Words: James Frostick
Band image: Guy Tyzack
A few weeks back dissonant robo-punk outfit MOTH dropped ‘Ritual’, the first taste of forthcoming EP Machine Nation. Today, we’re chuffed to be sharing the visuals for the track, a suitably aberrant accompaniment to MOTH’s paranoid brand of post-punk.
If the name Darcy Berry doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps some of his work will be familiar. One – he is the drummer for punchy Melbourne/Naarm rabble-rousers Gonzo and art-punks U-Bahn. Two – he has also crafted numerous works of visual art for a number of Melbourne bands as Moth Creative. Since around 2018 Darcy has expanded the Moth moniker to include his own recorded musical forays, dropping a cassette called Initial Object in 2018 and a demo back in November, both boasting tracks of tinny mutant punk – sketches of digital dystopias in the form of technologically addled machine skronk. Some time between then and now Darcy turned MOTH into a fully fledged band – recruiting musicians from bands such as Kosmetika, Alien Nosejob and Body Maintenance to add some muscle to the mechanism. Darcy and his crew recently linked up with fellow oddballs at Marthouse Records to put out their debut four-track EP Machine Nation, leading back in May with the release of first cut ‘Ritual’.
I hate to harp on with the mechanised metaphors, but when the shoe fits you might as well take it for a walk. ‘Ritual’ whirrs to life and quickly settles into an abrasive rhythm – a humming generator-like buzz underpinning the track’s motoric chugg and wiry crank. Darcy uses this chunky clunk as a launchpad for a verbal assault on the all-consuming nature of modern living, with digitised entertainment locking users into a cycle of vain custom and behaviour – sonic repetition to convey our society’s repetitive condition of living. ‘Ritual’s clip (directed by Guy Tyzack) is unsettling, with flashes of retro-tech graphics interspersing Darcy’s lounge-room performance (bathed in red light) and a balaclava-wearing figure losing his shit in the dark. It’s a great example of uncomplicated approach enhancing solid foundations. It’s cool, I dig it all. Watch/listen: