Ausmuteants are back after three years with a new LP. They’ve brought their usual style of high-strung punk, with ten blistering tracks that never make it past to the two-minute mark. They’ve packaged their tunes into a slightly different box this time, too, with a bit of a concept album written entirely by guitarist Shaun Connor. The album delves into the mind of a power-crazed, egomaniacal man of the law with a hair trigger-finger.
The album kicks off with Favourite Cop, the faux-tough growl of COPS RULE in the intro sets the tone for the healthy dosses of piss-takery on the record. Favourite Cop and The World in Handcuffs almost blend into each other, linked by a feedback sound so there’s no silence between the two. The two are also surged along by similar beats and riffs and paranoia-inducing synths.
The pace slows down for the next couple of tracks, the more tumultuous Born into the Badge and They Wanna Get Caught. The loose sounding bass guitar in the latter sounds awesome, and the lyrics are like a stream of consciousness of this character they’re building and his attitude towards the people he’s arresting, it works really well with the vitriolic way the refrain ‘They Wanna Be Caught’ is spat throughout the song.
The next couple pick back up in pace a little, at least in the vocal delivery, which comes in that classic Ausmuteants tone. You know the one… the one that gives you that pressing feeling like you’re waking up from a nightmare, sweating and on the verge of a nervous breakdown? Yeah, that one, it’s cool.
Right to force sees more cool interaction between the bass guitar and synth, with guitars only added when needed as a kind of accent to bring the mood up a level.
Forever Cops is probably my favourite as a stand-alone track, it has this intensity to it, it feels a bit like the caricature element of the albums narrative is dropped in a culmination of the real-world frustration that might have inspired the anti-authoritarian concept.
For me, Ausmuteants psychotic sound is always a treat, and it lends its self brilliantly to the perspective of this crazed-cop-character, and the album does a great job of mixing system-biting anger with smart-arse humour that punk music is awesome at.
Anti Fade Records
Reviewed by Liam McNally