New Noise: Damn Terran, Secret Birds, Grand Prismatic, Step-Panther
It's pills 'n' thrills and B-sides in this week's Soundcloud roundup of new music.
– The last time a Melbourne band had a song called ‘Pills’, it was Rat Vs. Possum. This time it’s Damn Terran, who’ve gone from strength to strength since 2010’s Pet Hates EP. This year’s earlier single ‘Rebels’ now gives way to a two-minute roarer with guest vocals from DZ Deathrays’ Shane Parsons and a curt refrain in “Pills don’t make people/People make pills.” Finishing their self-titled first album in December with Ben Ely (Regurgitator), the trio will launch the anthem in three cities.
Fri, Oct 5 – Tote, Melbourne, VIC
Fri, Oct 12 – Mum @ World Bar, Sydney, NSW
Fri, Oct 19 – Rocket Bar (rooftop), Adelaide, SA
– Secret Birds can always be relied upon for slow-burn mind expansion, and the five-song cassette In Hex is no exception. Released through US tape label No Kings, it’s described as an “audio cryptogram of interlocking loops, riffs, and textures” that Sydney’s Damon Black recorded while living in Tokyo last year. Limited to a run of 80, it’s also available as a name-your-price download. ‘A Serpent With Corners’ is a telling sign of what Secret Birds is up to right now, again a solo project after having more than 30 musicians pass through its roster.
Secret Birds - A Serpent With Corners by Mess+Noise
– When a label claims that the singer for one of its bands “has one of the most unique vocals traveling about Melbourne,” it’s only natural to be sceptical. But when the singer in question is Grand Prismatic’s Brendan Clarkson, it turns out the label – Birds Love Fighting, home to The Ocean Party and Waterford – was right. Likened to David Bowie and John Cale, Clarkson’s leftfield voice is enough to prompt double-takes while absorbing the quartet’s ‘Bells Will Ring’ (no relation). It’s the first we’re hearing of the upcoming album Birds & Beasts, the follow-up to last year’s Sad Seagulls & Sleaze-Gaze EP. The band plays upstairs at Gasometer in Melbourne on Sept. 16.
– This one’s been sitting around for a couple months, but it’s well worth brushing off that thin layer of dust to hear a Step-Panther gem not included on last year’s self-titled LP. Produced by the omnipresent Simon Berkfinger (Feelings, ex-Philadelphia Grand Jury), it’s the B-side of the Sydney band’s UK single ‘Paranoia’, released last month on red vinyl via their English label Too Pure. What’s more, it’s a great tune that’s somehow robust and ramshackle at the same time, with a contagious nervous slant to it.