Thursday, October 30, 2014
The Wrong Man "Keep Face" EP on Swashbuckling Hobo Records
I'll admit I'm completely jealous of this sound. If I could go back knowing what I think I know now I'd cut right to the chase and play as a duo in the same post punk weird rhythmic style that's part math but mostly charging ahead with the kind of direction only two people can have. The Wrong Man out of Brisbane, Australia is doing just that kind of stripped down perfection. Forced to make a lot of noise out of very little is always a recipe for this kind of sound and these five tracks don't ever feel short or crammed in just to make a point. Just exactly right.
The A-Side starts with "Atomic" and it's massive fast sound with two chords see sawing over anther rhythm plowing away ending in cymbal crashes. It's a real off kilter strut, a manic scuzzy sound with low register vocals that are barely audible in the middle of this stress. Like Peter Murphy filling in for The Famines. It's a crushing, pushy sound that's going to take up all the space and some of it that wasn't even offered. Frantic and quick vocals keep this evenly paced while the messy solos try to launch this right off the cliff. Post punk to a hardcore extreme. "Lay for me" has the immediacy of a stripped down and raw configuration, the rhythms they're working through are the best part, blown out and creating a huge tension with this toppling over sound and bellowing talky vocal from Fred. The sense of timing is what makes these tracks, keeping it simple with a cruel sense of timing. Everything is made out of great moments with no room for filler. "Victimized" has a rough guitar part raking through strings and high distortions in metallic tin playing above the fretboard. An impressive sound of scraping strings in a textural way with no regard for melody or fret position or chords - none of that matters - just the physicality of pushing the strings, having their way with the instrument.
B-Side's "Red Tag" opens on a crazy hum tone and the guitar rips this open with gritty distortion. A creepy riff that at first has tones of the Cramps, easy to compare to Fred's menacing baritone, but the chorus section is ridiculously great. Repeating the title of the track when they break for a moment it opens up on big swinging riffs and jangle directly opposed to the delivery and tone of the lyric. "Bell" has an even slower almost Shellac style riff in microscopic crunch. The baritone comes out even stronger with a different tone from the rest of the record, bigger and thicker. The odd timing seems to wind around itself losing a measure each time ending up with massive chords in a slow tension with hypnotizing straight ahead rhythm. Simple chords but they make this so full of attitude, style and volume that it's amazing.
Get this in Australia from Swashbuckling Hobo Records or locally from Easter Bilby?