Monday, February 21, 2011

Slug Guts 'Howlin' Gang'

Some may say Australia is in the midst of a revival but it could be argued that Oz was just off our radars for a while, possibly overshadowed by the explosion in New York and Brooklyn over the last few years. Acts like Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Naked on the Vague and Kitchen's Floor are turning heads and bringing music lovers, nerds and freaks back down under and making us all wonder why we left in the first place.

Slug Guts formed on the fringes of Brisbane in a barren suburb, with little else to do the foursome started playing together. Assimilating influences from Birthday Party, King Snake Rooster and the Scientists Slug Guts released debut LP 'Down On The Meat' after just four months of playing together on Stained Circle Records (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Jay Reatard, Dirtbombs). "Howlin' Gang" sees the band offer up thirteen new deranged tracks on Sacred Bones featuring Angela Bermuda (Circle Pit) and Sarah Spencer (Blank Realm).

Opener 'Howlin'' is quintessentially as Australian as it gets in its nihilism. "My life is cheap" is vented numbly alongside barbed guitars, palpitating bass and mincemeat making rhythms. It's this castaway point of view which aptly sums up the band's character and dominates the album. Illustrated further on 'Down in the Mornin' Sun', "Where I'm going next no one needs to know" interplays boy/girl anesthetized vocals balanced out with siren guitars makes the album monotone as it is melodious. "Howlin' Gang" as a whole is super consistent with chanting deadpan vocals cemented at the core lurching the album forward until cooling off with curiously heartfelt and lamenting closer 'Angie'. Delivering their songs with a sense of ritualism "Howlin' Gang" is as unhinged as it is focused. Slug Guts deliver music with an attitude you'd expect from Nick Cave, embracing the cheap and nasty, ultimately contributing to putting Australia's music scene rightfully, back on the map.

Interview with Slug Guts for Gilded Gutter

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