Dear Chester, I only realised a few days ago that it’s nearly been a year …
Party In The Paddock. Ricky Ponting. Cascade beers.
The humble Apple Isle has gifted us some of Australia’s most lucrative exports, but none such as remarkable or enduring as pub-punk powerhouse
Luca Brasi. Their new LP is the ambitious and delicious Stay—a rollicking feelgood opus that takes no shit but gives a million of ’em.
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The titular introduction on Stay is notably grandoise. It’s a decently simple minute-half instrumental track, but the climbing strings and melancholic guitar line creeping along are steeped in emotion, the cantering drums evincing excitement the second they peak. It tells the audience that what they’re about to listen to is more than a stock standard handful of punk jams; its a monument to yearning, the end result of an uphill hike where resilience and passion were imperative. And across the impossibly dynamic ten cuts that follow, Luca Brasi prove with calamitous might that they’ve got more than what it takes to pull such a feat off.
Topically, Stay is rooted in optimism—it’s very much an album sung from the perspective of a high school teacher, morals aplenty in Tyler Richardson’s heart-on-sleeve soliloquies. But that optimism is strained; Richardson has lived a life and is battered at the platform, and at times, there’s a genuine sense of pain audible in his musings. It’s not a depressing one, instead vulnerable and human, moreso than Luca Brasi have achieved on records past. Such carries along in the guitars: raucous and roaring yet never overwhelming—homely, almost. Authentic.
As a vocalist, Richardson is at the top of his game on Stay. He carries the same raw bite and thick Tassie accent as is signature to Luca Brasi, but LP4 presents him biting with more passion than punkiness.
As a vocalist, Richardson is at the top of his game on Stay. He carries the same raw bite and thick Tassie accent as is signature to Luca Brasi, but LP4 presents him biting with more passion than punkiness. Melody is at the record’s core and old mate is to blame for much of its grooviest and most soaring moments. It’s comparable to the way voxist Darren Cordeaux used to drive the melodies on old Kisschasy records, which makes a hell of a lot of sense when you realise Cordeaux actually co-produced Stay.
It’s evident how much his influence has rubbed off on the band. Though maintaining a flavour instantly discernable as Luca Brasi and Luca Brasi alone, there’s an unmistakable Kisschasiness on tracks like Reeling and Bastard—a caramelly chew on the guitars and a heavy emphasis on big and booming choruses. The latter track is especially worth pointing out for its progressive energy and chaotic payoff, and the former with one of the album’s most striking hooks.
The record ends on that big, gradiose moment its introduction teased us with in The Calm And The Ease, and before the last note has even finished ringing out, we’re left wanting more. This isn’t even the best record Luca Brasi have the potential to write! That our mates from St. Helens have it in them to write something even better than Stay is as insane as is it insanely exciting.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Time Flew, Bastard, The In-Between
STICK THIS NEXT TO: The Smith Street Band, Kisschasy, Sorority Noise