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ALBUM REVIEWS | the AU review
AU ABROAD

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ALBUM REVIEWS

Album Review: Lurch & Chief - Breathe (2015 EP)

I’ve always been impressed by bands that can fit plenty of band members on small stages. Having seen them earlier in the year in a relatively small venue and even smaller stage, Melbourne’s Lurch & Chief have gone about putting their combined skills together to release their second EP Voices.

Album Review: Skipping Girl Vinegar - The Great Wave (2015 LP)

Skipping Girl Vinegar is one of those bands continually proving just how great Australian music can be. Not 'old school' Australian, like when everyone wore short pants and growled into a microphone or whatever happened in 1986, but that new, indie-ish Aus-rock. It's a style I can get behind. Check out what I thought of their latest album The Great Wave...

Album Review: Kevin Devine/Meredith Graves - Devinyl Splits No. 2 (2015 EP)

The Devinyl Splits series is a series of 7” vinyls featuring one song each from Kevin Devine and a guest performer. This split, Devinyl Splits No. 2, sees Devine sharing 7” space with Meredith Graves, frontwoman of Perfect Pussy. Click through for our thoughts on this latest offering...

Album Review: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Quarters (LP 2015)

The new album by King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is much less aggressive than their last conceptual album I’m in your Mind Fuzz. This sixth installment in the list of studio albums by these Melbournites is infinitely more chill. There’s a retrospective sense in the lo-fi style quality of this album entitled Quarters. Stu McKenzie’s lyrics seem to come through almost muffled over the lazy waves of twanging guitars.

Album Review: Surfer Blood - 1000 Palms (2015 LP)

There’s a real familiarity to the sound of Surfer Blood. Whether it is the warmth within their tunes, the vocals of front man John Paul Pitts, or the indie-pop sound that is currently swarming the music landscape, I’m not too sure. One thing I’m a little more certain of is that Surfer Blood have gone about and released new album 1000 Palms with the view of taking the best parts of their previous albums, and amalgamating them into this their third album.

Album Sampler Review: Years & Years - Communion (2015 LP)

Note: The following review is based on an album sampler consisting of six tracks from the record.

If this sampler of British electronica trio Years & Years' upcoming debut album Communion is anything to go by, itis bound to be a cracker. Heading into this musical taste-tester I was admittedly hoping for more of the upbeat, radio-friendly vibe that lead single "King" brought because it is, quite frankly, a killer tune. I was very much surprised then when the majority of the six-track offering in the sampler were laid back and, in a stroke of genius, totally chill. Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not.

Album Review: From First To Last - Dead Trees (2015 LP)

Lineup change for a band can impact their musicianship and when looking back at the band’s history, Dead Trees isn’t a strong comeback album from post-hardcore outfitters From First To Last. Comebacks normally mean power and success but it’s hard to ignore the weak points this album encompasses. Some tracks capture a strong reunion within the band and with new frontman, Spencer Sotelo, there is a grip of substance showing through here but not enough to keep the attention of most listeners. In hindsight, it’s frustrating to see a band with a strong following throw themselves in the back-end.

Album Review: Darts - Below Empty and Westward Bound (2015 LP)

I had never heard Darts before single "Westward Bound" popped up on my newsfeed. The first play hit me flush in the face at breakneck speed; I was hearing a reincarnation of an angst-ridden Isaac Brock circa Lonesome Crowded West. Animated whaling and strained vocal yelps backed by the gravel-road scratches of guitars and a pounding rhythm section. It's all treated with a steady dose of frenetic hysteria, yet grounded by a melodic poise. And so is the Melbourne five-piece's debut album, Below Empty and Westward Bound.

Album Review: Twenty One Pilots - Blurryface (2015 LP)

Twenty One Pilots - Blurryface

Few artists have experienced a rise to prominence like American duo Twenty One Pilots have over the last two years. Following the release of their third album Vessel in 2013 the group performed with some of the biggest names in alternative music all around the world including Paramore and Fall Out Boy, and now the genre chameleons are back with Blurryface, a record that is nothing short of comprehensive proof of their growth as musicians.

Album Review: Zac Brown Band - Jekyll + Hyde (2015 LP)

Before I get to my thoughts on the album I firstly want to say that even though I've never found lead singer/guitarist Zac Brown to be a handsome man and I often don't say this, but I love the cover art and dare I say, he even looks a bit powerful and attractive on the cover. The one brown and one blue eye with the switched writing plus the black and white definitely stands out in the sea of albums available at your local record store.

Album Review: Flicker Vertigo - Glow (LP 2015)

"They’re fresh" is an understatement, and a misinformed statement at that too. Flicker Vertigo, a new psychedelic face in Australia’s psych scene are so new they’ve only been established since the beginning of 2015. Not only is it early days for this groovy gang, the gang is in fact just one man – Nathan Nicholson from Victoria. Late March he released the second album by Flicker Vertigo titled Glow.

Album Review: Holy Pinto - Stenography (2015 EP)

British band, Holy Pinto provides a varying amount of musical influences. From the quirkiness of Say Anything to the poetic words of Death Cab For Cutie, this two-piece are the game changer of indie music. With their latest offering of Stenography, it is a short and sweet summation of their sharpness and attitude in their musicianship. Many will delight in this three-song sampler and you'll feel less of a freak knowing that it's possible that a band like this exist and that's pretty fucking cool.

Album Review: Tyler the Creator - Cherry Bomb (2015 LP)

Tyler the Creator’s latest album Cherry Bomb has sorely mistaken anyone who discarded him as ‘just another young rapper’. 24-year-old Tyler is the leader of hip-hop crew Odd Future that boasts the success of names like Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt. The crew are known for pushing boundaries, and Tyler’s third solo album is no different. It is heavily influenced by rock, soul and hip-hop and a stark contrast to his previous records Wolf and Goblin. Cherry Bomb features brass, strings and soulful female vocals, but there are still hard-hitting distorted synths that are an integral part of Tyler’s sound.

Album Review: The Luke Louie Trio - Self-Titled (2015 EP)


Artwork by: Isabella Pagnozzi

For those of you who may be hearing The Luke Louie Trio’s sound for the very first time, this is love to the ears of a blues and rock ‘n’ roll fan. Or simply for anyone who enjoys some good and raw talent… I mean who doesn’t, right?

Album Review: Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell (2015 LP)

Much like a painting by Claude Monet, the true beauty of Sufjan Stevens’ last record The Age Of Adz is best realised by stepping back and watching the up close jumble take shape and make sense in its greater landscape. This approach is completely abandoned in Carrie & Lowell, an album that replaces the experimental electronics of its predecessor with complete unmasked vulnerability that demands you stay close and feel every emotionally charged moment.