Farewell From Rockhampton by Cracodile is an immediate and gripping album of Australian post-punk and psych, fueled by Bundy rum and pot but containing more energy and vitality than that combination usually affords a creative mind.
You’d think at this stage of the year there wouldn’t be many bands looking to release any music before 2015 ends. The festive season might be winding down now, but I was given a gift in the form of some new music that it is my pleasure to re-gift and share. If you’ve been searching for some exciting Australian punk that combines savagery and inventiveness, then you’ll get a fucking kick out of this.
Enter Cracodile, a newly formed post-punk band that resides in Melbourne, but consists of three Sunshine Coast transplants. The trio, consisting of Dougal Shaw (who you may recognise from Breve), his brother Oliver and friend Jack ‘Longy’ Mccullagh, formed six weeks ago, simply as a jamming exercise. After deciding to have a crack with the songs that they created, Cracodile recently unveiled their first single ‘Pop Songs’ before following up the jab with a haymaker in the form of a whole album, released today.
Farewell From Rockhampton is the energizing full-length offering from Cracodile, recorded by Dougal in a bedroom-come-studio in at Oli and Jack’s share house in Brunswick. It’s good shit, it took me completely by surprise. The creation of the band and this recorded effort seemed to take the band by surprise as well, as Dougal informed me when he got in touch with the news.
“One night six weeks ago Oli recorded a jam on his iPhone,” Dougal explains. “There was no intention to be writing songs together – we all have our own creative projects, but it was always just a good way to pass the time. That was the first time we had a product of our jams to listen back to, the next night we recorded 3 songs that came out of that jam. A week or 2 later we did the same again. After 3 sessions we had an album. Now we’re a band and it’s a bit of a worry.”
The album is a combination of dusty psych, junkyard percussion and skewed prose – created through a largely improvisational process. There is some fierce vitality in these songs, a little bit of venom and sharpness – a jagged ramshackle nature that stems from the spontaneous nature of the music’s creation. It’s immediate, it’s present, it’s pure creation that isn’t overthought or overwrought. Being rough around the edges is encouraged here – Cracodile let ideas come and go, the songs are fueled by Bundy rum and pot, haphazard but energetic. The musicianship is deceivingly tight, it sounds potent and important. The lyrics are ‘a commentary on the absurdity of modern life’, according to Oliver, who ably evokes the devil in his vocalisms. Listen to the album here:
Farewell From Rockhampton is released today through the band’s own label Uluroof Records. The album is being launched at the Generator Gallery in Eumundi with support from Black Deity, The Cloacas and The Bards.