APRIL-MAY 2003 Demo Of The Week
The Rawhypnols, Wayfaring Strangers, Lizz-aard, Highway, Swayback

Our Demo Of The Week for 19th May, 2003 is:

This was the pick of the bunch from the five demos we put in the cd player (should be six but the last one adds a woosh!woosh! when the cd is playing) on this day, the first really cold morning of winter. Swayback is the first solo project from Adelaide's Brenton Master (hey, he should be using this name - sounds like a cooler band name than Swayback). This four track cd could be described as home recordings in the 'experimental pop' genre and Brenton has a laidback voice over quite memorable songs with the trusty drum machine kicking things along. There's some sweet piano in there too. And that unmistakable sound of a guitar plugged direct into a four track with the fuzz pedal on. swayback

From the bio: Brenton served his time in the local Adelaide music scene playing guitar and singing in two of Adelaide's most polished live acts. The first of these - B.N.I (Batteries Not Included) released two independent cds. The second act was Fuge who released one independent cd (note to a lot of bands and labels: it's not spelt independant with an 'a'). His aims are to release a 13 track cd and form a live act ("Hello Sydney! We are The Brenton Master!") and collaborating with other live acts such as Cooperblack and DJ Trip.

contact: Brenton 08-8367 9063 or Jeremy Conlon (NSStudio) 0421 836 876

Our Demo Of The Week for 12th May, 2003 is:
I'm Getting Paid To Drink All Day highway
"Twenty years later and he still hasn't overdosed on it" - Sophie, marvelling at Nic's appetite for lo-fi boy/girl music. The Half A Cow label instantly liked Highway, even though on first listen it could be just another guitar band. So what was the attraction? The lead vocalist (not sure if it's Josh or Nick) has a casual and conversational attitude, with drummer Kalita's appealing harmonies adding lots of colour. The songs and arrangements are good too (especially after a few listens) and HAC has always been a sucker for female drummers and breezy 'n' fuzzy pop tunes. lizzaard
There's a real Flying Nun feel to most of the five tracks on Highway's debut cd, recorded over a year ago in April 2002 in Melbourne. The only criticism would be, as much as we personally like the lo-fi production values, major labels would probably treat these recordings as demos; though HAC over the years, has not hesitated to put our recordings like these. Sometimes these early sessions have a freshness and quality that is hard to recapture. But as this cd is over a year old, we're sure that this band has improved tenfold and are definitely a band to watch. Go Highway!

contact: joshjennings2002@yahoo.com.au

Our Demo Of The Week for 5th May, 2003 is:
Live At Kiamba Weed Garden
Okay, this demo was sent to us in May 2002 so give us a pat on the back for taking over ONE YEAR to listen to it. Sorry Lizz-aard! But all those who have sent us demos recently would have a smug feeling that we have replied to most, if not all, of 'em. We've listened to over 40 demos in the past week, so we don't feel as guilty as we could have. Okay, onto Lizz-aard. Intriguing name with the ZZs and two As (notice there's a little arty 'a' sitting on the shoulder of the big A). The first song 'Revved 2' is an instrumental that starts with the drums, then some guitar-noise-noodles followed by a few power chords and then...and then a GREAT RIFF comes in that has a really cool guitar sound. Goes a bit chaotic in places then heads back to...THE RIFF. What a chugging riff. Think I'll head down the pub with it. My new best mate. "Perplexing" said one HAC staff member. Hearing an instrumental it's easy to like it (also 'cause of its unfulfilled potential) but the true test is when you hear the vocals - will you like them or not (depending on your taste and what mood you're in)? Thankfully, in 'Know What's Going On', the vocals were raw and gritty and not pretentious. The drumming is quite unconventional and spars with guitar across both speakers. Can't quite pick a bass out in this lot (one look at the cover will tell me they're a two piece).
For such a potentially flat recording scenario (just guitar and drums recorded probably quite cheaply) it's got a lot of energy - probably due to the spontaneity, attitude and obvious talent of guitarist Mark Wallis and drummer Ian Jeisman. Hey, THE RIFF returns again in 'Revved' (this time it's a nine minute version!). Their band motto says it all: "Strike forward, strike free". If they wanted to, they could get another two band members, put a bit of focus into their stuff and give all the 'new rock' bands a real run for their moola. It may be rough, raw and meandering all over the place in parts but at least it's REAL. Maybe they'll be Australia's answer to The Wipers. Now there was a great band. - ND

contact: johnnycockatoo100@hotmail.com

Our Demo Of The Week for 28th April, 2003:
Wayfaring Strangers: In The Valley

Wayfaring Strangers, led by Dom Bourke and Anto Mack, are from Melbourne and have been playing since 1997. Not exactly a demo, this is a full album (13 tracks) that has either been released already or is awaiting release. Recorded in 2002 with Jeremy Smith (known for his work with Augie March), In The Valley is jugband music for the inner city or, as described by the Melbourne press, "plantation-blues-punk". With the first track 'Helpline' we'll go for "Banjo-Pop". This song has had us singing the 'do-do-do-do's around the HAC office for quite a few days now and it's a fantastic opener to In The Valley with the banjo leading the charge and what sounds like a girls choir (no offence to the fellas involved!) backing vocal section throughout.
Loose, slightly distorted guitar kicks of 'Swamp Boogie' which features appropriate long-distance vocals followed by a very, very low vocal part. Most enjoyable. Very unique sound the Wayfaring Strangers have - complete with sax, trumpet, trombone, dobro, footstomps, keyboards and lots of percussion. There's some very sweet ballads (on one there's an American accent - I thought these guys were from Melbourne!) and the album finishes off how it began, with that lovely choir featured again. Special guests include Stu Thomas (Brass Bed, Surrealists), Si Frances (Wagons), Ashley Davies and jazz star Adam Simmons. I'm sure they'd be a treat live. We'll be doing some detective work to try and get this album to sell through HAC's 'shopping' page as it's worth spreading the sounds of the Wayfaring Strangers. Or try contacting them direct at their details below. - SH

contact: wayfaringmusic@yahoo.com.au
PO Box 65 Clifton Hill 3068 VIC Australia

Our Demo Of The Week for 21st April, 2003 is:
The Rawhypnols

These guys all the way from Sweden (hey, what is is with HAC and the Swedes lately?) and they mean business and you don't want to fuck with them - that's one reason why we made them Demo Of The Week. Just look at the photo that comes with the bio - tattoos, legs aspreadin', hunkering down on the E string and rockin' out with a stack of Marshalls behind them so big you could move in and have a weekend party in them.
Put the demo in the player and the music that comes blasting out is in total agreement with that photo. 'Here Comes The Drugtrain', 'Blacken Blues', 'L.U.V' and 'Buy Your Own Way Out' are all catchy, tight, loud 'n' boozy, punky rockers that ('cause we're feeling ready to go out and as their bio says "fuck shit up") is the second reason why we made them Demo Of The Week.
The Rawhypnols formed in Sweden in 2002 and are members from other Swedish acts like Freeway Jackals, Leftovers, Nifters and Dear Mutant. This demo is the first recording from the band and was recorded in Norrkoping, Sweden in December 2002. Check 'em out - you'll be crashing into all your furniture before you know it! - ND

contact: rawhypnols@hotmail.com

Previous Demo Of The Week
OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2002 Sarah Sarah, Mirablue, Skeptic, Dog Rocket, The Bigger Lovers, Grise, Treetops
MARCH-APRIL 2002 Genes, Landy, The Sound Platform
JANUARY 2002 Temporal Lobe, Hero Puppy, The Carousel, Randy Lee Majors, Sharmelle Peterson
DECEMBER 2001 Sugarchild, The Rectifiers
NOVEMBER 2001 The Drones, The Savages, Sideshow, Arbuckle
OCTOBER 2001 Halfway, Earth To Nigel, Closure, A Cat Called Monty