Archive | May, 2013

Progressive Pizza Party! @ The Tempo Hotel 24/05/13

31 May

It was a Friday night in Brisbane when Morse Code Musics Progressive Pizza Party hit The Tempo Hotel for a night to showcase the best of the best amongst the youngest Prog bands in Brisbane. Headlined by Psychedelic aficionados, Perilium, the night also featured bands, FreeThought, Weightless in Orbit and Spherian. Statistically speaking, a gig like this should have gone under the radar and gathered a crowd in the double digits. However….. it far exceeded everyone’s expectations.

It’s 6pm and doors have just opened. The crowd is scarce and hopes for a packed audience were looking dim. However towards the final moments before the first band hit the stage, the crowd began to gather….

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Spherian was  first to hit the stage. These guys are primarily a Groove Metal based band and this being the bands first show, expectations were low. However, people could not have been more wrong whilst the band smashed their way through the set. Their playing was incredibly tight, their sound was crisp and their creativity was unique. You would have thought this band had been playing shows for years. These guys will definitely be major contenders in Brisbanes Prog scene within the next few years.

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Next up was Progressive Metallers Weightless in Orbit. With a sound similar to Between The Buried and Me, Tool and Animals as Leaders, this was a band that people have been waiting to see for some time now and like Spherian, this was the first taste for an audience to see them live. The band powered their way through an intensely brutal, beautiful,  and technically flawless set which must have covered close to 20 genres of music. These guys have immense talent and played as though they have been on the circuit for years. Their final song was concluded with thunderous applause from the audience. Keep an eye on these guys, I wouldn’t be surprised if they achieve some incredible success.

At this point of the show the venue was filling up quite quickly. It was hard to move around, it was a bit stuffy and the energy was exciting. The night was far exceeding everyone’s expectations and it was only halfway through.

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FreeThought were next to show their talent. This was maybe only the 2nd or 3rd show the band had played and once again, they shocked everyone by sounding like a band that had been around for years. Their modern metal sounds coupled with hints of Classic Prog and Power Metal influences made for a very exciting set. These guys will be another great addition to Brisbanes Prog scene and have a sound that isn’t much seen around these days. Keep and eye on FreeThought folks.

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It was then time for Headliners, Perilium. These guys hit the scene a couple of years back and since then, have slowly become well known in Brisbane as ‘that young Prog band’ (Funnily enough they were the oldest band on the bill tonight). The crowd was anticipating something special. House lights go down, intro tape rolls and Perilium make their way on stage. Their set included 2 new additions as well as favourites from their 2012 album, ‘Optic 72’. The boys powered their way through their set and gave the crowd the high they desired. It was a set high in energy and luscious in colour.

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This show far exceeded anyone’s expectations. It was so inspiring and amazing to see such a great attendance for newly established bands. If anything, this was a showcase of Brisbane’s future Prog scene and after witnessing this show, it has nothing to worry about…It’s in very good hands.

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Photos by William France

Rick Shaffer – ‘Stacked Deck’

29 May

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Pure unadulterated, no fucks given Rock n’ Roll is what Rick Shaffer is all about with his latest album, ‘Stacked Deck’. It’s a non-stop barrage of riffs, power and old school gritty vocals. Shaffer stays true to the sound and vibe his fans have come to love, so if you loved his previous work, expect to love this one as well.

The sound of this record is what we’ve come to expect from Rick. Stripped back, raw and nothing but balls the the wall. It’s an immensely pure album in a sense that it embodies what Rock music is and should be about, the essence of humanity. You can feel that there’s only people making music on this record. Nothing is fake, nothing is digital. The sound retains its human element and thus, hits you where it matters.

Rick Shaffer is as gritty as they come. His vocal delivery on this record is superb and shows just how it’s done. He nails that old school, ‘Howlin’ Wolf’ vocal groove with no trouble at all, giving his music a distinct characteristic. Shaffers instrumental abilities are also second to none. The guitar work is tight, twangy and plucked with feeling whilst the rhythmic section is solid, meaty and ballsy.

If you dig the tunes of Southern music, Jack White, The Black Keys or Early Rolling Stones, give Rick Shaffer a listen. His pure stance on Rock n’ Roll will have you movin’ and shakin’ in no time.

8/10

Rick Shaffer Official Facebook

Rick Shaffer Official Website

Joshua Worden – ‘Always This’

29 May

The smooth and silky, Joshua Worden returns with his latest release ‘Always This’, due in June of this year. This is a real mellow album with some perfectly sculpted, laid back beats. Your chilled out summer is complete with this album.

Joshua Warden is a perfect example of young musicians with exceptional maturity towards their music. His vocal control is extremely good and his ‘less is more’ approach to music is inspiring seeing as how thick he manages to make his songs sound. This record is also fantastically balanced in terms of melodic dominance and rhythmic dominance. Warden manages to fluctuate between the two elements very well, giving each it’s own unique highlight during a song.

Something else I noticed whilst listening to this record is how appealing it is. No matter what your age is, or even demographic, you’ll find yourself sucked into the mellow vibe of Joshua Wordens, ‘Always This’. Hip Hop is definitely entering a new age and artists such as Joshua Worden are pioneering the way for new age, accessible Hip Hop.

If you’re into new age artists such as Frank Ocean, Flume or James Blake, definitely grab a copy of Joshua Wordens new album, ‘Always This’. It’s a fantastically chill and beautiful album. Don’t be surprised if you hear this guy dominate the airwaves soon.

9/10

 

 

Joshua Worden Official Facebook

Joshua Worden Official Website

 

Liquid Casing – ‘A Separate|Divide’

29 May

Lovers of Psychedelic music from Texas! You’re new favourite band has arrived! Liquid Casing is set to release ‘A Separate Divide’ in June and is a real chance of getting this band amongst the big names of Experimental/Psychedelic Rock. This is an album full of surprises and unpredictability without being too far out. It’s an album that can only be described as a ‘perfectly structured experimentation of sounds, melody and rhythm’.

Diversity is key to this record. Liquid Casing do a brilliant job of fluctuating the feeling in their music. One minute you’re entranced by a mellow section, next minute you’re headbanging to a monster riff. Their isn’t a dull moment with this record. The use of multi-instruments is also very well done. With the addition of ethnic instruments and percussion, these elements provide a real thickness to the record and really give Liquid Casing a unique sound and feel.

As we’ve seen in the past with experimental bands, they can often construct songs and sections with odd sounds for the sake of experimentation (even though it sounds god awful). Liquid Casing tend to avoid that path. Their experimentation adds to their music and doesn’t just end up being a  cascading wall of weird sounds.

If you’re into bands such as The Mars Volta, Russian Circles, Tool or Godspeed You! Black Emperor, then I’d suggest you go buy this album because Liquid Casing is just as good, if not better than these bands. ‘A Separate Divide’ is definitely going to be on my top 10 list for this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s on yours as well.

10/10

 

 

Liquid Casing Official Website

Liquid Casing Official Facebook

Nehedar – ‘This Heart’

29 May

‘This Heart’ is the latest release from Nehedar, a project by singer/songwriter, Emilia Cataldo. Hailing from New York but clearly having an ethnic background, Emilia Cataldo blends her melting pot of influences into one record to create, ‘This Heart’.

My first impressions of this record were not good. Although instrumentally, it’s a good album, the vocal performance is a major let down. I really enjoyed the breaks between vocal lines where I had a chance to listen to the instrumental side of the album. Unfortunately I found myself almost unable to listen whilst the music had the addition of vocals. They felt off key, poorly phrased and as though the singer was at times, struggling. Lyrically, it also felt poorly planned. Poorly planned lyrics + poor vocal performance = this.

It’s not all bad though. Personally I just feel a bad vocal performance can really send the whole song crashing down (as vocals are such an integral piece to a song if they are being used). Like I said before, instrumentally this album is great. The production is smooth and allows the music to really stand out when it’s chance to shine comes. This is also quite a diverse album. Emilia Cataldo does a fantastic job of musical diversity and shows off a wide range of her songwriting abilities.

If you’re a fan of pretty piano work from the likes of Regina Spektor, Aimee Mann or Birdy, then give ‘This Heart’ a chance. It might not be my thing but it might be yours.

6/10

 

 

Nehedar Official Website

Nehedar Official Facebook

Osaka Punch Farewell Show – The Zoo 18/05/13

27 May

The 18th of May saw Osaka Punch play their final show with good friends Vayer and Le Suits, before heading towards potential domination of Europe. This was a highly anticipated night by Brisbane locals and garnered massive buzz and discussion. What makes this gig even more astonishing is the fact that it was hardly promoted. Osaka Punch have always been a band that has been successful purely from word of mouth advertising and the sheer love and dedication from their amazing fans. This was sure to be a special show for all involved….And it certainly was.

Vayer kicked off the night with the power and precision that has made them a favourite amongst Brisbane music lovers. Their intense and energetic show got the crowds attention and brought up the excitement in the room. Up next was the lovable Le Suits. This band along with Vayer is one of Osaka Punch’s favourite bands. No one knows how the 9 piece band was able to fit on the Zoos small stage, but somehow they managed. They then proceeded to tear the roof off the place. Their infectious grooves, engaging personas and unique sound was more than enough to get the crowd extremely excited for the headliner.

The venue was close to capacity by the time Osaka Punch began setting their stage (an absolutely monumental turnout for an unsigned local band who only just released their debut album). The crowd was buzzing with excitement when the band finally hit the stage   and went into their much loved single ‘Eat Red Carpet’. The rest of the show featured everything we have come to love about Osaka Punch. They haven’t changed a thing since their former days of being called ‘The Kidney Thieves’ and that’s why we love them.

The show was one of the best they’ve ever put on and definitely reassured their fans that they’re better than ever. The ever so energetic and bashful, Dane Pulverenti absolutely slayed it on the drum kit and is truly a contender as one of Australias great drummers. OP’s great leader, Mr Jack Venables showed us once again how to get crazy. Chrispy Town brought the funk and layed down the heavy with his brilliant and tight guitar work and the stylish and sleek, Trav Jenkins offered up some incredible guitar solos and hair whippery. Together, they are Osaka Punch and together, world domination awaits them. Thanks for the memories, lads. We hope that you’ll stick around a bit longer and create some more.

I’d also like to add (as a budding local musician and myself a lover of local music) how inspiring and uplifting it was to see a local Brisbane band nearly sell out a venue such as The Zoo. It reassures you that it is possible to achieve that one moment every musician lives and strives for. When the band finished their set and were finally able to bask in the glory of their success, it was an amazing sight to see. I hope any local musician in attendance at this gig was as inspired as I was.

Work hard, be nice, love what you do and you will be successful.

Watch out Europe, you’re not even going to know what hit you.

Photo by Jerry Nicholls

Nimbin’s Mardigrass Festival

13 May

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For those who don’t know, Mardigrass is an annual cannabis law reform festival, held in a cosy little town in northern New South Wales. Nimbin is widely known as a home to marijuana and marijuana enthusiasts, but there is much, much more on offer. I had the pleasure of visiting Nimbin to document the infamous Mardigrass festival and experience the town’s culture.

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There was a distinct feeling of happiness and harmony throughout the festival, much different to that of Brisbane’s bustling city. The main street, no longer than 200m, was packed with soulful buskers, vegan cuisine and street performers, alongside a large number of events and seminars, providing an almost endless list of things to experience. Something worth noting was the lack of people drinking alcohol; as well as there being only one alcohol related incident (that I am aware of) over the entire weekend. That is pretty damn good for a festival that attracts thousands of people from around the world.

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I do not feel that I can adequately describe the natural beauty that is Nimbin. The air is clearer, the grass greener, and the sense of community, abundant. It is by far the most relaxing, peaceful, and enjoyable place that I have ever visited in my entire life. I eagerly await my next trip.

– William France

To view the rest of the photos from this year’s Mardigrass festival, including photos from the Hemp Olypmics and the live music in Plantem Park, click here.

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