Posts Tagged ‘taxi violence


The Tiger Talks Shit With Joe Theron, Singer For Woodstock Mafia

Woodstock-MafiaWe’re trying a new thing on the site today kids, so don’t freak out ok? Today we’re inviting someone who isn’t me onto the site to chat to ya’ll in what us gonzo journalist types like to call “an interview”.

I hope to do a whole bunch of these “interviews” on the site with different people that are rad and who deserve all the love and respect the interwebs can muster.

So here’s an interview I conducted over a month ago with Joe Theron from Woodstock Mafia who is a not only a stand-up guy, but is also a very patient man for waiting this long for your Tiger Pal to actually post this interview.

By way of introduction, this is the first episode of the Tiger talks shit. I’m sitting here today with Joe Theron, frontman and vocalist for Woodstock Mafia. Exciting times for you guys, we have just been talking about the album launch which took place on Friday at Mercury and you were telling me it was an absolutely killer, killer night.

Yeah, it was the most packed that I’ve ever seen the Mercury, everyone was paying attention and everyone was listening to us, they were there for us, it was cool.

That’s quite a rare thing to see, everyone at Mercury listening to the band. The best I’ve ever seen was maybe an 80/20 ratio of people listening vs people talking shit at the bar. What do you guys attribute that attention to – have you noticed a strong following developing for Woodstock Mafia, are there some regulars you’ve noticed at your gigs?

Yeah, there are definitely a couple of regulars we’ve noticed at the shows. I mean, we’ve based ourselves in Cape Town from the start and pushed as hard as we could right from the beginning. It really all started gaining momentum when we sent our first single “Electric Light” to 5FM last April, which is still playing on 5FM. That was really the lift-off for the band. It was an awesome feeling to have your friends call you up and be like, “You guys are playing on 5FM!” I even had buddies from my hometown Mossel Bay call me up and go crazy about it, so that’s when we knew we were starting to take off.



Look, even I’ve heard the track play at least six or seven times on 5FM and I hardly listen to the station at all, so that’s a huge positive for the band. Let’s shift the focus toward you as a vocalist and a performer. What was the first album that you heard when you were a kid or a young teenager that blew your mind and turned you onto music?

As a vocalist I really appreciate the way Brandon Boyd sings from Incubus. The album Morning View was one of my favourite albums of all time back when I was in Standard six. That album blew me away, but I’ve been singing ever since I was seven years old. I started playing guitar because my dad’s also a musician. He taught me how to play guitar and I started singing as well and when I realised, “Ok, I can actually sing” I decided to focus on that.

But going back to Incubus, I just really enjoyed Brandon’s tone when he sings and the melodies he comes up with. He’s a very, very good vocalist and for me that’s key. The vocalist in a band has to be good, because even if the music’s brilliant, if the vocalist is crap then what’s the use of having an awesome band?

Tru dat. So how long did you live in Mossel Bay for?

Well, I actually lived in Oudshoorn first and went to Mossel Bay in highschool. Then after that I went to London for two years on a working holiday type vibe. So I stayed there for two years, did some travelling then came back, started studying and then after that I started a band basically.

What did you study?

Sound Engineering. I’m a qualified sound engineer.

Do you find that being a sound engineer makes you overly critical of your work in studio?

Well, I still listen to the album and think we should have done this or that differently because I’m quite a perfectionist when it comes to recording, but overall I’m really happy with the way the album came out.

The one part of being a sound engineer and being in a band that is difficult though are the working hours. As a sound engineer I’m usually working at nights and on weekends so sometimes I have to cancel gigs and stuff like that, but I enjoy what I do and am getting good at what I do, mixing and recording bands.

Out of interest, which bands are you working with at the moment?

Well I’m not specifically working for any bands but I did sound for Freshly Ground the other day, Toya De Lazy is also in our department, my boss actually does the sound for her, but I help out every once in awhile.

She’s a rare example of an SA artist writing pretty decent pop at the moment and I think there’s a lot to be said for that because call me a cynic but pop for me is too easy.

Yeah, I’m not a pop fan. It’s written for the masses. It’s feel-good music.

But you play guitar as well?




Did you throw a few riffs into the mix while you guys were writing and recording your first album Defiance?

Yeah, there’s a song on the album called “Fade Out Night” which I contributed some guitar parts to.

Hectic, I’d actually made a note to ask you about that song because for me, that song and “Electric Light” are the two best on the album.

Nick, the guitarist, is usually the one who writes the songs, but for that one I’d started writing the verse, then Nick took it from there and fleshed it out into a finished track. But he basically took some of the ideas I had and exploded it into a song.

That’s a great choice of words for describing a guitarist like Nick – “exploded” – because he has this fucking crazy energy when he plays, he’s like a force of nature.

I think he has a very original stage personality, the way he plays live. He really jams it out. He doesn’t like to get distracted, as we noticed the other day cause there were a bunch of people jumping onstage and he wasn’t happy about that.

This is my space! Get the hell outta here!

Yeah, I mean he’s got a lot of pedals to work when he plays, a lot of distortion pedals and stuff so it’s understandable.

Yeah that makes sense. But it’s insane because his energy even on the album is infectious.

He’s very good at what he does.

For sure. I mean for me, Defiance is one of those album that when you get to the end of it you exhale and try to get your shit back together because it’s a pretty wild ride. There are only really two tracks on the album that are acoustic one of which, “Ghost”, which is also the album closer I thought was a an awesome stand-out track.

Yeah, with Ghost we actually recorded that track without click track because we wanted it to have a more natural feel, the others we recorded with a click so they are very, very tight.

For the most part on the album though, you guys throw down some seriously explosive, seriously high-energy rock music. What I like about your style is you guys aren’t big into wanky solos. Instead there seems to be quite an emphasis on awesome build ups and pretty solid bridges as well. Is that also Nick’s influence?

Yeah, it’s mainly Nick’s songwriting, but we all work together to create the product that we want to create. Like if I’m not happy with something or Ryan isn’t happy with something, we say it in the rehearsal room and just change whatever it is that doesn’t work so that the end result is the best it can possibly be. We also try to work on our dynamics quite a lot so that our songs aren’t just on one level.

And it’s also not just one tone that you guys use, I also noticed you guys experiment quite a bit with different guitar sounds and tones on the album.

Yeah we used a couple of amps and different guitars from Marshall Music because it’s exactly that, we didn’t want every song to sound the same. We wanted to create something different, something unique on every song so that every song can stand on its own.



And I know it’s early days, but have you got anything planned for the next album?

Well yeah, it’s awesome to actually think about how we are going to create the next album because it’s never-ending, y’know? Everything is going to be recreated and after Rocking The Daisies we are actually going to start creating the next album.

Do you guys have anything kicking around at the moment in terms of songs or ideas for songs or are you literally going to start fresh with the new album?

Nick has two ideas for songs at the moment but otherwise yeah, we will be pretty much starting from fresh.

Let’s chat a little about Daisies because last year you guys had a slot as well on the Thursday night if I’m not mistaken?

Yeah, we played on the Black Label stage, the Campsite Stage and there were quite a few people there, all the early birds came to the stage and it was quite big, it was quite packed. I think we were the band that started the festival, we kicked things into first gear. It was a good gig, I can remember people going off.

But now, exactly one year later, you guys have arguably a much better slot.

We’re playing at 3.30 on the Saturday afternoon on the main stage so it’s a good slot. People are starting to get amped for the night. It’s quite crazy to think how far we’ve come in a year because as a South African band, you have to start from the bottom up, work your way up and see what happens.

Who are some of the other South African bands that you guys enjoy?

I’ve been playing with a band called Stoker, I used to play drums for them when they started out, that’s a band that I really love. I heard them live recently and they are sounding amazing. The songs are brilliantly written, they have a lot of dynamics, a lot of stop / starts. It’s grungy rock, so I really dig it.

Another band that I really look up to and enjoy their music is Taxi Violence. There’s just a lot of swag, a lot of sass in their music.

There’s also another band, they have more of a funky vibe – New Academics from Joburg. I think they might have broken up now but they had a really cool sound.

It’s pretty tragic isn’t it? I think there are a lot of South African bands that go that route, that have an awesome sound that could even get international recognition but unfortunately end up calling it a day before they can realise their full potential.

It’s mainly a money issue. That’s why we went the whole route of pre-selling the album. We never had enough money to record the album so we started a crowd sourcing campaign and asked people to buy the album and then we got the money from that to start recording it. It was a bold decision, but it worked out for us.

That’s why I had that form I was working with when you arrived earlier, I was marking off the albums that I posted this morning. I’m posting them to people all over the world that helped fund the album. We’re happy to do it and in some cases if the people are in Cape Town we actually go and visit them and drop off the album in person and we listen to the album with them and ask them what they think. It’s just a nice way to repay the people who have been waiting so long for this album.

What is the next big step for Woodstock Mafia?

Yeah, we’ve always set ourselves goals, I mean Ryan (the bassist) is the manager of the band, but we work together with him to set ourselves goals to try and achieve within a certain timeframe so we always have something to work towards. So the next thing, which we discussed the other day, is getting a record deal with Sony or EMI to get the album out there. So that’s the next step, to get the album out there, get it into shops, get it onto iTunes, work on album no. 2 in the meantime and try to get better slots at festivals.



Here’s a crazy one – let’s say we had to go through the band and describe each different band member as an animal, what would they be?

Nick would be a deer. He’s eating grass and he’s chilled, but he’s also fast, he can get away from his prey, he’s adaptable. Ryan the bassist, he’s like a hippo, but hippos are not angry so…

Yeah, but more people are killed by hippos in Africa every year than any other animal.

(Laughs) Yeah, well then he’s DEFINITELY a hippo. Owen is a giraffe because he’s so tall, but also a really intelligent guy, always on the ball, he knows exactly what he’s doing.

Shit, we’re nearly at the end of the interview and I haven’t even asked the obvious question of “How did you guys start out?” so yeah. How did you guys start out?

I was playing guitar and singing backing vocals for another band, I don’t know if you know a singer called Tailor, she recently recorded an album called Dark Horse and I was singing for her onstage and then Ryan came in to play bass, but unfortunately that band broke up and Ryan asked me to do vocals for his new band which didn’t have a name back then.

I went to Nick’s house in Green Point, did an audition and they said, “Cool, let’s start a band. Let’s do it.”

It’s been cool to see the friendships grow in the band since that point. I mean Ryan and Nick were already friends but the rest of the band has bonded a lot more now that we’ve tasted some success. I mean recording this album has been a big thing in all our lives.

Yeah, I mean how many people can you say you’ve shared that experience with?

Exactly. It’s actually unreal how the big dream is to be a successful musician in South Africa, then all of a sudden it happens and you’re like, “Ok cool, what’s the next thing that’s going to happen?” You’re always thinking about what comes after that, you step up the game a little more. That’s how life goes, you just go up and up and up until you can’t, until you explode.

And then you’re Miley Cyrus naked on a wrecking ball. Promise me you’ll never do that.

(Laughs) No I won’t. I’ll never be naked on a wrecking ball, I promise.



Taxi Violence’s New Single Lands, Melts Faces

BrainmashIt’s no secret that I think Taxi Violence is one of SA’s most talented and badass bands currently playing, just read my review of their last album here and my write up of their Synergy 2011 performance here.

There’s just something about this band that connects with my deep, dark, whisky-drinking soul y’know? The desert / southern rock / blues influence definitely has something to do with it, that shit really speaks to me.

So I was pretty stoked to find out that they’re about to drop a new album in July called Soul Shake which you can bet your ass I’ll be reviewing here on the site soon as I can get my filthy mitts on it.

In the meantime though, here’s their first single “Brainmash” which I can almost guarantee you’ll be humming for the rest of today.

My pleasure Winking smile



Pretty flippin’ sick ne?

Fok ja.



Album Review: Beast – Smoke, Swig, Swear

399565_255570204554672_322631886_nThe Down Lizzo:

On a nameless, murky night at Carfax In Joburg I stood utterly transfixed watching Inge Beckmann strut like Marla Singer on acid onstage with the other members of Lark.

It was like she was conjuring the elements, whipping them up into a maelstrom of human limbs thrashing in syncopated unison. It was a wonder to behold.

After she’d finished performing I ran into her in the crowd and drunkenly confessed that she was the sexiest woman I’d ever seen play live. So when I heard she’d formed Beast with the legendary Louis Nel and Rian Zitsmann from Taxi Violence and Sasha Righini from The Plastics, I had to get my hands on their album.



It wasn’t easy. As badass as the name “Beast” is, there are at least another two bands that share the same name (one being a Korean boy band. Siff). All I was able to find was the video for “Fill The Hole” a track in which Beckman’s singing takes on an almost cat-like wail that had me wondering whether she’d taken things a little far with her new band.

Then via a lucky coincidence I tracked Beast down on Twitter and downloaded their full debut Smoke Swig Swear and, one listen in, I was nodding my head, utterly transfixed and grinning from ear to ear.


Sick Tracks:

Jesus, where to begin? The eight tracks on Smoke Swig Swear are packed with a ton of thumping, seething, meaty hooks and “fuck yeah!” moments that tease like a stripper and kick like a mule.

It’s not often I lump this kind of praise on an album, but I’d almost say that every track on Smoke Swig Swear will melt your fucking face off.

First off, this is a band of only bass guitars which Nel and Zitsmann wield like twin sledgehammers, lending the album this deliciously dark tone throughout that crawls under your skin and makes a home for itself.

Add Righini’s dextrous, awe-inspiring work behind the kit you have a band that is basically ALL rhythm section. These guys play so tight you’d need a crowbar to separate their beats and riffs from one another. It’s filthy, mutant blues laced with everything that was cool about rock music in the 90s.



The album opens with “Fill The Hole”, the album’s most abrasive track by far. It’s a baptism by fire, it’s the band dialing shit up to 11, breaking you in hard and fast as Beckmann wails “Draw a hand / Draw the dead / Draw a heart / Draw a head / Lift the hand / Raise the dead / Eat her heart / Roll her head”.

“Airport Deport Abort” is sheer songwriting genius. With a bassline reminiscent of Bjork’s seminal “Army Of Me”, this track lurches with thinly disguised malice – it’s complex, expertly arranged and custom built to prove beyond doubt that this band is not here to fuck around.

“Walls” starts out pensive and quickly builds to a frenzied climax as Beckmann sings “I’m in the well / I’m in the black garden / Rolling down a hill / Pulling gunk out of your mouth again”.



I could go on – I could wax lyrical about the soaring chorous of “The Grape”, the beautiful slow-build of “Man In Between”, the undeniable, bluesy rock ‘n roll badassery of “Smoke Swig Swear”, but this review would run on for days.

And then, after everything that is Smoke Swig Swear, the sheer agony and ecstasy of this undeniably powerful album, the band drops “Hand Of God” that lands with atom-bomb force as Beckmann sings “And all the idols will topple over / And the fair maidens will be reformed / And all the men will know their worth / When the earth implodes”.

Should You Give A Shit?

Fuck me, have you been reading this review?!?!

Get this album. Stab it directly into your heart like an adrenaline-filled syringe and sit tight as shit gets interesting.

Then, when you’re done falling sickly in love with this album, go out and watch them play live. Get the fuck off the 5FM bandwagon and wonder off the beaten path for a change.

Get their album. Unleash the Beast. Thank me later Winking smile

Here’s “The Grape” to give you guys a taste:



Final Verdict: 9/10



Industrialstrengthshit – Another Killer Playlist From Your Tiger Pal

mutagen2It’s been a long-ass time since I last put together an 8Tracks playlist for you crazy kids to listen to and I think it’s high time I did something about that.

Problem is, my last mix (Bong Rippin’ Badassery) was so popular it was certified Gold by the 8Tracks community and has had over 3 500 plays to date, no lies.

It’s great that people liked it so much, but it’s made compiling a follow-up playlist a daunting task. Is Industrialstrengthshit, going to kick as much ass as Bong Rippin’? God only knows. But with bands like Taxi Violence, Fucked Up and Cloud Nothings in there, you’ll at least have something rad to kill the next hour with.


Industrialstrengthshit from SlickTiger on 8tracks Radio.


Have a killer weekend boys and girls.

And never forget, music will save us Winking smile



Rocking The Daisies Must-See Bands (Part 1)

Wstock MafiaFor those of you that didn’t catch my tweet earlier this week, my media accreditation for Rocking The Daisies has been sorted!

Having learned the hard way from Synergy last year, this time around I kept it classy and applied way the hell in advance and having seen the lineup I am beyond fucking excited.

So every Friday leading up to RTD12 I’ll be posting videos and tracks from the bands you HAVE to catch this year come hell or high water.

To keep it simple I’m breaking it down one stage every week, starting with the Thursday night “Campsite Stage” which kicks off at 6pm.

Man-o-man what I wouldn’t give to be able to get through in time to set up and have all my shit together to catch the bands on Thursday night, but at this stage it ain’t lookin likely.

IF I do manage to make it though, it’s probably not going to be before 8pm, which sucks gigantic balls because it means I’ll miss Woodstock Mafia who, in my humble opinion, are probably the best band playing on Thursday night.

Just watch this video. Seriously. It’s fucking awesome.



How fucking intense is that solo?! Christ, gimme a minute while I quickly mop my face back up.

Right after them another sick band will be hitting up the Campsite Stage just after 8pm, The Very Wicked, who have a pretty sick stoner / desert / 70s rock vibe.

Another reason to get your ass to Darling on Thursday.



I actually heard that song earlier this year when the video was first released and had no idea they were South African. Apparently their live debut is going down on 19 Sept (next week Wednesday) at SGT Pepper on Long Street.

Carrying on in the 60s garage rock vibe, another sick band to catch on the Thursday night will be The Future Primitives whose track “Try On Something That’s Really You” is packed to the max with dirty surf rock vibes.



And last but not least, the main act on the Thursday at the Campsite stage will be Goodnight Wembley who are on just after 11pm.

I’ll be honest, the single that’s playing on 5FM at the moment isn’t really blowing my hair back, but I have a feeling these guys have a couple aces up their sleeves because Goodnight Wembley is a supergroup consisting of the guys from Taxi Violence, 7th Son, Dead Lucky and Yes Sir!Mister Machine.



And that, boys and girls, is the down lizzo for Thursday night at RTD12. If I can make it there, you bet your ass I’ll be losing my mind to the bands above.

Have a killer weekend Party People, see y’all at the beach tomorrow Winking smile



The Tiger’s Top 10 Albums of 2011

1247423079-photoI tell ya, I’ve been putting this fucking post off for a good two weeks now while everyone else’s top 50, 20, 10 and 5 lists have been flooding the Twittersphere.

And no, it’s not because I wanted to suss their lists first to make sure mine’s not crap, it’s because there were so many great albums that landed this year I don’t know where the fuck to start.

In the end, I followed the tried and tested method of sorting my iTunes library by year and scrolling down whilst mentally jogging through all the albums I listened to this year, yielding the following scientifically accurate results…


NUMBER 10 – Deerhoof (Deerhoof Vs Evil)


What quickly becomes apparent when listening to Deerhoof’s 11th album is that for all its chaotic bursts of noise and bizarre musical twists and turns, this band has the kind of musical talent that borders on genius.

This album will confuse the shit out of you the first time you hear it. However, Japanese frontlady Satomi Matsuzaki’s bubblegum-pop perfect vocal delivery and guitarist John Dieterich’s ability to write effortlessly catchy guitar riffs will have you coming back for more.

If you like your music irreverent, unpredictable, catchy as hell and severely tripped out you won’t be able to put this album down. Here’s “Secret Mobilisation” to give you a taste:



NUMBER 9 – Foster The People (Torches)


Foster-the-People-TorchesYes, yes, I know. How could anyone who considers himself a serious music critic endorse a band that produces such blatantly unapologetic indie pop?

I’ll admit that Foster The People is definitely a guilty pleasure of mine, but y’know what?

Sometimes I just want to listen to catchy singalong tunes that don’t send me spiralling into a vortex of existential angst and introspection, is that a crime?!

Torches is packed full of great hooks, clap-your-hands-and-dance-around carefree summer melodies and chorouses that bounce inside your head for days.

Here’s the video for “Don’t Stop (Colour On The Walls)” – you HAVE to watch this, it’s brilliant!



NUMBER 8 – Cults


miniContinuing in the indie pop vein (don’t worry, this list grows some big hairy balls later) the Cults’ debut self-titled album also impressed.

This band borrows sounds from traditional 50s teen prom-pop, doo-wop and surf rock, laces them with a heavy dose of reverb and samples of cult leaders speaking to their followers and then wraps it all up in frontlady Madeline Follin’s high-pitched cantopop style vocals.

Which is a very convoluted way of saying this band writes simple melodies, sick hooks and killer songs that are seriously easy to get into and carry just enough weight to not be completely dismissed as indie pop fluff.

Here’s the video for “Abducted”, the opening track on Cults. Oddly enough, it also features a lot of driving. Starting to pick up a trend here…



NUMBER 7 – Taxi Violence (Long Way From Home)


Taxi-Violence-Long-Way-From-HomeThe only SA band to make it on the Tiger’s list! Yeah, I need to sink my teeth into more local music…

Long Way From Home features re-written, acoustic versions of old favourites like “The Mess”, “Devil ‘n Pistol” and “The Turn” which sound like they’ve been taken apart and completely rebuilt from scratch. And of course, Taxi Violence threw in one or two new tracks written specifically for the album.

It’s a refreshing change from your stereotypical acoustic album where most bands just swap electric guitars for acoustic ones and serve up warmed up leftovers thinly disguised as an album actually worth listening to.

Their acoustic rendition of “Heads and Tails” is particularly noteworthy, as is “Long Way From Home” with its upbeat, bluesy / rock flavour played with bright, jangling guitars and tambourines that reminded me of some of the earlier Supergrass albums.

To give you a taste of what I’m banging on about, here’s the SICK video they shot for “Heads Or Tails”, which recently won the Best Video Award at the 2011 Wirral International Film Festival.



NUMBER 6 – Seasick Steve (You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks)


2933150-seasick-steve-you-cant-teach-an-old-dog-new-tricksI met my buddy Seasick Steve when I was down in the dumps earlier this year and we became great buddies.

See, ol’ Seasick knows how bad things can get, before he made it he used to busk in the Paris Metro, only finding fame in his late fifties.

This guy is the real deal, from his frazzled grey soup-catcher to his beaten up John Deere cap and dungarees, he is everything that is badass about old-school blues.

He has a voice like an old grizzly bear and can change it up from the low, lonely, slit-your-wrists ballad I’m about to play you to foot-stompin, redneck country and western tracks that bring words like “yeee-haw!” and “hootenanny!” to mind.

I just think he’s fucking cool. I’ve got a soft spot for old veterans like my pal Seasick. He attributes his recent success to his cheap and weather-beaten guitar “The Trance Wonder” which he bought off a friend of his in Mississippi who later revealed to Seasick that it was haunted.

Check out this video of the ol’ grizzly bear playing “Burnin’ Up” at SXSW earlier this year and dig his outburst at 2:18. What a badass.



NUMBER 5 – Yuck


Yuck1My favourite debut album of the year and irrefutable proof that, like a gigantic, spindly cockroach surviving a nuclear apocalypse, the 90s will never die.

This band packs all the distorted, wailing guitar fury of bands like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr and the playful, foot-tapping basslines of the Pixies topped off with a fuzzy vocal tone Pavement would be proud of.

But that’s not what made this album shine for me.

What made it shine lies in this band’s seemingly effortless ability to write melodies that soar with breath-taking dexterity above the tracks that make up this self-titled debut.

One part fuzzy, wah-pedal driven slacker indie rock and one part slow-burning, melody-driven alt rock worthy of old school Smashing Pumpkins / REM, Yuck carries a powerful emotional gravitas that blazes a trail through lesser bands’ attempts at redefining one of the defining decades in rock music history.

Simply put, this album is everything that was great about 90’s garage / grunge low-fi reimagined in the 21st century.

Here’s “Get Away” so you can hear for yourself what makes this band great:



NUMBER 4 – Arctic Monkeys (Suck It And See)


ArcticMonkeysSuckItAndSee600Gb200411Arctic Monkeys made a name for themselves by perfecting the art of writing gigantic, energetic hooks and hammering them home effortlessly a talent that the band exploited extensively in their first two albums.

Then came Humbug, one of the first albums I ever reviewed on this site and with it, a complete departure from the sound they had carved out for themselves in Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and Favourite Worst Nightmare.

They enlisted Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age to produce Humbug and with his help their sound changed almost completely from infectious indie to dark, moody desert rock in a move that showed there was so much more to this band than any of us could have guessed.

Suck It And See continues in the desert rock vein this band carved out with Homme, but this time around, the band has moulded that sound instead of copy / pasted it and as a result, sound a lot more comfortable than they did on Humbug, as phenomenal as that album was.

Killer tracks like “All My Own Stunts” with its cowboy twang and insidious bassline and “Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair”, the most powerful desert rock anthem on the album, are balanced out by the caustic wit and beautiful melodies of tracks like “Reckless Serenade” and ‘The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala”.

It has a lot of meat to it, plenty to sink your teeth into and it gets better with every listen.

Here’s “Don’t Sit Down Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair”, one of the most tripped out videos I’ve seen this year.



NUMBER 3 – Foo Fighters (Wasting Light)


Foo-FightersThe album that’s been KILLING everyone’s top album lists this year finds a comfortable spot at number three on the Tiger’s list because Dave Grohl is a total fucking badass and Wasting Light has to be one of the best albums the Foos have put out since my personal favourite One By One.

This time around the band threw all the modern new-fandangled methods of recording out the window and went 100% old school.

The band literally set up a studio in Dave Grohl’s garage and did Wasting Light on brown analogue tape that they then cut together by hand using fucking razorblades for god’s sake!

The result is an album of raw, aggressive, skull-fuckingly powerful rock music that pulls no punches and takes no prisoners.

“Bridge Burning” will make you thrash around the room like an idiot savant who just hit a bong and downed a pint of rubbing alcohol, “Rope” has the catchiest, most badass Foos chorous riff since “Low” and “White Limo” is sheer, hedonistic rock music at it’s most awesome.

Just watch this fucking video. It stars Lemmy from Motörhead for god’s sake! How fucking badasss is that?!



NUMBER 2 – The Black Keys (El Camino)


The-Black-Keys-El-CaminoNarrowly missing the top spot on this year’s list are the current reigning champions of the American 70’s blues / rock revivalist movement, The Black Keys with their 7th studio album El Camino.

Unlike it’s predecessor Brothers, El Camino moves at a blistering pace – no slow-burners on this foot-stompingly infectious, monster hook-laden album, no sir. This time around the Keys have dialled things up to a whole other level and the results are nothing short of sublime.

From the rusty guitar riffs and insanely catchy chorous of “Lonely Boy” to the righteous, sleazy grooves of “Sister” and the almost Zepplinesque prog rock ballad that is “Little Black Submarines”, the Keys pull no punches in this noteworthy follow up to Brothers.

And don’t even get me started on “Gold On The Ceiling”, which emerges like a mutated Thin Lizzy track bursting at the seams with hand-clap percussion, skuzzy organs and a pre-chorous that sounds like it was written specifically for strip club scenes in Robert Rodriguez films.

So why not list this as my top album of 2011? As I stated in my original review, El Camino’s only downfall is the fat that, at 38 mins, it’s a little on the lean side in comparison to Brothers, which is basically the only thing I can fault on this album.

There just isn’t enough of it.

Still though, it’s a sick, sick, sick record – here’s “Lonely Boy” to prove that fact.



NUMBER 1 – The Kills (Blood Pressures)


the kills 505diary.blogspot.comAgain, I refer to my original review of this, my favourite fucking album of 2011, because it perfectly captures what I think of this album:

When I stumbled on The Kills latest album Blood Pressures, I got one minute into the first track and started grinning from ear to ear.

Some of this had to do with the dark and dangerous sound of guitarist Jamie Hince’s Hofner played in all it’s bone-rattling glory. This man has perfected a grimey, thick-as-tar tone that had me hooked from the get go.

But what really mind-fucked me was how sinister and cool frontwoman Alison Mosshart’s vocals sounded – like butter wouldn’t melt on her tongue, like she was everything sexy and dangerous in this world, like she could kill you with a look or break you with a smile.

The Kills is her band, her little broody-beautiful world that she shares with guitarist Jamie Hince and there’s something about the fuzz and the mud and the malevolence and the majesty of it all that haunted me and continues to haunt me with every listen.

“You Don’t Own The Road” saunters like a drunk cowboy waving his six shooter with the safety off, “DNA” stalks purposefully through the woods at dusk, picking its way through an undergrowth of drumsticks clattering against drumsticks whilst wading through a quagmire of swampy basslines.

“Baby Says” has the melancholy of a Cowboy Junkies track, a lilting melody to keep you company in the hollow hours before sunrise, a song that echoes back to better times.



But “Future Starts Slow” is still my favourite. Stark, defiant, sexy, it has a drum track that plays like a striptease and one of the simplest, most powerful riffs I’ve heard in a good long while.

I got a dark streak a mile wide that this album really speaks to but that doesn’t mean you’ll love it anywhere near as much as I do.

If nothing else, it’s a great example of how simple, stylised riffs (played with truckloads of badass fuzzy effects) layered with amazingly complex drums and sultry, provocative vocals can seduce you to the point of infatuation.

If you want to know what the music playing in the jungles of my Tiger-mind sounds like, get your hands on this album and if you’re anything like me, pretty soon it’ll be playing through the jungles of your mind too.

Here’s “Satellite” to sink your fangs into.



That about wraps it up for my top 10 albums of 2011, a post that’s been THREE DAYS in the making, can you fucking believe it!?

So yeah, any comments would be appreciated – what albums rocked your guys’ world in 2011?



Synergy 2011 FUll Event Review

Synergy CrowdWhat can I possibly write that could ever do justice to the fucking awesome time I had at Synergy this past weekend?

After building it up in my head to be this epic event that was going to change my life forever, I was pretty sure the actual experience would never live up to that, but after a bit of a rocky start, everything came together in the best possible way and we had a truly epic weekend.

The Good…

I actually started writing a full, blow-by-blow account of the entire weekend, but after I got to 2000 words I realised I need to keep this punchy.

So instead, here are some bullet points on what was awesome about the festival:

  • Boschendal is STUNNING! Surrounded by majestic mountain peaks and flanked on the one side by a river perfect for dipping your toes in or, further down, jumping in for a swim, the whole area is really beautiful and perfect for a festival


  • The organisation is pretty damned sick. At festivals you expect to spend a fair amount of time queuing for food and booze and holding your breath as you walk into porta-loos that look like hell, but Synergy was really well organised that way. Every toilet I went into was actually spotless, even right at the end and the food stalls were plenty and not too expensive either


  • TAXI VIOLENCE! These guys put on the best fucking show I’ve seen them play EVER! It was fucking electrifying, the crowd was loving every second of it and George and the guys were giving it their all. Great job, you blew everyone the fuck away!




  • LMG STAGE – a great place to discover new talent. These are the bands that will one day be tearing it up on the mainstage, no doubt. We caught snatches of bands playing here, but to be honest were too busy missioning around to remember who any of them were. DEFINITELY should have spent more time there, big fail on my part


  • The rides! We never went on them, but DAMN they looked like fun!



  • The river! On Saturday morning we went down to the river and spent a long time sitting or rocks slowly getting drunker, talking shit and splashing around in the river. This is what festivals are about, getting away from it all and doing something as simple as sitting with your feet in a river, not giving a shit about anything


  • The sun cream girls! Spraying everyone that needed sun cream with sun cream. VERY cool idea, a nice touch to make sure people didn’t get fried in their own natural juices



  • Our gazebo. This, more than anything, is a festival essential if you’re going with a big group of people. The gazebo united us. It provided much needed shade when the day started getting baking hot and it was the perfect thing to lie under and drink cold Bloody Marys all afternoon



  • Playing the messiest game of Kings ever! You know it’s a good one when the cards end up all over the camp site once the game has disintegrated into random shouting, laughter and drunken chants of “Down it!” All thanks to the genius “every time someone pulls a black card, everyone drinks” rule. That’s a recipe for awesome right there…


  • THE COMEDY TENT! Who goes to a music festival to listen to comedy, right? What a total waste of time, right? WRONG MUTHUFUKKAHS! On Saturday night we wandered randomly into the comedy tent and caught Dylan Skews’ set (who also happens to be a friend of ours) and basically spent the next hour crying with laughter. I’ve known Dylan for a couple of years through friends of ours, but never heard his stuff – it was the funniest comedy I’ve seen in YEARS. Great job man, J-Rab and I love your work


  • JAX PANIK! Possibly the biggest crowd I saw at the main stage all weekend – not really the kind of music I go for, but they were fucking AMAZING! The crowd went crazy for them and they delivered the goods. Definitely watch out for this band, they put on a great live show, one of those moments that makes you proud to be South African



  • ISOCHRONOUS! Ok, anyone who was at the festival is probably starting to pick up a general trend here – yes, we basically missed all the bands on the opening night except Taxi Violence (a lot of tequila happened. I blame you Ebz, I blame you… Joking! We had a badass time, sorry we missed you the rest of the festival!). But we caught Isochronous, who have a strong Muse-flavour to their material, and are face-meltingly awesome to watch live


  • Morning bacon and egg rolls for R15! That’s all we need to say about that one


  • VIP bracelets – thank you to the festival organisers for hooking J-Rab and I up with these, we put them to good use on Saturday night when, on a random mission to arrange a photo pass, we headed backstage to the production office and ended up…


  • MEETING BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB! Well, actually we didn’t really meet them so much as round a corner and find them sitting literally five feet from us being interviewed by MK89. For this BRMC-obsessed fan, it was fucking surreal to see the band so close, but we were asked to please leave by the band’s manager, not in a shitty way, in fact they even listened to me gush for 15 minutes about how amazing I think they are even though they’ve probably heard it a million times before. It was a perfect moment seeing them so close in this quiet, random corner of the festival and one I won’t soon forget

The Bad…

Of course, it can’t be all sunshine and lollypops, there are a few bad points about the festival that I feel I need to mention, namely:


  • The fact that I had to wait for over 2 HOURS for those aforementioned VIP passes! Thank God I managed to win a ticket to the festival through Bangers & Nash or I never would have gotten inside to find the festival organisers in the first place. It was a kak way to start the festival, but things were chaotic for the organisers so I understand, but still, 2 HOURS waiting alone under the Synergy arch?! That was painful


  • The nights. They were FREEZING cold! Friday especially – you could see your fucking breath it was so bad. J-Rab was practically crying she was so cold. Next year we’re taking backup blankets, that’s for DAMN SURE!



  • The drunken douchebags camping near us. Who, at 6 in the morning, think it’s cool to shout “Show us your pussy!” to the girls walking past their camp site. Don’t be a “show us your pussy” kind of guy, no one likes guys like that, especially not at 6 in the morning


  • The Redbull Stage. Not that the music was bad, the music was pretty sick for the most part, but the people listening to it, phwoar! Ease up on the MDMA guys, you look like a bunch of Gummi Bears bouncing here and there and everywhere, high adventures beyond compare…


  • The trek from the parking to the campsite. I guess this is to be expected at festivals, but you had to lug your shit for a good 20 mins before you hit the campsite and then at least another 10 before you found a spot to camp


  • This is a bit of a sad one, but after all that hype, after building it up for so long, it pains me to say that one of the bad things for the festival for me was Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. We fought our way right up to the stage, about 5 metres from the band and stayed there, basically in the mosh pit for the next hour before finally leaving before the band had even finished playing.


I mean, they NAILED some of the songs – “Conscience Killer” was INTENSE! They banged it out full of sound and fury, “Ain’t No Easy Way” was also fucking brilliant, as was “Six Barrel Shotgun”, but to be perfectly frank, for the most part the band looked a bit bored.

Leah (the drummer) came alive for one song maybe, the rest of the time she stared ahead with the same blank expression on her face, Peter (singer, guitarist) played like a fucking MACHINE, tearing his fretboard to pieces and banging out some seriously badass bluesy rock, but was also expressionless throughout.

Robert (singer, bassist) was the most animated of the three – he has this cool way of playing his base guitar like he’s aiming a rifle and MAN can he play that bass. He also swapped it out for a normal six string a couple of times, he’s a fucking talented musician.



In fact, they all are. You cannot fault them on that point and I will always, always love BRMC, but I just feel like their performance was missing something. I’m stoked I got to see them live and like I said, I loved a lot of songs they played, but they fluffed a few tracks too, which was a bit sad.


The Ugly…

And then there are the moments you kinda wish you hadn’t ever seen, like when…

  • It was 5pm on the OPENING DAY OF THE FESTIVAL, and I watched a girl falling all over the place, drunk as a mineworker and splashing white wine everywhere while her buddy tried to walk her back to her tent


  • One of the drunken douches camping next to us passed out at 6pm on Saturday night with his head out his tent so he could have a nice, hearty chunder while J-Rab and I were eating our sammiches not 10 feet away from him. Yummy.


  • On Saturday night, a guy ran straight into a car. It was actually hilarious. There was one solitary white polo parked off to the side the main stage, you couldn’t miss it, but this genius ran right into it, BANG! Hahahaha!


The Amazing…

I don’t want to end this on a shitty note, so let me sum up by first thanking everyone who made our festival experience possible, Tchavdar and the crew at Synergy Live, New Sound Artist Management and of course Mr Dan Nash.

Our plan came together in the best possible way and we had a fucking amazing time!



Sure, I didn’t catch half the bands I wanted to see, but there will always be time to watch them play in and get the interviews I want to sometime in the future.

The bands were amazing, the organisation was top notch, the good times kept rolling and the shower and nap we had after we got back home yesterday was fucking glorious!

You bet your ass we’ll be at Synergy 2012 and so will you guys because it’s a brilliant festival.

Here’s to an amazing weekend of sick bands, sunshine and good times Winking smile



The Road To Synergy: Part 4 – SUCCESS!


After that mopey “I give up” post I wrote because I’d completely lost hope that I’d ever get tickets to Synergy and get to interview Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (one of my favourite bands of all time), EVERYTHING changed!

Thanks to Mr Dan Nash, the organisers of Synergy, a little badass called Paula K and most importantly, Grant Gelt from New Sound Artist Management I now not only have two tickets to the festival, but a photo pass so J-Rab can get shots from the photo pit and they’re doing what they can to arrange an interview on Saturday!

How fucking crazy is that shit?! It just goes to show, if you want something badly enough and throw yourself into it face first (with a cat on your back) sometimes, just sometimes, it actually works out.

Throughout the day one thing after the other was falling into place and then last night, at about 9pm, an email came from New Sound Artist Management saying they’d read my posts and wanted to basically help me get as close to the band as humanly possibly!

If you guys could’ve seen me last night you would have thought I had actually finally lost my fucking mind. Air punching, screams of “FUCK YEAH!” and practically having a full on seizure is how I spent the better part of an hour.



Then I promptly passed out from exhaustion, woke up this morning and continued the air-punching, seizure-inducing marathon that will probably only stop on Sunday.

This is going to be the best fucking festival EVER! I can hardly sit still I’m so fucking stoked – how the hell I’m going to get through the next 24 hours without physically detonating from excitement is anyone’s guess.

Batten the hatches boys and girls, the Tiger’s tearin’ up Synergy Winking smile



That was “Weapon Of Choice”. They’ve changed their drummer since recording that video, so you won’t see that dude (Nick Jago) behind the kit. But don’t be sad, they replaced him with a total belter!



In all my BRMC-inspired obsession, I realise that I’ve completely neglected to mention the killer SA bands that I’m going to be supporting at Synergy.

There’s a shitload of them, so not sure how I’m really going to be able to fit them all in, but here’s my festival wishlist:

  • The Plastics
  • Shadowclub
  • Taxi Violence
  • Zebra and Giraffe
  • Good Luck
  • McCree
  • Sixgun Gospel
  • Tumi & The Volume
  • Desmond and the Tutus (it’s been WAAAAYYYY too long!)
  • Isochronous
  • Captain Stu (if I survive until the bitter end – please guys, stay to watch these guys, besides being awesome guys, their music is guaranteed to melt faces)

Life, my friends, has a funny way of working out sometimes.

To everyone who made this possible, thank you again, I won’t forget this Winking smile



Album Launch: Taxi Violence – Long Way From Home

Awhile back I bitched and moaned about how South African bands are a bunch of limp dick unclefuckers who need to man the fuck up and play some dirty, sexy rock music already.

Well, I’m happy to say I can add one band to the list of SA bands I actually like and that band is Taxi Violence.

I saw them live at Mercury a month or two back when they did a seriously killer cover of “Riders On The Storm” with We Set Sail. I was well impressed not only with the cover, but also Taxi Violence themselves who, much like Queens Of The Stone Age, have breathed life back into old school 60s / 70s rock and made it unapologetically badass.



Then, about two weeks back, I ran into George (frontman and vocalist) at Mercury and did this thing I do when I’m drunk when I shoot the breeze with people in bands like I’m catching up with an old highschool buddy.

It’s a test because some people in bands think they’re God’s fucking gift to the planet so I talk to them like they’re normal humans and they either act like I’m a weirdo and run away or they shoot the breeze back and we end up having epic discussions about music and the South African scene.

George definitely proved to be a stand up guy and even invited me to check out the launch of their acoustic album Long Way From Home.

So J-Rab and I headed on down to the Plane-arium for an intimate showcase of what the Taxi lads have been up to and I was pretty blown away.



Old favourites like “The Mess”, “Devil ‘n Pistol” and “The Turn” sound like they’ve been taken apart and rebuilt from scratch, a refreshing change from most bands who just swap electric guitars for acoustic ones and serve up warmed up leftovers thinly disguised as an album actually worth listening to.

Their acoustic rendition of “Heads and Tails” is particularly noteworthy both on the album and when they played it live. It was pretty hilarious us all reclining on our seats in the Plane-arium with the stars wizzing overhead because whenever Taxi got the crowd bopping your seatback would start moving in time to the music as other people sitting in the same row literally “rocked” out. “Heads And Tails” produced that effect immediately.

They’ve also shot a new video for the song, which they opened their set with which sadly they haven’t uploaded to their YouTube channel yet, but look out for it when they do, it’s a very cool take on the Groundhog Day premise and, in keeping with the song, asks the question if you knew the dice were rigged, how would you play the game?



One of my songs they played was their new track “Long Way From Home”, about a country boy hitting the big city, a dreamer who “Followed the buzz until he hit the hive”. It’s got an upbeat, bluesy / rock flavour played with bright, jangling guitars and tambourines that reminded me of some of the earlier Supergrass albums.

I’d highly recommend checking out Taxi’s FB page for their upcoming gigs so you can get a chance to hear their acoustic set and, if you’re lucky enough, getting a picture with the square-headed mascott that adorns the new album cover.



So big up to George for the invite and the guys from Taxi Violence for a killer gig and for hooking me up with a copy of the new album. It doesn’t look like it in the picture below, but I was really stoked to get the actual, physical album. I think that’s the first CD I’ve been given in about 5 years.