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50 Words or Less: January 2013

Can't keep up with all the music released each month? It's cool, Ian Rogers has you covered.

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Suit & Tie – Justin Timberlake feat. JAY Z (Digital Single)

Stripped of Michael Jackson’s hand-me-downs, JT accidently buys a vintage outfit previously owned by Jamiroquai. In the middle there, Shawn shrugs through a half-verse and gets paid. Less than exactly 50 words for this is far too kind but I just don’t want to hit play again.

Churn EP – Scissor Lock (Free Digital EP)

Marcus Whale, half of Sydney duo Collarbones, turns in a fairly ambient release with this EP. Far from a drone experiment, Churn places just enough rhythm and vocal hook work around all the spectral nothingness to keep the whole thing motoring along. I loved it, especially the disorientating panning weirdness.

Ready For Boredom - Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys (LP Album)

A whole album of that weird and always reaffirming moment where a ‘local’ band delivers some genuine pathos. Recommended if you like rough Replacements styled rock in the headphones or in the pool room or the share-house. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to enjoy it.

Bitches Love Me – Lil Wayne feat. Drake & Future (Digital Single)

Years ago I read an interview with Patti Smith and the issue of '80s music censorship came up. The interviewer was quite shocked to find that Smith felt completely unfazed by Tipper Gore’s dreaded PMRC. Her explanation: nearly all of that banned music was garbage anyhow, especially 2 Live Crew.

Winter Haunts - The Rational Academy (LP / Free Digital)

If you ever cared for Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Deerhunter or Boris (in heavy gaze mode) then this will be one of your top albums of 2013, thank me later. A beautiful, totally zero-fucks-given, last-ditch all-out swan song from one of Brisbane’s best ever bands.

Oddfellows – Tomahawk (Album) 

Oddfellows has moments where it taps into all the collected heritage of Tomahawk’s members. There’s Jesus Lizard drill-press guitars, precise Helmet drumming, Melvins weird and Mike Patton sounding very Faith No More. Thing is, I don’t really like the sound of all these things together. No big tragedy, I guess.

Live I – O (Free/Donation EP)

Brisbane brutalists O self-describe as black metal (amongst other things moody and noisy) but on record they never make me reach for the kook-trapdoor. Instead they pound down like a pretty devastating post-hardcore band that have forgotten to practice all the life and spontaneity out of their music. Good stuff.

Now – Paramore (Digital Single)

Just a really, really shit Yeah Yeah Yeahs verse getting pummeled bloody by every emo power-chorus you’ve ever heard on commercial radio. And worse, in that chorus somewhere the singer demands, ‘If there’s a future, we want it!’ like she’s ordering a size upgrade at McDonalds. A pretty bleak month then.

Fade – Yo La Tengo (Album)

I’m a music critic so I’m virtually have to like this band, being such a cross-pollination of NYC/VU art-rock, lounge chic and hand-crafted pop as they are. Except that I really am fond of this. For me, Fade is like coming to work and finding free pizza in the kitchen.

Berberian Sound Studio - Broadcast (Soundtrack Album)

Originally intended as a soundtrack for a horror movie within a movie, this ended up becoming the OST for the entire film. It shows; such a lush suite of cinematic sounds, charted by Italian horror and Broadcast’s impeccable taste and given deeper context by the sad loss of Trish Keenan.

Light Up Gold – Parquet Courts (Album)

Sometimes Pitchfork seems like it’s a place more than a website. In Pitchfork, there are local bands that people know and love and when the residents of Pitchfork go to these shows they have a great time. Then when their bands tour, everywhere else the crowd have their arms crossed.

True North – Bad Religion

It’s not that this is a bad pop-punk album because it’s not. The problem is that I struggle to think of a genre of music less appealing in 2013. Wasn’t this whole thing thoroughly, completely, endlessly played out last century? So this is nostalgia for something we happily let pass.

None Left - Raw Prawn (7”)

It’s a bit critically remiss but I’m giving this ten stars based on the cover alone: a B+W photography of a particularly chilled out dog wearing sunglasses. And am I wrong? These songs are a totally adequate, workable and charming vehicle for this wonderful cover. What has your band done?

Worship Is the Cleansing of the Imagination - JK Flesh / Prurient (12” EP)

Justin Broadrick’s JK Flesh factory-floor beats have never been better than here, which is pretty typical: he’s often saved his best work for splits/singles. And while I wasn’t a huge fan of Prurient’s last Hyrdahead release, I like his tropical in the foreground / noise in the background vibe now.

Sadglint EP - Sadglint (Cassette / Free Digital EP)

A nicely appointed and gazed out collection of open plan jams, this cassette from former Tragic:Athletic member Rowan Cooper is worth inspecting. It’s his debut, so it wins out on its dreamy promise more than its upfront delivery. Listening to the intricate details, I’m confident this is a good investment.

Long. Live. ASAP – A$AP Rocky (Album)

How can I like this and hate ‘Love Me’? Because how you say something (the same predictable thing, for the most part) really is everything in music. Also: the production on this drifts pretty deep and unexpected. Inside it all, Rocky isn’t rattled one bit. At ease, he sells it.

Ian Rogers
 
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Photos: Laneway Festival, Sydney 2013

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