Thursday, December 8, 2016

Lower Plenty - Sister Sister

At the same time Lower Plenty are many good things, but barely, just barely, a band.  The members of the Melbourne four piece are all members of other bands (Total Control, Dick Diver, Deaf Wish, Exhaustion), so their energies are directed to recording for this project only about every two years, with few live performances.  I suppose that makes growing a fan base a bit of a challenge.  But those of us who have been devoted Lower Plenty devotees since 2012's Hard Rubbish will always find time to tune in for the latest edition.  And that latest edition is Sister Sister, the band's fourth LP.

With three songwriters and three voices, the band's offerings are uniformly high quality and very diverse, despite a core melancholic suburban ethos.  While the songs initially can present a ramshackle face, the listener quickly appreciates the careful craftsmanship, and deadly aim, of the composer.  The performances sound like a group of friends recording around a kitchen table, and supposedly, that is exactly how Lower Plenty pull things together.  One could wonder whether the Velvet Underground would have sounded a bit like this if they were suburban Melbournians recording acoustic demos.  Given the variety, it is impossible to predict anyone's favorite tracks.  My ears pull me to the more upbeat opener, "Bondi's Dead", the weary "Glory Rats" and "Cursed By Numbers", the sprawling psychedelic "Ravesh" (which features an excellent sax contribution), and the anti-war "All The Young Men".  But it is all excellent, and all so unlike what else you are likely playing now.  Dance with the mystery girl, my friends, it is worth it.

Lower Plenty are Al Montfort, Jensen Tjhung and Sarah Heyward.  Sister Sister is out now via Bedroom Suck Records in Australia/New Zealand and Omnian Music Group in North America.

Bandcamp for Sister Sister
Bedroom Suck Records
Omnian Music Group page for Sister Sister

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