ME
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ME

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | INDIE

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock

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"New band of the day"

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia.

The lineup: Luke Ferris (voice, guitar, piano), Damian Tapley (guitar, voice), Michael Godde (bass, voice) and Spike Rogers (drums, programming).

The background: We got slaughtered by readers last week for daring to admit in this column that a new band called Fearless Vampire Killers didn't quite live up to our expectations after we had been told they were a phantasmagorical fusion of metallic rock and theatrics. We got similarly excited about today's band, ME, after hearing that they were like Queen, only Queen if they comprised four Freddie Mercurys. And although we couldn't help wondering, vis-a-vis Messrs May, Deacon and Taylor, who would be in charge of the guitar solos, bass runs and drum trickery we knew what point was being made: we were being warned to hold on to our hats, since ME were going to be a riot of falsetto vocals and OTT bombast, the most schlocky-mocky, rocky operathon, like, ever.

Well, they might not be quite that, but certainly they deliver on pomp and camp noise far more effectively than FVK. Listening to Westward Backwards, one of the tracks on their new Another Story High EP, you are immediately bombarded by choral vocals, quasi-symphonic strings, screeching lead guitar and staccato riffing, with enough tempo changes and sudden darts and bursts to satisfy a flotilla of prog buffs. We're talking Queen tribute band or Mika sings Muse. Apparently, you have to see them in concert to fully enjoy ME (two of whom met at a festival for naked spiritualists, oh yes), but we're quite happy with the recorded version. Funnily enough, when you do see them live, this being a band understandably still operating on a budget, they can't help but look a little low-rent compared with the 5D orgy of the senses you conjure in your mind, notwithstanding the brass orchestra, drum troupe and choir. They wear jeans and normal shirts and stuff, when really you want to see them strutting the boards in harlequin Onesies, barely concealing codpieces and chest hair and the like.

Some facts: They're managed by the Killers' "people", they've spent the last six months supporting Kasabian, Evanescence, Death From Above 1979 and Panic! At The Disco, and they've been recording with producer Simon (Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Temper Trap) Barnicott. So they could "happen", in the way that Mika or, say, the Darkness happened: in a brief spurt of appreciation of their more novel(ty) qualities. Their music certainly catches the ear: Naked is heavy, orchestrated rock given a West End Musical makeover – think Led Zep redirected by Lloyd Webber – while frontman Luke Ferris comes over like Thom Yorke on laughing gas, and Damian Tapley makes like Brian May wrestling with Johnny Greenwood. On Insert Voice Here, Ferris's voice is almost gratuitous in its capricious darts up and down the octave range. In 1973, this genre's golden age, this would have been considered a bit much. Lady Gaga will love them.

Dutch Medicine is a relative respite, drawing on psych-era Beatles, but there's no such letup on Slow Children Run, which matches grandiosity with lyrical absurdity. There is a line we just about caught (despite the singer's precise intonation, a lot of the words get drowned out by the instrumental bludgeon), something like, "About blah blah blah", which suggests the band will be doing the debunking for us. Finally, there's Like a Fox, which is like Genesis on uppers, or the Feeling on speed. "Wake up, my dreams are so much harder than yours," wails Ferris, later admitting in an interview that this, like most of ME's insights, are as "meaningful or as meaningless as you want [them] to be". He has also said, "We like to go places no one has been to before", and despite this being untrue, we can applaud their ambition and the Queenish style with which they execute it.

The buzz: "Essentially Queen if every single member was Freddie Mercury" - Kerrang!

The truth: They will, they will schlock you. - The Guardian


"New band of the day"

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia.

The lineup: Luke Ferris (voice, guitar, piano), Damian Tapley (guitar, voice), Michael Godde (bass, voice) and Spike Rogers (drums, programming).

The background: We got slaughtered by readers last week for daring to admit in this column that a new band called Fearless Vampire Killers didn't quite live up to our expectations after we had been told they were a phantasmagorical fusion of metallic rock and theatrics. We got similarly excited about today's band, ME, after hearing that they were like Queen, only Queen if they comprised four Freddie Mercurys. And although we couldn't help wondering, vis-a-vis Messrs May, Deacon and Taylor, who would be in charge of the guitar solos, bass runs and drum trickery we knew what point was being made: we were being warned to hold on to our hats, since ME were going to be a riot of falsetto vocals and OTT bombast, the most schlocky-mocky, rocky operathon, like, ever.

Well, they might not be quite that, but certainly they deliver on pomp and camp noise far more effectively than FVK. Listening to Westward Backwards, one of the tracks on their new Another Story High EP, you are immediately bombarded by choral vocals, quasi-symphonic strings, screeching lead guitar and staccato riffing, with enough tempo changes and sudden darts and bursts to satisfy a flotilla of prog buffs. We're talking Queen tribute band or Mika sings Muse. Apparently, you have to see them in concert to fully enjoy ME (two of whom met at a festival for naked spiritualists, oh yes), but we're quite happy with the recorded version. Funnily enough, when you do see them live, this being a band understandably still operating on a budget, they can't help but look a little low-rent compared with the 5D orgy of the senses you conjure in your mind, notwithstanding the brass orchestra, drum troupe and choir. They wear jeans and normal shirts and stuff, when really you want to see them strutting the boards in harlequin Onesies, barely concealing codpieces and chest hair and the like.

Some facts: They're managed by the Killers' "people", they've spent the last six months supporting Kasabian, Evanescence, Death From Above 1979 and Panic! At The Disco, and they've been recording with producer Simon (Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Temper Trap) Barnicott. So they could "happen", in the way that Mika or, say, the Darkness happened: in a brief spurt of appreciation of their more novel(ty) qualities. Their music certainly catches the ear: Naked is heavy, orchestrated rock given a West End Musical makeover – think Led Zep redirected by Lloyd Webber – while frontman Luke Ferris comes over like Thom Yorke on laughing gas, and Damian Tapley makes like Brian May wrestling with Johnny Greenwood. On Insert Voice Here, Ferris's voice is almost gratuitous in its capricious darts up and down the octave range. In 1973, this genre's golden age, this would have been considered a bit much. Lady Gaga will love them.

Dutch Medicine is a relative respite, drawing on psych-era Beatles, but there's no such letup on Slow Children Run, which matches grandiosity with lyrical absurdity. There is a line we just about caught (despite the singer's precise intonation, a lot of the words get drowned out by the instrumental bludgeon), something like, "About blah blah blah", which suggests the band will be doing the debunking for us. Finally, there's Like a Fox, which is like Genesis on uppers, or the Feeling on speed. "Wake up, my dreams are so much harder than yours," wails Ferris, later admitting in an interview that this, like most of ME's insights, are as "meaningful or as meaningless as you want [them] to be". He has also said, "We like to go places no one has been to before", and despite this being untrue, we can applaud their ambition and the Queenish style with which they execute it.

The buzz: "Essentially Queen if every single member was Freddie Mercury" - Kerrang!

The truth: They will, they will schlock you. - The Guardian


"Rock and Roll Dandy single review"

Fresh from their UK tour Australian band ME are releasing their new double-sided single Like A Fox / Rock And Roll Dandy. Touring with the likes of Kasabian and Panic At The Disco but also appearing at festivals such as Camden Crawl and The Great Escape ME are a dedicated band. So what does the new single have to offer? EF found out for you.

First up is Rock And Roll Dandy the kind of track that makes you want to dance as soon as the first bits kick in. There is something summery yet nostalgic about this track that makes you instantly fall in love with it. If the verses didn’t do the trick then the chorus most certainly will sweep you off your feet with it’s soaring vocals in a delicate falsetto.

Like A Fox is different, it’s harder and denser than Rock And Roll Dandy. The second single is still quite impressive and shows off the band’s rock-side.

We do like ME’s new release, both singles are vibrant with great vocals and quirky melodies. Here’s a band we like to keep a watch on. - Entertainment Focus


"Rock and Roll Dandy single review"

Fresh from their UK tour Australian band ME are releasing their new double-sided single Like A Fox / Rock And Roll Dandy. Touring with the likes of Kasabian and Panic At The Disco but also appearing at festivals such as Camden Crawl and The Great Escape ME are a dedicated band. So what does the new single have to offer? EF found out for you.

First up is Rock And Roll Dandy the kind of track that makes you want to dance as soon as the first bits kick in. There is something summery yet nostalgic about this track that makes you instantly fall in love with it. If the verses didn’t do the trick then the chorus most certainly will sweep you off your feet with it’s soaring vocals in a delicate falsetto.

Like A Fox is different, it’s harder and denser than Rock And Roll Dandy. The second single is still quite impressive and shows off the band’s rock-side.

We do like ME’s new release, both singles are vibrant with great vocals and quirky melodies. Here’s a band we like to keep a watch on. - Entertainment Focus


"Another Story High EP review (Australian)"

The band with the most Google-proof name in music already came up with the best way to describe their theatrical brand of rock when they coined the term ‘Tchaikokrocksky’.

Indeed, their music playfully mixes classical music’s surging drama and pomposity with the glam theatrics of rock’s great British eccentrics.

Queen, Bowie, The Beatles, Muse – they can all be heard to colour and inform ME’s sound as they siphon the best parts of each, so although born of Melbourne’s burgeoning music scene, it seemed only a matter of time before the group gravitated to the birthplace of those acts to find their fortunes.

The fruits of their labour is Another Story High, the product of touring the UK and soaking in the glow of arena-sized support slots with Kasabian and Panic! At The Disco.

The results are sophisticated, entertaining, and promise very good things for their debut album – due early 2013 to coincide with their homecoming Big Day Out appearance.

The EP opens with ‘Rock And Roll Dandy’, its octave-hopping bass, glam swagger, and tight harmonies gelled into a dapper singalong.

The whooping of qausi-title track, ‘Slow Children Run’ continues to satisfy frontman Luke Ferris’ Bellamy/Mercury vocal range, while guitarist Damian Tapley shreds like Brian May’s prodigal son.

The highlights come in the closing gambit of ‘Westward Backwards’, that crunches and swoons with equal aplomb, and ‘Like A Fox’ – perhaps the best display of the quartet’s abilities: catchy melodicism, towering hooks, and a charming wink as they deliver genuine thrills with a bombastic flourish. - Tone Deaf


"Another Story High EP review (Australian)"

The band with the most Google-proof name in music already came up with the best way to describe their theatrical brand of rock when they coined the term ‘Tchaikokrocksky’.

Indeed, their music playfully mixes classical music’s surging drama and pomposity with the glam theatrics of rock’s great British eccentrics.

Queen, Bowie, The Beatles, Muse – they can all be heard to colour and inform ME’s sound as they siphon the best parts of each, so although born of Melbourne’s burgeoning music scene, it seemed only a matter of time before the group gravitated to the birthplace of those acts to find their fortunes.

The fruits of their labour is Another Story High, the product of touring the UK and soaking in the glow of arena-sized support slots with Kasabian and Panic! At The Disco.

The results are sophisticated, entertaining, and promise very good things for their debut album – due early 2013 to coincide with their homecoming Big Day Out appearance.

The EP opens with ‘Rock And Roll Dandy’, its octave-hopping bass, glam swagger, and tight harmonies gelled into a dapper singalong.

The whooping of qausi-title track, ‘Slow Children Run’ continues to satisfy frontman Luke Ferris’ Bellamy/Mercury vocal range, while guitarist Damian Tapley shreds like Brian May’s prodigal son.

The highlights come in the closing gambit of ‘Westward Backwards’, that crunches and swoons with equal aplomb, and ‘Like A Fox’ – perhaps the best display of the quartet’s abilities: catchy melodicism, towering hooks, and a charming wink as they deliver genuine thrills with a bombastic flourish. - Tone Deaf


"Nylon new song premiere"

If the name ME sounds familiar, it should be - we featured the Australian band (now based in the UK) in our Music Issue this summer. In the months since then, they've been busy recording more of their trademark "updated Queen" (our words) sound on tracks like "Rock N Roll Dandy." "It's a [ME] song in that although it is quite simple, the whole kitchen sink has been thrown at it," explains guitarist/keyboardist/lead vocalist Luke Ferris of the single, which gets its official release on October 8. "We have a tendency to go a little overboard on vocal harmonies and histrionics--this track certainly has our trademark 'theatrical rock' sound with close harmonies, percussion, guitar licks, a tight rhythm section, and a little operatic at times--all contained in three minutes and 18 seconds of bliss!"

Indeed, there's a lot to take in--starting with a propulsive bass line and mid-career Beatles harmonies that verge just on the right side of psychedelic…before the track kicks off its falsetto chorus--but it all fits together in one perfect, insanely catchy track. As for the inspiration of the aforementioned bliss, it came from a compliment the band received earlier this year. "Our record label boss commented that he liked our 'rock'n'roll dandy' style, and I had been thinking of a similar subject for a song at the same time. We recently went on tour in the UK with quite the rock'n'roll dandy, and I guess that gave me the inspiration to finish off the song and lyrics," remembers Ferris, adding, "The song is a fictional story of meeting a dandy in the early hours of the morning, on his way home after a big night out."

No surprise, Ferris recommends listening to it "on your way home, in the early hours of the morning after a big night out." But if you want to start the party early, you can listen to it right here, right now--we've got the exclusive, early stream.
REBECCA WILLA DAVIS - Nylon


"Nylon new song premiere"

If the name ME sounds familiar, it should be - we featured the Australian band (now based in the UK) in our Music Issue this summer. In the months since then, they've been busy recording more of their trademark "updated Queen" (our words) sound on tracks like "Rock N Roll Dandy." "It's a [ME] song in that although it is quite simple, the whole kitchen sink has been thrown at it," explains guitarist/keyboardist/lead vocalist Luke Ferris of the single, which gets its official release on October 8. "We have a tendency to go a little overboard on vocal harmonies and histrionics--this track certainly has our trademark 'theatrical rock' sound with close harmonies, percussion, guitar licks, a tight rhythm section, and a little operatic at times--all contained in three minutes and 18 seconds of bliss!"

Indeed, there's a lot to take in--starting with a propulsive bass line and mid-career Beatles harmonies that verge just on the right side of psychedelic…before the track kicks off its falsetto chorus--but it all fits together in one perfect, insanely catchy track. As for the inspiration of the aforementioned bliss, it came from a compliment the band received earlier this year. "Our record label boss commented that he liked our 'rock'n'roll dandy' style, and I had been thinking of a similar subject for a song at the same time. We recently went on tour in the UK with quite the rock'n'roll dandy, and I guess that gave me the inspiration to finish off the song and lyrics," remembers Ferris, adding, "The song is a fictional story of meeting a dandy in the early hours of the morning, on his way home after a big night out."

No surprise, Ferris recommends listening to it "on your way home, in the early hours of the morning after a big night out." But if you want to start the party early, you can listen to it right here, right now--we've got the exclusive, early stream.
REBECCA WILLA DAVIS - Nylon


"Reeperbahn Festival 2011 - The DiS Review + Photos"

[ME] are a brilliant prospect.

The Australian prog scene is enormous at the moment and this well-dressed quartet comes across sounding like Muse meets Pink Floyd with a Danny Elfman soundtrack chucked in the mix. On drugs, obviously. - Drowned in Sound


"Reeperbahn Festival 2011 - The DiS Review + Photos"

[ME] are a brilliant prospect.

The Australian prog scene is enormous at the moment and this well-dressed quartet comes across sounding like Muse meets Pink Floyd with a Danny Elfman soundtrack chucked in the mix. On drugs, obviously. - Drowned in Sound


Discography

Naked (UK single). 27.2.12.
XFM, Absolute Radio, NME Radio, Q Radio, Kerrang! Radio.

Rock and Roll Dandy / Like a Fox (UK single). 8.10.12
Nylon exclusive track stream, XFM, Kerrang Radio Record of the Week, Q Radio Track of the Weekend, NME Radio, Southsound Radio Bristol.

Rock and Roll Dandy (Australian single). 25.9.12
JJJ spot plays, FBI spins, Homebrew, Inner 96.5FM Melbourne, Voice FM session

Another Story High (UK, Europe, Australia EP) Sep 2012

Photos

Bio

"The Aussie outfit look set to make a big splash...they sound huge, dramatic and unutterably exciting" – Kerrang!

Already heralded by Kerrang! Magazine as “essentially Queen if every single member was Freddie Mercury” ME are Luke Ferris (voice, guitar, piano), Damian Tapley (guitar, voice), Michael Godde (bass, voice) and Spike Rogers (drums, programming). The band formed in 2008 in Melbourne although only drummer Spike is from Melbourne itself whereas Damian hails from Perth, Luke from Brisbane and Mikey scooted down from the snowy peaks of Mount Beauty. Melbourne soon became the spiritual home for the band. Spike suggests that this is because “there are countless pubs, venues on every street corner which have capacities of 25-50 people unlike other cities” whereas Mikey just describes it as “an outburst of happiness with people hugging each other all the time. In fact,” he adds quietly, “no one wants to leave!” Well, after a TEN MONTH residency at the Evelyn Hotel and a sell-out Australian tour supporting alt-rock heroes Dead Letter Circus in 2011, leave is something that ME decided to do – and it’s to our mutual benefit.

ME have spent the majority of 2012 based in London, discussing tactics with their label Lizard King Records (The Killers, Santigold), recording their debut album and touring with the likes of Kasabian, Panic! At The Disco, Twin Atlantic and King Charles. They have also squeezed in shows at The Great Escape, Camden Crawl and Reeperbahn Festival in Germany. The shows have entranced a generation of young fans who are determined to catapult the band into the mainstream. Indeed, in recent weeks, a huge contingent of ME fans bombarded BBC Radio One and demanded they play a favoured ME tune. The station duly obliged. That song – ‘Naked’ – is a track from the band’s EP ‘Another Story High’ recorded with renowned producer/mixer Simon ‘Barny’ Barnicott (Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Temper Trap), a release that suggests ME’s debut long player will confirm their status as one of the most exciting new rock bands to appear this side of the millennium.

Guitarist Damian, who assembled the band in Melbourne, suggests that if ME have a message it is plain and simple: “We want our fans to be able to rely on us to create songs that provide energy or sadness in equal measure and for those songs to stay with people for a long, long time.” The songs themselves verge on “mini rock operas”, with The Guardian newspaper suggesting that “listening to Westward Backwards, one of the tracks on their Another Story High mini album, you are immediately bombarded by choral vocals, quasi-symphonic strings, screeching lead guitar and staccato riffing, with enough tempo changes and sudden darts and bursts to satisfy a flotilla of prog buffs”. The band themselves are more coy, insisting Westward Backwards was a simple ‘60s pop song until they added the heavy guitars and orchestral sweeps. Other tracks are just as intriguing: ‘Naked’ wonders what it would be like to stand on a beach in the new world having wished this imperfect one away; ‘Like a Fox’ boasts the killer line “Wake up, my dreams are so much harder than yours,” which Luke reveals is as “meaningful or as meaningless as you want it to be”; and ‘Slow Children Run’ is about people out of control on drugs and takes its title from a sign Luke saw in Brighton - “a sign we just don’t have over in Australia!”

The brutal facts? ME considered a thousand imponderable alternatives before they hit on their name – and then were pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be virtually ungoogleable – a mini challenge to their new fans in this age of zero patience. Front-man Luke Ferris studied industrial design at university, has a fascination with furniture design and builds his own stage props. The band have a lot of friends in back home in Melbourne in drum troupes, choirs and orchestras and are in the process of constantly evolving their live show to accommodate such idiosyncrasies. Think less of a gig and more of an entertainment extravaganza and that’s the ambitious longer term goal. And ME are a band that demonstrates it is possible to name influences like The Mars Volta, Led Zeppelin, Rachmaninoff, Danny Elfman and Radiohead and not sound like any of them. And if that makes them unique, then yes, you got ‘em!

ME's debut album 'Even The Odd Ones' will be released in February 2013 on Lizard King Records.