I'll say it for the hundredth time: these new Australian bands just continue to kick asses and take names. 'Aloha' kicks off 2013 with a massive headache, coming off like Flipper and Venom P. Stinger in a head-on collision. Pick up the pieces and glue them back together haphazardly and you get this. "Homeless" is not a dedication to their label, but about the actual homeless. And eating ice cream. They are truly delving into the seedy side here. Songs about meth, bums, alcholism, gambling and other filthy vices. I was sure this band were a bunch of grizzled veterans, but from what I've gleaned they're a bunch of young up-n-cummers, a new wave of Aussie muckers rolling about in the dirt. Thank god for them. There are plenty of throbbing basslines here, a rhythmm machine that operates at two speeds: steamroller and tank. The vox are a treat, as the fella sounds like a nutter, spitting out his tales from the wrong side of the tracks like a forceful drunk conversationalist - staring direct in your eyes and talking AT you, not to you, and certainly not allowing you to get any words in edgewise. They're not just head-down pummelers though, these guys have some finesse, some clever post-punky tricks, a devious Fall-like twist of the shiv here and there. "Lost" slips in an electrified keyboard bleat while this guy puts a new twist on the David Yow lyrical approach. This melts into "Meth", which pastes together a sticky synth-line and pointy guitar. Really seasick in a way that truly does recall Flipper. "Hip Hop" comes up with another incredible synth sound (or is that a fucking guitar?!) that I believe they stole from a Tubeway Army record and repurpose here for ultimate rhythmic hypnosis while this guy mumbles his lines like he has dementia. "Punt" is ground-in-the-dirt pound with a touching AC/DC tribute. As I've said already, the singer does a good thing by using Yow's stylish cadence/ramble for his delivery but not adopting the actual singing voice (if that makes any sense). At this point in the record you'll feel as if you need a punch in the face, and "Hoonin'" delivers it. "Mum" is a monolith that sounds like heavy mining equipment operating in a massive cavern a few leagues under sea level, very dangerously close to the earth's crust. They end the record on a pleasant note, which I'll leave you to discover on your own. Just a massive, massive record, and one of a very few (if any at all) that are deserving of the Venom P. Stinger namedrop. Scum stats: painfully limited to 300 copies, but I've heard rumors of a repress...
- RK (Terminal-Boredom)