This month I’ve been listening to a lot of folk punk ahead of a piece I’m working on about the folk-punk community in Australia. I thought I’d share a few words about some of the releases that I’ve been listening to in an attempt to shine a light on some of the artists/bands from that community.
Gutters Grr – Everything (2019)
This 6 track release came out towards the end of December 2019 and shortly after Gutters Grr signed on with Tent City Records. This is that album where the artist gives it all they’ve got but the marketing sux (haha), I’ll talk more about that in the next piece.
Gutters Grr’s self-description is post train core doomgrass, it feels pretty accurate after listening to the first track ‘Put It In Your Diary’ (4:10). The song features a vocal pattern with dirty limerick style rhyming and well-placed pauses delivered in a raw and frantic manner through some deep gutsy growls, and the guitar playing is full of heavy strumming.
The second track ‘Crushing’ is the shortest song on the release with a runtime of 2:51. It has a much slower start emphasized more so by the way the guitar and vocals are separated. This track feels like a more accomplished piece of music with the other instruments and the crazy tempo change is a great ending which leads seamlessly into the next track ‘Fuck Up‘ (3:34) which I think was a stand out track from the release with its gritty vocals and fast guitar strumming. I’m going to leave that one there, if you’re wanting more you can use the link and have a listen for your self.
Jude Joseph – Message of Distress (2020)
I was actually listening to Jude’s last release ‘Shit Keeps Happenin” (2019) which has some really accomplished guitar playing. I really like the guitar in the first track ‘Tinderbox’ (6:33) as it has that fast strumming but also plenty of moving parts.
but then about halfway through February a new single was released and I’ve had it on repeat. The new track ‘Message of Distress‘ sounds better produced. The guitar playing is a lot like the stuff on ‘Shit Keeps Happenin‘ but there is a real sense of something more pleasant with the music here, I’m pretty sure I can even hear some nice accent work from a bass guitar at times. The song is well written with catchy hooks, the melody sounds different in a pleasant way.
Spotify Link https://open.spotify.com/artist/4UujyGJ6dwoEWxggw4WfHw?si=mopu9U9ASHKfODCv7t0kow
Vernon Surly – A Life Already Lived (2020)
Right from the first track ‘No Such Thing (2:26)’ this album displays some great songwriting, I really enjoy the guitar work. Its faster-paced guitar but what sets it apart is the strumming and technique, sometimes a single note rings away as the other strings keep cycling through a progression. Lyrically this song is a genius attack on the stupidity behind the statement ‘just doing my job‘ and I’m a huge fan of this song. The second song ‘Stop Right There‘ (2:54) is a great example of lyrical storytelling from one’s own experience and these types of lyrics are scattered throughout the album. I’m digging the conversation style vocals in ‘Hey, It’s Steve‘ (3:33).
Bandcamp Link http://vernonsurly.bandcamp.com/album/a-life-already-lived
There are plenty of interesting and talented artists in the folk punx community but let’s look at a couple of bands now.
The Dead Peasants – We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Bin (2019)
Victorian band The Dead Peasants released this in November last year. The release consists of 3 tracks. The music is really interesting with a mandolin in the mix. I like the first track ‘Bin‘ with some hugely relatable lines about missing bin week and stomping down the rubbish to make room for more, and all three songs have great intro’s.
Bandcamp Link https://peasantsofdeath.bandcamp.com/
Whiskey Dram – Live At The Park (2018)
Facebook Link https://www.facebook.com/WhiskeyDram/
Yes, I’ve even been listening to some live albums. This release is a little older but the 10 track release offers up some amazing music with a full band experience. This band is kind of like pirate folk-rock, it’s a little different to the other stuff in this piece but that is the point.
It’s always fun discovering a new scene and trying to work out what it is all about. This little piece is just a teaser I’ll be doing a bigger story about this folk-punk community/scene in the coming weeks. Stay Tuned!!