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“Sometimes it’s hard to be a famous dude,” sings Quan Yeomans on ‘All Fake Everything’. There was a lot of rejoicing from long time fans when it was announced that Regurgitator were releasing a new album after what seemed to be a 4 year hiatus. While they haven’t really officially released anything in that time, we’ve seen snippets of songs here and there, snap shots of the band taking their time to release something they’d be happy with. The end result is SuperHappyFunTimesFriends, an album you can purchase on any format you’d like. I got the cassette. Because, well, cassettes are pretty cool.

Regurgitator have never really been a band to take seriously, and while this album has its touching moments we still see the Regurgitator we’ve come to know and love. SuperHappyFunTimesFriends has a much stronger punk feel than previous albums, typical of the band to never really stick to a style for too long. I much prefer their hip hop stuff for the most part, but there are some really great moments here. ‘Be Still my Noisy Mind’, ‘No Show’ and lead single ‘One Day’ are the highlights, showing a slightly more serious (well, at least less nonsensical by comparison) lyrical side to a backdrop of catchy pop-rock. ‘Punk Mum’ is fantastic, a stereotypically pop-punk piece dedicated to Yeomans’ mum and ‘Super Happy Funtime’ is an interesting insight into Ben Ely’s mind (ie, random as fuck). ‘All Fake Everything’ is really the only hip hop style track on the album and those who haven’t been fans of the band for a while would see it as somewhat of a random addition.

It’s a short album, clocking in at just over 30 minutes. And with about half of the tracks just barely hitting the 2 minute mark, you can’t help but feel that some of this is just filler between much better songs. ‘DMT 4 2’ and ‘Devil Spell’ don’t really add anything of substance to the album at all. Mirco-track ‘Game Over Dude’ does provide a nice segue been ‘One Day’ and ‘All Fake Everything’ though. SuperHappyFunTimesFriends certainly isn’t as immediately impressive as previous albums, but you have to give the band some credit for just doing their own thing on their own terms.

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It has been five years since Wally De Backer has released an album under his moniker Gotye. The wait has proven to be worthwhile though, as Making Mirrors is easily one of the most anticipated albums of this year. The album opens with the title track, a 50 second clip of dreamy synths before launching into the groovy ‘Easy Way Out’. For the most part of the album, we have pop music at its best. ‘I Feel Better’ and ‘In Your Light’ are retro sounding with amazingly catchy hooks, though I’m not sure if they quite compare to the booming chorus of ‘Eyes Wide Open’.

While I can’t say that ‘State of the Art’ is one of the best songs on Making Mirrors, the whole idea behind it is fascinating – right from the story behind Gotye acquiring the second hand organ to the unique style of recording the vocals (as seen in the short documentary of Making Mirrors). In fact, the whole process behind the album is fascinating. There are so many layers, samples and different instruments that it’s impossible to dissect it all (no wonder it has taken 5 years for this album to be released…). Current single ‘Somebody that I Used to Know’ which features New Zealand singer Kimbra  almost seems like the odd one out on the album, being musically sparse by comparison and much more focussed on the lyrics.

The one downfall of the album is that not all of these musical ideas feel like they have been fully developed or fleshed out. Songs like ‘Don’t Worry We’ll Be Watching’, and especially the first two tracks don’t seem as well thought out as other album tracks. However, there’s something to be said about a song ending it before it grows stale, leaving the listener wanting more. While these tracks may not work out so well as individual songs, they fit into the greater scheme of the album extremely well. Gotye is great at capturing the emotion within in his music, whether it be dark and moody or bright and uplifting. Making Mirrors is a completely inspiring album, completely original and certainly worth giving your attention to.

 

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