’68 with Grenadiers, Pagan + Crusch Northcote Social Club, Melbourne 21 July, 2017 It just …
Five years ago, when you thought of Poison City, the band that would immediately come to mind is The Smith Street Band. The knockabout Collingwood punk-poets and the label seemed inextricably linked and mentally interchangeable. Fast forward to today and Smitties have forged their own path, but the trio of Melbourne bands filling their void—Clowns, Camp Cope and Batpiss—are obliterating preconceptions about what the Poison City ‘sound’ should sound like.
Case in point, Batpiss’ new record Rest in Piss—a snarling, mangey dog of a record that, for all of is teeth gnashing, will still manage to earn a place in your heart. The genre excursions that have always permeated Batpiss’s sound, but often felt like hazy 420 gags explored to their fullest, have now taken the fore, transforming their limited scummy punk approach into a seething, atmospheric noise rock monster. In moments throughout the 10 tracks, Batpiss manage to sound like The Dwarves at their most nihilistic, Fugazi at their least restrained and Black Flag when they gave the fewest fucks.
On Rest in Piss, the trio ditches the urgency of 2015’s Biomass, and replace it with a multicoloured palette of frustration dirges where dissonance never detracts from the trio’s collective ear for melody and improved songwriting skills.
The Smith Street Who? The Smith Street What? As long as they’ve got bands like Batpiss in their corner releasing albums like Rest in Piss, Poison City is going to remain on the cutting edge of all the exciting shit happening in Australia’s punk scene.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Tell Them My Name is X, Golden Handshake, Bells for the Victorian
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Shellac, Cows, Cuntz