The Amity Affliction
The Amity Affliction
Since emerging in 2008 on the debut Severed Ties, The Amity Affliction have served up three ARIA gold-certified albums, Youngbloods , Chasing Ghosts  and This Could Be Heartbreak  as well as a platinum certification in Australia for the seminal Let The Ocean Take Me . This Could Be Heartbreak  marked the band’s third consecutive#1 ARIA chart debut second consecutive Top 30 debut on the Billboard Top 200, while Misery  also debuted at #1 on the ARIA chart making it four #1 albums in a row in Australia and elevated them to new critical heights internationally with praise from Medium, Alternative Press, The Noise, and more. Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them, recorded with Misery producer Matt Squire continued the band’s ARIA chart success, debuting at #2 and supported by a sold out national tour.
EVERYTHING IS A-OK
After having wrestled with a decade and a half worth of demons across four albums; each crammed full of wry suspicion, ageing angst, flippant cheek, existential despair, plaintive hope, pie-eyed wonder and worry — along with metric tonnes of neck-snapping riffs — in 2020 Everything Is A-OK for Violent Soho.
Well, in reality, that’s never exactly true, is it? The story now goes that after several years of playing the part of “those kids who don’t seem to fit in anywhere” with their first two records (2008’s We Don’t Belong Here & 2010’s self-titled) Violent Soho finally announced themselves into the public’s consciousness with 2013’s Hungry Ghost. It came in a hail of riffs and ‘HELL F*CK YEAH’s scrawled on arms, desks, and bathroom walls the world over. 2016’s WACO, meanwhile — despite earning a No.1 chart debut, ARIA awards, festival headlining spots and sold-out tours to the biggest crowds of their careers — came amid personal upheaval for drummer Michael Richards, bassist Luke Henery and guitarist James Tidswell.
But now with Everything Is A-OK, Mansfield’s favourite sons have drawn a metaphorical line in the sand: five albums into their career, equipped with a renewed self-confidence, they know not to follow a rule book written by other people. That’s what Everything Is A-OK is: a declaration that THIS is who Violent Soho are as a band. As musicians. As mates.
“It’s honest,” explains guitarist/vocalist Luke Boerdam. “It’s doesn’t claim to be anything it’s not: it’s apolitical, slacker, cynical, and trying to connect with people over a shared experience in pointing out society’s failures and the personal shit that follows.”
Everything Is A-OK seethes with harsh reflection on the way the world has become obsessed with creating social media simulacra where everyone is repping their own ‘brand’, and how connection is fleeting and shallow. It ponders the ideas of agency, emotion and how they’re being sold to advertise who we want people to think we are, not who we actually are.
That’s why they worked with Australian producer Greg Wales (You Am I, Sandpit, triple J’s Like A Version): to capture the essence of who they are. “His approach was exactly what we needed,” explains Mikey. “To make something that’s an honest piece of art that you as a collective group are stoked on — and we are — you have to do the hard work and be truthful to yourselves, but also – there has to be no bullsh*t.”
“He really knows how to get to the essence of a band,” adds Tidswell. “Also, he produced a band from our high school called Dumpster in, like, 1998. So he gets where we come from. I mean, if you told 14-year-old me “we’re working with the guy who did the Dumpster record”, I’d be stoked. And with so many other rock bands out there now, we wanted to make sure we captured who we are, where we come from, and what we want this band to be.”
With the studio where they’d crafted Hungry Ghost and WACO (Brisbane’s The Shed) no more, the band decamped to The Grove Studios in New South Wales — “a great decision,” reflects Henery. “All of us just getting away, hanging out together, focusing specifically on making something we could be super-proud of” — with Wales joining them for four weeks of recording, surrounded by bushland, each other and little else.
“We spent an entire day getting the guitar sounds right, so it’s probably the first time I’ve ever been completely happy with the guitar sounds,” grins Boerdam. “But also, Greg comes from a world of Australian music that we really revere, and sonically look up to: he got us.”
Of those four weeks, Wales reflects that “There’s a reason Violent Soho are so popular and so loved by their fans: they love being a band and making music together. They have an incredible understanding about who they are and are quite unique in the way they operate. They all have amazing musical instincts,” he adds, “and care a lot about the expression and tone of their work. There is a hell of a lot of musical intelligence running under the hood of this beast.”
And the result is an album that floats like a smoke ring and stings like a spark in the eye. Everything is A-OK roars and yowls, full of lessons learned and emotions scalded. Lead single ‘Vacation Forever’ sets a tone for an album that’s a headlong cannonball-ride into the darkness of suburban abandonment and decay. It also contains some of Boerdam’s finest lines (‘There’s a baby boomer across the street / And it won’t stop staring at me’) while the air-punching crunch of ‘Pick It Up Again’ is like as if the word ‘grouse’ came to life and rocked up at your backyard barbie in a singlet & thongs toting a full esky.
Like Pinkerton-era Weezer, it drops memorable lines as if it were a tree shedding leaves in autumn. There’s the neglect of responsibility in ‘Lying On the Floor’ (‘I don’t want to be a photograph / They’re like handing out brochures that a rapture is close’), the escape of ‘Canada” and sedate, plaintive meditation on ‘Slow Down Sonic’. The album sparkles with the life of a late afternoon sun filtered through a fresh-poured cold one.
Because regardless of this wholesale rejection of pretence, there is still plenty of heart, and perhaps a bit of closure. As Boerdam explains, “A lot of the songs on this record were triggered from personal experience that I’ve gone through over the past few years. Writing and recording these songs has been a means of catharsis for me. I’ve never really felt that way with music on previous records. This time it’s a renewing for me, both a rejection and acceptance of the world how it is and moving forward from personal tragedy.”
But that’s what happens when you have a band comfortable in their own skin, who challenge themselves to be true to who they are, no matter what. You get an album that reflects over 18 years of being in a band together and that emulates how four mates — and their producer — clearly understand and know what Violent Soho is meant to be: them.
“The title of the album really explains where the band is,” says Henery. “Even after all this time, all we’ve been through, we’re still here. We’re still who we are as a band.”
As Tidswell says, “All we ever wanted to do was play shows at Ric’s (bar in Brisbane) and play music we love. 18 years of being in a band with the exact same members — if it wasn’t the goal to press into who we naturally are… then we wouldn’t be a band.”
That’s what’s always been at the heart of Violent Soho: a steadfast refusal to be anything other than who they are. If it means taking time off to be with their families, to write an album only when they’ve got an album worth writing… then so be it: that’s who they are. Violent Soho are still four blokes from Queensland who just want to shred some riffs, play some shows and make the music they love. Their music. And this is them at their best.
An iron will is only ever hardened within the forge, and Australia’s fastest rising Metalcore act Alpha Wolf have proven they are made of sterner stuff. 2020 saw Alpha Wolf bite harder than ever with their Sophomore release ‘a quiet place to die’, the culmination of every lesson learnt, every hit taken, and every loss felt. While most slowed down in 2020, Alpha Wolf saw this as an opportunity to dig even deeper and show their true grit, which led to ‘a quiet place to die’ Debuting at #6 on the ARIA charts, and the sophomore release making waves around the world, solidifying Alpha Wolf as the one of the fastest rising, most exciting Metalcore acts to watch in the years to come.
The first lyrics put to paper for Banks Arcade were “I always wanted to make history” and through every step of the way we have tried to live by that motto. The band was formed on the sentiment of “wanting more” and from the get go BA tried to push any boundaries as far as they could go. Theres always been an intensity to the way we work. Every project is worked on with this fire and we always manage to thrive in chaos. We aren’t afraid to risk everything we have to create something extraordinary and no matter how much success we have we will always find a way to come back and connect with that element of risk and excitement in our process. Combining our shared love of music with a modern aesthetic, the boys established their sound and, in 2020 independently released their sophomore EP “Fever Dreams” which amassed over a million streams. Banks arcade is made up of characters with vastly different personalities and we are all crazy in our own right, but we have such a tight connection. Most of the time spent together is exciting and we love every second of it. “We make modern music that is meant for big stages, we want to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves, and we want to have a good f***** time while we’re at it. That’s about all we live for.”
Having recently signed to Greyscale Records, Sydney’s Bloom have powered through the mess of2020 and COVID to unveil their sophomore EP ‘In Passing’. Having spent the better part of 2019shaping their live performance, the band has gone on to take the stage alongside artists such asEndless Heights, Terror, Void of Vision and Knocked Loose.For fans of Touche Amore, Counterparts, Casey and Title Fight, the emotive melodic hardcore act has gone strength to strength from the release one their debut EP ‘PastTense’, and single ‘Cold’ the band have grown into their own and have poured their heart into their sound, tackling uncomfortable emotions and loss in waves lyrically while instrumentally delivering a dynamic performance
Bugs are no longer reserved to the confines of the Brisbane scene in which they made their start, with a whirlwind couple of years shepherding the band and their heartfelt, honest and relatable brand of pop rock to the national stage.
Towards the release of their delicately introspective, pop-laden sophomore album ‘Self Help’ in September 2019, Bugs swiftly caught the attention of long-time listeners and first-time callers with their bouncing, infectious hit single ‘Seriously’. The track was picked up for high rotation by national youth broadcaster triple j, consistently sitting in the station’s most played tracks for several weeks.
With a quickly growing fanbase in tow, Bugs soon after hopped on a huge national run with Australian legends Grinspoon, alongside The Gooch Palms and The Hard Aches, where the trio played some of their biggest shows to date.
Without missing a beat, Bugs launched head first into their own sold out national tour immediately afterwards, joined by their best mates Sweater Curse and TOWNS, and performing to adoring fans across the nation in 500+ capacity rooms.
Early 2020 saw the fruits of their labour continue, with an appearance at Falls Festival in Marion Bay, and ‘Seriously’ landing at #194 in triple j’s coveted Hottest 200 list, while the text line rang out with many a “shoulda been higher!”.
Amidst their brilliant triple j Like A Version debut in February, rumours of new music started to bubble and build into the release of April single ‘Can’t Get Enough’, which scored praise across the board from the likes of triple j, Spotify, The Guardian, Tonedeaf, and Mixdown Magazine, Aussie community radio more.
While COVID-19 changed the trio’s plans for the remainder of 2020, easing restrictions in their beloved home state saw Bugs sell out four socially distanced shows at The Zoo, as well as performing at Airwaves and In Bloom festivals and a sold out show with fellow Brissy favourites WAAX at The Tivoli. The band closed out the year with triple j high rotation single ‘Old Youth Feeling’, which arrived alongside a promise of another full length record in the coming months, soon to hit the ears of those who just can’t get enough of Bugs.
Ringing in the New Year with six sold out shows supporting Mallrat, and their Hottest 100 debut at #91 – as fate would have it, their Like A Version cover of Mallrat’s ‘Charlie’ – Bugs are ready to settle into the hearts of music lovers across the country with their new single ‘Diamond’.
Dream On Dreamer
Dream On Dreamer
After the massive worldwide success of the debut album “Heartbound” in 2011, Dream On Dreamer have released their much anticipated sophomore record “Loveless” to rave reviews.
– “…a refreshing mix of aggression and fond sentimentality, a combination that is rare to perfect but done so here.” The Music.
– “Loveless is a fine follow-up to its predecessor.” Kill Your Stereo.
“Loveless” was produced and mixed by guitarist Callan Orr, while vocalist Marcel Gadacz designed the artwork and imagery for the record. This DIY mentality is a rarity for such a young band within the Metalcore genre and illustrates the complete creative control that they have asserted on the new album.
“Loveless” is Dream On Dreamer’s first record as a five piece, after a lineup shuffle saw them move keyboardist Daniel Jungwirth to bass, as well as the addition of new clean vocalist, Zachary Britt, into the fold. Britt made his debut with DOD as one of the headliners at Push Over Festival in March, before completing a 30 date European tour, which included the band’s first ever headline shows in Russia.
Relentless touring has become an uncompromising part of the Dream On Dreamer lifestyle. While lead vocalist Marcel Gadacz (Germany) and drummer Aaron Fiocca (USA) are not native to Australia, the entire band has spent most of the last two years playing shows around the world. They have toured multiple times across the USA, Asia and Europe, with stopovers in Australia to play the Soundwave Festival and headline dates in between. They’ve done massive tours ranging from 8-40 shows alongside the who’s who of modern metal and hardcore – Avenged Sevenfold, The Devil Wears Prada, Attack Attack,Memphis May Fire, Sleeping With Sirens, We Came As Romans, Pierce The Veil and many more. On top of that, they’ve managed to release three EPs, an album and a DVD in a short space of time.
“Loveless” is the first time the band has been able to really focus on writing music with their intense touring schedule. The extra work and effort shows, and is a definitive statement about what they’ve learnt from the last three years of ridiculously hard work. “Loveless” is out now!
– “The album as a whole is fantastically written.” Soundscape Magazine.
After starting 2020 with a punishing set at Invasion Fest, a huge Australian regional tour with Northlane, and the announcement of their first-ever European tour supporting Fit For A King, 2020 was meant to see some big opportunities for the band – though, as with all things last year, the pause button had been hit and a quiet, but furious patience bestowed Gravemind. Now with shows returning, and a sold-out Australian headline tour under their belt, the Melbourne heavy outfit are hungry to make up for lost time. Expect something new, expect something devastatingly heavy.
Taking place from 20 – 23rd January 2022, in beautiful South Gippsland. UNIFY Gathering is a celebration of good friends, great times and heavy music.
Follow these links for hot tips to prepare you for the best weekend of the year.