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Australians are kicking our asses

May 28, 2009 - 1:12 pm

In case you haven’t been paying attention recently, there is a ton of incredible bands currently coming out of Australia. In fact, the Aussie underground is spitting out more quality acts than its American counterpart. How long has this been happening? Did we fall asleep for a few years, or is Australia just so damn far away that not even the internet can keep us up to speed?

Many of these acts carry the fiery spirit of Australia’s punk and post-punk past – bands like The Saints, The Birthday Party, The Scientists, X (not the John Doe version), and Radio Birdman have provided the foundation for much of this current renaissance. If you’re familiar with any of the aforementioned artists, then it should give you a hint that Australians are kicking our asses.

It’s time we get on the ball and give this stuff the attention it so rightly deserves. Here’s a short list of some of the better acts in Australia right now:

The Drones – This is very presumptuous (mostly because I’ve never actually been to Australia), but if there’s a better rock group in the country I would be very, very surprised. See below.

The Stabs – Fuzzy, ultra-negative scuzz-blues, right up (Scientists frontman) Kim Salmon’s alley.

Witch Hats –  If The Birthday Party formed after Cobain’s death, this might be what they sounded like. Stupid description, I know, but somehow accurate. Witch Hats apparently played a house party in San Diego last summer. Wish I’d known about it.

My Disco – One of my favorite bands on the planet right now. Exploring minimalist extremes in a power trio format. Played the Soda Bar earlier this year and FUCKING DESTROYED. Probably the best show I’ve seen in 2009.

Fabulous Diamonds – Heavy dub and droning beauty from a boy/girl two-piece. Played The Casbah last year with Times New Viking, and I heard it was lovely.

Naked on the Vague – Another boy/girl two-piece, but walking toward the darkness instead of the light. DIY industrial, played by people who didn’t spend enough time outside as teenagers.  But, you know, good. Opened for Blank Dogs at Soda Bar earlier this year.

Eddy Current Suppression Ring – They get a lot of Fall comparisons, and it’s a solid reference point, but that’s only if we’re talking about the Fall songs that people actually remember. Really, this is just classic garage rock that’s obsessed with repetition.

Beaches – Rad all-girl five-piece. Not good because they’re attractive and fashionable. Not good because they’re women functioning in a male-dominated scene. Good because they write incredible pop songs.

ZOND – Early tracks posted on this band’s MySpace page were some of the most intimidating I’ve heard from any “rock” band in years. Sheer threshold-testing guitar noise (see: “Monkey”). And strangely beautiful, at that. Plus, they have better taste than you.

Pikelet – Uncategorizable pop bliss that sounds like it was recorded in a bathroom. Playing at the Che Cafe with Bachelorette on Tuesday, June 2.

Snowman – Dark, furious storms of guitar and bilious vocal performances. Like if Scratch Acid had lost their sense of humor, relocated to Perth and gotten really ambitious.

Pivot – Progressive isn’t used lightly here. This three-piece put out the sleeper album of 2008 on Warp.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 28, 2009 - 8:22 pm 8:22 pm

    I would add Extortion, one of the premeire powerviolence bands of the moment.

    I’m guessing our tastes are a bit different, though.

  2. Todd Kroviak permalink
    May 29, 2009 - 11:55 am 11:55 am

    Did you check out the ZOND link? Probably more powerful and violent than any “powerviolence” band. You might dig Agents of Abhorrence, too… not exactly powerviolence, but pretty insane grindcore from one of the My Disco guys.

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