Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Unkle K's Bands of the Week

I love a good instrumental band - no shitty vocals to mess things up. And I’d put Canadians Hawkeyes almost up there with heavyweights such as Capricorns, Zebulon Pike and Year of No Light. Hawkeyes feature a four guitar attack plus drums and bass, and this four track tape comes highly recommended if you like epic, big riffs and a good rock-out.

Evil Ways
God damn, great punky rock 'n' roll from these ex-Canberrans. Pretty sure this band was previously Panel Van Halen (please let me know if I’m wrong). Well worth checking. They have a 7” I need to get a copy of.

Slapshot (USA), Thursday 27 March
at Turner Bowling Club

Turbobelco, Saturday 29 March at the Phoenix

Kylesa (USA), Tuesday 1 April at ANU Bar

(Also see post below.)

Unkle K

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Upcoming gigs

Thursday 27 March at Turner Bowling Club
Slapshot, Toe to Toe, Hostile Objects, Bladder Spasms, Eye Gouge and The Fuck Outs

Saturday 29 March at the Phoenix
Turbobelco, Bulldoze All Bowlos and Baby Machine

Tuesday 1 April at ANU Bar
Kylesa, Looking Glass and Rise of Avernus

Saturday 5 April at the Phoenix
Harmony, Hoodlum Shouts and Sex Machine

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

To Cross the Oceans 2

Continuing from a post I put up in August last year, here are some more links relating to the global reach of metal and punk that readers might find interesting.

Algeria, Morocco, Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Since that earlier post, Alasdair Bulmer's geographic focus has moved progressively southward in the series of articles on African metal that he has written for Invisible Oranges. Although short, these articles offer a fascinating and diverse snapshot.
African Metal #3: Algeria and Morocco
African Metal #4: Cameroon
African Metal #5: Uganda
African Metal #6: Zambia and Zimbabwe

Picking up from the article on Zambia, which mentions that 1970s Zamrock records have been reissued by Now Again Records, a couple of years ago I got my hands on a compilation released by that label called Those Shocking, Shaking Days: Indonesian Hard, Psychedelic, Progressive Rock and Funk: 1970-1978. The anthology, and its extensive liner notes, give an overview of a rock movement overflowing with fuzz and funk that drew on a range of influences, from James Brown to Black Sabbath, to hold a mirror up to the cultural and political landscape of Indonesia under Suharto in the '70s. Listen to the album here.

Decades later, it seems that psychedelic hard rock continues to have a good home in Indonesia. A couple of bands that exemplify this and are well worth checking out are The Sigit, who released the excellent Detourn late last year, and Sigmun.
The Sigit - Detourn (Bandcamp)
Sigmun (Bandcamp)

It is already well known that punk is also thriving in Indonesia. Punk Rock vs Sharia Law, a 20 minute documentary by Noisey, focuses on a marginalised group of punks in Aceh, highlighting the persecution the group has faced as well as the long lasting impact of the 2004 tsunami.
Punk Rock vs Sharia Law (Noisey)

Finally, the tale of Biquette the punk goat (thanks to Dave for bringing this one to my attention). Before her untimely death in December last year, Biquette lived on a farm/DIY space in rural France, where she spent her time hanging out and watching bands that played there, such as Wormrot.
"Grind Goat Will Never Die But You Will" (Noisey)


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Solar Halos - S/T

The music on Solar Halos' self-titled LP (on Devouter Records) may not immediately sweep you up and carry you away, but it doesn't take very long for the undulating doom undercurrents to begin to flow around you until, before you even notice, you have been sucked below the surface to find wave after wave of thick, hypnotic riffs washing over you. Once that happens, you can't help but focus on your surroundings. It becomes difficult to escape and, like the mesmerising refraction of the sun's rays as they pierce through from above the water, Nora Rogers' warm, enchanting vocal melodies soon dissolve your desire to swim up for air.

Solar Halos was formed by members who previously played together in ambient noise/doom act, Horseback. Developing from there, the band's music could sit nicely alongside Black Skies' (although heavier and more dynamic), Royal Thunder's (without the overt blues/alternative affectations), or Helms Alee's on Sleepwalking Sailors (without the post-metal eclecticism), while conveying a greater sense of depth and subtlety. The control the band wields over the gradual rise and fall in its songs - marked by surging, swirling guitar and bass riffs interwoven with slow-building crescendos, all carried by John Crouch's colourful drumming - is phenomenal. But even though the music is so entrancing, it doesn't become weak or insipid. Solar Halos' instruments rumble low and loud, and somehow, the balance they strike between transcendent wistfulness and rock-solid, doomy heaviness comes across as completely effortless.

This is a truly impressive release that seems likely to be a grower as its nuances come to light. Check it out here, and for more on Solar Halos, see their website.