There Goes The Neighbourhood: 11 Local Acts of Eargasm

Say hello to this year’s batch of local potential! Some are brand new to the scene, some have won talent contests, some have paid their dues and are taking off exponentially right now, and some are still underground but just too weirdly cool to ignore. Whatever their sound, look or smell may be, these are the artists that we think will keep 2011 loud!

Text: Adli Syahril + Ben Liew

THINK! TADPOLE THINK!
www.myspace.com/tadpolerulezzz

If you think music has gone stale in this country, then you only need to look for this crazy collective of freaks and weirdos. Led by the impulsive (and often repulsive) Kuning Pening, Think! Tadpole Think! have a revolving lineup of musicians including a member known as Ewok (?). Interestingly, they sound and look different at almost every gig they play. Sometimes TTT are a trio (with saxophonist Amir, DJ Xes Xes Loveseat and Kuning on vocals), other times they’re a full-fledged noise-jazz band with nifty sound-manipulating gadgets. Even more appealing was their recent foray as an experimental hip hop group under the moniker Tiga Setiga. With all this eclecticism, some audiences might question their motives. Is this performance art or unrehearsed crap? Are they really freaks/geniuses or just attention-grabbing, overdeveloped kids? Well, Kuning himself seems to draw a lot of influence from legendary no waver James Chance (of James Chance and The Contortions). But then again, they did hijack Urbanscapes last year with an impromptu performance right smack at the main entrance of the mammoth event. “Music is error” seems to be their motto. And we guess we’ll never know if they’re fo’ real. Does it matter, though?

KYOTO PROTOCOL
www.myspace.com/kpband

Okay, so they opened for MGMT in front of an audience of bemused hipsters. But rock quintet Kyoto Protocol have much more to offer than just hype. Raw like yesterday’s underwear, these wild turkeys play straight-up, no-nonsense rock n roll. 1st single ‘Pussycat’ reminds us of fun-loving hair metal bands, minus the silly irony. There are hints of The Clash and Queens of the Stone Age in KP’s songs while frontman Fuad Alhabshi sounds like a real biker-gang leader (whiskey for breakfast and whores for dinner). Ripped with healthy doses of blues and hard rock, the closest scene relatives to these guys would probably be The Rollin’ Sixers. KP have also been running a good race. After attaining 1st runner-up titles at 2009′s Yamaha Asian Beat and Malaysia’s Global Battle Of The Bands, KP went on to slay the big stage with slots at Rock The World, Urbanscapes, Baybeats in Singapore and H-artistry. Expect an album real soon!

LOVE/COMES
www.myspace.com/lovecomesband

Who doesn’t love Sarawak? Indie folks here have always viewed our Eastern brothers and sistas in a good light ever since Nice Stupid Playground gave OAG a run for their money (although both were on the same label) back in the 90s. And if you’re into post-punk dance rock you’d be glad to know that Love/Comes will be releasing a split EP with one of last year’s JUICE-chosen breakout bands Part Time Lovers. With a neck for irresistible melodies, Love/Comes’ debut EP Letters And Postcards is a strong sampler of a band with a unique sound. Layers of twinkling guitars with plenty of reverb and delay give them that big wall-of-noise sound that can sometimes lead into shoegazing territory. Yet it’s the direct rockiness of tracks like ‘Ellis Road’ and ‘Reservoir Boys’ that stir them back to their God-given, pop-sensible ways.

300@9
www.facebook.com/300AD9

Sometimes you just gotta take a step backwards to find yourself. And maybe that was what ex-They Will Kill Us All vocalist Feezul was thinking about when he formed 300@9. Quite a contrast to TWKUA, 300@9 have some pretty lo-fi moments coupled with odd dream pop sequences. The band are still fresh off the cob, having played their very 1st gig at Kchiiing! Lost Tapes at Laundry last month. Sounding like a pre-’Loser’ Beck at times, the quartet can rock it hardcore as well. And when they do, they’re closer to Weezer than epic post-rock. With just a few demos recorded and available for streaming on their Facebook page, 300@9 still have a long way to go. Nevertheless, these bedroom recordings have huge potential because they stray away from the straight-up, chord-structured formulas.

MYO
www.myspace.com/ohchentaku

During his school days, Myo was known as the prom night-crasher with his band Oh Chentaku. But 2008 saw the yearlong hiatus of the local electro punk outfit when Myo decided to leave the country to pursue his studies in Switzerland. Though thousands of miles away from his band, Myo stayed true to his passion and didn’t stop writing new material. Having been active in the underground scene for the past 6 years, Myo endeavoured to bring his music to the international stage and has since performed in front of massive audiences in London, Zurich, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Dublin and Barcelona, among other countries. To date, he’s done more than 150 shows over the last 3 years including opening sets for MXPX, Caliban, Driven Fear, and Estrella and Seven Collar T-Shirt’s UK tour. The singer-songwriter is a man with a mission; he wants to be heard. Throw him a guitar and a mic, and he will entertain you. And from what we heard, he might just throw us a new single with his band later this month called ‘Taking On Jupiter’. Orbital, dude!

KEYSTYLE TANAH MELAYU
www.facebook.com/keystyle.tanah.melayu

A long, long time ago, when the internet was a much slower place, rappers used to “battle” or retort with each other online (via forums, message boards and mIRC). Hence, the term Keystyle (keyboard style) was used to define this written exchange of lyrics and thoughts. Now, who would have thought that Facebook would continue the movement? The guys who founded notorious keystyling crew Keystyle Tanah Melayu (KTM) certainly didn’t have anything apart from fun on their minds. But soon their fun on Facebook turned into an obsession. And so Hassan joined forces with Aidy and Eikit to create a “keystyling” page after a brainstorming mamak session in October last year. A few months later, a more established local underground rap outfit, 5forty2, was introduced to KTM and together they shared their knowledge of keystyling skillz like multies and wordplay. KTM gained more cred when they drew the attention of underdog rappers following the release of their 1st track ‘Tekan Tubi’, a joint collaboration of KTM’s Aidy, Hassan, Aizad and Nawi with 5forty2′s DMent and Ali Terbang. From regular keystyle battles on Facebook discussion tabs to audio battles (with MP3s) to live freestyle battles once a month at Jin Hackman’s Raising The Bar, KTM have carved their name into the underground hip hop circuit.  The current brains behind KTM crew are Hassan, Aidy ‘Ad, Eikit, Lirzaf, Nawi, Adib and DMent. But that too might change with the crew’s growing popularity and membership drive. Facebook’s all dat!

AIZAT AMDAN
www.aizatamdan.com

Since Akademi Fantasia did not work out for this talented kiddo, Aizat Amdan spun his career wheel in a different direction after he got booted out on the 7th week of the show. Unlike most AF rejects, he returned to the limelight when his singles ‘Sahabat’ and ‘Hanya Kau Yang Mampu’ became instant hits following the release of his debut album Percubaan Pertama in 2008. Written and produced by him, the album was well-received by the masses. Aizat also worked with singer-songwriter Pete Teo on 2 English songs, ‘Just One Boy’ and ‘I Go’, for the late Yasmin Ahmad’s film Talentime. ‘Pergi’, the Malay version of ‘I Go’, and the movie’s theme song won Best Song at the 24th Anugerah Juara Lagu last year. Now he’s back with his sophomore album Urusan Aizat Amdan that’s spearheaded by his retro classy single ‘Years From Now’. Aizat is exactly what Malaysia’s mainstream music industry needs right now: a pop sensation with DIY singer-songwriter credibility. We hear Siti calling…


KARMAL XXII
www.facebook.com/karmal22

If you’re thinking of becoming a rap star, watch and learn from this up-and-coming artist. Born and raised in the concrete jungle of KL, Karmal produces his own songs at his crib and designs his own clothing line (Knowledge Unites Smart Humans aka KUSH) when he’s not busting the mic at clubs or events. A member of infamous hip hop crew XXII, he has worked with established artists such as Linda and Diana Rafar, DJ Fuzz, Altimet, Joe Flizzow, Vandal, Nadhira and Indonesian music producer Wizzow. After successfully gaining a reputation from his online mixtape This Is What I Do When I’m Bored, Karmal’s upcoming EP is scheduled for release within this month. Working closely with local hip hop community The MoveMint and fellow rising rapper Sona One from Kartel, Karmal is here to set a new benchmark for the scene. Word!

SPHERE
www.myspace.com/sphereketukkuatkuat

Need a dose of fresh music? Try Googling this band. Sphere have been around for about 3 years now with their own distinctive sound: a collection of contradicting styles derived from sweeping prog, vicious punk and experimental instrumentals. The band consists of former Estrella guitarist Yube, ex-The Eleanor Shotgun Affair drummer Aiman, bassist Show and guitarist-vocalist Alang (a scenester-cum-band slut who has impressive credentials-Man Under Zero Effort, Bittersweet and The Stoned Revivals, to name a few). Their self-titled demo was released last year with the song ‘Thunder’ presenting their trippy and refreshing musical style to all. With influences from bands like Toe, Holy F*ck and Don Caballero, Sphere shouldn’t be a stranger to the scene after making an impressive opening performance for Italian screamos La Quiete. You won’t find any yawning hipsters at their shows!

SHH…DIAM!
www.myspace.com/shhdiam

Not many riot grrl punk rock bands survive for long over here, but these girls have the talent and ballz to rock the scene right! If you like jazz, metal and punk, and like putting them all together, then check out Shh…Diam! Empowered by the anyone-can-play-music ethos of punk rock, frontwoman Farah made up her band’s name when she got an invitation to perform at a gig. Although she didn’t actually have a band at the time, Farah made haste to recruit her pals from school (Diyz on bass, favourite cousin Yon on guitar and ex-colleague Kurin on drums). After a while, Kurin left to get married and Jellene replaced her. The band have 2 tracks, ‘Julie, Don’t Listen To Them’ and ‘Kita’, and have performed at many events from small scale college gigs to local indie festivals. With thousands of fans on Facebook, they’re taking raw power (or grrl power) to the next level. Bound to be every feminist’s fave new local band, we just can’t wait to hear these grrls kick out the jams again!

THE AZENDERS
www.facebook.com/theazenders

Rumours about Bunkface frontman Sam leaving his band are not true, people. In fact, The Azenders and Bunkface performed together at the recent Twin Towers @live 2011. Back in 2010, Sam and his friends (Izal from One Buck Short, Kudut from Robot Asmara and Ajam from Dichi Michi) decided to form this project band. Although they came from different musical backgrounds, The Azenders managed to combine their love for synths, mid-tempo piano melodies and catchy rock vibes. These guys have already released 2 singles to date, ‘Ladies And Gentlemen’ and ‘Peribadi’, and recently beat Kyoto Protocol and Dead Mushroom at Hard Rock Café’s Battle Of The Bands. In case you didn’t know, The Azenders will be contending at the regional level of HRC’s Battle Of The Bands for a chance to perform at UK’s Hard Rock Calling 2011 alongside headliners like Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks. Break a leg, boys! J

For more great music, bring your browsers to JUICEonline.com/music.

  • http://poser.com.my 300@g vocalist

    that 300@g vocalist is ann a******,

  • meh

    tell me something i dont know

  • http://poser.com.my 300@g vocalist

    tadpole is stupid
    sphere is poyo
    kahmal is annoying
    300@g is irritating
    shh diam just should diam
    the azenders just should do nasyid
    everybody wanna be rockstar, they are made rockstar not born
    haha the scene is boring haha
    sorry u guys im bored

  • http://pds17.egloos.com/pds/201002/05/09/k.swf brain

    seriously this is boring. i agree with 300@g vocalist… sry but i cant feel anything this is just normal band we can find anywhere.. karmal was ok… and why the f*** Keystyle Tanah Melayu is in the eargasm list? they are not musician.. i think they all get in because ada orang dalam laa, expecially yang shh diam tu, come on give me real bands la wey, this is 12 local acts that are boooooooringgg well except karmal

  • OIU

    Aizat is in this list? What? What’s happening to you JUICE?

  • diyana

    setuju… they was ok. but not eargasm, for me, the real orgasm in local acts is; this is some of them.

    1.H3
    -the king dubstep at kl, runs the dubstep scene at kl. from mutant mayhem kl, organizing real underground party. the tune was sick. he also been chosen for play along diplo.
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezgRpNAvgLA)

    2.VNRP
    -one of the best electro act in kl, also from mutant mayhem kl. eargasm.
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWu5MDNwH4s)

    3.SonaOne
    -the real rapper, great stories behind this man.
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9jeh-f39Zs)

    4.Young Malaysian
    -young rappers from kuantan pahang. they run kuantan. they are young & ambitious.we need to keep eyes on them, they will be big soon. check out (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V56bOQiRNqk)

    5.Tres Empre
    - eargasm song! like saosin and circa survive. ive been waiting so long for someone play this kind of genre.
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPQnDde3pQs)

    DIG THEM

  • kuningpening

    TO MEH: AKU NAK BUAT NASYID LAH

  • kuningpening

    NASYID BEST!

  • kuningpening

    RAIHAN!!!!!!

  • kuningpening

    BEST LAH KORANG HIHIHI. KORANG YANG KOMEN KAT ATS NI ADA BAND TAK NI? NAK SUPPORT GILA-GILA NI HEHEHE

  • kuningpening

    ESPECIALLY YANG SUKA ABANG KARMAL KIT TU. 300@g WAT UP ‘G’ :)

  • kuningpening

    *KIT TADI SEBENARNYA ‘…YANG SUKA ABANG KARMAL KITA TU…”

  • kuningpening

    TAPI SERIOUS NASYID BEST SIOT. JUICE KENA ADA BANYAK BAND NASYID :)
    BULAN DEPAN PELLLEAZZE TOLONG LTAK RAIHAN ON THE COVER. SEBAB RATU ELIZABETH PUN SUKA DEY ALL NI :)

  • kuningpening

    TAPI SERIOUS NASYID BEST SIOT. JUICE KENA ADA BANYAK BAND NASYID :)
    BULAN DEPAN PELLLEAZZE TOLONG LTAK RAIHAN ON THE COVER. SEBAB RATU ELIZABETH PUN SUKA DEY ALL NI

  • kuningpening

    00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001111111111111111111111111000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001111111111111111111100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000011111111111111111000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000011111111111111000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000111111111111000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001111111111000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001111100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000011111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111110000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

  • mehsinikoteiko

    meh sini kotei ko meh :)

  • kuningpeninggetalife

    kuningpening, you have too much free time eh? get a life will you? bawak2 la keluar umah dari dok umah. tak kene cahaya matahari. kesian lu!

  • phang

    Think! Tadpole! Think! is the new measure of intelligence for music fans. if you don’t get them, sorry, you don’t really understand anything, do you?

  • razziec

    Keystle Tanah Melayu…so lame…hahahha..

  • kuningpening

    i dont have a life. im a fat boy, spm tak lulus. kerja aku internet je la. internet is my life. im fat and im proud. im ugly and alone. spammer for life. im stupid.

  • kuningpeninggetalife

    good for you! your mom must be proud of you! amen.

  • epul

    “BEST LAH KORANG HIHIHI. KORANG YANG KOMEN KAT ATS NI ADA BAND TAK NI? NAK SUPPORT GILA-GILA NI HEHEHE” <— ayat paling bodoh pernah aku baca?

    SRY LA BRO KENA ADA BAND BARU BOLEH SUPPORT YEE, PATUT LA BAND KAU TAK LAKU, ADA BAND BANGGA MACAM ADA BMW PULAK MAMAT NI

  • ILoveHaters!

    HI HATERS!

  • Ben Liew

    Why isn’t Ben’s Bitches in the list… lol! Because this ain’t RTW…

  • Ben Liew

    isn’t all music about being SS (Siok Sendiri)…?

  • FG

    AAAAAAH HELP MY CAPS LOCK KEY IS STUCK HOW DO I FIX IT WHY IS EVERYONE YELLING!!!?!?!?!?ELEVEN

  • king of klang

    the list is ok…..but alot need to be looked at again…..some bands dont deserve to be there….some do …. cmon juice … please have a more wholesome approach to creating a read list for all malaysians….. haiya wtf man….

    eargasmic? you guys serious? cmon man….change the title than the bands fit. haha….but seriously , bands like sphere , 300@9 , think tadpole think are all good bands..keystyle? and pls lah…the other bands have a long long way to go before thay even create eargasmic music.

    bands that needs to be there ( i think) – the great metropolitan express way and citizens of ice cream …..

  • strummer

    Free Deserters!!

  • kuningpening

    HAI. :-) SAYA SEBENARNYA SUKA DUDUK DALAM BILIK. DENGAN ADANYA BILIK, KITA BOLEH ADA BILIK. :-) AKU TAK SUKA KELUAR DARI BILIK SEBAB AKU TAKUT DENGAN ORANG. :-( MEREKA GARANG. NAK KELUAR PUN PERGI BERAK, MANDI, SEMBAHYANG, MAKAN, MINUM, TENGOK TV. :-) AKU ORANG YANG TAK BEST MACAM ORANG LAIN. :’(

  • Ben Liew

    Thanks for the suggestions! We’ve feat Citizens of Ice Cream, Metropolitan Expressway, Sone One, VNRP and H3 before. We’ll be checking the rest soon!

    Music is awesome! :)

  • http://www.the-wknd.com Azam Hisham

    most of these acts up here have hardly anything on record(shh diam records at home, sphere has one track laid down but thats about it), so i don’t know what you guys are basing your judgement on. They are new and except for Aizat and The Azenders, they are completely independent. So if you haven’t even been to any of their shows, please just keep your presumptuous comments to yourselves. @300@g vocalist, your 1st comment’s very personal, keep that for your diary or your gossip partner.

  • http://poser.com.my asshole

    Dude, wats so personal?
    your show sux, big time, this bands just doin for the in thing,
    atleast the 1st comment start something, creating awareness, that malaysian canot take criticism, so defensive
    everybody supercool and trying to be so american and proud to be an MTV people and living he rock n roll lifestyle
    just listen to ur self
    check urself b4 u wreck urself

  • http://www.melodica.com.my kae

    whats with the hatred thingie? all of the bands deserved to be mention. and i agree. apsal nak hasad dengki sgt?work harder and wait for your turnlah.
    support each other. ni tak..kalo rasa musik ko best sgt n deserve the the limelight. PROVE IT!

  • YOm Thorke

    apa lah marah2 nie. LIST are like a*******. everyone has one. tak suka list nie, buat lah list sendiri. tulis blog sendiri ke. buat majalah sendiri ke.

    aku pun takde la suka sgt all those acts mentioned , but this is JUICE punya opinion, lantak depa la nak list down sapa pun. isk isk isk…

  • http://www.the-wknd.com Azam Hisham

    @asshole
    “a******” is not criticism. Mmmm.. dan pendapat kau basi la. Dah puas gua dengar orang guna “pengaruh budaya barat” masa tulis karangan kat skolah rendah dulu.

  • http://www.the-wknd.com Azam Hisham

    Aizat not bad wat. Checkout this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbdYjM0ZTHE. Ala ala morrisey and richard ashcroft. Sorry weh asshole/300@g wa reference mat saleh dan bukan orang melayu kita And Shh Diam are fckn cool, riot grrl tak riot grrl.

  • http://poser.com.my asshole

    alolololo terasa ye
    budaya barat ke tak budaya barat ke same je,
    kalau ade orang tengok poyo nak buat macam mane, kalau da rasa macam tu luahkan laa, tapi da luah kan terasaa la kan hehe
    pendapat basi tapi terasa, ok ar tu, kalau tak di kemukekan takde sape komen komen macam ni bes ape,
    scene skrang semua orng cool semua org gempak semua org hensem
    sape lagi nak bagi kate kate ini yang bole membangunkan orang or menjatuhkan orang best ape
    sory ar azam hisham
    menjawab is stil d best

  • Azam

    Menjatuh/membangun?menyemak ada la

  • Muhammad Aizat

    Assalamualaikum dan salam sejahtera sahabat komentar Ku semua. Nama saya Muhammad Aizat. Semua kritikan adalah berguna. Tidak kira baik atau buruk kritikan itu. Jadikan kritikan ini sebagai batu loncatan. Mungkin komentari saya selepas ini dikritik secara total, tetapi dia manusia, saya pun manusia. Akal saya, akal saya, akal dia, akal dia. Semua menunjukkan betapa manusianya kita. Persepsi adalah hak masing-masing. Jadi teruskan kritikan anda biar baik atau buruk. Kerana saya, kamu dan kita semua adalah manusia. Jangan berhenti dari mengeluarkan idea kamu semua.

  • melodi

    MELODIIIIIIIIII
    HAHAHAHAHAHAH

  • khoontau

    Azenders & Aizat are good, but too commercial already. the up and coming rising stars are Kyoto Protocol & Shh…Diam! should see the performance before judging anythg.all the best for the others too, everybody works hard to be where they re now.

  • Liyana Jamili

    KP has a single out. but they’re under Monsoon. Is that independent? SD has 2 demos out, recorded from home. And you don’t call that independent? But Aizat and The Azenders are?

    Not hatin’ , just wondering.

    KP is sex on electric. though they’re a little awkward on acoustic set.
    TTT are brilliant.
    and Sphere… Oof. I haunt all their shows.
    OCK are legit s***.

  • http://www.the-wknd.com Azam

    @liyana jamili, i said everyone except aizat and azenders. arrgh.

  • Liyana Jamili

    @ Azam. Hi

    OH man I’m sorry. I misunderstood your words. S*** dude, sorry.

  • ghost

    im not here to judge any bands which have been listed above, but more directly towards Karmal and Keystyle Tanah Melayu

    well, personally i think Karmal really deserves a spot there, and if any of yall disagree then the reason is yall just dont know what hip hop in this region is about then. basically this dude to me has potential, the music he comes up with is wayy fresh.

    as for keystyle tanah melayu, dudes, i got mad love for yall but i dont think yall deserve a spot, yet. KTM is still new, recruiting and yall only got like a couple of songs out. but if it was judged due to other reasons, i would add that KTM is one of the main reasons why hip hop is slowly back up in this region. they got talent, they got potential. goodluck ktm

    and one other thing i noticed is that, some guy or girl posted a list that had YOUNG MALAYSIAN in it. mannn, please, those dudes need lotsa training and other factors before even coming near the list. like cmon, young malaysian are still new and building a name and the music they come up with, well, for me, its nor quite original.

    mad love for the hip hop scene. peaceee