Words: James Frostick
Artist image: Moodwar
Ahead of the August 14 release of his second solo album Raging Head, Melbourne/Naarm-based musician Tom Lyngcoln (Harmony, The Nation Blue) is dropping new single ‘2020 Vision’ today. Although likely penned prior to the world going to hell in a handbasket, this blistering squall perfectly encapsulates the shit-show that has been 2020 so far.
2020 used to hold so much promise. Perhaps due to its close association with the concept of hindsight, for many folks the year held the potential for change – a rectification of past mistakes and the dawn of a bright, new era. Well, it only took a few bushfire-afflicted weeks to throw that idea out of the window at the outset, and the ensuing six months have held nothing except more disaster and distress. I doubt Tom Lyngcoln held much hope for 2020. In fact, I’d wager he half expected the year to be a write-off, much like many of the years preceding it. It only takes a few listens of his new track ‘2020 Vision’ to see Tom had it all pegged before the pandemic kicked off overseas and the world was brought to its knees in a matter of weeks.
‘2020 Vision’ is the final track on Tom’s forthcoming record Raging Head, a spot typically reserved for chapter-ending statements and gentle fade-outs. This track has neither – it’s a screaming fit commemorating the end times, a sonic caterwaul of contorted guitars, pell-mell percussion and sneering commentary. After an album of smouldering discontent, Tom’s vocal cords are fried and hanging by a thread – only just up to the task of matching the ferocity of ‘2020 Vision’s knotted dissonance. But match it he does, pushing himself to breaking point in order to catalogue his discontent and dismay at the state of things – the continuation of our warmongering ways, financial systems that enrich the rich and impoverish the poor, and the mind-numbing effects of inane mainstream entertainment. It’s all killing us, bit by bit. He’s clearly sick of watching this all unfold (“My vision’s fine /
but my eyes are sore”), grimly scrolling newsfeeds and watching the world unravel in real time, and while the fire within Tom still rages inside you get a sense of his resignation. It’s like Tom knows it’s all futile and is electing to wait it out, preemptively making himself comfortable in the wake of our impending ruin in hopes something can be salvaged from the detritus when the dust finally settles.