Show Review: Paramore 16.01.13

Published in The Music (WA) | 22.01.14 | Issue # 22

Pic by Jarrad Seng

Pic by Jarrad Seng

PARAMORE, YOU ME AT SIX, TWENTY ONE PILOTS

Perth Arena

16 Jan

For the last show of their first Australian tour, two-piece key and drum outfit Twenty One Pilots introduced themselves with a confusing mash of sampled drums, rap, ballads and acrobatics. If you allow yourself to forget about the standard conventions of music, Twenty One Pilots may just teach you a thing or two.

Deafening screams from the audience, synchronised jumping, pitch-perfect vocals, a clean yet careless aesthetic, fake mid-song chuckles, You Me At Six were the definition of pop punk – the kind where the lyrical content disagrees with the tone of the music. Uplifting melodies and music supporting lyrics about losing the girl or not quite getting the girl or missing a girl. Deciphering the emotion of the audience was a little easier, though, as no fan was left unpleased.

A curtain onstage fell to reveal a uniquely chaotic light show, before Paramore’s Grow Up kicked in. Backed by drummer Aaron Gillespie (Underoath, The Almost) trying to give himself a concussion and destroy his kit, three guitarists and gritty bass, vocalist Hayley Williams did her best to put the punk in pop punk with a voice and stage presence that didn’t falter once. If anyone can justify a wireless microphone, it’s Williams. Blood hurdling screams of “I love you, Hayley!!” bled into her microphone, as crowd favourite That’s What You Get incited a sea of jumping.

When It Rains saw Williams sit down in front of a keyboard, but her playing wasn’t as impressive as her vocals and seemed a gimmick more than anything – especially considering. The intimate set break wasn’t as impressive as the one on their last Australian headline tour where they had a couch lugged into the middle of the stage, but it broke things up nicely and allowed Williams to express her gratitude to Australian fans for helping their latest self titled record go Gold and its lead single, Still Into You, go double platinum.
With brief ukulele interludes every six or so songs and a church choir joining on stage for Ain’t It Fun, there was little room for the band to take a second to breathe – even guitarist Taylor York who was hopping between his guitar pedals and nearby drum kit with a sprained ankle.

A bra made its way onto the stage and Williams draped it over her head before saying, “How do I looks?” she laughed. “This is way to big for me.” When it looked like they were almost done, a fan that had been following the band around on tour was pulled onto stage to run around and sing.

A disappointing turnout, although perhaps only by contrast to the size of the venue, Paramore weren’t focusing on the empty seats, rather the voices of fans washing over them. An hour and a half from one of pop punks best, rounded out with Still Into You, featuring balloons falling from the sky and confetti being sprayed everywhere, and it was clear Perth was still into Paramore.

Daniel Cribb

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CD Review: The Lawrence Arms

Published in The Music (WA, NSW, VIC, QLD) | 22.01.14 | Issue # 22

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THE LAWRENCE ARMS

METROPOLE

16 January, 2014

There’s been a void in the punk scene with The Lawrence Arms remaining relatively quiet over the past eight years. We’ve only seen one EP – ‘09’s Buttsweat And Tears – so Metropole, their Epitaph debut, is a sound for sore ears. Remarkably, the Chicago-based three-piece have managed to return with a release that kicks off right where ‘06’s Oh! Calcutta! left things. That’s not to say Metropole doesn’t bring anything new or interesting to the table.

There seems to be a more natural flow between the instrumentation of co-lead vocalists Brendan Kelly (bass) and Chris McCaughan (guitar), which may be attributed to their separation over recent years. Where in the past Kelly’s unmistakable vocals were fuelled by a gritty aggression, Metropole sees him take a step back to deliver in a more husky tone. A reduction in angst isn’t all bad, though, as with this new level of control comes more emotion, as evident in Seventeener (17th And 37th). McCaughan’s songwriting, lyrics, vocals and guitar work remain relatively the same, which will be relieving for those who enjoy the consistency of his previous works.

This record could use a few more numbers such as the short, sweet and blunt Drunk Tweets, but other than that it’s a healthy blend of Kelly and McCaughan. It’s clear their goal isn’t to try and invite new fans; rather reunite with old ones. Metropole sounds like a reunion between three close friends who want nothing more than to share what they’ve learnt over the past eight years. And this reunion isn’t going to disappoint anyone.

Daniel Cribb

http://themusic.com.au/reviews/album/2014/01/16/the-lawrence-arms-metropole-daniel-cribb/

CD Review: Henry Phillips

Published in The Music (WA) | 22.01.14 | Issue # 22

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HENRY PHILLIPS

LET’S GET SUICIDAL

Listening to this CD without the context from which it originates would be one of the most puzzling experiences someone could encounter. Let’s Get Suicidal is 14 songs taken from episodes of comedian Henry Phillips aka Jose Suicidio’s satire cooking YouTube webisodes, Henry’s Kitchen, and aren’t really meant to make a lot of sense. At first the tunes come off as completely random with lyrics about getting mauled by bears and busted for drugs, but after further inspection it’s clear Phillips’ brand of humour is aimed at a very niche market that can appreciate awkward, sardonic comedy.

Daniel Cribb

http://themusic.com.au/reviews/album/2014/01/09/henry-phillips-jose-suicido-lets-get-suicidal/

INTERVIEW: Henry Phillips

Published in The Music (WA) | 08.01.14 | Issue # 20

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DEAD SERIOUS

LA-based musician/comedian Henry Phillips is funny enough and has the right connections to make it big. Instead, he’s staying true to himself. With the release of his new record, Let’s Get Suicidal, he tellsDaniel Cribb why it’s worth it and what’s wrong with the entertainment industry today.

In 1997, LA-based comedian Henry Phillips released his first record, On The Shoulders Of Freaks, and much to his surprise, an Australian fan sent him a tape of their radio show in which they discussed the album. “They were talking about my first CD, and the way they were talking about it, it just seemed like they really got it,” Phillips begins. “Sometimes I feel like my humour’s not for everybody, so I like it when somebody enjoys it.”

As far as comedy goes, Phillips dabbles in an unusual realm; it’s not in-your-face humour with an overly pronounced punchline – you need patience and a certain sensibility to really understand and enjoy his blend of sardonic folk comedy. Since his debut record he’s released three more albums, written, produced and starred in award-winning semi-biographical film Punching The Clown, made appearances on Comedy Central Presents and Jimmy Kimmel, worked on numerous web series and is constantly touring the US and collaborating on various other projects.

If none of the above works sound familiar, you may have heard a musical number he recently worked on. “I’m friends with some of the funniest people in the world. My favourite guy, and he’s a good friend who is apparently really famous there, is Arj Barker. He’s always been one of my favourites. In fact, he was doing an opening number for one of his shows and I recorded the music for him and we wrote the song together. It was an opening and closing number called Go Time. He basically sang it into my phone and then I just did all the music for it then I recorded it for him so he could take it down there.”

His self-produced web series, Henry’s Kitchen, in which he tries and fails to show viewers how to cook various foods, encapsulates the sad, lonely and self-deprecating humour that the comic has become known for. “I think we all experience varying levels of emotions and that one to me is just very funny – the sad, sad guy. It’s certainly not the way I am in real life, but we all get that way.”

The soundtrack for the series has been released as a record, Let’s Get Suicidal, under Phillips’ alter-ego, Jose Suicido. Fourteen tunes that confuse the listener into laugher and feature a string section backing up lyrics such as, “Guacamole me, guacamole you/I just got busted for drugs”. It’s an odd contrast with the videos, and it’s only after four straight-up comedy records that Phillips feels comfortable releasing something so obscure.

“It was a problem in the beginning and I fought it for a long time,” Phillips says on trying to get people to understand his humour. “But recently I decided I was just going to go with it, because at some point you have to. When I started my act was extremely subtle, and I would do a thing where I would pretend like I was a real singer-songwriter failing and it would create such an uncomfortable feeling in the audience for the first minute that it was almost impossible for me to dig out of it and start making everybody laugh.

“With this new CD, I want to go back to that more subtle approach, because this new CD, there’s no jokes on it, it’s just the album itself is a joke,” he laughs. “It’s just 14 of the most over-the-top, depressing songs I could think of… it’s a little bit closer to what I actually wanted to be doing this whole time.”

In between tours and writing music, Phillips has been working on a follow-up to the hit film Punching The Clown. With a script ready, it’s just a matter of funding the project. Phillips certainly won’t be signing away his creative freedom for funding, though.

“It used to be that you wanted to make a movie that was good – that’s the only thing people thought about, now there’s so many other things people think about before they think about whether it’s good: ‘Is this marketable? Are young people going to like it? Is it going to be offensive to anybody?’.

“Nobody is ever saying, ‘Is this going to be a good movie?’, and you see a lot of movies these days that look like they were made by a computer… we gave the script to the first movie to a few people to have them read and they would come back and say, ‘I don’t like it’, and we were like, ‘Oh, you don’t? Well that’s okay because we’re going to make it anyway’.”

Daniel Cribb

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2014/01/08/henry-phillips/22811/