The Corrs : Jupiter Calling

Posted by Beat Magazine

Jupiter Calling projects a magical fairytale just as strongly as its predecessors, cadenced with vocalist Andrea Corr’s dreamy vocals and the band’s playful mix of instrumentation to create an upbeat yet complex piece of art.

While The Corrs aren’t afraid to create uplifting melodies, their music is also deep and soulful in the way it explores love, romance and companionship. Opener ‘Son of Solomon’ is seductive, comparing love to wine and seeking light in the darkness of the soul. It’s all crooned in sweet vocals that are layered with gentle acoustics and a wonderful violin composition.

‘Bulletproof Love’ also features beautiful acoustics, which then give way to an upbeat and playful rhythm in the chorus. However, among all the fairytale vibes of love and light, there is also loss and pain injected into Jupiter Calling. The emotional depth is creatively projected through harmonic melodies, but it’s still beating with an intensity of its own. ‘No Go Baby’ really plucks at the heartstrings; the lyricism is striking and reverberates with heartache and grief. ‘The Sun and the Moon’ is emotional in its exploration of loss, ending the album with a mystical yet candid ambience.

My rating: 8/10

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Dystopia on community and showcasing a different side of music

Posted by Beat Magazine

“A lot of these acts deserve to be gaining more traction in terms of the audiences they have and the followings they have.”

Dystopia will soon bring together Australia’s best gothic/industrial/dark electronic acts, including Shiv-r, Coffin Carousel, SNUFF, and Zen Robotic. Beat had a chat to event producer and Zen Robotic’s lead vocalist Thom O’Leary, who was eager to discuss Dystopia’s lineup and how the event thrives upon the growth of the goth community in Melbourne.

“I think whoever comes to Dystopia will love it.  Even a lot of people who wouldn’t expect to love it will love it,” says O’Leary. “There’s Shiv-r, who are a world-class act. They were originally from New South Wales but they relocated to the UK where they were based for a while, and they had toured over 20 countries before deciding to come back and live in Australia again, so they’re Melbourne based now. They have an international reputation within the industrial scene.”

O’Leary continues to enthusiastically discuss the other acts, such as Coffin Carousel. ‘They’ve recently signed to a U.S label and they’ve been based in Melbourne for six or seven years. They released an album in October so they definitely look like they’re about to take off.

“DJ Lobotomy will also be doing some DJing in between the sets of the live acts, so he’ll definitely keep the vibe of the night going while we’re doing changeovers and later on in the night too,’ O’Leary says. “He’s even been a really good mentor to me because he’s organised a lot of these events. He’s been a really good help in terms of having someone to talk to.

“I’ve seen all these acts before and I say there are no weak links in the lineup,” O’Leary says. ‘They create really great music and really great performances and I think a lot of these acts deserve to be gaining more traction in terms of the audiences they have and the followings they have.”

O’Leary also highlights other events in the goth community, such as Deviate which shut down a few years ago and then New Order was created which has been running for three years. There’s also club events like Fang and Haunt that play industrial music with gothic vibes.

“A lot of those gigs are pretty much DJs playing that music,” he says. ‘I suppose there’s a bit of spread in that community into metal and punk, so a lot of the same people will get into black metal and death metal on one side, and then there’s a whole movement of post-punk music. The main thing that we showcase is dark electronic industrial. We don’t quite fit into metal, punk, or straight up electronic.

“This started out being a dark electronic industrial gig, but a couple of acts like Coffin Carousel and Katherine Hymer don’t really fit into that category. It’s not about trying to fit everyone into that category. Even my own band Zen Robotic is quite diverse in the material we have, but sometimes it’s good to touch on different scenes and communities and build relationships with people.”

O’Leary has also made the observation that goth nightclubs today don’t draw as much interest from people in the mainstream as they used to in the ‘90s.

“I think one of the things about the ‘90s is that it was a real heyday for that type of music. You had Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, and a lot more acts that were bigger in the mainstream scene,” he says. “It’s interesting because I found in recent times you don’t get many people at goth nightclubs like that.

“Part of people getting into scenes and communities is that often there’s something in the mainstream that will get them in. In the last five years there hasn’t been anything mainstream that’s got a lot of kids into this stuff. Our demographic does tend to be late 20s and 30s, and there’d be some people older than that.”

Nevertheless, O’Leary does acknowledge that Melbourne is a very diverse community that is accepting of all walks of life. Therefore, Dystopia will hopefully draw a range of different people. “We’ve all got our own acts and our own agendas,” O’Leary says. “The main thing is that we wanted to come together and put on an event that we hope is awesome.”

Dystopia will take over 24 Moons on Friday November 17, featuring Shiv-R, Coffin Carousel, Snuff, Zen Robotic, and more.

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Marilyn Manson: Heaven Upside Down

Posted by Beat Magazine

Shock-rocker Marilyn Manson never ceases to spark up the metal music industry, and his new release Heaven Upside Down is just as haunting and outrageous as its predecessors. Opening song ‘Revelation #12’ comprises his striking riffs and hoarse chanting vocals condemning those who play with matches but don’t admit what they really are.

Tattooed in Reverse has an enticing darkness that only becomes murkier with fuzzy guitars and Manson’s mocking vocals, and ‘We Know Where You Fucking Live’has a brooding overtone, with Manson’s vocals a menacing whisper until his aggression suddenly breaks out in growl.

‘Saturnalia’ spirals with repetitive riffs and reverberating percussion, not losing their touch for a moment across the track’s eight minutes. ‘Jesus Cri$i$’ may be the most outrageous song in the album, where Manson challenges his listeners and embraces the notorious image that he’s become so well-known for.

Heaven Upside Down’ is textured with engaging riffs and drums, and a searing guitar solo that is enhanced by Manson’s dark vocals. Closing song ‘Threats Of Romance’ makes a blazing statement and proves that Manson is still the defiant, flamboyant and brilliant artist that he was in the ‘90s.

My rating: 9/10

Crossfaith: Freedom

Posted by Beat Magazine

Japan’s electro-metal legends Crossfaith have exploded onto the scene with their new three-track EP Freedom, which features Enter Shikari’s very own Rou Reynolds and Rize/The Bonez’ rapper Jesse. Crossfaith launches their listeners into a neo-futuristic journey where freedom is being compromised through the introduction of human/machine hybrids and an oppressive government.

The opening track Freedom opens with synth lines that radiate a wailing siren, before the drums make an appearance and Crossfaith unleash their heavy breakdowns. Amongst the metalcore, Crossfaith have been experimenting with other genres; this is made most evident in the middle of the song, where there’s an electro beat that is matched by some funky rapping.

The next song, Rockstar Steady, rallies you up with its mixture of metalcore and MC party vibes, and the odd hip-hop mash-up makes this song a fun listen. Jesse only hypes it up even more with his fiery vocals, creating a catchy presence.  The final song is Diavolos, the most intense song of the whole EP. Crossfaith crank up their metalcore with searing guitars and frontman Kenta Koie’s screaming vocals, bringing listeners back to the essence of the band’s sound. This EP is an intriguing listen, particularly due to Crossfaith’s experimentation with different genres, and their bold efforts are to be commended.

My rating: 7/10

Anathema : The Optimist

Posted by Beat Magazine

Opener 32.63N 117.14W washes listeners’ ears with soothing waves. The track title is quite ambiguous, depicting the coordinates for Silver Strand beach in San Diego, which was the last known location of The Optimist. Suddenly, a whimsical electronica beat pops up, leading into Leaving It Behind. A gloomy guitar layers this electronica sound. Vincent Cavanagh’s mesmerising vocals unwind the listener, the chorus becomes more upbeat, and Cavanagh’s vocals become more urgent.

Endless Ways begins with a soulful piano melody, as Lee Douglas’ crystal vocals caress your ears. She soars as the synth enhances the emotional vibe of the song, followed by the breakdown of guitars and drums. The Optimist begins with a rhythmic piano melody, beautifully alternating between the two vocals.

Springfield edges towards a smooth piano melody before introducing a steady drum beat and searing guitars. Close Your Eyes is dark and mesmerising, and Douglas’ vocals are seductive, enhancing the haunting beauty of the song. Closer Back To The Start is an almost 12-minute composition featuring lapping waves, melancholy acoustics and moody vocals. The constant experimentation with different sounds is what makes The Optimist such a distinctive and alluring listen.

My rating: 8/10

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.