Anton Franc EP

With so many artists mixing folk and electronica, it takes a special kind of band to stand out from the crowd. Western Australia’s Anton Franc are certainly up to the task.

Recorded in basements and bedrooms in the Kimberly, their debut EP balances just the right amount of warmth with haunting isolation, resulting in a rewarding and memorable listen.

Lead single Letting Go came out of a failed fishing adventure. It was nominated for WAM song of the year contest in 2010, as well as featuring in two European advertising campaigns and it’s easy to hear why. The slow build-up and delicate electronics work to create a song that is highly memorable and possibly one of the best tracks of the year.

Other songs such as Jessy combine world music influences with standard indie, resulting in an interesting take on a well-trodden genre. Lady of the Night is atmospheric with unexpected harmonies. Despite the slower tempo it feels much shorter than it really is, which if anything, is a sign of a good song.

EP closer Memo was also nominated for WAM song of the year, in the love category. The song is well and truly bittersweet, with the most noticeable electronic elements on the entire EP. Like Letting Go it shines above most of the current indie fare and deserves plenty more attention.

The one flaw in the EP is opener Oh, Darling which doesn’t sit well with the other tracks. While the instrumentation is interesting and it is undeniably catchy, the tongue in cheek lyrics fall a bit flat compared to the rest of the record. But then again, considering this is a debut EP, it still lives up to even the highest of expectations.

There’s no doubt Jaimie Kuzich and James Bowyer, the pair behind the music have great things ahead of them. The Anton Franc EP could put many more established bands to shame and is a definite must-buy.

9/10

 

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Aleks and The Ramps @ Buffalo Club 10//11/11

The Buffalo Club is one of the latest venues to join Melbourne’s incredible music scene, and also one of the most unusual. With an RSL licence, wooden floors and a wall separating the bar from the band room it took a while to get used to. That said, it’s always great to see more places start hosting live music.

Seagull kicked things off to a very small but appreciative crowd. With their drummer and bass player absent, Chris Bolton performed with the help of a keyboardist. Chris Bolton’s vocal are reminiscent of Thom Yorke at times, and it’s pretty clear that they are certainly an influence. The drummer from second support Near Myth joined the band on stage for the final two songs, which added a different element to the set.

Near Myth played a set of buoyant indie with a vocalist that sounded eerily similar to Paul Dempsey. The banter between tracks gave bizarre explanations about the songs, my personal favourite being the track inspired by walking around Docklands car parks wearing nothing but a cardboard box. It was hard to tell how seriously they wanted to be taken but after hearing that it was only their third ever gig, I’m sure we’ll find out in time.

I’ve often wondered why Aleks and the Ramps aren’t more popular. Even at their single launch, the venue was 3/4 full at the very most. The band combine the jangly pop of most bands coming out of Brisbane with experimental electronics and Aleks’ deadpan vocals to create a unique but very enjoyable sound that would probably appeal to both Triple J listeners and the indiest of indies.

Tonight’s stage was set up with fairy lights that were triggered by the instruments, giving the set a mini light show effect. The band gave it their all with tracks like Walking in the Garden proving to be frightening and danceable in equal measures. Older single Antique Limb was a highlight of the set and as close as the band has come to writing standard Triple J fare.  The purpose of the gig, Middle Aged
Unicorn At Sunset
sounded great. With offbeat lyrics and a catchy tune its hopefully a sign of things to come from the band.

Aleks and the Ramps proved themselves as a live act to be reckoned with. If only more people were there to watch them play.

Music News Round-Up

Did everyone have a good long weekend? I spent mine camping with my family in the rain. Next to a tent that almost exclusively played dubstep and another who had a baby. Never again.

Anyway, here’s some music news to accompany your hangover.

 

After one album and countless drummers, Philadelphia Grand Jury have called it quits for good. The band announced a hiatus is March, but today they revealed on Twitter that the band has broken up:

“After years of touring together, recording together, working together and living together, we’ve decided we need our own space. Big, big thanks to everyone who has supported us and given us the opportunity to have what is pretty much a dream existence. Most of all, thanks to all the drummers that have put up with us both.”

The band were incredibly fun live and Hope is for Hopers, although cheesy in places, still holds up well. It’s a real shame to see them go.

 

This is the first result for the BDO on google images. Yup.

Viven Lees and Ken West, the promoters behind The Big Day Out parted ways after 20 years. Lees has pulled out of the partnership, stating that he wants to spend more time with his family. Ken West will become the festivals sole promoter.

AJ Maddah is continuing his run of being the most frustrating promoter in Australia.

Hole have pulled out of Soundwave 2012, which of course resulted in a spate of hilarious tweets.

As far as Harvest news goes, Kevin Devine’s sideshows were cancelled with no proper announcement (I’m still mad) and festival attendees in Brisbane and Sydney can only bring one sandwich (no word on baguette or rolls).

The full details for travel announcements, etc can be found here.