Monday, September 5, 2016

Scott & Charlene's Wedding - Mid Thirties Single Scene

Scott & Charlene's Wedding plays garage rock just the way we like it -- long on enthusiasm with a shambling approach to precision.  But don't dismiss this band as just a bunch of bangers.  Beneath that garage rock fuzz and jangle there is a solid vein of the Velvet Underground, The Fall, The Lemmonheads, and Television.  Moreover, frontman Craig Dermody's casual attitude towards singing in key and conversational lyrics belies focused and adept songwriting.  S&CW's previous album, Any Port In A Storm, relayed Craig's experiences living in New York City in highly entertaining fashion.  In the band's new album, Mid Thirties Single Scene,  Craig tackles the romantic detritus of a mid thirties indie rock frontman and sometimes blue collar worker.  There are observations about daily life -- making eggs for breakfast, watching TV, hanging out in the bar, being jobless -- interspersed with regrets and reminisces about relationships that didn't last.

The album kicks off with "Maureen", which will stoke VU comparisons.  The following "Don't Bother Me" is a chugging, garage sing-along, and definitely an album highlight.  "Hardest Year" and the closer, "Forever And A Day" together comprise ten minutes of the album's running time, and give the band a chance to display their ability to dial it down for an affecting slow tempo song.   "Scrambled Eggs" is a self-deprecating view of a drifting life, while "End of the Story" steps out to rock hard.  In contrast, "Distracted" and "Delivered" quite simply should burnish the band's reputation as the garage rock voice of their generation.  The band is top quality at every position and gives every track a rumbling, crackling live vibe.

Now back in Melbourne, Craig's mates for this outing include Jack Farley, Joe Alexander, Gill Tucker, and Esther Edquist.  The album is out via Bedroom Suck Records in the Southern Hemisphere, and Fire Records in the rest of the world.

This is one of my personal favorites of the year so far.

Bandcamp for Mid Thirties Single Scene
Fire Records' order page for vinyl
Fire Records' Bandcamp page for Mid Thirties Single Scene
Bedroom Suck Records page for Mid Thirties Single Scene
Bedroom Suck Records

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