I'm loving Tragic, the debut long player from Sydney amiable slack jaws Beef Jerk. Coming from a wide cross-section of the city's DIY aesthetic (members come from bands such as Bad Guys, Housewives, Adults, Day Ravies, Snotty Babies and more), this four-piece/sometime-five-piece have punched out fifteen laconic ramblers that takes some of the token tropes of the much-maligned dole wave subset (droll, monotone vocals about underemployed middle-class malaise, drinking booze and specific city signifiers) and leaves it in the sun to warp in weird and wonderful ways. This isn't so much about being laconic as being smart-arses - song titles like 'Stay At Home Dads', 'Jerking Off' and 'The Last Chiko Roll', the latter with its references to the idiotic current PM and the iconic battered roll of cabbage, corn and glutinous gunk, make it clear that these boys just want to write songs that make them laugh, but that aren't novelty value either (their affinity with contemporary literate soothsayer Nathan Roche becomes evident here). There are melancholic meanders through maudlin sunsets ('Cotton'), jumbled jaunts through the detritus of humanity in the backstreets of the NSW capital ('Rhythm Infection', 'Aisle Ten'), and cantankerous canters through the jumbled thoughts of tetchy urban sages, sorting through the bowel-trails at the bottom of the public toilets for divinity ('Reissue', 'French Dish'). Beef Jerk always feel like they aren't trying, but rather than it being an affectation it's because it seems honestly beyond them to do so - yet their unctuous delivery and style belies an extremely likable band with an interesting, amusing and epochal Australian voice, something that can't be said about many bands of this ilk really. Two thumbs up (especially when smashing tinnies on the bus).
Grab Tragic here. They supported Twerps on Friday night, but have a bunch of shows combing up and down the east coast in June/July (although none in Queensland - YET) - see below:
Friday June 12 – Grace Darling, Melbourne VIC (w/ Chook Race, Black Vacation, Gentlemane)
Monday June 15 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC
Saturday June 27 – Hermann's Bar, Sydney NSW (w/ Unity Floors)
Friday July 10 – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney NSW