Raised By Eagles
How do you find new life in a genre that’s been over-explored to the point of vapidity? Pay no mind to what’s happening elsewhere – to all the watered down alt-country crooners that discovered Ryan Adams via The OC – and instead put your clear melodic skill towards writing songs with real feeling. That, essentially, is the route taken by Melbourne’s Raised By Eagles. They’ve got a new album, which they’re launching alongside Ruby Boots.
Thursday May 21 – Newtown Social Club – Sydney, NSW
Friday May 22 – Howler – Melbourne, VIC
Something tells me Methyl Ethel have what it takes to be total pop eccentrics. Their songs flirt with the world of insanity – the land inhabited by the likes of solo-era Syd Barrett and Of Montreal – only, the Perth trio hold it together to present some lusciously tasty slices of understated psych pop.
Thursday May 21 – Hellenic Hall – Hobart, TAS (w/ San Cisco)
Formerly of weirdo-electronic duo kyu, Alyx Dennison’s debut solo LP moves in a more organic direction, involving acoustic guitars, eastern instruments and straighter lyrics. But the experimental fire still burns strong, and Dennison’s outsider pop evokes thoughts of Bjork and Julia Holter, with a dash of Feist.
Friday May 22 – Red Eye Records – Sydney, NSW
Saturday June 6 – Northcote Social Club – Melbourne, VIC
Men With Chips
In recorded form, Men With Chips have an interesting, slightly uncouth post-punk sound, but it’s nothing radically special. Watching the Adelaide trio live, on the other hand, is an occasion of surrealist theatre. Some songs are totally stream of consciousness, unrehearsed, and anti-coordinated. And yet, in a stupidly brilliant fashion, everything congeals. The rock god antics of the band’s left-handed, Nicolas-Cage-on-a-pizza-binge, bass player are worth watching alone.
Friday May 22 – Hotel Metro – Adelaide
Moses Gunn Collective
Moses Gunn Collective are a pack of smooth operators, responsible for cruisy indie psych pop. But something in the band’s chic demeanour suggests they’ve got a hidden dangerous side. Perhaps it’s a dangerous amount of cool, that’ll swoop in and steal your girlfriend. Or maybe I just shouldn’t have eaten that second mushroom.
Friday May 22 – The Brightside – Brisbane, QLD (w/ The Jungle Giants)
It’ll be interesting to see how Flower Drums go about re-enacting their R&B-leaning dream pop in a live setting. I’m crossing my fingers that it’s not a backing-track expo. The Perth outfit know how to write a catchy tune and they don’t stress the emotion, but rather put it out there as a suggestion. It could get sexy on stage.
Friday May 22 – Odd Fellow – Perth, WA
Just ‘cause it’s dirty minimal DIY punk, that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate influence from the avant garde, ‘70s disco and fruity pop. Farrar’s latest LP Brat Farrar II does just this. And the Melbourne songwriter pulls it off without sounding like a wanker. He’s a dirty boy at heart, but he’s not going to let that be limiting.
Saturday May 23 – The Old Bar – Melbourne, VIC
Grassed Inn, Blank Realm’s latest LP, was one of last year’s finest releases. The record gives a nod to Televsion by way of Yo La Tengo and Superchunk. The band patiently unravel their star attributes, and uphold confidence about how effective this will be, even if it makes listeners apprehensive at first. On stage, Blank Realm offer pure, uninhibited joy. This Vivid Live show at the Opera House also includes Royal Headache and Dick Diver/ Lower Plenty’s Al Montfort.
Saturday May 23 – Sydney Opera House – Sydney, NSW (w/ Royal Headache, Snake & Friends)
You won’t leave a Mesa Cosa show in the same state of physical steadiness in which you enter. You know how annoying it is when bands criticise the audience for just standing there? Mesa Cosa don’t bothering whinging about the crowd’s inactivity. Instead, they have such an unbelievably unruly time on stage that it’d be impolite to not join in. The songs are great too, see:
Saturday May 23 – Brisbane Hotel – Hobart, TAS
Rob Snarski is no spring chicken. But last year’s Wounder Bird is – believe it or not – the first solo LP from the Blackeyed Susans leader. He teamed up with ex-Susans cohort Dan Luscombe to put the thing together and the album shows that age has only enhanced this quality songwriter’s prowess.
Sunday May 24 – Darwin Railway Club – Darwin, NT