Anti Fade records is very pleased to announce the release of the ‘New Centre of the Universe, Vol. 3’ LP; the third instalment (and first to appear on vinyl) in the label’s series of Australian-based compilations that began back in 2012. It’s been five years and over two dozen releases since the last volume of the compilation - but I like to think that this one is worth the wait! The record is made up of the likes of Terry, Parsnip, Exek, School Damage, Vintage Crop. Traffik Island, Gonzo, The Shifters, The Stroppies and many more - nil bands of which have appeared on any previous compilations.
To recap earlier volumes; New Centre of the Universe, Vol. 1 and 2 came out within 12 months of each other on small cassettes runs in 2012 and 2013. Volume 1 featured nine Melbourne bands on the first side and nine Geelong bands on the second, together spanning the likes of The UV Race, Frowning Clouds, Dick Diver, King Gizzard, Ausmuteants, Hierophants, Living Eyes and many more. 10 months later came New Centre of the Universe, Vol. 2, which this time featured bands spread along the Australian East Coast such as The Stevens, Straight Arrows, The Gooch Palms, Super Wild Horses, Cobwebbs, Terrible Truths, Bits Of Shit and of course many more.
But enough about the past - “New Centre Of The Universe Vol.3” is now finished and ready to see the light of day. The compilation features 17 Victorian bands and artists and has backed off from any ‘punk’ bands that may have featured on earlier volumes, with the overall theme here being a more relaxed and easy listening record. It was compiled over the last 12 months by Anti Fade Records, mastered by Mikey Young and finally wrapped in the glorious, hand-painted artwork that you see above by Carolyn Hawkins - who also features on two of the songs! From the garage-y sounds of girl group Parsnip’s opener, “It Couldn’t Be True” to the minor, instrumental closer that is Zane Gardner’s “In Saint-Rémy and Auvers”, the compilation sets a strong and versatile balance of some of Victoria’s finest musicians, groups and songwriters.
Our take: Brilliant compilation album from this Australian label that is taking the world by storm. There’s a lot of buzz around Australian punk, post-punk and indie music lately, and Anti Fade Records seems to have their finger particularly close to the pulse, as we can see by this compilation. Interestingly, the label’s description notes that on this volume they’re moving away from punk-derived music in favor of “a more relaxed and easy listening record.” That certainly made me skeptical going in, but after one listen I was sold on this comp. The highlights are the bands that I knew already; the impossibly great Parsnips (I can’t wait to hear a full-length from them!), Alien Nosejob (whose track here is pretty punk-sounding TBH), Terry, the Shifters, and Vintage Crop, but there isn’t a skip-worthy song here in my opinion. If you get down with the softer side of punk/indie (i.e. you own releases on labels like Flying Nun and Sarah Records) I think you’ll be just as smitten.