LIVE: Celadore, live at The Phoenix, Canberra (17-11-11)

Beginning a few minutes after we arrived, The Streetlight Parade – a local Canberran band – seemed to have improved since last I saw them. The band appeared to enjoy themselves much more with their newfound confidence, and it showed throughout their set. Full of gigantic pop hooks and bright riffs, they proved themselves to once again be a burgeoning local force, playing a very entertaining set.

Celadore took to the stage soon afterwards. The trio pushed their expansive sound across the small pub, filling every corner with their assaulting and melodic rock. Raw and emotive, yet still refined and to the point, Celadore played song after song that seemed to explode forth from the small stage. Pop hooks seemed to permeate their songs, catching in not only their occasional simplicity, but also their execution.

With a keen sense for dynamics and emotive fluctuations, the band’s set felt varied and it seemed to keep people interested – as did the personal stage banter. Being only familiar with single “Distance is a Gun”, I couldn’t sing along to too many songs on the night (although this was remedied by the fact I bought both of their EPs afterwards). But Celadore managed to put on a fun show for the people paying attention, and when there was no cover charge to get in, what more can you ask for? A free night of great rock music!

Celadore have plenty of potential in the Australian scene – the only issue will be crafting that one amazing single that catches on everywhere. Once they find that magic number, or that avenue to really launch them, you might end up hearing a lot more from these guys.

LIVE: The Streetlight Parade, live at The Phoenix, Canberra (04-08-11)

Two gigs in as many nights? I know, I need to slow down right.

Last night I adventured down to The Phoenix in Canberra with some friends who were keen to catch The Streetlight Parade (I caught the end of the previous band, and missed Crash The Curb afterwards). They were on second and were met with rapturous applause and a few screams (well, it was rapturous compared to the size of the room alright? It’s a small club). Their welcome was well deserved, because they certainly put on a great little show.

I can’t fault them for not jumping around there or seeming energetic, ’cause the stage there looks pretty restricting, but they definitely looked like they were enjoying themselves. Their style of rock was filled with lots of catchy guitar hooks and giant choruses, and they really know how to write a good melody or two. Imagine these light, quick guitar fills that really flesh out the songs and hold it all together. Keeping it simple, it’s memorable, joyful indie rock at it’s best. And it was so good that the crowd kept them up there for an encore – an encore of a song they’d already performed. No one cared though, because the song was cool as hell, and the band clearly were having fun. That kind of attitude is infectious when it comes to performing.

I’m looking forward to seeing these guys move up and up in the Canberra scene, and hopefully make it bigger as well. They seem to have the song-writing skills to get there.

Grab some of their free music over here.

BRAND NEW: Phoenix – “Live In Sydney” Free EP!

Phoenix. You know, that French band. The one that sings those insanely infectious synthy pop songs. Yeah, them. Well, they decided that they’d go and do something really nice for us all. They’ve released a live EP featuring songs from “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” that they played for us Australians in Sydney. I didn’t catch any of their gigs over here, but I hear they’re pretty good live.

I haven’t grabbed the EP yet, but I will be very soon. Word is the live version of “Love Like A Sunset” is brilliant.

The track-listing is as follows:

1. Lisztomania
2. Lasso
3. Fences
4. Girlfriend
5. Armistice
6. Love Like A Sunset
7. Rome
8. 1901

Grab a free download here. (Once their servers are back up that is, it looks like they’re under a bit of strain at the moment. Understandably.)

FEATURE: Albums Of The Year – 2009

1. Karnivool – Sound Awake:

An experimental outing relative to their debut, Karnivool have crafted nothing short of a masterpiece with this album. Put simply, this album is a grower. It’s one of those seemingly magical works that transcends logic by becoming more intriguing and enjoyable after every single listen. Rhythmically, Karnivool work on a level superior to most other bands I’ve heard. I’m not sure it’s possible to overstate how great this album is. Ian Kenny’s vocals are really something to behold. However if I was to recommend this band to someone, I would tell them to try their debut album “Themata” first. It’s more accessible and easy to get into, though it has many of the elements of “Sound Awake” in a slightly less experimental form. It’s a great stepping stone for approaching this amazing album.

Link to full review.


2. The Antlers – Hospice:

Hospice evokes a great deal of emotion in observant listeners through it’s tales of death, cancer, and relationships. A very moving album, it makes use of simplistic piano chords that resonate through low levels of ambient electronic noise, that contribute to the songs tonally. Lyrically it’s thematically similar throughout, though it’s incredibly well crafted. With lines like:

With the bite of the teeth of that ring on my finger,
I’m bound to your bedside, your eulogy singer.
I’d happily take all those bullets inside you and put them inside of myself,”

you just might wanna sit down and listen to this one carefully. It’s well worth the effort.


3. Taking Back Sunday – New Again:

Though nothing fancy and special, it’s a great catchy album full of typical pop-rock/punk songs. Nothing revolutionary, but it’s strong and fun, and I liked it. It’s as simple as that.

Link to full review.

~

Other honourary mentions, in no particular order of importance or worth:

The Temper Trap – Conditions:

A blend of catchy pop hooks and stylistically distinct vocals made “Conditions” the strong album that helped The Temper Trap achieve a moderate level of mainstream exposure across Australian commercial radio stations. Though this point is often associated as the beginning of a band’s downfall in terms of originality and livelihood – the fall into being controlled by industry giants in terms of creativity and sound – “Conditions” builds the foundations through which The Temper Trap can continue to grow and explore music. Hopefully they will.

Metric – Fantasies:

The electro-pop synths of Metric merge together with agile guitar hooks, all overlayed by Emily Haines’ entrancing vocal lines, to portray the confident sense of maturity inherent on this album. Moving from the dominating songs like “Sick Muse” to songs like “Twilight Galaxy”, which show a more delicate side of the album, helps display the diverse range of moods that are explored over the course of the LP. An engaging album that is an exciting look at what seemed like – to me – a stagnating style of music.

Passion Pit – Manners:

Infectious pop melodies dominate the debut from Passion Pit. The first 4 tracks are very good indeed. After that, it drops a bit, but manages to pick up before the end. “Sleepyhead” is short, but very catchy. Not a bad effort for their first album. I like it for the most part.

Future of the Left – Travels with Myself and Another:

Taking a raw, alternative rock sound, Future of the Left created an album full of simple and strong riffs, interspersed between harsh and powerful vocal lines. Stripping songs down to what seems like the essential qualities of fast, angry rock music, the album has it’s moments, with fills in-between that leave just a little to be satisfied. Despite giving it a score of 6.5/10 (maybe I was a tad harsh), it’s well built, and it’s just plain fun.

Link to full review.

Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix:

Catchy french pop/rock with distinctive vocals. This album really propelled Phoenix into a musical limelight. It’s quite good, but hasn’t caught on with me as much as I’d have liked it to. It’s one of those odd times when I can recognise how good something is, yet still not feel compelled to listen to it for some reason. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty good album.

The xx – xx:

The xx make slow, relaxing, and dare I say minimalistic music, that gives off an aura of spaciousness, while still seeming defined and not coming off as some band’s attempt at improvisation. Though the songs do seem to lag a bit in the middle, and the first half of the album does seem great deal stronger, they’re worth checking out. Plus the first track, “Intro”, is actually a very good introduction, which sets them apart from those bands who have introductions that seem to contribute absolutely nothing to the album.

BRAND NEW: Phoenix – “1901”

This is one of those songs that I’d heard people talking about, though I thought I’d never heard. Turns out, I had actually heard it on the radio, but never realised this was it. I don’t think I’d heard of Phoenix before this song, but it doesn’t matter, because if their other stuff is as good as this then they’ve got quite a good repertoire.

This is a track off their unreleased 4th studio album, “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” (due for release on the 25th of May).

The song starts with synthesizers (and what could be a guitar with some kind of soft effect?) and a catchy simple drum rhythm, before the vocals come in with seemingly no regard for amount of syllables in a line and almost an off-beat effect. But who cares? They sound great. It builds up to the chorus with the synths continuing and creating a danceable atmosphere for the song, that other bands strive to achieve. Basically, this song is catchy.

You can download “1901” for free from the bands official site, but I got the mp3 for free from this triple j page. I don’t know how long the mp3’s will be available for on each site either.

Photo found on Phoenix Wikipedia page , is by Rama and is licenced under the Creative CommonsAttribution ShareAlike 2.0 France” Licence, and CeCILL.