Research Records (label)
01 March 2019 (released)
01 March 2019
The Melbourne Legacy: the Australian city has birthed and nurtured numerous acts namely gothic-rockers The Birthday Party, sampledelicists The Avalanches, 80s pop-purveyors Pseudo Echo and the evergreen Kylie Minogue. A creative hotbed of varying styles and sounds.
The Melbourne Identity: This three-pronged supergroup is comprised of the chief songwriters from three other bands Crepes, Dreamin' Wild and Sagamore (Chris Jennings, Sam Cooper and Tim Karmouche) with each individual bringing a distinctive and idiosyncratic approach to pure pop.
Named after a legendary strain of marijuana this 6 track album (each member composing two songs each) lives up to its properties; languid, laconic and blissed out languor drawing from myriad sources: Nigerian funk (William Onyeabor’s spartan synth-scapes), sci-fi disco (Giorgio Moroder, 1980s flexipop) and Harry Nilsson’s literary vignettes. Crossing time, space and place it all amounts to a veritable trans-global down underground.
The Melbourne Supremacy: Like contemporaries Mildlife the band affect mellow grooves and effect stoner moves. Along with Rolling Coastal Blackouts Fever and The Stroppies, the city is producing a superlative strand of indie-pop-melting-pot-pourri.
Mutant disco has a new anthem. ‘Shapeshifter’ is an Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Darkesque soul-stirrer. The song of 2019 already. Hip-hop beatmaster Money Mark ‘s echoes are heard on ‘Reflections’, a subtle organ plinks and plonks as a bluesy-woozy Robbie Robertson feel opines ‘something went wrong with the way you changed direction, something wasn’t right the way you changed reflections’. Duplicity has a mirror image.
‘As you go’ has a snake-charming hypnotic bassline that coils and recoils, warping and wrapping itself round the audio-spine, the vocals a drawl sprawl. ‘Disco’ is a dancefloor derive outlining the many places the trio have been and lived, a drive past the passed, listing them a la the KLF’s ‘It’s grim up North’ albeit this journey’s more upbeat about the paths ahead.
The jaunty and joyous ‘Free Nelly’ evokes art provocateur Genesis P. Orridge and his Psychic TV at their most poppy. Memories are recalled and (mis)remembered on ‘Tumbleweed’: visual triggers signalling the past, present, forwards, backwards and sidewards: ‘keep on driving, the wind’s behind me … home ain’t what it used to be’; laments an existential trip down a cul-de-sac of internal histories.
The Melbourne Ultimatum: This won’t be the last word on this excellent band. These six earworms aren't enough, but, it will have to do for now.