Premiere: ASTRAL SKULLS – ‘THIS PLACE’ / ‘TAKE IT AWAY’

One of Australia’s finest proponents of burdened and lonely post-punk is back with some new noise. Astral Skulls will soon be releasing a limited run of 7” singles, featuring tracks ‘This Place’ and ‘Take It Away’ – both pristine examples of Kurt Eckardt and Kalindy Williams’ knack for crafting dissonant but atmospheric music.

Long-time fans of Astral Skulls will already be intimately familiar with the isolationist and despondent aesthetics that Kurt Eckardt revels in. Sombre and surreal seem to be his middle names, but despite choosing to craft downcast future punk, his knack for weaving beauty throughout the clutter is near unparalleled. On his latest tracks ‘This Place’ and ‘Take It Away’ Astral Skulls once again pair paranoid sonics with a despondent bent, but as always, Kurt and Kalindy make it utterly listenable.

Lead track ‘This Place’ is more dejected than normal. Not only does the music make me feel trapped, but the lyrics literally spell it out. Kurt hauntingly urges us to pack up and flee, to keep moving through a dystopian world that we can’t escape from although we know that it’s a lost cause. Read into it and you could draw connections between this dreary reality and what we’re gradually doing to the world. Looming environmental catastrophes, global conflicts and increasing levels of oppressive behaviour could lead us right to this nightmare world. A world where regret and loss are everything we’ll ever know.

‘Take It Away’ leads in with a glitchy and bass heavy intro, but eventually expands to include sci-fi synths and a leaden drum beat. This track details the futility of hard work – to build something up only to have it crushed and removed forcefully from your grasp. Doing it tough, spending every bit of cash that’s not quite enough to get what you want – yeah, it’s a brutal life that might ring true to some. The track perfectly communicates the disheartening plod of the mundane with a direct and monotonous affectation, one that leaves a sick feeling in your stomach and has me looking at plane fares to tropical locales.

‘This Place’ and ‘Take It Away’ will be released on a limited-edition lathe-cut 7”, with numbers strictly limited to 50 physical copies total. Fans of Astral Skulls are advised not to sleep on this purchase, but those that miss out can pre-order digital copies on Bandcamp. Astral Skulls will be playing at The Old Bar on Friday April 13 with supports from Shovels, Hot To Rot, Jungle Cuffs and Crash.

BANDCAMP / SOUNDCLOUD

Banner image: Kalindy Williams