Album of the week: Sickboy – Vanity and velocity / Water never waits (throwback)

April 29, 2022

Old skool lovin’ xoxo

Tomatrax

This week we are throwing back to Mark Spence’s previous band before starting Royal Chant. Back in the mid naughties Mr Spence fronted an Atlanta based three piece named Sickboy. The name inspired by the 1996 film Trainspotting. As both releases were EPs, we’re featuring both to provide an album’s worth of music in aggregate.

The band’s first release was ”Vanity and velocity”.



Following this release Mark relocated to Australia. Shortly after the move, Mark explained that ”After Vanity & Velocity came out, some good things were starting to happen with the band, but we kept dropping the ball, both musically and personally. Most of it, if not all, was my fault, but there was always this inherent crippled nature in the way Sickboy functioned as a band in the States. Eventually, I sort of threw the towel in (or many towels), and accepted an offer to play drums on…

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Album of the week: Good fake – You vultures

March 28, 2022

Still doing things, even if the end of the world seems near xoxo

Tomatrax

This week’s feature comes from the online music project between friends in Tennessee, Missouri, and Australia, Good Fake.



On vocals is frontman for Royal Chant and Designer Mutts, Mark Spence. Mark had the following to say about the release.

“COVID has destroyed the live music sector and the only silver lining of any sort we have found thus far was a bit more time for creative projects further afield from our usual bebop, anti-folk, & indie rock comfort zones.

“You Vultures” is a 7-song effort that straddles the line between LP and EP, and definitely treads in musical territory outside of my comfort zone.

For fans of (maybe, we’re winging it here): Tool, A Perfect Circle, System Of A Down, Foo Fighters, maybe some old Radiohead, Stone Temple Pilots. I dunno, it’s in a heavier vein, you get me.”

Check out Good Fake’s Bandcamp page to find out more!

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Window of ’21

August 9, 2021

A brief respite
like waking
at dawn as it spreads
we sang
we danced
it came to an end
mistakes were made
and we would gladly
make them all again
now we sing
in our heads
into the void
carry on
as you were
joy is brief, of course
we know this
but still it hurts

September 20, 2020

Aw yeah xoxo

Tomatrax

10. Marble Sounds – No one ever gave us the right

9. They Might Be Giants – I like fun

8. Sylviane – Abeyance

7. Beauty in Chaos – Storm

6. Michael Cullen – Black dog

5. Royal Chant – [other]

4. We Yes You No – Tricycle Joyride

3. Postcode – Take me as I am

2. Ali E – Landless

  1. Frantic Chant – Fiberglass Spiderlegs

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Hic Incipit Pestis

March 29, 2020

Hic incipit pestis
here it begins
these new Roaring 20s
which feel like an ending
and no one is dancing

The plague is upon us,
show us some mercy
as I fall to pieces on the train
at the latest news
that means something
only to me

I did not take it as well
as I had hoped

I do not take it at all

I blame the plague
for being distraught
out of sorts
late on my rent
and overly weepy

The train has stopped
my life in pieces
I march forward
out of doors, onto a platform
that can no longer hold any of us
for another moment

The plague is upon us,
show us some mercy

DIY Indie Film Clips For A Lazy Sunday

December 22, 2019

Got bored and decided to do a few more film clips for songs from our Minor Crush LP. (View the first five HERE)

I threw together some vignettes of domestic psychodrama for “Epithet”

And then I begged our good friend and long-time RC film clip producer/collaborator Matt Clements for a stash of NYC hyper-lapse footage and made a lyric video for the album closer “Fading”.

And that’s how we roll.

xoxo

Familiar, Strange, & Vague

December 22, 2019

This history feels
Familiar, Strange, & Vague
“Welcome to the company, m’boy!”
they said, grabbing my hand
and shaking me limp.
It was the beginning
of the endless cold in my bones
endless cracks in the façade
now sleepless & speechless since

“Always aim for the jugular, m’boy!”
they said
day after day after day
until these delusions
became routine
our daily bread
our cup of salted meat

Here I sit and shall remain
Familiar, Strange, & Vague

Royal Chant – Minor Crush

November 11, 2019

10 years. That’s how long Royal Chant has been in existence. I’m not 100% certain of the exact date we played our first show as “Royal Chant”, but it was sometime just before Easter in 2009 when we opened up for a band called Benjalu somewhere here in the local(ish) area before heading into Albert studios in Sydney to record our first singles with a proper producer.

It’s hard to tell what has changed over the years other than the many, many band members that have come and gone. I can’t tell if it’s everything, nothing, a few things, or just the little things. I can’t tell if still going means we’re doing it right, or doing it wrong, or if it means anything at all. Maybe that’s the wrong question to be asking, and meaning is just a made up word to keep us tied up in knots.

Anyways….here it is, Minor Crush, the 6th LP from a 2-piece band of nobodies from a small town of nowhere.

These songs range from very old and unreleased to a few that were meant for the last album but decided to re-record, while the rest were brand new compositions that came about as they normally do: a collision of accidents and good intentions.

This was recorded at Music Feeds Studios in Sydney, which is sadly no more after shutting its doors earlier this year. Now that it is no longer in existence I can publicly and proudly declare my gratitude to the studio and specifically its owner, Joel King, for allowing us record for free over these last 4-5 years. I’m sure you can imagine what a difference that makes to an indie band. Of our 6 LPs in existence (or 7 depending on how you count), 4 (or 5) were recorded at Music Feeds. It was very much one of our haunts, where I always felt at home, and now that it’s gone of course it feels like the earth has shifted beneath our feet just a little bit more. It happens.

My fav track? (I know you didn’t ask but I’ll pretend like you did).Hearing Voices Movement”. Any time you can capture the sound in your head you have to consider it a win.

[music video by James Carthew and his fancy-pants code]

Fav track title? “Motivational Speech Impediment”. Sometimes I get stupid lucky when I stumble on something like that.

I started poking around with the Prelinger Archives and came up with this marvel of modern music videos.

And here’s the clips for the opening bangers for those of you still here wasting company time.

film clip by Greg Perry Another DIY film clip because of course

5 clips for 10 songs isn’t bad, but certainly feels like another DIY failure in comparison to the 7 clips for the 7 songs that made up Pride & Poverty. The indie OCD-completist in us is a hard voice to staunch.

And….here we are. Largely off the radio with a few exceptions around the globe, a few shows up our sleeves but nothing too drastic, and overall just pondering what to do, where to go, and how it all falls together in the end.

10 years, and not much has changed.

Thanks for reading, thanks for listening xoxo

Film Clip Friday: Royal Chant – Accidental

January 11, 2019

Friyay

“Accidental” is the first single off our next LP, Minor Crush, which will be out at some point in 2019. Probably.

Designer Mutts – Virtue Signals

August 19, 2018

First review xoxo

Tomatrax

This is the debut full length release from the self proclaimed hottest anti-folk bedroom pop duo to come from Porpoise Spit, Australia. You may listen to this and think “this sounds a lot like Royal Chant”! That isn’t a coincidence, the line up is basically the same as that of Royal Chant. So what’s the difference? Well while Royal Chant are a loud and raving garage rock band, this release shows off  the guys’ softer side. The tracks are in most parts acoustic, taking on a sound somewhere between Elliot Smith and Bob Dylan. The music still has the rough, raw, and gritty feel that has made Royal Chant stand out over the years, it’s just a bit softer and quieter.

A major highlight is the the catchy almost electo-pop sounds of ‘I don’t want to race you’ that opens the record. The sound bounces around playfully, while Mr Spence’s…

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