ballarat - The I-94 Bar
Existential Hangover - These Things (Dirtyflair Record Company)
Three albums in and These Things just made their own patch of swamp in Australia just a little deeper.
These Things have nailed it with “Existential Hangover”. Crawling king snake fuzz intersects with patches of clean guitar against a no-nonsense backbeat. If Mudhoney crept out of a recycling depot in a rural Victorian town and went on an absinthe bender with Reverend Beat-Man, they’d sound like this.
About that band name: These guys hail from Ballarat in regional Victoria, Australia. Their touring schedule is unlikely to include the USA after they unwittingly named themselves with a derisive term for African Americans. You Yanks may know the term but it's almost unheard of in Australia. The faux pas is a pity because this album is a cracker.
“Should’ve Stayed Home” is a big step up from the debut record, “Devil’s Road”. It’s fuzzier, dirtier, nastier and more in your face. There’s a foot planted in rock and roll’s nursery (that’d be the 1950s) but they’ve taken it to a new sonic level.
Swhat is another one of those bands that subscribes to that simple formula. It’s one from the mid-‘70s UK and (paraphrased) it goes like this: “Here’s one chord. Here’s another. Here’s one more. Now go form your own band.”
Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. We all need a fix of bracing, ear-clearing punk in our musical lives. It clears the head, channels the thoughts and wipes away memories of accidental exposure to mundane pap like Beyonce and untenable excrement like the Idol TV franchise.