Not so long ago I reviewed a live performance of The Mis-Made, a band awesomely fused together by mixed musical heritage. Well, here's Melbourne's High Tension, a band (albeit heavier) that could surely share the Australian (modern) rock supergroup crown. Put them on the same bill and I reckon you'd have a natural ascent on the volume dial, The Mis-Made as the warm up. The title to High Tension's album 'Bully' is, for the most part, slow, low and mean. It holds its cool with a heavy steady. A growl of no-nonsense as delivered by lead singer Karina Utomo, one which ascends into full-tilt scream. Conviction in the anger. The recently released video deserves a Warriors-type spin-off - dibs on a HT jacket if they're available at any upcoming gig.
There's something oddly familiar about the guitar work in Digital Order's 'Foreign Gold'... and maybe I'm out on a limb by throwing Apollo 440 and Apollo Smile (Let's Rock) into a bag of comparisons (well, it's a hook that's blessed many a rock band - recycling can be healthy). Comparisons aside, 'Foreign Gold' is one helluva track. Somewhere, a musical god might just be giving the nod to Digital Order...'I think you guys have it now...' Definitely a local favourite.
There's alot of character in the voice of Gordi. You catch snippets of what's distinctively Australian, the familiar. But even on a relatively one-note (for want of a better term) song she manages to colour it with delicate touches. The chorus is beautifully delivered, free of strain yet delivered with thoughtful honesty. But, yeah, there is the curious within that wonders what that voice might do if pushed just a little further...
Ben Marwe's vocals are put through perfect paces on 'Hide To Nothing', just the right amount of rough beaten sound to capture the honesty. You can hear the dust that's idling in his throat. And maybe it's the band itself, put through its own personal paces, that has seen his voice becoming one that is more locally distinctive, perhaps even recognisable. If you were to pigeon hole 'Hide To Nothing' as blue collar rock then you'd be missing the mark... because it strikes a chord for all (while thinking over a beer). There be some aching within.
Okay, I'm a little late in terms of 'tracks of the week'... So, with that said, let me rewind just a few lines off the mark and sneak in this track from Melbourne band Magic Bone. It's pure ghoulish punk fun. I say ghoulish as it plays out (in my mind) as a montage of goods guys VS. zombies... sped up film, of course (room for reflection, too). Quick and colourful.