Billiam Corner Tactics LP

Melbourne simple-to-the-core new wave-y synth punk, filled with mid-paced drums and cheap, soft keyboards all merged with lo-fi submarine telephone vocals that monotone the shit out of this. Featuring a member from DISCO JUNK and COLLECTIVE HARDCORE, it brings a hyperactive vibe to bedroom punk. Goofy synth punk for lovers of simple, funny DIY projects. It lacks fire, it’s so monotonous, but it might be right down your alley. Funny yet boring, if it’s even possible.

Billiam / The Vovos Vampire Club split EP

Melbournians BILLIAM (a.k.a. Billy “Gotta Go Fast” Twyford, whom you may know from DISCO JUNK or COLLECTIVE HARDCORE) and the VOVOS team up for a split 7”. BILLIAM is bringing you three tracks of his typically charming brand of hyperactive bedroom punk. Things are maybe 30% sillier this go-round, with a plethora of cheap synth sounds (and maybe even a melodica) in the mix, but I’m also detecting a bit of TWOMPSAX/CHER STRAUBERRY influence creeping in. All in all—pretty good! But the other side of the record is really what sells this thing for me! The VOVOS are a five-piece named after an Australian cookie, who’ve been playing together since they met at GirlsRock! Melbourne camp as teens. They’re fantastic! They play a mix of indie pop, ’90s indie rock, and punk—a combo of sounds that on paper I don’t think I would have gone for, but these girls weave them together in such an odd way, creating quite a compelling tapestry. “Jessica Day” sounds like TIGER TRAP playing the NEW PORNOGRAPHERS but with Super*Teem!-era DONNAS’ shout-along hooks. Then “Justice for Pretzel Man” starts as a minimal ramshackle guitar-and-voice number in the vein of MARINE GIRLS or the SOFTIES with what sounds like an early MODEST MOUSE-styled guitar-rock tantrum boiling just under the surface (though, never actually breaking through), then the song explodes into a chorus that nails the loose, shouty harmonizing of the RAINCOATS’ debut. I really loved both of these tracks, and I’m keen to hear more from them!

Billiam Turrets Over Craigieburn EP

Nothing like straightforward, stripped-down punk to cleanse the palate. Apart from the distorted vocals, which remind me of MR. CLIT AND THE PINK CIGARETTES (who bark into a microphone made from a banana phone), these six tracks are cleanly recorded, mid-tempo, lo-fi, and fun. “Number 19 Pancake Parlor Special” features some keyboard action that hearkens back to some early B-52’S vibes. Great fun out of Melbourne. 

Billiam 8 Hours in Billiamville EP

While I have developed a general aversion to the unabashedly quirky and messy styles of what is commonly referred to as “egg-punk,” BILLIAM has managed to win me over a bit with this little eight-song garage banger. There’s a frankness to these frantic and grooving tunes that makes the weirdness quite tolerable, and songs like the synth-driven “Soup Season” and the dreamy “Metal Bed” are just so damn catchy it’s hard to resist. This is probably my favorite collection that he’s put out thus far. He’s got a number on here entitled “B-Beat” where he pounds out a rudimentary D-beat for a few seconds before flatly proclaiming “I don’t get D-beat,” which I can totally understand because I used to not “get D-beat” either, back when I was stupid.

Billiam Billiam Cassingles Club 2020 cassette

Goofy synth punk fun from this Melbourne solo project. This tape collects the twelve cassingles BILLIAM released in 2020, which is a pretty impressive run for such a crappy year. Most of the tracks are pretty straightforward mixes of lo-fi synth, garage guitar, and cheapo electronic drums. There is enough personality here to keep things interesting, and the vibe here is laid-back and good-natured with songs called “Flemwad,” “Crocodile Sandwich,” and “I Need a Robot.” They are all about exactly what the titles suggest. BILLIAM fits in nicely with labelmates RESEARCH REACTOR CORP. and GEE TEE, as well as vintage ATOM AND HIS PACKAGE. For egg-punk nonbelievers, this won’t change your mind because I could see it coming across as annoying. But if you are in the right frame of mind for some simple DIY fun that sounds like a guy making novelty songs with a keyboard, BILLIAM is a good time.