Review: Inspired by the slightly unlikely collision of the Thai music of the '70s and The Shadows, Khruangbin - the name means 'aeroplane' in Thailand - are purveyors of a deliriously mellow and beguiling form of jammed-out power-trio guitar music - far removed from standard notions of psych and dreampop, partly owing to its pan-global influences, its nonetheless both psychedelic and dreamy, not to mention possessed of an unhurried, reflective and spacious lilt that renders this Texan-London outfit a rare treat in an information-saturated age, taking on delicate soul and funk with exotic atmospheres and making the journey feel both blissful and effortless.
Review: In 2015, Texas & London-based trio Khruangbin's debut album 'The Universe Smiles Upon You' garnered wide critical acclaim and captured attention for its seamless genre-blending and internationally shaped sound - one that evidently has deep roots in Thai-funk cassette culture. Similarly to their debut, sophomore record 'Con Todo El Mundo' is a cocktail of largely instrumental surf-rock, afro-funk, middle-eastern and far-eastern influences, mixed with warmth and soul. As if their pallette wasn't diverse enough, the additions of the pared back boogie on 'Evan Finds The Third Room', the widescreen dream-pop of 'A Hymn' and deeply intricate writing of closer 'Friday Morning', are illustrative of a band who have worked hard to broaden their horizons while keeping their roots in mind and, despite transatlantic bases, clearly remain a stunningly cohesive and well-matched outfit.
Review: It's not that fans of King Gizzard never expected this from the band's 15th long form outing, but rather anyone who stumbled upon the alliterated outfit on their last offering - "Fishing For Fishes" - is likely to be dumbstruck. Forget the life-affirming blues hues of that record. "Infest The Rats' Nest" sees the band at their heaviest - they are barely audible here beneath the din and cacophony of thrash metal. Exploring Earth's fate in the age of environmental degradation and pollution through "Superbug"'s slow chug and low, bellowed chorus, the driving riffs of "Mars For The Rich", the intensity of "Perihelion" and the screeching chords of "Venusian 2", the album's 9 tracks are as legit as anything this sub-genre has thrown at us since inception in the 1980s. More astute fans will have heard nuances of this on 2017's LP, "Murder of the Universe" and various manic musical explosions in Gizzard's back catalogue. "Infest The Rats' Nest" is a constant barrage of unrelenting energy from start to finish, and quite possibly their strongest album yet.
Review: The Utopia Strong might be the most unlikely combination of musical elements imaginable. Coil's Michael J. York, Kavus Torabi of Gong note, the vocals of Miranda Sex Garden's Katharine Blake (albeit rendered almost unrecognisable), a modular synth and, snooker god Steve Davis. But those who know the cue-wielding deity's reputation as a techno, soul, funk, jazz and progressive rock aficionado will understand this one has been a long time coming. So, what do the results sound like? Well, a mixed bag, but all otherworldly and surreal. "Konta Chorus" marries the whirring of machine loops with trippy guitar reverberations, timeless string arpeggios and hypnotic wind sections. "Brainsurgeons 3", running close to 11-minutes, is an epic space-age marriage of techno and sci-fi. Meanwhile, the appropriately named "Moonchild" closes the album out on lengthy refrains of disharmony and subtle, nymph-ish lyrical whispers. A trip and a half.
Review: Australian combo Tama Impala has always been hard to pin down, with their two studio albums to date displaying a keen desire to capture a trippy, psychedelic vibe, whilst refusing to settle on one easy-to-categorize sound. Currents, their fourth album, continues this trend, toning down some of the psychedelic rock elements in favour of nods to blue-eyed soul, woozy dream-pop, cheery summery pop (see the radio hit in waiting "The Less I Know The Better"), and even the head-nodding rhythms of hip hop (which, incidentally, prove the perfect backing for the morphine pop wooziness of "Past Life"). It's a blend that re-casts the band as baked, inter-dimensional travellers with a neat line in enveloping, sun-kissed downtempo pop.
Review: Narrowing down Melbourne band Mildlife's style into a genre is almost impossible, as they bond over the desire to push musical boundaries. No strangers to the local band scene, these four longtime friends have been drawing crowds through an epic journey at intimate venues and festivals for the best part of four years. Developing a dynamic live show centered around wild improvisation, they have left punters itching for their first full length studio album. Their debut entitled Phase captures the spirit of their performances, with six tracks that are a kaleidoscope of jams is the interplanetary path between jazz, funk and disco, The perfect amalgamation of cosmic electronics and soulful acoustic instrumentation.
Review: Best band name since Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band, Australian group King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have been dominating Melbourne's vibrant garage, psych and surf rock scene for nearly a decade now. Fishing For Fishies presents another jovial journey through light and breezy themes of folk, blues, rock and psychedelic angles, with Violent Femmes vocoder techniques and a bevy of other surreptitious Generation X, '90s era music to boot. Quality, raw recordings full of an unique musicianship that sees the band continue to defy the terms and conditions of classically garnered genres. Get it into ya.