The Get Down

Music thoughts and commentary with Gazette reporter and part-time music nerd Xavier Ward.

The Get Down: Australian invasion, two Aussie bands to look out for

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Xavier Ward
Thursday, March 9, 2017

For some odd reason, Australia seems to be pumping out one good band after another into the international spotlight in indie music.

Maybe we're just paying attention more after the breakout stardom of Melbourne singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett, but tunes from down under are on the rise.

If any of these bands are playing in your area, take the time to see a show.

Hockey Dad

The surf pop duo from Windang, New South Wales, Australia had was founded in 2013 as the result of an old band that “fizzled out,” the band has said.

Their journey from beach bums to indie music stars was relatively short. Shortly after formation, the band released their EP “Dreamin'” (2013) containing one of their most popular songs “I Need A Woman.”

Can't Have Them - Hockey Dad

The band's name is an esoteric reference to an episode of “The Simpsons” where Bart and Milhouse are playing a video game where two hockey dads fight.

That track was rereleased on their 2016 full-length record “Boronia” (2016).

Hockey Dad's smooth, beachy guitar tones are driven heavily by their drummer's cymbal-laden beats. Even as a two-piece, the band doesn't lack fullness or body in its music.

The band is in the midst of its fourth tour since the 2016 release.

Highlight tracks from “Boronia:”

“Can't Have Them” (video above)


“Jump the Gun”

“I Need A Woman”

Dune Rats

The Brisbane stoner-punk surf band brings much heavier tones than the above band. They're an edgy, carefree but high-energy and kind of dirty band, whose lyrics are mostly about bong-rips and hanging out.

Their music is reminiscent of early Green Day, especially in tracks such as “Demolition Derby” off of 2017's “The Kids Will Know It's Bulls***.”

Scott Green - Dune Rats

Dune Rats has been active as a band since 2011 when it formed as a duo, but shortly thereafter added a third member on bass.

The band's debut full-length release was “Dune Rats” (2014) released under Ratbag Records, the band's own record label. 

The album hit top 25 numbers for Australia, however their next release “The Kids Will Know It's Bulls***” claimed the No. 1 spot for Australian music charts.

Standout tracks:

“Scott Green” (video above)


“Red Light Green Light”

Music columnist Xavier Ward has been with GazetteXtra since 2016. His opinion is not necessarily that of Gazette management. Let him know what you think by emailing xward@gazettextra.com, leaving a comment below, or following @XavierAWard on Twitter.

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