Twin Beasts
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Twin Beasts

| Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

| INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
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Ducking out of the marauders’ march that was Swanston Street on White Night and into the confines of the Spiegeltent, the stage was set for the Toot Toot Toots’ second performance of the weekend. The show was everything they’d promised it would be: a gritty musical hoopla traversing their entire debut album Outlaws, complete with added projections, beaming bosomy dancers and narration from the awesome Tom Pitts.

The Toots’ themselves were in fine spirits and hammed up their spaghetti-Western roots to the hilt, with singer Dan Hawkins’ ever entrancing voice at its best: like stones in a Magi Mix. Trombonist Giuliano Ferla was so technically precise he sounded like a trumpeter, and the trumpeter was so spot-on he sounded like a synth (but better). The violinist was incredible, sawing her bow across that thing like a madwoman. Ferla shared vocal duties with Hawkins, the two sometimes passionately sharing a mic. After a couple of tracks, our ‘kerchiefed narrator appeared at the back of the tent in spotlight to continue the story of the “lucky Jew prick Eli”, and the tale of small outback town Gomorrah Fields, populated with McKenzies and Buchanans and their various petty, deadly vendettas.

The Forager’s Daughter began with beautiful vibrato vocals and moved into a slick, lazily syncopated snare beat from drummer Dylan Thomas, trilled and totally cool. Ferla paced the stage maniacally beating a cowbell and Clint Eastwood squinted over the audience from the projection screen.

As the crowd sunk more beers, Pitt’s monologues received some shouted feedback which he took in his stride completely, responding excitedly and easily. The Toots’ never broke character and evoked the styles of every raw Aussie film you could think of, particularly the 2005 Nick Cave vehicle The Proposition. A brilliant trumpet and trombone call and answer bridge towards the middle of the set reminded me of the ANZACs, and not just because of the show’s literal connotations. There was a rich, nostalgic and genuine base underlying the production’s more flamboyant elements which drew all its parts together like a bouquet of Kangaroo’s Paw, if you will.

The last song of the set Fare Thee Well, Jesse had heavy, slow fifths of bass like a jug band, and first guitar playing a triplet melody over the top. It was about the ghost of the murdered Eli, who is singing a song to his dead daughter. It was sweet and sad and resigned, like Johnny Cash. Absolutely awesome.
- Beat Magazine - ZOË RADAS


If Bruce McAvaney was a rock’n’roll commentator, he’d have spent early the evening before tonight’s Toot Toot Toots album launch waxing lyrical about the spectacle that was about to unfold, for this was an event that was only ever going to be, in Bruce’s time-honoured discourse, special.

Mother And Son are a great band, period. Brodie Jarman has the couture, coiffure and classic style of any rock’n’roll icon; on drums Matman thrashes a beat so violent it almost warranted attention from the resident security personnel. Theirs is music conceived in the bars of the '50s, matured on the garages of the early 60s and consummated in the garages of the late '60s. Everybody should see Mother And Son.

John Dickson’s declaration that this would be one of Little John’s last gigs from some time was the only damp note on an otherwise typically spiritually uplifting Little John set. If the average Sunday church service was this impressive, congregations would be spilling over with converts, believers and revivalists. At one point Dickson jumps into the crowd and manages, miraculously, to avoid injury. Another irrefutable sign of goodness.

There was a distinct sense Toot Toot Toots was looking to impress like never before tonight. With regular appearances from its go-go dancing troupe, the band had more fun than a beagle in a butcher’s shop. The set drew heavily from the Toots’ new record, Outlaws, including the rousing Gomorrah Fields and the sublime spaghetti garage Lily Of Sharon. Guiliano Ferla has the crazy eyes of a circus performer eager to drag anyone along for a wild ride; Danny Eucalyptus has a voice like shovelled gravel, yet can pull out a moment of elegant harmony that defies understanding. It’s colour, movement, mania and rock’n’roll beauty; the crowd is dancing en masse, and everybody’s got a shit-eating grin.

There’s a few tracks from the Toots’ debut release, Curse Of The Crow, before the band departs the stage for a well-earned break. The second encore brings with it a dedication to mixer and label boss Loki Lockwood: the featured track seems vaguely familiar, and possibly out of place. Before we know it, the distinctive string melody of ELO’s It’s A Living Thing fills the venue, and it’s a moment to savour for time immemorial. Special, Bruce would say.

BY PATRICK EMERY
- Beat Magazine -PATRICK EMERY -


Is there still room for concept albums in this iPod-dominated age, when our attention-spans are ruled by fast-forward and shuffle buttons? Let's hope so because it would be a crime if a record as original and thematically-striking as Outlaws fails to find an audience.
This self-described "spaghetti-western-rock-opera" is the debut album from Melbourne's The Toot Toot Toots, who have been honing their distinctive brand of country-noir on the live circuit for a couple of years now, complete with horn-section and dancers.
Outlaws takes the listener to the fictional 19th-century Australian gold rush town of Gomorrah Fields, a very dangerous place if the body count in these songs is anything to go by, with newcomer Eli Rayne's arrival setting a chain of brutal and nefarious events in motion. The record plays out like a folk/punk cross between Unforgiven and Deadwood, flavoured by unpredictable elements like mariachi horns, wah-wah guitars, doo-wop vocals, and the uber-theatrical delivery of frontmen Danny Eucalyptus and Guiliano Ferla.
Some songs merit particular attention - the woozy, anvil-clanging 'Let Lead Rip' or the Beach-Boys-gargling-whiskey gospel of 'Fool's Gold', to name just two - but Outlaws sounds best when it's played in sequence, in its entirety, giving the narrative depth, the lyrical humour and the considered instrumentation the full attention they deserve. Extra marks for the beautifully-designed artwork and packaging, ensuring this is an album that you'll definitely want to own a physical copy of.
The Toot Toot Toots Outlaws is available now on LP, CD and MP3 from Spooky Records.

- AU Review - Aaron Curran- June 6, 2012


The Toot Toot Toots
With their statement facial hair and go-go dancers on stage, the Toot Toot Toots are just about as Melbourne as it gets.
Happily, however, the Toots have been able to back their achingly on-trend style with strong storytelling and, by all accounts, a banging live show.
The Toots were formed in 2009 on a whim, when a group of musicians got together to play a gig in support of a friend's band.
As percussionist, trombone player and vocalist Giuliano Ferla tells it, the Toots did not start out with any real ambitions. They were really just in it for a laugh, performing to small audiences where they would hand out tambourines so everyone could play along.
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''But people liked us, so we started taking ourselves a bit more seriously,'' he says.
Not too seriously, however, to still have a very healthy sense of fun.
Self-described as a ''foot stompin', horn honkin', go-go dancing, psychaedelic freak out'', the Toots are often more concisely termed a spaghetti-western band.
They seem to model themselves in the vein of the Puta Madre Brothers, another Melbourne band whose shtick of being a Mexican-inspired triple one-man band may have drawn interest early on, but whose infectiously upbeat live shows have made them a hit at pubs around town.
The Toots combine deep, gravelly vocals with heavily western-influenced instrumentals and horns, often played at a frenetic pace.
But there is a soul beneath the chaos, with some slower tunes within the mix.
There are five core members of the band, but they often perform with the Go Girl Gadget Go Go's, a group of beehived ladies who dance choreographed routines in sequinned dresses.
And if it all seems a bit theatrical, that makes good sense, as more than one Toots band member has a background on the stage.
That may also go some way to explaining the strong narrative arch that has run through the group's songwriting.
Their new album Outlaws, like their previous EP Curse the Crow, has a very clear story to tell.
Outlaws is about Eli Rayne, a Jewish immigrant to Australia during the gold rush years, and the misfortunes that befall him after his arrival.
The band had wanted to write songs about a misfit, and for some reason Eli was the character who stuck with them during brainstorming sessions.

- The Canberra Times - Larissa Nicholson - Tuesday, 10 April 12


Bawdy, rowdy, and unbridled, The Toot Toot Toots’ debut album 'Outlaws' is an unapologetic assault on your ears. It’s a raucous romp through convict Australia, with track after track of beer-swilling tunes emerging from the menagerie of horns, hand-claps and brutish lyrics.
There’s no slowing up from these guys, the album keeps up a pace so relentless it almost knocks the front teeth straight out of your mouth. The subject matter of the songs ain’t always pretty, The Toot Toot Toots are singing about an Australia where murder, vengeance, and fighting like it was your last day on earth are part of daily survival. The lyrics might be lewd, but there’s also a gritty humour in the music. In Ol’ Ted’s Habits’, one man tackles his dame’s rejection head-on - ‘I met a broad to wed, she said, I’d rather take a pig!” So I hacked the head straight off a boar & wore it for a wig.’
The Toot Toot Toots have already released two Eps – 'Curse the Crow' and 'Stab Me Up Baby', and they’ve developed a reputation for notoriously wild live performances. Describing themselves as a ‘haphazard spectacle filled with sweat, glitter and trumpets’, one reviewer who saw them in action concurred that seeing The Toots live is an unforgettable experience – ‘It’s colour, movement, mania and rock ‘roll beauty; the crowd is dancing en masse, and everybody’s got a shit-eating grin.’
While I absolutely respect the enthusiasm and energy they deliver during the whole Outlaws album, I sometimes found the gravelly vocals a little too affected and distracting. My favourite song on the record is Fare Thee Well, Jesse, which is more pared back than the rest of the album and more Bar-room ballad than brawl. I’m keen to hear what these guys do next and I don’t doubt if The Toot Toot Toots were in a musical shootout, there wouldn’t be a man, or band left standing.
- The Dwarf - Mel Drummond - Tuesday, May 22


Billed as a “spaghetti western rock opera”, Melbourne alt.country/rock quintet The Toot Toot Toots’ debut record is, as is evident after only a cursory listen, in a league of its own. The whiskey-soaked vocals of Giuliano Ferla are so grotesque, you can’t help but acutely feel the pain, the glory, the bloodshed and vengeance of central character Eli Rayne as the record chronicles his (mis)adventures in the fictitious gold rush township of Gomorrah Fields.

Behind Ferla a thundering beat reigns supreme, mariachi horns and barbed-wire guitars run amok, it’s a veritable rumble of a record. The fact the band have attempted something so adventurous as a concept record to release first up shows they’re not ones to sit idly by, preferring instead to produce some of the best doom country you’ll hear all year.
- Sydney Morning Herald, Samuel J. Fell - May 18th 2012.


Billed as a “spaghetti western rock opera”, Melbourne alt.country/rock quintet The Toot Toot Toots’ debut record is, as is evident after only a cursory listen, in a league of its own. The whiskey-soaked vocals of Giuliano Ferla are so grotesque, you can’t help but acutely feel the pain, the glory, the bloodshed and vengeance of central character Eli Rayne as the record chronicles his (mis)adventures in the fictitious gold rush township of Gomorrah Fields.

Behind Ferla a thundering beat reigns supreme, mariachi horns and barbed-wire guitars run amok, it’s a veritable rumble of a record. The fact the band have attempted something so adventurous as a concept record to release first up shows they’re not ones to sit idly by, preferring instead to produce some of the best doom country you’ll hear all year.
- Sydney Morning Herald, Samuel J. Fell - May 18th 2012.


Before the lights even dim for the opening act, there is reason to feel excited looking around The Hi-Fi. I had read that there were going to be guest appearances so I note down possible candidates as they saunter by: James Grim of Brothers Grim and the Blue Murders; Jess Ribeiro of The Bone Collectors; Mikelangelo of The Tin Star; Nick Finch of Graveyard Train; Fraser A. Gorman. Only one of these local luminaries ends up on stage with the band, but their presence is a good omen for the launch of The Toot Toot Toots new album, Outlaws. Mother & Son don’t announce themselves in any conventional sense. Instead, singer/guitarist Bodie Jarman appears to be fiddling with his guitar sound and tuning. Slowly his playing becomes more focused and rhythmic until drummer Mat Teudt wanders out and abruptly locks in on a searing surfabilly instrumental.
Teudt’s drumming is visceral and nuanced, Jarman’s guitar playing is technically and expressively outstanding. In contrast to his controlled playing, his voice is a howl, and between lines he seems to gasp for air rather than merely inhale.
The pair have a schizoid stage presence, veering from understated but humorous banter between songs to Jarman maniacally wending around the huge stage and leaping into the audience in the middle of a guitar solo. This all goes down very well with the crowd, many of whom are clearly already fans, and the rest of whom probably are by the end of the set. After the raw volume of the openers Little John are quite a change of pace and their more delicate approach to music is somewhat under-appreciated by the growing audience. I am actually tempted to shush those around me during the sublime Put Your Hands on Me – the sweet gospel harmonies and aching lyrics almost drowned out by talking. The band seem a little less than enthused tonight, so that even a stand out song like Wolves, which on record is a perfectly paced howl of despair, feels tired and messy. Front-man John Dickson’s voice, likewise, feels a little thin and strained. But the song-writing is top notch, and the simple melodies and powerful lyrics shine through to make the set enjoyable and even spine-tingling at times, as on the funereal cover of Townes van Zandt’s Waitin’ Around to Die.
After Little John’s set there is an extended break, during which the venue fills to capacity – with a noteworthy preponderance of lads in cowboy boots with gravity defying quiffs. All at once, the lights go dark. Sepia scenes from old spaghetti westerns flicker to life behind the stage, and The Toot Toot Toots announce themselves with blasting horns and huge harmonies as they launch into Last Breath. The musicianship on display is top notch, with dramatic rhythm work from Steve Gavan on bass and Dyfan Thomas on drums, soaring mariachi trumpet from Greg Foletta, haunting violin work from Cat Pacitti, and lead guitar licks worthy of a Clint Eastwood showdown from Bez Berry, not to mention The Go Girl Gadget Go Go Dancers, who light up the stage on several songs.
Guiliano Ferla and Danny Eucalyptus serve as rotating frontmen for the band, moving between lead vocals and harmonies, as well as playing trombone and rhythm guitar. Eucalyptus’ roar is a force to be reckoned with, and comparisons to Tom Waits are justified; Ferla’s singing style is less distinctive, but he is absolutely magnetic on stage — gesticulating, beating his chest, and pointing into the audience an accusing finger, he brings to mind a younger, more theatrical Nick Cave.
Musically, the band inhabit a unique territory where The Clash, The Beach Boys, Captain Beefheart, The Bad Seeds, and Ennio Morricone all meet and mingle. Lyrically, they are visionary, conjuring up tales of murder, greed, racism, and revenge on the Australian goldfields with cinematic intensity. Throughout the set, The Toots display an uncanny ability to balance the playful with the serious and to underpin their genre-bending musical palette with solid pop song-writing. Fool’s G - UNPAVED - Written by Kinch Kinski - May 10, 2012


It has just occurred to me that I have no idea about music in Melbourne. Like most, I like music, I listen to the radio, I go to gigs and festivals, but boy oh boy have I missed a glacier sitting right in front of me. Melbourne has always been a beacon of live music… but we're currently boasting bands like Buried Horses, The Moxie and the incredible, incredible, incredible Toot Toot Toots. Did I say incredible? They were fucking incredible.

On a weird, sweaty, Sunday evening I arrived at the Toff without expectation, keen to see a band I didn't know a lot about at all… I should have been sitting down, because I was almost floored when the gents kicked into an opener full of heartache and swampy swagger. This is the kind of music that's epiphany-inducing, almost overdosing on soul and character. Not the kind of character that is used as a backhanded compliment to describe something that isn't that good, I'm talking about the kind of character that myself and many like me are immune to. The kind of character that the J's would've eaten up a decade ago, but now is probably deemed too risqué.

The Toot Toot Toots are the real deal, with joint-frontman Dan Hawkins jumping into the crowd and howling his lungs into the microphone. The stage is cluttered with band members and instruments ranging from a trombone to a mandolin. Just when you were sure you were in some kind of dream state, three go-go dancers emerge on stage, create a pocket of room and dance for their lives.

The band take you on a journey like watching a story unfold… which is what they're going for with their EP being a concept story about "a family that probably shouldn't have been a family". There are peaks and troughs, delicious harmonies and boot-scooting guitars. The generous crowd were going mental, stomping the floor and clapping their hands. There wasn't anyone standing cross armed in the back corner taking notes, every audience member was just hollerin' and dancing. It was honestly one of the best live gigs I have been too.

And then, just when you thought it couldn't get any sweatier or better, The 'Toots come on stage for an encore and play Fat Man Scoop's classic hit Put Your Hands Up. It went absolutely bananas. With song names like Huntsman Vs Placenta, the band are a phenomenon. Do yourself a favour and take a step out of the bubble wrap-coated safety net that is mainstream indie and have a look around. There is a burgeoning underground-ish top notch music scene happening right under your noses. Get amongst it.

BY JACK PARSONS
- Jack Parsons-Beat Mag


Discography

Bad Love - Album - Due out early 2014

Outlaws - Album - May 2012

Curse the Crow - EP- Nov 2010

Stab Me Up Baby - EP- 2009.

Photos

Bio

It has been a busy time for Melbourne’s Twin Beasts (formerly The Toot Toot Toots). In the past year they have played at Victoria’s Meredith Music Festival, at Western Australia’s Rock It Festival, at the inaugural White Night Melbourne Festival and to a sold out crowd for their season at Melbourne’s Spiegeltent. In 2012 they released their debut album, Outlaws, which was awarded ABC Radio National Album of the Week. Most recently they recorded their sophomore album, Badlove, with ARIA nominated producer Burke Reid (The Drones, Oh Mercy, Gerling) due to be released in February, 2014.

“Yes it is good. Yes it is noisy. And yes it has captured my ear and held it long enough to win me over!”
Tim Ritchie, Editor, Music and Presentation, ABC Radio National

In the past four years Twin Beasts have gone from playing small regional shows and recording in bedrooms, to playing national festivals and recording with some of Australia’s most esteemed producers. Following two EPs, they released their debut album, Outlaws, in 2012, to great critical appraisal. Patrick Emery, in a four star review from The Age newspaper, called it “triumphant”. Samuel J. Fell, in his review in the Sydney Morning Herald, said it was “in a league of its own.”

In May, 2013, the band, then known as The Toot Toot Toots, began recording their much anticipated sophomore album, Badlove, with producer Burke Reid. For a month the band and Reid went into lockdown, first for pre-production in Phillip Island, Victoria, and then to the New South Wales’ Central Coast to record. The band and Reid worked closely and in isolation throughout the month, and came out of the studio both with a new album, and a new name. The name is Twin Beasts, and their album Badlove is a step in a different direction. Marking a clear departure from their earlier narrative- and concept-driven work, the album is currently in the process of being mixed with Reid in Canada. Exploring the themes of love, lust and infatuation, Badlove is slated for a release in early 2014.

Inspired by artists as diverse as Beck, Bob Dylan, and ELO, Twin Beasts have been compared with the likes of Tom Waits, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and Ennio Morricone. They have made a name for themselves with their hyper-energetic live shows and boisterous, romping music. Kinch Kinski of Unpaved said of their live show; “They intertwine intelligent, conceptual songwriting with big hooks, hilarity and spectacle… get along to a show and let them weave strange worlds before your eyes.”

Twin Beasts are set to release their new album, Badlove, in February, 2014.


www.twinbeasts.com