Words: James Frostick
Band image: Emma Dunstan
Emerging post-punk three-piece Crash Material will be beaming their debut EP to the masses on Sunday June 14, delivering the work via a special collaborative broadcast. Ahead of the EP’s arrival, we’ve got the first spin of lead single ‘Opia’ – a piece of urgent and turbulent noise freighted with vulnerability and inner strength.
There’s a certain unsettling intensity that goes along with looking someone in the eye. I’m not talking about staring contests, more the palpable connection felt when pupils are locked. It’s almost intrusive – as if someone is looking through a window into my mind, which has become open and vulnerable to inspection and now my inner being can be perceived without obfuscation. At its core, looking eye-to-eye is a way to show sincerity by allowing someone to peer inside to see that you have nothing to hide. It can also be a steadfast and defiant challenge, an invitation to contest one’s constitution and resolve. As far as non-verbal communication goes, eye contact speaks volumes – even if it can feel invasive at times. The term opia broadly refers to the depth of emotion inherent in the act of looking someone in the eye – it’s also a crucial thematic element to Melbourne/Naarm outfit Crash Material’s new single ‘Opia’. The three-piece (whose members boast stints in No Sister, Love of Diagrams and Civil Union on their collective resume) will soon be releasing their seven-track debut EP, but are first offering an up-close-and-personal insight via this slice of post-punk din.
‘Opia’ kicks off with a sharp and cold guitar noodle that helps set us to be knocked back on our butts as soon as the rest of the instruments arrive. This early sonic glide turns from smooth to serrated as the trio ratchets up the intensity into a shrouded and fuzzed tumble. When it’s in full flight ‘Opia’ crackles with a tangible energy that circulates and coils, blowing my hair back and sending nearby loose items flying. As far as the conceptual crux of the lyrics are concerned, to me ‘Opia’ speaks to the symbiotic relationship between vulnerability and bravery and what builds strength of character. Throughout the track Siahn Davis espouses the necessity of openness when it comes to communication and self-actualisation, regardless of how uncomfortable being vulnerable may be. When you boil it down, the only way to invite positive karmic energy is to maintain strong virtues, cultivate an empathetic and appreciative mindset, and build resilience towards discomfort (your own and the kind imposed by others) and conflict. It’s when you’ve built up these behaviours that you can look someone in the eyes and know that through them they are seeing your true (and best) self.
Listen / watch the film clip for ‘Opia’ (directed by Damian Golfinopoulos, filmed by Josh Watson, animation by Siahn Davis) here:
Crash Material’s debut EP will be released officially on Sunday June 14. To celebrate, the band will be streaming a special broadcast that will include a live studio session at Three Phase, as well as a series of videos by directors including Jason Heller, Triana Hernandez, Damian Golfinopoulos, Don Gray, Hussein Khoder, Andrew Cox, and Siahn Davis.