Album Review: Straight Arrows – It’s Happening
Indie Album Of The Week: Straight Arrows
Rice Is Nice
Rarrr! Garage brats in your face! Sydney’s Straight Arrows have spent months being hailed as the snotty voice of our fair city’s med-fi garage-punk scene. Their debut full-length (half an hour’s a full length when it’s eleven songs, you guys) loses a bit of the gobby aggression of early releases, in favour of this year’s de rigueur: slowed-down beachy goodtimes.
Fronted by Owen Penglis, personnel includes Circle Pit’s Angela Bermuda on bass and guitarist Alex Grigg – last seen fronting Red Riders. He sounds happier and freer now than on, say, Replica Replica; the surfie riffs sprayed all over opener ‘Bad Temper’ are, like the rest of his work here, both technically great and super fun.
Only problem is this: I love the sound of shitty recordings as much as the next person who recently bought a release from a cassette-only label, but I literally can’t hear what Penglis is singing. Would it have killed the vibe that much to put him a little higher in the mix?
It’s up to each listener to decide whether it’s acceptable (stoner-garage goodness recorded on the cheap) or not, but like anything released this year under a certain BPM, the mics sound like they were down the hall from the actual instruments. Personally, I’d like it even more if I could hear it better – but it thrashes happily between garage energy, punk apathy and this year’s hipster clambake noise regardless.
This is instantly likeable, and apparently face-melting live. Buy it on vinyl if you can.