straight arrows - The I-94 Bar

BARFLY TOP TENS: Doc Temple from Sydney band Chickenstones & host of The Devils Jukebox on 2NsB 99.3 FM and RADIO365.UK

doc at the deskThat Mr Barman fellow, of I-94 Bar notoriety, has graciously once again asked me to pen a brief diatribe on the music I heard this year that breached my inherent tinnitus (this being a persistent “ringing” that originates in the ear rather than in the environment.)

The noise heard by people with tinnitus may be a buzzing, ringing, roaring, whistling, or even a hissing sound and is often associated with hearing loss.

As I'm a fellow of balanced research, and YouTube had offered a viewing of their "2017 Rewind" collection. I felt it important to have a listen to the Boobtube wares in case it informed me of important musical/cultural creations that I had possibly missed over the past 12 months...

Lo and behold it did !! Instantly I discovered that the roaring, buzzing, whistling or hissing of tinnitus can INDEED originate in the environment, contrary to what was taught during my medical schooling. What's more, that the associated hearing loss was a relief !!

Fortunately, the remedy was simple. I turned the bastard off and wondered what parallel universe of musical endeavour had led to my sudden selective deafness as it righted itself.

So, as usual, I shall make an opinionated mention of songs/releases/bands that crossed my bows during the stated period, though the pushing of record buttons, mixing and the mastering may have occurred a little before. To me, the release was when I got my sticky hands on the product, played said product and was then taken by the throat....

Grinding Eyes - Grinding Eyes (Off The Hip/Tym Records)

grinding eyesDrone and fuzz are the base ingredients in this psychedelic stew from Sydney four-piece Gridning Eyes. The sound is thunderous and heavy in the mid-range, with no compromise to melody. Delicate harmonies are in short supply. 

Grinding Eyes have been around for three years and have two singles on prodigious boutique Brisbane label Tym Records. This is their long player debut (on CD through Off The Hip) and it’s an exacting but rewarding trip

Recorded by Owen Pengilis (Straight Arrows), and mixed (in France) and mastered (in Detroit) by sonic wizard Jim Diamond, these are nine songs of dark, relentless assault. 

Psychotropic - Los Tones (Off The Hip/Groovie Records)

psychotropicHere it is folks - this is the sound the “cool kids” make these days. “Cool kids” being what the wearers would dismissive as a totally pejorative term, but essentially being a title for whatever constitutes a “scene maker” in these musically fractured times. “Scene” being another pejorative word.

It’s hard to keep up with contemporary music once you pass a certain age - even when you’re consciously trying to cock an ear to what seeps out of cracks in the footpath and shuns daylight. Of course it’s a given that you shouldn’t pay attention to just about ANYTHING that makes it to commercial radio airwaves, but in this case "contemporary" means the underground shit, maaan. And Los Tones are under the commercial radar by any measure.