Words: James Frostick
Red Red Krovvy – a trio of some of the country’s fiercest punk-rock pugilists – are gearing up to throw down with the establishment on forthcoming album Managing. Soundtracking a vicious scrap with the ugliest elements of the self-centred elite, the record’s first two available tracks document RRK’s dogged determination to make cracks in the foundations – no matter how much their knuckles bleed.
If the pandemic has done anything remotely constructive, it’s helped underscore the fact that the ruling elite are unscrupulous when it comes to maintaining and accumulating wealth – especially at the expense of the working class. As juggernaut corporations receive tax breaks and bail outs, unemployment rises – fostering a substantial amount of enmity among the masses. It’s likely that thug-punk trio Red Red Krovvy has been outwardly anti-establishment long before COVID-19 highlighted the flaws in the system, but their signature brand of savage hostility seems to be especially pertinent to our current set of circumstances. The group – consisting of North Queensland transplants Ash Wyatt (UBIK, Synthetics), Adam Ritchie (Drunk Mums, Grotto) and Ben Warnock (Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys, The Baby) – was last heard from in 2017, when they dropped a self-titled long-player flush with barbed burners via WA label Helta Skelta Records. Now they’re back with follow-up effort Managing, an LP loaded with ten ballistic-tipped rounds. This aural armament is cocked and aimed directly at the folks in power, with currently available tracks ‘Before You Die’ and ‘Despise The Rich’ coming across less as warning shots and more as the opening salvo of an oncoming onslaught.
Red Red Krovvy evoke some of the sprit of Australia’s ‘murder’ punk progenitors (there’s more of a brutish weight to RRK’s sound), but where groups like Suicide Squad rebelled against doing homework, RRK rails against the self-serving autocracy in its entirety. The band’s pared-back set up (one guitar, drum kit and vocals) affords a meat-n-potatoes directness that leaves little room for frippery. On both ‘Before You Die’ and ‘Despise The Rich’, the coarse and guttural guitar scrapes with a bristly texture (aside from some mosquito-like needling in parts), taking off layers of skin with each motion. The drums pack a wallop, too, crashing and pelting with unbridled aggression. RRK’s true aggro nature comes from Ash Wyatt’s vocals, which oscillate from simmering seethe to full-on foaming-at-the-mouth malice. On ‘Before You Die’ Ash threatens and stalks with murderous intent, looking to exact bloody revenge on a perpetrator of crimes (What kind? Use your imagination). ‘Despise The Rich’ is a list of grievances with the financial elite – the untouchable few that take far more than they’ll ever give. Quivering with rage. That’s how I envision RRK want audiences to feel after taking in Managing in full. In a time where selfishness is left unchecked, it takes a bit of bite to ensure the grasping hands of greed think twice about taking more than their fair share.