AU ABROAD

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ALBUM REVIEWS

Album Review: Counterparts - Tragedy Will Find Us (2015 LP)

The Difference Between Hell and Home was a solid album and Canadian melodic-hardcore outfit Counterparts succeed once again with their latest offering of Tragedy Will Find Us. What strikes as impressive from this band is their ability to make their songs intriguing. Instrumentation in each track is different than the last and each lyric pins right to the core of the shambling of broken hearts and soul-crushing fears all around. I don't think they're a band that's afraid of creating the music as confronting as theirs and something makes this band stand out from the rest.

Album Review: MKTO - Bad Girls (2015 EP)

American musical duo MKTO blew up on the scene in early 2013 with the release of their hit “Thank You”, shortly followed by “Classic”. It’s hard to go anywhere without hearing their songs and now they’re back with their EP Bad Girls; it’s four tracks and for a pop collection, it sure has a lot of soul and hip hop undertones.

Album Review: Tesseract - Polaris (2015 LP)

The kings of djent are back with a brand new album all the way from sunny England. However, is Tesseract's Polaris a worthy successor to Altered State? I remember watching Kubrick's 2001 for the first time quite a few years back, and it had me floored. The colours, the story, the everything about that movie made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. And there has been very few bands which have given me the same reaction on singlular songs, let along entire albums. However, there are a couple which populate this list - Dream Theater's Octavarium is one that I can put on repeat and get the same feeling time and time again.

Album Review: Eves the Behavior - Self Titled (2015 EP)

Eves the Behavior is a powerhouse performer who has been creating waves nationally with her electro-pop goodness. She has finally dropped her self-titled debut EP with both “TV” and hit “Electrical” both included. Although way too short to satisfy our hunger for new music coming from this artist, it has everything we could wish for all wrapped up in one neat little package.

Album Review: Art of Sleeping - Shake Shiver (2015 LP)

I remember coming across Art of Sleeping while lurking through YouTube. Songs like "Colourblind" and "Breathe" blew me away with their incredible sound, having a strong focus on their acoustic and alternative rock roots. I had a feeling that this band would go places but unfortunately their debut album, Shake Shiver felt like a step backwards for the them.

Album Review: Northlane - Node (2015 LP)

Northlane are one of the heaviest bands known to Australia and the rest of the world. After their career as a band finally taking off in 2011 since their release of Discoveries, it's become clear that they are just thriving with passion and energy. After the departure of original frontman, Adrian Fitipaldes, ex-vocalist of Sound of Seasons, Marcus Bridge has since then taken his spot and his contribution to their latest offering of Node is absolutely outstanding.

Album Review: Wavves X Cloud Nothings - No Life For Me (2015 LP)

Nathan Williams and Dylan Baldi are two sides of the same coin. Both artists released their first two records from their parent’s garage and basements, to slowly amass a following. Both took this success to bolster their ranks, expanding into full band formations and release more expansive critically acclaimed and commercially successful records. Williams on King of The Beach; Baldi on Attack On Memory.

Album Review: The Maccabees - Marks To Prove It (2015 LP)

The English have always struggled at maintaining a forceful presence in the world. Gone is the Empire the sun never set on, Scotland tried to divorce them last year, their football team has never quite hit its straps and an Australian has been called on to try and fix the mess that was their national men’s cricket team. These aforementioned struggles aside, one thing the English have always been pretty good at doing it releasing quality music and with The Maccabees releasing their new album Marks To Prove It, maybe it is the marks of previous national failures that the band have definitely gone a long way to proving they’re still a force to be reckoned with.

Album Review: Shaky Handz - Celebrity Make Me A Sandwich (2015 LP/Cassette)

Punk, in its most unlistenable and least-creative attempts, has taken on a stereotypical novelty since its origination and notoriety decades ago. But in Celebrity Make Me A Sandwich, have Sydney outfit Shaky Handz created a fresh debut?

Album Review: Normie Rowe - Frenzy! The 50th Anniversary Collection (2015 LP)

There's two ways you can look at an album like Frenzy! The 50th Anniversary Collection when you plan to review it - either as an album for fans of Normie Rowe's music or as an opportunity to expand his music base. Whichever way you look at it, he's music royalty with an amazing career behind him that most artists could only dream of. For that alone, he deserves the utmost respect.

Album Review: Jasmine Rae - Heartbeat (2015 LP)

Jasmine Rae has accomplished a lot in her career since taking out the top prize at Telstra Road to Tamworth in 2008. As a fan of the three-time ARIA-nominated and two-time CMC Music Award winner's previous albums; Look It Up, Listen Here and If I Want To respectfully, I was excited to hear the new album Heartbeat.

Album Review: This Wild Life - Clouded: Atmosphere Edition (2015 LP)

At the beginning of this year, the pop-punk acoustic duo of This Wild Life made an appearance at Soundwave Festival and needless to say - they held a fantastic set! I remember coming across one of their acoustic covers of A Day To Remember's "If It Means A Lot To You" and the brilliance of the acoustic vibes that resonated in their music was stunning. The poetic lyrics, the delicate string arrangement of guitars and the honesty and genuine feeling that is placed in each track were obviously crafted with perfection.

Album Review: Ben Salter - Live at the Northcote Social Club (2015 LP)

It’s time for a stopover at the glamour of the Northcote Social Club with the newest offering from Ben Salter. The folk singer has released a short eight tracks from this newest tour from the tiny Melbourne haunt. The vocalist/guitarist for Giants of Science has been at it for a while now, swapping out the electric guitar for the battered old acoustic and shelving the ‘nerdcore’ persona for a much more sincere voice. But how much does this voice suit him?

Album Review: At The Dakota - Stories (2015 EP)

Darwin's At The Dakota may have only been gigging together since last year but in their debut EP Stories, they've demonstrated some serious potential. It's hard to separate Darwin and music bred in the Territory from feelings of isolation and detachment from the rest of the national music scene sometimes, but it's been interesting to watch viewpoints change in recent times and more attention be paid to the talent that is (and always has) existing in the Top End. In a band like At The Dakota, there are musicians who have performed either under their own solo names, or in other successful bands for years now, and in their work together for this project, it's clear that with Stories comes a wide range of influences and experiences.

Album Review: Zeahorse - Pools (2014 LP)

Zeahorse - Pools

It’s hard escaping the oddly suburban themes of Pools, the debut album of Sydney noise rock four-piece Zeahorse. Track titles like "Career", "Dave’s 30th", "Kathie’s Makeover" and "Pesto" sound like a mundane list of activates found scribbled on a note attached to the fridge. Even the artwork for the album depicts a drawing of a cluster of cookie cutter looking houses accompanied each with their own pool. But it’s that exact mundaneness and banality that is the inspiration for much of the music, which is anything but pedestrian.