Monday, 10 June 2013

New Music Monday #55

by Bernard Fanning (out now)

Bernard Fanning returns with his second solo album and this time, the former Powderfinger lead trades in most of the folky Tea and Sympathy fair for a handful of catchy rock grooves, with a couple of heartbreaking numbers thrown in for good measure. For the most part, Fanning's music career has been quite serious, almost stuffy in a way. If Departures is a move in a new direction, it's definitely a funner one and you immediately notice a lighter mood as soon as 'Tell Me How It Ends' begins. The lyrics might not be covering new territory... "Did you ever feel you'd never get ahead, wheels are spinning, everyone is overtaking you," is to 2013 as 2000 was to having an unhappy life, stuck in some kind of dead end job, but Fanning has certainly learned to have a bit more fun since then. 

'Limbo Stick' finds Bernard utilising his distinct Aus-rock voice in an effective Hutchence-esque way. There's a sex appeal coming out alongside a guitar line reminiscent of Mission Impossible that's absent from most of the men on Australia's rock scene lately. They're too busy scrambling to recreate Angus Stone's snooze inducing vocal tones. The upbeat vibe flows through the majority of Departures, from 'Battleships' to the excellent 'Drake' and closing 'Inside Track.' That makes the impact of the quieter moments that much greater. 

'Departures (Blue Toowong Skies)' is the most stripped down song that puts the focus on Fanning's voice and lyrics. It's a wonderful tribute to his father, brother and the suburb they were both laid to rest in. Amongst the energy surrounding it, 'Departures (Blue Toowong Skies)' was always going to stand out and it easily finds itself the album's highlight and a testament to Fanning's songwriting ability. While 'Tell Me How It Ends' might have stuck to familiar themes, a line like "Everyone is waiting on the ticking bomb that lies beneath their skin, nonetheless we carry on like we were born for breathing poison in," comes with a more mature outlook on life. Yes, mature can be depressing. Bernard Fanning's still got gas in the tank and his post-Powderfinger future is looking brighter than many of us could have imagined. Departures steps up the excitement level and is sure to keep the 'Finger fans satisfied. 

Matt Bond gives Departures four Michael Hutchence heads out of five...

We Can't Stop
by Miley Cyrus
Album: TBA (???, 2013)

Considering the hype, you would think Hannah Montana's new song would at least have an exciting beat that would get you dancing after a beverage or two. 'We Can't Stop' doesn't even have that going for it. 'Party In The USA' was better. Even 'The Climb' was better and 'The Climb' sucked. Instead of shamelessly name dropping Jay-Z and Britney Spears, she's back to shamelessly name dropping her self. And it's not as fun as her best friend Leslie saying "oh, she's just bein' Miley." Not even a little. Not even a lot. I will accept any judgments on this garbage to be based solely on this piece of lyrical genius; 

To my homegirls here with the big butts,
Shakin' it like we at a strip club,
Remember only God can judge us,
Forget the haters cause somebody loves ya,
And everyone in line in the bathroom,
Trying to get a line in the bathroom,
We all so turnt up here,
Getting turnt up yea yea...

Ke$ha suddenly finds herself the second coming of Thom Yorke when compared to that. And just remember future skanks, everyone can judge you. I'm judging you right now and I'm judging Miley Cyrus' 'We Can't Stop.' Haters gon' hate and I hate this song. P.s. "Trying to get a line in the bathroom"? Billy Ray must be proud. Clean it up, coke whore. 

Matt Bond gives 'We Can't Stop' one Dannii Minogue head out of five...  

I Don't Need You
by Russell Dean Stone

Have you ever had that dream where you wake up in the 80's wearing white frilly shirt, skin tight, studded leather jeans, a pompadour 6 inches high and smudgy black eyes, and you're performing to a full house at The Blitz in London? No? If the name Russell Dean Stone isn't familiar to you, it's about time you were made aware of The Goth Pop Prince. Royalty of a new kind enters the arena, so step aside bubblegum dance pop and make way for the darkness…

Listening to 'I Don't Need You' immediately conjures images of some of the biggest names in 80's electro pop, like early Spandau Ballet, Depeche Mode, The Cure, or Human League. The song bursts open with heavy synth and quickly settles into a relaxed electro pop canter with arcade game style sfx. This could be appreciated as "New Wave Revival", as RDS's vocals, dripping with desperation, add balance to the choppy electro vibe and together feels like an evolution as well as appreciation of the genre. 

"I don't need anyone to tell me what went wrong, I don't you, I don't need you! Erase the memories, it hurts to much to say, I don't need you, I don't need you!" The Goth Pop Prince sings of love, loss and heartache and has the bittersweet “80's style” delivery down pat, sounding something like Human League's Phillip Oakey with hints of INXS's Michael Hutchence and Placebo's Brian Molko.

To some the mere mention of the 80’s gives them shivers of bad taste movements and the garish, excessive culture. However I have a huge love of 80’s music and am impressed that Russell Dean Stone has been able to capture the essence some of the best acts in this era without compromising his own dark style and originality.

Nayt Housman gives 'I Don't Need You' four Shirley Manson heads out of five...


by Kingswood
EP: Change of Heart Deluxe EP (out now)

Where Kira Puru goes, I will follow and her ten second appearance in Kingswood's mini movie 'Some Motherfucker's Gotta Pay' has made me into a Kingswood convert. Tarantino would be proud of this feature; poorly dubbed Japanese, more swears than an episode of South Park, random group names like the Black Wax Widow Makers and the Hang Ten Firebirds... some sort of plot I forget to follow. Just like a Tarantino movie. It's also got appearances from a host of Australia's best new talent; the aforementioned Kira Puru shows up alongside Thelma Plum as The Blood Cherry Violets. Don't expect them to stick around for too long though as a big shoot out kills pretty much everyone. Seth Sentry gets taken out too. Fan girls will cry. Kingswood have a winning video here and the actual song it's supposedly selling, 'Ohio', is pretty badass. They only lose a point for killing off Kira Puru. Rookie error. 

Matt Bond gives the 'Ohio' video four Kurt Cobain heads out of five...


by Golden Young

There's very little I can find on the line about Brisbane duo Golden Young, but I can tell you their song 'Predators' is all kinds of delicious. This indie-electro jam has earned itself many a replay over the weekend and a fist-pump here and there for that fantastic guitar solo and those gorgeous lady vocals. I would like to give credit to the name behind the voice, but for now Golden Young seems to be playing the mysterious card. Anyway, get ready to tell 'him' "don't barge in so brazen" as the chorus drags you along for the ride. I enjoyed it, I'm sure you will too... now go and download 'Predators.' It's a pay what you like deal, so if you're really enjoying the vibe, show a new act your support. With money. Or download it for free. Do what you want with your life.

Matt Bond gives Predators four Missy Elliott heads out of five...     


Cave Rave
by Crystal Fighters (out now)

There are nine songs on Cave Rave that will leave you smiling simply because they are full of singalong, jump up and down, dance around energy. Fast, sometimes quirky lyrics that you can't help but love, even as you sometimes struggle to keep up with the Crystal Fighters' pace. There is one song on Cave Rave that will leave you smiling, but you feel like you maybe shouldn't be. 'Bridge of Bones' is a very different Crystal Fighters song than what we've come to expect. It's also possibly their best, at least on par with 'At Home.' Listening to it makes me feel like I've lost something that I can't get back, but whatever it was had a huge impact on me. So I can't help smiling. Maybe you'll feel the same way. Anyway 'Bridge of Bones' was a highlight for me and backed up by the over the top excitement that is 'Wave,' 'LA Calling' and 'Separator', this Cave Rave is one you'll want to continue for a long, long time. 

Matt Bond gives Cave Rave five Eddie Vedder heads out of five...


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