Earlier this year Key Out decamped to j walker’s (machine translations) General Store in rural Victoria to record What (do) you see, their debut album and first release on Half A Cow records.
The studio’s remoteness and sense of space colour the ten track LP as much as j’s collection of old analogue equipment and sophisticated production. Paddy Haid’s detuned, angular strumming darts around Saskia Clapton’s almost independent basslines, both anchored by Rohan Geddes drumming. The result is a sometimes dark and unexpected indie pop record.
The band’s unusual dynamics are illustrated in the first single off the album, "Nameless town". A locomotive beat and off kilter bassline set the scene. Layered melodies and counter-melodies hover long enough to catch the listener’s ear before retreating into silence or dissonance. The influence of Sandpit, Blonde Redhead and Art of Fighting is clear (under a certain light), as is band-members’ previous work in Ides of Space and Sound Like Sunset.
NIC DALTON Blast Cools 90-92hac212 buy the cd * Bandcamp * iTunes
The third instalment of four-track recordings from Nic Dalton. These thirteen songs from early 1990 to March 1992 are all previously unreleased (except for home mixes of "Lost Four Days" and "King of My Feelings" which appeared on the Booth Tape cassette). At the time Nic was in the Plunderers, who were experimenting with psychedelic pop and that can be heard on a lot of these songs, especially "Red Electric Noodle", "Flat Lemonade" and "Blast Cools".
Apart from Smudge/Godstar drummer Alison Galloway on three songs (including a faster version of “Way Out Jim”), Nic plays all the instruments himself. In May 1992, Nic left Australia to join Boston band Lemonheads and his routine of four-track recording his latest batch of songs pretty much ended, with only sporadic sessions taking place from then to now. The painting on the front cover was chosen specifically for this reason - it was done the night before he left Australia in May 1992.
REAL LIFE PERMANENT DREAM Don't Self-Destruct Again hac214 Bandcamp * iTunes
Real Life Permanent Dream are an ambient-psychedelic band based in Berlin, Germany. Their unique blend of ambient textures and relaxed, psychedelic rock grooves bring a fresh take to the rock genre. They have just released their first single and are building up to the release of their debut album in mid-2019.
It's the middle of 2018 and things aren't slowing down here at Half A Cow. A new album - number four! - from the Ramalamas called Liquorice is out now and that is extremely exciting. It's a big U-turn for the band as they trade their country roots for a sleazy fuzz pedal. Community radio stations around the country have been very supportive as well, which makes it all worthwhile. There's a new single from master-pop-maker Paul Scott's The Likes Of You called "Superstar Housewife" which he describes as: "Superstar Housewife might be my subconscious response, half a century later, to The 'Stones 'Mothers Little Helper' - a nervous meltdown amongst the appliances." And I've been busy recording some new songs and putting them up in the digital world; most of these have 'b-sides' from days gone by, as I've opened up the 4 track tape cupboard and am going through all the old recordings. Peter Velzen and I have also been looking at the Plunderers stuff an dare preparing a lot of that for release. Stay tuned! - Nic
NEW RAMALAMAS! THE RAMALAMAS Liquorice LP hac202
Stepping out of the laboratory having taken a handful of Elvis' mum's diet pills, the Ramas have dived deep into the sound of trash, surf, garage, b-movie, rockabilly madness,
taking a distinct step left from their early country leanings. Bandcamp * iTunes
THE LIKES OF YOU Superstar Housewifehac207
New single from Paul Scott's The Likes Of You. The Likes of You are a Sydney based musical collective based around singer/songwriter Paul Scott, ex Montana, Mr Blonde, Pop Mechanix and John Kennedy's 68 Comeback Special. Tracks from The Likes of You 2017 release For they are sailors just like you and seasick just the same received airplay on Brisbane's 4ZZZ, PBS in Melbourne and RTR Perth. The song Unpopular Music, was included on the compilation album Record Man which went top five in the Netherlands. The Likes of You play irregularly around Sydney. Bandcamp * iTunes
SNEEZE Shhh! Sex Gang...hac200 Bandcamp * iTunes
A collection of Sneeze tracks from singles, compilations, unreleased songs and side four of the Lost The Spirit To Rock & Roll double album.
NIC DALTON Looking For Lawrence / Better 'n Youhac208
Have you seen Lawrence? Backed with a version of a Blake Babies song (aka "Rain") from 1999 with features the late Peter Anson (The Missing Links/The Id) on lead guitar. Bandcamp * iTunes
NIC DALTON Babe Rainbow: the Godstar four trackshac206 Bandcamp * iTunes
A collection of four track recordings originally released under the Godstar moniker. More new Nic Dalton releases here
NIC DALTON The Teapot Refuses / With Tomorrowhac205 Bandcamp * iTunes
A song where the teapot refuses to pour until the couple start communicating. Described by The Likes Of You's Paul Scott as "Anthropomorphic pop whimsy - tealightful." More new Nic Dalton releases here
NIC DALTON The Scary Lane/I’m Like A Birdhac201 Bandcamp * iTunes
Whilst waiting to finish the next Gloomchasers album, Nic is releasing a bunch of digital singles. Here's the first one - a spooky song about a crazy night in Glebe - backed with a version of Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like Bird". Plus a little ditty called "You're Freaking Me Out". More new Nic Dalton releases here
NEO-MAGICS Come Back Againvia569 Bandcamp * iTunes
In November 1985, a band called Neo-Magics played at a party in Dryandra Street, O'Connor. They played a bunch of Velvets and Beatles covers. In 2018, have reformed! The first releases are versions of Portugal. The Man's "Feel It Still", Daddy Cool's "Come Back Again" and, for historical purposes, a version of the Velvet Underground's "Sister Ray", recorded at that crazy night in Dryandra Street. More Neo-Magics releases here
BASTED The Sonic Expedition via560 iTunes * Bandcamp
New album 2018. Mikl G: dilemmas, instruments, emotion, lyrics, vocals, production. MCD: hypothesis, insights, guitars, predictions. Produced by Basted
PLUNDERERS Sarah's Not Falling In Love EP (1986)cit201 Bandcamp * iTunes
More new Plunderers digital releases
A list of ALL the HAC releases HALF A COW CATALOGUE From the first Craven Fops 10" to the latest download, here they all are!
FREE COMPILATION! In 2015, Half A Cow turned twenty-five and we celebrated with a couple of shows in Sydney (apologies everywhere else!) and a giveaway cd with an overview of
twenty-four of the label's (mainly early) releases. It disappeared pretty quickly. Another pressing has just been made and it can be yours too!
All you have to to is buy something on the Half A Cow label, either through the Big Cartel shopping page or our Discogs list and your HAC
compilation will be sent with your order. If you buy a Bandcamp download, you'll be sent a code to download the compilation.
All the Half A Cow cds, vinyl and tee shirts can be found at Egg Records ph: 02-9550 6056
Matthew J. Tow Shadow's Reign LP
Fans of gorgeous lush pop will enjoy the master crafting he is provided on this new one which features long time associate Chris Cobb on the drums, bass players
Nic Dalton and Patrick Matthews and members of Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Richmond Sluts. Nine majestic songs produced
by Matthew J Tow. On Xemu Records.
FORTY YEARS OF RECORDS
Forty Years Of Records Forty years ago today I started buying records. I kept a small notebook which I would write down the name of the
record and the date I bought it. I thought it might be a good idea - all these years later - to go over to the shelf,
see if the records written down are still there and, if so, maybe play them and see what happens next...