CD Review: Green Day

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 20.12.12 | Issue # 319




20 December, 2012

Pressing play on the second instalment of Green Day’s ¡Uno!¡Dos!¡Tre! trilogy, I had to check that I hadn’t accidently put in the wrong CD. Welcomed by a country-tinged acoustic guitar and softly sung vocal, things weren’t off to great a start.

It’s only at track three, Stop When The Red Lights Flash, that we are greeted with a catchy chorus that draws attention. And finally, in track four, Lazy Bones¡Dos! delivers something in the same vein as ¡Uno! – an album that has a surprising amount of kick throughout. They keep the ball rolling with Wild One, but unfortunately at track six, Makeout Party (the title’s bad enough), things begin to take a turn for the worse. Cheap rock’n’roll knock-offs and cliché lyrics come flying out of the speakers in every direction and create songs that seem like they were rushed. With the release of three full-lengths in one year, it’s not surprising that a lot of the tunes don’t have much heart behind them.

The only songs that redeem the second half of the album are Stray Heart and Baby Eyes – two tunes that do a pretty good job of capturing the essence of what Green Day used to be all about. It’s simple songs like these that Green Day do best; four chords, lazy drums and simple-but-catchy melodies.

The release of ¡Uno! offered a hint of hope to fans, but it seems one album was as far as they could sustain it. It looks like they are going for quantity over quality.

Daniel Cribb¡dos!-daniel-cribb/

Interview: The Cuban Brothers

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 20.12.12 | Issue # 319


With his two young daughters grappling for attention, comedian/actor/musician Mike Keat bounces back and forth between his role as Miguel Mantovani of The Cuban Brothers and a suburban father. Daniel Cribb joins the fight for his attention.

“You want Yo Gabba Gabba!? I’ll come put it on for you in two minutes,” Mike Keat, one third and leader of The Cuban Brothers, responds to a faint voice in the background. After returning home to Scotland from tour with “eyes bleeding seven different flavours of vodka”, he’s been left to look after his daughters whilst doing interviews for The Cuban Brothers’ upcoming Australian tour and album release.

With musical guests a common item on Yo Gabba Gabba!, maybe it’s time The Cuban Brothers made an appearance on the show. It seems like the perfect way to bridge the gap between his busy touring schedule and family life. “If we were on Yo Gabba Gabba! it would make my youngest daughter so happy that she’d literally be doing backflips off the couch,” he laughs.

Considering their diverse range of talents, it’s no surprise The Cuban Brothers have dabbled in children’s entertainment in the past, hosting their own annual family friendly festival, Camp Bestival – quite different from playing private functions for the likes of Elton John and Robbie Williams. “The kids just love it, it’s off the scale. I never considered myself wanting to work in that environment at all…Obviously I change the language a little bit.”

Apart from changing the language for a younger audience, The Cuban Brothers put on the same energetic show no matter who’s in front of them. “The same show we’d do for 12 [people] in Fremantle is what we do for Elton John or Robbie, it doesn’t matter who it is we’re playing for, we’re gonna go in and do our thing and try be as entertaining as possible and do a shit hot show.”

Their latest musical endeavor comes in the form of a 16-track album titled Yo Bonita, a record Keat has been working on for the past four years and has wanted to do for a lot longer.

“I wrote all the songs myself really, the other Brothers, Archerio Mantovani and Kengo San, are not really songwriters per se. I bought in Mica Paris, KT Tunstall, Kurtis Blow, Omar, so I’ve got a lot of fantastic guests [singing] on there. It’s been fun making it, but quite arduous, you know. I’ve been recording it sporadically in a couple of different studios. I’m happy with the record, which is the most important thing. I could have put it out a year ago, but there’s a couple of things I wasn’t happy about so I went and re-recorded them.”

When The Cuban Brothers toured Australia with James Brown in 2007 they forged The CBs, a backing band containing some of the best jazz and funk musicians in the world. The CBs resurfaced for Yo Bonita, but unfortunately won’t be touring Australia this time around. “To bring 12 guys to Oz is extraordinarily expensive. I might manage it next year. I think to tour the album properly I’ll need to bring the band, or at least the rhythm section and horns.”

Singles The Finding and Mike 4 President are proof The CBs take The Cuban Brothers to the next level. Released to raving reviews, it looks like the rest of the album will be welcomed in a similar fashion. “[Those songs] are a good representation of the album, but at the same time I’m not spittin’ on every track, I’m singing mostly. There are only a couple of songs that I’m MCing on. It’s a bit of everything that I dig,” he explains. “There’s a wee bit of salsa, Latin, reggae, a bit of disco – I wanted to create something that was different but had that instant vintage [feel].

“[Yo Bonita] is organic; it’s 10 musicians. Mike 4 President is the only track that’s got a sampler in it, and the rest of it, everything’s being played. I wanted to make an organic record, you know.”

Show Review: Missy Higgins, Kate Miller-Heidke 08.12.12

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 13.12.12 | Issue # 318



8 December, 2012

A glance at the line-up for Missy Higgins’ Razzle Dazzle Summer Tour, and it was instantly clear why she packed out one of WA’s biggest venues two nights in a row. Taking opening proceedings, Oh Mercy’s Alexander Gow welcomed an early crowd with a charismatic solo performance that allowed his lyrics to breathe new life.

Returning to Australia from a US tour with Ben Folds Five, Kate Miller-Heidke and her backing band were in fine form and knew exactly what moves would get the sea of seated punters on their side and ready for the headline act. Guitarist Keir Nuttall wasn’t as lively as usual, but what he lacked in enthusiasm, he made up for with guitar work. Although Miller-Heidke’s music and stage presence was quirkier than Higgins’, their styles complimented each other nicely, and if catchy melodies didn’t win her new fans, the occasional operatic moments would have definitely caught the attention of some.

A warm bed of synths took control of the crowd, who, one by one, rose to their feet and drifted towards the beaming stage lights. An unmistakable silhouette burst through the rays of light and into the foreground of the stage. Missy Higgins received a deafening welcome, and she responded to the roar with upbeat, feel-good single Hidden Ones. From there she rattled offHello Hello and Set Me On Fire – all tunes from The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle, her latest and third album.

She performed her triple j Like A Version of Gotye’s Hearts A Mess, before walking off stage for a few minutes to let guitarist Butterfly Boucher, who co-wrote a few songs on The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle and co-produced the record, play her own song, Warning Bell. You can tell crowd favourites these days not by the amount of people singing along, but by how many people are holding up their phones. No surprise then, when Scar saw the majority of the crowd raise their arms into the air and press record. With an hour and a half to kill and three albums under her name, fans got to hear a few tunes that don’t normally make the cut. Not partial to encores, she bided farewell with Steer, the most recent single of her new album, and disappeared into the cool night’s breeze. No doubt, many avid fans would have returned the following night for a second installment.

Written by Daniel Cribb

Top 10 Albums For 2012

I was on holiday and missed the annual Street Press Australia Writers’ Poll, so here’s my top 10 albums for 2012:


01. Local Resident Failure – A Breath Of Stale Air

02. Matt Skiba & The Sekrets – Babylon

03. Teenage Bottlerocket – Freak Out!

04. The Menzingers – On The Impossible Past

05. Anti-Flag – The General Strike

06. NOFX – Self Entitled

07. The Used – Vulnerable

08. Pennywise – All Or Nothing

09. The Smith Street Band – Sunshine & Technology

10. Kate Miller-Heidke – Nightflight