Words: James Frostick

After dropping a kiloton of blistering and hard-chugging punk on our heads back in April in the form of their self-titled LP, Melbourne/Naarm wrecking crew APCO are back with a fresh slice of bare-boned crank. ‘Doggone (Goblin Ribs)’ is a prickly demo fashioned in isolation out in Victoria’s west – a murky taster of the band’s next batch of nervy punk wallopers.

When APCO last shared music with us back in April, the situation in our country was dicey, to say the least. Four months on and things aren’t much better – in many places, they’re worse. Melbourne/Naarm is still in the midst of a second large-scale lockdown, and perhaps Brisbane/Meanjin is shaping up to follow suit. Thankfully APCO, or some elements of it, are putting in the work on new music – filling the time that would, in a perfect world, have boasted gigs, group practices or even more recording sessions. Instead they’re separated, with members chipping away at new tracks long distance. ‘Doggone (Goblin Ribs)’ is a fresh demo from the group – a rudimentary assemblage of parts hammered together in isolation hinting at more new music to come. While rough around the edges (the five-piece intend on fleshing the track out when they can gather once more), there’s some interesting elements here that I dig.

Built on a core of a snappy drum machine patter, caustic guitar chug and a steady bass thrum, ‘Doggone’s sonic palette is suitably gnarled and sneering – a junked conglomeration of gritty pieces that create a an almost-there silhouette of the overall idea. Although it’s already a meaty sounding track, once APCO adds organic percussion and some extra layers into the mix, ‘Doggone’ will morph from an imposing mannequin into a fearsome living thing. Lyrically, I feel APCO are examining a sense of disassociation here – perhaps as a result of isolation, or a removal from the norm. There’s a sense of time taking things away, of time diminishing the integrity of our relationships, or time forcing you to reevaluate what you hold as important. There’s a shedding happening, of obsolete priorities or values that no longer hold the same significance – the gleaming new skin representing a better, more realised you. Perhaps the members of APCO are utilising isolation as a time for reflection, which is always a positive use of spare time. Give it a listen here: