ALBUM REVIEW: VARIOUS – THE KEY OF SEA VOLUME 2

In 2010 the first The Key Of Sea compilation debuted with established Australian artists pairing up with some fine but lesser known ethnic musicians. Two years on and the second installment again embraces the collaborators’ diverse backgrounds and heritage with a warm bear hug by thumbing the racist idea that some people should “Go back to…

EP REVIEW: DEERREPUBLIC – THE SWEET RESISTANCE

deerRepublic are a Sydney-based quartet who produce richly textured, indie pop music. It’s an effervescent sound that has seen the boys being crowned winners of the uncharTED band competition and playing amazing gigs like Splendour In The Grass. But for my money, this group sound like they’re just picking up from where Red Riders left off….

ALBUM REVIEW: HENRY WAGONS – EXPECTING COMPANY?

Henry Wagons’ debut solo offering is a conceptual mini-album filled with intense duets about love, loss and death. Expecting Company? is theatrical and melodramatic, with Wagons’ smooth baritone taking on a sinister air when combined with sweet vocals from his female guest stars who play his foil, his narrator and his object of affection at different points….

BOOK REVIEW: BETH DITTO – COAL TO DIAMONDS (A MEMOIR)

Beth Ditto’s autobiography with Michelle Tea proves that the Gossip’s effervescent frontwoman is a diamond in the rough. A proud punk, her story is told in the form of various episodes from her fractured childhood in Arkansas. It was not an easy one by any stretch, as Ditto was part of a large, blended family…

ALBUM REVIEW: MADNESS – OUI OUI, SI SI, JA JA, DA DA

Madness is the kind of band that have been acting their shoe sizes (i.e. not their ages) for nigh on 36 years. And that’s why people love ‘em. Now with album number ten the rather silly-named, Oui Oui, Si Si, Ja Ja, Da Da (translated as “Yes” eight times) we get more of the nutty and…

ALBUM REVIEW: EAGLE & THE WORM – STRANGELOVE EP

Expect the unexpected. If there’s one disclaimer that should accompany all of the releases by eight-piece Melbourne band Eagle & The Worm, it is just that. Since 2009 their aim has been to push pop to weird and uncharted territories. It’s one that’s worked, earning them a legion of fans and their new EP; Strangelove…

ALBUM REVIEW: NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE – PSYCHEDELIC PILL

Neil Young has done it all. He’s written a memoir, built a car, invented a new musical service and has produced countless studio albums and concert films. He’s played the folk singer-songwriter, hippie, rocker, superstar, robot-lover, and protestor and is the undisputed Godfather of Grunge. Earlier this year he teamed up with longtime collaborators, Crazy…

ALBUM REVIEW: COHEED & CAMBRIA – THE AFTERMATH: ASCENSION

  There’s an ambitious new album full of grandiose, apocalyptic visions performed by talented rock musicians who also employ electronic trickery to ultimately craft elaborate adventures in theatrical melodrama. And this time it ain’t Muse. It is in fact American prog rockers, Coheed & Cambria with their sixth studio record. The Afterman: Ascension is the…

ALBUM REVIEW: KASEY CHAMBERS & SHANE NICHOLSON – WRECK & RUIN

Four years on from the debut collaboration between Australia’s long-standing queen of country Kasey Chambers and her husband Shane Nicholson, Wreck & Ruin is a diverse collection of songs that fits neatly into blues, gospel, country, folk and bluegrass traditions. Like Johnny and June Carter Cash, this husband-and-wife duo are talented songwriters in their own…

ALBUM REVIEW: JENS LEKMAN – I KNOW WHAT LOVE ISN’T

Jens Lekman has built a considerable following as a romantic, storytelling troubadour who revels in celebrating the mundane. Some five years since the much-lauded Night Falls Over Kortedala, Lekman sounds a little older and rather weathered by a relationship breakdown on I Know What Love Isn’t. Born in Sweden, Lekman spent several years living in…

ALBUM REVIEW: SOMETHING FOR KATE – LEAVE YOUR SOUL TO SCIENCE

Something For Kate’s sixth studio album after a hiatus lasting as many years sees them expertly navigate the line between their old sound and a fresh direction. Leave Your Soul To Science has a punchier, more expansive feel, where the droning and jangly guitars synonymous with their previous works have been replaced by sparkly synths…