Acceptable Australiana has been creeping back into the cultural conscious. Amyl and the Sniffers, the Chats, and now with the arrival of III by Gooch Palms, pub-rock and garage punk is spilling out of sticky-floored Northcote band rooms and onto international flights.
At times, Kat Friend’s vocals can grate like the transmission of a Kingswood stuck in neutral. On “III”, she’s often twisting your arm into a sing-a-long.
The record is a return to the sunburnt country, an ode perhaps—their first album since setting up shop in L.A. ‘Yeh Nah’ could be a contemporary cut of ‘Still Call Australia Home’, made for BIC-lit choirs. ‘I Get Out’ then, to continue the motor maxims, is speeding off into the sunset.
Friend and Leroy McQueen probably don’t like what they see in Australia, though. ‘Hi-Rise Lo-Times’ takes shots at politician’s treatment of the live music industry. It’s the sounds of a youth in revolt. On one hand they love Australia, but on the other hand they don’t think Australia loves them.
If “III” is anything to go by, Gooch Palms probably still miss the place sorely.
Reviewed by Darby-Perrin Larner