retreads retreadsfront

We haven't even listened to it yet, but we just want to give The Retreads full marks for their beautiful artwork. Not only is it a lovely (lino?) cut by G. Wedd (?), but it's printed in glossy red on thick, creamy paper. It's the sort of package you want to OWN! As long as humans have fingers that like to stroke and paw, the ephemeral e-revolution can only go so far! Noses, too - ah, the smell of new vinyl.

OCTOBER 2001 Demo Of The Weeks -
Halfway, Earth To Nigel, Closure, A Cat Called Monty

Our Demo Of The Week for 29th of October, 2001 is...
A Cat Called Monty

A Cat Called Monty is a three-piece (fellas) who have been together for four years, maybe more, and have self-released a few cds. They have a distinctly English sound, sort of a 21st century Mersey Beat, unless I am just lamely influenced by having read in their bio that they are now based in London.
accmonty

'Auto Pilot' is three songs, linked by very assured production, a strong sense of melody, and smooth, perfect-pitched vocals with the range to make the melodies possible. But having listened to the cd several times, we now think that the three songs are all actually quite different in style, and wonder whether one song represents the band's present direction more than another...Anyway, the first, fairly upbeat track we found a bit conventional, though very polished. The second track, 'About My Girl', has a truly classic, almost bubblegummy sunniness to it - sometimes you have a feeling that all the simple, happy love songs were all written by 1970, but then you come across a song like this. Track 3 was our favourite. Musically, it is the most inventive - the distorted drums in the middle eight, the crazy strings, the dreamy (good dream or bad dream, we're not quite sure, maybe a combo) atmosphere and structure of the lyrics, too. It is possibly more explorative and personal (i.e. introspective?) than the other tracks. I guess we sort of hope that track 3 represents the band's future direction. -LL

email: davjen67@hotmail.com
website: A Cat Called Monty

Our Demo Of The Week for 23rd of October, 2001 is...
Closure

Closure is a three-piece (aged beween 19 and 22) now partially located in Coorparoo, QLD. Closure has done a risky, bold thing, putting together a demo cd of the first, very intriguing minute of ten of their songs. A deep, dark mixture of pretty piano riffs, soft, introspective, melancholy male vocals, bongos, piano strings, guitars, understated drum machine and...other stuff.
closure

Hearing this among a pile of demos, from the first few seconds, it got us excited because it sounds so different to anything else. And then it gets better because it's not just someone mucking around with some interesting sounds, but it's a band who uses their sounds for a purpose - to express things! We have the wonderful impression that we are inside the band's head - that rich, solitary experience. It has a certain primitive sound, as if they have found themselves washed up on a desert island with a slightly sea-damaged piano, and decided that they may as well have a go at it...that self-taught quality that is intense, awkward and lovely all at the same time. The exerpts definitely have the desired effect - we wanner hear the whole song! Would we be disappointed, would it turn out to be a shapeless six-minute ramble? (Rambles can be cool!) Finally, they have included songs from '98 - '01, and this paid off, too, because we reckon their best stuff is what they're doing now. (By the way, they sent us a mini-cd - see picture - which we haven't been able to listen to.) -LL

email: blackeye@bigpond.net.au

Our Demo Of The Week for 15th of October, 2001 is...
Earth To Nigel
: Run And Jump
An energetic punk/pop four-piece, including 3 brothers aged between 19 and 23, from Berrigan NSW, then Melbourne, and now Sydney. They've had a couple of releases, including an album "So You Wanna Be A Spy" (on their own label, Dental Records, and a label from USA) so we're not sure that 'Run And Jump' strictly qualifies as a 'demo' (we thinks it's an advance copy of their second album), but anyway...
earthtonigel

I like it! I've heard their stuff over the years and they have really got better! - the songs are definitely more melodic and the vocals have a tough twang to them. The production is great - clear, punchy. Kids'd be into it! I lose interest a bit in the songs where the fuzzy guitar takes over, but that's just my personal taste - I guess I've had enough fuzzy guitar to last a lifetime. I like the acoustic stuff happening, e.g. track 20, which has a classic Flying Nun sound. If Half A Cow were bigger and more city-based, we'd look seriously at signing Earth To Nigel.

from Earth To Nigel 9/12/01:
EARTH TO NIGEL's 2nd album RUN AND JUMP is finally finished and ready for purchase!!!
So how can you get yourself a copy of this 22-track album (complete with 12 page full colour booklet!) for just $15??? Just like this...go to earthtonigel.cjb.net to buy it on-line using a money order/cheque. Go to traffic-sounds.com.au to buy it on-line using your credit card. (we will send the goods immediately!!!) RUN AND JUMP will be available in a few SYDNEY city record stores very soon, and is already available in PENRITH at these shops: Leading Edge Music (Plaza), Beatdisc (High St.)

email: earthtonigel@hotmail.com
website: Earth To Nigel

Our Demo Of The Week for 7th of October, 2001 is...
Halfway

Halfway has a proudly country sound, full of harmonicae, wistful vocals, pickin', lap steel etc, against a backbone of rock 'n' roll.


halfway

Right away, it is obvious that you understand the importance of 'a good song'. We love harmonies, especially boy/girl; it adds a sort of tension, making the listener wonder, "What's the relationship between these voices? Is he singing about her?" Now, as huge fans of country music, we want to put something in your pipe for you to smoke - why is it hard for country music not to sound American? Maybe this is not a concern for you - music, the international language - and maybe we're just getting on our Kasey Chambers soapbox (talented, yes! but her American accent/leanings are so overpowering)...is it possible to invent a exclusively Australian-sounding country music? Or does that just become John Williamson? Moving along, back to your cd. It's very strong; the variety of instruments is great, the different singers, each song having its distinct tone, while maintaining an overall-consistent style - nothing monochrome about it. Being a girl (there, I admit it), I want to hear more girl vocals...We hope that you have sent it out to all the labels, including the majors, and get a response from someone with more dough than Half A Cow! We think that things will go well for you. (A final suggestion, it is good to label everything with a contact address!) -SH

Halfway are from Brisbane, we think, but little more is known about them - Nic was handed the cd at Ric's bar, and we have no contact info for them!