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CD Reviews

David Bridie – Succumb

Succumb - David Bridie By Chris Peken Slipping angrily into middle-age isn't the norm, particularly from a man who has been best known for using hushed tones, subtle colourings and has seemed a hesitant solo artist. Yet David Bridie bursts forth on Succumb with a strident approach that shows he is far from ready to […]

Afro Dizzi Act – Walkin

Walkin' - Afro Dizzi Act by Aidan Roberts What starts as a subdued and quietly psychedelic jam, Fender Rhodes and dubby bass-lines gradually bubbling away, soon develops into a sturdy world-beat dance-off, and Afro Dizzi Act have taken the stage. So goes the first 10 minutes of Walkin', the first full-length record from this Australian […]

Sophie Koh – All Shook Up

All Shook Up - Sophie Koh by Aidan Roberts Sophie Koh. She's a bit of an elusive figure in the current indie singer-songwriter arena, quietly plugging away making her records with a soft-touched confidence. Her second full-length record is a concept album of sorts; chronicling her descent into discomfort and back out again, Sophie sings […]

Ben Lee and Jessica Chapnik – The Square

The Square - Ben Lee and Jessica Chapnik By Chris Peken Last night i saw the The Square. The week before I got Gandhi out on DVD. I am pretty sure that the male characters in The Square are not proponents of Mahatma's pacifism. People die in The Square, they aren't necessarily meant to, but […]

Schvendes – Sweet Talk Your Enemies

Sweet Talk Your Enemies - Schvendes By Chris Peken I'm pretty sure the approach taken by Schevendes and their feisty front-woman Rachael Dease is not what most outside of the S&M world would call sweet talk. Not since The Scientists have Perth produced something quiet so art-house raucous, so dark and penetrating. Indeed close your […]

Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes by Aidan Roberts "I was following the I - was following the I..." So goes the opening strains of the song that catapulted Fleet Foxes into public consciousness - White Winter Hymnal - with its ethereal vocal canon and bittersweet guitar refrain. Seattle-based Robin Peckinold and his band of folk-rock […]

Tina Harrod – Worksongs

Worksongs - Tina Harrod By Chris Peken On the casting couch for blues, jazz and soul diva's Tina Harrod sits comfortably between Nina Simone and Billie Holliday (and with Nina's reputation that's a spot that would make most a little uneasy). That Tina's latest album Worksongs tackles at least three tunes Nina made her own […]

Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip – Angles

Angles - Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip by Aidan Roberts This release from the rambunctious Essex duo feels like a boxing match; enigmatic producer/mixer Dan Le Sac takes to the ring with the rambling vocal stylings of Scroobius Pip, whose name is appropriately gleaned from a mischievous English folktale character. What results is a […]

The Boat People – Chandeliers

Chandeliers - The Boat People By Chris Peken "You got a light of love / A shining, shinning light of love." My aren't these Brisbane boys a gleeful bunch. And indeed the wonderfully named Boat People (remember the campaign to have Queensland cut off from the rest of the country') are the happiest of pop refugees […]

New Estate – Out of the Ground

Out of the Ground - New Estate By Chris Peken Depending upon their mood, Melbourne's New Estate can be soothing and hypnotic or raucous and grating - just ask those sharing my listening space who could not believe it to be the same band. Perhaps that's the result of four songwriters in one (four piece) […]