Underachiever are aiming high with their new EP

BETTER DAYS: Newcastle punk band Underachiever are pushing ahead with positivity on their second EP, this time I'll stay good. Picture: Paris Drinkwater
BETTER DAYS: Newcastle punk band Underachiever are pushing ahead with positivity on their second EP, this time I'll stay good. Picture: Paris Drinkwater

DANIEL Foster knows first-hand the debilitating nature of depression and anxiety.

However, music eventually became a positive outlet for the Novocastrian to forge ahead. The result has been his punk four-piece Underachiever.

On Friday night Underachiever will launch their second EP, this time I’ll stay good, at the Cambridge Hotel.

The EP illustrates Foster’s own personal journey, beginning with the first single Restart, where he sings “it’s gonna be something I can be proud of, because I tried my best,” when discussing his battles with mental health.

“We hear a lot of bands romanticise those kind of issues, but we wanted to move away from that and speak about it with optimism,” Foster said.

Underachiever – which also includes Sam Gray (guitar), Brandon Northam (bass) and Brodie Christie (drums) – came together in 2016 when they met through a Newcastle musician’s Facebook site.

They quickly bonded over a shared love of pop punk like Blink 182 and modern Australian acts like The Smith Street Band. Later that year they released their debut EP You Tried Hard.

Then last year Underachiever really started to get noticed when triple j and Sydney’s FBi started playing their single Cliche Sports Movie.


TORONTO country singer Aaron Jurd knows he has the opportunity of his career.

Since Sunday the 26-year-old has been rubbing shoulders and picking the brains of some of Australian country music’s brightest stars in Tamworth.

It’s all part of the Country Music Association of Australia’s annual academy where 29 students spend two intensive weeks engrossed in musical theory, performance and business.

On Tuesday he co-wrote a song with seven-time Golden Guitar winner Allan Caswell and then spent the evening jamming with alt-country queen Kasey Chambers. 

“I’m not normally getting to write with such recognised artists, so it’s great for me,” Jurd said from Tamworth.

“It’s definitely brought me out of my comfort zone. It is intimating because you’re surrounded by so much talent, but the experience of it is very fulfilling.”

Jurd has been singing with cover bands and duos around Newcastle and the Central Coast for the past five years and was twice named a finalist in Today's Country 94one Brand New Star Competition in 2012 and 2013.

However, Jurd plans to release his debut EP later this year and he hopes the experience of working with musicians like Chambers, Caswell, Amber Lawrence, Lyn Bowtell and Kevin Bennett will strengthen his songwriting.  

“I just had one recorded before I went to the academy called Set Me On Fire, but it hasn’t been mastered, so I haven’t released it,” he said.

“I wanted to get enough songs together for an EP and I was hoping to get a few done while I’m up here.”


NEWCASTLE rock royalty Daniel Johns and the shape-shifting Luke Steele have always been about pushing boundaries and challenging their own fans.

As far as dream collaborations go they’d be on many wishlists. So appropriately the pair have united for a collaboration called Dreams.

A snippet of music emerged from Dreams this week and it’s nothing like Silverchair, or even Johns’ solo album Talk. The electro track is much closer to Steele’s Empire Of The Sun and is full of funky guitars and Johns’ auto-tuned vocals.


dave - Eggiwegs

THE accolades for dave’s single Eggiwegs continue to flow. Following on from Sydney music and arts publication Happy Mag naming the track their third best of 2017, Sydney radio station FBi have revealed Eggiwegs was among their top 100 most played songs in 2017.


WE’RE hearing a second Tired Lion show at the Cambridge Hotel could soon be announced after the Perth indie band sold out the venue’s warehouse room eight weeks in advance.

Tired Lion’s March 2 show in Newcastle is the first date of their Dumb Days national tour to sell out.


IT was that king of double denim, Bryan Adams, who famously sang Kids Wanna Rock. And it’s also true for Thrashville this year.

Due to public demand the Dashville crew have opened up their heavy music festival to ages 13 and over.

Previously only adults were permitted entry to the January 20 showcase, which includes Frenzal Rhomb and King Parrot.


REMEMBER the 2015 YouthRock grand final winners In Motion? Well, the classic-rock lovers have changed their name to The Venom Lips and taken their sound in a bolder, darker and more exciting direction.

In November they released the EP The Venom Lips and on Saturday at the Cambridge Hotel the three-piece of Daniel Ennis (guitar), Jack Davis (drums) and Lachlan Fisher (bass/vocals) will launch their latest high-energy single American Honey


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