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.
Just over five years since Trophy Eyes’ universally acclaimed sophomore album Chemical Miracle, the band are celebrating by playing the record in full at UNIFY 2022!
Released in October 2016, Chemical Miracle was welcomed with rave reviews as it peaked at #8 on ARIA Australian Albums Chart. Chemical Miracle paved the way in getting the punk rock band from Newcastle to where they are now – conquering the globe with headline tours across North America, the UK and Aus, playing festival dates at Reading and Leeds (UK) and Disrupt Festival (US) as well as filling huge support spots on tour with Bring Me The Horizon.
Trophy Eyes recently released new singles ’27 Club’ and ‘Bittersweet’, following up on their 2018 album The American Dream which enjoyed huge success at triple j, achieving Feature Album and lead single ‘You Can Count On Me’ breaking into the Hottest 100. No doubt about it, UNIFY is going to be electric when Trophy Eyes perform on the mainstage ahead of The Amity Affliction on Friday night!
There’s an unshakable sense of comfort and resonance that comes with listening to Slowly Slowly. Frontman Ben Stewart’s vivid lyricism and emotionally-charged vocals douse swirling guitars and soaring percussion and prove the band as nothing short of striking storytellers. At any moment fragile and raw to boisterous and belting the next, the four-piece – completed by Alex Quayle (bass), Albert Doan (guitar) and Patrick Murphy (drums) – effortlessly capture real life and turn it into a rock song.
In early 2020 and 2021 respectively Slowly Slowly released the two adjoining parts of their double-album effort ‘Race Car Blues’ & ‘Race Car Blues — Chapter 2’ to a tidal wave of success. Beyond gracing magazine covers and claiming Feature Album slots from triple j, Tone Deaf and The Music, the band enjoyed a rinsing on national radio and kicked off a string of sold out Australian shows.
On the back of their most successful single to date, ‘Blueprint’ released in May and mounting critical and fan rapture ensuing, Slowly Slowly continue to stake their claim as one of Australia’s most vital rock outputs of late.
Stories are a Sydney based post-hardcore band, rising from the Northern Beaches in 2011. Characterised by their punchy analog textures, dynamic vocals and punk rooted energy, the outfit went on to reinvent their sound and record their debut album The Youth To Become in 2014.
After going on an indefinite hiatus following their national tour supporting Enter Shikari in 2016, Unify Forever marks the band’s first show in over five years. Following their Australian tour with Architects, the band embarked on sold out national headline tour in support of their debut album, making a statement of their highly anticipated yet sonically unexpected record.
Performing actively since their inception, the band have toured alongside international heavyweights Architects, Misery Signals, Stick To Your Guns, Counterparts, Stray From The Path, and domestic acts Make Them Suffer, In Hearts Wake and Polaris.
Formed in late 2016 by Gippsland natives Patty Goodman (vocals) and Tyson Taifer (guitar), metalcore outfit Mirrors quickly turned the eyes and ears of Australian listeners towards Regional Victoria with the release of their debut EP “Fool’s Paradise” in 2017. The five track release revealed the sound and delivery of a unit that had been functioning for many years, but after a mere 12 months since their formation, they were invited to play alongside Parkway Drive, The Amity Affliction and many more at the hallowed Unify festival.
Backed by fellow long time friend Jake Mackin (bass) and Melbourne based drummer Rob Brens, the four piece followed up their EP with the release of the single Circus, which showed a staggering step up in sound, maturity and production.
2019 saw the band’s ceaseless efforts coalesce with the release of their 2nd EP “Cold Sanctuary”. With their first EP establishing a commentary on the world around them, “Cold Sanctuary” ventured inwards. With maturity comes introspection, and this new effort delved into the psyche, trying to navigate and make sense of the chaotic chatter of our innermost thoughts, begging for reprieve. To compliment this unrelenting theme is a backdrop of earth shattering production, rivalling any band on the world stage, bringing their deepest, strongest and most dynamic compositions to date, alive.
“Cold Sanctuary” took the band beyond the borders of Victoria and around the country, showcasing their craft to audiences on tour with the likes of Wage War, Alpha Wolf, Thornhill, Crystal Lake and many more.
Throughout this touring, work commenced on the long awaited first full length album. Upon completing enough material for a new EP, the work was cast aside as the need to evolve and grow was paramount. With a shift towards more dense, atmospheric landscapes, backed by thunderous yet intricate groove work and seeking to explore the dynamic ranges of the band members’ instruments as far as possible, the die was cast for “the Ego’s Weight”.
Ceaseless work by the band alongside the production team of Scott Simpson and Lance Prenc (Polaris, Alpha Wolf) continued from 2019 and throughout 2020, culminating with a ten track, genre busting tour de force, leaving behind their metalcore roots. Lyrical themes centred around the fall of morality and values while seeking to take decisive action against hate delivered by the soaring vocals of Patty Goodman, set against a backdrop of subtle and sparse of grooves, to heart wrenching ballads, gigantic grooves and frenetic heavy compositions, “the Ego’s Weight” truly is a journey for any lover of music and finally displays Mirrors as a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Alt. is Dan Richards (vocals), Simon Aistrope (guitar), Daniel Wells-Smith (guitar), and Declan Fry (drums) from Adelaide, Australia.
alt. emerged in December 2019 followed by the anticipated debut EP ‘dysfunctional’ was released independently by alt. in April 2020. Since it’s release the band have clocked over a million streams for the record as well as being featured on Spotify Editorial Playlist ‘Rock Out’ as the front cover. December 2020 saw the band finally perform their debut EP live to fans in Adelaide after nearly a year off stage due to covid which saw large audiences gather to witness this performance.
2021 has already been an interesting year on reaching new milestones from national touring to the band successfully selling out their first pressing of ‘Dysfunctional’ on vinyl within 24 hours back in May. With new music on the horizon there are no signs of Alt. slowing down any time soon.
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’.
Alex Moses (Columbus)
Alex Moses (Columbus)
Since 2012, Australian rock-trio Columbus have been playing earnest and relatable ballads to audiences worldwide. Founding members Alex Moses (vocals, guitar) and Daniel Seymour (Drums) released their ground-breaking ‘Home Remedy EP’ in 2015, with lead single ‘Downsides of Being Honest’ grabbing hearts and radio play, launching the band through Triple J Unearthed and on to the stage at Soundwave Festival.
Signing to label UNFD in 2016, Columbus’ debut LP ‘Spring Forever’ peaked at 47 on the ARIA charts seeing them tour Australia with Birds Of Tokyo, The Ataris, You Me At Six & Trophy Eyes whilst also conquering festivals NYE On The Hill & UNIFY.
After capping off sold out Australian shows on their final ‘Spring Forever’ tour, their second LP ‘A Hot Take On Heartbreak’ was released with critical acclaim, scoring 9/10 via Depth Magazine and 10/10 via Hysteria Magazine. Hot on the heels of the release, Columbus headed out on the road with William Ryan Key of US giants Yellowcard before completing an Australia-wide headline run.
Following bassist Lauren Guerrera joining the band in 2019, Columbus released powerful single ‘Can’t Hide From What Hurts,’ the band’s first independent release since 2014, which received full rotation on Triple J.
In 2021 Columbus show no signs of slowing down with release of their new heartfelt and relatable single ‘Pain is a Mirror,’ a melodic anthem they’ll bring out on the road with mates Sly Withers and Stand Atlantic later in the year. Join Columbus’ vocalist and guitarist Alex Moses as he stuns you with acoustic renditions of the rock-trios earnest and relatable ballads during the Maton Acoustic Sunday Sessions.
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.
DREGG make powerfully energetic music, driven by themes of fierce individualism, with a sound that hungrily consumes metal, hardcore, and rap, only to heave it back up in a colorful rainbow of bombastic brutality and iconoclastic absurdity, lovingly fed to the audience like mother birds. DREGG is as much a rifftastic metalcore outfit as they are unpretentious art-rock collective. The Melbourne, Australia fivesome is thrillingly provocative, occasionally disturbing, and filled with hip-hop swagger. The medium is the message, in their music, their tongue-in-cheek videos, and the exaggerated manifestations of each member’s “id” presented via elaborate theatrical costumes. Painted faces, crazy masks, discordant visuals; no matter how weird, DREGG offers much more than shock value. This is music and art intended to provoke and inspire. If there’s one major takeaway intended for the audience, it’s to unleash the weirdo within. DREGG aim to push the boundaries of self-expression, open up conversations, and the move the crowd while they do it.
Drown This City
Drown This City
Drown This City boldly tackle conversations concerning mental health, grappling with childhood trauma and healing returning wounds on their 2021 EP Colours We Won’t Know.
Fuelled by references to metalcore, hardcore and other heavy sub-genres, CWWK finds Drown This City at their absolute heaviest, offering dynamic instrumentation among stark lyrical imagery and elevated clean/unclean vocal delivery.
Despite its darkness, the release ultimately offers a glimmer of hope with the message that it’s never too late to tackle your mental health head on, even long after you think you’ve beaten it. With their own personal wounds truly laid bare and continuing to heal, ultimately Drown This City hope to stir up the courage in everyone to dig deep and fight their buried pain.
Colours We Won’t Know is out in full now via UNFD. In 2022, Drown This City play the Melbourne leg of Full Tilt Festival and are set to support In Hearts Wake on their national tour.
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.
Sydney-based alt-rock outfit Grenade Jumper are synonymous with Australia’s well-rounded and inclusive Punk Rock future. Bringing dynamic pop-rooted energy, vocalist Bianca Davino leads a storm of thrashing guitar and vocals which effortlessly move between valleys and peaks. Since their inception, the four-piece have shared the stage with international heavy
weights Deaf Havana (UK), as well as a slew of local legends such as Between You & Me, Hellions and Eat Your Heart Out.
The band also garnered ‘Trendsetter’ status from triple j off the back of their early demo ‘Get Ahead’, and have since received airtime on triple j’s Home & Hosed, extensive triple j Unearthed rotation, and praise from Australian Guitar Magazine, Music Feeds, Pilerats, Women in Pop and more.
The Last Martyr
The Last Martyr
Melbourne-based heavy outfit The Last Martyr have returned in 2021 with a new single, ‘Hindsight,’ a fierce tune with bounce that almost makes you forget that you allowed yourself to be manipulated.
Produced by Windwaker’s, Chris Lalic,’ the first demo of ‘Hindsight’ was written by newcomer to the band, Ricky Andres (bass), bringing a modern electronic and nu-metal influence to TLM’s heavy rock sound. The lyrics were downloaded straight to paper in the studio amidst vocalist, Monica, processing a friendship breakdown.
A VHS-inspired music video was released 10 days after the audio directed by Her Name is Murder Productions (Sepultura, Ocean Grove, Redhook) and draws on late-90s influences like Coal Chamber and Korn. The chaotic visuals have been described as something you’d see on Rage at 3am and were premiered through Maniacs.
The song landed national and international radio play including Triple J Rotation and the converted Triple J Unearthed Feature Artist in the week beginning 28 June.
The band are set to drop their second single, ‘Afterglow’ late-August followed by a small run of shows with Adelaide’s Heartline in September and appearance at Halloween Hysteria Festival in October.
With a new EP, ‘Purgatory,’ coming out this November, TLM are just getting started in showing why they’re a band to keep an eye on.
Ocean Grove released their technicolored sophomore record ‘Flip Phone Fantasy’ in March 2020 to widespread acclaim and a #8 ARIA Album Chart debut. Beyond global media praise for its lawless creativity and no fucks attitude from the likes of Kerrang!, The Music (Album Of The Week), Hysteria and more, ‘Flip Phone Fantasy’ saw multiple singles each on rotation at triple j and has now soared to over 13 Million streams.
Ocean Grove have kept busy since, releasing alternate cuts on the record from ‘SUNNY’ (Remix) to ‘SHIMMER’ (Acoustic), officially released the hidden LP track ‘DREAM’ and taking to triple j’s acclaimed Like A Version segment with a cover of the Sneaky Sound System banger ‘UFO’.
Now in the midst of birthing more new music, Ocean Grove are set to prove yet again why the produce of their “Oddworld” is some of the country’s most exciting, unpredictable and truly delectable music and visuals ever seen.
PLINI is an independent solo artist from Sydney, Australia. He composes, plays guitar, records, produces and manages his unique brand of instrumental progressive rock all from a home studio.
His critically-acclaimed debut album “HANDMADE CITIES” was voted #5 in Guitar World Magazine’s “20 best guitar albums of the decade,” and described by STEVE VAI as “one of the finest, forward thinking, melodic, rhythmically and harmonically deep, evolution of rock/metal instrumental guitar records I have ever heard.” Routinely mentioned in “best guitarist” lists, PLINI was named #4 in the “Top 10 best prog guitarists in the world today” by Music Radar in early 2020. His latest album “IMPULSE VOICES” was recorded and released in late 2020 during the uncertainty of the pandemic and received a multitude of rave reviews, and has already been streamed millions of times.
Over the last few years, PLINI has toured the world supporting bands like ANIMALS AS LEADERS, PERIPHERY, TESSERACT and INTERVALS, as well as playing festivals and headlining his own tours all over North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and India. In 2018, PLINI was the first instrumental act ever to play the legendary Download Festival in the UK.
PLINI was a special guest instructor at “Vai Academy” in 2019, alongside STEVE VAI, JOE SATRIANI and DEVIN TOWNSEND, and despite being entirely self-taught, he has been invited to give masterclasses at some of the most prestigious contemporary music colleges in the world, including Berklee College of Music, Musician’s Institute (USA), BIMM (UK), and JMC Academy (Australia).
PLINI has a signature guitar with Strandberg Guitars, signature guitar amp software with Neural DSP, and endorsement deals with Yahama Music, Dunlop, D’Addario and Fractal Audio.
Hailing from multiple locations across the country; Pridelands are a 5 piece metal/alternative outfit taking influence from a vast array of genres and creating a sound that is truly unique.
Sydney alternative rock mutants RedHook officially spawned in 2018 with the arrival of their debut singles ‘Minute On Fire’ and ‘Turn Up The Stereotype’, which clocked up over 2 million streams across YouTube (largely through fan-generated content) and earned rave media reviews, including two coveted 5 star triple j Unearthed reviews from ‘Good Nights’ presenter Bridget Hustwaite and ‘Short.fast.loud’ host Josh Merriel.
The strength of these first two releases was also enough to attract the attention of the promoter of one of the biggest rock & metal festivals on earth, Download UK, who swiftly booked RedHook to play the 2019 instalment of the festival.
Featuring the core songwriting duo of Emmy Mack and Craig Wilkinson, two strangers from opposite ends of regional NSW whose paths collided after moving to Sydney in 2017 and bonding over the role that music has played in both of their lives, RedHook combine with young gun drummer Alex Powys to create experimental, heartfelt and attitude-filled alternative music with a powerful message that consistently defies classification. They’ve been dubbed everything from pop-punk to death metal and that’s just the way they like it, with a forward-thinking and elastic approach to their craft that revolves around each individual song as a piece of art, in defiance of antiquated genre constraints.
The RedHook whirlwind continued across 2019, with the band named triple j Unearthed Feature Artist and Kerrang! Radio Feature Artist before winning the triple J Unearthed competition to open Download Festival’s inaugural Sydney event. RedHook released three more singles – ‘Paralysed’, ‘Only Bones’ and ‘Fake’, all of which were added to full rotation on triple j. Behind the scenes, they signed on with the Hen House Management (worldwide) and inked booking deals with New World Artists (AUS) and Paradigm (UK/EU), while in the live arena they played the debut instalments of Sydney’s two brand new rock festivals (Good Things and Download), completed their debut international tour (supporting metal titans Three Days Grace across the UK & Europe), made their Download UK festival debut, launched their own gender diversity-inspired alternative festival in Sydney – ‘UsFest’, showcased at BIGSOUND 2019 and undertook four complete Australian tours (supporting the likes of Hands Like Houses, Ocean Grove and US rock legends Sevendust before selling out the Melbourne and Sydney legs of their own debut headline tour in September).
RedHook were set sharing the stage with emo legends My Chemical Romance on the bill for Download Festival 2020 before returning to Europe to perform at Reading & Leeds festival before the global pandemic wiped out all touring.
However, RedHook have stayed active throughout the COVID era, releasing more music, performing as part of Rock Sound UK’s Summer Show and ticking off a bucket list gig hosting ABC’s rage.
2021 has seen them release their long-awaited debut EP ‘Bad Decisions’, which has already racked up more than 2 million streams on Spotify, as well as selling out their biggest national headline tour to date, including double headers in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
RedHook have consistently been one of the most-played artist on Triple J Unearthed across 2019, 2020 and 2021, with more music coming very soon.
Rumours, as the name suggests is an enigmatic idea of a project. It has had several incarnations over the years as the individuals within the project age and refine their skills. With origins in rural Australia, a recent move to the city and an aspiration to challenge the standards of the genre that the project occupies have been met with notable growth and success.
With national radio time on the J’s and some hot press in the likes of Alt press and music feeds Rumours are on the rise with intention to consistently challenge their skills and interpretations of this project.
Rumours most recent EP reflects a dance between passion and self-loathing. Whether that’s in a relationship, an aspiration or kicking/fostering a habit. Touching on the inner turbulence you find when you love what could be harmful or, inversely, doubt what could be great. How do you communicate those more extreme feelings with those around you? Wouldn’t it just be easier if they could feel something too?
From beginnings in a Budgewoi garage at 16 to their explosive debut album ‘Stack Is The New Black’ at just 20, Australian rock trio Short Stack quickly made a playground of the Australian landscape and were one of the biggest names in the country by the late ’10s. Beyond ascending to #1 on the ARIA Album chart with their debut record, the band claim credits including Channel V’s Oz Artist Of The Year (twice), a coveted Rolling Stone Magazine cover, two certified Platinum records and tens of thousands of tickets sold throughout their career.
In March 2021, Short Stack announced their signing to UNFD to a swell of praise, excitement and surprise at their first new music after a 6 year hiatus. With their return single ‘Burn You Down’ and the follow up reveal of ‘Live4’ debuting on Australian and US radio alike, Short Stack have re-stamped their name on the world’s conscious as one of Australia’s most successful homegrown acts.
On their comeback to music, frontman Shaun Diviney explains how everything about how the band approached recording this time was different: “I think a lot of bands at the time when we first broke out were put together by labels and a lot of people threw us in that basket, but we were just a bunch of dudes that went to high school together and played Blink covers and it snowballed from there.
“To go back to our roots now and really just strip things back and play together in a room was really important to us. The reason we broke up was that it just wasn’t fun… it’s been a fair chunk of time now, so coming back finds us in a different stage of life with a different idea about what we want out of music.”
After launching in late 2018, Melbourne based Starve have been relentlessly on the rise in the Australia heavy scene. With the release of their debut EP “Mantis” and their hit single “Shiver” (currently on 65k Spotify listens), they have been putting their names in the mouths of Australian music fans everywhere. They delivered the hard-hitting manic music and they’ve reaped the rewards, as they’ve been able to play shows with massive acts such as Make Them Suffer, Deadlights, Alpha Wolf, Kublai Khan (US) and Stray From The Path (US).
With the recent release of their sophomore EP “Nausea”, Starve have shown they aren’t anywhere near done in their musical lifecycle, as “Nausea” delivers 13 minutes of maniacal “punch you in the damn head” hard-metalcore music that will wake you up faster than a shot of red bull straight to the veins. Featuring guest spots from Zachary Hatfield of US based Left Behind, and Melbourne’s own Jack Bergin of Void of Vision, the EP was recorded by Scottie Simpson of Alpha Wolf, and was launched recently through the ‘STARVE NAUSEA WEEKENDER”, which saw the band headlining shows in Melbourne and Adelaide, and selling over 300 tickets between the two shows and packing out both rooms they played in. Starve have also played in other Australian cities such as Brisbane and Sydney and have got great crowd receptions in both, so they will be making their way back around the country soon enough. This is just the beginning.
Since forming in 2014, STEPSON independently released their debut EP ‘Broken Bottles, Drunken Hearts’ followed by a sophomore EP ‘Echoes In An Empty Room’ in 2015. The band toured regionally and released several singles which landed them as direct support to DREAM ON DREAMER on a full run of Australia in 2016 and garnered the attention of SharpTone Records with the release of single ‘Come With Me’ in 2017. The band has headlined successful Australian tours of their own as well as earned main support slots to POLARIS, IN HEARTS WAKE, I PREVAIL, WHILE SHE SLEEPS, COUNTERPARTS & STRAY FROM THE PATH. Stepson’s debut album ‘Help Me, Help You’ was released in 2020 via SharpTone Records.
After taking out theTriple j Unearthed High crown in 2020, the duo have not slowed down, playing two sold out co-headline shows in Brisbane and Melbourne withTOWNSin January.They have already shared stages (and made lifelong friends with) the likes ofDune Rats,TheChats,Bugs,Ruby Fields,Dear Seattle to name just to name a few. The band have supported the one and onlyAmy Shark on a national tour. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak this weekend’s dates in Adelaide and Perth are rescheduled to September. Alongside, their national headline tour in July will now be rescheduled to a later time, more information forthcoming.
Standing on the mountain top of a breakout debut album effort, 2021 finds Thornhill travelling at breakneck speed towards global heavy domination. The band – comprising vocalist Jacob Charlton, guitarists Ethan McCann and Matt Van Duppen, bassist Nick Sjogren and drummer Ben Maida – have media, industry and heavy faithfuls pining for another lick of Thornhill.
From their hometown in Melbourne, the five-piece l broke out of the local scene with a pair of EPs in ’13’ (2016) and ‘Butterfly’ (2018) – spawning support slots alongside scene heroes including Northlane, Architects, Parkway Drive, In Hearts Wake, Beartooth, Make Them Suffer and The Plot In You, before their full-length assault, ‘The Dark Pool’ arrived a year later.
Presenting commanding singles including ‘Nurture’ and ‘Coven’, dynamic soundscapes like ‘Where We Go When We Die’ and gripping themes on humanity, anxiety and loss, ‘The Dark Poo’l was a winning full-length debut effort. Awarded a laundry list of accolades including triple j’s Feature Album and additions countless Best Of The Year lists, the release also saw Thornhill awarded nominations including Best International Breakthrough Artist at the 2020 Heavy Music Awards, and Best Independent Heavy Album/EP at the 2020 AIR Awards.
Possessing a sonic character and resolve few young bands can claim to grasp, Thornhill are set to take the world of modern heavy over once and for all.
To Octavia are an Alternative Metal band from Melbourne, Australia. Sophomore EP ‘Somewhere in a World, Not of the Dream’ out now worldwide!
Since the issue of their monster 2019 debut LP Big Grief, Brisbane power post-punk outfit WAAX have maintained a singular drive to create and release their own uncompromising brand of high emotion, alternative rock ‘n’ roll. Lead by the fierce energy of vocalist and founder Maz DeVita, WAAX have used a history of mortal trials faced and overcome to inform a brand of song writing that cuts deep and gives no quarter. With their ranks bolstered by the addition of new guitarist James Gatling, who joins follow guitarist Ewan Birtwell, drummer Tom Bloomfield and bassist Tom Griffin, WAAX’s reputation as a must see on any festival bill continues, though in it’s now supercharged form. After an inspired take on Basement Jaxx’s Good Luck for triple j’s Like A Version and a blistering split single with mates DZ Deathrays late last year, WAAX have been putting in the groundwork for a huge 2021 to come with new music and large announcements to come.
Wildheart stormed onto the Australian hardcore scene, solidifying themselves as a heavy, emotional outfit, demanding the attention of punters through their relentless live performances. Wildheart speak up and advocate for open conversation and action surrounding mental health, social injustice, and discrimination with lyrics tackling topics such as Indigenous land rights, deaths in custody, and political neutrality in times of crisis. Their recent single ‘Backburner’, released in April 2021, was written just after Australia bore witness to the worst bushfires we have ever seen. Fronted by Proud Yugambeh man, vocalist Axel Best strikes home their social justice message with authority and a savage lyrical delivery. With debut album ‘Global Crisis’ out in late 2021, watch out for Wildheart.
Australia’s Yours Truly are 2021’s must-watch in the alternative scene. Huge international touring credits, media and radio trailblazing and a burgeoning brood of fans are just some of the successes that back this band, but it’s the knack for punchy songwriting and performance deep in their DNA that makes this four-piece really tick.
From their hometown in Sydney, Yours Truly first broke out with their 2019 EP ‘Afterglow’ and went on to spend the rest of the year gracing stages including Download UK, Riot Fest and Good Things and supporting rock heroes including Sum 41 and State Champs on their international quests. In 2020 the band followed with their full-length ‘Self Care’, which saw the band awarded a laundry list of accolades including triple j’s Feature Album and Tone Deaf’s Record Of The Week, alongside band nominations for Rolling Stone’s Best New Artist and Best International Breakthrough Band at the UK Heavy Awards. If that wasn’t enough, their pulsing, urgent and frustration-filled 2021 single ‘Walk Over My Grave’ arrived to a tidal wave of local and international success.
Possessing a power and poise few young bands can claim to grasp, it’s this vision and resolve that will see Yours Truly take the world over.