Australian mathcore outfit Basil’s Kite have recently announced their new album, Shooting Tsars, out March 24th via Dark Trail Records (The Callous Daoboys, SeeYouSpaceCowboy, MouthBreather, Fawn Limbs, et al). Basil’s music has undergone a noticeable shift in style from math-rock with strong elements to heavy math, now incorporating some lighter prog elements, as evidenced by a coule of new songs that have been revealed for streaming below.
Formed in 2011, they are best known for their absurdist maximal approach to heavy music, harmonically punctuated by their custom made Microtonal guitars. Through their lifespan they have shared the stage with broad and varied acts such as Bomb! The Music Industry, COFFIN, Rolo Tomassi, Totally Unicorn and Sex On Toast.
With 2013’s Technicolour Fuckfest EP and 2015’s Celestial Shitshow EPs behind them, they are approaching a debut album with several new singles and live favorites, including the playful “Sun Is Smiling,” the Tim & Eric-esque horror crossover “Wiggle,” and the petulant “Baby,” which the band describes as “a song for the breaking point we all have, when adulting gets too hard. When the only exit out of this life is the entry in.”
Firmly tongue in cheek, Basil’s Kite has become a staple of the Australian experimental rock scene, and now the band are finally set to release their debut full-length, Shooting Tsars, March 24th via Dark Trail Records.
To celebrate their new era, we have teamed up with the band to give you some more details about their new release and share their top picks for noteworthy acts worth a good listen!
Comments founding member Jack Tickner of Shooting Tsars: “This album is the culmination of 6 years of writing and many lineup changes. We had finished writing the album by 2019, however the covid pandemic meant that our producer and ex-guitarist Jonathon Tooke (Jono) was stuck in the most heavily locked down city in the world when we were meant to be recording. The drums were recorded in 2019 and the guitars and vocals were finished at the end of 2020 in between lockdowns, back in a house that Isaac and I used to share. During the height of the pandemic the mood was tense, on top of that it was a challenge to bring the vision of the album together, as we were (one of many) performing bands that had been completely shut down by covid.”
The band experienced a significant shift in their music, particularly highlighted by a change in their lineup in late 2018.
With the addition of drummer Isaac Beggs, the band’s sound became more aggressive. Beggs’ dedication to the craft allowed him to quickly learn their entire repertoire within a month for an interstate tour. Despite the fact that the songs were written 4-6 years ago, the band’s relationship with them has evolved over time. Although there is a lot of anger and resentment expressed on the album that they no longer carry, the band still enjoys playing and performing the music as a means of connecting with their younger selves.
Despite the fact that the music in Shooting Tsars was written in a more visceral manner than what they currently write, the band still derives pleasure from performing these songs and are thrilled to share them with the world.
The culmination of almost a decade’s worth of musical permutations, Shooting Tsars sees many previously unrecorded live instrumentals fully realized and complete with vocals, putting the band’s sardonic wit and devilish sense of humor on full display along with tight instrumentals, progressive and technical compositions, and biting socio-political commentary.
The band is: Jacob Spinks – vocals, bass, writing, Jack Tickner – vocals, guitar, writing, Isaac Beggs – drums, writing, Jonathon Tooke – recording, mixing, guitar, writing
O LUCKY MAN! – “Song for Everyone Else”
This was my first exposure as a teenager to full unbridled chaotic math music. I played the hell out of this 1:35 minutes when it came out in 2008 and tried to use it as the blueprint for Basil’s Kite when we began 12 years ago. These guys still blow me away whenever I revisit, this EP contains some of the most creative and tonally best sounding guitar work of the math-rock genre IMO.
Meshuggah – Pravus
These guys taught me how to add a backbeat underneath any given polyrhythm on the school bus every morning and I am so glad they are still going and seem to be just as creative and dynamic as ever.
I found this last week from Skin Graft records and I have been listening religiously. The production on this album is fantastic, the writing and arranging is excellent, the chord progressions and harmonies are so unnervingly beautiful. Cannot recommend Pili Coït enough.
Journeying on a late night drive into the bushland on the south coast of NSW Australia I put this on at the recommendation of Mathcore Index. The name ‘Methwitch’ struck me as such a powerful name for a heavy outfit I was immediately taken by it. Let me tell you there is no joy quite like blasting heavy music deep into the night while you zoom to an undisclosed rural location. It was only after I parked I found out that this was a solo project and that the composer Cameron McBride did most everything on this album including production. I love this album and I love the length of it as well, truly a masterpiece of the genre.
Such a pleasure to share a hometown with these guys, and so interesting to see their trajectory as a band. Their new album High Spirits Low Life is undoubtedly my favorite of theirs so far. Haven’t caught them live in a good while which makes me a little sad. Though we grew into the ‘core’ part of our genre over the course of our first 5 years, we historically always felt a connection to TU being one of the only other weirdo bands in town. I asked to be their guitarist in 2011, they said no (I was 18) but booked us for a gig with them. Nice gesture.
Great compositions, interesting ideas that sound clumsy and miscalculated, of course that’s not the case but I love that kind of sound. I love how the bass and drums communicate around the guitars and vocals, I feel it’s more psychedelic then most psychedelic bands, really wigs me out.
Nap wars/Napoleonic Wars
Great Mathcore/PostCore? band from Brissy, they got releases under both names so Idk what to call them. I listened to the album “Loop train Line” recently and it’s an absolute masterpiece. The whole album is an emotional and musical journey based on the anime Neon Genesis. The grooves on this album are perfect and the vocals are amazing.
This band slaps so hard. Just so fucking good.
Whole discography rules, can’t really go wrong with any of it. My personal favorites albums are “Because I’m young Arrogant and hate everything you stand for”, “RePorpoised Phantasies” and “Gemini”
When Mordial dropped I lost all my shit! I just wanna steal ideas off them all the time. Disgustingly chunky and groovy
Steve Coleman and the Five Elements
Some seriously cray cray next level playing, rhythmically, harmonically, the band interplay, the crisp and phat tone of every instrument (especially that bass). Taken from the live recorded album Resistance is Futile (lil bit hard to come by) I consider this as the bible on audiobook.
I mean the opening track to this album ever so gently builds the main theme for the first 3 minutes and then wam bam thankyou Chester Hansen for the highly energetic fuzzed out bass solo!
Im not sure if its the beautiful string arrangements throughout the album or the fact i would listen to it with an ex but am always hit with a sense of melancholy whenever it hits my ears
Super duper groovy, high energy fuzzed out Psychedelia, so many familiar sounds yet not like anything else. Total trip ad instant mood enhancer.
These guys were actually the first discovery I made when i finally took the lunge into spotify membership, instantly fell in love with them, really interesting guitar work and so much sass and ‘tude in the vocals.
Freyja Garbett Septet
There are particular things that really catch my ears attention when listening to music but ultimately i would say its when an artist isnt afraid of using all the herbs and spices, and then maybe a little MSG to really let those flavors smash you in the face. This album is moody, electrifying and ever so catchy.