This week we cast our eyes over the much talked about Blueline Medic tribute release ‘Shuffle And Scrape‘ from Poison City, we also take a listen to local outfit Bateman’s EP ‘Ultra Violence‘, the long overdue full length from Melbourne’s These Hands, and a first peek at the debut album from Strangers via the first single. See below for our thoughts on each of the releases.
VARIOUS ARTISTS – Shuffle & Scrape: A Tribute To Blueline Medic [Poison City Records] – Available now. [Buy on Vinyl] [Buy on iTunes]
The much talked about tribute to Blueline Medic which was released last week as part of Record Store Day celebrations for Melbourne label / store Poison City. You can toss a coin with most ‘tribute’ albums, some are great, and some stink. This one though is fantastic, mostly in part to the fact you can just tell everyone involved is a fan, and doing it for just that, and not to just get on a compilation. Most of the tracks don’t swing too far from the original, but all do contain each artists own little flavours. Harmony probably give more of their own sound than most on their take, with great results too. As far as favourites go, they are all pretty equal to be honest, I’m swinging towards Jen Buxton doing ‘Sleepyhead’ and The Nation Blue doing ‘Shuffle And Scrape’ as they are two of my favourite BLM tracks, and both acts nailed it. The teaming up of Jamie Hay and The Smith Street Band works brilliantly too. No-one comes close to butchering a track which is always handy. As far as which ones could be best pulled off live, I think Paper Arms take honours with ‘Write Us’. Great work to all bands and artists involved though, from start to finish, it’s a great listen.
BATEMAN – Ultra Violence [Slippery Slope] – Available now. [Buy it here]
Like a bit of gritty, riff heavy punk / hardcore? Then this neat little four track EP will fit nicely into your collection. It’s got all the right elements packed into a handful of punches. Recorded in Melbourne, then sent over to be mixed by Joby J Ford of The Bronx, the production certainly suits the style, nice and raw, but still big and warm. The opener ‘Fangbanger’ and the closer ‘Thievery’ were my two highlights, nothing wrong with the other two though. Need something to kickstart the energy levels a bit? Grab this and crank it.
THESE HANDS – Endlessly [Independent] – Available Now [Buy it here]
It’s been a long time coming this album, after a shortening of their name, this Melbourne outfit finally get their full length out. Proof you don’t always need a vocalist as their lengthy instrumental music manages to hold your attention throughout. Variety is key, and they definitely posess it. Perfect background music, or put the headphones on and listen closely to all the intricate parts going on. Not everyone’s cup of tea I’m sure, but I did notice whenever I’ve been playing it while working, productivity rises, gotta be a good thing yeah? Seriously though, there are some brilliantly written tracks on offer here, the production is great, and for patient fans, it will definitely be worth the wait.
STRANGERS – Bred For Breeding [Permanent Records] – [Watch the video clip here]
A preview of what to expect when this Sydney outfit release their debut full length in July. ‘Bred For Breeding’ is the first single. A high energy melodic rock tune that wouldn’t sound out of place in the background of some sporting footage. We’ve heard the sound a million times before, but they add enough spark to keep it interesting and is impressive enough to put the album on the things to check out list. Track would work well live too I’m sure.
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