Liam Finn is a quiet eccentric. He trades in lucid pop songcraft where melody is king, but he’s prone to singing about Helena Bonham Carter, Nietzschean social deviance and wrestling with his dad (Neil Finn). In some ways, he’s a pop rock classicist, but he’s also partial to several dozen layers of guitar within a single song.
Robert Forster does have an up-to-date official Facebook page, but he’s not the one maintaining it. Occasionally he’ll post something himself, but he’s more likely to be championing a friend’s creative project than hawking his own wares. The lead single from the former Go-Between’s brilliant Songs To Play LP is a wonderfully charming tune called ‘Let Me Imagine You’. It’s a simple testament to the value of mystique and imagination. Forster reminds us that full disclosure has very little poetic potency.
Melbourne quartet Hierophants take a minimal garagey approach to subversive new wave. Their new record, Parallax Error, follows Devo’s lead, interrogating hypocrisy via giddy melodies. All the while, paranoia keeps poking through.
Brisbane is a historically tough city. In the late-‘70s, this toughness made it a breeding ground for some of the world’s most incisive punk rock. It’s a far more liberal place now than it was in the ‘70s, but that doesn’t mean Brisbanites are all chirpy and optimistic. Halfway through Kitchen’s Floor’s new Battle of Brisbane LP comes ‘Doomed’, a song which knows nothing’s for certain except that everyone is doomed.
Speak-Sing Post Hardcore
All too often the tag ‘post hardcore’ applies to music that sounds like hardcore’s had a lobotomy. All sap, no fierce resolution. Shit Narnia, on the other hand, can sit comfortably under the label. Their songs mightn’t come pummelling into your face, but these boys from Perth have anger to burn and have found a suitable outlet for doing so.
Lo-Fi Guitar Pop
Woozy guitars, obfuscating vocal effects, off-kilter personality, it’s all a distraction from the fact that Jimmy Chang is a maker of excellent pop music. Hey, we’re not complaining, it’s a most pleasing sound regardless.
Trip hop has never had a truly pervasive renaissance. Just like the contemporaneous genre movements grunge and shoegaze, history has hammed up how much of a towering cultural force it really was. Still, there’s no harm in bands borrowing a few of trip hop’s defining elements. Slum Sociable do just this – hip hop beats, jazzy inflections and enough murkiness to trigger the imagination.
ATTILA MY HONEY
Attila My Honey make infectious, somewhat scrappy indie pop. It’s a joy to listen to, even if it is a bit of pastiche. You’ll notice hints of Paul Kelly & the Coloured Girls, The Go-Betweens, and even a touch of the youthful Ben Lee.
Cool sounds, yes, but perhaps not exactly cool dudes. Some periodic seclusion was required to create this blend of Chills-like guitar melodicism and plaintive vocal pleading, supported by a lulling rhythmic pulse.
Friedrich Nietzsche regarded modernity’s concept of The Ultimate Man to be a complete perversion of human evolution. Someone who rises to the top of the social strata, good job, temperate interests, obedient, complacent. For the swift removal of the ultimate man, he promoted utter decadence. Enter the Weak Boys: not ultimate men, but blokes who probably know a thing or two about decadence.