What’s Going Down Under: Part 3
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. In Part 2, we delved into Jazzy Soul, metal-influenced Gypsy-Folk, Electronic and Future-Pop. Today we look into Rock and Psych, strap in.
Stonefield are a young band comprised of four sisters from rural Victoria who play what could be described as retro-infused rock. Having so far released two EPs and one LP, Stonefield have been steadily gaining industry acclaim, in no small part due to a relentless stream of live performances ranging from sweaty pub-gigs to broader festival appearances. Along with their own rocking tracks, the group have added some memorable covers to their repertoire, including songs from artists such as; Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac and Steppenwolf. While Stonefield play in a genre where it is not very easy to cover any new ground, I always find it interesting to see a band perform when the vocals are handled (for the most part) by the drummer. Having recently been in the studio to record the follow up to their self-titled album from 2013, I’m pretty eager to hear some more originals from these fine lasses.
This Blue Mountains three-piece only came to my attention in the last couple of months and for good reason, they are unsigned and appear to only have a handful of tracks under their belt but from what I’ve heard thus far, Doctor Goddard can pen damned fine psych-rock. The rhythm section is reminiscent of the sound Tame Impala encapsulated on their EP and first LP (Innerspeaker), while the vocals are straight from the acid-stained anthology of The Lizard King himself. Check out the track ‘Without Love’ below and let the echoes of Jim Morrison‘s timeless influence ripple through your doors of perception.
This new 9-piece (yes, nine fucking members) out of Melbourne, Victoria only surfaced recently and play an experimental blend of many genres, so don’t expect a simple (or even convoluted, for that matter!) description from me. All I know is that I heard their track ‘Mind Renovation’ a couple of times in the background at work and it wormed its merry way into my brain and did exactly what the title states. I am generally skeptical of bands with this many members but these guys & girls have a knack of making use of each instrument in a fresh way. Some of the later tracks have that early Kasabian sound, others are just too eclectic a mix for me to accurately pin down. Try for yourself below.
Last (but by no means least) on today’s bill is Perth psych-masters Pond. Sharing members, and thus, strong ties to fellow West Australians Tame Impala, Pond have been blasting off since 2008 and have six albums of experimental, kaleidoscopic neo-psych. As I mentioned in Part 1 of this little series, Perth is an isolated oasis of unique bands from a diverse collection of genres, a subject which Pond front-man Nick Allbrook addresses in his informative and insightful essay titled ‘Creative Darwinism: Pretty Flowers Grow In Shit‘. While first impressions could leave you assuming they adopt a haphazard approach to creating their songs, further listens will reveal all the distinctions of a well-versed band who pay deep attention to writing catchy hallucinogenic rock, laced with rich dreamy soundscapes that have the ability to make even the soberest of minds swirl.
[The riff at 1:30 still gets me]