Author: Yusuf Aly


ALBUM REVIEW: Birds of Tokyo’s “Brace”

Following Birds of Tokyo’s channel ten sports-montage-anthem ‘Lanterns’, to say the band had fully embraced pop-rock success would have been a fair assessment. Rarely does a band make a record like ‘March Fires’ and then emerge two years later with something entirely different. During the ‘Lanterns’ era, many would not have guessed the next Birds of Tokyo album would be hell-bent on channelling anger, disillusionment and general vitriol at the state of the modern world. Read more …


Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dark Necessities

The world has been seriously missing the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band’s last LP was the underwhelming I’m With You, released in 2011. The main problem with that record was that Kiedis and co. didn’t re-invent themselves convincingly enough. We had no issue with the music evolving; the crime was that the way they chose to evolve seemed to rob the record of its key identities that were so integral to the band. We couldn’t tell Chad Smith was behind those drums, and we could barely recognise Flea’s distinctive playing style. It wasn’t what they played, it was how they played it.

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Neill in action for the Socceroos

Lucas Neill bankrupt in the UK, player agency likely to be dissolved.

IT seems that it has been a tumultuous post-retirement world for former Socceroos captain Lucas Neill. On Sunday it became clear that the defender was bankrupt. Although he earned an estimated $40 million in a career that spanned nearly two decades and included two world cups, Neill’s finances will nonetheless be investigated by UK authorities to determine the full scale of his debts.

It is believed that Neill was in Australia until a month ago, when he moved to an unknown location. His wife and children are believed to be in England, where they are at school. The insolvency firm probing his affairs says it plans to interview him “when he returns to the UK”.

Along with this, A sports player agency run by Lucas Neill’s brother in law is threated with dissolution. Inspire Sports Management represented Neill throughout his career, along with a host of other Socceroos stars. It is primarily run by Neill’s brother in law Darren Jackson.

Reports say the agency could be dissolved as soon as June.


Simple Stone

Here We Go Again is an encouraging effort for Sydney rockers Simple Stone. The premise here seems to be to blend radio friendly rock with an infusion of classic rock vibes, while adding heavy metal breakdowns for dramatic effect. It’s a lofty ambition that is realized to varying degrees across the 25 minute run time.

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SummerFest headliners Kingswood

LIVE REVIEW: Kingswood/Dorsal Fins, Monash SummerFest

Wednesday 23 March, Monash University Clayton Campus, SummerFest

I felt slightly disconcerted when I entered the ‘Soundshell.’ Small pockets of people milled about, lounging on inflatable sea creatures. Most groups had considerable distance between each other and not much chatter. It hardly seemed like the setting for a good show.

There seemed to be two tribes here; bearded men wearing AC/DC t shirts and alternative types with canvas shoes. They were not mixing. In the fifteen minutes between gates opening and the first act the atmosphere was growing markedly more awkward. Despite a couple of DJs pumping out tracks, there seemed to be little energy in the air.

Which is why Dorsal Fins were such a delight when they hit the stage. Any trace of the queasy pre-show atmosphere disappeared extremely quickly. This is a band who plays with genuine joy, and this joy is translated straight back into the audience. Everything they do lives on the premise of fun, and these songs contain a swagger and attitude that oozes an irresistible personality. Cliques no longer matter when a band like this is playing; I can imagine grandmothers having as good a time here as emos. Even the AC/DC shirts made their way to the front of the stage. Dorsal Fins make it feel harder not to dance.

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