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Monday, June 13, 2011

Papa VS Pretty - United In Isolation review

'Life's Got A Hold On Me' is a perfect electric kick-off to United In Isolation. It gets you ready for an epic and rocking journey with its enigmatic riff fused with a taste of the lyrical depth you can expect to explore throughout the record.
United In Isolation moves effortlessly into its second offering which is sure hit 'One of the Animals'. Still on a roll of pure energy, the transition is almost perfect. This song is possibly going to be the greatest radio track from the record.
'Charity Case' is a little eerie to start with. At first you feel like you've stepped into a twilight zone full of spinning clocks and swirls only to be hit with a tasty riff before the song slows into the first verse. Your first impression is 'where is this going and do these different elements work?' but somehow it all comes together for the chorus and all these themes marry perfectly. Rawle has the ability to match lyrical depth with a rocking vision of what a commercially feasible track should sound like without sounding too "Nova."
Unfortunately every album has its filler tracks, and Papa VS Pretty are able to supply one of the shiner fillers around but 'Look For Me' serves as this nonetheless. Having personally witnessed a lot of Rawle's back catalog of songwriting and previous EP work, this track could have easily been 'Shoot' or the beautiful 'I Still Believe In Us'. In saying this, it suits the record and isn't a stinker by any means.
'Honey' is another great pop/rock number. Having seen this track live I can argue the energy it creates, although it seems a simple song format with an incredible solo it really takes off towards the end. You can't judge the face value of this song, it really does resonate after a few plays.
United In Isolation harbours an energy of romance and ultimately rejection in its presence with themes of anger. Someone mentioned to me that they didn't know these three guys could be so vicious; fact is I knew it and 'Conquistador' is no exception to that. It's catchy, straight-up and ends breathlessly. This contrasts greatly with the more mellow ballad 'I Felt Nothing' which delicately slows the tempo of the record and gives us a more intimate perception of Papa VS Pretty. It's here we can really hear the influence Jeff Buckley has on Rawle. These two tracks marry love and war and we can see the conflict between the emotions behind the songwriting. This is one of my personal favourites from the record.
Clever enough to know not to let a sad note linger, the boys ascend us into 'Darkest Way' which sounds like an upbeat happy song but when you listen closely, it's more than that. This song seems to be a about very intimate friendship that never quite culminates into what you'd expect. I like this song because it's an example of what Papa VS Pretty do best and that's disguising deeper meaning with catchy as hell hooks. They're not happy and they're not sad, if you will.
The first time I heard 'Bitter Pill' I felt it was just another perfect example of Rawle's vocal range. The pacing of this song is perfect as it builds into its unique power, housing another Prince'esque solo. My favourite part of this track comes at the very end where we hear a new element on the record; it's what appears to be a fusion of news broadcasts and televisions voices hauntingly at war through a static. I like when bands exercise different recording materials into their music because it's really hit or miss. Being a fan of Brand New's Daisy opener, this technique sat well with me and it finishes 'Bitter Pill' in an interesting tone, it makes you want to re-listen to see if you missed something.
United In Isolation starts to wind down with 'Suit and Burn'. We get to explore again some vicious lyrics as vocals snarl, "Do your worst 'cause I can take it!". It's safe to say Papa VS Pretty can write a solid harmony no matter the mood of the song. This song also seems to be very experimental with mixing techniques.
The last impression of this album is 'You Are Not In Love Anymore' and it seems like this has been a journey of lust, love and jaded heartbreak. This track is perfect. It completely captures what it's like to be young and have your passion fall by the wayside of someone you adore. The fancy circus de weird outro is an interesting closure but to me it displays the A.D.D in this group and the ability of being able to command so many sounds. These lads have to be careful not to cram too many techniques into one record lest they sound like they're over-doing it. That hasn't happened here but I'm sure there were a lot of ideas that wanted to be heard here.
For a debut album United In Isolation is choc full of raw emotion and serves as a break-up record you could rock out to and on of the more impressive Aussie LP's I've heard this year.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Slow News Day

Is it so much to ask that all digital media music outlets in Australia maybe don't steal their stories from NME? There's not one Australian media source that actually breaks stories. Yes, we're an over sized remote island on the flip side of nowhere and no one particularly gives a shit about us, but why can't we do better?
My main source of music news in AU terms is usually and it is pretty handy. Every now and then someone gets bored at HQ and makes a photo slide of 'relevant moments in music' which they have essentially ripped off from another site six months passed published.. But in terms of Australian news and sideshow info, they seem to deliver. Others find solace in but I don't fancy being up to date with Gabriella Cilmi anymore than I like sampling a selection of anal probes. They have also proven as Splendour in the Grass' buttboy when it comes to issuing bullshit press pieces about why no one gives a crap this year.
Another website I don't mind is -- now this isn't a TV channel or real source of audiovisual entertainment but it's a nice collective of music, street art and pop culture updates. The editorial is witty and sometimes essence of but the html is all kinds of fucked up and drowning in oversold ad space. It's also infrequently updated through the week and isn't above sneaky ploys to gain extra web traffic eg. that facebook scam where a massive hack went down telling you to vote for some bitch - pedestrian banked web numbers by posting an article claiming to have info on the individual behind the scam, only to be asking a rhetorical question. We'd been had and their advertiser made cash dollars.
So what do we do? Do we resort to our local street press website which is updated a regularly as your 28 day cycle or just wait for your once a week press?
Print is dead and I'll stand by it but the Internet is as sprightly as ever so why are we missing out?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

OWM ‘Best of 2010’

So, I’ve mad a list of my personal high rotations for this year.

This isn’t to say that these are the most critically acclaimed works but more what I have enjoyed the most, I can’t be bothered to re-list a Pitchfork countdown to appear noble amongst hipster folk, Take it or leave it, this is what I’ve been listening to this year.


  • High Violet - The National
  • My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy - Kanye West
  • The Suburbs - Arcade Fire
  • The Fool - Warpaint
  • Halcyon Digest - Deerhunter

Close but no cigar: Belle and Sebastian - Write About Love, Tame Impala - InnerSpeaker, FOALS - Total Life Forever, Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record and many more I’ve acquired too late to really fall in love with just yet.


  • Conversation 16 - The National
  • Ready To Start - Arcade Fire
  • You Got the Dirtee Love - Florence and the Machine feat. Dizzee Rascal
  • Hell of a Life - Kanye West
  • Eyes Wide Open - Gotye

Close but no cigar: Heavy Harm - Papa VS Pretty, Suburban War - Arcade Fire, Whip My Hair - Willow Smith (or the Neil Young and Boss cover), I’m Not In Love - Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith, Fuck You - Cee Low Green

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dude, Stonefield.

If there is anything you should do this year, it's catching tween girl band Stonefield.
I caught them last night, I died. So talented. THERE WAS BASS SLAPPING AND TAPPING!
Yeah, it's like Jefferson Airplane but going through puberty!
Find a way.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Single of the Week

You might imagine the variety of demos my inbox delivers and though some songs just take a few listens before the music really takes hold, I know a hit when I stumble across one. Today the debut single 'Exit The System' from Brisbane's threesome The Moniters landed safely in my hands and I am one happy little blogger.

The Moniters are comprised of frontman Jimi Lucas, drummer Matt Schrader and bassist Barney Gickel, the three band members met at a Killers concert a few years ago and have been recording demos with Jack and cigarettes ever since. This year the lads have been working closely with Melbourne based producer Forrester Savell (Dead Letter Circus, Birds of Tokyo) stringing together their debut EP 'Sex City Lovers' due out in 2011.

My first thoughts of 'Exit The System' was that the track is dirty, sexy and electric. The more I listen to the verses, the more I hear elements of Paul Banks in Lucas's vocals, it's quick and immediately catchy. Quite personally, I'm not the biggest 'electro' fan but this sound is a step in the right direction for electro rock. More rock than "magic fountain", The Moniters deliver a little bit more edge into this saturated market.

Give the track a spin and also check The Moniters east coast tour dates riiight here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bob Dylan once said, "The times they are a changin'..", and even though Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young are music giants from our Dad's day, they don't seem to have any issue with keeping up to date with what's, erm, fresh? The two genius's (well, one was Jimmy Fallon dressed as Young) recently schooled the elementary aged Willow Smith by rearranging the mega hit 'Whip My Hair'. A hit is a hit, no matter what you do with it.
Get schooled, old school.