Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Vines - Gimme Love

The long-forgotten Aussie rocker, The Vines are back with a brand new single, "Gimme Love". With their recent plan of invading US, this track clearly illustrates the trademark Vines' guitar driven, loud and punchy garage rock. Judging from the decent bits from this early track. I really hope they will get back to their former glory days. The band's fifth album, 'Future Primitive' will be out in April 2011.

The Vines - Gimme Love

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Top 25 Tracks of 2010

Hey I love lists, but making a 'Best Of' list is such a nuisance for slouches like me. You can see we don't even share as much music as we used to, but we would like to keep up the tradition of sharing our favourite songs here, so here we go, for the fifth consecutive year! One can easily dismiss my taste, for I am a sucker for good hooks and melodies, but there is no right or wrong in music preference, I am just voicing out what I grew to love and enjoy over the past year. Hopefully we will stick around until this time next year. 

Miami - Foals
The key flavour of this standout track from 'Total Life Forever' lies in the melodic riff. With its jagged guitar cascading over a bouncy rhythm, 'Miami' produces a funky groovy vibration that got me hooked like a fisherman's hat.

O.N.E. - Yeasayer
'O.N.E.' is the energetic high of the band's sophomore album, leaping from the sound of reggae-ish percussion to a hyperactive synth line and the upbeat showcase of Chris Keating's vocal. Such buoyant and dynamic instrumentation. Simply brilliant.  

Rococo - Arcade Fire
Musically, 'Rococo' emphasises on simplicity, with a simple chord progression being repeated throughout the track, allowing the string, horn and vocal melodies to reveal themselves slowly, and eventually building up to a powerful crescendo of Butlet repeating the track title. Rococo is classic Arcade Fire at their musical best. Powerful stuff.

Baptism - Crystal Castles
Crystal Castles are certainly an acquired taste. This track is harsh, raw and atmospheric, jam-packed with the band's trademark eerie bleeps and synths, and Alica Glass's piercing squeals as the standout presence. It's one hell of a ride.

Bang Bang Bang - Mark Ronson And The Business Intl
"Un, deux, trois", kicks starts the intro, indicating the exact number of seconds it takes to get soaked up with the delicious synth hook. Guest emcee Q-Tip and synthpop singer MNDR round up the lineup, providing concise rhymes and twisted squeaky hooks. Infectious, dancey, and a huge bounceathon that should be on everyone's summer playlist. BANG BANG BANG!

Odessa - Caribou
Wtih sleigh bells, synth flute and dog whistles all over an infectious bassline, 'Odessa' sounds like it is emerging from a dark and ice cold place, creating a house vibe that is rather relaxing. An awesome chillout track.

Forever and Ever, AmenThe DrumsThis track is a POP anthem with a capital P. The 80's indie guitar riffs sounds like it's being played out of a vintage amp. Simply brilliant.

Champion Sound Crystal Fighters
A lovely track with a hint of Basque folk clashes with electronic synth element. It just provide a continental feel that we are watching the sunrise on the Barcelonan shores. 

Real Love - Delorean
This is a bright and summery jam, with all of the band's trademark sonic elements - organ like synth, house piano riffs and the signature vocal. It hardly matters what lyrics the singer is blissing out as the soothing aura of the track has already settled into the bones , creating a wonderful mood-booster and blissful joy. 

Chinatown - Wild Nothing
"Chinatown" serves as a shining example of the 80's electro pop rock - haunting pop melodies, deep bass hooks, and inventive use of synth softening the lo-fi vibe around the edges, creating a wonderful and dreamy layered sound

Listen To Your Love - Mona
Small town band with big sound, 'Listen To Your Love' sounds something along the lines of 50s rock'n'roll with a hint of 80s anthemic hooks. Of course the comparison to early King of Leon does them no harm, already billed as
BBC Sound of 2011, only bright future awaiting the boys.

Bloodbuzz Ohio - The National
The velvety and warm voice of Berninger draws you in once the song starts playing. The strings and piano pile on the intensity to this 5-minute slow-burn epic. Who cares what a 'bloodbuzz' is? It still gives me chills after listening for almost a year. 

Rock It - Little Red
The feel-good summer anthem in Australia, 'Rock It' is no doubt a fun-filled catchy track. Borrowing the grooves of 60s America, with the charming harmonies and a killer hook, it does not take long for one to like this song.

Bombay - El Guincho
This song literally screams carnival, the steel drum, the handclaps, the pounding rhythms, and the joyful vocals provide the winning ingredients. If this song does not make you feel like dancing, there is probably something wrong with you. I even have the urge to take up Spanish lessons.

Excuses - The Morning Benders
If a song is featured in multiple commercials, it must be fantastic right? The band deserves all the money because 'Excuses' is the perfect indie pop single. Following the band from those unsigned days to getting mild mainstream success, I am not going to be an indie snob but remain a fan. 

Same Dream China - Gold Panda
Gold Panda proves that he is not a one-trick pony in 'Same Dream China'. In contrast to the other bangers in his debut Lucky Shiner, this track is a sparkling, dreamy piece that is lent on some Eastern-like melodies. It certainly exhales bliss and calmness to the listeners. 

I Saw You Blink - Stornoway
Sometimes simplicity is enough to warrant brilliance, that's with the case of Stornoway. Their brand of unpretentious and exhilarating folk-pop is accessible, yet somehow moving in their ordinariness. 'I Saw You Blink' is a simple love song that goes straight to your heart.

Pumped Up Kicks - Foster The People
Being compared to MGMT, Foster The People is going to blow up next year when their debut drops. With the distant vocals, whistling and surf-guitar, you think light-hearted and chilling vibes? Behold and check out the lyrics. 'All the other kids with the pumped up kicks you'd better run, better run, better run, outrun my gun'.

The Gaudy Side Of Town - Gayngs
This 80s R&B sounding track is probably the sexiest song for the year. Justin Vernon's soft croon adds on the smoothness in this atmospheric slow-jam. In another word, George Michael goes indie in Mid-west America.    

 Take Me Over - Cut Copy
This track clearly displays the pop-snyth goodness of what Cut Copy's trademark sound is about. The lead single from the highly anticipated album 'Zonoscope' has all the 80's pop flourishes. Simple, joyful, catchy, brilliant. 

Sunlight - Bag Raiders
Fresh from the band's debut album, 'Sunlight' is a collaboration with electro pop singer Dan Black, serving up a bright and fresh dance pop gem that will get your foot tapping. Coupled with chant-along lyrics and bouncy beats to mosh with, I predict this will be a major summer anthem in the making.  

Holidays - Miami Horror
Another Australian electro pop makes the list, "Holidays" is so aptly titled that it is perfect for those summer road trips and beach parties. This catchy disco-house throwback tune serves as a soundtrack to the carefree youth days we all long for. Sometimes I wonder if it is really all about sun and sand down under that make all those musicians master in crafting fun pop songs. 

Dreaming of Another World - Mystery Jets
Mystery Jets has a special knack in writing eccentric British pop. 'Dreaming of Another World' is a catchy 3-minute pop nugget that oozes youthful vibes, one can't help but wants to feel young and 'do something that will make your mother cry, dreaming of another world'. 

Tighten Up - The Black Keys
Produced by Danger Mouse, "Tighten Up"  features a heavy-whistle melody and soulful groove, delivering a big dish of the Black Keys' typical modern blues sound. This is definitely some authentic rock n' roll!

Burnout Eyess - oOoOO
This track portrays a vast contrast to the indie-pop melodic gems in the list. 'Burnout Eyess' draws you into the lush, spooky world of witch-house, or whatever you call it. Surprisingly it is digestible, the sensual allure and rawness defy the confines of this left-field genre that is supposed to appeal to only the fans of dark and Goths.  

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wolfmother @ Capitol, Perth 23.9.09

Two words to sum up the Wolfmother gig would be sweet and sweat. From the start it seemed like I was witnessing the birth of a new Rock God, and it really was at the end.
Capitol was about half full and the bars were getting a workout when first supporting act Sydeny troubadour Jack Ladder strode onto the stage. Accompanied by Kirin J Callinan on guitar and a loop machine, Ladder displayed the richness of his sensually seductive vocal, performing a great mix of jazz, funk and psychedelia. I was kinda impressed with the set, despite some techinical difficulties. Time to check out more of his releases.

Second support, Brisbane quartet Yves Klein Blue wasn't bad either. Sounding like a mix representation of rockabilly, grunge and soul, they delivered a solid, tight set. Single "Polka" was the most well-received, as the band belted it out with a raw joy that made everyone danced. The joyous and explosive set seemed to left the crowd lingering on a high, ready for the mighty headliner, Wolfmother 2.0.

Curiosity was all around, would the new band do the the old favourites justice? With no more indication than that long awaited primal scream, the new-look lineup appeared on stage, and set the stage alight with "Dimension". Wolfmother blasted through the tracks from their self-titled debut for instance "White Unicorn", "Vagabond" and "Colossal" with impressive accuracy. New tracks from the highly anticipated Cosmic Egg were also premiered - "Cosmic Egg", "Back Round" and "White Feather", with the latter carries a vocal similar to Jack White at times. Heavy guitar riff and thumping drums were heard from from the old, and straight into the new.
Highlight of the set was when "Woman" was played, sending the audience to a fit of moshpit mania. Tightly sandwiched, I was being squeezed to the first row, how nice!
The new set-up provided the faithful old sound of Wolfmother with a brand new gearbox. With a second guitar, Wolfmother’s towering sound has grown exponentially. Andrew Stockdale's solos and slides catapulted us from a good time to a rock frenzy. He paused occasionally to interact with the crowd, and throwing in a few tasteful windmills and jumps. New bassist Ian Peres, with a similar afro as the frontman, lashed his four string and hurled his keyboard as if it was a rag doll. Drummer Dave Atkins, who at first glance reminded me of the annoying lead singer of One Buck Short, pounded the drums at a blistering pace. Guitarist Aidan Nemeth was at the far side of the corner, where unfortunately I couldn't get a good look of him.
On the downside, Andrew's vocals were barely heard, most probably caused by the subpar soundsystem on the microphone.
After a short intermission, Wolfmother came back to the stage and did an encore, before closing the set with "Joker & The Thief", as the audience collectively losing their mind in the night.

It was beyond words to catch the glorious and triumphant return of Wolfmother, and this is probably the best gig I have attended, well at least on par. Epic and electrifying.

Wolfmother - New Moon Rising
Yves Klein Blue - Polka
Jack Ladder - Not Worth Waiting For

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mona not Lisa

If you like the old Kings Of Leon, and you think the current KOL has gone all mushy and lost their integrity to 'the Man', then you should look no further than Mona, minus Followill's Whitney-Houston-esque vocals. Tipped by NME as one of the 50 best bands of 2010, Mona was described as 'Nashville's next gen rock 'n' roll classicists'. With an extremely difficult-to-Google band name, all I know about the band is they are a Nashville, Tennesse based alternative rock four-piece and their first single “Listen To Your Love” will be released on Sept 13th in UK. You can now listen to another track 'Lines In The Track', and you will know why they are billed as the next big thing.

Mona - Lines In The Track

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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Star Tiger Star Ariel

Delays, those lovely chaps from Southampton are back with their fourth album. Since 'Faded Seaside Glamour' charmed me with the band's ethereal soothing sound, I have never stranded away from Delays. Nevertheless, the two follow-ups 'You See Colours' and 'Everything's The Rush' did not seem to live up to the hype bulit up since their debut, instead we were offered a more polished 80's synth-focus sound, losing the essence of those good ol' Brit melodramatic pop.

With 'Star Tiger Star Ariel', however I believe the boys are back to their dream-pop prime that first caught our ears back then. Greg's signature falsetto vocal is still as dazzling, coupled with those melancholy tunes and infectious romantic lyrics; these combined the winning formula that keeps us wanting more, what more they reunited with their Duncan Lewis who produced their career peak 'Faded Seaside Glamour'.

The album opens with free download single 'Find A Home', a fragile ballad that will surely tug at your heart strings. Highlights of the album include 'The Lost Estate', an anthemic number with soaring catchy chorus, 'May 45', a heavily guitar driven that explores the rockier sound of the band, and 'Hold Fire', an ambient gem that slowly build alongside Greg's stunning vocal. ’Lakes Can Be Lethal’ is another potential single with the swelling string-led grandeur. Ultimately this album is going to stay in my car's stereo for awhile.

Delays - Lost Estate
Delays - Lakes Can Be Lethal

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Sunday, June 27, 2010


‘Serotonin’ is so aptly named that it is bursting with audio pleasure that one just cannot resist. This astonishing record is the third LP from Mystery Jets under a new record label Rough Trade. Moving away from the 80’s glossy sound and the focus on pop melodies and dance beats in the boys’ previous effort ‘Twenty One’, ‘Serotonin’ seems more like a follow-up to the prog-rock influenced debut ‘Making Dens’, but this time in a more tremendous sound that takes you right back to what you loved about Mystery Jets in the first place. Nevertheless it is still a youthful album, packed with acid-sharp lyrics, charming vocal harmonies and ear-catching hooks.

There are plenty of magical moments in the album, from the hugely inviting opener ‘Alice Springs’ to the melancholy ‘The Girl is Gone’, the dazzling synth-laid ‘Show Me the Light’ or the delightfully catchy title-track ‘Serotonin’. Lead single ‘Dream of another World’ is a feel-good pop gem that oozes positivity, one can’t help but wants to feel young and do as what the boys sing ‘do something that will make your mother cry, dreaming of another world’.

These Eel Pie boys have made a triumphant record bursting with life and attitude that Henry will certainly be proud of. Now I shall sit back and let the real serotonin kicks off from listening to this record.

Mystery Jets - Serotonin
Mystery Jets - Show Me The Light

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Miike Snow - The Rabbit

Catapulted themselves into the limelight with their self-titled debut album, Miike Snow has returned with a new track, 'The Rabbit'. It is a brand new previously-unheard track featured in the band's deluxe version of the record, produced by the band and mixed by Madonna collaborator Stuart Price. Miike Snow had one of my favorite albums of all last year, and this track did not disappoint. It fits in perfectly between the pulsating electronics of previous tracks, - catchy hooks and thoughtful lyrics. Electro pop at its best.

Miike Snow -
The Rabbit

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

A B & The Sea

So much music, so little time. We hear new music everyday, but a new band worthy to be blogged about is not easy to come by. But we just stumbled across one in a most unexpected way and it's all good.

The boys from A B & The Sea moved from Wisconsin to California to make thier music heard, and it's the most apt destination that they could have been, since their music is described as fun-breezy-beachy kind of surf rock, like that of the Beach Boys and the early Beatles. The first listen of A B & The Sea reminds me of the morning benders before they caught on the scene with Big Echo, then I found out it was no coincidence, as Chris Chu, the lead vocal from the morning benders, has been playing co-producer with Eric Frederic for the band's new songs.

The band has been releasing free music over This is how it works: 5 singles are to be released for free, each is unlocked as people spread the good music to their friends, more are aware of this band and join their mailing list for the free downloads. So far 3 tracks have been unlocked, so you people go do me a favor and sign up for the downloads, so that I can lay my hands on the remaining two free downloads.

A B & The Sea - Yellow Haired Girl

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Moon Theory

Miami Horror has been touring extensively in Australia, they were playing literally every festival in the past 6 months, but we still hear no news on the release of their full debut. They have a new single 'Moon Theory' out this month, looks like it won't be long before the LP. Everything Benjamin Plant released so far, from the EP 'Bravado' to 'Sometimes' have been ace, Moon Theory is no exception, we can hear that he is gearing towards the epic cool synthpop sound we all like about 'Sometimes'.

Miami Horror -
Moon Theory

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MGMT - Congratulations

MGMT have gave us the first taste from their much anticipated sophomore album "Congratulations", a track entitled “Flash Delirium”. It is an exciting, all-over-the-place track, starting off slowly, before erupting into into a mesh of groovy fun.

Meanwhile, another leaked track “Congratulations” is a slow tempo, relaxing ballad that is just peaceful for the summer. And do I hear some Chinese traditional instrument at the end of the track!?

These two tracks definitely make me curious to find out how the rest of the album will sound like. Can't hardly wait!

MGMT - Flash Delirium
MGMT - Congratulations

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