The froth levels were ridiculously high when the recent news dropped that Mudvayne and Coal …
A high-octane train bound for vintage and melodic rock‘n’roll, the brand new album Australia Stops from Sydney’s C.O.F.F.I.N is a rollicking snapshot of Australia itself; an equally positive and timely questioning foray into what makes this nation tick, set to true blue and raucous hard rock.
MORE: TROPHY EYES: “I Realised My Career Was Probably Close To Over If I Didn’t Release Something” REVIEWS: MILITARIE GUN: Life Under The Gun // TROPHY EYES: Suicide and Sunshine // PVRIS: EVERGREEN // MOVEMENTS: RUCKUS! // POLARIS: Fatalism
Forming in the mid 2000s, C.O.F.F.I.N are a winning encapsulation of the Aussie punk and rock ethos. Letting the good times roll as much as honing in on their raw rock‘n’roll tendencies and tackling insightful subject matter, this is a band, on the surface, made for meeting mates at the skatepark and giving no fucks – but, refreshingly, without the posturing bravado that can come with the territory. On album #5, Australia Stops, C.O.F.F.I.N have firmly found their groove, brandishing an eclectic mix of styles and a firm progression into firm melodies and classic Australiana hues, helmed at the production desk by none other than an actual Aussie icon: Frenzal Rhomb’s Jason Whalley. But beneath the thunder and fire also lies some hefty themes, taking square aim at idle-Australia.
Erupting with Give Me A Bite, Australia Stops plants its sonic flag with wailing guitar licks, chuggs, sparkling percussion, and churning beats courtesy of drummer and vocalist Ben Portnoy. A fun if not familiar recipe, the more traditional rock tropes skewered in the C.O.F.F.I.N DNA are amplified by the ferocious delivery from Portnoy as he bites out lines like “Famine’s found itself floating round at the front of my door / Got no feeling anymore”.
Between raucous party-starters (Cut You Off, Australia Stops), gritty singalongs (City Sun, Factory Man), and mosh pit-ready anarchy (Lover’s Leash), there’s enough bubbling basslines, heady swagger, and larrikin charm to keep the wheels firmly on this album, halting it from teetering into an homage to its overarching genres. Also flexing beer-soaked blues (Beasts) and moments of softer barbarity (Night Breaker), C.O.F.F.I.N also avoid any semblance of being a one-trick pony, cleverly balancing their more raucous leanings with occasional deviations into more nuanced creative waters. And given the recent resurgence of mainstream interest in the fast-paced Aussie punk stylings, with everyone from Cosmic Psychos to The Chats and Amyl & The Sniffers enjoying some increased attention and sweltering international supports of late, the closing tracks on Australia Stops will definitely snag attention for a widespread audience, from the explosive penultimate track Through The Sewer to the spitfire head-turner that is closing track Faceless.
Equally inspiring and inciting, Australia Stops is ultimately C.O.F.F.I.N at their absolute best to date; a good time that will truly make you think.
C.O.F.F.I.N, aka Children of Finland Fighting in Norway, first got a taste for their future sneaking in as teens to watch Radio Birdman play on the Northern Beaches. Fast-forward to their first ever live show, opening for Hard-Ons, to now, there’s clearly something inescapably fun yet authentic about a band who fly the flag for the raw meat style of hard rock while also cleaving in some intelligent undertones. An album capable of appealing to those who were there when the nostalgic rock elements were first in fashion to those just discovering the pull of rock‘n’roll for the very first time, Australia Stops also pulls off moments of extremely resonant themes that push and pull alongside the frivolity. Questioning and spotlighting Australia’s politics, landscapes, culture, and progression, somehow C.O.F.F.I.N effortlessly prove that they can be the thinking man’s musical meat cleaver without falling prey to coming off as sanctimonious or cloying.
Praising the importance of community while questioning this country’s ongoing fear of change Australia Stops is a mirror loaded with fun, dominantly reflecting rather than attacking the status quo. Equally inspiring and inciting, Australia Stops is ultimately C.O.F.F.I.N at their absolute best to date; a good time that will truly make you think.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Give Me A Bite, Beasts, Faceless
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Private Function, Cosmic Psychos, STIFF RICHARDS