REVIEW: Georgia Fair – “All Through Winter”

Georgia Fair - All Through Winter

It’s been a while coming for Jordan Wilson and Ben Riley – the duo also known as Georgia Fair. Their debut album – All Through Winter – is due for release on the 21st of October, and it’s fair to say there’s been a few people waiting on it. Touring with The Panics, the band have been showing off their new work recently, but how does it sound recorded?

Starting with the slow-burning “Times Fly”, the album kicks off with a strong start. “Blind” brings out intense, rolling drums, and “Where You Been?” is the perfect first single from the release.

Georgia Fair weave these beautiful vocal harmonies into folk music that goes beyond the whole cutesy idea of finger-picking some guitar chords. With lush strings and deep guitar, the songs sound mature and layered. It’s a much fuller sound, and it’s all the more interesting because of it. The best bit: the production is beautiful and sounds just as it should.

What it lacks for the most part, are stand out hooks. All Through Winter is rewarding when it has your attention, but rarely does the album grab it naturally. “Blind” and “Simple Man” both seem to take it up a notch, and so do a couple of others, but nothing really jumps out. Aside from that, too often do Wilson’s vocals feel under-stated. He has an amazing voice, and when really pushed out during some choruses, it explodes, sounding stronger than ever. Unfortunately, too often it feels restrained.

Maybe this album isn’t for me. When cherry-picking tracks for analysis, everything positive I’ve said stands – beautiful folk harmonies alongside a matured sense of song-writing – and it’s consistent in this sense too! But as an album, the release can’t sustain my interest. I feel I’d enjoy it more as an EP. Chances are, that’s more a reflection on my personal tastes.

Whether or not you listen to this as an album or not, if you dig great melodic folk music, you should have a listen. Georgia Fair have made leaps and bounds in many ways, and while I don’t think they’ve found their feet just yet, they’re getting pretty damn close.

VIDEO: Guineafowl – “Little Fingers”

Awesome indie-rockers Guineafowl have had quite a big Wednesday!

On top of being able to tell everyone they’re playing SPLENDOUR IN THE FREAKIN’ GRASS (congratulations guys!), they’ve released their latest video for “Little Fingers”.

I’ve gotta hand it to them – I thought Botanist was done extremely well and had absolutely no idea what this clip was going to be like. Sure, people will complain that the reversed video is a gimmick or whatever. Those people are probably overly cynical and whinge about anything that comes there way. I for one don’t care that Coldplay and Eskimo Joe have done it before. This is a brilliant effort and would’ve taken a hell of a lot of practice.

In the order we watch the video, Guineafowl is actually regurgitating a banana. Seems kinda funnier when you think about it that way. But I digress. The vocals are extremely well done and it looks really cool.

TAKE A LOOK.

REVIEW: Further Earth – “Kingdom”

Further Earth have leapt out of the far western city of Perth, and they’ve certainly leapt with more force and confidence than you’d expect! Considering they’re such a young band, their balanced sound may come as a surprise. However it’s an interesting result of their musical history – each band member has years of experience playing with at least one other member. This is a group of musicians who know how things work, and are at the beginning of something that sounds very special.

The first thing I noticed while scanning the press release for Kingdom, Further Earth’s debut EP, was that it was produced by none other than Forrester Savell. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, Savell has worked alongside Birds of Tokyo, Dead Letter Circus, and Karnivool. His work with these bands has made it clear just how valuable he is to the Australian rock scene, and Kingdom serves to reinforce that even more.

Further Earth merge influences, throwing in a dabble of prog-rock, to the softer opening strums of the title track, to the racing pace of “Fierce Euphoria”, but the way that everything seems to mesh together so well really defines these guys from the get go. Rarely do you hear a debut EP with such consistency and flow. Rarely do you hear a band that can develop such an expansive sound so quickly, with so many individual and truly interesting layers.

Each instrument has a life of its own, yet fits in so well to create the whole. It is bands that can do this, that eventually develop a strong fan-base in the rock scene, especially in Australia. Karnivool and Dead Letter Circus are testaments to that fact. Kingdom has a huge amount of potential to get Further Earth very far, and with a few tours planned this year, I’ll wager that Further Earth will be attracting quite a bit more attention very soon. Grab Kingdom and see what it’s all about, and keep your ears open for a tour announcement!

At the very least, check their triple j Unearthed page and grab some free tracks.

REVIEW: Dead Letter Circus – "Disconnect And Apply"

Dead Letter Circus’s debut album, "This Is The Warning", is going to be released on May the 14th, and on the announcement of their album launch tour (through late May to early June) I thought it seemed appropriate to introduce them to those of you who haven’t heard of this excellent band. It’s been a long wait for many fans for their first LP, but when it’s in the hands of Forrester Savell (who’s worked with Karnivool and The Butterfly Effect, the former for which he produced a brilliant sophomore album) I’m sure they needn’t worry too much.

After a small exploration of their work, it’s evident that Dead Letter Circus are heavily influenced by the growing number of quality Australian hard rock and progressive acts that are emerging. Which isn’t a bad thing at all. So if you’re a fan of Cog or Karnivool, this might just be your kinda band.

"Disconnect And Apply" opens with a flying guitar riff and pounding drums. Right off the blocks and the song seems to be going at 100 miles an hour. Building up to an expansive chorus, there is a great deal of talent evident in the vocal melodies, which lift the song up. Moving between the rushing verses, the song leaves you hanging just for a moment, before one last explosive chorus. Tying it all up, Kim Benzie yells "See you at work on Monday", before fading out. It might come in at just over 3 minutes, but it’s enough. The song doesn’t feel like it’s cut short. This is 3 minutes of quality music.

Whether they’re touring near you or not, I urge you to give Dead Letter Circus a go. Even though "Disconnect And Apply" won’t be on it, I really think (and am hoping that) "This Is The Warning" could be a landmark point in another great Australian band’s career.

Score: 9/10

Grab a free download of "Disconnect And Apply" here.

Worth checking out are both their new song, "Here We Divide", which you can stream on their website (just scroll down a little bit for the post), and "The Space on the Wall", which you can watch here. Watching Luke Williams play the drums with bread rolls and what appear to be leeks is kinda funny. It’s a good song too.