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Multi-media darlings These New South Whales return to the serious business of punk rock with their latest album.
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Indeed, as they leave their Flight of the Conchord-esque persona further behind with each subsequent release, These New South Whales move closer to a darkness that Jamie Timony seems dead set on evoking with the earnest dreariness of his voice. Even the simplicity of the album title implies the party is over as Timony wrestles with the weight of existence itself.
On TNSW the band’s sound references further influence from the primeval days of post-punk, thick Joy Division-like bass lines pave the way for Buzzcocks-inspired guitar riffs with the dramatic catchy melodies of The Smiths. Into this swirling miasma of driving punk Timony adds his morose tones, lifted only occasionally by spirited backing vocals in tracks like Signal is Strong which, along with Going Outta My Mind and the frantic Best of the Night, have a more upbeat vibe despite their subject matter.
With a catchiness that belies its gloomy tone, TNSW is a relentlessly dark album that could be heavy going for those seeking something with a sunnier aspect, and catharsis for those who, like Jamie Timony, are feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders.
“Everyone I know is scrambling/rushing toward defeat,” Timony intones in Rotten Sun, but he sounds like he’s already defeated, projecting utter bleakness in That’s the Life and the closing track in which he sullenly demands a reset of the world “for my girls” while the band almost drowns him out with a buzzing, repetitive drone. With a catchiness that belies its gloomy tone, TNSW is a relentlessly dark album that could be heavy going for those seeking something with a sunnier aspect, and catharsis for those who, like Jamie Timony, are feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Best of the Night, Signal is Strong, Reset of the World
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