Month: October 2021

CD Review: Mastodon – Hushed And Grim


Band: Mastodon
Album: Hushed And Grim
Label: Reprise / Warner
Release: October 29th, 2021

Rating: 8.5/10

Whether it really makes the most of its 86-minute runtime is debatable, but immediately clear is that with Hushed And Grim, Mastodon have thrown all caution to the wind – it’s epic both in size and statue, stacked to the brim with fretwork as striking as it is sophisticated. In the six-minute “Sickle And Peace” alone, the band employ mind-boggling technicality, walloping shreddery and a truly empyrean solo.

Throughout the record at large, they expertly balance the prodigious might of their narrative prowess with the ashy bleakness of their sludge metal roots – there are stoutly cerebral moments that call for deep, contemplative reflection, but just as many moments that beckon an instinctive whipping up of the horns and thrashing of the head. It’s not a “heavy” record, per se, but it is positively intense.

Please note: this review is also printed in #145 of Australian Guitar Magazine, syndicated here because AG’s album reviews are no longer published online.

Hushed And Grim is set for release on October 29th, 2021 via Reprise / Warner. Click here to pre-order.

NME news roundup: October 12th-24th, 2021

Hey, hi, hello!

It’s feels like a whole year has passed since the last roundup! In addition to writing for the ✨New Musical Express✨ every day for the last 13 days, I’ve been apartment-hunting with Milo, enjoying all of my post-lockdown freedoms (I finally saw Shang-Chi! It was fucking sick!!!), planning a trip down to Melbourne (we leave tomorrow!), and doing a whole bunch of other little bits and pieces.

We sent Australian Guitar #145 to print last week, and this week I made my radio debut on The Faction (interviewing the legendary Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die). I even started reading a new book for the first time in like eight months (Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters – so far, it is… harrowing). 

It’s been a hectic little while, to say the least. But it’s been great! I’m really looking forward to heading south and seeing my favourite city in the world again – and hopefully, fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc, finding an apartment there. At this stage we’re heading down for five nights, but we might end up extending that depending on what kind of luck we have with the hunt. I’m also working through the whole trip (how else am I going to afford that #citylife?) so I’m expecting next week to be even more hectic than the last couple.

The biggest drop this week was 100% the new Alex Lahey single, ‘Spike The Punch’. I am so, so stoked that she’s signed to Liberation, and I truly cannot wait to see her take over the world with LP3. I have also been absolutely adoring the new Snail Mail album, Valentine, so I’m gonna pop the title track in here too. I already know that next week’s highlight will be the Trophy Eyes song – keep an eye out on BLUNT for our ~exclusive~ interview with John about it on Thursday!

Anyway, here’s everything I got up to at NME over the past couple of weeks!

TUESDAY, 12/10/21

Bon Iver share recordings of ‘Beth/Rest’ and ‘Babys’ from their 2011 AIR Studios session

James Blake recruits Slowthai for new version of ‘Funeral’

Slash, Wolfgang Van Halen guitarist Frank Sidoris involved in “traumatic” car accident

WEDNESDAY, 13/10/21

The Kid LAROI teases collaboration with Tame Impala

Denis Handlin will keep Order of Australia honours, has QMusic award revoked

George Alice looks to the future on energised new single ‘Mid Years’

Missy Higgins and The Teskey Brothers lead new batch of SummerSalt shows for QLD and SA

THURSDAY, 14/10/21

Snail Mail joins Waxahatchee for live cover of Sheryl Crow’s ‘Strong Enough’

Kingswood, The Black Sorrows, Emma Donovan and more announced for inaugural Flavafest

Clowns announce rescheduled national tour dates to kick off in December

DMA’S share watercolour-tinted film clip for ‘Junk Truck Head Fuck’

RedHook announce 2022 ‘Bring Ya Mates’ tour, drop fan-starring ‘Sentimental Surgery’ video

Jesswar links up with Erica Banks for venomous new single ‘Bad Like Riri’

FRIDAY, 15/10/21

Billy Porter ushers in a new era with anthemic single ‘Children’

Megan Thee Stallion links up with Popeyes to launch Hottie Sauce and merch line

Le Tigre issue statement on lawsuit against Barry Mann over ‘Deceptacon’: “We just want him to leave us alone”

ARIA strips Denis Handlin of Icon Award following ‘Four Corners’ investigation

Listen to Missy Higgins’ triumphant new single ‘Edge Of Something’

SATURDAY, 16/10/21

Watch the new video for Teen Jesus And The Jean Teasers’ latest single ‘AHHHH!’

King Stingray, WAAX and more announced for 2021 Yonder Festival

Courtney Barnett and DMA’S lead 2022 Day On The Lawn lineup

Jack Botts drops ‘Live At Miami Marketta’ EP, details 2022 Australian tour

Agnes Manners team up with Deez Nuts’ JJ Peters for new take on ‘As Long As You’re Mine’

SUNDAY, 17/10/21

Watch System Of A Down perform live debut of ‘Genocidal Humanoidz’ and ‘Protect The Land’

PLANET announce debut album, ‘Information Overload’

Full Tilt locks in new dates for Sydney and Melbourne editions

Kito joins forces with Winona Oak for slinky new track ‘Skin & Bones’

MONDAY, 18/10/21

APRA AMCOS revokes Denis Handlin’s 2009 Ted Albert Award

Judas Priest’s Rob Halford reveals he was treated for prostate cancer, is now in remission

Production teaser for ‘The Flash’ shows first glimpse of Michael Keaton’s return as Batman

Daniel Craig crashes a Prince audition in surprise ‘Saturday Night Live’ cameo

Watch Robert Fripp and Toyah Willcox’s goofy Right Said Fred cover: “I’m too sexy for King Crimson”

TUESDAY, 19/10/21

The Weeknd pushes world tour back to 2022, expands to stadiums

Guided By Voices announce 34th album, ‘It’s Not Them. It Couldn’t Be Them. It Is Them!’

The Wiggles announce 18+ arena tour with original line-up

Young Thug sues apartment building for allegedly giving stranger 200 unreleased songs worth over $1million

WEDNESDAY, 20/10/21

Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump scores new romantic comedy, ‘Mark, Mary & Some Other People’

Listen to Fergus James’ poignant new single ‘Fall Short’

Void Of Vision drop pummelling new single ‘Vampyr’, detail first EP in ‘Chronicles’ series

Chelsea Warner dials back on luscious new single ‘It Be Like That’

Watch the dreamlike film clip for Ashwarya’s latest single, ‘Flare’

THURSDAY, 21/10/21

David Ellefson on being ousted from Megadeth: “I don’t have any sour grapes over it”

Barkaa sets December release for debut EP, ‘Blak Matriarchy’

Naomi Keyte embraces the simple joys in life with new video for ‘Greenhill’

DZ Deathrays to release 8-bit phone game ‘Dive Bar Superstars’

San Joseph balances calmness and catharsis in new film clip for ‘Everything In The Room’

FRIDAY, 22/10/21

Swedish House Mafia link up with The Weeknd for new single ‘Moth To A Flame’

Olivia Rodrigo mourns a backstabbing ex in new music video for ‘Traitor’

Between You And Me take aim at climate-denying politicians on new single ‘Change’

Greta Stanley branches out with luscious new single ‘Close Call’

Warumpi Band to release first ever collection of recordings, ‘Papunya Sessions 1982’

SATURDAY, 23/10/21

Coterie breeze through the apocalypse on blissful new single ‘Good Morning’

Biblemami launches ‘Unpleasant Adolescent’ EP with new single ‘Outsider’

FREAKCLUB make an enthralling debut with dancehall-inspired ‘Perfect’

Johnny Hunter take to a dreary London pub in new film clip for ‘Life’

SUNDAY, 24/10/21

Peach PRC gets in the Christmas spirit with buzzy new single ‘I’ve Been Bad, Santa’

Tamworth Country Music Festival confirmed to be going ahead in 2022

Missy Higgins sings her heart out in new film clip for ‘Edge Of Something’

CD Review: Every Time I Die – Radical


Band: Every Time I Die
Album: Radical
Label: Epitaph
Release: October 22nd, 2021

Rating: 8/10

In the five years since Every Time I Die dropped Low Teens, shit has, to say the very least, hit the fan. Radical concentrates those five years of social disarray and capitalistic chaos into the Buffalo group’s most vicious and evocative album yet, laden with brutally intense riffage and visceral, incendiary rage.

It’s the more artful and considered moments that stand out, though: the swampy, pared-back plucks on “Thing With Feathers” and the soaring melodies on “Post-Boredom”, for example, or the white-hot angst of closer “We Go Together”. These tracks make some of the more straightforward hardcore stompers (“Hostile Architecture”, “Distress Rehearsal”) fall a bit flat – there’s certainly some mud amongst the opals here – but to say Radical ever overstays its welcome would be patently false. 

Please note: this review is also printed in #145 of Australian Guitar Magazine, syndicated here because AG’s album reviews are no longer published online.

Radical is set for release on October 22nd, 2021 via Epitaph. Click here to pre-order.

CD Review: Thrice – Horizons / East


Band: Thrice
Album: Horizons / East
Label: Epitaph
Release: September 17th, 2021

Rating: 8/10

A sinuous odyssey through all the lustrous highs and pummelling lows of Dustin Kensrue’s psyche, there’s a gauzy, intoxicating cloudiness that lurks around every corner on Horizons / East. It ebbs and flows between a meditative calm and a baleful storminess, twining glimmers of thrashy and visceral punk-rock with the glittery, pastoral flavours of shoegaze and prog.

The rusty, shred-centric steeze of early cuts like “Scavengers” and “Summer Set Fire To The Rain” pave way for the record’s lighter and more silvery back-end to bloom; riding on the back of the blood-rushing highs of “The Dreamer”, “Robot Soft Exorcism” feels therapeutic – the calm after the storm, if you will, with a soaring and cinematic crescendo that makes the silky, dreamlike lulls of “Dandelion Wire” and “Unitive / East” all the more impactful.

Please note: this review is also printed in #145 of Australian Guitar Magazine, syndicated here because AG’s album reviews are no longer published online.

Horizons / East is out now via Epitaph. Click here to get around it.

CD Review: The Buoys – Unsolicited Advice For Your DIY Disaster


Band: The Buoys
Album: Unsolicited Advice For Your DIY Disaster
Label: Spunk
Release: October 13th, 2021

Rating: 8/10

Lacquering their youthful, sunkissed power-pop jams with lyrical barbs that shoot straight for the heart, The Buoys’ sophomore EP would feel just as much at home roaring from the PAs at next year’s Splendour In The Grass as it would through a pair of AirPods during a casual quarter-life crisis.

Zoe Catterall and Hilary Geddes’ yin-and-yang fretwork sears with a frisky, jangly grunt, contrasted wonderfully by Courtney Cunningham’s rounded and propulsive basslines. Teeming with energy even at their lowest point, the band often veer scarily close to the edge of overkill – you know what they say: if you ain’t redlining, you ain’t headlining – but they always know just when to reel it back in. Case in point: the dizzying bends and bubbly hook on slow-burner “Lie To Me”. 

Please note: this review is also printed in #145 of Australian Guitar Magazine, syndicated here because AG’s album reviews are no longer published online.

Unsolicited Advice For Your DIY Disaster is out now via Spunk. Click here to get around it.

NME news roundup: October 5th-10th, 2021

Hey, hi, hello!

So I’ve been trying something new this week. Bruno has been getting rather ✨chonky✨ throughout lockdown, and Milo and I have been neglecting his usual walkies and/or trips to the dog park by proxy of my work piling up, and Milo’s study piling up. But rather than continue to watch Bruno progressively get rounder, we decided on Tuesday to take him to the park with my laptop, and have Milo supervise while I tried smashing out some work from a park bench. It wasn’t entirely optimal, but it worked – and the dogs weren’t nearly as distracting as I thought they’d be (however it was indeed extremely difficult not to spent the whole time petting them all) – so we ended up doing the same on Wednesday and Friday.

NSW also hit its 70% double-vax target on Wednesday, so we are OFFICIALLY OUT OF LOCKDOWN TOMORROW, BAYBEE! I have the day off, too, so Milo and I are heading out for breakfast at one of our favourite cafés, then to the movies (ya bitch is finally going to see Shang-Chi, and they cannot fucking wait), and then maybe to the arcade after if we’re both up to it. 

So with all of that said, here’s everything I got up to at NME this week. The highlight for this week was easily the new Gang Of Youths track, but I didn’t write the piece about that because the UK team is just too good at breaking shit-hot Aussie news. Goddamn it. I think the best thing I wrote about this week is the new Flowerkid song, “Vodka Orange Juice”. It is so powerful, emotional and cerebral. This dude just does not have it in him to write a bad song, does he? Absolute GEM of a track.

Take care. Stay safe. Eat a bagel.

TUESDAY, 05/10/21

Billy Bragg leads judging panel for 2021 Australian Music Prize

Sarah Wolfe tackles social anxiety on fiery new single ‘Killing Time’

Missy Higgins, Xavier Rudd and Birds Of Tokyo lead new SummerSalt shows in TAS and WA

Amy Shark, Mo’Ju and Lime Cordiale named ambassadors for Ausmusic T-Shirt Day 2021

WEDNESDAY, 06/10/21

Foo Fighters and Tame Impala lead 2022 edition of baseball-centric Innings Festival

Hockey Dad, Aunty Donna and Middle Kids lead inaugural Super Fun Day lineup

San Joseph bares his soul on heartrending new single ‘Everything In The Room’

Up Late channels his best and worst selves on biting new single ‘Diva’

Becca Hatch blends jungle beats with gentle balladry on new single ‘Safety’

THURSDAY, 07/10/21

Billie Eilish adds Australia and New Zealand leg to ‘Happier Than Ever’ world tour

‘Four Corners’ special to explore the “inside story” of Sony Music Australia

Milan Ring drops new single ‘Pick Me Up’, announces debut album

Totally Unicorn lament societal pressures on intense new single ‘Yeah, Coach’

Flowerkid highlights transphobia on gut-wrenching new single ‘Vodka Orange Juice’

FRIDAY, 08/10/21

Kylie Minogue is returning to Australia after 30 years in the UK

Suicidal Tendencies lose Instagram account for three weeks because of their band name

Nas shares breezy new Hit-Boy collaboration, ‘Big Nas’

The Kid LAROI is working on a project to explore his name, a nod to his mother’s Kamilaroi heritage

SATURDAY, 09/10/21

Hatchie drops smoky cover of Jennifer Paige’s 1998 hit ‘Crush’

Listen to The Belligerents’ first new song in four years, ‘Emily’

The Money War announce new EP ‘Blood’, share effervescent title track

Watch the animated music video for Hope D’s latest single, ‘Happy Hangover’

SUNDAY, 10/10/21

Watch Carly Rae Jepsen cover Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ and Sade’s ‘By Your Side’

The Rock makes his white-hot rap debut on new Tech N9ne single ‘Face Off’

CD Review: Sam Teskey – Cycles


Band: Sam Teskey
Album: Cycles
Label: Ivy League
Release: October 8th, 2021

Rating: 6.5/10

On his long-awaited solo debut, Sam Teskey eschews the blues in favour of hazy, fuzz-laden psychedelica. Albeit rather derivative – Teskey mines the ‘60s like a proud fanboy, but adds little of his own flair to the fray – the talent employed on Cycles is undeniable; from the Hendrixian swagger of “If The Dove Is Sold” to the Dylanesque twangs of “Til The River Takes Us Home”, or the Floydian fizz of “Let The Sun Bring The Light” and “Then Love Returns”, Teskey nails every strum, pluck and solo like the seasoned virtuoso he is. 

We could’ve done without the plodding intros and outros (which occupy over a quarter of the album’s real estate), but they’re not entirely egregious. All in all, Cycles makes for a decent Sunday evening apéritif. Serve chilled, preferably at dusk. 

Please note: this review is also printed in #145 of Australian Guitar Magazine, syndicated here because AG’s album reviews are no longer published online.

Cycles is out now via Ivy League. Click here to get around it.

NME news roundup: September 28th – October 2nd, 2021

Hi, hey, hello!

It is a muggy Sunday morning here in Western Sydney, and I am currently buried under a veritable mountain of blankets (with a fan blasting at full power about 20cm from my face, because… contrast). September was a pretty hectic month – hence the last two NME round-ups not even having intros – but I’m currently enjoying a chill day off and mentally preparing myself for an even more insane October. 

On that note, we’re only a week out from COVID restrictions (supposedly) easing in NSW, which means I should be able to start house-hunting (and finally see Shang-Chi, holy shit) later this month! I’m just crossing my fingers in hopes that the border to Victoria opens soon too, or that we’re at least able to start applying for permits to cross it. Right now my LGA is a grey zone, which means we aren’t able to cross any interstate borders unless it is an absolute, extreme-case emergency. But hopefully that’s gonna change soon!

My highlight this week is the new track by Whatever, Forever – a pop-punk/emo/hardcore-ish outfit from my own batting grounds of Western Sydney – which landed on Friday. Five EPs down and they still won’t commit to a full-length album, but at least we’re getting new music from them at all – and fucking sick music, at that. I’ve linked “Ghost Of Me” after the jump, but in the meantime, here’s everything I got up to at NME this week:

TUESDAY, 28/09/21

Bob Dylan announces US leg of ‘Rough And Rowdy Ways’ world tour

Listen to Soccer Mommy and Kero Kero Bonito join forces on ‘Rom Com 2021’

Listen to Arca’s entrancing new single ‘Incendio’

Tom Grennan announces 2022 Australian tour

Muroki longs for home on bubbly new single ‘Surfin’

WEDNESDAY, 29/09/21

Converge detail collaborative album with Chelsea Wolfe, Ben Chisholm and Stephen Brodsky

Spacey Jane, Meg Mac, The Presets and more announced for QLD leg of This That 2022

Eat Your Heart Out drop idyllic film clip for ‘Pear Tree’

PLANET plead to save a doomed relationship on summery new single ‘Ship Won’t Change’

Shannen James team ups with Riley Pearce for an acoustic version of ‘Separate Ways’

THURSDAY, 30/09/21

Judge suspends Jamie Spears as Britney Spears’ conservator

The Script announce Australian ‘Greatest Hits’ tour for 2022

Ashwarya taps into romantic tension on striking new single ‘Flare’

Micra drop new tracks ‘After Dark’ and ‘Tell Me What You Need’, announce EP trilogy

KYE links up with Jerome Farah for dreamy new single ‘Tuesday’

FRIDAY, 01/10/21

LÂLKA drops dancefloor-primed new single ‘Hold Me’, announces new EP

Running Touch links up with GRAACE, Set Mo and Motez for live version of ‘Ceilings’

Keli Holiday lives it up on his lonesome with summery new single ‘December’

Between You And Me share new single ‘Butterflies’, detail second album

Client Liaison drop new video for ‘Strictly Business’, sell their “soul” as an NFT

Whatever, Forever share emotive new single ‘Ghost Of Me’, announce fifth EP

SATURDAY, 02/10/21

David Lee Roth says he’ll retire after final concerts in Las Vegas: “I’m throwing in the shoes”

Queen’s Roger Taylor says anti-vaxxers “must be ignorant and stupid”

Bootleg Rascal drop reggae remix of ‘With You’, detail massive Australian tour

Pluto Jonze drops blissful new singles ‘New Morning High’ and ‘Rumschpringe’

PS. get vaccinated or fuck off eternally.

September ’21 post dump!

Oh my god, September was huge!

I hope everyone reading this had a fantastic month, and has an even better October. I don’t really have much to report on my end (we’re still in lockdown, but it’s looking more and more likely that we’ll actually get out of it next month), so here’s everything I got up to around the Internet throughout September.

I think my favourite album this month was Sleigh Bells’ Texis, which feels like the definitive distillation of their warbly, off-kilter pop and rock ebullience – dare I call it hyper-rock? – into an ultra-bright eruption of fun and fucked-up production perfectly suited for the rollercoaster ride that has been 2021. Here I’ve tacked on my favourite track from the record, ‘Tennessee Tips’.


Episode 6: Stray From The Path (Apple Podcasts | Spotify)


Ruby Fields – ‘Been Doin’ It For A Bit’ review: gut-punching debut from an indie-rocker wiser than her years


AViVA: Finding the light within emo’s darkness

Turnstile: Glow with the flow

WAAX: On the cusp of a new age

Amyl And The Sniffers: A warm hug of raw punk

Spiritbox: An eternity in the making

The Beths: Tour bus gazers

Parkway Drive: A royal return to the stage

Justice For The Damned: The infinite potential of power

Polaris: Life after The Death Of Me

Ruby Fields: Life in the fast lane

Vox Pop: How do full-time touring artists keep themselves sane on the road?

5 songs that helped The Sleepyheads get through 2020

The Weekly Riff: August 28th – September 3rd, 2021

The Weekly Riff: September 4th-10th, 2021

The Weekly Riff: September 11th-17th, 2021

Premiere: A Swift Farewell tug at our heartstrings with their latest pop-punk crooner, ‘Sunburn’

Premiere: Agapanther stick it to their dickhead “mates” with the ripping new single ‘Pseudo’

Premiere: Drastic Park admit they suck ass with god-awful new single ‘Snakes And Ladders’

Premiere: Wildheart prepare to dominate hardcore with vicious new single and debut album

Premiere: Mosh-pop supergroup Dead Mall roar to life with debut single ‘Cough It Up’

Premiere: Afterthought revel in their “heartbreak memories” with punchy new jam ‘Homebound’

EN GARDE – thy full lineup for Knight & Day 2021 hath landed!

The Used have dropped their enormous deluxe edition of ‘Heartwork’


The Superjesus’ Jason Slack: “I had no real plan from the start, I just wanted to make a guitar”

Australian Guitar x Bluesfest 2022: All Our Exes Live In Texas

Australian Guitar x Bluesfest 2022: Tex Perkins

Australian Guitar x Bluesfest 2022: The Living End

Australian Guitar x Bluesfest 2022: Hiatus Kaiyote

Spotlight: Alex Lees of Four In The Morning

Spotlight: Ella Williams, a.k.a. Squirrel Flower

Spotlight: Sam Sheumack of Fangz

Spotlight: Kyle Balkin of Leisure Sport

Premiere: Justin Bernasconi channels the spirit of the Australian outback on luminous new single “Lady In The Field”