DIS SPLIT cvrNothing Is For Everyone – Drugs in Sport/Sound of Speed – Lachlan X Morris (Outtaspace)

Split records can be problematic. Too often the vehicles of economic convenience for cash-strapped but otherwise disparate bands who pool their money and patch two sides together in order, just to get a release out. And there are splits like this one where some pop-rock magic works together.

Drugs in Sport and Lachlan X Morris both come from Newcastle in Australia. A onetime hotbed for blue collar rock and roll, the former Steel City has gentrified and diversified. This shared release on Central Coast label Outtspace is five songs from DIS and four from Lachlan X over two sides of 12-inch vinyl, and proves that there’s still rock and roll life in Newie.

The common thread is a shared love of pop hooks. The Drugs in Sport side features cover art that superficially recalls a Ramones Australian tour poster from the 1980s, but the sound is closer to Cheap Trick with an Oz rock pulse than anything by Da Bruddas.

Lachlan X Morris (the band and the man) also tread a pop path but mix it up with a splash of soul with guitar, trumpet and trombone.

Drugs in Sport’s debut album was oner of the best local releases of 2022. Clearly the work of old heads who knew what they were doing, its mix of lyrical cynicism and poppy rock stood out like a Knights jersey in a sea of South Sydney jumpers in a Redfern backstreet. The 12-inch is more of the same but with its spring a little more tightly wound.

Opener “Under Its Own Weight” is a focussed rocker with an underlying tension. The guitar’s back in the mix with the lead and harmony vocals to the fore. A winner.

“Standard Roadie Attire” is a short but sweet hoot. “Re-evolve Yourself Back Into Existence and Maintain Effortless Cool” is also over too soon but suggests an afternoon of people-watching in the front bar of a Hunter Street pub.

“I’m All The Way” is effortlessly catchy and the gem of the record. “Flipping The Bird” borrows Lachlan X Morris for some slide guitar and doesn’t put a pop foot wrong. If you’re not left wondering why this isn’t wall-to-wall on commercial radio, you’re deaf as a post.    

LXM SPLIT covrFlip to the other side and you’ll have similar thoughts. “Company Car” is about corporate ladder climbing has an ominous feel peppered by sharp-as-shit horns, duelling guitar and Lachlan X Morris’s wonderful vocal.

“The Hostage” hangs off a blues-wailin’ guitar statement and more stabbing brass. “Raincheck” is a Novacastrian slice of Stax soul crossed with “Monkey Puzzle” Saints. “Sound of Speed” doesn’t live up to its name in its tempo but there’s a fine downbeat pop-rock song living in its skin.

It's on 12-inch vinyl on Central Coast label Outtspace so don't go looking for a CD. 


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