Month: July 2016

Review: The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Release Date: 04 August 2016 STARRING: Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth The story before Snow White. The Brothers Grimm’s Snow White and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen collide in a fantasy fairy tale face-off that results in something akin to Frozen, albeit not so cute.   A prequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, Kristen Stewart misses out, but with Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain joining returning stars Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth (looking abs-olutely smashing), that’s no cause for chagrin. The story? Eric (Hemsworth) and warrior mate Sara (Chastain) have to hide their love away, for Queen Freya (Blunt) has banned such mushy stuff from...

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Review: Backsliders, ‘Heathen Songbook’

Backsliders, an integral component of the Australian blues scene since their inception in 1986, have recently released what may be their greatest album. Currently a duo, slide guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer Dom Turner and drummer/co-songwriter Rob Hirst are joined on Heathen Songbook by harmonica players Ian Collard, Broderick Smith and Joe Glover. Socially aware themes such as the plight of asylum seekers, expansion of fast food outlets in third world countries and uncontrolled overdevelopment in Sydney sit comfortably with blues covers and John Fogerty’s Run Through The Jungle (about the proliferation of guns in the United States). Blues...

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Review: Kylie Auldist, ‘Family Tree’

This is the year the world woke up to the vocal talents of Melbourne’s soul queen Kylie Auldist, who follows the international success of This Girl with her fourth solo set, which sparkles and shines.  Written and produced with her Bamboos buddies Lance Ferguson and Graeme Pogson, Family Tree showcases a stack of ’80s synth sounds, reminiscent of The Pointer Sisters and Prince. Overall, Auldist comes across as a modern-day Renée Geyer – a genre-busting vocal powerhouse. She even successfully re-works Cold Chisel’s Saturday Night.The title of track one says it all: Sensational. Family Tree is available August 5 via Family...

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Review: Sarah Mary Chadwick, ‘Roses Always Die’

As an art form, song is largely decorative. Oh sure, there’s substance – loads! – but it’s only when you spend an album with Sarah Mary Chadwick that you realise how much emphasis most artists place on bells and whistles. One nasty old pre-set church organ and its built-in robot rhythm-ticker are the only things the Melbourne songwriter needs to colour the soul-scraping world view poetically described by the title Roses Always Die. Her early morning smoker’s voice is less concerned with pitch than red raw and uncompromising communication of her own depression. “You should see me on my knees in the alley,” she croaks – and so we...

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Review: Montaigne, ‘Glorious Heights’

“I ate a salad today, I ate one yesterday, too.” You’d have to be a rare vocal talent to make those words come alive, and  Sydney’s Montaigne (real name: Jessica Cerro) has a voice that simply soars. Her debut album is aptly titled, with the singer delivering thrilling electro pop infused with genuine soul. She’s just as effective when she straightens up and simplifies things – check out the ballad Consolation Prize and the pure pop of What You Mean To Me. A star is born. If she’s this good at 20, I can’t wait to hear what she...

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