THE GRISWOLDS – DOWN AND OUT (REVIEW)
Released: 22 August (Australia)
Well, the second single to be released from the Sydney boys’ album Be Impressive certainly is different. Different is the first thing anyone who knows this band will say. From the get go, it’s like “whoa! Where did these synths come from?”
Down and Out is a little bit of a shock to the system to those of us who absolutely loved the likes of previous hits Heart of a Lion and Beware the Dog. But it grows on you very quickly.
Down and Out is a groovy tune that is bound to get anyone with a sense of fun off their feet and having a little dance. The choruses sung by kids is clever and fun; also they work nicely with the always excellent voice of frontman Chris Whitehall. It can be expected that this will be yet another popular one with fans at shows, shouting out the lyrics in place of the recorded kids.
Hearing these guys branching out a bit is nice, and this song is really great. If Down and Out is an indicator of what The Griswolds’ forthcoming album will sound like, I’ll be first in line at my local record store to buy a copy on August 22.
- Jorja McDonnell
A INTERVIEW WITH - SCOTT SPARK
Having been unearthed in 2010, Scott Spark has been busy doing the thing he loves: creating music. He has recently released his second album ‘Muscle Memory’ and we had the chance to talk to him about his music and touring as well as the current internet obsession with cats… interesting to say the least.
Who has been your greatest musical influence?
My greatest musical influence? Goodness. You know all kinds of people influence you along the way in such different ways, like some people that you listen to quite a bit don’t necessarily influence you. My mum kind of had a big influence on me in the sense that she would drag me to every goddamn musical there was in Queensland in the early 90s. I was really a child of the 90s so any music that was on stages, whether it was community theatre or main stage, my mum would have dragged me to. In some of those my mind was probably wandering and I wasn’t terribly engaged, but others I was right into it. I think when you’re a child and when you’re young, that just kind of soaks into you.
With my dad, he grew up adoring to a lot of Led Zeppelin and even though nothing I make sounds like Led Zeppelin by any stretch of the imagination, I still grew up listening to it quite a lot since it was an important band to him. In terms of music that has really resonated for me, Björk was something that stood out very strongly. Her record ‘Homogenic’ was the one that kind of hooked me in to begin with. Just the way that she spoke about composition and the way that she approached lyrics and ideas for songs really struck me. I remember going to sleep with ‘Homogenic’ on my dream box turned down very low so my parents didn’t know I was listening to music. But there are tones of artists that have influenced me.
I think the thing that influences me more than music is ideas. You can have a great conversation with a friend that has nothing to do with music and you go away with a great idea for a song. Walking though Hyde Park; even different art forms can influence me. All songs are little homes that you build, little worlds that you create which you need different materials to build them; tone, texture, rhythm, melody, and as a songwriter who is very lyrics driven, often there is a lot of content ideas and inspiration that come from what you want to say.
Your favourite song on your new album ‘Muscle Memory’?
Well that’s a little self indulgent of me isn’t it. Though it’s occasionally nice to be a little self indulgent. I’m a bit of a sucker for melodramatic tunes with a bit of class. I’m not talking melodramatic as in bloody Muse or anything, I’m talking a different kind of melodrama, but when I sit down to play something like ‘Going Out Tonight’ I still feel that song very strongly when I hear it. And also ‘Yellow Raincoat’. But then oh god, I’m not very good at giving single answers, sorry, but also ‘Gone For the Dogs’ is it’s own sort of own little being in the mix of all the songs and its the first one I wrote for the album.
An instrument that you didn’t take up but you always wish you had?Well I’ve always thought I looked ridiculous behind a guitar simply because I don’t have the right kind of… swagger for the guitar, I don’t think. Maybe the drums. Actually yes, definitely the drums.
Which show on your upcoming tour are you looking forward to?
Oh god, but they are all so different! I am looking forward to all of them for such different reasons. I haven’t been to Melbourne in a little while so I am looking forward to that show. The Sydney show while be my first launch, I’m actually living in Sydney. And then Brisbane is my old home town. I don’t think I could say I am looking forward to one over the other. I will just have to see how this first show goes, I mean, I am really having a lot of fun with my new band and you know that’s really fun in the rehearsal room but its always different when you get up on stage in front of others.
How would you describe your music to someone with a hearing impairment?
I would say that it is kind of like being in your car and driving down the highway at twilight with the blue hour as your hatching an escape plan but also learning how to belong.
What is you craziest non-music related talent and/or passion?
Okay, so I don’t do it very often because I don’t have a great deal of need for it but I can actually make both of my eye balls wiggle as though I am being electrocuted when ever I like. It does make me look like I am being possessed by the devil. I wish I could show you.
What was the process like for your new music video for ‘Tag Along’ and were you heavily involved?
It was an exceptionally collaborated video. I was really about taking the talents of quite a few people behind the scenes. It was really a shared vision and there was a lot of thinking that went into to. It began with the idea that, you know when couple have been together for a really long time and they sometimes finish each others sentences and that whole thing where with a pet and the owner where the pet and the owner start to look like each other. So I was kind of thinking about that weird behaviour that happens in relationship where there is this mimicry almost; where they start mimicking each other. There are moments in the video clip when you think “what is going on here, is it a bit of an episode of stalking?” but you quickly realise that it’s not really stalking but it is that relationship where there is that mimicking. The thing is, my character isn’t alive and Fez Faanana’s character is very much alive. It is really a story about a couple where someone has died. I kind of follow Fez around and I am dead.
Actors or Cats?
Actors maybe. Look, I am going to have a shocking revelation for you and you will probably think this is the end of me but I actually hate cats. I really don’t like cats at all, I am more of a dog guy really. I grew up with a couple of Great Danes when I was a child and I love dogs. My strategy with cats is really I just try to leave them alone but that seems to make them even more interested in me. They just seem to hunt me down and I don’t know what to do about that. I don’t want anything to do with cats and I don’t really understand the fact that the internet seems to be built on cats. I question whether or not I should be born in a different era where cats where not such a big thing. I mean, cats, apart from being exceptionally annoying, they do kill other wild life. I’m not saying dogs are perfect, but lets just remind ourselves that these are predatory animals and not only that but they really stink.
- Briana Kennedy
MANDARIN TIME – THE GOOD SPORTS (REVIEW)
Release: July 23, 2014
'Mandarin Time' is The Good Sports’ latest EP, and as with all The Good Sports’ songs, the chilled-out, summer-nights vibes permeate the listener’s mind and reaches deep into their subconscious, hypnotising you… you are getting sleepy… you are max vibing… I am the best person in the world and you will buy me food… *clicks fingers* *drum beat kicks in*
'Mandarin Time' opens with 'Out Of The Way'I was going to try and write a mini-review, but then I realised all I could think of was the world “chill”, and that’s basically how Angela has described the song. The laid back vibe present in ‘Out Of The Way’ gives insight into the rest of the EP. Super, super, super chill.
'Any Other Way' makes you feel like you’re riding a wave and cruising along. It’s a metaphor - a metaphor for life. You’re actually cruising along the wave of life, and you’re on the cusp and then there’s a sick guitar solo that brings you back to the shore. The song fuzzes out with a myriad of bubbling effects, matching the white wash that bubbles away beside you as you head back to the sand for your next adventure.
'Walking' is another song that has been released as a single earlier, and been reviewed by our music team at Homebody Nobodies.
'Walking' is the song you listen to after your very tiring adventure, which would be true after you surfed the wave that is ‘Any Other Way’. This is the song that plays while you trudge through the soft sand, on your way back up to the picnic site and the “post-surf snacks”. Although you’d think that painfully walking up through the sand, the song would be a downer, it still manages to get you up and tapping your foot.
'Shooting Through' kicks in with a much slower tempo. The twangy guitar riff and minimal drums feel like a “cool down” song – the song you listen to after catching the wave of success in to the shore, and after walking back up the beach through the sand. This is the song you listen to while you’re sitting on the picnic mat on the grass behind the beach. The slow and relaxing vibe of ‘Shooting Through’ makes you rest your eyes, under the bright sun… and all of a sudden, you’re feeling really tired. That’s when the lyrics really speak what you’re feeling. “I’m gonna go, ‘cause I don’t wanna stick around” and “I’m gonna leave and I’m not gonna make a sound”, you think to yourself while you’re lying back on the picnic mat, feeling like you could go to sleep right there and then, because the effort that’s been required thus far is almost too much.
'Astrophysicist of the 70’s' is the echo of the radio that’s playing from the car, that you can hear in the distance, making its way into your dream. I don’t really understand why its there, but I guess it shows that the band is more diverse than just “generic dream pop” stuff. The song is short and sweet, fuzzing out as you wake up.
'No Sleep Pt. 2' is just a great track. You might remember this song from the crazy music video, in which the band wear sunglasses and travel through space with the sun and moon; and the review that our Homebodies wrote about it recently, or maybe you’ve never heard of it before, and are thinking “should I have listened to ‘No Sleep Pt. 1’ first?”. Either way, it doesn’t matter.
'No Sleep Pt. 2' carries on the chilled out, hollow sounds that are omnipresent throughout the EP, and is the perfect song to end on. It’s the song that plays in the car on your way home from your journey through the beach of ‘Mandarin Time’, after surfing the wave of ‘Any Other Way’, and trudging through the dry sand of ‘Walking’, to the sleepy voice that is ‘Shooting Through’ and ‘Astrophysicist of the 70’s’. The good vibes fill up the car, as the wind wooshes through the open windows. Everything is getting blurry through your tired eyes, and “I’ll be alright, just need to get some sleep tonight and I’ll be fine” echoes through the air.
How does the story end? No one knows.
Let yourself dictate your future. Maybe you will end up on the wave of success that ‘Any Other Way’ depicts. Or maybe you’ll be stuck in the hot, dry sand that is ‘Walking’. Who knows?
All I know is that for me, this EP took me on a journey – a journey through my soul. I feel like a new person. Listen to ‘Mandarin Time’ and you, too, can become the new and improved, super chilled out you.
- Emma Sinn