WORDS BY ZACHARY HERBERT
The long awaited debut from Newcastle trio dave the band has finally dropped and it’s been well worth the wait. These boys have released 34 minutes and 43 seconds of pure gold in the form of an album ‘slob stories’. Song after song of memorable lyrics that are practically begging to be chanted by a crowd, all accompanied by simple yet more than effective instrumentation. When combined with the recording techniques of industry legend Steve Albini you get an honest reflection of how the band sounds live, with little to no studio trickery.
The first half of the album mostly consists of the singles the band have released over the past year. Ultrahard, Where You Are, Get Smart and Fine!, all fantastic slices of garage rock that feel like a real refinement of the bands early sound which really works in making the album feel like a more focused project and not just a retread of their earlier work. These singles are where bassist Max Tuckerman really gets his moment to shine (as is the case with the seventh track and last minute single Capsule). On the third track the band adopts a much softer approach musically, with a touching and sincere song in the form of Footy Socks, backed by an almost tribal/ritualistic beat provided by drummer Gabriel Argis (leave it to an Australian band to make a song called Footy Socks so damn touching). This softer approach to songwriting can be seen throughout the whole album lyrically speaking, with every song feeling like it was built to cater to frontman Noah Church’s honest and vulnerable vocals, regardless of if the track is slow and melodic or a frenzied wall of noise.
The second half is where the bulk of the unheard tracks lay and if you thought that the band had blown their best material in the singles, then you would be dead wrong. Any track could have just as easily been released as one of the singles and it would have generated the same amount of hype. The standouts of the second half are Endstart and Sadsack, the first being an optimistic track of how everyone feels worthless at times and you’re not alone, the second being melancholic and brings to mind the love ballads of the 70’s from the likes of Nazareth and Cheap Trick.
So what do you get when you mix honest and uniquely Australian songs with the man who produced some of the most influential albums in alternative rock?
You get Slob Stories. And it’s amazing.