AU ABROAD

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ALBUM REVIEWS

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.

Album Review: Adam Lambert - The Original High (2015 LP)

Adam Lambert, the runner-up for the eighth season of American Idol, returns; following the success for his first two albums For Your Entertainment and Trespassing and now, the commercial success of his latest single "Ghost Town". I take a listen to his third album The Original High.

Album Review: FFS - FFS (2015 LP)

If you’ve never heard of FFS fret not, because chances are you’ve heard of at least one half of them – Scottish alternative heroes Franz Ferdinand, or new wave pioneers Sparks. The two groups have come together to record this self-titled LP which had been in the works for over 10 years, although the finished product may not leave you feeling as though the wait was worth it.

Album Review: Desaparecidos - Payola (2015 LP)

Thirteen years ago Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) came together with four other musicians in Nebraska under the name Desaparecidos (meaning 'the disappeared' in Spanish) to put together an album, Read Music/Speak Spanish. Read Music/Speak Spanish was a fuzzy, loud, angry emo-punk record that was fairly at odds with the sometimes-esoteric indie-folk Oberst was best known for. It was a good album – a great album – but pretty soon after Desaparecidos went their separate ways and it seemed pretty likely that the whole thing was done. Read Music/Speak Spanish became a kind of indie cred touchstone, and Desaparecidos seemed to fade away. Until this year, when, over a decade after their first album, Desaparecidos announced Payola.

Album Review: Wasted Wanderers "Goddamn Anything" (2015 EP)

I would open this review with a line like, 'I've known Wasted Wanderers frontman Dusty Stephensen for some years now...', but this could generally apply to anyone who has had even a passing interest in the Adelaide music scene at some point in the last few years. Whether it's been in his work with Valkyries, Skies, Angels of Gung-Ho or even Grannyflat (yes, admit you remember that far back), Stephensen has been a consistently working musician and songwriter who may have finally found the perfect groove with this current project.

Album Review: Slaves - Are You Satisfied (2015 LP)

I love British punk, maybe more than any other genre. The accent, the loud, fuzzy guitars, the angry post-Thatcherite values – I love it all. I was raised on The Clash and Souxsie And The Banshees, and it's just kind of lodged in my brain ever since. The British punk scene still seems – at least to an outsider – to still be going strong, probably even stronger under the new Conservative austerity measures (it's hard to not be mad when the Bedroom Tax is killing pensioners). I'm not entirely sure exactly what Slaves are angry about on Are You Satisfied? – capitalism maybe? - but whatever it is, it makes for a perfectly serviceable, aggressive Brit-punk record.