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Band Alternative Folk


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This four-girl, One-Guy outfit's rise has been both breathtaking (they were one of only three local acts picked for New York's All Tomorrow's Parties Festival in September) and well deserved. Two years on from their self-titled EP and with comparisons to Cat Power/ Dirty Three, PJ Harvey and Nick Cave still ringing - comes this near-flawless display. Openers "Lunar Eclipse" and "Beaches" are hypnotically alluring in their measured bleakness and chugging rhythms, as is the jarring fiddle that soaks "Queen Of Hearts" and "Heart You Hold" (the latter inspired by recording in remote NSW). The near-instrumental "Soft Porn" serves as a semi-break, before the politically inspired "Magnetic Arrest" resumes business, which peaks with the show-stoppping "White Feather". Their skill at blending cries of longing with gut-wrenching strings, underpinned with a melodic indie-rock sensibility, places this sublimely confident debut in a class of it's own. - Rolling Stone

The soundtrack
to reading Frankie
magazine and drinking
herbal tea on a
Sunday afternoon
– that’s one (rather
abstract) way to
summarise Bridezilla’s
debut album. Fragile
folk meets twisted
jazz at an indie bar
is another. Whatever
you wanna call it,
the Sydney group’s
splicing of genres
and influences is
surprisingly assured.
One minute they’re
all ethereal pop and
Twin Peaks, the next,
violins come to the
forefront and the
group’s in indie-folk
mode. Bridezilla were
the fi rst act to be
fostered by Inertia’s
new label arm, and
that faith appears well
placed. This debut is
a charming, low-key
delight. - MAG

Australia was well represented at this year's ATP NY, with three bands and countless fans that swarmed the resort for the weekend. While the first two Australian bands, The Drones and Dirty Three, have developed fantastic reputations as true indie rock pioneers the third and final Australian band of the weekend have just started on their own trek - hopefully to stardom. The young teenagers of Bridezilla have had a whirlwind week of playing four dates in New York including the one at ATP. And since I made them my Band of the Week last week I obviously thought they were one of the bands to see this weekend.
Turns out the band are even better then expected. Coming out the four girls and one guy are all decked out in their wedding best and they all look absolutely adorable. But that's just the start, once they start playing there is no looking away from this band!
With violin and saxophone to go along with the more standard guitar, drums, and vocals, the sound these girls create is pretty damn unique. It's obviously rock music, but you can totally dance to this and really shake it up if you wanted to. The violinist (sorry I don't know their names yet!) channels the spirit of the Dirty Three's Warren Ellis, dancing about the stage and playing the violin with excitement and panache, while the lead singer/guitarist makes most of the guys weak in the knees.
They may just be kids, they may just be getting started, but these girls (and the guy) know exactly what they are doing. They are making music that will absolutely melt people no matter where they happen to reside. - Pop Tarts Suck Toasted

As Bridezilla start their Sunday set, with décolletage and headbands on show and a minute’s worth of aimless droney posturing, I point out charmlessly to a less-than-awake friend that it’s International Women’s Day and this must be the charity set. He doesn’t laugh. My girlfriend glares at me.

As their first song commences and saxophonist Millie Hall starts to blurt aimlessly around the stage, I make a smartass remark about how they must have picked up their first Laughing Clowns record recently. Again, I get nothing. (I’m a funny guy, I know. You’ll be glad to know the joke ends up on me).

If the material on Bridezilla’s self-titled EP is, as my colleague Adam D Mills asserted in his review “meat and potatoes rock”, then the set they showcase at Golden Plains is far removed from such humble beginnings. Their songs, as captured on ‘Forth and Fine’ (their side of a recent split 7-inch with Mick Turner’s Tren Brothers project), have become dense, textured mood pieces.

In complete contrast to their inauspicious beginning, this set is built around stentorian rhythm. Later in the day, Rohan Rebeiro from My Disco will vie for the award for most vital drumming of GP’09 with Pivot’s Laurence Pike, but Bridezilla’s Josh Bush is the unacknowledged competition. It’s his labour over the kit – pushing forward dramatically when necessary, dithering artfully when the songs need space – that gives the band their live vitality. The rest of the band are hardly stilted either.

If their EP at times suggested Daisy Tulley’s violin was an occasional afterthought to Holiday Carmen-Spark’s gamine vocal melodies, it’s quite the opposite live. Her violin work is the focal point both melodically and visually. Both Carmen-Spark and Pia May flesh out the songs with precise guitar parts. They’re economical, but never wasteful. Short, simple progressions dominate, gathering urgency with repetition.

Songs like ‘Brown Paper Bag’ off their EP made gestures towards this kind of layered but punchier songwriting – perhaps patronage from the ATP crowd or the passage from innocence to experience, has made these formative gestures fully realised? Carmen-Spark, in particular, conjures a mood of ominous languor with ease that belies her young age. It never feels false. In fact, it’s disarming in its heartfelt delivery.

There’s not a lot of movement, save for Tulley’s hyperactive laps around the stage. For the most part, they just stand and deliver, which doesn’t matter. The material is so strong it doesn’t need buttressing from wild gesticulations.

As they conclude their set, Carmen-Spark’s vocals approach a keening wail, May’s guitar surges and Tulley’s violin provides the pull and release of the briny undertow.

“Our situation won’t get any better/Our situation can’t get any better,” Carmen-Spark sings as the band stumble into oblivion around her. The sun breaks through the grimy Sunday morning. If Bridezilla’s “situation” has a future, it’s definitely looking brighter.
- Mess & Noise


Dec 2007 - IVY058 - Bridezilla EP (contains the JJJ hits "Brown Paper Bag" and "St Francine")
Dec 2008 - IR7001 - "Forth & Fine/ Sometimes" - Split 7" with Tren Brothers (Mick Turner and Jim White from The Dirty Three)
Nov 2009 - IR5227CD - The First Dance - (contains the JJJ-listed "Queen Of Hearts". Blog track "Beaches" was premiered by Fader and has been wideily blogged. Album is Feature Album on Australian stations Fbi, 2SER, RTR and SYN)



Bridezilla formed as 4 14 year-old schoolgirls back in '95. Eventually they were joined by a boy drummer by the name of Josh. After a few gigs to schoolfriends, word began to spread, and pretty soon they found themselves opening for such acts as Wilco, Cold War Kids and Architecture in Helsinki. Their debut self-titled EP contained 2 songs that were playlisted on Australian National radio, and cemented their place as one of the "most likely to" bands in Australia. After taking a year off to complete High School, the band returned to the live scene, playing every major Australian festival and touring with heroes such as Steve Malkmus. They were also selected to play the Australian All Tomorrow's Parties, curated by Nick Cave. A thrilling performance there then saw the band invited to New York to play the US branch of ATP in September 2009. While in the States the band played some other shows with the likes of Autolux and The Drones. Bridezilla received a lot of blog love on the trip, and the groundwork was firmly layed for a return trip. Nov 2009 finally saw the release of their debut album "The First Dance". It was recorded by Kramer (Ween, Daniel Johnston, Galaxie 500) in a barn in rural New South Wales. Press response has been amazing, with 4 Star reviews in the likes of Rolling Stone and Music Australia Guide, and Album Of The Week spots on 4 (so far) Australian Community Radio Stations.
The band's unusual line-up of guitars, saxophone and violin make them stand out against the plethora of electro outfits in Sydney, and the stunning live show which alternates between reverb-drenched folk-noir and furious, caterwauling violin and sax duels has no equal.
Having been bubbling-under for so long, it's easy for Australians to forget the band are still very young, particularly upon hearing the album, which has a maturity well beyond the members' years.