6 January 2011

Unearthed Review - Distance Fallen ***1/2

| johnboy
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Distance Fallen screenshot

There are nearly 700 Canberra bands with tracks on the TripleJunearthed website. In 2011 we’re going to explore them.

First off the rank, selected at random with my trusty THAC0 iphone app, is Distance Fallen who describe themselves thusly:

In the quiet suburbs of Canberra, a desperate, honest and exciting sound is emerging. Distance Fallen, after months of writing, rewriting and rehearsals are ready to unleash their brand of acoustic punk rock upon unsuspecting listeners Australia-wide. Comprising of just three members, Kevin Stewart on vocals and guitar, Matthew Dennis playing bass and backup vocals and Sean Ford on drums and percussion, they each bring different influences to the Distance Fallen sound. “We’ve all been influenced by a range of artists from a range of eras” Stewart says, “from Against Me! to Crowded House, Propagandhi to early jazz”. From these influences Distance Fallen have come up with a range of punk inspired acoustic tracks infused with their own chilled-out, laid-back style. Currently in the recording process for their debut EP, Distance Fallen are planning to have their first full length released by mid 2008. Stewart says that these will both be produced and distributed independently. “We’re all really into the DIY ethic, we just want the opportunity to show ourselves the way we are and the way we would like to be”.

They’ve only got two tracks up on the site, and this 37 generalist old will admit that both “sounds like” and “influences” were a mystery. Such is the price of being really into a scene.


City Lights:

The vocals in the recording are a bit on the muddy side. Which is a shame because there are some reasonably poignant lyrics going on here.

While City Lights is a moody sort of rock song the chorus breaks out into a genuine toe-tapper, and the jangling guitars are good value.

Sleeping on Floors:

With a genuine modern punk sound (more Blink182 than Sex Pistols) I suspect this song is an enditement of housing affordability in Canberra and the plight of the youth who survive by couch surfing.

“Let’s take another chance
and wake up on some other floor”

(If the lyrics were a little cleaner we could be sure of that)


Recording quality lets down what are two pretty worthwhile songs, but doesn’t make them unlistenable.

Don’t be put off by the punk rock tag. Both songs (if produced and mastered) could be played on commercial radio (and would be a great improvement over vocoded top 40 offerings).

If you like your music moody then it’s well worth a listen.


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far_northact12:26 pm 05 Jan 11

Thumper said “They’re a local band. That should be enough to support them.”

I agree, I love live music and supporting local talent. My point in earlier post was, that support should go to current bands/acts. They’ve broken up (according to myspace). If we’re going to support local talent, the efforts would be best placed supporting bands and acts that are still together, i.e. that RiotACT members could actually go and support and see live.

Gospeedygo said: “I really don’t think the acoustic guitar works for this band.”
I agree. Not loud & angry enough to be PUNK.
I listened to both songs…plenty of potential, but the acoustic angle doesn’t work for me.

Thanks JB, I look forward to this series playing out!

Well without unearthed providing more dating information it’s going to have to remain a random sample of local talent as presented on unearthed.

But if you’re current then email loadedog@gmail.com for a spot in the Insatiable Banalities podcast. http://the-riotact.com/category/podcasts/insban

If the purpose of the exercise is to promote local Canberra bands, the fact that previous entrants are not culled is quite relevant I think. These bands may either not exist any longer, may have relocated, contracts overseas etc. It seems that the practice of not culling entrants may be designed to make it appear that we have more talent in Canberra than we in fact do, but it doesn’t help the current group of newly emerging artists to get noticed amongst the remnants of bands past. Still, at least it is a forum and an opportunity.

I might a have a thorough look see at this list of bands. I need some new music to listen to.

Now to put on my bad rock journalist hat:

I really don’t think the acoustic guitar works for this band. If the drums lack punch and the bass lacks punch, where is the punch going to come from? An investment in a strat and a fuzz box would work for some acoustic like jangle and then some power.

One would hope this is just a rough, rough demo, especially given the boast of “….says that these will both be produced and distributed independently.”

It’s not necessarily my kind of music but I can see how this could appeal to the kiddies.

Why yes, I am aware of that. It just doesn’t have any bearing on the exercise.

far_northact3:16 pm 04 Jan 11

quoting from their blurb on this site: “Distance Fallen are planning to have their first full length released by mid 2008.”

JB – do you realise JJJ don’t cull previous years entrants? I know someone who entered about 4 years ago and is still listed? They might not even be together anymore….

I wonder if the guy in the middle has a commodore ute with a sticker similar to his t-shirt?

If you review Double J, you’ll be reviewing a canberra band that reads RiotACT!

Many Canberra bands read RiotACT, we’ll stick to random selection.

There’s 700 bands in Canberra?

Where are you all???????????

Good Work Johnboy. There are tons of great Canberra bands out there, and more we can do to raise their profiles the better.

ConanOfCooma1:21 pm 04 Jan 11

Ah, so it’s not Punk Rock, then?

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