Cable Ties

Cable Ties

Cable Ties

(Melbourne, AUS // Poison City, Merge Records)

Led by the abrasive guitars and powerful vocals of Jenny McKenchie, Australian punks Cable Ties blur the lines of punk and rock, with angsty dissonance that has just a hint of AC/DC influence hiding beneath the noise. After forming in 2015, the band played often in Melbourne’s D.I.Y. circles and captured their growling sound on albums like 2020’s Far Enough.

Cable Ties were formed by guitarist/vocalist McKenchie, bassist Nick Brown, and drummer Shauna Boyle. The group played their debut gig at 2015’s annual Wetfest — a non-binary-inclusive music festival in Melbourne celebrating the city’s diverse D.I.Y. scene, curated by McKenchie’s other band, Wet Lips. The trio quickly built up a reputation by playing a huge number of live shows in their first year on the local scene. Their first effort was released in March 2016 — the single “Same for Me” — followed six months later by a split single with Wet Lips. By the end of 2016, Cable Ties had opened the Meredith Music Festival and earned themselves the “Golden Boot” — a tradition that involves the crowd unanimously holding their boots and shoes in the air as a seal of approval; they were the first opening band to receive the accolade.

At the beginning of 2017, McKenchie and Boyle helped curate the first Girls Rock! Melbourne event — an initiative that empowers girls and non-gender youths to get involved in music and music education. The trio then headed out on tour with fellow Aussies Camp Cope and signed a deal with local label Poison City Records; their Paul Maybury-produced eponymous debut album appeared in May. The group again went on tour in support of the release with shows across Australia. In 2019, singles began surfacing in advance of the group’s second album, Far Enough. The record took the band’s raw sound into more complex places, and arrived in March 2020.

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Population II

Population II

Population II

(Montreal, CAN // Castle Face Records)

Population II is a young trio of musicians blending Rock n’ Roll, free Jazz and linear rythmns to create a rich nuanced universe. The band’s pieces are often a mixture of multiple improvised ideas under the influence of spontaneity.
They do what they do.
With heaviness through experimentation, Introspection is an immersion in the mind of one who feels the energy of raw Rock n ‘Roll running through its veins for the first time. Instantly, comes the need to transmit and amplify it.

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Reverend Beat-Man & Sister Izobel Garcia

Reverend Beat-Man & Sister Izobel Garcia

Reverend Beat Man & Sister Izobel Garcia

(Bern, CH // Voodoo Rhythm Records)

Beat-Man started his career in 1986 with his band The Monsters, then formed Lightning Beat-Man One Man Band and changed his name in 1999 into Reverend Beat-Man.

He tours around the world like a Maniac : Europe, Australia, North and South America, Japan and Israel. Beat Man won several national prices in Switzerland for his work and was nominated for the Swiss Music Price in 2014. His music promotes the beginning of Blues and Rock’n’Roll with a magic thrash touch. A proper raw energy comes out his live shows, people say i’ts like an atomic reactor sitting on stage ! This is the purest rock music in Switzerland as it’s wild and out of control. Well known for his uncountable releases on voodoo rhythm records, at least 6 Full Length Albums : you must remember songs like Jesus Christ Twist, Blow Um Mau Mau, or Don’t Stop To Dance.

This time, Reverend Beat-Man plays with Sister Izobel Garcia, a young woman of Mexican origin whose sultry voice reminds crooning 1920s jazz. Nicole found escape in the world of dirty late- night music and parties much too young. Beat Man took that multi-instrumentalist Californian girl under his wing to create an exclusive musical project made of thrash blues tainted with voluptuous vocals.

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Ausmuteants

Ausmuteants

Ausmuteants

(Melbourne, AUS // Goner, Agitated Records)

AUSMUTEANTS started life in late 2011 in Geelong by Jake Robertson and Billy Gardner. Both had been playing since teenagers in trad garage bands The Frowning Clouds (Jake) and The Living Eyes (Billy). Being good looking rebels who play by their own rules, they soon cracked the shits, broke loose with just a synth and drums and in early 2012, knocked out the Split Personalities tape. By the time that was out they’d added Melbourne loose-unit Marc Dean on bass, and soon after, ex-Canberran hardcore non-guitarist Shaun Connor on guitar.

Their second album Amusements (note: not self-titled) came from this fledgling time as a full band, with a heavy dose of the duo’s songs. Since the runaway international success of that record and playing every second weekend in Melbourne, they’re rocked-out full-tilt with all four members writing and singing new songs. 23 of these were recorded live with vocal overdubs in the basement of an old Geelong ice cream factory by Mikey Young, then mixed and mastered in his idyllic coastal abode. Again the band and their Australian label Aarght Records strained the friendship with song picks, agreeing on 13 to make up Order of Operation.

This record is better than Amusements any way you cut it: songs, lyrics, delivery and sound. The album opens up with Shaun’s forehead- and thigh-slapping musical and lyrical debut, Freedom of Information. His girlfriend suffers the indignity with panache. From there, songs range from balls to the wall punkers (Felix Tried to Kill Himself; Boiling Point), well-considered workouts (Family Time; Tunnel Vision) and unguarded tenderness (Wrong; Looney Bin; Depersonalisation).

It’s not just the band and label singing the album’s praises; it’s the people who couldn’t stand their juvenile bullshit before. They’ve ditched the toilet humour, gotten nasty and written songs about other people’s problems, terrible bands, fighting crime and trading sex for porn. Mikey after a vocal take: “You deserve to be bashed for that” (the song’s on the record; you guess which one).

Order of Operation is now their defining moment. If you don’t like this record, you pretty much won’t ever like Ausmuteants.

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Brigid Dawson

Brigid Dawson

Brigid Dawson

(Los Angeles, USA // Castle Face Records)

Announcing the debut LP from Brigid Dawson & The Mothers Network – “Ballet of Apes”. Tip-top of our osmosis list is the first quiver of tunes from Brigid Dawson and her newly minted Mothers Network: wise warnings dyed in dark hues, knotted and hard-won torch songs from the edge of a turbulent sea, bittersweet balladry spun in defense against evils familiar and unknown.

Lovely though it may seem from a distance, the striation of loss quicksilvered throughout provides weighty balance to her contralto lilt. Those familiar with her harmonic counterpoint from her time in Thee Oh Sees or in OCS know she can belt as well as lullaby but there’s a fresh and smolderingly heavy swing in her step on display here that we mightily dig.

“Ballet of Apes” tapestries together sessions that read like a who’s who from outside our own castle walls – in Australia with Mikey Young (Total Control/Eddy Current Suppression Ring), in San Francisco with Mike Donovan (ex Sic Alps), Shayde Sartin (ex Fresh & Onlys/lifetime ringer) and Mike Shoun (ex Oh Sees/Peacers), and in Brooklyn with instrumental heavy-weights Sunwatchers – and the results are spellbinding. At the focal point of this maelstrom, our lady, as if illumed by candlelight, intones, pleads, consoles – white magic perhaps but it carries with it the anodized tang of blood. This is thrillingly potent stuff and it’s out on Castle Face May 22 .

Matt from Castle Face Records.


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