Review: It's not often you can legitimately call a record brave. Most of the time, when we use that word it's to describe wildly experimental sonics, cutting edge arrangements and never-heard-before noises. Anna Burch doesn't quite fit those descriptions, not that her unarguably 90s-influenced, Gen X survivalist rock tones don't impress. Nevertheless, she's taking the biggest risk of all on 'If You're Dreaming'; turning to face herself head on, and analyse what she sees. There's catchiness, and a stoner-ish, downtrodden or at least lackadaisical air to the way in which she approaches guitar scuzz and this immediately jumps out and grabs the ears. However, that slightly retro leaning approach to arrangements is contrasted by a very 21st Century take on life's great lessons, losses and triumphs - guiding themes behind much of the songwriting.
Review: The Australian collective continue to wave their freak flag high on this, the latest in a startlingly prolific series of records that have seen them rise to the higher echelons of garage/psych power. 'Quarters', however, is unique even for them - comprising four ten minute tracks, it takes a more free-form style, with loose jamming coalescing into a glorious wash of ethereal extrapolation. Not merely a band with a startling growth rate, King Gizzard here prove themselves one with plenty of sttings to their bow, and 'Quarters' will be greeted with good cheer by admirers of fans of Ty Segall and Follakzoid alike.
Review: These seven eccentric Australian freakniks have hammered out a remarkable amount of material since their debut in 2012 yet this, their fourth album to date, sees them catapulting their high-energy racket further out into the ether yet bringing a sharper focus to their songwriting. Equal parts filthy garage rock 'n' roll, head-spinning psych and dizzy flower-pop, I'm In Your Mind Fuzz crams a remarkable amount of moods and textures into 42 breathless minutes, and this band still manages to blow minds even when they take their foot off the accelerator, as on the Zombies-esque ballad "Her And I". Riotous, inventive and brimming over with charisma, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, ludicrous name notwithstanding, are quite the trip.
Review: It can be tricky for even the most hardy psych-veteran to keep up with the recorded antics of this Melbourne-based sextet, who've hammered out a remarkable nine releases in their five years on the planet. Yet moreover, they've moved both onwards from the garage-rock onslaught of their last couple of outings and backwards into a sun-kissed psych-pop sound that's as melodiously cheerful as it is relaxed and confident. Displaying a lightness of touch that's perhaps surprising from a band generally so intent on bloody-minded overload, this latest chapter in the King Gizzard story is the most enthralling yet.
Review: It may only seem five minutes since the last King Gizzard album, but what's even more surprising than their prolific output is their quality control - 'Nonagon Infinity' is possessed of the freewheeling intensity, garage-style chutzpah and spirited charm that this outfit have displayed on the seven albums previous to this. Moreover, there's a particular game plan for the band - styled as a 'never-ending album', 'Nonagon Infinity' is structured like a 40-minute loop, which ends exactly where it began. On the evidence of this effervescent effort, one can think of worse vortexes in which to reside.
Review: On their third studio album in half a year, hyper-prolific Aussies King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have chosen to team up with Mild High Club, the slacker psychedelia project of Alexander Brettin. The collaboration strikes a happy medium between King Gizzard's overbearing frenetic sound and Mild High Club's laidback stoner attitude. Sketches Of Brunswick East has all the King Gizzard hallmarks: time signature and rhythm changes, explorations of microtonal harmonics and eastern scales, but the introduction of smoky noir jazz nostalgia as well as North African and Ethiopian flavours make for intriguing additions. It's refreshing to hear that, despite being seemingly unable to stop releasing records, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard haven't run out of good ideas just yet.
Review: Dutch indie four piece spearheaded by its singer-songwriter Pip Blom realise their debut album, Boat. Delivered by a label associated with artists like Mattiel and Amber Arcades, Plip Blom see themselves in good company to deliver a full length LP following a run of 7" & 10" singles. The album features previously heard numbers like "Daddy Issues", a riffing example of the band's quick, almost surf rock style, with other semi-ironic titles like "Bedhead" offering something sentimental. With a host of other raucous and heavy distorted numbers too, Pip Blom's music falls somewhere between The Strokes, Hole and the best of alternative but radio friendly punk and garage rock.