Monday, October 23, 2017

Wireheads - Lightning Ears

Lightning Ears is compellingly weird and a whole lot of wonderful.  The latest album and fourth overall from Adelaide country punks Wireheads, it is loose-limbed in construction and wide scope in inspiration.  For this venture band leader Dom Trimboli gathers Harriet Fraser-Barbour (Workhourse), Luke Kenny (Men With Chips), Vic Conrad (The Garden Path), Daniel Heath (IDK 2.0) and Liam Kenny (Workhorse).  As with the prior album, the plan was to record for Calvin Johnson (K Records, Beat Happening) at his studio in Olympia, Washington.  Calvin mislaid his studio so the proceedings moved north to a deconsecrated church in Anacortes, on an island in Puget Sound.  So at the time of recording, we had a band that just recently became a band and which is still learning the songs, a half world of travel, and an enigmatic producer in a new studio.  You might guess that this is a recipe for chaos.  And of course it is, but chaos appears to be the yeast for Wireheads bread.

We've termed the music country punk here because we are accustomed to labels, but the breadth of influences is immense.  Trimboli's talk-sing and deadpan delivery of observations and questions about life and technology are transported by elements of fuzzy punk, college rock, post punk, country, glam and classic rock.  Oh, I almost forgot some Afro-pop and a children's choir (no, not in the same song, these people are civilized).  Nothing is lyrically straightforward, but on some plane it makes sense, you with an open mind you'll get there.  Everyone will find songs to love, and maybe a song or two that challenges them.  But we can't pretend to be objective because we've already put in on our draft list of best albums of the year.  And in our professional opinion, "Indian Pacific Express is one of the best songs we have heard in years.  Go ahead and play it over and over.  It won't wear out, and it won't wear out its welcome.

Lightning Ears is out now via Tenth Court Records.

Bandcamp for Lightning Ears
Tenth Court Records
Site for US vinyl orders
European site for orders

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