Voyager

Voyager from Perth, Australia, is the progressive rock quintet of Daniel Estrin (Vocals / Keytar), Simone Dow (Guitar), Alex Canion (Bass / Vocals), Scott Kay (Guitar) and Ashley Doodkorte (Drums).

Voyager - Progressive Rock from Australia

Voyager

As always, when taking a listen to progressive rock I felt the need to to sit up straight and look grown up, but Voyager don’t demand me to do that, as although there is a sophistication in the sounds, it is easily absorbed by the listener.


‘Beautiful’ is a strange word to apply to music, but somehow suits. There is an aural-beauty to the compositions, which are delivered with a gentleness that is enhanced by the powerful under-currents. It makes little difference, which style of music you personally prefer, as you well know I have a penchant for the chaotic, I would be amazed if you too weren’t transfixed by the majesty of it all.

Given that Voyager have been around for much longer than the majority of bands reviewed, this ability to both write and play in recording, with such coherence, comes as no surprise. What is of far more note is the prescience that their live  performance, will find this cohesion replicated.

Their thirteen track, just under an hour fifth and appropriately named LP – V – is due for release in June and is something to look forward to. Having had the opportunity to hear the full LP, I would recommend adding this to your collection for those ‘grown-up, but still relaxing moments’ in life.

Track two on the LP is Breaking Down.

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The Jones Rival

The Jones Rival from Sydney in Australia is the garage rock line-up of Adam (Vocals / Guitar), Evan (Guitar), Shaun (Drums) and Lanky (Bass / Vocals).

The Jones Rival - Garage Rock from Australia

The Jones Rival

After a brief introduction via a video in October it is about time I got round to a full review of The Jones Rival.


My advice, turn up the volume as this is music which is best digested loudly. Whilst loosely garage rock, the band play with shoegaze influences, to provide tracks which reverberate around the room, bouncing from wall to wall before coalescing centre stage in a continuum of sounds.

Considered phrases thread their way round the room, filling the audience with music arriving from all directions, yet inside the brain it settles to a mesmeric focus. The shimmering sounds develop intensity whilst another refrain emerges from the speakers, but simultaneously the sounds are absorbed by the ears as-though being applied by a soft sponge, resulting in a slightly psychedelic feel.

There is little for the listener to do, other than open the ears and wallow in the compositions that The Jones Rival extend.

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Wolf Cola

Tom Masters and Callum Butler from Sydney in Australia recently got together to form the garage rock out-fit Wolf Cola.

Wolf Cola - garage rock from Australia

Wolf Cola


The off tone guitar and vocals give the music a bitter-sweet note which will work with some and jar with others. I enjoy it, particularly given the blurred and fuzzed edges to the sounds which slide across the room. The surfy lo-fi delivery wraps around the ears easily and Wolf Cola provide moments of real enjoyment.

The unpretentious style has a heartening fascination and while very much in development the duo have managed to release their début four track eponymous EP which is available on bandcamp.

How far they will resonate other than to a specific audience, only time will tell, though I have serious doubts about it hitting the mainstream any-time soon, but as you well know, that is not an arbiter of music which adds to the value of the world and it is the likes of Wolf Cola who make getting up a very worthwhile idea as they have a freshness and carefree attitude that gives you hope for the wider scope of humanity.

I do get the feeling the sound would be enhanced by the addition of a Bassist, but inevitably I would think that. However it turns out in the long-term, my thanks to Wolf Cola for creating a far brighter spot over here in the UK today.

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A Lonely Crowd

A Lonely Crowd is Luke Ancell (Guitar), Scott Ancell (Drums), David Morkunas (Bass / Keys) and Xen Havales (Vocals / Flute /Percussion) a progressive rock band from Melbourne in Australia.

A Lonely Crowd - Progressive Rock from Australia

A Lonely Crowd

Melting textures extrude from the speakers as the quartet combine a standard rock line-up with additional electronics and wind instrument to deliver music which explores much territory. With a slightly experimental theatrical flavour to the sound A Lonely Crowd provides music to take the listener away from the everyday mundane to the exotic.


Whilst comprehensive there is enough approachability for philistines such as myself to find a welcoming entrance and from there to spend much time, as underlaying the flourishes sits structured rock compositions to which A Lonely Crowd add engrossing twists and turns.

A successful debut LP User Hostile was launched in 2011 and the follow-up LP the even more extravagant 13 track three quarters of an hour Transients set for release on the 1st February.  Not having had the opportunity to see the band live, where by all accounts they are a well received performance act, I would be intrigued to ascertain how the electronic weaves are delivered in a live format.

A Lonely Crowd is able to take a basic construct, add some bells and whistles, yet retain a cohesive and believable sound and for that they deserve much credit.

When the LP is made available, my advice, definitely worth spending time to get to know as the quartet take the listener on a fantastical journey of compositions.

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Yard Duty

Yard Duty from Sydney in Australia is the garage rock trio of John, Zacc and Max.

Yard Duty - Garage Rock from Australia

Yard Duty

Painting their pictures by music, Yard Duty deliver Jackson Pollock with splashes of guitar that spray across the compositions, giving the music something of a freehand style. They are also able to turn up the volume and deliver distorted rock derived sounds. The unmistakeable vocal, half-spoken, plaintively calling out as though from the depths of the speakers works well, giving the lyric far more poignancy for the story being told.


The trio use the instrumentation intelligently with the percussion and guitars adding greatly to the atmosphere of the tracks enabling Yard Duty to deliver a sense of the poetic, providing barbs and context. Probably one of the most figurative garage rock sounds doing the rounds and it is a delight to come across the combinations, giving the trio a platform raised far above the general.

It is always a pleasure to come across a band who take a genre and turn it on it’s head to deliver something far better. Their début LP the eight track Mixed Business came out in September and I look forward to hearing a follow-up as Yard Duty potentially have much more to add to the world of music.

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