FEBRUARY 2004 Demos Of The Week
Chris Eaves, Angel Ice, Nick Ainsworth & The Former Bullies

NOVEMBER 2003 Demo Of The Week
Mr Grass

Our Demo Of The Week for 16th February, 2004:
Nick Ainsworth & The Former Bullies

In between my weekly dose of Tanya Tucker, Mary Kay Place and Rita Coolidge, I was given the task of this week's top demo and it was a big jump from the alternate Trio to Nick Ainsworth & The Former Bullies. But I didn't regret it, no siree at all. We were going to make this Demo Of The Week from the cover artwork alone - no Photoshop heavyweights here - it's handwritten texta! So when we finally put the disc (titled Make Way For Nobody) into the player, expecting some badly recorded bedsit noise and mumbled lyrics, out comes a slightly distorted guitar followed by the assured vocals backed up tightly with the drums. Yes, another two piece, but not blues-based. This track, 'The Streets', has great lyrics about falsely accusing his girlfriend: "I came home to find your face unnaturally red, which meant but one thing, you've been fooling around in my bed, but I told you I was out on the streets so who were you there with", then - the music changes tack, cymbals and chords stabbing in the dark: "now I cry, I was wrong". It took a couple of plays for it to sink in, and when it did, it stayed there. nickainsworth

Not sure where Nick Ainsworth & The Former Bullies are from, possibly England judging from the phone number, but he sings in quite a strong American accent and comes across like the older brother of Chris Eaves (DOTW from two weeks ago), maybe Nick and Chris could join forces, there's quite a similarity. The second track 'Good To Me' is a lot more optimistic than the first, despite the music pretty much continuing in the same vein. Curious lyrics: "Mishaped shapes, mishaped shapes, you look good to go". This has a very catchy chorus. Hey, these guys are really good. The third song is much more intimate, just vocals and guitar with more great lyrics. Definitely a band to watch. - SH
contact: downaboutit@hotmail.com

Our Demo Of The Week for 9th February, 2004:
ANGEL ICE

Hot on the heels of Chris Eaves (who has since informed us that he isn't from England's south but up near Manchester and that he is putting a band together) comes Angel Ice, who are an unsigned band (well, according to their bio from November '03) from the inner city of Sydney. And...they rock! Fronted by singer/guitarist Emmie, with the heavy and tight sounds of Bri on guitar, Yvette on bass and Harry on the drums, Angel Ice have released a demo Milk It that is 100% GREAT STUFF. To be honest, most demos have maybe one good song (the 'single' track) and 'the rest', but here all five songs are well-written and performed and it's not necessarily the first track being the best. Speaking of which, track one 'Milk It' has a drum/guitar intro that is sonically removed from the rest of the track but then reappears in the bridge. It's different and cool. 'You Can't Be Me' launches into one of the many memorable moments here, 'I want you to try-e-i', that will have you singing along after only a couple of listens. The song ends with a relentless riff and a single floor tom. Tasty. Third track 'Status' is very melodic, especially the 'I was wondering if you were wondering too' bit which then launches into a very heavy chorus with some great singing from Emmie. This track is probably the highlight of this EP. The lead guitar break is really good too, a bit restrained and not expected at all, but shows that this band has a few tricks up their collective sleeves. angelice

Bri, the guitarist, recorded these songs and they sound fantastic but imagine how they might have sounded with a huge budget...but they sound pretty awesome as is - just turn that stereo up! One feature of Angel Ice is the two vocals (sometimes call & response, sometimes low and whispery, and inventive backing vocals throughout) which at first I thought was bassist Yvette but have since thought it is the singer doing all of this - either way, it's very good. Emmie has a rock voice that you're either gonna dig, or not like at all, as it can be quite high-pitched (that's not the right description but it's very distinct) but we like it. Give it a go, it'll grow on you! So, come on all you A&R types out there - sign 'em up! You want a rock band who knows how to write a more than decent catchy song and then dress it up in rifferama and have all the kids singing along to a couple of role models with something intelligent to say - then look no further than Angel Ice. - ND
contact: angeliceinfo@yahoo.com.au
Angel Ice website

Demo Of The Week for 2nd February, 2004:
CHRIS EAVES

Yes it's been two months since the last Demo Of The Week but we're all back from the chrissy-new year break (that somehow went all the way through January) and I'll just interrupt Nic who has been stacking the pile of demo cds into a rough interpretation of the Sydney city skyline and remind him that there's some more to pick up from the post office. We're still waiting for our first demo on DVD and are sure that it won't be long now. So, onto Chris Eaves. A great one-man-band from, we think, somewhere in the south of England. Chris plays all the instruments himself including real drums (this cd would not have had the same charm if it was a drum machine - no offence to drum machines, but just wouldn't have suited the songs). All the songs are well written and very memorable. You can hear the passion in Chris' songs and in his voice - singing like his life depended on it. He needed to record this cd or he would have exploded. Chris sounds like some heart-breakin' American outlaw - high and whiney in some, tough and off-the-cuff in others - but what comes across is his belief in his music. chriseaves

From the raucous 'Down The Line' and 'R&R' (the way he launches into the chorus - "Rock and roll, buried in your soul" - you know he means every word of it, he's the real deal) to the tender 'Wilderness' and 'Run For Cover' (dig that harmonica - the new Dylan!), there's a bit of variety here, but it all has a cohesive feel and sounds like a fully-formed album. 'Lost My Soul To Rock And Roll' even namechecks Eugene Kelly. Message to Chris: get a band together and start playing live. These songs are too good to just be heard by friends, family and a strange little label on the other side of the world. - SH
email: chris@nickopendle.fsnet.co.uk

NOVEMBER 2003 Demo Of The Week
Mr Grass

Our Demo Of The Week for 3rd November, 2003:
MR GRASS

Been playing this cd quite a bit over the last few weeks, as it became quite a favourite in the HAC office. Don't know much about this band, as we couldn't find a bio, but they are called Mr Grass and come from Sydney. From the lyrics in the opening song 'You're The One For Me' we'd guess the inner west as it sounds like they sing something about running around naked in Glebe. Mr Grass are a threepiece (Chris Sergent on guitar and vocals, Sam Spanswick on bass and piano, Jimi Swan on drums) and all six songs are catchy, well arranged and full of energy - with the songs featuring extra backing vocals by Krissy Magill having that added spark. mrgrass

Mr Grass definitely sound like a Sydney band and it reminded us a bit of Ratcat with the fuzz turned down a little bit. These songs sound great, especially since they were recorded by bassist Sam at his place. 'Sooper Dooper' is chockablock full of greatness with so much melody it sounds like lunchtime at a pop convention. 'You and Me' has a great rockin' riff and the in-awe-of-the-rockstar story in 'More Like You' is intriguing. The simple red and white artwork is appealing too. -ND
email: mrgrassband@yahoo.com, csarge20@hotmail.com

Previous Demos Of The Week
OCTOBER 2003 Capital City, Erik Damberg, The Vacant Lanes, Winnie, Toby Mendelson, Senani, Wilberforce
JUNE 2003 Wons Phreely, Jerkwater
APRIL-MAY 2003 The Rawhypnols, Wayfaring Strangers, Lizz-aard, Highway, Swayback
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

candylane