Australian punk rock seems to be getting bigger and bigger. Of course there are the legendary Frenzal Rhomb, then there are bands like The Smith Street Band, The Bennies and The Decline putting out some amazing records. Another band doing just that are Local Resident Failure. This year they put out a new record named This Here's The Hard Part on PEE RECORDS and Disconnect Disconnect Records. I gave it a listen.
The first song, Around The World starts with a lengthy drum section before Dals unmistakeably Australian vocals kick in. This is some super catchy pop punk music that instantly gets stuck in your head. It's a song about going anywhere for that special someone. A Friend Named Hope is another hugely catchy song. The guitars take me back to my teenage summers when I would always have some pop punk playing on my CD player. The song is about giving up on hope because of being constantly let down and how this effects your life. Kind of serious subject matter but done in a very tongue in cheek style. One of the best pop punk songs I've heard in a long time. There's a nice hint of some old school Lagwagon in the song Old Skool. It's a short song about refusing to grow up. It's fast and it's fun, just like being a teenager. Brainwashed is more of a mid-tempo melodic punk number. This song is about being under the influence of a women, your friends knowing how bad it is but not realising for yourself. We all have that friend. It's a different take on the subject matter of girls which is really interesting. I really enjoyed the pacing of the song, it really gets you listening to the lyrics.
Long Night starts out slowly with just an unplugged electric guitar and some vocals before the band crank everything up to eleven and unleash some frantic pop punk on us. There are plently of key changes throughout the track which keep you hooked throughout the track. This feels like a song that would get a crowd completely "stoked." (I think I used that word correctly) Rockstar has more of a serious feel to it. It's about posers in the scene, somebody who only wants to be in the music because of the celebrity of it all rather than the love and the passion. Something that happens far too often in the music world now. This is by far the angriest song on the album so far, complete with throaty death screams. Roll On 2 brings us to the halfway stage of the album. This is the circle pit song on This Here's The Hard Part. At just one minute and thirty three seconds long the pace barely slows throughout the song.
The eighth song is named Into The Unknown has a sci-fi theme. Musically this song really reminds me of The Lillingtons, a band that also wrote a science fiction punk tune or two in their time. Despite the similarities with The Lillingtons sound you would never get the bands confused. Local Resident Failure have managed to borrow from another bands repertoire and make it their own brilliantly. Failing Heath begins in a stop/start fashion and grabs your attention instantly. This song is a chance for the bands guitarist and drummer to really show of their skills with some great solo's and drum fills. Song number ten is called The Shadow Of My Former Self. This track starts very tenderly before returning to the punk rock assault that I've come to expect from Local Resident Failure. They like to play as fast as they can possibly can, when they do slow things down you know it's building towards going even faster. The slow beginning will work really loud with a live crowd, giving everyone a chance to sing a long before going absolutely nuts. Newcastle Nights is the hardest track on the album, venturing into the world of hardcore punk rock. This is a enjoyable little song but I'm not really sure whether or not the band are intentionally being a bit novelty here.
Time Machine is another fast paced pop punk banger that Local Resident Failure do so so well. It's a song about reminiscing about finding your true love - punk rock music. I always find it very interesting talking to different punk rockers about how they got into the music and how exciting a period it was. Lovely sentiment in the song. The penultimate song is called Sirens and is the third song in a row then falls below the two minute mark. Were the band in a rush to get the album finished? This is some great summertime, bouncy pop punk. When I was growing up this is the kind of song that I would have fallen in love with and I'm really loving it now at 29. The final song on the album is called The Re-Opener and compared to the previous three songs is a bit of an epic, being five minutes and thirty-seven seconds long. The catchy pop punk tunes are still there but there is a more serious message behind the music. It tells the story of a troubled man whose contemplating doing bad things and finding away to come through it. This song is excellent!
The whole album is an excellent piece of work. I'll be surprised if I hear a better pop punk album this year. It's brilliant catchy, shows of some brilliant musicianship and song writing abilities. But what I love the most about it is that the sound varies. Too often you hear a pop punk record and most songs do sound the same, happily this isn't the case on This Here's The Start.
Get This Here's The Hard Part here: https://disconnectdisconnectrecords.bandcamp.com/album/this-heres-the-hard-part
Like Local Resident Failure here: https://www.facebook.com/localresidentfailure