Iowa
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Iowa

Collingwood, Victoria, Australia | SELF

Collingwood, Victoria, Australia | SELF
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The sludgy pschedelic noise rock could easily lump this Melbourne band n the 90s throwback catergory... until you actually listen to never Saw It coming: one moment its swirling riffage, the next face melting drone, but there's a sure hand steering each songs melodic core. Boasting the rock n roll swagger of 'Complete Control' IOWA also slow down to great effect on ;Good Advice' while the groove laden wig out that is 'AM' segues perfectly into brain baker 'All I Want - J Mag - Jaymz Clements 8/10


Touring the east cast in June / July, the Melbourne trio are blowing minds with tracks like "Panic Attack", from debut LP Never Saw It Coming. "My favourite records are ones that aren't perfect, but have an honesty about them,"reckons frontman Dylan Stewart. "Someone once described us as 'heavy, chunky distorted guitars that come in waves like Dinosaur Jr and Crazy Horse, soaked in shoegaze', which I think sums us up quite well. Buried under all of the distortion we try to keep a sense of melody intact, which usually comes from writing most of our songs acoustically before we bury them in fuzz." - Triple J Mag - June Edition


Melbourne three-piece Iowa deal in reverb, dirty fuzz and lush psychedelic soundscapes. They marry growling, slacker vocals with sweet melodies filtered out through a distortion pedal, and in doing so sound a little like the rebellious progeny of the Jesus and Mary Chain and Dinosaur Jr.

Made up of Dylan Stewart, Matt Rooney and Jordan Barczak (all of whom have played in their fair share of bands over the years) Iowa came screaming to our attention with the release of their debut Green Swirl 7” in May 2010 and in April last year they made it onto the FL Playlist for the month. Now they have finally released their debut album Never Saw It Coming. We love it, so we asked the guys to tell us all about their debut album.

In the beginning

Dylan and I [Jordan Barczak, Bass player] formed the band about 3 years ago. We’ve known each other for years and have always shared the same musical influences and talked about starting a band. I received a call from Dylan who was living in London at the time asking me to look out for a drummer so we could start a band when he returned. He was inspired after having his ear canals shattered at a My Bloody Valentine show. Once he got back we rehearsed for 6 months solidly and went and recorded both of our 7 inch records before we had played a show

Our sound

Funnily enough one of the best descriptions of the band we’ve heard was “Heavy chunky distorted guitars that come in waves like Dinosaur Jr and Crazy Horse soaked in shoegaze”. I think it hits the nail on the head in describing our sound. Essentially we’re a loud rock band that try to write songs that are rich in melody but buried in fuzz.
Our heroes

Collectively we all have been heavily influenced by the bands we all grew up listening to such as Swervedriver, Sebadoh, My Bloody Valentine, Redd Kross, Pavement and Dinosaur Jr. But we also love the classic rock of bands who have influenced the aforementioned bands such as The Stooges, The Who, AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Neil Young.

Our debut album: Never Saw It Coming

We tracked the guitar, bass and drums for 12 songs over two days at Headgap. It was a hectic two days but highly productive and enjoyable. Since we were recording to 2” tape and didn’t have the luxury of multiple takes we had to ensure that we were on our game. Out of the 12 songs, 4 of them we recorded in one take and the others in 2 or 3 takes. To prepare we rehearsed religiously and recorded each rehearsal so we could get a good idea on how the songs were sounding as a whole and to cement our guitar sounds. After the initial two days we worked with our live sound engineer Anthony Cornish at his studio ‘Horizon Sound’, where we recorded vocals, extra parts and then mixed and mastered it with him. We’re extremely happy with the way it has turned out and think it is a great representation of our live sound and a snapshot of our songs and sound of the past 18 months.

I think Should’ve Known is a song that probably best represents the band and the different song writing styles that appear on the album. It’s one of the mellowest songs on the album but also one of the heaviest songs at the same time.

Our artwork

Our friend tall Michael Cusack has done all of our artwork for us. We take a lot of pride in all of our artwork and gig posters and Mike always comes up with some amazing designs and ideas. The album artwork was the third and final of a series of designs that incorporated a similar theme for two singles off ‘Never Saw It Coming’. We gave him the songs and a few ideas of covers that we liked and let him loose to create the artwork based on what he heard in the songs.

Our Producer

We had heard a lot of great things about the guys and gear at Headgap Studios and it sounded like a good fit considering we wanted to track all the instruments live and loud to tape. Neil has worked on a number of great bands such as My Disco, Bird Blobs, Adam Harding and heard that he was very efficient and was easy - Fasterlouder


Within the first 30 seconds of Never Saw It Coming, Iowa have laid down a shag carpet of fuzz that sticks around for most of this first album. That opener ‘Complete Control’ cements the alternately lethargic and angsty delivery of singer-guitarist Dylan Stewart as well as the shadow of Dinosaur Jr and other ’90s rock luminaries. It weaves noise and melody in an endless gloom, the only brightness coming when Stewarts tries out a bit of falsetto at the very end. But primarily the Melbourne trio throw themselves into guitar-driven songs that swell and overflow with anxiety.

Take the next song, ‘Panic Attack’. If the title didn’t say it all, the rusty buzzsaw hook and overall instrumental friction speak volumes. The lyrics aren’t great, but they’re vague enough to work. Same goes for the clouded inner-turmoil of ‘Should’ve Known’ and ‘Good Advice’, which makes the hushed ‘Sunday’ all the more a respite.

By about halfway through the album, Iowa start showing off their influences (or at least precursors) more. The grunge-y ‘Lights Out’ manages some of the inky blackness and cathartic guitar burn of Afghan Whigs, while ‘Love Song’ gushes with Dinosaur Jr worship from its warm fuzz to its slacker drawl to its lashing solo. Stewart’s yowl on ‘Only Sometimes’ summons Nirvana, and there’s another wild-eyed solo in there. The thing is, Iowa get as much out of shadows and tension as hooks and choruses. That’s proven on the instrumental ‘Serotonin’, which applies its steel-wool distortion and shouldering rhythm section without vocals in the way.

If there are derivative patches (see another J Mascis-mirroring solo on ‘All I Want’, or the Daydream Nation-ish start to ‘A.M.’), we’re never quite sure whether Iowa are going to get wholly lost in one of their pedal-muddied jams or come powering through on sheer instrumental muscle. They do both here, playing the two options against that extra thread of tunefulness that keeps Never Saw It Coming from being overly grave. And for such a guitar record, the bass and drums carve out space enough for themselves. There’s room for every instrument to work out the stress.

by Doug Wallen
- http://www.messandnoise.com/releases/2001030


‘Complete Control’

This was one of the last songs written for the record and possibly one of my favourites on there. It was written around a drum pattern that I had in my head and I wanted it to be heavier in the verses and quieter in the choruses like many of the ’90s bands that were ripping off The Pixies. The song was written while I was trying to give up smoking and it’s pretty much about that battle, but it’s also about trying to live hassle free.

‘Panic Attack’

‘Panic Attack’ was the second single we took from the album after ‘Complete Control’. It’s probably the most upbeat song we have. It was pretty much a jam song that we used to stuff around with at rehearsal but never quite finished it until a few weeks before the recording. It initially came from a bass riff and the other parts just came together along with a sort of Broken Social Scene-style rhythm. The lyrics came last as usual. They are as the title suggests.

‘Should’ve Known’

This is where the album starts to get a bit mellower. It’s about someone that’s made a decision to make a change in their life, but it sort of backfires on them and they regret that decision in the end. It has a pretty heavy breakdown in the last 30 seconds that turns the song upside down.

‘Good Advice’

This song was written years ago before we started the band. It was written on an acoustic guitar – like most of our ideas – and was something that I never thought would actually translate into a band song. After listening to the War On Drugs record [Slave Ambient] it gave me confidence to be able to put any style of song forward for the record. It didn’t necessarily have to fit in with the other songs and it might give the record a bit more diversity. The song’s about leaving town.

‘Sunday’

This was a bit of an afterthought. We’d already tracked all of the songs but I really wanted to continue with the thought process that I didn’t just want to make a “rock” record. I recorded this during the mixing sessions with Anthony [Cornish], and it was recorded on two battery-powered 10-watt practice amps that were stereo panned. This is about being hungover on a Sunday when everyone else is being productive.

‘Lights Out’

The first track of side two of the record. A bit of a slow-builder that’s pretty monotonous and built around layers of guitars and swirly sounds. We don’t really play this song live that much but thought it still had its place on there and was a good introduction to side two. It’s about getting too caught up with irrelevant stresses.

‘Love Song’

Most people say it’s our pop song and I guess it shows off that I’m a pretty big Dinosaur Jr fan. It was a bit of a throwaway song at first and it came together pretty quickly before the sessions. This was the first take of the song in the studio and I now think it fits nicely on the album. I cringed when we named this one, but I guess it’s about someone that keeps losing stuff that they’re fond of. Not necessarily a person. Possibly our next single.

‘Only Sometimes’

The heaviest song on the record and the one with the most guitar overdubs. I didn’t plan on it but it’s got three solos overlapping one another. It just sort of kept building into some kind of monster. I’m pretty sure the other guys in the band like this track the most on the album and it’s probably a bit of a live favourite for us, too.

‘Serotonin’

An instrumental track that’s pretty fuzzed-out with heaps of swirly wah sounds. Nothing much to say here, but I guess we were listening to [The Stooges’] Raw Power heaps when we recorded this song.

‘Same Solution’

This was the B-side to the ‘Panic Attack’ single and it’s not included on the yellow vinyl version, but we still like it and put it on the CD/download version of the album. This was the first song written when we decided to record again and it’s pretty different to the other tracks in that it’s a bit more atmospheric and dreamy. A song about a couple going their sepa - Mess And Noise


Having self-released a bunch of spectacularly-colourful 7”s on their own Aerial Mines label, Never Saw It Coming is Melbourne rockers Iowa’s first long player – and the title cannot be any more apt. It is nigh on certain that people haven’t heard these guys before – but with the advent of Yuck and resurgence of the likes of Dinosaur Jr, the Pixies and Pavement, this act are on the cusp of something great here.

It’s J Mascis’ crew whose influence can be most readily felt on the album, with Dylan Stewart’s aggressive buzz saw guitar prominent throughout. Complete Control and Panic Attack, the one-two single explosion that opens up the album, are a double-barrel blast to the soul, seesawing between melody and abrasion beautifully. There is more of the same in Should’ve Known, slowing down the pace yet upping the tension, whilst the slow burner Sunday offers a shake-up that is a welcome respite, despite the slickness of what came before. The trio – rounded out by bassist Jordan Barczak and skinsman Matt Rooney – crank it back up again for the latter stages of the album, and kick up their Dinosaur Jr fetish a notch on Love Song, whilst retaining the incessant hook.

Instrumental killer Serotonin allows the engine room to hold sway, something that is overlooked with the guitar solos and hero worship. It highlights the strength that this trio has, and that they can, at the opportune time, mirror their evident role models. What’s more, there is no overt sense of grandiosity or pomposity. This is an impressive debut. - Time Off (QLD)


Remember the good ol’ nineties? When acts like Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr. and even the grunge kids like Nirvana and Pearl Jam ruled not only the airwaves, but also the creative commons of guitar rock? Melbourne three-piece Iowa do, and they’re not afraid to show it.

Never Saw It Coming will bring both a sly grin and a satisfactory smile to anyone who once rocked flannel without irony. ‘Panic Attack’ and ‘A.M.’ buzz with guitar licks that double as melodic hooks the way Smashing Pumpkins or Sebadoh’s tunes used to. ‘Panic Attack’ genuinely sounds like an offcut from Pearl Jam’s Vs.

It would be difficult to discuss the appeal of Iowa’s sound, let alone existence, without these references. But there’s nothing derivative about their take on the traditional rock format. Displaying a genuine love for, and approach to, a golden era of guitar rock as seriously as you’d expect of a band dead-cert on releasing their debut album on coloured vinyl. - Tone Deaf


The boom in popularity of psych rock, from Tame Impala to Wooden Shjips, has well and truly filtered down to the emergence of new local acts such as The Laurels and Melbourne’s Iowa. For a genre so firmly rooted in guitars and hypnotic rhythm sections, there are surprisingly few bands who can take that simplistic template and create something unique and impressive. Iowa prove with their debut album that they know exactly what they are doing, from their destructive edges to the calm of the eye of the storm.

The touchstones for Iowa are generally of the American variety. From an overwhelming Dinosaur Jr feel that permeates the entire record there are also tips of the hat to Hüsker Dü and Englishmen such as Swervedriver and Ride. From the brilliant opening double shot of Complete Control and the turbo riffage of Panic Attack, it is clear that the trio likes nothing more than mixing sweet melodies in a bath of distortion, an approach that builds textural depth into their songs. The drums are tight yet relaxed, the guitars chop and churn with just the right amount of jangle and crunch while the bass playing of Jordan Barczak rolls and weaves with that melodic curiosity essential to all trios.

Vocally it is hard to discern the words and meaning from most of the songs but in the context of this type of music it is that wasted drawl and tone of Dylan Stewart’s voice that is the most important aspect. He can sound like a somnambulistic Mark Lanegan on Good Advice and then hit sweet, higher notes on Same Solution, reminiscent of a band such as 78 Saab. What makes Iowa’s debut such a visceral and engaging experience is its sonic qualities. Even at a low volume the songs claw their way out of the speakers with a collision of anxiety-fueled urgency and laconic restlessness. Never Saw It Coming grabs you and never lets go. - Inpress Magazine (Melb)


Rock trio Iowa’s debut album brings back pleasant memories of ‘90s-styled alt-rock, with flavours of Dinosaur Jr., Hayden and Silversun Pickups lacing their music. After building anticipation with live shows full of fuzzed-out guitars and enough bass to vibrate the floorboards, the Melburnites definitely haven’t held back with Never Saw It Coming. From the opening notes of first single Complete Control, the music has a character that shine through, with brooding and fiercely stand-offish melodies that are, at the same time, sensitive and raw. It’s an album of classic alt-rock and grunge riffs, but there’s also a phenomenal amount of control and subtlety – never do Iowa fall into amateur thrash-outs and neither does vocalist Dylan Stewart ruin his charismatic husky voice with unnecessary, strained climaxes. Iowa alternate the heavier stuff like Panic Attack with dreamy tracks like Should’ve Known and Good Advice. However even in these quieter tracks, Iowa don’t slack off – their sound is still layered and clean, showing off their control. Other standout tracks include the lo-fi Love Song and the epic All I Want. Understatement is their strength. From the simple cover you may not see it coming, but Iowa’s debut has all the trappings of a very successful first release. - Rave Magazine (Qld)


Melbourne, the cultural epicenter of the world (well, Australia fo’ sure), produces some truly excellent bands. But, there’s so many awesome acts doing their thing in the pubs and bars of the city that it’s hard to pick which ones will make it beyond the city sphere. The Temper Trap, Gotye and Oh Mercy spring to mind as a few that have made it in the last few years. But, it’s Iowa that will be the next, just you take note.



With their grungy guitar-based tunes, driving percussion and Nirvana-esque grunge, they’re the ones that will dominate the near future of Australian music. As their debut album Never Saw It Coming contests, the band is versatile – each song rocks a different vibe, rhythm and influences. In fact, it’s versatility that sets them out as individual against every other emerging guitar band.



Opener Good Control begins with a nice, strong percussion beat followed by the introduction of sexy guitar and bass lines. The vocals are Nirvana-like and distant, evoking the essence of '90s grunge like so many other groups try to do but fail.



Contrastingly, Sunday is mystical and nostalgic, with background reverberation that echoes a winding path through a misty wood. But its follower, Lights Out, takes an altogether different tack, reaching back to grunge for its hunching, dark backbone.



Ultimately, Iowa embodies the essence of music that’s born in Melbourne. It’s black, smoky, authentic, real, cold and warm all at once. It’s a winter night in a packed venue where all that matters is the music. It’s Brunswick, Northcote, Carlton, Fitzroy, Abbotsford and the city, everywhere in between and soon to be more. - Beat Magazine (Melb)


What’s up people? Today we’ve got what I believe is officially the fourth band from Australia here on the Drone. They’re simply known as IOWA, and they hail from Melbourne to be exact. They’re a three piece band taking the traditional set up with Dylan Stewart on guitar and vocals, Jordan Barczak on bass, and Matt Rooney on drums.

These guys have been quite busy in 2010, releasing two of their first records from their own label, Desert Mouth Records, and after that it looks like things will only continue to grow for the band. The 7? we have here today was their first official release, and then in the near future we’ll talk about their second 7? as well. Both come on opaque colored vinyl and are limited to some small number (I know it’s 150 for the green vinyl – not sure about the red one). So let’s dig in.

The A-side kicks off with a jam called “Stay Solo”, and it’s a slower paced number with a longing, gloomy feel. Lazy sounding guitars and a crunchy, dirty bass line take control while the drums and cymbals crash along to keep up. About three-quarters of the way through the song changes directions and an epic build-up begins to form right in front of your face, only to come plummeting back down with ridiculously heavy guitars and more crashing cymbals. This right here suggests these guys know a thing or two about psychedelia over in Australia, and they prove it immensely. Now flip that record and it’s time for the B-side, called “AM”.

“AM” starts off with a bang as they ditch the sadder feelings from the previous song and go for the gold in this track. A little bit past the halfway mark the ending starts to unfold with buzzy, humming bass lines and a shimmying guitar line, only to pop off into a dazzling display of cymbal smashing, heavy guitar hooks, and a “let the good times roll” vibe. It’s hard to pin down which of these two songs could qualify as the main highlight from this single, so how about we go with both? Seriously, check this stuff out and see for yourself. If you still want more, head over to their Bandcamp where you can find downloads and other songs to listen to, including the 7-minute epic bonus track “Weighed Down”. Enjoy! - Styrofoam Drone - US Music Blog


Anybody remember our boys from Australia named IOWA? We covered their first 7? a little over a week ago. Now we’re back with their latest 7?, which comes from their own personal Desert Mouth Records label.

This is their second official release, and it comes pressed on gorgeous, clear red vinyl that definitely qualifies as unique – just take a look at this picture. Two songs come etched on either side of the record, which also comes along with a digital download card including two more bonus tracks. You can obtain all four of these tracks yourself simply by visiting the Iowa Bandcamp, entirely for free!

So after copping your free tracks (don’t forget to say thanks!), there’s really only one thing you can do next. Play them! First up is the song “Lose Yourself”, coming together with heavy guitar and hectic drumming that never seems to take a rest…or miss a beat. Matt Rooney slams away on the cymbals like it’s his job while the fiery guitars of Dylan Stewart create the feeling you’re stuck in a stormy, torrential downpour. Next up comes the track “Reasons”, which has a noticeably grungy feel right from the get-go. More heavy and scuzzy sounding guitars dominate this track, eventually culminating into an awesomely psyched-out solo a short bit past the two minute mark. This paves the way for the end of the track as they howl away, and by this point you’ll notice Rooney is still smacking the daylights out of his cymbal. That thing takes a beating without a doubt, but at the same time it gets old somewhat quickly. Hear for yourself in these tracks below, and don’t forget to visit their Bandcamp for even more. - Styrofoam Drone - US Music Blog


Melbourne's Iowa are releasing their second 7" after their Stay Solo/AM earlier this year, which you can read about here. Lose Yourself/Reasons follows the framework that the band have set themselves, creating 7"s of varying colours on their own label, Desert Mouth Records. Just in case you forgot - the last piece of wax was green, the new one is red! But seriously, what can we expect from the newie? 'Lose Yourself' kicks off the slight Dinosaur Jr training wheels and inhabit their rock framework entirely, with lead Dylan doing his best J Mascis growling throughout. This sounds derogatory, but its actually a big compliment - not many bands can take on such a stance and feel original like Iowa do here. 'Reasons' goes down the same path, and this is the slight danger here - that the 90s slacker indie drone and slacker indie drawl cuts a little too close to the bone. Yet its the two additional digital tracks that allows them to show their wider spectrum, just as they did on the first 7". 'Gaps In Conversation' is a sprawling and incredibly ironclad rock instrumental, all crammed into less than four minutes; whilst 'Wires' is wound down, an introspective track that highlights Iowa's strong songwriting that underruns these fuzzy grunge hook-laden tracks. - Sonic Masala - UK Music Blog


It seems appropriate on the first day of the new Ashes series to start the day with a butt-kicking band from down under.

And despite the geographical name, Iowa, for it is they, hail from the fertile breeding grounds of Melbourne’s alternative music scene. Seemingly begat from the loins of sonic forefathers like J&MC, Sonic Youth, or even Mrs M’s old favourites Ride – they easily and confidently meld catchy, nagging rhythms under an occasional squall of distortion and reverb.

And they do it to great effect. It would be so easy for the band to fall into the trap that ensnares so many in this genre – that of sounding derivative and cliched, but Iowa have no such problems with their new 7? Lose Yourself / Reasons. Try the title track below, and revel in its sleazy, grimy, fuzzed up delights. So good, it oozes an sunglasses-indoors kind of cool.

Keep an eye on these folk… - Mad Mackeral - UK Music Blog


While naming your band after a mid-western US state may bring to mind the kind of lacklustre emo that sprang from the mid-1990s, this new Melbourne three-piece take more from the melodic, guitar-drenched sound of UK shoegaze acts such as Spaceman 3 and My Bloody Valentine.
Vocalist/guitarist Dylan Stewart (formerly of Window) sings/mumbles his way through 'AM' as if his mouth is stuffed with Tic Tacs and Benadryl. That of course is not necessarily a bad thing. J Mascis made a career out of it, and while Iowa might not have the same chops as Dinosaur Jr, the soaring guitar solos later in the track are just as ambitious as the Amherst greats.
Like the vinyl's colour scheme, 'Stay Solo' is a swirling mess of guitar, distortion and bong water, and when Stewart grumbles and moans over Matt Rooney's steady drumming and Jordan Barczak's low-end bass it captures the spirit of youthfulness and confusion. It’s the kind of sound I imagine a St Kilda road advertising executive would describe as “Gen-Y slacker.”
Like he has done with acts such as Beaches and Love of Diagrams, producer Jack Farley has been able to tap into the bands riff-heavy and laconic cool without sacrificing the band’s ear for a good melody. The single comes with a bonus CD that includes B-side 'Weighed Down'. Good songs. Good value. - Mess & Noise


After a spate of reformations by many iconic acts from the early-’90s vanguard, as well as an explosion of the hero-worshipping new wave from the Californian scene, it’s safe to say the shoegaze/grunge aesthetic is back in the biggest way possible. Flying the flag on the local front are firebrand three-piece Iowa, who have been tearing up Melbourne’s underground since the release of their debut, green-waxed, seven inch midway through the year. Not ones to rest on their laurels, the lads are quick to follow up with the release of another double A-side, Lose Yourself , this time stamped in red. “I guess with this band it’s just doing what we’ve always wanted to, just playing the music live and loud,” states bassist Jordan Barczak, “not paying too much attention to the protocol for releases or worrying about radio play or anything like that.”

The genesis of Iowa stems from a mutual appreciation for the big, abrasive guitar sounds put out by the likes of Jesus & Mary Chain, Spacemen 3 and Sonic Youth. “It was quite organic I guess, we had no preconceptions of the sort of sound we wanted to create,” Jordan explains, “we really just started playing the type of music we all grew up loving, like all that early ’90s guitar sound.”

Before bursting forth onto Melbourne’s live circuit, the lads grew quite comfortable in the rehearsal space environment, which in turn in turn allowed for a relatively smooth recording process. “We recorded around this time last year, before we even played our first show,” Jordan recalls. “We went in with demos – just what we laid down in rehearsals with two mics and ProTools, just to capture everything and pick up on what I suppose you’d call the ‘happy accidents’,” Jordan laughs. With the foundations in place, the band called upon the talents of local producer Jack Farley, who had previously captured the expansive guitars of acts such as Beaches and Love Of Diagrams.

The recording process held true to the Iowa work ethos. “Everything was pretty much done in the one take,” Jordan explains, “we kept it to minimal overdubs, pretty much just the vocals really.” The recording sessions proved to be abundantly fruitful, with the new release Lose Yourself (not to be confused with Eminem’s Academy Award-winning track) being born from a little free time during the sessions. “That was pretty much the first time we ever played it,” he states.

“Dylan (singer and guitarist) bought out the riff. He had in mind the idea to record a spontaneous track and said ‘let’s just record and see what happens.’ We had a spare half hour so we laid it down in three takes,” he explains. “What ended up on record was the second take, so the second time we ever played the song,” Jordan says with a wry smile. “The next Wednesday we went in to rehearsal and couldn’t remember any of it, so we had to listen back and relearn out parts,” he laughs.

The fruits of Iowa’s intensive labour were of a standard too damn good to be passed off as mere demos, so the group began to think outside the box for their distribution strategy. “We got it mastered and we’re really happy with it all, we thought ‘what are we gonna do with these seven songs?’” Jordan muses. “We figured the recording cost hardly anything, so we thought ‘let’s put our money into something we really want to do’, putting out these seven inches over the course of a few months.”

The strategy has seemed to have paid off so far, with the seven inches providing a tangible item for the band’s fans, and the free download option garnering a broad range of exposure, winning new fans in the process. “Yeah Bandcamp is an awesome way of getting your music out there,” Jordan explains. “We tried out options like iTunes, but giving the fans a choice of downloading it, along with a link to buy the seven inch is the better option I think.”

Being thrust into the blogosphere has resulted in exposure in the most surprising of places, “We’re really fortunate, just this week we got coverage by a Brazilian shoegaze site,” Jordan says with a sense of bewilderment, “after that we began to see the downloads skyrocket upward, and since how we can track where people are downloading it, we’re seeing it pop up in places like France, Estonia, Brazil, America, all these places around the world.”

While the purveyors of grunge are busy conquering the world in the digital realm, it’s well worth heading along to experience them in their natural habitat, just be sure to pack the earplugs. - Beat


Often there is a tune or a gig which catches our eyes and ears that we really want to talk about , however, we don’t have an album to review or know enough about the band just yet to make something of it.

So we are starting a new monthly column called the FasterLouder Playlist, in which we will feature a handful of local bands from around the country that are making music and playing gigs that we think are a bit of alright. They could have played one gig or one hundred, but if we think they are a bit special and worth checking out, then we’ll be talking about them here.

IOWA
Iowa are a three-piece band from Melbourne that deal in reverb, dirty fuzz and lush psychedelic soundscapes. They marry growling, slacker vocals with sweet melodies filtered out through a distortion pedal, and in doing so sound a little like the rebellious progeny of the Jesus and Mary Chain and Dinosaur Jr.

Made up of Dylan Stewart, Matt Rooney and Jordan Barczak ( all of whom have played in their fair share of bands over the years) Iowa came screaming to our attention with the release of their debut Green Swirl 7” in May last year. They followed this recording up with the even more impressive Lose Yourself / Reasons Red 7” in November, which they launched at the Old Bar in Melbourne with an equally ferocious gig.

Both recordings were made with producer Jack Farley (Beaches, Love Of Diagrams) who has weaved his magic to ensure their sound is kept fresh and raw. - Fasterlouder


Discography

ALBUM
Never Saw It Coming
LIMITED EDITION YELLOW VINYL
CD / DIGITAL DOWNLOAD
Released April 20th 2012

SINGLE
Love Song
Taken From Never Saw It Coming
Released 1st April 2012
Triple J Unearthed Feature Track
National Airplay, PBS, RRR, EDGE RADIO, 2 SER, RTR, ZZZZ

SINGLE
Panic Attack
Taken From Never Saw It Coming
Released 15th February, 2012

*Rotation on fBI Radio Sydney
National Airplay, PBS, RRR, EDGE RADIO, 2 SER, RTR, ZZZZ
Film Clip #5 on Channel V Rock Chart April 21st 2012

SINGLE
Complete Control
Free Download from
http://iowa.bandcamp.com/
Released on Oct 21st 2011

VINYL

Stay Solo / Am 7"
Green Vinyl, limited to 150 copies
w / CD including a bonus track
Released May 2010
DRM001

Lose Yourself / Reasons 7"
Red Vinyl, Limited to 150 copies
w / Download Voucher with 2 bonus tracks
DRM002

Available from
http://desertmouthrecords.bigcartel.com/

DIGITAL 7"
Released for Free Download / Stream on Bandcamp
http://iowa.bandcamp.com/

Stay Solo / Am Digital 7"
Track Listing
Stay Solo
Weighed Down*

Lose Yourself / Reasons Digital 7"
Lose Yourself
Reasons
Gaps In Conversation*
Wires*

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Bio

Don’t say you haven’t been warned! The men that are single-handedly redefining the genre of guitar band are ready to strike. The amps are up, the pedals are on, the foundations have been reinforced. IOWA’s debut album ‘Never Saw It Coming’ is here.

Fast gaining the reputation as the leaders of the new generation of sonic terrorists, IOWA have delivered the masterpiece that their live shows have promised.

All the staples of seeing them live are here, the swathes of swirling, fuzzed-out guitars (via guitarist/vocalist Dylan Stewart), the room shaking bass (Jordan Barczak) and phenomenally intense drums (Matt Rooney) combine over 12-tracks to create an amazingly coherent album.

‘Never Saw It Coming’, IOWA’s strangely claustrophobic, yet psychologically spacious take on the tropes of rock (look, it’s a nice way of saying ‘if you’re stoned when you hear this album, you might just think it’s the greatest thing in the history of the world’) is able to speak for its brain-melting self.

Recorded over a frenetic two days, with engineer/mixer Neil Thomason (My Disco, Adam Harding, Bird Blobs), all of the tracks were laid down as roughly and readily as possible to capture the raw power of IOWA in full flight.

‘Never Saw It Coming’, finds IOWA trawling through waters that are at times muscular and ominous as on lead singles ‘Complete Control’ or ‘Panic Attack’, while elsewhere they’re plaintive and dreamy as on ‘Should Of Known’ or ‘Good Advice’.

All the time, however, there’s a certain all-pervading sense of melody and pop; strange, considering how its couched in brooding, oft-times raw, psychedelic rock.

But since 2010 saw the band release two different coloured 7” vinyl singles: the green ‘Stay Solo/AM’ double A side, and the epic blood red of ‘Lose Yourself/Reasons’, they’ve fostered that melodious bent and it’s encapsulated perfectly on ‘Never Saw It Coming’