Words: James Frostick
Melbourne/Naarm-based newcomers If So Why are making some early moves, slowly building up a catalogue of intimidating bone-crunching noise-punk thumpers. New single ‘Demagogue’ is a churning and foreboding slab of mulched-up apocalyptic sonic turbulence, a terrific example of when more is better.
Kicking up silt and ash via a maelstrom of tempestuous instrumentation, up-and-coming four-piece If So Why are filling out the ranks of Australia’s underground noise- and goth-punk fringe. The crew dropped its first track ‘Death Spoilers’ early in the year as an official introduction, giving ears a taste of the prickly dissonance that boasts shades of Yes I’m Leaving, Synthetics, Bitumen, Masses and Concrete Lawn, but with a crunchy heaviness at play that outweighs them all. In early May the crew covertly dropped a follow-up single ‘Demagogue’, a tune that sees the group applying a significant amount of pressure to create a clouded diamond out of the muck it compresses into each sludgy second.
Where ‘Death Spoilers’ was a spasmodic and twisting taster, ‘Demagogue’ is a relentless blunt-force ground shaker. If you like your doom-ish punk choked with caustic atmospherics, then you’ll lose your proverbial shit over this one. This bilious monument to apocalyptic aural unease is constructed out of essential elements – a hefty bass chug, snappy militaristic percussion, nervy and acute-angled guitar and vocals sharpened to show off a sneering edge. If So Why revels in making the ground shake and your insides quiver, and if the group keeps this up we’ll soon have a handy soundtrack to put to these unsettling times. If we make it out of this pandemic, expect the group to put out an EP at the first opportunity.