What a great month it’s been for local releases, both vinyl and CD. First up, the totally self-produced Rachel Maria Cox release Untidy Lines. A wonderful album. Does not veer much away from the punk/pop/singer/songwriter world, but there are some excellent tracks on here. Highlights include the well-titled ‘I'm Thinking About Zac Efron’ and the slow-mo ‘Constellation’. They have a great distinct Aussie accent that doesn’t annoy and only adds to the originality of the album. A limited run of only 150 copies, there’s lots of variation on the tracks as well – many will love the upbeat, jazzy ‘Writing Songs & Feeling Feelings’.
Lachlan X. Morris has been working on his debut album for a while now, pouring not only all his spare cash into it, but his soul as well. While this is only a CD issue at the moment, when the vinyl is finally released, this album Ouija Board Heartbreak Tambourine will surely become one of the great Newcastle releases. A solid collection of fine songwriting with arrangements to make the body sink into its lush complex sounds. While there are some obvious influences shining through, it all comes from The Beatles. Great songs and great arrangements.
Tired Minds have given themselves a unique place in Newcastle hardcore as a band that appears every now and again to deliver shows of pure adrenaline and subtle touches. The vinyl they have placed into the world comes on two different versions of colour. There are traces of the history of hardcore punk running all through this album, which gives it its own place in this overcrowded world. If there is one act that springs to mind it’s Refused, but just use them as a kicking-off point – the rest is in your head.
Now we get to Wilson and the Castaways. They’ve released a four-track CD EP of Aus-folk/punk. There was once a wonderful Sydney band called The Lighthouse Keepers and it reminds me of them; it’s as influenced by the music of their 70s upbringing as the new punk sounds that were emerging in the late 70s and early 80s. The harmonica is a big instrument on these recordings. Jaunty and singalong. Beer in hand, this would be great down the local pub or at your backyard barbie.