FLICKERTAIL – Hurry Up And Wait EP

Formerly known as The Bitter Sweethearts, the four musicians that make up Flickertail were drawn together by a love of classic rock. While their debut EP carries a very solid and classic sound, it never plays as if – like so many bands doing the rounds – they’re content with hammering out tried and tested clichés and trying to be a heavier version of Free or Rival Sons. Their work sometimes has an old soul and is often very melodic, but this EP seems very keen to shake things up in places, which in this case and a world of tired sounding rock acts, is a very good thing. The purists mightn’t like that, but it’ll be their loss.

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ESPIONAGE – Wings Of Thunder EP

Melbourne’s Espionage don’t just fly the flag for old style heavy metal, they positively scream its praises from the Victoria rooftops with a shameless pride, not only as if the 90s never changed perspectives, but also as if Slayer had never actually existed. Hearing their second EP ‘Wings of Thunder’ for the first time, the traditional metal sounds are so rooted in the past, it’s even hard to tell whether it was recorded in 1984 (as is its core sound) or 2016 (as claimed in the sleeve notes). This, of course, isn’t necessarily a bad thing – especially considering that, even at such an early stage in their career, the Aussie rockers sound like masters of their craft.

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BEC STEVENS – More Scared Than Me

There are thousands of acoustic singer songwriters out there sharing tales of broken relationships and personal travelogues – those all important journeys of the heart, if you will. On ‘More Scared Than Me’, Australia’s Bec Stevens takes folk pop into very outspoken territory, very much as Frank Turner did on his best-selling break up record ‘Tape Deck Heart’. This is not new ground for folk music, but when delivering such familiar themes from a female perspective, Stevens’s work comes across with an unflinching honesty, resulting in a short collection of songs which should resonate with many listeners.

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DEVIL ELECTRIC – Devil Electric

There have been some great stoner and doom bands surface over the first part of the twenty first century. Whether recycling straight up Sabbath-isms, or channelling Fu Manchu-esque dusty grooves that sound like they’ve been borne from a sweaty, clapped out van, this unashamedly retro sub genre of metal rarely disappoints. It’s so often predictable, but that doesn’t diminish from it’s overall power.

Every once in a while, a band appears on the scene that – although still treading a very familiar path – also seems to raise the bar. Such is the case with Devil Electric, a four piece stoner metal outfit from Melbourne whose riffs are so big, they could cause a tremor somewhere in the outback. Their 2016 EP, was hugely enjoyable, but their first full length exceeds expectations.

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