Live Review: Seekae, The Basement

Opening act Thomas Williams was only observed through a brief, disgruntled mindset, so take this into account when I say it seemed to be a combo of uninspiring laptop-jockey experimentation and hobbyist fiddling. To be fair, I only popped in to check set times and I was angry-hungry.

Kangaroo Skull injected some powerful vigour into the evening, shaking out their meditative house music to a receptive crowd. One of the guys looked like Warren Ellis, in other words he was hairy, cool and terrifying. Mr. Grizzly Wilderness was quite intimidating hunched over in the shadows, a possessed focus on his dials and buttons. It was frighteningly easy to zone out and meld into the mechanical head-bob of the crowd. I was super bummed I had a backpack cause there was a fun lil’ d-floor growing throughout the set, it was calling me, nay, begging me to cut loose on it. Serves me right for being a back-pack-at-gig-loser :(

It’s bittersweet to see that Seekae aren’t big enough yet to have someone else set up their equipment; good regarding the intimacy, bad because they deserve bigger, better, world-conquering heights. Besides this, The Basement suits their muggy, blissed-out groans perfectly.

Opening with a new song, it’s a slow, off-kilter number with equally delicate vocals. 2 more new songs were introduced over the night, each one sounding fuller and more realised than the one proceeding it, and all containing vocals marking a drift away from their purely instrumental territory.

The mega-trifecta-block that is Blood Bank, Reset Head and Mingus fills the bulk of my nights memory space. Probably their most accessible track, Blood Bank gets anticipatory woos from the first recognizable bleeps and bloops. A simmering crowd is taken off the heat for Reset Head, but undergoes a different process that doesn’t work for this analogy. Is there a cooking method where you turn all the lights off and kind of schmooze the food with eerie synth pangs and punchy fragility? Mingus is the formidable, not-so-secret weapon of unearthly ambient power.

“Probably the first song we ever wrote”, Void, gets the biggest cheer and dance of the night, the sold-out crowd greedily lapping up it’s frantic beat and masterful melody. It’s a musical superfood, the spirulina of the set.

I’ll be honest; performance wise, this Live Review makes me feel like I’m doing a compilation review. This isn’t to say they’re dull or unentertaining, it’s just there isn’t much else to talk about other than what songs they played and how they sounded. Well, they played all the songs that you would want to hear, they sounded sick, we really enjoyed them, and we went home. Great.

There’s something disarming about their show that makes a reviewer want to just stop typing and shove songs down the reader’s gullet. In saying that, the alterations, the encompassing sound and the communal experience, can’t be delivered by me, feeding you mp3s like a mother bird. Rather, I’ll just have to implore you to check out one of Australia’s most exciting talents.



I’m aware that i use more ellipses than E.L. James (i haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey, i’m just aware of it’s ellipses notoriety. These brackets were necessary, deal with it). It’s something i will work on.

Also, readers, i love interaction. Here at Tough Hugs Central, i’m feeling the communicative back-pat, but i want a sweaty, uncomfortable embrace, comments wise. Ask questions, agree with me, disagree with me, tell me what was great, tell me what was awful, but then tell me something that was great again, i’m only human. compliment/improvement sandwiches.

Also, if you’ve got an album you want to see reviewed, comment below and let me know.

Also, have some Cass. On the house

List for Life: January

Like Christopher Owens, ima big fan of listin’ for life. Also like Christopher Owens, all i want is a suntan, a pizza and a bottle of wine. Also also like Christopher Owens, i’m a big fan of Mr. Pop, who is ALSO a fan of listin’ for life. Life is about cycles my friend.
One of those cycles is the Gregorian calender: introducing January.
Due to an unforeseeable bout of ‘getting-a-ping-pong-table-for-Christmas’, i didn’t post much in the January, so here is a list to make up for it.


5.  Whitest Boy Alive were on Take 5 with Zan Rowe, sharing bands from their hometown of Bergen, Norway. 2 stood out and i sneakily put them into my phone, WHILE DRIVING. EFF DA POLICE! but don’t really, unless you’re married to a police officer, then go for it.

Young Dreams give off a Cloud Control/Local Natives vibe, but with a dollop of poppy-synth. It’s catchy, the kind of effervescent music that brooding-respectable music critics pick apart and whinge about. But they don’t know squat! Or they know too much squat, more squat than us, in fact, maybe we’re squat-oblivious and that’s why we can enjoy this music instead of cutting ourselves to The Mary-Jesus Lizard Chain Experience (mashup idea. btw, i do really like JMAC, but i’m not crazy about TJL, they may grow on me, horrible album artworks though).

The video for Young Dreams’ song Young Dreams is about young dreams i guess. A bit too cutesy, instagrammy, but the bart mask and wiz-fiz hooks redeem it. Love it now, like it later, it’s one of those kinda faders, like a sugar high that the music is an embodiment of (now who’s the downer music critic! I’m getting the hang of it, i just have to get my snarl right).

Razika are a punchy little all-female group and if there song Vondt i hjertet translates to daytime-car-sex than the director wasn’t mucking about.

Plain and simple, i love this song. These saucy Scan-pans get it so very right, from the plucky guitars to the bah-da-da-da-da’s

4. I probably would’ve blogged about the hottest 100, done 50 top-tens about everything, but instead i’ll just post my favourite song from last year off my favourite album of last year, remember 2011?

3. Instead of breaking your dancing shoes in at Manning Bar, Metronomy insisted they we dance so hard the shoes were all like “i can’t take this shit” and just bailed hey.

Here’s my review i wrote for FasterLouder.

2. Royal Headache kept on popping up in all these Australian best-of lists with there self-titled (debut?) release, prompting a listen. Instantly rewarded, now one of my favourite Australian bands going around at the moment. If you’re going to The Black Keys concerts, make sure you get there early for these guys.

1. Dan Deacon at Sydney Festival. Just, wow.
It’s hard to write a review 8 months after the show, but from memory Dan (first name basis) turned a stiff, stern crowd into a raucous celebration machine. I’m convinced the man actually invented the idea and practice of fun, partying and happiness. He just shovels joy the whole set with his unknowingly manageable-yet-bombastic/psychotic music.
List of likely events to take place at a DD gig
-group interpretive dance circles
-whole-crowd-involvement people tunnel/ conga line thing
-full venue sprinting bodies with surprisingly few collisions
-euphoric, next level sweat
-strangers-turned-best-friends-turned back to strangers when music stops
He just sets fun and interaction at a whole new standard. And he’s really funny and conversational and i just wanna be friends with him.
Hanging out for his new album out sooooon

Housekeeping – 2nd Apology

2 consecutive apologies doesn’t make for good reading so i’ll keep this short. Sorry for being neglectful, i don’t know where June, July and August went. My girlfriend told me this story once about her relatives in the USA that own a tortoise, and they put it in a box every winter and force it to hibernate. Well, Tough Hugs was forced into a hibernation box by my girlfriend’s relatives in the USA, but the warm spring air is pumping life through its icy, reptilian veins once more.

Over the next few weeks i’m gonna try and post everyday, no matter how trivial and uninteresting- that’s how much you mean to me, ok? Prepare for a bombardment of intensive-2012-catch-up-posting. I’m going to mechanically pump out some short and sweet and bitter (like a bi-polar midget) Live Reviews, Album Reviews, bands to check out, etc until we get back into the swing of things. Cuteeeeeee.