There is a spot in Melbourne, situated on Princes Bridge overlooking the Yarra River where you can stand and contemplate the juxtaposition of modern life. Look one way and there’s the iconic beauty of Flinders Street station. Glance behind you and there sits the angular wonder of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, a mere stones throw from the Melbourne Arts Centre. Running through the middle, is the timeless wonder of the Yarra.
As Melbourne related metaphors go, this kind of sums of Press Club, a noisy four piece whose sound harks back to the heady days of punky yore whilst simultaneously offering a more modern and enlightened view of living in today’s world. Meanwhile, running through the heart of every track of Wasted Energy is the slow, timeless eroding of the human soul, otherwise known as growing up in a world which will never be perfect. Wasted Energy is anything but nominative determinism, it’s a dozen tracks of atom smashing intensity with a fission of effervescent buoyancy which had me nodding my head and pumping my fist at oncoming traffic. I really shouldn’t review music when on my scooter.
Key to the seductive nature of Press Club is undoubtedly vocalist Natalie Foster, a one-woman nuclear reactor capable of lighting up a small Scottish hamlet on her own such is her dynamism and enthusiasm. I’m yet to catch the band as a live act but something tells me that Foster is one helluva presence in a live environment. She provides the centrifugal point around which the band offer up an urgent and uncompromising guitar attack. Yeah, I know we’ve heard it all before but I’ve had my Mum’s Shepherd’s pie before and I still love it. As Foster continually proves, the secret is love, care…and buttermilk.
Both ‘Thinking About You‘ and ‘Separate Houses’ are the obvious crowd pleasers, relatively radio-friendly aside from the occasional expletive but if Gerry Cinnamon can get away with singing ‘wanker’….! These are power-punk numbers, harking back to the angsty days post Britpop and I can easily list a whole host of potential influences from The Offspring through to Beth Ditto and no little amount of No Doubt before they became sanguine and soporific. Don’t think for one minute that Wasted Energy will let you up for air, ‘Obsessing’ may offer a more emotional moment part-way through but the band aren’t keen to let the listener off the aural hook. They may be here for a good time, not a long time and if that’s to be the case then Press Club are determined you’ll remember them long after their star has turned into a white dwarf.
Look, let me level with you, there is little on Wasted Energy that you haven’t heard before ok? Let’s cut the crap, Press Club are a frenzied four piece bundle of energy with something to say and they intend saying it with a fervour and a passion. The fact they have captured this in a studio is remarkable and for someone as old and tired as me, the fact Wasted Energy has been on continual play on my earphones for a week is a sure-fire endorsement. It’s not new, it’s not different but it’s as omnipresent as the Yarra River.
Wasted Energy is released on 16th August on Hassle Records