Song of the day (Australia) – 151: Super Wild Horses
I’ve mulled and mulled over this. I want to include present-day Australian bands I love in this mini-series, otherwise it wouldn’t be representative – but I’ve already written about dozens here.
I’ve written about Melbourne’s Super Wild Horses as well, but they have their debut album Fifteen out this week or something, so it seems churlish not to follow up my original blog entry, especially as they exhibit so much (imagined) promise. It’s imagined promise as I still haven’t seen them play live yet because they always seem to play after midnight, thus neatly cutting out jaded old dudes like myself from their audience, as we have to be in bed by nine or our lives explode into merriment. So, yeah.
I was going to hold back from praising their album, actually. I listened to it three times straight, was put off by the entirely ridiculous and ill-founded claim on Mess And Noise that the first track sounds like Gories covering Suicide – if only! – and was all prepared to write a diatribe about how most Melbourne bands and writers are too fucking cool for school and I think I’m starting to prefer Sydney anyway, and how the production on this from that Eddy Current Suppression Ring dude is way, way too one-dimensional… and we ain’t even talking a dimension I particularly like. In other words, I couldn’t hear dynamics, all I could was the same trick applied to the drum sound that ECSR apply to their drum sound, and half the time it sounded like a vaguely inferior version of Melbourne’s proto-Riot Grrrls Matrimony anyway – too polite, too slick (which just WON’T do on a garage record).
But then I heard this, for the fourth time.
(Which, as it transpires, is the first single to be lifted from the album.)
And fuck me if everything didn’t slot into place. I still find it odd the way the vocals don’t grate, and the way the guitars don’t serrate, but I think all that was happening before was that I was looking in the wrong place for my garage fix. I was expecting something like the Gories or Shop Assistants (yeah, thanks Mess And Noise!) or perhaps The Gun Club. Now, that ain’t what this is about at all. Give it a listen. It’s The Fastbacks! It’s Dolly Mixture! It’s every ace local band you ever wanted to see wrapped up into one tumultuous stripped-back whole, with drums that rattle and guitars that rattle and vocals that shout blissfully into the distance. I can certainly hear the influence of Love Of Diagrams and Beaches in there, and one of those forgotten early 90s post-grunge American bands (Lotion, I’m looking at you). It still disappoints me, the way that everything that isn’t the Gories still disappoints me, but Bangs alive, that ain’t hardly Super Wild Horses’ fault!
I still miss Melbourne.