Live Review: Superengine Album Launch

Superengine – ‘Shadows Meet’ Album Launch
The Bakery
Sat 25th August 2007
Review By Rohan Hewson

Blackmilk did what they seem to do too much, which was playing first. They deserve to be playing a lot later to a lot more people… anyway, they were good. At least, their last couple of songs were. The Autumn Isles played their usual pop/rock, with the guitar rock side of things coming mainly from Aiden and his axe. He showed up in Superengine later, which is a fair swap considering Alison plays keyboard in the Isles. Oh, and cowbell… Superengine could use a bit more cowbell themselves.

The Tigers were the art rock band of the evening, which combined with the fair-sized crowd there was by then, meant their first song sounded like a continuation of their soundcheck for a couple of minutes. They got loud eventually, though, and they’re worth paying attention to. They’ve been playing for something like 10 years now, and there isn’t another band in Perth that sounds like them. As for Faith In Plastics: it was good to see them playing again as usual, after their gear got stolen at another gig a couple of months ago. Apart from that, nothing much to report.

Superengine finally have their album ‘Shadows Meet’ out, after five years… I’d say it’s worth the wait. It’s mildly surprising they managed to fit 10 songs onto one CD, considering their tendency to write 10 min jazz-pop epics, but they managed it. Plenty of the songs are shorter than that, though… gotta give the radio something they feel like playing.

Their set was as much of a production as the songs; they wore matching clothes, and when the house music stopped they came on stage and started playing one by one. They left the same way at the end, too. They had even more instruments than usual, including a vibraphone and plenty of guitars – in one song, Renee was joined by Elliot the trumpet player and Aiden the Autumn Isle. The songs themselves sounded the same as always, somewhere between 4 min of bouncy pop and double that of instrumental epic.

If you’ve heard one Superengine set you’ve probably heard them all, but it’s a good’un and so was this gig.

Go get the album.

Interview: Dopamine (Wales)

Sam Phillips (Dopamine)
Interview by Dylan McArdle

Welsh punk/rock four piece Dopamine are about to embark on a whirlwind tour of Japan and Australia, playing both their own shows and supporting fellow countrymen Funeral for a Friend. But before they arrive on our shores, drummer Sam Phillips took time out to talk to Perth Sounds about their upcoming tour and debut release down under…


Most readers probably aren’t familiar with the band Dopamine. Can you start by telling me a little bit more about your band?
We’re a rock band from a small town called Caerphilly in South Wales. it’s about 10 miles outside Cardiff (the Welsh capitol). We formed in 2001 and have been playing shows through out the UK and Europe ever since. We have 2 albums out, the second of which is called ‘Experiments with Truth’ and is released in Australia in September through DSTAR Records.

How did you come up with/settle on the name Dopamine?
It just kind of stuck really. we needed a name because we had some shows booked. we came up with that and that’s the way it’s been ever since. There’s not a deep meaning behind it or anything!

Will this be your first time in Australia?
Yes, we can’t wait. it’s a pretty big deal for us and we want to make a good impression on the people we meet and perform to. Looking forward to some nice weather also, it’s been raining all summer in Wales…….

Australia has a pretty strong music scene; are you familiar with any of our bands?
We don’t get a lot of Australian bands in the UK. we are aware of the obvious artists like Silverchair and AC/DC. I was given a copy of Missy Higgins first album a few months ago and fell in love with it. as for more underground Australian bands, we know a few such as Angela’s Dish, Burn The City, Bodyjar. I’m looking to check out some bands we we’re over.

How does an overseas band get the word out when touring another country? I’ve seen you used MySpace as one way. How has that worked out for you?
Really well! we’ve had a really positive response. MySpace is such a great tool for a band like us that doesn’t have a major label pumping money into us.
We try not to just add people, we message and try and have a conversation with them. there is no we’re the band your the fan thing going on, we just want to meet people.

You’re touring with Funeral for a Friend, what’s the relationship like with them? You’ve got a bit of history, haven’t you (FfaF bass player Gareth Davies has played in both bands)?
Yeah! Gareth jumped ship a few years ago. I told him he was making the wrong choice and it’s good to see that I was right! only joking, we’re all really good friends and we’re very grateful to them for this chance to play in other parts of the world with them. it will be cool to hang out with them again, we don’t really see a lot of one another because we always so busy touring.

I read on your MySpace blog that your bass player James has left the band. How did that affect the band’s tour preparations? How did you find your replacement bassist in Dan and how is he settling in?
Dan’s a legend. we have our first show with him in a few days, so we’re all super excited about that. James’ heart wasn’t in it anymore and we could all see it coming for a long time. as for tour preparations, it’s been all good, been rehearsing lots and we have a few shows in the UK before we head to Japan then on to Australia.

How is the forthcoming album going along? Will you be demoing any new tracks as part of your setlist?
The album that is being released in September has been out for around 8 months in the UK, Europe and Japan.
so the set is gonna be stuff from that album with a couple thrown from our first release. We are going to be spending some time in the studio while we’re in Australia though. we’ll be writing and recording demos for the next album.

You’re playing 14 shows in 30 days down under – that’s a pretty full-on schedule isn’t it?
It’s gonna be pretty intense, but we all love what we do. If we could we’d play 30 shows in 30 days. but it is nice to have a little time off to see Australia.

Apart the gigs, have you got any promotional dates (radio station & music press interviews, in store appearances) organised?
We won’t know until we get to Australia. Our label will tell us what promo work we have each day. Myself and Neil (singer) have been doing a few phone interviews with music magazines, that’s been cool.

Will that (the tough schedule) leave any time for sightseeing? Is there anything you’d like to see while in Australia?
YES!!! we’ll we hope so. we are gonna try and get in as much as we can on our days off. We want to have a real authentic Australian BBQ, we’ve heard great things. Oh and there’s all the amazing cites we’ll be visiting, many photos will be taking to show my mum back home!

I see there are a few all ages gigs amongst the dates, which is great. Are the under 18’s an important part of your fan base?
For sure, we find that a lot of under 18’s shows are the best. It’s a different atmosphere and we always have fun playing them. The younger fans are the ones who spread the word on MySpace and between their friends.

You’re playing two shows in Perth, but the Leopold show is now longer on the list. Any reason for that?
We don’t arrive in time from Japan.

What can people that come to your shows expect from the band?
A lot of energy, good strong songs with big chorus’.
We want people to have a good time and hopefully leave with our songs stuck in they’re heads!

What else can Australians look out for from Wales on the musical front?
There is so much! You should check out bands like Dignity Dies First, Said Mike, The Blackout and Halflight

What’s on the horizon after the tour – finishing off the new album and them maybe another tour?
Yeah, new album to record, Christmas, then more touring. Wouldn’t have it any other way!


Dopamine play the Leederville HQ on Septmeber 9th (All Ages) and support Funeral for a Friend at Metropolis Fremantle on September 11th. Dopamine’s debut Australian release ‘Experiments With Truth’ is out soon on DSTAR Records through Fist2Face.com.au

CD Review – The Bulletholes

The Bullet Holes – ‘Lost Cause’
Review by Danielle Hanrahan



The Bullet Holes are slowly making their way through the Perth local music scene, and their path is one strewn with catchy songs and impressive guitar riffs as well as turning heads that have seen their energetic live performances into putty.

Next Big Thing grand finalists in 2007, whose image of alternative punk rock is one which has developed into a mutant-hybrid of something punk-rock and rockabilly have developed an exciting sound sure to stay in the minds of audiences, no matter how intoxicated, especially with their latest offering titled, “Lost Cause”.

With a sound of raw bass and guitar, and a voice that belies the look of the band, The Bullet Holes offer a platter of catchy material sure to get girls dancing. And guys quickly following suit. It’s hard not to start dancing when listening to The Bullet Holes, even if you’re not at their gig. The opening song on the EP, “Everyday,” serves as the taster for the rest of the content that follows with simply constructed songs capturing the essence of what is real to the songwriters themselves. ‘Everyday’ and ‘It’s over’ are sure to be ones where the audience remember each line and try to both sing and dance at the same time. A feat which if you’re not too fit, can be sustainably difficult.

A surprise on the EP is ‘Where I Fall,’ a mellow canapé offered to settle the heart beat but one which would put a smile on punters nonetheless. The upbeat tempo offered later in the structure, the strong guitar, the heavy beat of the drums, extends this song into something which will move audiences (emotionally) but will soon have them moving on the dance floor. We come to the end of the EP with the song whose title lends itself to the EP, ‘It’s Over,’ think Living End-esque and something hard to pin down, where it makes a number which, if you haven’t been convinced thus far, ‘It’s Over’ is sure to do the job.

The lead’s vocals transcend into a parallel universe from each song, only coming together in ‘It’s Over’ to make the finale to this sweet little number felt far and wide. Upbeat. Catchy. Energetic. Raw. And songs that don’t let you forget who you listened to. The Bullet Holes, unlike the title of their CD, are far from a lost cause.

Live Review: Felicity Groom and The Black, Black Smoke

Felicity Groom and The Black, Black Smoke
Rosemount
Friday 17th August 2007
Review By Leo Abbs

It was only a matter of time before Felicity Groom would form a band to compliment her soulful Indie/folk tunes. One of the most promising acts in Perth at the moment, it says a lot about Felicity as a solo artist, that she could such a formidable band to play with her on stage tonight.

After an extended sound check, the band rolled into a casual, but fantastic sounding intro, with Felicity introducing her band, which consisted of Andrew Ryan (Adam Said Galore/Fall Electric, Alex Archer (Kill Devil Hills), Vanessa Thornton (Jebediah), and Ian Chater (The Bank Holidays).

Then she picked up her acoustic guitar and their career as a band together began. Unfortunately the vocals were inaudible for the first song – the band drowning out their vocalist, who was more used to singing over a single steel string guitar.

Adjustments were made to the mix, and you could hear her voice during the next two songs, then the rest of the band disappeared leaving Groom with Archer on lead guitar. The subtle addition to the song was well done, but The Kill Devil Hills fans in the crowd (err.. me) must have been hoping for his violin playing.

Andrew Ryan came back to the stage to join Groom in a duet, the male/female vocals sounding fantastic, with great variety between both and the pair working well together. Groom also took time to play perhaps her most well known tune to date, ‘Take You Home’ breaking a few hearts in the process.

The entire band rejoined their vocalist on stage for the run home, and as the set ended, you felt that they were closer to reach the stage, where they would gel in a sense of being a true band. It still need some work, but the second last song (the one with that mini harp) was the closest they got all night to perfecting the sound that would suit as the music behind Groom’s voice.

With such talent on display tonight, it made for an impressive debut gig.

CD Review: Jason Ayres

Jason Ayres Debut EP

Review by Leo Abbs


Songwriting with just a voice and guitar, is the simplest way to pen a tune, and this is the approach local songwriter Jason Ayres takes on his debut EP.. This recording is very simple, it has a plain styled package, and it’s recorded with just the basic instruments, with no backing.

This direction allows the songs to speak for themselves clearly in their rawest form. However at times you can’t help but thinking that their needs to be more filling to make the product more likable. Another criticism is the lyrical subject matter. while the biography talks about the comparisons to ‘the story telling of Dave Matthews’, it tends to stick to the same old story of relationships.

His voice is fine, but at times can tend to be too nasally, and his use of falsettos can be mis-directed, as when he hits the higher register it is quite off-putting. Song-wise he has definitely improved since his demo recording of 2004, obviously the hard work of writing and frequent gigging is paying off.

There are strong points on the five tracker like the tune Chasing Ghosts, which is a little less obvious in the subject matter and at the same time, has a hook capable of sticking in your mind. Track 2 ‘Everything I Say’ is probably the strongest track on the disc, simply because it a fantastic chorus, it’s moments like this when Ayres shows his promise as songwriter.

This is nice for a listen on a lazy afternoon, or the background while having a barbecue. It sounds simple and will grow with a listen. Though however promising it is, there is still work to be done for Jason Ayres to take his music to the next level.

Interview: The Belle Ends

Phoebe (The Belle Ends)
Interview by Leo Abbs

Your band was recently discovered on triplejunearthed.com and scored a Missy Higgins support at the Perth Concert Hall.How was the gig?

It was really odd, actually. We’d been worked up into a frenzy about it for about 3 weeks and when it actually came time to play it was over in half an hour. The gig was one thing, but just the fact that we were acknowledged and a door was opened to a national audience for us was absolutely incredible.

What do you think of triple j unearthed?
Any competition or organization that give that sort of opportunity to unheard and unsigned acts has to be a good thing, right?

You are about to release an ep. How long has it taken from when you started writing songs to having them recorded on CD, ready to release?

Well, we’ve been playing for 3 years or so now and some of the songs we’ve had in one form or another from the beginning, others were written the week before we stepped into the studio.

The Belle Ends has two core members who are husband and wife. How is it working in that situation?

We actually get asked that a lot. It’s kind of funny, because a lot of people seem to think that it would be a really difficult and sometimes volatile situation to work in. But if anything it makes it a hell of a lot easier. There aren’t any arguments over songs or sets or anything like that because we can be honest with each other and not worry about any backlash. As for the other two members, we’ve been best friends for years and have worked a lot together and we all operate more like a family than a band.

Your band are currently living in Fremantle. Do you find there are any differences between being a Fremantle band and a Perth band? If so, what are they?

Only 2 of us are in Fremantle, the other boys live north. There can be a tendency, though, for bands that are “south of the river” to play a lot more gigs down here for pure convenience reasons. Aside from that we haven’t noticed a big difference.

How important is your band, compared against what you do for a day job?

We see our day jobs as pretty much a way for us to be able to play regularly and still have a roof over our heads. Unfortunately there’s no money in music.

What are the best parts of being in a band vs the worst parts of being in a band?

The best parts: The relationships we form with our band members/managers/promoters, it’s unreal to be able to work and live with like minded people. Plus we consider ourselves really lucky to be able to do something we really love and are really passionate about on a regular basis.

The worst parts: Probably the misconception that all musos are lazy and that what we do isn’t seen as being work. We work our asses off but have a lot of people saying to us “But it’s not really HARD is it?”

How important is the Internet to you guys as a band? Are there are their any websites you frequent?

The Internet is an invaluable tool for us, and all bands. It’s a great way to get heard and get your music to people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to access it or come to shows. We’re constantly on the net- this site, myspace, perthbands…. there’s heaps!

What is the main track on the EP, and what is the lyrical theme?

We haven’t really got a main track, all the tracks are really different and stand out on their own. The themes range from love to death to sleazy adulteresses and there’s even a motivational number on there.

CD Launch details:

Where: The Norfolk Basement

When: Saturday 25th August

Entry: $10

With: Capital City and Jeff Strong

Doors open at 8pm

Check out The Belle Ends on myspace:

www.myspace.com/belleends

New Band Profile: 6000 Red

New Band Profile: 6000 Red

Band Name:

6000 Red

Band Members:
Geoff Baker & Seanne Chamberlain

Influences:

New Order, Felix Da Housecat, Tori Amos, NIN, Aphex Twin, JIll Scott, Jeff Buckley, Plump Djs

Favourite Perth Bands:

Tomas Ford, Brash and Sassy, DXU 555, Electric Limousine, Druid Lee Roth

Where does your band name come from:

Perth Postcode and .. well.. Red !?!

Upcoming gigs:

Friday 31st August

EP Launch

The Bakery

Friday 7th September
Velvet lounge

Website:
http://www.myspace.com/sixthousandred
www.sixhousandred.com (almost completed)

MP3’s online:

I wanna be like you, Seems to be, Hazy world (3 more to come)

Contact Details:
Seanne Chamberlain 0419 331 885