The Guardian just did a roundup of new Australian bands, failing to mention The Frowning Clouds or Clouds/Ausmuteants side project Hierophants. They have a new single out on Italian label Goodbye Boozy called “Nothing Neu” which mixes Spencer Davis Group with Neu! Also out on the same label is the Clouds’ first single off of the new album. “Beetle Bird” is coupled with a remix by Rhys and Josh from The Horrors.
Posts Tagged Anti Fade
If you’re a garage head these would have been the two most anticipated releases of the year. Since bursting out of a Melbourne suburb in 2009 with their Lovin’ You EP, they’ve practically spawned a whole scene of garage and punk groups inspired by them and Straight Arrows. The Frowning Clouds have now found a home on Anti Fade, run by the people behind Living Eyes (one of those very bands). Still represented by Saturno in Europe, who have helped them sway a new continent with only two brief visits. And a fantastic tour tape to boot, that I wrote about earlier and which features in my recent list of 2013’s best singles and eps. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Whereabouts ended up on my list of the best 15 albums, which I will be posting soon too. Because although the Gospel Sound From the Church of Scientology cassette didn’t show much progression from their ’65 revival sound of Listen Closelier, (except some ventures into ’66 sounds, like The Mods’ “Days Mind the Time”), this album is a completely different beast. While recent single “Propellers” is included here, neither that nor the preceding “All Night Long” hinted at the direction they would be taking here. This 13-track album is an ode to the psychedlic era Kinks and the folk-rock sounds of 1968. Without churning out catchy pop songs, they achieve the same success Woods did on their latest album, via quirky song structures, groovy bass lines and far-out 12-string sounds (check out the ending of first track “All Angles” for example). “Into the Ground” and “Dreamtiming” are among the most beautiful electric folk songs of the year. And on “3 O’Clock Habit”, “Beetle Bird” and “Product of the Peanut Butter Company” they could have been channeling Peanut Butter…. Conspiracy. But they’re at their absolute best when they are just Frowning Clouds: “Mayan Calender Girl”, “Much Too Much Too Soon” and “Heaps Deep” are unique and memorable songs in their own right. And still they’re not afraid to break out a simple braindead riff like that of “Human Being, Human Doing, Human Going”. Hear it on spotify
It’s true, The Higher State are here with their best album so far, aptly titled just The Higher State. Unassumingly packaged and presented, this masterpiece sounds like it could have been recorded in a casual 10-day session just like Younger Than Yesterday. Marty’s cut his hair, Paul Messis has come in on bass, no paisley shirts on the cover. As a band they’ve reached an age at which style and artifice is less important than just being yourselves. “Look here comes another trend, now you look just like your friends” to quote the album’s closing track “Try Slowing Down”. Even though the more psychedelic precursor Freakout At the Gallery was great, it’s this equally balanced mix of 12-string folk-rock and seething fuzz leads that they do best. With two razorsharp singles already released this year, only “Potentially (Everyone Is Your Enemy)” is included here, leaving you with 11 new songs that together make up the strongest material Marty and Mole have released since The Mystreated’s classic LP Looking Right Through (that, believe it or not, turns 20 years old next year). Perhaps it’s Messis who has re-ignited that spark, or maybe it’s the comfortable setting of their own Folkstone studio that just makes these songs come together naturally. Each of them so strong it’s impossible to pick a favourite. Hear it here, or get it from 13 O’Clock, along with their newest 45 “I Just Pretend”.
Finally, there’s the New Centre of the Universe #2 from Anti Fade. The first one was one of the central comps of 2012, and Anti Fade also have some other releases from this year that are worth writing about, so keep an eye out. But this new tape (this time it’s also available on CD!!) features local acts like The Stevens, Housewives, The Sulphur Lights, Gooch Palms, Sewers and some familiar names like Terrible Truths, Bits of Shit, Straight Arrows and Cobwebbs. Surprisingly there’s nothing from new sensations Cuntz, or Los Tones who released their debut 45 on Groovie this year. Perhaps the most notable discovery is The Fighting League who deliver a straight powerpop knockout of a track. Listening through their only release Tropical Paradise, there’s absolutely no telling where that brilliance came from. Get it straight from Anti Fade HQ.
2012 was a big year for Melbourne suburb Geelong. Now it’s that time again, and The Laughing Leaves mentioned in the post below is not the only band making the rounds (speaking of leaves, don’t forget to check out The Fallen Leaves’ new album). The Living Eyes are back with a follow-up to last year’s brilliant “Ways to Make a Living” 45, on Billy’s own label Anti Fade. The album is self-titled and includes ten new garage winners as well as the single top side. It’s already sold out, but you should stream it on bandcamp, starting with my favourite track “Heard It All Before” below.
Saturno Records in Spain released the very first Living Eyes single back in 2011, but was already then the home of Geelong stalwarts The Frowning Clouds, who recently came back to Europe to play the Le Beat Bespoke weekender in London. They’ve finished their second album now, but as an early teaser Saturno put together a tour cassette called Gospel Sound From the Church of Scientology. If the eight tracks are anything to go by with regards to the new album, the Clouds are done with the ’65 Rolling Stones sound, and the slightly more primitive and varied sound is rather in line with side projects The Bonniwells and The Hierophants, and definitely nods to The Kinks. Two stand-out tracks “Guess Again” and “Thought About Her” prove Nick and Zak still have some major talent to unleash. The latter, as you can hear below, lifts the intro straight out of The Mods “Days Mind the Time” (featured here on Bitter Bells), which is quite an obscure garage 45 although it has previously been covered by The Madd.
Like my 2012 albums list, let’s start this one off with a Slumberland record. Old Marvelous Darlings side project Roommates who had four songs released on cassettes, got a posthumous 45 released this year. “Kelly I’m Not a Creep” is a modern powerpop classic.
A classic noise-pop album, right up there with Henry’s Dress. Unfortunately I played this to death in the first few weeks. It’s about time to come back to it now though, and it feels like a worthy start to my list of top 2012 albums.
Straight Arrows from Sydney deserve to be remembered for their 2010 album It’s Happening, which I hope you’ve all heard. But if you, as I, have missed the fact that they released two singles prior to that (in 2007-2008), then the new 7″ on Anti Fade is most welcome news. It compiles those four tracks, the original releases of which are sold out. The sound here is even more classic garage than on their Rice Is Nice LP. The opening barrage of “Can’t Count 1-22″ makes me think of The Wailers’ “Out of Our Tree” but recorded on a dictaphone. “Something Happens” became one the centerpieces on their LP in a newer cleaned-up version. The band waste no time on “Jeepster” and “Close That Door” either, which are their most punk recordings (perhaps not surprising considering they’re from a split with The Creteens).
But Straight Arrows aren’t just retrospectively on the cards, they are believe it or not back, with a new single on Goodbye Boozy. As usual with the Italian label, these come in three different covers limited to 100 copies each. “All the Time” is a real pounder of an a-side, and you can hear it in the latest podcast (here, or check 2 posts down). Both sides are on soundcloud, here below is the flip which is a bit less psych and more punk, with crashing cymbals throughout.
Seth Sutton is still in his most prolific years, and while his debut longplayer was one of my favourite albums of 2011, he’s already released two more as well as a handful singles this year. The Black Light Ultraviolet EP on Manimal marks a new direction for the band, where the songs are slower, more substantial and showing even more of a Wire influence. It took me a while to get into, but after the almost excruciatingly lo-fi C’est bon! it is definitely a rewarding listen. I’d like to mention two other releases mainly, however. One is a split with Vancouver’s great noise-punks Nü Sensae, and comes to us via Volcom (who also released Nü Sensae’s brilliant and most recent LP Sundowning). On “City of Light” we get the best of both worlds, the crude and sharp production of Useless Eaters’ earlier releases but in an ambitious composition that stretches beyond 4 minutes.
Sutton is currently on tour in Australia, because he just released an 7″ on Anti Fade, called “New Program”. Actually he will just have played at good old The Tote in Melbourne, together with Red Red Krovvy (Ash from Pop Singles). On the new single we get a similar deal, the fantastic a-side “New Program” (listen below) sounds like an older song, while “Expensive Taste” sounds fresh and classy. The last track “Smoke Alarm” is of the same killer ilk as C’est bon! but is almost a straightforward pop song. I look forward to seeing how these new leanings play out on his next album, which probably isn’t far off.
And in case you missed it, Sutton appeared on a 7″ together with Ty Segall not long ago. “I Hate the Kids” is an exemplary collaboration.
I had a feeling RECORD TURNOVER had been around for about two years soon, but I only just now realised the first post was actually two years ago to the day! Happy birthday to me. And what better way to celebrate than with #50 of of the now familiar podcasts/mixes/events. This new podcast features current music and is centred around Australia (yes, still) and the US. Multicontinentallly originated The See See make an appearance with a track from their second album Fountayne Mountain. Stuff I’ve already written about, like The Flight Reaction, Bare Wires, Warm Soda, The Basements, Mujeres and the VU & Nico tribute turn up too. The Mallard and Allah-Las I’ve not mentioned yet but each have released strong debuts this year. Legendary Wings serve up a Primitives cover from their first album and the track by Surgeons (ex-Le Face) is from their upcoming 12″ on Batshit.
Plateaus – Wasted Day
Cold Warps – Stuck On an Island
Warm Soda – Reaction
Legendary Wings – Spacehead
Mujeres – Far Away
The Flight Reaction – Mourning Light
The Basements – What’s Goin’ On
Thee Outlets – My Monkey Man
Mesa Cosa – 666
The Bonniwells – How We Came to Stay
Allah-Las – Vis-A-Vis
Boomgates – Laymans Terms
The See See – Three More Days
Bare Wires – School Days
Woods – Size Meets the Sound
Outer Minds – Those Machines
Straight Arrows – All the Time
Gooch Palms – What Year Is It?
The UV Race – Nuclear Family
Surgeons – We Need Chains
Here Comes the Here Comes – I’ll Be Your Mirror
The Mallard – I Listen to the Lyrics Last