moot crowd pleasingA Crowd Pleasing Extravaganza – Moot (Outtaspace Records)

It's a point hat has been made here before: Moot comes from the New South Wales Mid North Coast region and you’d struggle to think of a place with a more tenuous claim to being a spawning ground for punk rock.

Neat farms sit on rich alluvial land, squeezed between eucalyptus-lined mountain ridges and coastal towns that cling steadfastly to beaches or river inlets. The populace seems past or approaching retirement age. It’s a region devoid of (visible) dole queues or massive social dislocation – at least on the surface.

The outlook is bucolic, not industrial or grim, even if a multi-lane motorway bypasses all its most photogenic spots. The region’s biggest industries are growing or grazing things, chopping down trees and serving coffee and hamburgers to tourists from Sydney and Newcastle. 

If you think Moot give a toss about any of that, boy, are you meowing up the wrong sapling. They're too busy hustling for local gigs (successfully) in a relatively sleepy place that's rife with tribute acts. 

Moot’s members grew up in the 1980s and ‘90s when the shadow of Radio Birdman still loomed large. They’re unpretentious, high-energy punk rock and roll, crossing their Detroitisms with lashings of second or third wave UK punk.

Frontman Ross Dreise borrows his phrasing from the late Chris Bailey, drawling his way through most the EP’s eight songs. On “That Guy” he recalls Jello while “Fuckening” releases his inner Jimmy Pursey.

The songs are keepers: “Conspiracy” is the slowpoke of the herd, and serious in its lyrical intent. It should come with contrails. “Influencer” takes down another easy target, spoken word style. Shades of the Celibate Rifles here a la “Thank You America” so you could do much worse. “Cybercrime” is an old-fashioned bone rattler and a good ‘un.

As you can tell from the EP title, Moot don’t take themselves seriously but that doesn’t mean they can’t play. John Walker’s economical guitar solos hit home while bassist Shane Dalton and drummer Reagan Lidbury lay down rock solid rhythms. Let’s hear it for Dad Rock! Geoff (East Coast Low) Mullard's beefy production is boisteroulsy great. 

It’s vinyl only and comes via Adam and Milly at Outtaspace, who are also hosts at the Central Coast’s best little venue, The Link and Pin Café. You can land a copy here.