on October 1, 2014
Photo by Cybele Malinowski

Photo by Cybele Malinowski

It’s easy to forget Australia has a happening music scene, because most of the times you’re listening to Australian bands nobody even knows they’re from Australia. But think about it. Which of these bands is from Australia: Bee Gees, Jet, INXS, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Wolfmother, The Vines? All of them. Even Savage Garden was from Australia! Point is, Australia tends to churn out rocking groups. Luckily for us, the best of them always make that long trans-Pacific flight to America where new fans await.

The latest in this tradition of Aussie Rock are Sydney darlings The Preatures, who’ve been blowing up the scene down under with their surprisingly fresh rock and roll. After winning the coveted Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition with their syncopated, danceable single “Is This How You Feel,” The Preatures have come to the U.S., playing stages at Coachella, Bonnaroo, and The Jimmy Kimmel Show. That single rides along pretty damn smoothly, with singer Izzi Manfredi’s calm, matter-of-fact phrasing in the verse giving way to just enough chorus to maintain the tension and not give it all away. She’s got a big voice, kinda reminiscent of Patti Smith’s grit or Stevie Nicks’ laid-back charisma. In fact, it’s hard not to make some Fleetwood Mac comparisons, with Manfredi’s male counterpart Gideon Bensen taking over the mic on two songs from their latest five song EP. And he’s got a gritty, crooning voice too, although he’s more Chris Isaak than Mick Fleetwood.

The instrumentation on the songs from their first two EPs is dark but energetic, with lots of bendy, tremelo’d-out guitar picking (Jack Moffitt) against tight drum (Luke Davison) and bass (Thomas Champion) grooves that seem to flip rhythmic accents at a moment’s notice. It’s smartly organized music. And with their first full album, Blue Planet Eyes, set for a September 26 release, they seem poised to be Australia’s next great gift to the world of rock and roll. »

– Ethan Martin

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