Some recent reviews for great new Australian music site Crawlspace, on debut records from Pop Singles and Rat Columns.
Pop Singles - All Gone (Vacant Valley)
The cover of All Gone alludes to a well-established Australian-ness. There’s a silhouette of a Hills Hoist with a few dozen pegs attached to it, and a shrub at the bottom. The yellow-black-red colour scheme looks like it accompanies a Text Classic, the recent book range that repackages popular and prominent works of the Australian literary canon. You’ll hear references to The Go-Betweens, The Church and The Triffids in Pop Singles’ take on melody-driven guitar pop. All signs point to an over-indulgence of Australiana, but it merely acts as a backdrop for something far more universal.
Rat Columns - Sceptre Hole (Smart Guy Records)
I didn’t know who U.S. based Rat Columns were before this album hit my inbox. A quick Google lead me to discover a series of links back to Australia: Perth expatriate David West leads the trio, it’s got the Mikey Young seal of mastering approval, they’re label mates with Boomgates, and one piece of the band is a touring member for Total Control. It takes a slight cue from that band’s early oeuvre, too. It doesn’t lean so much on sun-blotting synths as Total Control’s proto-punk Henge Beat did, but one need only look as far as the well-recorded scrappiness of ‘Death Is Leaving Me’ for some similarities to Total Control’s earliest 7”, albeit without the manic vocals.