What’s Going Down Under? (Part 2)
So you’re all up to date on the recent influx of great Australian metal that’s been featured on the bowl of late (Sewercide, Psycroptic, Drowning The Light, King Parrot, Sanzu, Claret Ash, Bloodlust, Collosvs, Disentomb etc.), time to check out some selected artists from those, uhh.. other genres (apparently they still exist). In the first installment of What’s Going Down Under, we covered a couple of current Hip-Hop and Punk/Hardcore/Grunge acts making waves here in Australia. Today we’re going to delve into some Jazzy Soul, metal-influenced Gypsy-Folk, Electronic and Future-Pop.
I was alerted to this Melbourne band through an unlikely source. Singing their praises was none other than the genius that is Reggie Watts. I had to investigate. The quartet that make up Hiatus Kaiyote play a soothing, though often melancholic-tinged brand of what I’ve heard called neo-soul. To me, there are elements of jazz, blues and soul all at play, with the ensemble driven for the most part, by prominent use of the electro-organ. Their songs tend to move through passages and not rely on standard formulaic structure. The percussion is noticeably stylish, showing African influence, some excellent use of dynamics (especially in terms of the cymbal-work), and swings back and forth between snappy upbeat romps and sparsely laid ambient sections. If you’re in the mood for something relaxing to listen to that will still keep you engaged, then give this band a try. While this track starts out slow, it builds around the 1:30 mark and by 1:50 it has picked up and manifested itself into an excellent upbeat display of what Hiatus Kaiyote have to offer as musicians.
The Crooked Fiddle Band
The Crooked Fiddle Band are metal. There I said it. A metal band inside the bodies of a group of gypsy-folk musicians. I’ve been a fan of these bohemian vagrants for a long time now and I’m fairly sure many of you will enjoy their unique style and spirited approach to music. I’m going to post two tracks of theirs just because they rip. The song embedded atop this piece, titled The Butcher Of Bessarabia is the first track of theirs that I heard and made me take notice immediately. Citing early-Sepultura as a major influence on their sound all but sealed the deal for me, with echoes of monumental tracks such as Inquisition Symphony pulsing throughout. The film clip below is for all my fellow trees n’ shit types. Head over to The Crooked Fiddle Band‘s bandcamp page and pick up some Blue Mountains goodness.
This electronic duo from the Blue Mountains NSW have been going at it since the early 2000s. Starting out as an almost exclusively instrumental group featuring fairly minimal concepts, they have since branched out and incorporated various MCs and vocal samples, steadily gaining popularity up until their 2012 album HyperParadise. The album featured a few hits that scored a fair amount of radio play (including this Dip-approved banger) and this year they are back with another big release. It appears that 2015’s Dark Night Sweet Light hit #1 in Australia following its May 15th release. I’m not really surprised by this, as the few tracks I’ve heard showcase some quality production and are catchy without being cheesy or reeking like they’ve been manufactured for the clubs like a bathtub full of dodgy pills. I recommend checking out HyperParadise in full to see the range of sounds these two are capable of and if you enjoy, dive into the latest album. This track below is the latest single.
As some of you in the Toilet Ov Hell group are aware, it was Mrs Lizard’s 30th a few weeks back and I took her out to the big smoke for a gig. I went in thinking I was just going to have to grit my teeth and make sure the beer removed any trace of the ‘entertainment’ we were going to see. Well it seems no amount of ethanol poisoning could remove the memory of George Maple‘s performance in support of MS MR. I mean, I went in about as disinterested as a uhh.. metalhead at a future-dream pop concert. I’m not asexual by any means and I’m usually able to somewhat restrain and quell the primal male urges concealed beneath my scales, but it was nearly impossible for me to not be transfixed by the swaying silhouette of George Maple performing her set that night (The person standing next to me apparently not as impressed). I’d heard a couple of tracks on the radio and it didn’t really hit home until I saw them performed in this manner with her live band (drummer & bassist/keys). Her vocal patterns are seductively drawn-out and contribute to the overall feeling of enchantment. I cannot find any videos of her performance that night and the ones I’ve seen simply don’t do it justice. Having appeared at SXSW this year and Splendour In The Grass, things are looking promising for her future-pop. Below is a track she
features prominantly on completely owns.