Live Review: THE JEZABELS @ Manning Bar, Sydney (14/09/16)

Live Review: THE JEZABELS @ Manning Bar, Sydney (14/09/16)

Band: The Jezabels Venue: Manning Bar, Sydney Date: 14th September, 2016 Reviewer: Karl Grovenor On the 14th of September, 2016, a secret gig by former triple j poster children The Jezabels was announced. Returning to Sydney’s Manning Bar just shy of ten years after their first show on the very same stage, the band would perform an intimate eight-song set, breaking a brief hiatus with the same blend of finesse and energy that made them a phenomenon. It’s hard not to view the career arc of the local Sydney indie-pop darlings in the same light as that of a child actor. For all intents and purposes, the band was still in its infancy when songs like ‘Disco Biscuit Love’ and ‘Hurt Me’ began to dominate the airwaves on radio stations like JJJ and FBI. Indeed, with their first trilogy of EPs, the band found themselves sitting on an almost obscenely brilliant discography, capped off by their masterwork, 2010’s Dark Storm, without even having yet released a full-length album. For a few years, the former University of Sydney students were the soundtrack to every front-porch craft-beer tasting session in Surry Hills – and quite a few boozy nights at the Annandale as well. Like every child actor, however, their transition to adolescence was fraught with troubles. Though not as dramatic as Macaulay Culkin exclusively performing Velvet Underground songs with lyrics about pizza, the increasing focus on subtle songwriting and radio hooks displayed on the follow-up to their hailed 2011 debut album Prisoner, The Brink, left as many people swaying their hips to ‘Time To Dance’ as it did bewildered by...
Album Review: Sylar – Help!

Album Review: Sylar – Help!

Band: Sylar Album: Help! Date Of Release: 26/08/2016 Label: Hopeless Records Genre: Metalcore/Nu-metal Location: Queens, NY Reviewer: Alex “keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’” Sievers For Fans Of: Any and all things nu-metal. Track Listing: 1. Help! 2. Soul Addiction 3. Assume 4. Me, Myself, & I 5. Doubting Out 6. Dark Daze 7. South Street Lullaby 8. I Know, You Know, I Know 9. Gambit Rogue Delight 10. Pleasure Paradise 11. Maintain Closure I’ve never once cared for guilty pleasures. Thus, I’ll gladly raise my hand when they start reading out names for the great culling of nu-metal fans via lobotomy. Linkin Park, Korn, Deftones, System Of A Down, Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, and Disturbed – I love those bands, and nostalgia be damned, I still do. I’m not at all embarrassed to admit it. After all, if you’re embarrassed to openly admit you enjoy something, I feel that’s a telling sign you’re battling with some insecurity about how much you actually enjoy said thing. But we’re here to talk about Sylar’s new album Help!, not your insecurities. Sylar is one of many bands riding out nu-metal’s resurgence, of which is bound to end within the next 18 months (calling it now). However, the scene’s quickly approaching critical mass of this sound, and that means a host of severely average bands flooding in. For instance, From Ashes To New, Cane Hill, Gift Giver, & Darke Complex. As for Sylar, I wouldn’t count them among those aforementioned bands. While not original, they’ve got the chops to potentially outlive this returning trend, and keep their heads above the waters of forgettable background music...
Interview: James Bowman (AGAINST ME!)

Interview: James Bowman (AGAINST ME!)

U.S. folk-punk mainstays Against Me! are releasing their new record Shape Shift With Me this Friday, and IPHYB got in touch with guitarist James Bowman to find out a bit more about the release, what’s new, and what the band has planned for the near future. Before we start, off the record – been a fan of you guys since I was a kid, so it’s a privilege to be interviewing you. Thank you for taking the time out to speak with me today. It’s all good! Reassuring, because you have to be a little nervous with a name like I Probably Hate Your Band! Well, the publication does cherish impartiality, so I’m speaking for myself here – but I love your work. With regards to the new record, it seems more downbeat than the last – do you feel like you guys progressed naturally over the course of the last few records or did you make a conscious decision at any point to alter the direction? As far as the musical content of the record goes, it was what happened to be written at the time. It wasn’t a conscious decision to have it either this way or that, it’s just kind of naturally what happened at the time we were getting songs together, you know? Absolutely. So was this record written mostly over the course of the last record’s touring cycle? Or were there a few songs you guys sat on? Yeah, for the most part. There was from what I could remember, just one song – which is the first record that we’d played around with...
Album Review: Down With The Ship – Late Nights And Stage Fights [EP]

Album Review: Down With The Ship – Late Nights And Stage Fights [EP]

Band: Down With The Ship Album: Late Nights And Stage Fights Genre: Easycore Date of release: 11th July, 2016 Reviewer: David Coppi For Fans Of: Four Year Strong, Abandoned By Bears, The Wonder Years Track Listing: 1. Stuck In A Life Raft With Matthew McConaughey 2. Hot Diggity Damn, That’s Good Enough For Me! 3. Set Phasers To Fun 4. You’ve Got More Than Dreams In Your Diaper, Tommy 5. Soberphobia Remember when Sandra Bullock made movies like The Proposal and Miss Congeniality? These were tolerable films, albeit for a certain demographic, but didn’t really give a glimpse into the fine acting that Ms Bullock would be capable of in the future. Think The Blindside, Gravity, and The Heat that was to follow. I think Adelaide punks Down With The Ship are in the midst of their Sandra-Bullock-Miss-Congeniality-phase. Not that that is a bad thing at all. Rather, I feel that their best work is right around the corner. Fans of easycore will probably love this EP with its chuggy verses, catchy choruses, and heavy breakdowns. Critics of this type of music often complain that the songs tend to blend in to one another and begin to sound similar after a few listens and while this EP does suffer slightly from this, I think there are still enough fresh ideas and studio tweaks to give this release its own identity. Kicking off with the gloriously titled ‘Stuck In A Life Raft With Matthew McConaughey’, the opening riff sets the tone for an ode to their hometown of Adelaide, referencing everything from Victoria Square, skating down North Terrace, and even...
Album Review: A Day To Remember – Bad Vibrations

Album Review: A Day To Remember – Bad Vibrations

Band: A Day To Remember Album: Bad Vibrations Genre: Metalcore/Pop-punk Label: Epitaph/ADTR Records Location: Ocala, Florida Reviewer: Alex “He actually bombed the Panhandle” Sievers For Fans Of: Breakdowns, sing-alongs, bands that don’t do anything different. Track Listing: 1. Bad Vibrations 2. Paranoia 3. Naivety 4. Exposed 5. Bullfight 6. Reassemble 7. Justified 8. We Got This 9. Same About You 10. Turn Off The Radio 11. Forgive And Forget Bad Vibrations, you say? Well, it is bad and their music causes vibrations in the air, so you can’t fault A Day To Remember for being honest. ADTR’s sixth album to date is the musical equivalent of an exasperated sigh, and it hurts to know that the band is capable of so much more. The group’s supposedly most “daring record” is also their weakest. There’s good reason why For Those Who Have Heart, Homesick, and What Separates Me From You are typically labeled as the band’s best works. It’s because they are really good fucking albums, plain and simple! But you could not pay me enough to like Bad Vibrations, not when this album goes in one ear and is shat out the other because I don’t want to subject my brain to any long-term issues. As cliché as it sounds, Bad Vibrations feels rather stripped back in its songwriting and its mix. But this is band that’s not really known for their complex, intricate compositions or musical technicality; they’re known for big breakdowns and even bigger choruses. So when you strip back their sound to the bone to hone in on the riffs, the vocals, and the drumming, there’s...