Tag Archive: Australian music

ALBUM REVIEW: ARK – IN HEARTS WAKE

ALBUM REVIEW: 

ARK – IN HEARTS WAKE

 

It’s been over 2 years since In Hearts Wake wowed fans with their dual recorded albums Earthwalker and then Skydancer. They even April fooled everyone into thinking their next would be titled Seaskimmer, but no the boys from Byron Bay are back with their fourth release, Ark.

In Hearts Wake have continued their album making formula (If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it right?), starting with an instrumental interlude before ripping straight into single, Passage. It’s clear from the first line of the song, the theme of the album – Water, Earth’s most precious resource.

Third track, Nomad is made for live shows, with its bridge and chanting breakdown ‘Liberate Me’ set to go off, just as The Unknown and Survival have done so in the past.

Jake Taylor’s crushing vocals blend flawlessly with Kyle Erich’s voice, which works so well together. Erich’s vocal range has transformed since the band’s earlier work (especially Divination), allowing his parts to be grittier when needed.

Again, just like previous albums, the band come out blaring for the first few songs, before turning down the volume for a lighter, almost ballad-esque song. Ark’s answer to this is Arrow, showing the bands softer side, before turning it up loud once more.

While In Hearts Wake have already pretty much cemented their position as one of Australia’s favourite metalcore bands, the band have once again done what they do best, sing about what is close to them, with passion, in hopes to help change the world for the better.

Ark is the same In Hearts Wake we all know and love and Australia will get a taste of some of these songs live, come July when the band graces venues across the country in support of the album.

Rating: 7/10

Ark is out now via UNFD

Live Music Review: AC/DC

AC/DC

The Hives, Kingswood

Adelaide Oval

21st of November 2015

Growing up, I can always remember listening to AC/DC. My parents always had one of their albums around, whether it was in the car or blasting through the speakers at home. I was so excited and happy, even felt honoured to be able to finally see the rock legends play live this year as part of their ‘Rock or Bust’ tour in Adelaide.

Unfortunately we weren’t at Adelaide oval in time to catch young Melbourne band, Kingswood open up the night. Knowing they put on a great show after seeing them at Groovin’ the Moo last year, I hope the early crowd gave them a good audience.

We found ourselves a great viewpoint in Oval A just in time to catch a set from Swedish rockers The Hives. Confident front man Pelle Almquist had moves very ‘Jagger’ like and threw cheeky comments and statements at the crowd, even asking them at one point to yell insults at the band. Their tunes gave rhythm to get you ‘bopping’ along on the spot and their matching attire gave them a very professional look creating a somewhat entertaining performance. At least they eventually managed to get the crowd pumped and ready to go for the main event of the night.

As the intro video played out, the crowd joined with it shouting ‘ANGUS!’ before the stage came alight and alive as AC/DC emerged for title song ‘Rock or Bust’.

Brian Johnson wandered from one side of the stage to the other, while Angus Young did his famous ‘duck walk’ and hopping about like a schoolboy in uniform (literally), proving that age is just a number. The crowd too followed this motto, ranging from some elderly fans among the mostly middle aged group, through to one boy who was a couple of rows in front of us, who would have been no more than 5 years old!

Everyone was happy with the set list full of classics like ‘Back in Black’, ‘Thunderstruck’ ‘High Voltage’ and ‘Hells Bells’ (complete with a giant swinging AC/DC bell). There was head banging and devil horns galore and as the sky grew darker, the stands lit up with glowing and flashing red devil horns headbands, many fans had bought from the merchandise tents beforehand.

The crowd really got dancing and in a sing-along mood with ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ and ‘T.N.T’, preparing themselves for ‘Let There Be Rock’ which featured a guitar solo from Angus, the longest guitar solo I have ever heard, playing over 10 minutes, complete with confetti and the whole stage to himself. The band then rejoined him on stage, through the pyrotechnic flames for the encore of ‘Highway to Hell’ and of course rounding out the evening with ‘For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)’.

While it wasn’t much of a talkative affair between the band and the crowd, it didn’t need to be. We were there to party and rock and that is what we did. Who knows how long it will be until we see AC/DC back in Adelaide, if at all. The night was an incredible ‘Acca Dacca’ experience I will never forget.

Interview: Brett Kennedy of Sierra

Interview: Brett Kennedy of Sierra

By Kayla Schultz

I had a chat with vocalist of Mt Gambier’s Sierra, Brett Kennedy to talk about the band’s new EP ‘Reality Redefined’ which is due for release tomorrow (5th of September)

 Sierra Aug 2014 by K -web ieran Ellis-Jones

You’re about to release your new EP Reality Redefined which is out tomorrow. What was the writing and recording process like?

B: It was a bit different to the first one. Both haven’t really gone I guess traditionally. Our first EP which was in 2013, we recorded in 2012. The first lot was done in May of that year, with a different drummer to the second half of it, which was done in November. This time round it was the five of us, we did all five songs but recording wise, we all went up separately. So no one overlapped; I think there may have been some bass guitar overlapping a little bit as far as studio time goes but we kinda had to put faith in each other that, what we were recording, cause once you start, well the drums started and basically once the drums are down we can’t change anything in the songs. so writing wise it was different to the first time around recording because we had to make sure that we knew exactly what we wanted because once that first day of recording was done, there was no turning back but I think we matured in a song writing sense so when we got to the studio we knew what we wanted things to sound like and rather than spending time trying to say restructure something or add a bit in, we could just refine what we already had and also just experiment with adding different instruments or different layers into areas of the songs so overall it was probably a bit more creative.

 

Well it sounds great!

B: Thank you

 

So where did the band find inspiration for the songs on the EP?

B: Our two guitarists Logan and Jordan, do most of the song writing so Logan’s strengths are probably in his riffs so the faster, heavier songs on the EP come from him. Whereas the more melodic side is more Jordan’s forte. He writes a lot of melodic pieces, so it mainly started with those two, coming up with different riffs or different leads and from there, you know you add in the bass and drums and then finally the vocals. Inspiration wise, we have a sound that we are going for but it’s not a defined sound. It’s not like we are trying to emulate anyone. We just know what we want to sound like, so the boys just try to continue on in a more mature and stronger way than what our last EP was

 

How about inspiration for lyrics? Is it from personal experiences in life?

B: It’s a mix. It’s definitely some of my experiences and some of my views and thoughts from things, but it’s also a mixture of metaphorical and literal interpretations of that in the lyrics. So a lot of the songs, I mean I’ve already started to see a few people make assumptions about what the songs are about. They’re very much open to interpretation as none of the songs specifically relate to a certain thing that’s happened or anything along those lines. I try to be relatable, you can’t just make it all about yourself and I think I’ve achieved that.

 

You’re streaming the EP via killyourstereo.com at the moment. What has the reaction for the EP been like so far?

B: It’s been good! We’ve obviously had the two songs come out, the video singles but I think people are enjoying the three new songs that they haven’t heard. Some people have said that these other songs that they’ve only just heard for the first time are so far their favourite which is good from our point of view because it shows that we had depth in the record. We chose the two singles that we personally enjoyed the most but the fact that people are finding a favourite in these new songs means that we didn’t just write two good songs and the rest was just on the record. People seem to think that across the board that it’s a pretty solid release so we can’t ask for much more than that.

 

You had preorders for the EP online and they sold out in like less than an hour right? That’s a pretty good effort! Were you surprised at how quickly they sold out?

B: Yeah, it was. We worked out it was about 45 minutes! We had previously done a similar thing with our last EP and that sold out over a few weeks. We hoped that they would sell well but we didn’t think in under an hour. It was evident that from the moment we posted them that people had been just waiting for them to come up, which is pretty crazy. I’m glad they sold out quick because they are going to be the only copies of the CD that we do for public sale. There’s obviously a few extras for ourselves and people involved in the making of the record but there’s only ever going to be those 100 that were available for the public. The rest is all going to be digital now so it’s nice to know that people really wanted to get a piece of that.

 

You’ve said on your Facebook page that like your first EP, no two songs are of the same vein. Do you like to do this to keep things interesting?

B: It think it’s just how it pans out really. With the two different guys writing, we just always try something different. We originally wrote eight or nine songs and we cut three because they were just a bit too far outside of the five songs we ended up with. They’ve all got their different strengths and I guess different appeal but at the same time they’re all linked with a few similarities. They sound different but you can still hear the common link that it’s us. It doesn’t sound like there’s five different bands. It’s us in five different versions.

 

Touring wise, you’ve been part of some awesome tours in the past few months. I remember just getting in the doors to see your last couple of songs at the ‘Earthwalker’ tour. What has been your favourite tour so far this year?

 

B: The In Hearts Wake tour was definitely unreal! There’s very few things I can imagine that would top it purely because we’ve obviously toured with Being As An Ocean before so we are quite good friends with them and Endless Heights from Sydney have been friends of ours for a long time as well so just being able to share it with them and hang out with them for a couple of weeks was really cool. In Hearts Wake, we went to Tasmania with as well just before the mainland shows, so we formed a bit of a bond with those guys and the tour manager Pees, has been pretty important throughout our last twelve to fourteen months of being a band so just being able to spend time with all those people alone made it worthwhile and obviously all the shows sold out, well most of the shows sold out which was a big bonus to have those crowds. Also hanging out with Dream on Dreamer, getting to meet them for the first time, because they’ve been a well-known band for quite some time in Australia. Everyone was saying it on the last night, it was just a really good group of people and a lot of people said it was the best tour they’ve been on and I think we would all agree that that’s what it was, purely from the people in it and then the shows spoke for themselves with the amount of numbers and reactions so yeah we probably can’t top that one.

 

Yeah the atmosphere at those shows was just amazing!

B: Yeah it was rad!

 

What do you think has been the band’s biggest strength over the years?

B: I guess we’ve always just tried to be, I guess our biggest strength would have to be our motivation, in the sense of why we have been a band. For us, we’ve overachieved more than anything we thought would be possible. When we started, we didn’t set out to play these big shows or reach the profile that we have, and so we’ve never really taken it for granted. Since we’ve never expected it, every time we find out something new, it’s just always been a bit of a thrill. It’s really allowed us to just make the most of everything and by doing that it makes us perform better. We prepare better for things like that and it has really just kept us heading in a positive direction.

 

So what is next for the band for the rest of the year?

B: So the EP comes out tomorrow. Hopefully that will gain a bit of momentum and just build up the profile a little bit and then show wise it’s pretty quiet for the rest of the year because it has been such a busy year with international tours coming through and also some Australian bands touring that it kind of removes a lot of our friend’s bands that we would have like to have played with in say a tour in November or December because they are all busy. We are going to be holding off until next year to tour with the EP, early next year, just so we can involve more friend’s bands, it’s always good to catch up with them. We do have one show in November, on the 15th at ‘UnFun’ festival in Sydney that’s being headlined by Kisschasy and they are playing one of their albums in full for that. That’s a festival that gets a lot of pop punk, we will probably be one of the heavier bands on the bill and we’re not considered really heavy, it’s more of a pop punk, hard rock, kind of alternative festival as opposed to a heavy kind of festival so it’s something different and it is at a pretty cool venue too so we are looking forward to that one.

 

Thank you to Brett for taking the time to chat!

You can check out Sierra’s new EP ‘Reality Redefined’ on its release date tomorrow (5th of September)

 

Dream On Dreamer announce Australian tour dates in support of new single!

image005Dream On Dreamer have announced seven Australian tour dates to coincide with the release of their brand new single “Darkness Brought Me Here”.

The band have released several teasers for the single (found below), while the full song will be available for digital download on the 8th of August!

Teaser 1:


Teaser 2:

Interview: Luke Vaessen of Save the Clock Tower

Interview with Luke Vaessen of Save the Clock TowerSTCT1

With their debut album ‘Wasteland’, just a week away from release, I caught up with vocalist, Luke Vaessen of Tasmania’s Save the Clock Tower to talk about challenges the group has faced and their new album that’s going to help this band from Launceston take the nation and hopefully the rest of the world by storm!

by Kayla Schultz

 

For those who haven’t heard Save the Clock Tower before, how would you describe your sound and what you guys are about as a band?

We call ourselves Post-Hardcore, with influences of metal, rock and punk. We are just about playing aggressive music with meaningful lyrics and trying to connect with each person as best as we can.

 

You’re just about to release your new album Wasteland, what has the reaction been like so far for the couple of songs you’ve already released?

Yeah, really good actually. We’ve been waiting for ages to release the album, even just to release a song from the album and we’ve released two songs now and the feedback received has been really good, so we’re super happy and very excited for people to hear the whole thing!

 

Was there any problems during the recording process of the album?

There were actually a few problems for us. We recorded everything last November and we ended up having to record the guitars a second time due to editing problems and then we ended up recording the vocals three times because there was editing problems…and then our former guitarist left the band, so I had to assume all his main vocal lines that he had done… so it was very challenging the vocals and then by the time we had actually finished, and sent it to Will Putney (who mixed and mastered the album) , which was at the end of February if I remember correctly, he was here in Australia, working on the new Amity record so we had to wait like a month and a half for him to get back and work on the rest of the album so it took a while.

 

Where did the band find inspiration for Wasteland lyrically and musically?

Musically, the guys had been listening to a lot of earlier Post-Hardcore stuff, like early 2000s, and lyrically all the songs are really personal to myself and the former guitarist. We all worked on the lyrics, I mean I worked on a lot of the lyrics myself but everyone helped with how to put them into the songs so you know, everything is really personal but it has been generalised somewhat so people can connect to the meaning.

 

What do you think has been your biggest challenge so far as a band since it first started?

It would probably be being from Tasmania. It might only seem like a small stretch of water but for us to get over (to mainland Australia), you know we either have to fly or catch the boat. We’ve always flown to wherever we play, then we’ve hired a van so that’s probably been the biggest challenge for us, is being from Tasmania, even though it has been a bit of a drawcard for us.

 

What has been your biggest strength as a band and what makes you unique and stand out as one of the most promising upcoming bands in Australia?

I think that our biggest strength is that we always, no matter who we’re playing to or the number of people we are playing to, we will always put in 110%. No matter what, that never changes and we are unique in the way that we write and structure our songs especially from the rest of the metalcore crowd I guess because we are metalcore to a certain degree. We have different elements to try and sound a little bit more than other bands.

 

What’s in store for the band in the next few months?

We have a couple of launch shows in our hometown of Launceston and I know that we will be going away and doing a few weekenders on the mainland and I think we will be visiting Perth for the first time which is really exciting. We’ve got a few other tours lined up for the rest of this year and that’s all we are going to do at the moment, play shows and get out to as many people as we can.

 

You’ve recently finished supporting Betraying the Martyrs on their Australian tour. What was touring with them like?

It was cool. The guys were really nice and supportive of us and I, Valiance from Melbourne were really good and super heavy. It was awesome to watch a band like Betraying the Martyrs because they’ve obviously played for ages in Europe and the states and it was their first time here and to be able to watch them play professionally and see how they play every night was really cool.

 

Can you think back to your first show as a band? Did you ever think you would get to where you are now?

No, definitely not (laughs). My first show with the band was at a football club with a black metal band and a death metal band. It wasn’t really an appropriate bill for us to be on but looking back to that, it really blows my mind about how far we have come and what we have been able to achieve.

 

Where do you hope to see yourself and the band in the next few years?

We really want to be overseas. I know we are looking at going over there sometime next year and hopefully we can get on the touring circuits over there. That’s our main goal at the moment.

 


 

Thank you to Luke for making the time to chat!

Save the Clock Tower’s new album Wasteland is out now via Bullet Tooth and Faction/Sony.

 

You can check out the band on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/savetheclocktowertas

Save the Clock Tower release new music video

SAVE THE CLOCK TOWERTasmanian post-hardcore four piece Save the Clock Tower have released a music video for their song ‘Sanctuary‘ which will feature on their upcoming debut album ‘Wasteland‘ due for release on the 4th of July via Faction/Sony.

 

Check out the video for ‘Sanctuary’ below