Words: James Frostick
Band image: Stephanie Liouos
Cover art: Maxine Booker
Sydney punk quartet Concrete Lawn are following up a 2018 demo release with a new record called Aggregate on April 1, filled with the group’s signature attention-grabbing noise. The unit are kicking off proceedings with the title track – a venomous spray aimed at the greedy elite, the treasure hoarders and the folks inhibiting progress.
It’s an odd feeling when you realise you’ve aged out of the ‘youth’ demographic. I don’t feel cooked – I’ve only just left my 20s – but nevertheless, it’s often hard to wrap one’s head around the progression of time, especially when the kids that came after you start to grow up. Sydney’s Concrete Lawn are a four-piece punk group that have been making some noise in the local scene for a couple of years now (since early 2018 as far as I can gather), and for a good chunk of their existence members of the band were still completing their high school education. This places them firmly within Generation Z, a demographic that is rapidly coming to terms with the fact that the adult world they’re entering is full of shit. While Millennials and Boomers engage in stoush after stoush over various contentious societal issues, Gen Zed’s are looking around at the leftover detritus and are firmly unimpressed with the state of affairs. Concrete Lawn are an embodiment of the dissatisfaction of youth – a cacophonous screech at the ineptitude of adults who have dropped the ball before it could even be passed to the next in line.
Words like snotty and bratty are often bandied about when describing punks in their teens and early 20s, and sure, Concrete Lawn are loud and rebellious (what punk groups aren’t?), but they’re a lot more composed in terms of sound and outlook than their years would suggest. Their new track ‘Aggregate’ (from their forthcoming album of the same name) is a spiky and fierce number boasting a chugging and relentless momentum – a kind of vivid ferociousness I’d say is stylistically akin to groups like UBIK, Synthetics, Cold Meat and Lexicon. From what I can tell, the lyrics are socially aware – here Concrete Lawn rails against established power structure, skewering those that buy into the ‘money over everything’ way of living instead of being a part of positive change. It’s the kind of commentary that shows that the members of Concrete Lawn have got their heads screwed on straight, and that they’re already becoming a vital addition to Australia’s pulsing punk scene. The kids are alright!
Concrete Lawn’s album Aggregate was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jonathan Boulet, and will be released on April 1 through Urge Records. Catch Concrete Lawn when they support Amyl and the Sniffers on Saturday March 14 at The Newcastle Hotel and again on Saturday April 11 when they play at West End Fest 2 alongside Low Life, Diät, Batpiss and more.