Album review: Eddy Current Suppresion Ring, "Rush to Relax"
By David Malitz
Australian garage rock group Eddy Current Suppression Ring might not have much in common with Cate Blanchett or Penfolds Grange, but with "Rush to Relax" the quartet has established itself as one of Down Under's premier exports just the same. It's both endearingly bratty and achingly heart-on-sleeve while expanding the band's churning garage rock sound to include some blissed-out jams and even a few songs that resemble ballads.
(A fine day's work, after the jump.)
Previous album "Primary Colours" was a steamrolling set of agitated post-punk that mostly bullied and grinded its way into the hearts of underground rock fans. It also won the 2008 Australian Music Prize and earned the group $30,000. That didn't exactly inspire the Melbourne lads to go big with their follow-up; "Rush to Relax" was recorded in just six hours during a single day last August. It was still yesterday in America and the record was already complete.
This approach shouldn't be seen as lackadaisical; the group's sound thrives on capturing the electricity that occurs at the initial point of creation. But even without knowing that the slithering five-minute solo during "Tuning Out" was one of Mikey Young's first stabs at it or that the wicked rumble of "Anxiety" was played live, those songs display an intense immediacy.
Singer Brendan Huntley puts on a tough veneer with his sneering speak-sing and thick accent but is a softy at heart. "I'll cook you dinners that you like to eat / With lots of veggies if you don't eat meat," he attempts to croon on "Gentleman" and later admits, "I know at times I can be a jerk / But deep down inside I want us to work." It's an almost disarmingly straightforward sentiment, and appropriate for a band that lays it out there with nothing to hide.
Recommended tracks: "Tuning Out," "Anxiety," Gentleman"
March 16, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories: Quick spins | Tags: Eddy Current Suppression Ring
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