Monday, February 9, 2015
Beef Jerk - self released
I should have recognized the Sydney Opera house on the cover of this self released single from Beef Jerk but I was focused on the dumpling from the hands of God and what was rounding out the holy Australian trinity; Sriracha and a beer. Australia recently got "Cool Ranch" Doritos because no one could figure out how to translate Ranch? The five members of Beef Jerk drank enough beer to completely cover themselves in a photo on the center label. This is the soundtrack to being goofballs, playing music and eating terrible random crap while drunk.
A-Side's "Schooners" is following in that Strapping Fieldhands or Psychedelic Horseshit sound, laid back jangle guitar with vocals that barely got things down on paper. Rocking back and forth between the two chords, miss the frets, throw in a pause to regroup. Using a sledgehammer to nail this tune but thats the charm of these guys, a real loose Dick Diver feel or I'd even go back to the west coast Nodzzz boys. That summer carefree sound, it's optimistic with gas in the tank and a cooler full of something. Sometimes that Real Estate stuff is just too damn slick sounding I can't relate. "Holidays" gets right out of that stuck mud sound that took that Silver Jews feel of the first track and turned it into Eric's Trip or Dump with vocals from Amaya Lang. Stuck together with duct tape and bungee cords that manages to gently swing with that pop ease of Fuck. The thin static floated over top is just enough to give away where they're coming from. It's about that subtle groove and a high treble distortion with no low end. There's a bass quietly adding those undertones but the high hats and this fuzzy guitar are taking all the attention. Mellow indie rock that's never over rehearsed. Keep it honest and sincere guys.
B-Side's "Life's Fucking Horrible" see saws in with more depressed vocals about meeting at the train station sounding real drunk, these three tracks might have been really pushing the limits of that raw sound. The quality of this is what gets me, miles of overdubs, tracked separately but all with a nice hiss on the top, you can barely make out those vocals singing like a near death Malkmus straining to be heard in the middle of this but then again not REALLY trying too hard. Fuck it. Big band chorus of malecontents at the end of this. Ram that beat over and over with the slow change of chords, never messing with a loud and quiet dynamic, keep this right in the middle of the road, the lines directly underneath the front of the car. Shit, Sydney is sounding pretty good.
Go get this from Easter Bilby, the US Australia connection, edition of 200.