Posts Tagged ‘27twelve’

1990s Revival: Avail – Over the James (c1998)

03 Oct

For all who saw Richmond, Virginia’s Avail play with Lagwagon earlier this year, you’ll know they can rock the house down. And now, here is their new album: much heavier than their last effort but still in keeping with the great vocal harmonies and melodies that filled the last disc.

14 phenomenal tracks are what’s on offer here and it has become obvious that the metal head drummer has had his evil way with the rest of the band, as their style has just gone through the roof as far as heaviness is concerned. But don’t get me wrong, this is a very good thing. No-one will be disappointed with this CD at all; there is just nothing bad to comment on and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of guys.

From the song names, lyrics and the interview I did with the guys before, the issues put forward are all local to them and you can tell this by the amount of emotion put into each performance. It just shows really well that if you write about something that directly affects you, it will sound that much more natural and powerful. It worked for these guys tenfold.

I’m sure any one of the 380 people at the Pitt on January 9 will either have already bought Over the James or are going to buy it, aren’t you!? No really, this album is the perfect example of how to write and record the perfect CD. Congratulations guys.



1990s Revival: Zimmer’s Hole – Bound By Fire (c1997)

17 Aug

Forget extreme sports; this is extreme FUN! Zimmer’s Hole is one of the side projects of Strapping Young Lad. No, Devin isn’t directly involved; it was the other guy’s project and the band member’s names read like this: El Smooche – Lorde of Electric Winde; Banglsey Starnipples – Lorde of Strobe Lighting; Sickie Moochmaster – Lorde of Greased Thunder and Dr Heathen Hooch – Lorde of Ass-Fire.

Now, if you can’t tell that this is going to be fun from the names of the band members, why not try some of the track names: Pork Rind Toes, Two-Headed Anal Baby, Hell Comes to Breakfast, This is Metal and Gospel Sodomy Boy on Blow! Funny enough for ya? Now, one warning, the music depicted on this disc ranges from heavy rock to death metal, with the more extreme styles being the main theme. So, it isn’t for the squeamish. Another thing that sets this apart from other satirical metal recordings is that all the musicians involved can actually play: the singer has an incredible range, the drummer is super fast and the guitars and bass never miss a note. Add to that the fact that Bound By Fire is well produced and this is simply miles apart from anything vaguely like it.


1990s Revival: Secret Chiefs 3 – Second Grand Constitution and Bylaws: Hurqalya (c1998)

15 Aug

Secret Chiefs 3 (SC3) are in a category all of their own as far as comparisons go. You couldn’t even compare them to Mr Bungle; which is kind of strange because the main man in SC3 – Trey Spruance – is in fact the guitarist/keyboardist with the legendary freaks themselves… Mr Bungle, that is.

Anyway, I guess if I had to go to extremes I would say that SC3 are the same as Mr Bungle in the sense that the song structures can often end up just as chaotic, but that is about it. here you have distorted, demented surf songs, classic eastern-cum-western songs and downright stupidly fantastic aural noisescapes. Wow, that was a mouthful!

Even though I am a huge Bungle fan, I would have to say that my favourite track on Second Grand… is the opening number, ‘The Rose Garden of Mystery’ because it was the most coherent. The artwork is whacky. Just imagine Bungle’s Disco Volante and add more colour. What you’re left with is SC3! Wonderful.

If you’re asking yourself, who the hell is this Trey Spruance guy anyway, or for that matter ‘Who is Mr Bungle’, then the answer is as such: Spruance actually played the guitar parts on Faith No More‘s King for a Day album, but left saying that he wasn’t going to be able to handle the touring commitments. So, then you get the connection between Trey and FNM and in turn, Mr Bungle (whose ranks include FNM’s Mike Patton). Talk about six degrees of separation!

If whacky music is what’s on your agenda, then SC3 and their album Second Grand Constitution and By Laws: Hurqalya is for you. Get it now.


(NOTE: These reviews were originally published in 27twelve: a ‘zine originating in Newcastle Australia in the late 1990s. They’re being published onto the internet now more as a matter of record and whimsical self interest than for any other reason and should be considered as such. Check out the ’1990s’ category of the blog in the coming months for many more 1990s CD and live reviews.)

Coming Soon: 1990s Music Revival

12 Aug

The 1990s: what an amazing time for music and Hosking Industries was there. Well, Ben Hosking was, anyway (is it weird talking about one’s self in the third person?). I’ve talked briefly about my old ‘zine 27twelve on this blog before, way back when I still found myself with some spare time. I reviewed about 10 CDs in that little ‘zine each month, as well as running interviews and live reviews of the acts at the time.

I also wrote for Newcastle, Australia music press outlet ‘concretepress‘. It was in the more traditional tabloid newspaper format and fed music and arts news to the Hunter region. Both publications pre-dated the internet age and due to my computer at the time not having the storage space to house my hundreds of reviews and other documents, today I find myself with only A4 paper print outs of them.

I got to thinking the other day that it could be cool to type up each of these reviews and post them on this blog as a way of remembering this special time in my life and in the life of the music business. A time before the industry crashed and so many new genres were being created as opposed to simply rehashing old ones.

So, over the coming weeks and months I’ll be endeavouring to type up as many of the old reviews as  I can, including gig reviews; creating a new ‘1990s’ section of the blog so you can find them all easily. I’d love to hear your thoughts not only about the idea, but also hear your memories of the 1990s (if you were old enough to enjoy them).

Stay tuned!

10,000 Hits! Bring on 20,000.

01 Nov

Our blog reached 10,000 hits tonight! Sure, the site as a whole has had more hits than that and our old blog had previously reached about 5,000 – but this… this feels like a momentous occasion.

Hosking Industries was founded on February 1, 2010 and life has been speeding up ever since. After working full time in the motoring media industry for seven years before going freelance, getting back into the creative nitty gritty of the industry was like a breath of fresh air. For too long I’d (I know, I keep using ‘I’, ‘Me’ and ‘My’ AND ‘We’, ‘We’re’ and ‘Our’) been delving deeper and deeper into the management side of things. I was really missing the creative element that goes with putting magazines together: writing, shooting and getting out into the scene to talk with car owners. Then there’s the music scene…

Even before I made my first steps into the motoring media industry in 2001 or 2002, I was having a blast interviewing most of my favourite metal bands, reviewing their CDs and going to their gigs so I could inform first the Newcastle and Hunter region public and later the fledgling interwebs – well, it was fledgling for me back in 1999. Do a quick search of our blog here and I explain my old street press 27wtelve in more detail. (more…)

What the Hell is a 27twelve?!

11 Mar

I was thinking about my post the other night; the one about the Newcastle music scene and how I got involved with music journalism back in the ’90s. And I realised that somehow I had completely left out the part relating to 27twelve.

Now, for most reading this, you’d be completely forgiven for wondering just what the hell a 27twelve is. Well, it was the name of my monthly metal ‘zine.

After writing for Mark Hughes at concretepress for a while, I was hankering for some greater creative outlet. The writing bug had bitten and I realised that I had a voice. I wanted that voice to spread further; to reach more people and discuss things that mattered to me.

I have to be honest and admit that I really had no prior knowledge of the then-burgeoning ‘zine scene. As it turned out, Newcastle and the surrounding areas were home to many examples of ‘zines on all kinds of topics. But what inspired me to create a little A5-sized publication was a late-night documentary on Hugh Hefner and the Playboy empire. Hugh started his publishing career with much the same concept: a magazine in a small, cheaply printed format.

That very same night I sat up in front of mum’s slow-as-a-wet-blanket PC and started work on the first issue of what would become 27twelve. Don’t bother asking where the name came from or what it meant. I didn’t know then and I don’t know now, suffice it to say that being in bands back then, I was always trying to think up names for bands and song titles. 27twelve was just one of many on the list and not wanting to create a publication with a name that would give people a preconception of what would be inside, I went for something that no-one could mistakenly judge.

In all the mag ran like clockwork for over two and a half years and boasted many of my favourite local and international acts on the cover. Even today I look back and am surprised at how much support the nation’s record companies gave me in terms of access to their acts for interviews and mountainous piles of CDs for review.

It was distributed throughout Newcastle, Maitland and the Manning Valley regions in many of the same places you’d find street presses like the Drum Media and 3D World. I relied on my unemployment benefit payments from the government to pay for the printing of each issue which was completed by simply photocopying each double-sided A4 page 1000 times. After printing was done, I had the support of friends and family to help me fold the pages and staple them in the middle, creating a 28-page A5 magazine.

Often some of those same friends and family members would feature within the pages, writing opinion columns and providing advice on subjects within their chosen field. For instance, my grand mother wrote a regular political column and my best mate wrote a regular piece on computer technology and game reviews. Those were fun times.

When 27twelve turned one, I even threw it a birthday party. I booked five of my favourite local bands to play at the Cambridge Hotel on Hunter Street in Newcastle West, designed up pole posters and invites for contributors, advertisers, local musos and the like. We ended up with a good couple hundred people at the event and I remember through my drunken haze later in the evening, the then-promoter of the pub putting his arm around my shoulders and thanking me for a good night.

So what killed 27twelve? Primarily it was me being sick of being unemployed, never having any money and feeling like the city was closing in around me. The scene there was big, but small at the same time. So, I moved to Sydney to find work.

Ben Hosking, Editor of 27twelve

For a time, the mag continued. I interviewed bands after hours (sometimes even AT work) and basically used all my remaining hours designing and writing – but it all got too hard. I ended the print version of the mag not long after it turned two and a half when my flatmate convinced me that the place to be was on-line. Thus began my introduction to web design, back in 1999. It didn’t last, though, and I closed it for good.

It was an awesome ride that together with my work at concretepress, allowed me to interview most of my favourite bands and see them live for nix, as well as collect the motherlode of review CDs that were regularly swapped at Rice’s second hand bookstore for non-fiction paperbacks and other CDs.

So, here I am now, endeavouring to re-enter the music journalism field in addition to my primary work writing for automotive publications. My love of music never left – I simply had so much on my plate working for Express Publications that there was little time or inclinatin to continue. However, over time I pulled the guitars back out of storage and started reading Metal Hammer, Kerrang and Guitar World again. When I left Express earlier this year, my desire to write about music was firmly reignited.

Thanks for listening.