JANUARY 2002 Demos Of The Weeks -
Temporal Lobe, Hero Puppy, The Carousel, Randy Lee Majors, Sharmelle Peterson

Our Demo Of The Week for 25th February, 2002 is...drum roll please:
Temporal Lobe

temporallobe Temporal Lobe are four blokes from South Australia, who've been together since 1997, when they released their first ep (they've released another ep and this full-lengther, 'Modern Assembly'). Damien is on vocals, Joel on guitar, Richo on drums and Andrew on bass. They've won a number of awards and comps and received a grant from ARTS SA to record this cd. Self-described 'Stoner Rock' (capitals are theirs!) and Nu Metal.

Chosen for Demo Of The Week by Gynia (from Half-Miler) and Simon (Half-Miler and Sneeze). They chose them because, even though it's not the sort of music they usually listen to, Temporal Lobe are musically confident and "have their sound together". It's a good quality recording, and they manage to capture the big guitar sound that's the crux of this genre. Simon encourages them to keep developing their vocal sound, in search of something completely unique, but Gynia's sure that the vocals are exactly how the band wants them to be. To us, the vocals sound best, more individual, when they're not so forceful. Their songs are well arranged, with "a good sense of dynamics" and the album as a whole has a lot of variety, which suggests to us that TL aren't precious about staying within the boundaries of Nu Metal (we're not a hundred percent sure what those boundaries are, but TL's album didn't assault my ears the way I half-expected it to, and I happily kept it playing as I cooked dinner). One really healthy thing about Australia is that we're accepting of hybrid forms of music...ya know, metal power guitars, didgeridoos, pop song structures and harmonies, jungle drumming. The best and smartest dogs are mongrels, and maybe the same thing goes for music, too.

contact: Temporal Lobe
or fatcitykitty@webzone.net.au

Our Demo Of The Week for 18th February, 2002:
Hero Puppy

heropuppy Hero Puppy are three fellas from Melbourne who have been together since 1999. This is a promo cd of three songs, recorded in 4 days.

Their bio mentions "fuzz-guitar", which made us a bit wary at first, but they turn out to use it very sparingly, which is not the norm with fuzz-lovers. Their music is fair and square in the indie-pop genre, but there are two things that make them stand out: a fantastic voice and very good songs. The voice is gruff and clear at the same time (similar to 16 year-old Alex Chilton when he was in the Boxtops) with a big range, and a distinctive je ne sais quoi - a vocal fingerprint. The songs, while firmly in radio-friendly-land, have unpredictable melodies, lots of build up, good dynamics...We can imagine hearing these songs over and over on radio, in clothes shops, at parties, and not getting sick of them. Sort of like when, as a schoolgirl, I heard Smells Like Teen Spirit in Jewel, Newtown, maybe the most appropriate place to hear it, after all. I'd love to hear Hero Puppy in Bi-Lo, Cowra. -SH

contact: Heropuppy website
and at the mp3 website

Our Demo Of The Week for 18th February, 2002 is...drum roll please:
The Carousel

carousel The Carousel are four fellas from Brisbane - Wayne McFetridge, Matt Clark, Andy Fyffe and Stef Marschner. Theyve been playing together since 1997 and have just released their second ep, Quietly Building An Empire, which, apparently, is a league away from their first.

When we're listening to the cds that we're sent, I suppose what we listen out for is something that sounds different to everything else. So The Carousel's more conventional pop tunes get a bit lost at first, though we're sure they could grow on us. But we're really grabbed by the tracks where they have experimented with the sound, e.g. feedback (used with tact, i.e. where it expresses something), and the production, where they contrast things that usually don't go together, e.g. the tortured guitar and pretty, clunky two-note piano in '19 In Another Day'. Our fave track was 'The Umbra and the Penumbra', which was described (unfairly) in one of their press clippings as "just, well, weird." It's rare to hear a band's more experimental (okay, I guess that's just a fancy word for 'weird') song produced with as much care and seriousness as the more radio-friendly tracks. Often they're dumped at the end of the cd, maybe not even given a track listing. The other good thing about this track is that it has a very pretty song as its basis. It goes for more than ten minutes, with a brief intermission around five minutes, and several costume changes - the piano, the guitar, the humming, the faulty tape echo box. It's the best long song we've heard for ages! Every long song should, like this one, take the listeners on a journey. And we have to mention the artwork, by Inkahoots, which is beautiful (dontcha think?) -LL

contact: thecarousel@excite.com

Our Demo Of The Week for 4th February, 2002 is:
Randy Lee Majors

After more than a year of forcing visitors to listen to him - though we hardly ever get past track 1, 'Big Dick Swinging' - it is time to pay our respects to Randy Lee Majors by making him Demo Of The Week. If we ever had a bio, we have misplaced it, so very little is known about Randy. Which adds to his mystique. Is it even him on the cover? (The 'Randy' necklace might be a ploy!) There's a rumour (thanks WB!) that he is the son of a premier music agent (Bardot, David Campbell, Human Nature)...

It was the cover that first caught our attention. The magnificent figure, the defiantly non-indie-pop hairy chest, the leather pants. We get to see him in a different mood (no sunglasses, a bicep-flattering pose) on the back tray. Then there's the intriguing "Shangri-La Studios" and Carmen Rizzo, who mixed track 1 "in Los Angeles". There's already enough here to start a fan club and we haven't even got to the music yet. Most of the eight songs are early electronic dance music, with basic drum machine, samples from (porno?) movies, rockin'-out Prince-esque guitar, and deep, sexy vocals. There's one song that, by comparison, is acoustic, which sort of wrecks the sleazy, debauched, urban vibe - it makes him seem human for a few minutes.

The lyrics are the real feature. Here's a quote, "Lying on the bed I can see your pussy glisten, and I'll be moving closer with my big dick swinging." Another song tells how he picked up a girl from Chinatown, whom he affectionately calls his "yellow peril". There's one question we're dying to ask him, but maybe it's one of those question where you don't actually want to know the answer - is Randy for real?

contact: caplice@ram.net.au

Our Demo Of The Week (after the Chrissy break) for 23rd January, 2002 is:
Sharmelle Peterson

Sharmelle Peterson is a 21 year-old singer/songwriter from Penrith, NSW.

Sharmelle sent us a cd of four songs - acoustic guitar and one track of her vocals. Lyrically, they are quite conventional love/relationship songs (though track three, Woke Up, is a bit more adventurous, rhyming 'special to me' with 'incredible personality'. We liked the 'cup of tea' bit, too). It's her vocal performance that really makes her stand out - unflaggingly heartfelt and emotive. From her songs (and her bio) we get the sense that she really NEEDS to sing, which is one of the things we look for in a band - why are they doing this? Do they have something to say? Or do they just want to hear themselves on Triple J? She's got a great range, too, which means her melodies can fly around to whichever note is most expressive. We feel she needs to keep exploring exactly what it means to be Sharmelle Peterson...and I'm on the anti-American-accent side of Half A Cow, so I'd like to hear her singing a few of our lovely Aussie vowel sounds, which is probably the opposite of what her singing teachers told her. And generally unpopular, bad advice.

contact: sharmelly20@hotmail.com

Previous Demo Of The Weeks
DECEMBER 2001 Sugarchild, The Rectifiers
NOVEMBER 2001 The Drones, The Savages, Sideshow, Arbuckle
OCTOBER 2001 Halfway, Earth To Nigel, Closure, A Cat Called Monty