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HEADLINES
Amnesty serves up hip-hop with Freedom 04... Australian Idol star injured in accident... Concert For Slim released on DVD... Something For Kate celebrate 10th anniversary... Scribe brings New Zealand's finest to Oz... Keith Urban sets new Aussie record... Hayes breaks the drought with Popular... Aussie artists unite against Liberal government... Love Aussie bands? Challenge them on XBox!... Missy Higgins debuts at #1!... Austereo Vs Frenzal Rhomb: the saga continues... Fans decide new MGF single...Butterfly Effect captivate Europe... Platinum rockers return to Oz...more news.
TOURING
Australasian artists touring internationally include Scribe, Frankenbok, The Cat Empire, Toy Death, Ben Lee, Butterfly Boucher, The Finn Brothers and The Panics. New dates announced for The Datsuns, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Kasey Chambers.
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National tours include Jebediah, Dallas Crane, Gyroscope, Unpaid Debt, 28 Days and Kasey Chambers. New dates for The Cat Empire, Stronger Than Hate, The Celibate Rifles, The Go Set, Jet, The Living End, Hirst and Green, The Datsuns and Devolved ...more tours.
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Author Ian McFarlane is a genuine veteran of the Australian music industry, with a long history in many facets including music journalism. His Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop is the essential home for all lovers of Oz music. The book is legendary in music circles and covers the broadest range of artists imaginable - from the most mainstream to the genuinely obscure. To browse through the artist listings, simply click here.
 
MINT CHICKS MINT CHICKS
ANTI TIGER (6 TRX)

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New Zealand's Mint Chicks impressed with the Octagon Octagon Octagon EP, which featured one of the most outstanding tracks of the year, Licking Letters. With a refreshing take on Stooges-style musical excess, this self-destructive combo have attracted glowing reviews for their intense live shows, which tend to leave crowds completely spellbound. But none of that matters without good tunes and thankfully The Mint Chicks have delivered another fine dose of punchy hardcore/rock fusion that still retains an element of Kiwi influence. Anti-Tiger adds to the blistering set that was Octagon by offering more diversity, from the montage of blues riffs on Prelude, to the wandering pop-fused 80s sounds of Opium For The People. Anti-Tiger, the title track, is true to what fans expect from this act: punchy, sharp riffing and driving rhythms, garnished by Kody Nielson's jagged vocal technique. It's hard to imagine The Mint Chicks becoming a massive commercial success, but in terms of quality, originality and energy, Anti-Tiger proves why this band is Whammo's favourite emerging act.
78 SAAB 78 SAAB
BEAT OF YOUR DRUM (5 TRX ENHANCED)

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As the market for singles sinks in the mire of phone tones and P2P file-sharing, acts seem to be focussing on albums and failing to write the big hooks that will become tomorrow's classics. In fact, how many locally produced songs from the last 3 years will become tomorrow's sentimental favourites? Not many. I think 78 Saab's Beat Of Your Drum could have that rare distinction. It's as though the Triple J favourites have sold their collective soul to the devil in order craft a superb old-school flavour for this cut; a Beatles-esque sense of epic intensity, culminating in a crescendo that matches an awesome fuzzy distortion with Ben Nash's piercing vocals. When the wonderfully predictable middle-8 chimes in, it's absolutely huge and it acts as yet another nod to the classics. In some ways Beat Of Your Drum is formulaic, but in the nicest possible way, respecting the methods of the masters of guitar-powered pop. If this isn't a hit, the entire Australian music industry sucks.
MISSY HIGGINS MISSY HIGGINS
SCAR EP, THE (4 TRX)

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Here's a singer/songwriter that deserves her reputation as a rising star; part of the new wave of rootsy acoustic crooners bumping TV-powered pop acts off the charts. Let's hope they completely succeed because, let's face it, if you like beautiful approachable and original music, a television will never be useful. Turn on your radio. Missy will be all over that medium within a few days with these finely tuned compositions, produced by John Porter (Ryan Adams, The Smiths, Los Lonely Boys) and mixed by Jay Newland (Norah Jones). The production is a major step up for Higgins, who's previous EP provided a warts and all introduction to her talents but lacked the polish of this effort. From brass to silky harmonies, the Scar EP shows the advantage of a top-shelf support cast and as for the songs, the title track is an absolute killer, closely matched by a consistent collection of b-sides. It's true that Missy's more colloquial moments - when the accent seems overdone - left me cringing, but that's what the Australian accent actually sounds like and it's time for us to accept it/embrace it instead of applauding wannabe-American parrots. Missy will be a massive and enduring star on the Australian scene and I'm guessing that her style - which swings between jazz, country and folk - will create a large and diverse audience; the type of fan base that is already leading to sold-out performances as she tours the country.
FINN BROTHERS FINN BROTHERS
WON'T GIVE IN (3 TRX)

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I don't think I've met anyone who is willing to disrespect New Zealand's royal music family: the Finns. Even the haters, cynics and jaded have some inkling of the Finn Brothers' contribution to our region's rich and diverse musical heritage. It's been a long time since Crowded House wooed the world with soft harmonies and unforgettable hooks. It's been even longer since Split Enz' radical cabaret-infused art rock made them the most innovative act of their era. But both acts retain their credibility with ease, especially the radical Enz, spearheaded by a young Tim Finn, long before either of the brothers mellowed. Now, in what most would concede is the twilight of their careers, two things remain unchanged: the ability to pen amazing songs and, of course, the Finn family inheritance: great voices. At times the combination of the two brothers seemed contrived. Firstly, there was Neil's inclusion in Split Enz, then there was the token returning of the favour when Tim mysteriously turned up on Neil's projects. Now, it seems the slate is clean and the brothers are presented as equal partners on Won't Give In, an uplifting gem that seems to automatically attract an epic atmosphere, thanks to the calibre of these fine talents. The light rock flavour of this track attests to the fact that vocals are all-important. The days of unnerving their audience are long-gone. When Neil and Tim strain their pipes to create a euphoric crescendo, it's goose-bump material. I'm sure acts hate it when I do this, but I must say that my favourite track on the disc is Sunset Swim. Sure, it's a b-side, but when the extra tracks on a single are strong, it usually indicates that a great album is on the way. As for the title track, don't take my word for it, take listen for yourself:

Won't Give In (Real Player: Dial-up)
Won't Give In (Real Player: Broadband)
Won't Give In (Windows Media: Dial-up)
Won't Give In (Windows Media: Broadband)
JOHN BUTLER TRIO JOHN BUTLER TRIO
WHAT YOU WANT

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For John Butler, the step up from live drawcard to #1 charting artist has been powered by much-improved songs like What You Want, presented with all the pomp and frills of a creative studio environment, including a rich layering of strings and backing vocals. It's the type of song that lures the listener, not with any obvious hook, but a slowly building sense of dramatics and intensity. It didn't take John long to attract a massive following for his brilliant live performances and while the same popularity for his studio records took a few years, his recent success attests to, not only the popularity of this fine artist, but also the growing love for acoustic and roots music. The What You Want EP is a fantastic sampler for those who have balked at investing their hard-earned dollars on previous efforts. Featuring past favourites like Treat Your Mama and Betterman, the disc also boasts an added treat for fans of The Beatles, with Across The Universe getting the rural treatment. John Butler may not have re-invented the wheel, but with consistent releases like the What You Want EP, he's definitely keeping it rolling.




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WHAT'S NEW!

New releases this week include EPs from the Mint Chicks and 78 Saab and new albums by The Devoted Few, The Red Sun Band and The Radiators. All the big-name forthcoming titles are now available for pre-order from artists like Darren Hayes, Missy Higgins, Keith Urban, Powderfinger, Rocket Science, Grinspoon, Killing Heidi, The Sunnyboys and . Make sure you secure your copies. Check our Recommended section for special offers and features. *To receive all the weekly new release info in your in-box, subscribe to Whammo's Weekly Newsletter (it's free!) 10,000 subscribers can't be wrong! Just click here.

ARTIST OF THE WEEK

DALLAS CRANE
Dallas Crane may not be releasing their album with the hype of recent peers like Jet, The Casanovas and The Vines, but don't be fooled by the casual approach; Dallas Crane is the finest Australian rock LP released in the last 12 months. I recently chatted to a relaxed Pat Bourke to get the low-down on the making of this fine slab of tunes...click here.

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Alex Lloyd
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Living End
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Secret Life Of Us
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Something For Kate
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