Australian Guitar’s Fresh Frets: Vol. 12

Five Island Drive
(Image credit: Kim Quint (editing by Bradley Michael de Leon))

FIVE ISLAND DRIVE

THEY ARE A trio of genre-bending vibronauts wreaking havoc on Eora country with a fierce sound and even fiercer message. They (quite aptly) describe their “trance-flavoured mosh” as what would happen “if Denzel Curry met with Rammstein to write a Sega soundtrack”.

KINDA LIKE Hacktivist, RedHook, Ecca Vandal and Enter Shikari. 

CHECK OUT Their equally poignant and pernicious debut EP, White Rose. Armed with an arsenal of intense riffs, mind‑shattering beats and cold-hot vocal flows that put some of nu-metal’s greatest to shame, the record – named in tribute to one of history’s most iconic anti-fascist movements – sees Five Island Drive raise a pissed-off middle finger to a cruelly regressive status quo.


Future Static

(Image credit: Andrew Basso)

FUTURE STATIC

THEY ARE A Naarm-based quintet of djent-angled deviants from whom no speaker is safe. Their quixotic sonic chaos is steered by the shredding of Ryan Qualizza and Jack Smith, whose contrasting ultra-bright melodies and punishing chugs galvanise a mighty bedrock for singer Ami Cook to glide over. 

KINDA LIKE Spiritbox, Dream State, Saosin and Bring Me The Horizon.

CHECK OUT The pummelling ‘Venenosa’, which alongside last year’s soaring and solo-heavy ‘Waves’ will appear on Future Static’s debut album (due out in 2023). If you’ve caught this column in time, too, you can hear both live at the band’s first-ever headline show: they’ll be tearing the Northcote Social Club to shreds on Saturday December 10th. 


FVNERAL

(Image credit: Jay Wennington)

FVNERAL

THEY ARE Seven melancholic masterminds who, with rich and riveting soundscapes that take their listener on journeys before frontpeople Tim Blunt and Ally Turner even sing a word, lay their souls bare like the world depends on it… And honestly, it might.

KINDA LIKE The National, American Football, Soccer Mommy and Big Thief.

CHECK OUT Their heady and heartrending debut EP, When I Get Sober, which the Eora-based collective say is their “attempt to articulate the heaviest parts of the human experience”. It’s a glittering kaleidoscope of acoustic and electric guitars, keys, strings, horns and more, all brought together with moving reflections on love, loss, gender, addiction, mental illness and morality.


Hollie Col

(Image credit: Ash Brooks)

HOLLIE COL

SHE IS A bubbly songstress from Eora country wading through (and celebrating) the labyrinth of early-twenties self-discovery, queer love and a cyclone of emotions with her twangy and slick – and almost defiantly human – indie-pop.

KINDA LIKE HAIM, Tegan & Sara, Taylor Swift and John-Allison Weiss.

CHECK OUT Her simultaneously grandiose and quaint concept EP Julia Stevens, a heart-melting romance bursting at the seams with colour and charm. Col wrote it over three years, she recently told Triple J, “with each song time-capsuling a particular feeling” that the record “amalgamate[s]” into a story “that detailed every experience [she’s] ever had in love”.


Platonic Sex

(Image credit: Jacob McCann)

PLATONIC SEX

THEY ARE A quartet of Meanjin-based luminaries carrying the torch for the kind of angsty, scuzzed-out indie-rock made iconic Down Under by Screamfeeder, Magic Dirt et al. They’ve mastered the art of the ebb and flow, with their songs effortlessly gliding from gentle and buoyant melodies to wall-shaking blasts of axe-based anarchy.

KINDA LIKE Sweater Curse, Screamfeeder, Pavement and Phantastic Ferniture.

CHECK OUT The trio of singles they’ve dropped in ‘22: the crunchy and mosh-ready ‘Disappoint Another’, the diesel-fuelled feminist anthem ‘Devil’s Advocate’, and the grippingly emotive sonic rollercoaster that is ‘Exhausted Competing For You’. All will appear on their debut EP, due out by the year’s end.


Speed

(Image credit: Jack Rudder)

SPEED

THEY ARE The future’s voice in Australian hardcore, using their convulsive prongs of down-tuned grit and guttural might as a vehicle for change. Based on Eora country, the band say their mission is “to positively grow the hardcore scene by challenging cultural norms, embracing diversity, and promoting compassion across political and racial lines”.

KINDA LIKE Terror, Deathbed, Stick To Your Guns and Knocked Loose.

CHECK OUT The beautifully savage Gang Called Speed EP, which sent a tidal wave through the industry when it landed back in June. Jem Siow’s lyrics are fiercely confronting, their impact amplified intensely by the way Josh Clayton and Dennis Vichidvongsa let all hell break loose on their fretboards.

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Ellie Robinson is an Australian writer, editor and dog enthusiast with a keen ear for pop-rock and a keen tongue for actual Pop Rocks. Their bylines include music rag staples like NME, BLUNT, Mixdown and, of course, Australian Guitar (on which they also serve as Editor-at-Large), but also less expected fare like TV Soap and Snowboarding Australia. Their go-to guitar is a Fender Player Tele, which, controversially, they only picked up after they’d joined the team at Australian Guitar. Before then, Ellie was a keyboardist – thankfully, the AG crew helped them see the light…