(Mystic Olympic, 2014)
You Aussies keep bringing it, don’t you? Long after we’ve abandoned our college rock heroes, you churn out that head-nod shit that still makes us break our necks (to paraphrase long-time scenester [scenesta?] Busta Rhymes). Rock and roll got arms crossy and stiff there for a while. We looked awfully stupid standing there gawking at our favorite bands in our dumb glasses and ironic T-shirts like they were monkeys performing for us. We were a bunch of uncomfortable, awkward assholes. What happened to us?
I count myself among that number of course, and I’m probably going to stand in the back with my arms crossed and peer through my glasses while witnessing any rock and roll band from now until the end of time, because I’m too old to care anymore. But hey, if you’re reading this and you’re not a crotchety old music writer who’s been beaten down and cynicized by everything in this world, you’re in for a treat! This friggin’ 7-inch right here is going to save your life. Well, it’s at least going to put you in a better mood.
It’s true that I’m a sucker for most jangly post-Pavement rascals who figure their way somewhat competently around a guitar, and Unity Floors (Sydney) and Chook Race (Melbourne – again, that name! I love it for some reason) split sides and deliver the goods. Unity Floors is the more Pavement-y of the two, and I want them to play my birthday party. (Do NOT count candles.) “Hold Music” is the duo’s summer jam, and features the best and most sincere Harry Nilsson “Coconut” reference: “Put the lime in the coconut, lime in the coconuuuuuuut! And mix it all up.” Cue fuzz box. Cue ecstatic moment.
Chook Race is in more level-headed territory with “Numb,” but that’s exactly what’s needed after “Hold Music.” I’m reminded of the fun female-fronted groups coming out of weird corners in the 1990s, but I’m putting my finger on The Rondelles and Elastica, two bands who bridged the gap between knowledgeable indie rock and the swaggery-er side of the tracks. Chook Race gives a hearty two-finger salute with their no-frills jangle pop, and cement themselves as all-term detention troublemakers – detainees, I guess – making like The Breakfast Club for all eternity. Or at least for as long as their side of the split lasts. Which is all of 1:55. So, they’re like The Breakfast Club for 1:55. Unless you repeat it a lot! And you should.
What’s coming next out of this camp? I’m having so much fun it hurts. It hurts my knees, especially, and other joints. God, I’m out of it.
This record screams “Buy me!”
RIYL: Seafood, Joggers, Sal Paradise, School Damage, The Rondelles, Elastica