Words: James Frostick
Band image: Kyle Biggins
Heads up – here’s some new grit from Perth! Up-and-coming punk troupe Gaffer are set to release a seven-track demo later this month, filled with an immediate and arresting take on 70s and 80s punk and post-punk. Lead track ‘Hang’ is a furious blast that fuses anger and futility – a potent mix that gives off a sense of ‘nothing to lose’ abandon.
Being based in Brisbane, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of what’s going down way out west. To me, Perth’s punk scene is both foreign and compelling – sifting through live bills and investigating each name that I come across is fun work, and the more I find the more I’m convinced Perth’s scene likely surpasses Brisbane’s in overall quality. If you’re similarly curious about what’s happening on the west coast, the best place to start is the roster on Helta Skelta Records. One of the newest groups to put something out through the label and distro is Gaffer, who will be releasing a demo cassette later in March. The group’s relatively new, and from what I can tell it features members of Cold Meat and Nerve Quakes – so despite Gaffer’s youth it comes from a fine lineage.
‘Hang’ is a blast of hot air to the face – it’s an open furnace expelling roiling plumes of smoke into the air. A two-pronged guitar attack needles and buzzes simultaneously, while upbeat percussion keeps the track moving at all times. Lyrically, you might have more luck discerning intent, but there’s a palpable nihilism that seems the be the key source of the inferno. If you can handle the temperature, I’m happy to confirm that the rest of the demo is filled with more heaters.
Physical copes of Gaffer’s demo will be available through the Helta Skelta Records Bigcartel in the coming weeks.