Beyond Contempt : Calculated Divide

Posted by Beat Magazine on 10/5/17.

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Melbourne thrash outfit Beyond Contempt fire up their listeners’ ears with their latest EP Calculated Divide, which is charged with a maniacal energy that is both addictive and captivating. Opening songBreak unleashes some epic riffs that hook you straight in, as vocalist Pascal D’Bras powerful vocals charge you up with anticipation. Salt has a searing guitar and marching drum beat, which resonates with the metal vigor that Beyond Contempt inject into their music.

A Rope With A Purpose has an intro rife with suspense, before breaking out with a piercing scream. Catching Bullets kicks off with burly guitar work and D’Bras showcasing cleaner vocals this time around. Breathermeanders at a slower pace, with D’Bras again taking the melodic route, before the chorus explodes into absolute metal mayhem.

Last but not least, Salt (DevilMonkey RMX) is a playful, comedic remix, twisting into a funky rap that contradicts the rest of the Calculated Divide in an unexpected yet welcoming way. The final track reveals Beyond Contempt aren’t taking themselves too seriously, and aren’t afraid to experiment.

By Christine Tsimbis 

The Tommyhawks On Finding Yourself, Leaving Their Music Up To Interpretation And Their Upcoming Tour

Posted by Beat Magazine on 19/4/17.

Bedroom, the latest track from Perth indie rockers The Tommyhawks,radiates an intriguing vibe,exploring the transition from childhood to adulthood and how identity is constantly evolving within those stages.

Vocalist Addison Axe discusses the expectations placed upon adolescents to have themselves all figured out by the time they finish high school.

“There’s this expectation that by the time you leave high school, you’re going to know who you are and what you want to do with your life,” she says. “But in reality for most people, working out who you are is a lifelong journey.

“The song Bedroom is about that journey from childhood to adulthood and all the places in between, and the fact that you’re never really one thing or the other but always changing, and that’s okay.

“Accepting that you’re always going to change is where you actually find out who you are, rather than putting on all the pressure that we experience, whether it’s through society or our peers or our families, so you have your shit figured out.

“In some ways, I hope I never figure my shit out because that’s part of the exciting thing about life isn’t it?” she says.

Axe also details her songwriting process, contemplating the journey that she makes with each song she writes.

“Without sounding too pretentious, I’ve got no idea what the listener would think, because it’s like a diary entry,” she says. “In a way when you write, it’s not necessarily intended for anyone to hear.

“Then that journey as a musician is to bear your soul and put it out there to the world. What people think is what they’ll think.

“The cool thing about songs – and this is both as a music fan and as a writer – is when you experience someone else’s song, you experience it with your own approach,” she continues. “I might listen to a famous song and have a completely different picture or visual image or idea of what it’s about than you would. That’s what makes it so magical; it is per every single person, if you leave it open enough then it becomes personal to everyone who hears it.

Axe is excited about the upcoming national tour, and she’s mostly looking forward to being on the road with her band because they’re all best friends.

“We have a real sisterhood thing going on, it’s the best fun ever,” she says. “You go into this different bubble, where real life is not real and this weird alternative reality takes over and there’s nothing quite like it. That’s what I’m so excited about.

“Every show becomes a story, no matter whether it’s the best show ever, or the sort of gig that makes you never ever want to do another show; it’s all part of the rich tapestry of life.”

As for The Tommyhawks’ future goals, they’ve already scheduled their third EP to be coming out in July, and they’ve also started working on a full album.

“The aim is to start recording a full-length album by the end of the year, which is quite exciting because we haven’t done that before,” Axe says. “I’m hoping that everything that we’ve done so far to make the EP is going to pay off, because we really found ourselves through that process and got to know each other both as people and as musicians.

“I think the album will be like next level in terms of us as a band. The EPs have been the sketches and the album will be the full painting.”

By Christine Tsimbis

The Tommyhawks will perform at Meatstock Fest, Melbourne Showgrounds on Saturday April 22 and John Curtin Hotel on Sunday April 23.

Ronnie Winters On The Ten Year Anniversary Of Don’t You Fake It And What’s Next For The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Posted by Beat Magazine on 12/4/17.

US post hardcore rockers The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus will soon be jet-setting to Australia to celebrate the ten year anniversary of their debut album, Don’t You Fake It.

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus vocalist Ronnie Winter says the band has received nothing but great responses about the tour. “That’s the good thing about when we made the album,” Winter says. “It was basically a straightforward rock album with two guitars, bass, drums and vocals so it’s pretty easy to pull off live as we’ve been doing it for ten years.

“We’ve never done it all the way in the order we recorded it, without adding a bunch of other songs or taking some songs out of the album. We’ve never done it all the way through until this celebration, so it’s good fun. Everybody’s really been enjoying it and the vibe has been great.”

Winter’s favorite song from the album has changed over the years, but usually Your Guardian Angel tends to lead the way.

“We might not have played the whole album every tour, but we’ve always played a couple of songs from the album,” he says. “A lot of people know us for Face Down, and a lot of people that aren’t a fan of the band only know us for one song.

“If you’re a fan of the band, a lot of people like songs like YourGuardian Angel and Cat and Mouse.”
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus always have fun touring different places, and Winter says the bands they tour with make being on the road that much more enjoyable.

“I’ve got a lot of friends in bands. We’re really good friends with Hawthorne Heights,” he says. “We’ve toured a lot, we’ve done a lot of different countries with them as well as Australia, that was a really good run.

“I really had fun touring with 30 Seconds to Mars, Jared [Leto] is a really nice guy, he even bought us lunch one time. Those are my two favourite bands.”

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are no strangers to Australian shores, and one of the main reasons they keep coming back is because the crowds are so great.

“It’s fun to do the ten year anniversary because we’re not trying to play anything other than that record,” he says. “You know we’re giving fans exactly what they want,” Winters says.

“Even when we play the new stuff over there; all the kids know the songs, they know all the singles, they’ve seen the videos, and that’s cool because not in every territory you go to that happens, so it’s fantastic and it really makes you want to keep going back.”

Winters says he feels great about heading over for the Australian tour. “Australia is a pretty beautiful country, and we always do our best to get out and see as much as we actually can over there. We’ve been there many times and have always had a good time.”

Right now they may be focusing on nostalgia, but that doesn’t mean that The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus aren’t always looking forward.

“We have the goal to continue to do things exactly the way we’ve been doing them, which is at our own pace, releasing music as we go,” he says. “We’re all a lot older now, we’re all dads and married and life has moved on but we’ve been given the opportunity to continue to make music for a career,” Winter says.

“As soon as we get back from this tour we’re starting production on our new album called The Awakening so I hope people like it. So far, it’s definitely a little bit heavier, but not heavy in a metal way; heavy in an honest way. A little dark, a little heavy.”

By Christine Tsimbis

The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus will celebrate ten years of Don’t You Fake It at Max Watt’s on Wednesday May 10 and Friday May 12 (sold out). Support comes from Young Lions

Destrends : Lousy Lover

Posted by Beat Magazine on 19/4/17.

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Destrends have created a distinctive reputation for themselves, infusing their music with a creative mixture of new wave sounds from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, along with a trace of gothic hysteria.

Opener Jack is layered with thrashing drums and streaking guitar blended with Matt Savage’s deep, dramatic vocals. The lyrics overlay the song with a comical tone as the bluesy sound enhances the lively vibe of Destrends, reminding listeners how contagious their theatrical performances are.

Papa whips out choppy guitar riffs and rhythmic drum beats that are addictive to listen to. Title track Lousy Lover starts off with brooding vocals. The melody has a softer, more mysterious feel than the others, as though it’s about to break out but wants to keep the listener in suspense.

Waste Division lurches listeners out of their reverie with a scratchy guitar and drum combo that screams punk, urging you to headbang along. Slack Jaw Jim begins with a steady, bluesy sound, layered with intense guitar and raw vocals. Closer Blackout showcases Destrends’ knack of infusing manic energy into their music. The EP is raw, dark and enticing to listen to over and over.

By Christine Tsimbis

Northlane : Mesmer

Posted by Beat Magazine on 5/4/17.

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Citizen kicks off with a bang, streaking guitars carry Bridge’s growls, send listeners into a frenzy. Colourwave begins with a gritty guitar, effectively paired with a swirling synth sound, but soon enough the heavy breakdown erupts and that’s when we know Northlane mean business. Bridge’s vocals in the chorus are infused with emotion, but this is only the beginning, because Savage comes afterwards to take us for a ride with its intense riffs and captivating lyricism.

Intuition has addictive riffs and relentless drumbeats that make you headbang, and Zero One begins with a whimsical electronic sound that hooks you straight in because it stands out from the usual rage that Northlane projects into their music, but soon enough they pummel a powerful breakdown, as Bridge’s angst filled vocals penetrate your ears.

Last but not least, Paragon kicks off with a suspenseful beginning, little buzzes and quick breaths that send a chill down your spine, because you know that breakdown is coming– and it completes Mesmer, especially since Paragon is a tribute to the band’s loss of their friend Tom Searle. This album is an emotional rollercoaster, and Northlane have injected their grief beautifully into their new work of art.

By Christine Tsimbis

Foam Unleashed Mayhem When They Took Over Last Chance Rock N Roll

Posted by Beat Magazine on 29/3/17.

First to jump onstage was Lost Talk. Fierce frontwoman Amy immediately commanded attention with screamed vocals radiating sass, while the band upped the ante with a high intensity set.

Next was Perth alternative outfit Childsaint, who showcased their gritty garage rock with plenty of passion, their melancholic lyrics reaching out to everybody in the room. Local garage rockers The Shabbab exploded onto the stage with manic energy, vocalist Shuki Rosenboim clad in unicorn pants as he frantically jumped and writhed both on stage and off.

Last but not least, it was time for Perth garage legends Foam. Frontman Joel Martin deep, gritty vocals were contrasted by Harley Barnaby’s slicing guitar streaks and drummer Jackson Hawdon assaulting the drums with brute force.

Foam’s sound was compelling ­– they would build up the anticipation with steady, climbing riffs, and then all of a sudden unleash mayhem. It was like being on a rollercoaster full of twists and turns, and it was exhilarating. Their sound is reminiscent the ‘90s grunge movement, and brings back the nostalgia, angst and non-conformity of the era.

Foam played mostly from their debut album Coping Mechanisms. In particular, the crowd lost their marbles for We Don’t Live In The USA – a song filled to the brim with frenzied energy as Martin, Barnaby and Hawdon thrashed around on stage.

There was also Eat Your Family, another fun song kick-started with Martin’s brooding vocals, heightened by cruising surf rock feels. There was a playful feel to the track that captured the crowd’s attention, allowing Foam to let loose and not give a shit.

Get On Board had a free-spirited feel with throbbing bass and riffs that elicited some serious headbanging from the audience. Martin’s vocals added the cherry on top of a wonderfully sludgy, rock-heavy set.

By Christine Tsimbis

HighlightEat Your Family. 
Lowlight: Nothing.
Crowd FavouriteWe Don’t Live In The USA.

Honesty Is The Best Policy When It Comes To The Record Company

Posted by Beat Magazine on 1/3/17.

Los Angeles rock’n’roll trio The Record Company truly encapsulate the idea of creating authentic and raw music, and their honest approach reverberates through the hearts and minds of listeners.

Their most recent album Give It Back To You has been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album, and the album’s first single Off The Ground scored top spot on radio stations throughout the country. Vocalist Chris Vos discusses the band’s musical journey and how it’s only strengthened their ever-growing bond.

“The thing that remains throughout any consistent era of rock’n’roll that I’ve cared about is honesty and the sound of music that sounds like somebody needs to play what they’re playing,” Vos says.

“For us, the way we feel and the way we sound our best is when we leave the human mistakes and elements in there, and not because we want to have mistakes but aren’t those sometimes the best parts? The flaws are the flavour of the whole thing, it’s like maybe you don’t sing in key completely the whole time and maybe you do.”

Vos discusses how Neil Young is a perfect example of integrity and honesty, since he has great depth as an artist and this is evident in his music.

“Neil Young had a quote where he said if he had to pick between two takes, one where he thought he sang perfectly, and one where he thought he sang with more emotion and vibe, he’s gonna go with the one with vibe,” Vos says. “Even if he feels like the other take was more perfect. I think that’s something that we’ve always tried to keep in mind, lessons like that.

“Those are the kind of artists that when you’re starting a band you want to learn as much about how they feel, what inspired them to be what they are, then maybe it’ll give you some inspiration to be honest yourself.”

The Record Company’s growing experience with songwriting has strengthened their vibe as a band, and their song craft has evolved as a result.

“It’s like a good relationship that’s actually working right, when it’s working right,” Vos says. “When you have a friendship or a significant other and you’re not a musician, it’s very similar to that. You know you don’t have to talk so much about what’s going on, because you know each other, you get it.

“It’s a very natural thing, you put out records, you put out songs and you start to ask ‘what did I like about what we did?’ ‘What would I like to do next?’ and the more you’re in the element of writing together, playing together, the stronger the bond.

“When you’re out there together, and you’re doing this thing all the time, the relationship is staying positive because you care about each other and you’re trying to do it right. You’re trying to do right by each other, you do change and evolve and your vision becomes very cemented together. You start to feel like you all are going in the same direction, and that’s a wonderful feeling.”

Vos is really looking forward to performing in Australia, since he’s always wanted to travel here but hasn’t yet been able to.

“I’ve never met an Australian that I didn’t like,” Vos says. “Every time I’ve ever met an Australian person, I always end up having the time of my life somehow.

“I feel that it’s very important to take in new experiences because there’s so much to learn from every corner. I don’t know the in’s and out’s of what the culture is truly like and I absolutely love getting inside a place and learning what the vibe is. I love the idea of getting to know how people see things, feel about things, what are the traditions around here. Those are the true rewards of travelling and getting to play.

“The only time you’re ever living is the moment you’re living, the past is gone and the future is not real, the present that you’re in is all you got, so wherever you’re at, you’ve got to be there completely.”

By Christine Tsimbis

The Record Company will perform at Byron Bay Bluesfest, running from Thursday April 13 – Monday April 17. They’ll headline Northcote Social Club on Thursday April 20.