Words: James Frostick
Sydney post-punk agitators Negative Gears have released a new EP through Disinfect Records laden with brazen fury. Scintillating single ‘U.M.’ is a savage skewering of the Catholic Church and its unacceptable parade of bullshit, sparing nothing from its direct dissection.
Regardless of your belief system (and your level of worship), it’s hard to deny the fact that organised religion has been responsible for its fair share of evil. Beyond the harmful decrees writ large throughout its ‘sacred’ scripture, contemporary Christianity (and, perhaps more specifically, the Catholic Church) is reckoning with a scandal that is rocking the very foundations of its organisational structure. Accusations of sexual abuse at the hands of priests are proliferating as hundreds upon hundreds of victims come forward to share their stories of exploitation by clergymen over decades. These men – all in positions of power – have wielded their influence for perverse gains, and their abhorrent behaviour has gone largely ignored or covered up by the religious officialdom at large. Only now is judgement being enacted, though for many victims it’s too little, too late.
Sydney’s Negative Gears takes aim at these religious institutions, condemning the entire assembly for its wanton misuse of status and damning those chiefly responsible for hushing up accusations before they become wide spread. The band brings to bear an arsenal of chaotic sounds on standout track ‘U.M.’, menacing and furious from its introductory plod to its cacophonous whirlwind. Negative Gears isn’t pulling any punches here, skewering the ecclesiastical hierarchy and its Australian figurehead George Pell across three minutes of pointed post-punk.
“Tell me how the fuck does God reduce every old white cunt to sexual abuse?”
In this line the band’s dismay and revulsion is readily apparent, and it’s completely understandable. Listen for yourself:
‘U.M.’ comes from a ripper of an EP that came out earlier this month through Disinfect Records. Those keen to catch Negative Gears live can do so on Saturday March 2 with Rot TV, Rapid Dye and Allistics at 96 Tears or on Friday March 15th with Low Life, Xilch and Romance at Waywards (The Bank Hotel in Newtown).