A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Australian Method Series and The Record Vault: Birds Of Tokyo – Universes

“Universes” is the second album from Birds of Tokyo, independently released on 5 July 2008.

The Personnel for the album is Ian Kenny on vocals, Adam Spark on guitars and keyboards, Adam Weston on drums and Anthony Jackson on bass.

If people are unaware, Birds of Tokyo formed in 2005 as another creative outlet for Karnivool vocalist Ian Kenny who wanted to do something softer and accessible.

There was a period between 2005 to 2012 that both bands operated, however Birds Of Tokyo then took over Ian Kenny’s life until late 2018 when Karnivool got together to play some shows and then COVID-19 hit and it looks like both bands started operating again at the same time.

I am a Karnivool fan first, and my interest to hear Birds Of Tokyo was because of that.

Karnivool plays a certain brand of heavy alternative rock/Metal which I like but even they have added more abstract movements into their songs..

Birds Of Tokyo at the start had this lighter alternative rock vibe happening but as they grew more popular, they more or less became a standard verse and chorus pop act. And a very good one at that.

Uno

Backward tape noises for about a minute leads into the “opening track”.

Broken Bones

Its aggressive in the verses and it could pass as a more pop version of Karnivool, purely because of Ian Kenny’s vocals.

The “I’m on a highway that leads to the end” section and how it builds up is why you should press play on this, because I guess no matter what we do, all of the roads we take lead us to our end.

For humans are born just to die.

Wild Eyed Boy

It’s got a start that reminds me of “The Cure” and “Inxs” but Ian Kenny’s voice and vocals keeps the song rooted in rock territory.

Silhouettic

The triple knock out combo continues with this.

It’s fast rock, hard to describe, but the vocal melodies are so catchy, they remain long after the song is finished, especially the lyric “there goes my baby”.

Head in My Hands

It feels almost like an Icehouse track, with Iva Davies singing. A bit slower, more early 80’s Brit Pop like Joy Division and I can’t get the lyric “I hate my melodies there all the same” out of my head.

But press play to hear the Thin Lizzy like harmonies which mimic the vocal melodies.

White Witch

It reminds me of Jet and “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” in spirit and feel. It also could have come from a Wolfmother album.

An Ode to Death

It’s heavy with a sinister groove and a chord progression that reminds me of “The Way” from Fastball.

Armour for Liars

Its aggressive and super melodic.

“Flowing blood for wealth and oil, the arms race and their toys, Power suits and power ties, corporate armour built for liars” more or less sums up what the song is about.

And I like the repeating line of “hey kid, run on home again, no world news to sell again”.

The Baker’s Son

More like Karnivool than the alternative pop rock on show here and at 6 plus minutes long, the song moves between moods and feels.

Train Wrecks

It feels like its influenced by INXS as it has that vibe with a bit of Radiohead and Muse mixed in.

Medicine

A strummed acoustic and metronomic piano chords with Kenny’s vocals makes up the closer.

If your time is short, then press play to hear the first three tracks in “Broken Bones”, “Wild Eyed Boy” and “Silhouettic” along with the 70’s rocker “White Witch”. While I think of it, stick around for “Armours For Liars” as the deep track.

And it was certified Gold in Australia but it’s not the album you see in their Top 5 Spotify list. Those bigger albums were just around the corner.

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Australian Method Series: Jet – Shine On

My first post on Jet was “Shaka Rock”, their third album. Then it was the debut “Get Born”.

And I wrap up their output with their much anticipated second album, “Shine On” released on 30 September 2006, in Australia and on 2–3 October 2006, internationally.

When you Google the album name and review, the Pitchfork review is the first one that Google brings back.

Pitchfork gave the album an 0.0 review and the page had an embedded YouTube video of a monkey peeing in its own mouth. I’m presuming to state it’s a “piss poor” album.

But Aussie’s don’t care about expectations and artists development. We care about fun and Jet just made another fun album rooted in good old fashioned Blues Rock.

Holiday

There’s no way that people can’t like this song.

It has all the trademarks of what Jet is. A hooky riff, dumb lyrics and a fun attitude. There is this small riff between the main riff that reminds me of QOTSA.

Makes no difference what they say
We’re goin’ on holiday

It sounds too good to be true these days. Going on a holiday.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

If there’s one thing us Aussies like, is a good punt. We’ll bet on anything. But this song isn’t about betting.

It continues the catchy riffs and themes from “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”.

She goes down
Like a setting sun

It leaves little to the imagination.

You can be the sinner and I’ll be the sin

Best lyric in the song.

Bring It On Back

The Beatles (as a byproduct Oasis as well) and Bad Company come to mind here.

For all that you said
Would you take it all back?

Even if it’s taken back, it’s been said and words sting deeper than actions.

That’s All Lies

It’s more Punk Rolling Stones like, in a 12 bar blues sense.

Kings Horses

It’s a country folk rock cut.

In the morning i swear i will tell you the truth
How you receive it, well, that’s up to you

Everyone has their own version of the truth.

Shine On

A tribute to the Cesters’ father, who passed away from cancer while they toured on the “Get Born” album.

Oasis and “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” comes to mind here.

Everything will be okay
We will meet again one day

It’s impossible but people believe it’s possible.

Come On, Come On

It’s very ELO meets Rolling Stones.

If they ask you to stand, well they just want you to kneel

So if you stand based on someone else’s command, then you will kneel when they tell you to kneel.

Stand Up

It’s a basic blues rock song in a Rolling Stones “Sympathy For The Devil” and “Revolution” from The Beatles vibe with the message from the 80s, like “Stand Up And Shout” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.

Stand up, you got to live while you can
Stand up, burn up before you fade out
Stand up, don’t you follow the crowd
Stand up, you got to live in the now

Rip It Up

Might as well call it “Wipeout” as it has that 60s Beach feel.

Rip it up, rip it up if your ever gonna make it!

Skin And Bones

It starts off with that “Shooting Star” and “Werewolf In London” riff.

Shiny Magazine

It’s that whole Beatles/Oasis feel.

Eleanor

Strummed acoustics and a campfire “Rubber Soul” feel.

All You Have To Do

And the album ends.

They recorded a shit load of songs for this album and there are so many versions of the album with a lot of bonus tracks and demos.

It didn’t sell anywhere near the debut but that doesn’t mean it’s a crap album.

Check it out.

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Australian Method Series: You Am I – Hi Fi Way

“Hi Fi Way” is the second album by Australian rock band You Am I, released in 1995.

Wikipedia tells me that “Hi Fi Way” reached #1 on the local albums chart and is one of the most influential and critically acclaimed Australian albums of the 1990s.

I remember this album being released and I also remember not being too enthralled by the singles at the time.

Coming off a decade plus diet of 80s hard rock, I was a bit destroyed when the labels started abandoning the genre in favour of grunge acts. So I went into a deep dive into the 70s. And that deep 70s dive became the reason why I ignored You Am I.

Main songwriter Tim Rogers later said that he was really high and drunk the whole time. And he wanted the album to sound huge but with the way that he sings and plays guitar it ended up sounding scrappier than he intended.

They had had seven days to make it, while living in New York.

The band is Tim Rogers on Vocals, Guitar, Mellotron, Hammond organ, Andy Kent on Bass and Rusty Hopkinson on Drums.

Lee Ranaldo from Sonic Youth is Producing. Stylistically it’s like punk and grunge.

Ain’t Gone And Open

It’s like a garage jam.

Minor Byrd

It’s a skip for me.

She Digs Her

Remember the lyrical theme from “Same Ol Situation” from the Crue.

A guy falls for a girl who is into girls and the guy is still thinking that’s okay, maybe he’ll get a threesome out of this.

Well, if you listen to the song; that also didn’t happen.

Cathy’s Clown

It’s almost like The Easybeats meets Radiohead meets The Who.

Jewels and Bullets

It’s a punk pop song and I like it.

There’s a drink you can drown in
Choose a blanket to die in

When you’re out on the streets only a few things matter.

Purple Sneakers

Folk Rock.

Found out what shame can mean
In purple sneakers and grey jeans

Yep to some people this look wouldn’t cut it and they’ll do their best to let the person know.

Pizza Guy

Grunge like.

Grab a six pack for the way home

Who doesn’t?

It’s a rite of passage. Well it used to be.

The Applecross Wing Commander

It’s got this Blue Oyster Cult and Free 70s vibe.

And although I have no idea what the song is about, the groove and attitude of the song grabs me.

Stray

I like the Soul Bluesy Intro on this.

The Vines would build a career playing songs like this.

Handwasher

It’s got this Hunters And Collectors vibe.

Wash my hands in shame
4000 times a day
And when I make it on home
There’s a smell that always stays

Sometimes the stain never comes out. When I used to be a fitter and machinist the grease was in the skin.

Punkarella

It’s high energy.

Coffee teeth and a cigarette heart for sale

Great lyrics.

Ken (The Mother Nature’s Son)

You’ve lived on beans and rice
And fell for Jesus Christ

Everyone is looking for some place to belong.

Gray

It’s a skip.

How Much Is Enough

It’s melancholic. My favorite song.

In the morning
When you’ve wiped his taste away
The last of the red and all the records you played
How much is enough?

Sometimes it’s enough for a few hours and then the night repeats.

There’s a review at Sputnik Music which summarizes the album as “The backyard gig, captured on CD”.

And I agree.

The album is mentioned by members of Jet and Wolfmother as an influence. And for a little while it looked like You Am I was going to break into the US, but that that never came.

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Australian Method Series: Eskimo Joe – Black Fingernails, Red Wine

Eskimo Joe are an Australian alternative rock band that was formed in 1997 by Stuart MacLeod, on lead guitar, Joel Quartermain, on drums and guitar, and Kavyen Temperley, on bass guitar and vocals.

Their road to fame started with a University Battle of The Bands contest. They won their local campus event, won the State event and then won the National event.

Released in 2006, this album is Number three and it’s noted for having the sound of the early 1980s Australian rock movement.

From the bands point of view they wanted to make a record as if they were stadium rock band. In other words if they were like INXS, what kind of record would they make.

The band recorded “Black Fingernails, Red Wine” on the central coast of NSW’s The Grove Studios. The Grove Studios were originally known as Mangrove Studio and were formerly owned by INXS bass player Garry Gary Beers.

In Australia it was certified 4× Platinum. It went to number one and spent 62 weeks on the ARIA Charts.

I never really appreciated this album when it came out. I was heavily into Progressive Metal, Nu-Metal and Metalcore bands at the time and I was devouring bands from those genres. I heard the singles and I liked em, but didn’t invest time.

A decade later, I finally did.

Comfort You

A great pop song with a piano line that reminds me of “Speed Of Sound” from Coldplay.

As soon as the drums and the fuzzed out guitar kick in, I was hooked. It’s almost new wave, but hard rock as well.

Lyrically there’s not much to it with a simple repeating line of “I will come, come to comfort you”.

But that’s all that is needed as the music and the groove is intoxicating.

If you’re not tapping your foot and nodding your head by the end of it, check for a pulse.

New York

This song is excellent.

It’s constructed with all the right atmospherics and ambient noises, plus an emotive piano melody and Temperley’s glimmering voice powers the melody.

Hey, hey, I know it wasn’t New York
Where I lost my mind.

The opening lines. A habit will always follow you regardless of which city you wake up in.

Black Fingernails, Red Wine

This song is huge. And the hook.

Black fingernails, red wine
I wanna make you, all mine

It reminds me of Icehouse, Eurythmics and INXS.

The Chorus is arena rock.

Breaking Up

An acoustic guitar and an addictive vocal melody.

And how descriptive is “A mouthful of glass / That cuts up your words”.

Setting Sun

The song was called “Forever Young”.

U2 comes to mind but press play on this track to hear the bass playing.

If your scared about the future,
I’m scared about the past

While you’re at it, check out the guitar melody which starts at 2.32.

London Bombs

Coldplay comes to mind. And I like it.

Sarah

Killers comes to mind with a bit of Rick Springfield.

This Is Pressure

An acoustic strummed passage starts the song.

There is no romance in suffocation

Truth right there.

Beating Like A Drum

If you like INXS, you will like this song. it’s not that it sounds like the band, it just has this spirit and attitude of Michael Hutchence.

I had a lot to drink last night
Now I’m feeling old
Is there anything that I can buy
That I have not sold

I’ve grown up with a father who likes to drink a lot and an older brother who likes to drink more. And all they think about is the next drink. Lucky for me they didn’t sell stuff to feed their habit.

Reprise

It’s a short instrumental, cinematic like piece.

Press play on it to hear the emotive piano melody.

Suicide Girl

Oasis and Radiohead comes to mind.

My social suicide girl
Poison in the wall
Razors in the apple core

These lyrics are hard rock. Nikki Sixx and Rachel Bolan would be proud.

How Does It Feel

A piano riff and a Muse/Coldplay feel.

You’re gonna lose everything / How does it feel

Not the best when it happens but as time goes on, a lot better.

There isn’t a song on this album that I will skip. It’s perfect from start to finish. So if you want to experience Australian Pop Rock, press play on this.

And the band is still active releasing new music and touring. But those reviews will be in other Australian posts.

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Australian Method Series and The Record Vault: Dragon – Bondi Road

The “Body and the Beat” album and the song “Rain” kept Dragon in the Charts between 1983 and 1986.

In 1986, they released the hard rock sounding “Dreams Of Ordinary Man” album which was certified Platinum in Australia and kept their comeback alive.

In 1987, they dropped a cover song, “Celebration” from Kool And The Gang. And it went to Number 1 on the Australian charts and stayed in the Top 10 for quite some time.

I’m not a real fan of that song but it made business sense to cover it because of it’s cross over appeal. It was played in night clubs, parties and everywhere you went in Australia, you heard Dragon’s version.

And then in April 1989, they dropped “Bondi Road”, their ninth studio album.

And no one knew it at the time but it was to be the last album of new material to be released during singer Marc Hunter’s lifetime, who passed away from throat cancer in 1998 at 44 years of age.

Bondi Beach is listed as a place to visit in Sydney for tourists. It’s also the place where the reality TV show, “Bondi Rescue” is filmed which shows the lifeguards basically saving tourists from the waters.

With a title that involves the word “Bondi”, summer always comes to mind, however they dropped the album in April, which in the Southern Hemisphere, is the second month of Autumn.

But by the time October rolled around (the second month of Aussie spring), the album had grown in momentum and really became a summer album for the months of December, January and February.

Young Years

It’s one of their best songs, a hard rock classic. And it’s not even written by the band, written by keyboardist Alan Mansfield and his partner, vocalist Sharon O’Neill, who as a songwriting team have written other songs for Dragon which became fan favorites.

The song also had a massive resurgence in popularity following Marc Hunter’s death in 1998.

And on guitar they have the great Tommy Emmanuel. Apart from being an accomplished solo artist and an amazing guitar player at that, Emmanuel has amassed a lot of session credits here in Australia and in the U.S.

Plus a special mention to the awesome backing vocals of Mary Azzopardi and Wendy Matthews.

It’s a great opener and then I felt lost listening to the next songs.

“Blue Blue”, “Book of Love”, “Here Am I”, “Ice in this Town” and “Gold in the River” failed to capture the intensity and fire of the opening track.

Bondi Road

Then the Intro riff started for “Bondi Road” and I was back in. It’s all in clean tone but it’s got this rock blues funk groove which I like.

Written by Johanna Pigott and Todd Hunter, who also wrote “Rain”, however this time around vocalist Marc Hunter also has a songwriting contribution.

Summer

You couldn’t have an album called “Bondi Road” without having a song called “Summer” on it.

This one is written by David Hirschfelder, Marc Hunter and Wendy Hunter.

It’s major key riff, rocks hard but the way it’s delivered, it feels like I’m on the beach, soaking in the summer rays.

Then came “Family Man” and the album lost me again.

Runaway

It rocks out of the gate with a hard rock riff.

Another track written by the team of Alan Mansfield and Sharon O’Neill.

Good Time Girl

Mansfield and O’Neill contribute another song.

The rock sounds of Free and Bad Company start the song, and it moves into a riff similar to “Young Years”.

Stick around for the Chorus.

Celebration

And yes the stand alone single was given an album as well.

The album was Certified Gold in Australia, a bit lower than the previous albums and a sign of the changing times.

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The Record Vault and Australian Method Series: Dragon

I’ve already covered this album under the Australian Method Series here.

It’s album number seven and it was released in June 1984, peaking at number 5 on the Australian charts and gaining a platinum certification.

But it was their first album since 1979.

And there’s a story.

Formed in 1972 in New Zealand, Dragon was about to break in the larger North American market.

But when you’re doing heroin, the only thing that’s gonna break are your chances of breaking big.

They had a US tour opening up for Johnny Winter that went bad when lead vocalist Marc Hunter called Winter’s blues rock audience rednecks and faggots, he was lucky he even escaped the venue.

And Marc was fired from Dragon, by his own brother Todd. Marc went solo and had some success, however the band new they could make some serious coin if they got together again.

“Rain” was the output in 1983. Written by Johanna Pigott, Marc Hunter and Todd Hunter, it’s 3 minutes and 40 seconds of pure hard rock glory.

Make sure you stick around for the “if you go out in the rain” melody towards the end.

Due to its success, the band went into the studio to record an album worth of songs.

As a side note, the writing team of Johanna Pigott and her partner, Todd Hunter (Dragon bass player) also wrote the smash hit title track “Age Of Reason” for John Farnham a few years later.

The album kicks off with “Rain”.

If it wasn’t for “Rain”, then “Cry” would be a favourite.

“Body And The Beat” has a bass groove and a feel that bands like INXS were making popular.

“Magic” feels like a driving song, with the window down and the warm winds blowing through.

But.

Apart from “Rain”, this album is forgotten.

Everyone told the band the album would break the band overseas. But it didn’t. Within a year they were back in the studio recording another album..

A year after this album came out, keyboardist Paul Hewson and the writer of their classic songs “April Sun In Cuba” and “Are You Old Enough” was found dead in a friend’s car, hours after he told the band he wanted to leave.

Dragon continued and released the super successful (in the Australia market), “Dreams Of Ordinary Men” in 1986 and “Bondi Road” in 1989. A review of “Bondi Road” is coming up.

A few greatest hits and acoustic re-recordings hit the shelves. And then tragedy struck again.

Marc Hunter was diagnosed with throat cancer in November 1997 and he died on 17 July 1998. Dragon have continued on with Todd Hunter still the driving force.

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Australian Method Series: Voyager – Colours In The Sun

Voyager is a band from the state of Western Australia. The band is made up of vocalist Daniel Estrin, guitarists Simone Dow and Scott Kay, bassist Alex Canion and drummer Ashley Doodkorte.

“Colours In The Sun” was released on 1 November 2019 via the label Season Of Mist. And for all my North American pals, please take note of the proper spelling of colours.

And they’ve been at for a while, since the early 2000’s. On Spotify I can see seven studio albums and I think there are a few EP’s in there as well which are not on the streaming services. I must admit, their band name reminded me of Star Trek, so I had to check em out.

Colours

A synth intro. Upbeat and danceable.

Once the vocals kick in there is a sense of euphoria to em.

And there is a lot of syncopated guitar, bass and bass drum like riffs. Perfect.

Severomance

More synths.

But it’s the drum/bass and guitar work which I like, with a pop like vocal melody.

This one just kept growing on me to become my favourite track.

And I like the guitar solo on this.

Brighstar

The keyboard/synth riff to start it off with the metronomic kick drum reminds me of Toto and I like it.

In the process it quickly become a favourite.

Saccharine Dream

A shimmering effect and a riff made up of single notes starts the song off.

Then a distorted guitar kicks in.

At 2.15, a normal 4/4 drum beat kicks in and from all the frantic beats, it’s amazing to hear just a simple beat. A stock beat.

Who would have thought?

So far a four punch knockout combo.

Entropy

A fast keyboard riff is played, with the guitars providing a djent like rhythm as its foundation.

Einar Solberg from Leprous (which is another favourite progressive metal act I am into) guests.

And I expected more from this song.

Reconnected

The fast alternate picking and double kick lines reminds me of Evergrey and its cabaret like piano line makes it sound unsettling.

It’s more like Power Metal.

Now or Never

It’s like a 90 second intermission, a short song to transition with. It has layers of synths with digital delay and a poppy vocal melody.

Sign Of The Times

The synths again and I like how they give the song a techno Ibiza like feel. But make no mistake, this is a progressive metal band.

And the Chorus can definitely etch out a living on the pop charts.

Water Over The Bridge

Man this song is heavy.

“The Distance” from Evergrey comes to mind during the Intro.

The video clip is hilarious as it shows the guitarists putting on some serious “stink-face” looks as they jam it.

Runaway

The synths again. They feel uplifting.

Then the guitars, bass and drums come in, to support the synth riffs.

And press play for the keyboard solo.

It’s a concise album, coming in less than 45 minutes and by the time it’s done, I’m thinking where did the time go, as it all finished so fast.

So if you’re into progressive music, then Voyager deserves your ear.

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Australian Method Series and 1986 – Part 3.5: AC/DC – Who Made Who

“Who Made Who” is like a Greatest Hits album released as a soundtrack album in 1986, for the Stephen King film “Maximum Overdrive”. A forgettable movie.

The funny thing is that the next Greatest Hits slab would come out with another movie, this one a lot better and having a larger social and cultural impact.

Yep, the multi- billion franchise known as “Iron Man” sent AC/DC into the stratosphere. Not that they needed it.

Both album packages are excellent entry points for people who didn’t own or know about AC/DC.

If this was your first exposure, there would be a high chance that you would go out and buy/access some of the back catalogue.

And the song “Who Made Who” introduced Angus Young the shredder. His guitar work here is at a Shrapnel level.

Who Made Who

Drums and bass from Simon Phillips and Cliff Williams in a stock 4/4 time. I’m already invested.

Malcolm kicks in with some power chords outlining a blues chord progression as Brian Johnson fires in with his throaty vocal melody.

Angus then fired in with some fast palm muted licks which sounds like open string licks, something he’ll use to even greater success with “Thunderstruck”. But it’s all picked.

Check out the lead break. Angus breaks out some EVH like tapping.

Lyrically, it’s based around the themes from the “Maximum Overdrive” movie, where the machines come alive and begin killing people.

Like the “Terminator” movie, the tools that humans create, rise up to obliterate the humans.

You Shook Me All Night Long

From “Back In Black”.

It was re-released as a single after the massive success of “Who Made Who” which gave this song a second coming, not that it needed one.

D.T

It’s an instrumental jam which became soundtrack music.

It moves between distortion and clean tone so it could be used in multiple scenes.

Sink The Pink

From the “Fly On The Wall” album.

This song doesn’t get the love it should but goddamn it’s a great song.

The Intro reminds me of “Rock N Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution” and it has a Chorus chord progression which could be interchanged with almost every AC/DC chorus, and I like it.

At 2.50, the Intro kicks back in, with drums and bass before Angus kicks in with his bluesy lead.

Ride On

From the “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” album and Bon Scott gets a spot with this slow blues dirge.

Hells Bells

From the “Back In Black” album.

As soon as the bells chime and the dirty arpeggio riff in Am kicks in, everything starts tingling. It doesn’t matter that I’ve heard it a lot of times. It still gets me.

Shake Your Foundations

Also from “Fly On The Wall”.

Another underrated song from an album that is seen as a disappointment.

You can’t tell me that the Intro/Verse riff isn’t classic AC/DC and a Chorus that almost mimics “You Shook Me All Night Long”.

Chase the Ace

Another instrumental jam session but a bit more aggressive than “D.T”.

Check out the drum groove in the Intro. Something that Lars Ulrich would use to great effect in “Enter Sandman”, which is also based on the “Dirty Deeds” Intro/Verse drum pattern.

For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)

From the album with the same title which came after the “Back In Black” monster.

I was hooked from the opening riff and the way Malcolm and Phil Rudd build it.

Once the slow groove kicks in, it feels that heavy that it’ll destroy everything in its path. And it did.

In Australia and the U.S, it’s 5× Platinum.

And it kept AC/DC relevant in a friendly MTV world which was starting to promote artists who looked great over the music they created.

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Australian Method Series: Teramaze – I Wonder

From Australia. Advertised as Progressive Metal but it’s more like hard alternative rock with some progressive grooves on this album. And I like it.

“I Wonder” came out in October 2020 and I was surprised to learn that it’s their seventh album but my first time listening to them.

For this album Teramaze is Dean Wells on Guitars and Vocals, Andrew Cameron on Bass, Nick Ross on Drums and Chris Zoupa on Guitar.

The term Progressive Rock has a bad concoction these days, associated with a million notes over complex chord changes or in Tool’s case, long laboured grooves that move in and out of time signatures or polyrhythms. But there are a lot of bands that can take it all and make it sound easy, not complex and not too long.

Teramaze is one such band.

“Ocean Floor”

Kids noises are heard over an ominous synth riff and then the band crashes in with the lyrics “Children pray, from the ocean floor / Are we too late, to save their lives”.

The lyrics are based on a true story of children gone missing and their bodies been discovered at the bottom of the ocean.

It’s powerful and you need to listen to it.

Especially that “Interstellar” soundtrack influence from 3.17 to 4.06.

“Only Daylight”

The way the songs starts off with the heavy groove riff, just gets the head banging.

By the time the verses come in, it’s slower but still powerful.

The lead break is excellent, emotive.

There’s this section after the solo which has the lyrics “No one will find me, no one will see me / From up above, I’m down below / They watch as they dance around me”. The way it is sung over the music is haunting as it carries the song for the last 2 minutes.

“Lake 401”

The clean tone arpeggio riff makes me pick up the guitar to learn it.

And the way the Chorus vocal melody with the words “Its so hard to know / If she’ll be waiting forever” is delivered is excellent.

And for styles, it’s more rock than anything else.

“A Deep State of Awake”

The synths start it off before an “Enter Sandman” style groove kicks in with the drums, bass and then guitar.

There are some leads which has the keys and guitar in harmony and it reminds me of Dream Theater “Images And Words” era.

Lyrically I see it as two voices within the same person. One part is delivered aggressively and the other is delivered melodically.

“Here to Watch You”

The Chorus.

Especially when Wells sings “The Fearless will construct / Our way all the world will know now”.

“Sleeping Man”

My favorite track.

The “Sleeping Man” has a chorus hook of “I’ve awoken the sleeping man inside”. It’s catchy, its hard rock and its perfect.

The keyboard hooks under the melodies are also memorable.

Check out the guitar solo.

“Run”

Man, this song for the first 90 seconds reminds me of those piano and vocal songs that Evergrey do so well.

After that it becomes a melodic rock song with excellent guitar playing

“Idle Hands / The Devil’s Workshop”

9 minutes long.

Musically and melodically the section in which Wells sings “We spent the time, and wasted it all most every year / And there is nothing left to follow” is excellent.

At 3.30, a lead break kicks in. It’s emotive and one of the best I’ve heard recently.

The section after it with the lyrics; “You never run it together / You never stopped the war / If only you could’ve chosen me / What life would have in store” is almost Daughtry like in delivery.

At 5.12 it’s just piano, playing the chords and vocal melody.

Then the vocals come in with the acoustic guitar. It builds up again to the “You never run it together / You never stopped the war” part again.

The last 90 seconds has double kick, fast melodic guitar leads and the only thing I can do is press play again and devote another 9 minutes of my time to the song.

“This Is Not a Drill”

Musically this song reminds of bands like Haken and Tesseract.

I see the world has changed
Theres nothing left to gather now
I feel the world has fallen
Tomorrow, may never come again..

We’re waiting for the cure
Assured it’s on the horizon
Pandemic fabrication
The lies insure well never know again..

I wonder what they’re singing about. And for everyone the world did change. People died, relationships ended, how we did things changed, flying and travel ceased and a lot of careers ceased to be.

At the 5 minute mark, the section that comes in reminds me of “Home” by Dream Theater.

To find someone to love, whatever.

That’s all we want in the end.

At 8 minutes and 40 seconds it never got dull or boring.

“I Wonder”

The closer.

The way this song builds and is constructed is excellent.

Check out the Chorus with its symphonic and anthemic melody, especially when Wells is singing “We’re here tonight, you’re never gonna see me alone / we feel alive, I’m never gone make it”.

The “I watch them killing you slowly” section reminds me of Muse.

At about 5.10 some intricate playing happens but it’s all still accessible and sing along like.

And the lead break is excellent.

By the end of it, each track left something behind with me.

And from reading some of the reviews, this is the first album in a while which features lead vocals from band leader and guitarist Dean Wells. And I’m like, “why didn’t he sing on all the albums?”. His voice needs to be heard.

Check it out.

And don’t let the progressive tag turn you off some great Rock and Metal.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, Unsung Heroes

Australian Method Series: The Living End

The Living End is Australia’s answer to Green Day, The Offspring and The Clash. But more technical and rockabilly.

The group formed in 1994 in Melbourne by Chris Cheney on guitar and lead vocals (also their main songwriter and a bonafide guitar hero), along with Scott Owen on double bass and backing vocals. In 1996 they were joined by Travis Demsey on drums.

Their self-titled debut album came out in 1998. The album reached No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart and remained in the top 50 for 63 weeks. In Australia, it is certified 4x Platinum.

And they had momentum coming into this album as they broke through to the mainstream with their EP, “Second Solution / Prisoner of Society”, released in 1997.

“Prisoner of Society”

A groovy “Peter Gunn” like riff kicks it off and then the fast punk starts from the 15 second mark.

Well we don’t need no one to tell us what to do
Oh yes we’re on our own and there’s nothing you can do

It was a new anthem for a whole new generation of kids growing up in the 90s, in the same way songs like “Were Not Gonna Take It”, “Stand Up And Shout” and “Bang Your Head” became anthems for the early 80s generation.

Check out the guitar playing from the 2 minute mark which leads into a rockabilly solo.

“Growing Up (Falling Down)”

It’s a got a fast galloping riff.

Open up your eyes
And maybe then
You’ll realise the truth is in
The thoughts you hold
And not the obstacle in front of you

It’s the same advice that the billion dollar self development industry peddles out around “fear holding you back”. But this is 10 years before the industry started taking a hold on the best sellers charts.

“Second Solution”

I like the ska reggae start before it moves into a jazzy punk song.

Can that be a thing?

Well it is.

Make sure you check out the lead break.

Lyrically, you get the scene described as a dark street at night, a crime is committed and the police are after the criminal.

“West End Riot”

The Intro is excellent, it sounds like the soundtrack to a crime noir film.

The verses remind me of “Let There Be Rock”, just bass and drums, waiting for a vocal melody.

Make sure you check out the unique 12 bar blues swing rock jazz solo.

“Bloody Mary”

That “Peter Gunn Blues Brothers” vibe comes back again and I like it.

Make sure you check out the riff after the solo at the 2.20 mark. George Lynch and “It’s Not Love” would be proud.

“Monday”

It sounds like a alternative pop song, almost happy like for a serious subject about the Dunblane School shootings in which sixteen pupils and one teacher got killed and fifteen others injured by a lone gunman, who then turned the gun on himself.

“All Torn Down”

I used to cover this song circa 1999/2000. The Intro is metal like and I like the ska/reggae influenced verses and melodic rock Chorus.

Lyrically it deals with how our cities skylines are changing, as history is torn down for bigger and shinier buildings to be put up.

Save The Day

It’s a speed punk metal song with a rockabilly anthemic chorus. Volbeat gets a lot of press for these styles but The Living End did it years earlier.

Sleep On It

It’s a rock song in the verses (think “Kryptonite” but years before the Three Doors Down version) and punky in the chorus.

Check out the guitar lead.

And also check out the palm muted guitar riffs in the bridge.

Closing In

An instrumental. Technical and avant- grade. Almost progressive like jazz music but it’s still rock.

So if you need any more reasons to check out The Living End, guitarist Chris Cheney uses a beer bottle to play slide guitar live.

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