Big news for fans of Australian post-punk – Death Bells have a new LP coming on the horizon. The Sydney group has flicked on the hype machine and offered us the first single from said LP – ‘Roman Candles’. This song is a great example of post-punk slightly polished and removed of jaggedness, though sharpened in terms of concept and execution. Echoed drums and vocals emanating from the lower register quickly join a supple and malleable bass opener, but it’s not long before ‘Roman Candles’ bursts open into a fully-fledged torrent of sound.
This is post-punk at its most invigorating – a near tangible force of life-giving exhilaration. There’s melodiousness seeping into every note and there is more euphonic joy evident than one would expect from post-punk. The harmonious tumult continues sans caesura for the remainder of the track, but before long I’m left in a stupor at song’s end. I’m having difficulty reconciling the fact that three minutes have elapsed. I listen again.
Sitting just underneath the rushing tide of the music is the vocals, obscured and covered below the torrent’s surface. There’s fragments, shards and glimpses of lyrical intent pertaining to the dissection of maybes, what ifs and for seeing things as they truly are (I think). There’s no ‘maybe’ about ‘Roman Candles’, though – it’s legit, and choosing this track is a masterstroke by the band where ‘generating interest’ is considered. This morsel is tasty, and pretty soon we’ll be feasting on what the album holds. In the meantime, I’m running this track back a few more times.
Image: Dakota Gordon