A double dose of Aussie acts killing it on American label Trouble In Mind this afternoon. First up we have Tragic, the debut record from Sydney's Beef Jerk. They played a Sonic Masala show at Trainspotters a few years ago - I was hooked on their narcoleptic slacker pop, all about schooners and Sriracha sauce amongst other things. Their new record is misleading in so many ways - especially their cover art, a white Scandi kitchen bereft of life, a yuppie hellhole dressed in white, a sci fi dystopia of now. Then the needle hits the vinyl, and the slack-jawed fun begins. I love the use of saxophone coming more and more into these types of bands, and 'French Dish' doesn't disappoint. But what sets these boys apart from many of their Antipodean brethren is a louche looseness underscored by a gritty angularity - these are languid tunes, these are raucous drunken singalongs laughing at the futility of scrabbling out from under the stampede of the rat race. With other Sydney acts like Weak Boys and Shrapnel airing their wares, it looks like the unofficial Aussie capital is finally showing another side of its feral face - one of laidback larrikin abandon. With added Chiko Rolls. They are currently touring the US as we speak, gearing up to play Pittsburgh tonight. See here for further shows.
Something more streamlined if not accomplished is Chook Race's second record Around The House (also out through Australia on the excellent Brisbane label Tenth Court). It's a fantastic record, fast and loose, sunny and familiar. There is an element of Dick Diver and The Clean to 'Lost The Ghost' and 'At Your Door', but there is a loquaciousness to their delivery that makes them all their own - currently they're my favourites on the record. Carolyn's songs are always a little more down tempo but carry a maudlin heft that I always am drawn to, especially closer 'Start Anew', and then 'Sorry' takes on a Tenniscoats-y vibe. TIM are also pushing the trio's first record About Time, so you can dive headlong into the glories of Chook Race!
Chook Race finished their US tour a couple weeks ago and are touring their album around their home country right now, playing in Brisbane at The Empire Hotel on Friday with SM mainstays Thigh Master, Scraps and The Mosaics, followed by shows all around the place with Shrapnel (them again? You will hear even more shortly...) and plenty more.