Reviewed by Bec Hennessy
Luca Brasi. Earnest, and unmistakably Australian. Connected from their Tassie treehouse to our bedroom windows by a thread, connected to a cup. The old homemade string phone echoing with their punchy punk rhythms and bubbling bass lines, cooled with a sprinkling of shiny guitar noodling.
I’ll admit straight up that I generally find the strong Aussie vocal phrasing annoying. Funny, because I was all over the defending of Aussie hip hop from the ocker haters. I also find Australian musicians imitating American accents equally annoying. So I guess I’m both hypocritical and contradictory? Anyway my point is, sometimes your gut reactions aren’t always logical/final. Case in point, I didn’t end up disliking this.
It was more jangly than I expected. It’s not straight up punk, with stop start riffs and frenetic pace (not that there’s anything wrong with that). There’s some very pretty guitar solos and lines that underpin some of the tracks that take things beyond. I come to feel this falls close to the Australian (and yes vocally Australian sounding – I’ll admit it) bands like Bodyjar or Pollyanna- whom I like. Songs dedicated for/about mums, girlfriends and friends no longer with us. The lyrics are direct and heartfelt.
There’s the simple strummed guitar and vocal intros of KDR and Western Junction. Get Sad, See Mates is a kind of ode to the friendships in the music scene, prettied up with some shiny guitar jangle. The twang of Death Rattle pulls me in. The more subdued carefully phrased vocals, compete with it for focus. Bro-harmonies that become shouts, add warmth & depth. This song has a lyric refrain that sticks with me for some reason. Even on the first vague – cooking dinner – absentminded listen I gave this record I stopped to listened to it “If you’re gonna reside in hell, at least every once in a while, make it a point to crane your neck up” Realistic, yet positive. I like it.
One Set of Rules has a lovely, almost glittery rock guitar line to end on which resurfaces again later in the wah of Echoes. There was also enjoyment to be found in the more laid back vocals of Here’s Looking At You Kid Rock and the rambling, bare acoustic intro of Western Junction.