Friday, 24 July 2015

Achieving Next Level Leisure Stress

The inimitable Brisbane outre rock outfit The Stress Of Leisure released their new album Achievement recently, and it is an absolute corker. It isn't the kind of thing you see up here on Sonic Masala that often - probably because Ian Powne and his fellow art apothecaries are such an idiosyncratic proposition. There is no outward impression on or acknowledgement of trends and musical cycles; no desire to slot into a scene or movement. Sure there are whiffs of touchstones - the prickly yet mischievous Graney twirl of 'No Idea Is The New Idea' or the Flying Nun guitar-spangled banner that flutters from 'Goodyear Blimp' - but in the main Achievement slinks along in its own inimitable slipstream, an eternal silent disco that only those embracing the Stress Of Leisure's mode of entertainment can fully appreciate. Powne is a laconic, devilish lyricist, striving to be both self-deprecating and absurd in the same breath, a Pied Piper of abstract angles, taking the edge of accepted norms and living in the wonderful world inside his own head. How often is it that you can chow down on sparkling gems called 'Sylvia Plath' without feeling entitled, overtly literate or dour? Sometimes shirking expectations and enjoying yourself unashamedly is the real achievement of life - and The Stress Of Leisure are here to show us the way.

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