Premiere: SUSS CUNTS – TEMPER EP (HYSTERICAL RECORDS, 2018)

Words: James Frostick

Melbourne/Naarm trio Suss Cunts are on the cusp of officially releasing their newest EP, Temper, through Hysterical Records on April 27. We’ve been given the privilege of premiering an advanced stream of the tunes, which pivot from in-your-face punk jams to cacophonous garage onslaughts. Either way, this EP is a versatile and collected statement from a band that undoubtedly has their shit sorted.

If we’re being real here, any punk band worth its weight in salt should have somewhat of a temper. You know, a bit of fire in the gut. A bit of agitation that puts them (and everyone around them) on edge. If Suss Cunts wanted to give us a forewarning that their appropriately titled EP Temper packs a bit of a cantankerous edge, then warning heeded. Even if the record wasn’t titled such, the first listen of their second EP is more than enough to know the band ain’t kidding around.

The trio of Tahlia Eastman, Nina Renee and Helena Holmes have put in the hard yards to pin down a tight selection of rippers that showcase not only their musical chops, but their creative earnestness and a little bit of wry humour. Temper runs the gamut of styles over its tight five-song set; from the pristine and angular punk of the title track and the dust and exhaust-cloud dissonance of ‘Vaxxer’ to the direct and sincere composition of ‘10 Years’. In short, there’s more versatility on show in this release than many bands cram into a record twice as long.

Temper’s variety doesn’t start and end with the music. The EP conveys some worthwhile sentiments that give us plenty to chew on. The trio touch on the intrigue and frustrations inherent in new romantic attraction, they reflect on youthful dalliances and faded memories of flings that linger fondly (or not so fondly), and dwell on those same horrendous regrets when they are brought into sharp focus (“I can’t believe I fucked an anti-vaxxer” is a line that will stick with me for a while). The band wraps up proceedings fittingly with the screeching but sombre ‘Jamm’, where we’re convinced it’s time to call it, like a fun flirtation that has moved past its use-by date. We’re given no option. It’s time to move on.

Although short and sweet, Temper is a brilliant step in this band’s burgeoning career. It’s fun to move around to and it’s easy to relate to. I don’t see much sense in waxing on any further. The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding is available for you to devour right here:

Temper will be out officially on April 27 through Hysterical Records.

BANDCAMP / SOUNDCLOUD