Melbourne’s MOD CON follows up its killer debut single ‘Do It Right Margo’ with a pointed and ferocious follow-up in ‘Neighbourhood’. The trio examines contemporary attitudes towards Australia’s Indigenous history, spotlighting and skewering the mainstream’s indifference to the plight of the First Peoples.
It’s no secret that the vast majority of Australians are largely ignorant of our Indigenous heritage. There’s a map of Australia that plots out the multitude of Indigenous territories that exist, overlaying and intertwining with our own imposed boundaries. Most of us don’t know the name of the territory our homes reside in – we couldn’t even say where it started or ended. This general unawareness forms the basis of MOD CON’s latest single ‘Neighbourhood’ – a lamentation of our collective ignorance and the reality of having crucial pieces of history and culture destroyed.
The trio of Erica Dunn, Raquel Solier and Sara Retallick pull no punches in this one – they see the failure of mainstream Australia to recognise the erasure of history, and single out those amongst us who acknowledge the issue but still choose to remain silent. Lyrical imagery conjures up idyllic neighbourhoods – full of playgrounds and barbecues – that sit on soil once home to Indigenous peoples. Here there are roads paving over pieces of history, relegating a vibrant culture to stories and diminished histories. ‘Neighbourhood’ positions our streets as ghost towns – cul-de-sacs haunted by ignorance of generations past and present:
“Looking through tinted glass / watching ghosts flying past / Thought I saw a face I knew / getting smaller in the rear view”
Listen for yourself:
‘Neighbourhood’ mixes mellow and frenetic tones throughout – peaks and valleys, quiet and, well, dissonance. Piercingly focussed guitar rips lend a sparkling weight to Erica Dunn’s vociferous vocals, while a composed low end and hypnotically staunch drum work stabilise the affair when it threatens to go off the rails. The music gives off enough of a menacing aura to know that MOD CON means business here (like you had any doubt), and it suits the subject matter perfectly. It captures your attention, which is good, because this is something worth hearing.
The track is also accompanied by a remix from Melbourne’s Jacky Winter, giving the track a minimal dance-floor vibe without reducing the urgency.