ALBUM REVIEW: THE BEACH BOYS – THE SMILE SESSIONS

In spring 1967 Brian Wilson had very little to smile about. The record his band, The Beach Boys had been working on was shelved for many reasons including: label pressure, internal conflicts, shortcomings in technology and Wilson’s own mental health issues and substance abuse. In the intervening years the grand mystique surrounding the Smile album…

ALBUM REVIEW: FIONN REGAN – 100 ACRES OF SYCAMORE

To be likened to Bob Dylan can seem equally cliched and complimentary. But spare a thought for Irish troubadour, Fionn Regan, who had none other than Lucinda Williams describe him as this generation’s answer to the musical poet. The fact that Regan writes lyrically rich folk songs makes it seem like an apt comparison, particularly…

LIVE REVIEW: KASABIAN & THE VACCINES @ HORDERN PAVILION (24.01.2012)

Since forming in early 2010 the constant question that’s been asked about the opening act is “What did you expect from The Vaccines?” Well, if the series of punchy songs, meteoric rise and many celebrity fans are anything to go by, then the answer to the name of their debut album would be fun and…

ALBUM REVIEW: COSMO JARVIS – IS THE WORLD STRANGE OR AM I STRANGE?

US-born/UK-bred artist, Cosmo Jarvis is king of the slashies – singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer/mixer/filmmaker. Amongst these many roles, he’s also managed to produce his second album, Is The World Strange Or Am I Strange? a hyper collection of eleven creative tunes that covers much terrain, with genres like: folk, indie, funk, reggae, rock, punk and rap represented. This means there’s a little…

LIVE REVIEW: NICK ZINNER’S 41 STRINGS @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE (22.01.2012)

  For a show titled 41 Strings the last thing people expected to see was a stage filled with 20 drummers and two keyboardists. Then again, for a show written by the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Nick Zinner and featuring his bandmate, Brian Chase on the drums, some people probably weren’t expecting so many elder-looking punters at the early show. It seemed…

ALBUM REVIEW: SUPERHEAVY – SELF-TITLED

Superheavy were conceived as a “Mad alchemist-type experiment” and have a name inspired by the great, Muhammad Ali. But amid all the backslapping and self-congratulation because this group are intergenerational, intercultural and are attempting to create new genres in sound, the whole exercise seems a rather expensive one in self-indulgent, garish music. There’s no denying…

REWIND ALBUM REVIEW: BEN SALTER – THE CAT

It seems like Ben Salter is set to take on the likes of Dave McCormack, Tim Rogers, Tex Perkins, et al. for the title of hardest working man in Australian Music. His list of credentials is almost tiring to read- from the intelligent hard rock of Giants Of Science to the folk/rock/country of The Gin…

REWIND DVD REVIEW: DEAD KENNEDYS – THE EARLY YEARS LIVE

The Early Years Live DVD by legendary punks, Dead Kennedys comes with a caution and directions. It warns that the following material contains violent imagery taken from “actual everyday life” and that the program “could be offensive to those individuals who prefer not to deal with reality”. It also says to play at “High volume!”…

ALBUM REVIEW: SMASHING PUMPKINS – GISH (REISSUE)

It was twenty years ago that Smashing Pumpkins released their debut album, Gish. Back before their self-parody in becoming the world’s greatest Pumpkins cover band, they were just like any other young group playing lots of gigs and honing their craft. Initially influenced by The Cure, their first offering would see them graduate and update…