Thursday, June 26, 2014
Old Mate on Major Crimes Records
I like the laid back frontman who isn't trying so hard, the regular guy who can't even sing not that he was even trying to begin with. Matt on that self titled Muslims record or Johnny in the Johnny Ill band manage to balance that detached coolness while caring a hell of a lot. Pat Telfer from Old Mate is the guy with the razor on the front of this sleeve about to shave his friend. He's in control and delivering vocals a lot like those guys, not condescending or lazy but with a biting wit and intelligence that's better than any natural born talent.
A-Side's "I think of You" opens with a slow tremolo chorus electric right on top of this and Pat's deep vocal is backed by a humorously high choir barely sung in the background. It's a husky kind of country at mid tempo and Pat is singing with that thousand yard stare as he lists the places that he's thinking of you in until a saxophone solo breaks in with echo. A slick sounding, sad bastard feel with years behind it. Like a ballad looked after by Peter Murphy and Love is all. Old Mate took that creepy 'I'll be watching you' sentiment and understated riff and really hold on to it in their stalker vibe - anything but a love song. Traces of Jared from The Zoltars slightly twisted sense of timing and pop too. On the cover are two best friends just 'messing' around. A great singular, weird sound.
B-Side's "Throwin' Down" drops a bigger tremolo country guitar winding through the night and casual vocals are back, void of expression with a messy bit of distortion, like a mini toy megaphone while the backup vocal is 'ah'-ing their way through the back in a nod to that pop garage. The same kind of laid back sound on the A-Side. A soft whistle synth solo over this saunter in slow motion and that sax again is the last pair of sunglasses on this corpse. Dead sexy. I'm a sucker for the sincere and skillful use of the instrument. These guys mean business. I heard the same things in the Soft Pack, keep it up guys.
You want this one and you live in the States? Easter Bilby has your Australian Records mate.