Every week we collect a new batch of songs for your listening pleasure – plus a classic that you should definitely know and love. Here’s this week’s Blerg Bangers:
High Horse – ‘DUI’
Power pop has always been a constant pleasure in my life. When you can lace together a bunch of big power chords, guitar solos that command squinty eyes, and an impossibly emotive and energetic vocal performance all into one giant musical gold bar, it can be the most effervescent and enlightening listening experience out there. I still break into a gaping smile hearing ‘Flagpole Sitta’. Or – for a more contemporary reference – get a cheeky buzz from the unadulterated Britpop of the DMA’s, as their concentrated doses of reverb, melody and big amps punch me right in the ticker.
Perth’s High Horse is sure as hell switched on to power pop’s platinum stock price too, based on their exceptional new single ‘DUI’. Hearing it for the first time, instantly sent me on a musical time travel experience. The “racist boys on the train” line jolting flashbacks to year five, as I clutched my Discman and listened to Oasis’ ‘Roll With It’ on repeat. Next minute I found myself burning Ash’s ‘Shining Light’ onto an mp3 CD for a teenage girlfriend. No matter the decade though, I was always brandishing a big, goofy joyous smile, and it’s a genuine thrill to hear a song in 2016 that makes me feel that way again.
Sans Parents – ‘Can’t Stop Moving’
If I had to nominate a band as the most underrated of the last 20 years, The New Pornographers would chart pretty highly. It seems like Brisbane’s Sans Parents would agree with me whole heartedly, based on the similarities they share with the Canadian super group. Even the subtle high pitched backing vocals on ‘Can’t Stop Moving’ resemble Neko Case’s distinctive impact on A.C. Newman’s pop croon, while a controlled chaos of punk guitars, carnival keys and rattling drums all swirl around them. And that’s not intended to rob Sans Parents of any impact on the shiny glory of their latest single – the song would be something Newman would easy rate as one of his greatest compositions if he was lucky enough to have been the one that put pen to paper on it. Instead it’s emerged from Brisbane of all places – a city that is quietly starting to reclaim its spot as one of the best musical hotbeds in the country.
The Dandy Warhols – ‘Catcher In The Rye’
The Dandys returned this week with one of the best albums they’ve produced in a decade with Distortland, and it’s songs like ‘Catcher In The Rye’ that made such a thing possible. The sleepy acoustic strums, plodding bass line and dreamy backing vocals transported me straight back to Thirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia (my favourite Dandys’ album) in all its urban cowboy/cowgirl splendour, with that thick sense of mischief that has always been key to the Dandy Warhols charm. It’s great to have you back guys.
Dum Dum Girls – ‘Take Care Of My Baby’
In no way, shape or form one of Dum Dum Girls more well-known songs, but one that sends shivers up my spine and buckles to my knees every time I hear it. That tambourine ringing out against a hip as it drops from an exhausted arm; the cavernous bass beat; the lead guitar notes echoing off into space; the gentle twitch of the rhythm guitar buzzing in your right ear; and sewing it all together Dee Dee’s desperate and longing prayer that the universe takes dear care for the one she loves. The track appeared on their 2011 He Gets Me High EP – which for me marked a total turning point for the band as Dee Dee finally embraced her vocal capabilities and really came into her own as a songwriter – and nowhere is that more clear than on ‘TCOMB’. Listen to it and let your heart melt.