Brisbane music in 2011 | some cool shit that happened, and some not-so-cool shit
I want to briefly mention some local Brisbane releases from 2011 that I thought worthy of throwing some words around. This is by no means exhaustive and there is a lot of stuff that I’ve heard is good but haven’t had the chance to listen to. If you have further recommendations, throw ‘em in the comments.
I love records where all the songs only just make it to the two minute mark. This is partly why I think Look Forward To Nothing is my favourite record of 2011. The band, led by the enigmatic local Matt Kennedy, produce ‘downer’ pop songs, rough little creatures that speak in terms of pain, misery and bitter irony. Sounds depressing, but it’s not going to make you top yourself. It’s slicker than their 2009 debut, but still rough enough to ensure you’re never hear it piped over the intercom at Target.
At the risk of being a walking cliche, I maintain one can never have enough reverb. I’m surprised this band isn’t more high profile considering how god damn good they are. They tap into the popular vein of reverb-y surf pop with a sprinkle of The Velvet Underground. ‘Houston’ must be one of the best songs out of Brisbane this year.
It’s been a pretty good year for No Anchor. The resident Brisbane doom-trio brought out their second record, Real Pain Supernova, in the first half of the year. It’s a ravenous beast or a record, capable of tearing out your gullet. I used to put this on at work and seriously piss a lot of people off. Everett True claimed that the album’s best song, ‘Dead Pony’, “fucks the shit out of you”, which might be handy if for those with a fibre-deficient diet. You’ve been warned.
Debut record from local all-girl psychedelic rock band that claim ancestry from convicted criminal Phil Spector as well as Jesus And Mary Chain. Recorded in three hours, warts and all at the old Dendy. Took a year to get out there, but worth the wait. ‘Early Morning’ is one of their best, but I also think ‘Cruel For Love’ and ‘Cat Burglar’ are fine songs.
Forget the Pavement references that often accompany the Tape/Off press releases, there ain’t no ‘Carrot Rope’ on here. They’re a rock band, known for loud, mind-bending performances, the band recently performed three gigs in five days, and my ears are all the more poorer for having seen them all. … And Sometimes Gladness, their second EP, translate the band’s affection for bursting eardrums successfully into record format, with chainsaws even managing to sneak into the mix. Undeniably, there is a strain of Malkamus/Spiral Stairs that run through some of the tracks here (case in point: ‘Hell Comes To Frogtown’) but you shouldn’t write the band off as merely imitators. The closer, ‘Happen Now’, must be one of my personal favourites from the year.
Songs like ‘Different Now’ by Swaying Buildings remind me that Brisbane has always been great at producing this sort of bittersweet, melodic pop music. The band’s second record is filled with similarly glorious moments such as ‘Meet Me At The Door’.
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