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CD Review: Royal Chant – I get a kick out of being kicked out of you

May 4, 2017

New review courtesy of our friends over at Tomatrax xoxo

Tomatrax

The Chanters from Port Macquarie are back and will soon be bringing out full length album number three. This is the second single from the forthcoming record and it suggests the fought and raw sounds will continue.

‘I get a kick out of being kicked around by you’ is a rough and raw garage rock just as we’d expect from the Chant. Once again the band captures the gravelly alt-rock / old school grunge atmosphere held together by catchy guitar riffs. However, compared to previous works, this is a somewhat calmer affair. This allowed the track to shows off the band’s ironic and dark sense of humour.

Royal Chant have continued their not so royal charge, paired with the first single, the easy to sing along to ‘Yada Yada yada” the next album looks to be another blast of rock.

Check out Royal Chant’s website to find out more!

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Dick Moves: A Musical Collection

January 31, 2016

As some of you might know from my various FB posts, tweets, & Instagram shots, I host the local Open Mic Night here in sleepy Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia every Tuesday night at a lovely little (dive) bar. It is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the longer I am there the more I can feel it turning into my kind of place. Things have settled into a nice groove of sorts (pun intended), but of course, like any job, it is not without it’s own perks and particulars.

For starters, there was….the start.

I was riding my bike out to school one fine sunny morning, perhaps last April, maybe May, when I get a phone call from a person whom I had never received a call from before. It was the owner of the venue. My mind immediately went into a state of worry, and anxiety took over as I waited for the inevitable. You see, a few days prior I had actually been at the venue, and somehow on my ride home I must have crashed into something, because I woke up the next day with a fairly dinged bicycle and a shoulder injury that still isn’t quite right.

Mark, you blew it. You are in trouble for sure.

I assumed he was calling to tell me that I had crashed into a car in the street or something like that, and that I’d have to pay for damages and that I would be banned for a year or…you get the idea.  You can imagine my relief when he merely wanted to talk about Open Mic Night. That was all. No need for panic.

So, yada yada yada, he gets to the point which is this: “We’re looking for someone young, who’s talented, who’s got the personality, who’s going to help bring all the hot girls in on Tuesday nights, and I was thinking…”

Yes? Go On.

-“That you could help us find someone?”

Oh.

Long story short, I did help them find someone young, talented, & good looking, but he was kind of boring so they eventually asked me to take over and here we are.

Of course, I have a habit of overdoing things, and this is no exception. Instead of simply bringing a guitar and setting up the PA and making sure the night runs smoothly, I’ve started bringing in more gear like drums, a bass amp, & a guitar amp in the hope of fostering more of a musical community and generally just trying to make things a little better. After all, if someone is blowing chunks on guitar and destroying a song on stage, it can make things a little better if they’ve at least got a steady beat behind them.  Not a lot better, mind you, but better nonetheless.

With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of Dick Moves that appear from time to time…

1. Don’t ask to go up again: you’ve already played once. You’re not going to get any better. I’m sorry there are more people here now than there were before. Life is very unfair. You should know that by now.

2. Don’t hop on the drums and tune them up and change everything around. This is not a “gig”, you are not a superstar, and none of this shit matters. If you can’t make music on what is already there, you can’t make music period.

[As a rule of thumb, the more uptight and wanky someone is about their gear, the more likely they are to suck as a musician.]

3. Don’t try and bring your own drums in either. No one cares. It’s a beat. Play it.

4. Don’t murder well known songs. Seriously, this is not practice time. This is a chance to show the world a new song you’ve been working on, or show off an old favourite. Whatever, just don’t turn someone’s delight at hearing the first chords of “oh, this is a song I like” into “What the fuck is he doing?!?!”

5. This is not art, but it can be. If you don’t know how to walk that fine line, best not to try. [Trust us: you probably don’t know how to walk that fine line.]

6. Don’t sit in the front row and sing along to shit you don’t know. Best not to sing along at all, really, but some forms are acceptable.

7. Wonderwall: Just. Don’t. Do. It.

I bet there’s more than I’ve drunkenly scribbled down somewhere and lost, but all of this is really just a lead-up into posting a video that we did for the latest Royal Chant LP and forgot to post it for you all to see.

It’s called “Dick Move”, of course, and was created, filmed, and edited by my very good friend Matt Clements who is a film-maker living in NYC. I’ll spare you the details on how we managed to appear in the video without leaving Australia, but you can probably figure it out on your own (if you haven’t already).

[FYI: this video was banned from ABC Television here in Australia because “it contains excessive commercial branding.

As stated in the ABC Editorial Policies:

11.7 Product Placement must not be unduly frequent or prominent

12.2 Commercial references must not be unduly frequent or unduly prominent]

Seeing as how we’re a broke-ass indie band, all we can think is A) give us a break. No one cares, and B) what else we were supposed to use? Geez….

Anyway, if you like the video please show the director some love, because in a cruel twist in the ways of the world, the band always gets credit for a film clip, even though all they did was write the song and then stand around for a bit in front of the cameras. I’m not saying that writing a song is no big deal, but in terms of man-hours that go into a music clip, the people involved behind the camera are the only ones doing any actual work.

Here’s the album, if this is your kind of thing. It’s free, because of course.

That’s all from here. It’s Sunday AM. The cat is awake. I’m on my third cup of tea already. I’m going surfing.

xoxo

 

 

CD Review: Royal Chant – The war cry of failure

November 29, 2015

First review of The War Cry Of Failure just in xoxo

Tomatrax

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I’ve lost count of how many Sickboy/Royal Chant releases there have been, I could go back and count them but somehow saying I’ve lost count seems to have a bigger impact. Somehow after all this time the band are still able to put out some great DIY garage rock sounds that have that great rough and ready raw feel to them with no hint of slowing down in terms of energy or passion.

‘Dick move’ is a low growing garage rock tune with elements of early REM. Mr Spence uses his sharp tongue and wit and provide his satirical Australian social commentary in a very laid back manner. This is backed by the thick grungy soundtrack that slowly roars along!

‘I pretend you believe’ picks up the pace musically with a faster grungy growl blasting along. ‘I am a model’ is everything a garage rock song sound have, there is…

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A walk in the park

August 22, 2015

Last Thursday, as I was walking across the playground where I happen to teach on that particular day of the week, one of my more spirited percussion students came up to me and said (aka: screamed): “Mr. —-! Don’t forget: you PROMISED me that I could play drums today because I did so well on the glockenspiel last week.”

Her eyes burned with intent and expectation.

-We’ll see.

-But….you promised!

-Yes, but adults lie all the time. 

Perhaps I should have added, “Get used to it, kid”, but she’ll probably figure that out soon enough. Hopefully sooner than I did.

It was a good day, and a fun lesson to teach.

[NOTE: Of course I let them play drums that day.  I don’t know why I wanted to prepare them for disappointment, or why I wanted to simply confuse this poor kid so full of spark & spunk, but it was fun nonetheless. It happens. I am human, and all that that implies]

Throwback Thursday: Top 10 songs from 2008

April 30, 2015

Wow…we are feeling old. Scroll down to the end and you’ll see why. Big love to TOMATRAX for hopping on board since day 1.

Tomatrax

It’s the final Thursday of the month and that means time for another Throwback Thursday where we look at the top 10 songs from a previous year. This year we look at the year when the Beijing Olympics were held, Obama became President of the USA, and Mr Tomato got married! Otherwise known as 2008!

Number 10: REM – Supernatural superserious

Number 9: Portishead – Machine Gun

Number 8: David Gilmour – Confortable Numb

Number 7: David Bridie – Succumb

Number 6: Halou – Evensong

Number 5: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Midnight Man

Number 4: Mezzanine Owls – Snow Globe

Number 3: Circle – Everytime

Number 2: Super Massive – Fists in my pocket

Number 1: Royal Chant / Sickboy – Coughing Fits

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Interview with that Royal Chant guy

April 3, 2015

This came out a few days ago. I tried to give as good as I got, but still, this one was rather brutal.

Tomatrax

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Royal Chant have released yet another sub par single. We weren’t really wanting to feature them but Mark Spence from the band kept begging so we gave in to the sobbing and did an interview out of pity!

Your latest single was one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard, are you deliberately trying to dish up rubbish or are you just naturally talentless?

We kind of assumed that no one was paying attention by this point, so we’re just throwing things together. It’s not our fault you actually bothered to listen to it.

The single pretty much sounds like everything else you’ve ever done, why didn’t you just release one of your previous songs under a new name?

How did you get your hands on our long-term business strategy? That was never supposed to be leaked to the wider public, but yeah, that’s basically what we’re going to start…

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Tomatrax Top 20 albums of 2014

December 13, 2014

It’s that time for end of the year lists….and we’re amongst some very fine company. Big love to Sounds Like Sunset and their beautiful LP.

Tomatrax

It was a hard slog but after listening, and re-listening to a massive pile of impressive albums we have picked out our Top 20. As was the case with the top EPs, you can listen to all 20 albums in full!

20 Repeat After Me – Making a map

19        Post Child – New Age Whatever


18        Will Z – 12 Visions

17        Lune – Music and Sports 

16        They Might Be Giants – First album live

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15        Anomie – Permanent Revelation

14        Davey Lane – Atonally young

daveylanecover

13        Anda Volley – In the ghost machine


12        Invisible Elephant – Sleepwalking


11        Sylvaine – Silent Chamber, Noisy Heart


10        The Broken Needles – Holy Coast


9        Alvvays – Alvvays

8        Sounds Like Sunset – We could leave tonight

7        Royal Chant –…

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THE TOP WORST ACTS IN EDM AS DECIDED BY A 34 YEAR OLD MAN

October 22, 2014

If you wait long enough, someone else will say it for you. Sometimes they say it better, like in this case.

Walmer Convenience

I’m fucking 34 years old. To some of you that is mad old. You’re like “that dude is gonna die soon”. Or you’re like “wow, are you a parent?”. Neither apply. And you know what? I’ve outlived Jesus. Yeah. It’s therefore logical to infer that I’m smarter than him, have made better life decisions and you would actually do better to listen to me. Fuck yeah. Now that we’ve cleared that I have unquestionable authority let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What is the worst shit in EDM today. Some would say everything. That’s an acceptable answer. The term EDM is fucking stupid as I explained here.

But what if we were picky? What if we picked the worst of the worst? Let’s stop fucking talking and start doing. I’m gonna force myself to actually listen to this shit for the first time in my life. Here’s the…

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Fishing + Goverment

June 1, 2014
THE FOLLOWING RULES APPLY TO ALL PAYING CUSTOMERS OF ROCK N’ REEL INC
0430 – WAKEUP
O500 – DEPART SANDY OATS/THE “ANIMAL HOUSE”
0530 – LAUNCH BOAT
0530 – 0600 -NET BAIT
0600 – 1800 – FISHING
1800 – 1802 – CLEAN FISH
1802 -1900 –  CLEAN BOAT
1930 – RETURN TO SANDY OATS/”ANIMAL HOUSE”
1930 – ? LIE ABOUT DAY OF FISHING
 
ALL FISHERMEN WILL BAIT THEIR OWN HOOK, TAKE OFF THEIR OWN FISH AND UNTANGLE THEIR OWN LINE.
ALL FISHERMEN ARE ALLOWED TO DRINK CHEAP LITE BEER.  NO WINE IS ALLOWED, ESPECIALLY BOX WINE.  THE CAPTAIN HAS AN IMAGE TO UPHOLD.
DUE TO RECENTLY ENACTED OBAMA MANDATED EPA REGULATIONS FARTING IS ALLOWED ONLY UNDER THESE CONDITIONS:  PERSON WHO WISHES TO FART MUST BE DOWNWIND OF ALL OTHER ANGLERS.  THE WIND VELOCITY MUST EQUAL OR EXCEED 2 METERS PER SECOND SO AS TO DISSIPATE ANY TOXIC FUMES THAT MIGHT PRESENT A HEALTH HAZARD TO OTHER ANGLERS.
PEEING IS ALLOWED UNDER THESE EPA GUIDELINES:
PERSON MUST BE AT LEAST 25 METERS FROM ANY OTHER PERSON OR VESSEL AND ONLY ON AN OUTGOING TIDE.  TIDE MUST BE MOVING AT LEAST 2 METERS PER SECOND TO DISSIPATE TOXIC AND OR CORROSIVE CHEMICALS WHICH MIGHT CAUSE HARM TO HUMAN SKIN OR VESSEL SURFACES.
DUE TO PRESSURE FROM PETA, CONGRESS HAS MANDATED THAT ALL ANGLERS BE CERTIFIED TO USE A GOVERNMENT APPROVED DE-HOOKING TOOL.  10 HOUR COURSE COSTS $150.  PRESENT CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION PRIOR TO LAUNCH.
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Hey Dad,

you forgot to mention all the new laws passed by John Boehner and his House Of Merry Men.

1) All gay fish will be separated at hook and forced into predetermined sex re-education camps.  BOTTOM LINE: No Gay Fish.

2) All veteran fish from previous catches will be ignored.

3) All fish suspected of using marijuana for pain relief will be locked up in federal prison.

4) No gay fish, just in case you missed it the first time.

5) All fish will be blessed by Dear Lord Little Baby Jesus before being ritually slaughtered.

6) All fish OVER the limit will be let go with a free parcel of fish food, while all fish UNDER the limit will be forced to work 72 hours at minimum wage before being killed.

7) All fish owned by Karl Rove and/or the Koch Brothers will be given an apology and sent on their way without question*

*assume all fish are owned by Karl Rove and/or the Koch Brothers.

8) Spanish Mackerel MUST produce state/federal issue ID before being let into boat.

9) Fishing line may NOT be made of hemp.

10) NO GAY FISH!!!!

There you go, that should cover it all xoxo 🙂

Surf’s up!

Mark

Video(s): Royal Chant + Twin Beasts + Cull + aheadphonehome + East Brunswick All Girls Choir + Waza

February 24, 2014

Soundly Sounds

‘Straya’s got some great bands, who make some great music videos. Check ’em out, or I’ll do nothing, because this is the Internet, and no-one’s listening to my rants. But I’d recommend checking them out, because your life will be better from it.

Royal Chant-Shake, Shake

Deadset, Royal Chant are the shit. They’ve got the pop tendencies of Bluejuice, with the underground credibility of Guided By Voices, and the ability to harrow into my brain like early Metallica. If you’re any sort of fan of Australian slacker/guitar music, like Dollar Bar, The Stevens, or The Cannanes, then get behind Royal Chant.

And if you’re still in some freakish mindset that declines my way-ward descriptions, then look at the video. Sorry, masterpiece. The thing is like a kindergartener took acid at finger-painting, and then went to the beach. It’s fucking crazy to look at, and even crazier to listen to.

Twin…

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