soon be rocking New Zealand, playing shows in Auckland and Wellington before heading to Camp A Low Hum in early February. Einstein caught up with Rhys via myspace and found out the bands future plans.

After several years of playing together, touring and releasing an EP in 2006 titled Tales, New Zealand will mark a stopping point for Bang! Bang! Aids!. With flourishing ambitions to explore different avenues, Bang! Bang! Aids! will be put on hold until further notice, "B!B!A! are dead after Camp. Camp and New Zealand will be our last shows" says Rhys. This may or may not explain Rhys' eagerness to play a house party in Auckland, but with the end in sight I'm sure the pair is looking to play as often as possible.

With their final show less than a month away, the pair will soon set their sights on new exciting adventures, and for Rhys that doesn't involve playing music. "I am off to China for a year to teach". But for his band mate and long time companion it means a chance to try life as a solo musician, "Hobbs is sticking around in NZ/Melbourne to party and rock solo stuff." The details of this project are yet to be revealed, but with a chance of local involvement I'm sure it won't go unnoticed.

It's recommended that you go out and support Bang! Bang! Aids! on their final tour of New Zealand. Rhys was extremely kind and generous to Einstein and we'd like to wish him all the best for his year in China.

Bang! Bang! Aids!- Pascrote: MP3

Bang! Bang! Aids!- Dead Ant Dance: MP3

Bang! Bang! Aids!- Myspace

Bang! Bang! Eche! **EXCLUSIVE**

Monday, January 07, 2008

Four to the **EXCLUSIVE** Floor

We love Bang! Bang! Eche! so much and apparently they love us. The band is currently in the studio recording songs for one or two debut EPs, the first or maybe both of which will be available at Camp A Low Hum in February. They have today released a newly-recorded track and Einstein has it here for your listening pleasure. Ema has left the band (rumours have it she's forming a Dresden Dolls covers band), so Zach has taken over vocal duty. We think he's done a wonderful job because Ema's voice was soooooo good!

We also found this wee video snippet of Bang! Bang! Eche! playing at Rockquest 2007. It is to good not to post so we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

And in a final piece of news, you can catch Bang! Bang! Eche! touring around the country in February and March...If you're lucky enough to be at The Big House party then you can see them there too. Check out the band's myspace for all the details.

Bang! Bang! Eche!- Four to the Floor: MP3

Bang! Bang! Eche!- Myspace

Princess Chelsea

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Introducing the reign of the Wolf Princess

The impossibly cute and regal Princess Chelsea, better known for her dalliances with Auckland polka* sensations Teenwolf, the keyboard player, co-singer and always best dressed Ms Chelsea is now spreading the joyous results of her solo efforts, via myspace!

Sounding sorta like if Yann Tiersen did the music for the next Wes Anderson film, it's uncertain where or how Chelsea's music was created and recorded, but the sound is definitley in keeping with the Teenwolf DIY ethos. However that Individual outlook and manner is about all the two outfits have in common. Chelsea's solo music has a certain Brunettes' recording flavour all over it, but this is most definitely a positive thing. The Beach Boys-influenced production of Positive Guy Meets Negative Man and entertaining lyrics offer a rare glimpse into the softer, more wide-eyed sounding Wolf. Even hinting at Dylanesque structure and intonation, her lyrical talent is tops.

The Princess's cute and naive sound, coupled with clickity-clicks at the end of the baroque bars of Ice Reign are addictive! This is a great addition to the Auckland scene. Hopefully she'll prove as prolific as she is talented, as the two songs offered on her myspace are real gems. Check them out now!

*not really...

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