Words: James Frostick
CIVIC – one of Naarm/Melbourne’s most compelling proponents of rugged, rip-roaring rock and roll – return with a hot new 7″, out now via Flightless Records. ‘Radiant Eye’ is a heated slice of CIVIC’s signature sprint, boasting percussive kicks that leave dents and licks that leave scorch marks.
I have a suspicion crafting solid rock and roll is an art form that’s easy to learn but hard to master. CIVIC certainly seem to make it look easy, that’s for sure, which leads me to believe that it’s exactly the opposite. The wrecking crew (which features members of The Snakes, Leather Lickers, Drug Sweat, Whipper and Cuntz) have been staunch exponents of a hard-chugging, no-quarter-giving, unapologetic style of discord since emerging in 2018, tastefully incorporating elements of punk, pub rock and gutter rock across its smattering of EPs and 7″ singles. The group’s latest effort sees CIVIC planting roots on a new label in anticipation of more to come next year. ‘Radiant Eye’ is the band’s fresh scorcher, which dropped last week on Flightless – the home of similarly vigorous heavy hitters and heavy riffers such as Amyl and the Sniffers, Tropical Fuck Storm and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.
To put it simply, ‘Radiant Eye’ is a healthy pour of cask-strength sonic hooch, best downed in large gulps so as not to feel the burn. You’ll feel it anyway, though – an agitated roil soon builds in the gut, an accelerated heart rate beats through your chest from the inside and a rising fire building in your throat makes you want to belch fire. All good things in this instance. As one would expect, CIVIC wastes little time in getting to the point, quickly launching into a breathless double-time percussive gallop joined by broad swathes of electrified verve. The guitars keep up with the pummel, both coarse rhythmic swipes and the lead’s conflagrant haywire rips taking turns laying waste to the surrounds, while a sax interjection adds a brassy robustness to the mayhem. I’m too caught up in the pace to catch much of the lyrical content, but I think the ‘Radiant Eye’ in question is the fiery ball in the eye and also, perhaps, a baleful gaze – one that withers everything it surveys. It’s an assessment that fits the scorched-earth nature of ‘Radiant Eye’s wide-eyed wildfire-like potency, so I won’t kick the tyres too much on it. Just strap in and listen for yourself.
Check out the clip for ‘Radiant Eye’ below, directed and edited by Stuart Page:
The ‘Radiant Eye’ 7″ (also featuring a cover of The Creation’s ‘Making Time’) is available now. You can grab one of a limited number of transparent red-wax vinyl copies via Flightless’ webstore, or digitally via CIVIC’s Bandcamp.