ALBUM REVIEW - Earache - Last - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Earache

RELEASE: Last

RELEASE DATE: January 10th 2019

RECORD COMPANY: Lacklustre Records / Blackwire Records

Canberra/Melbourne-based duo ‘Earache’ aka Gemma Nourse (bass; No Stars, Shopgirl) and David Fenderson (guitar; Territory, Sob Story, Cure) create a very addictive blend of fuzzed out slowcore permeated with post-punk highlights, flourishes of dreamy lo-fi & ethereal alt-shoegaze. They burst onto the Australian underground scene back in October 2018 with their teaser cassette release called ‘Voices b/w Parasite’. Now the duo have returned with their eight track full length debut release entitled ‘Last’, bristling with confidence and filled with some impressive musical incantations. ‘Last’ was officially released on 12″ vinyl through Canberra’s Lacklustre Records and Sydney-based Blackwire Records back on the 10th January 2019 and is available to buy/download on various formats right now via lacklustrerecords.bandcamp.com & blackwirerecords.bandcamp.com respectively.

Shimmering lines of guitar ride a wave of sequenced percussion as the opening bars of ‘Voices’ arrives into audible range swirling deftly within a hazy cloud of reverberation. Swells of synth arrive, bubbling and dancing at will as a deep throb of bass cascades through the mix, collectively fixed on predesignated chord structures built to accommodate the angelic pull of those impressive melody strewn vocalisations. What is instantly noticeable as the track works through its individual parts is the amount of glistening melody that this band can inject into their music at any one time. It is deliciously overpowering, beautifully entrancing and a breath of fresh air to this listener. Up next, ‘184’ charges into the ether on a busy percussive pattern drenched in the fuzz and jangle of guitar. Intricate little guitar highlights permeate the cloudy reverb at regular intervals lifting the track ever so slightly, leaving just enough room to accommodate the chug of bass and that fragile line of melodic vocal. ‘Here And Then’ is steeped in early 90’s melancholia. Beautifully serine lines of guitar hug a meandering bass line as the sway of drums keeps a careful backbeat. Collectively, the instrumentation is on point, circumnavigating that pensive vocal brilliantly and allowing the listener to float away on waves of blissful noise.

‘Upside Down’ arrives leaning at a kind of alternative angle with it’s safe percussive pattern, bouncing bass notes and those undulating lines of guitar. The dual vocal lines are a definite highlight here though, harmonising perfectly in amongst the fuzz and reverb. The opening bars of ‘Parasite’ are reminiscent of ‘Slanted & Enchanted’ era Pavement melded with the woozy side of ‘Something More’ by Chapterhouse. Walls of reverberating guitar ride a brilliant drum pattern as throbbing bass frequencies glide in close orbit and those effortless vocals take centre stage. Brilliantly executed, ‘Parasite’ is a definite album highlight for me. Up next, ‘Dead Weight’ chugs into life on a heavy bass line as rambling post-punk leaning guitars and the pitter patter of sequenced percussion glide into view. Warped lead lines accompany the vocals here, impressing greatly as they loop and arc throughout. The albums penultimate piece entitled ‘Under Their Eyes’ is slow burning affair with repetitive percussion, throbbing bass signature and those subtle layers of fuzzed out guitar. Dual lines of male/female vocals are executed perfectly again. Harmonising brilliantly as sporadic swells of organ and the plink of electronics add heady atmospherics. The album closes out with the absolutely immense ‘No Point’. Walls of fuzz, steady percussion and the deep pull of bass frequencies completely envelope the vocals on this track as we’re swept away on waves of effervescent melancholy, reminiscing of days gone by and lost love. A very impressive finale to a wonderfully fresh sounding album.

4/5

LINKS:

lacklustrerecords.bandcamp.com

facebook.com/earacheau/

blackwirerecords.bandcamp.com 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last six years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, postpunk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  – Primal Radio –  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.