READY FOR BOREDOM - Bed Wettin' Nasty Boys (R.I.P. Society)
Reviews of youngish bands by old farts normally start with a smart arse observation about a revered but long defunct predecessor (hopefully hopelessly obscure) followed by resigned ambivalence about the sad state of contemporary music. Fuck that for a joke. I might be a musical snob, but I'm not a knob. These (bed wetting' bad) boys come from Sydney's inner-west where there's barely anyway to play live - and they don't sound anything like The Replacements.

The Replacements do influence plenty of young Australian bands - even the ones who've never heard of them. So goes the theory. It's the best way of explaining away the ones who play a bit loose. Bed Wettin' Nasty Boys (let's call them BWNBs - it's easier to type) don't sound like an youth orchestra but nor do they seem seem hell-bent on making a virtue out of being scrappy. Which is where those Replacements had their heads. No making you suffer for their art, for art's sake.

BWNBs are a guitar band with a nice, thick bottom end rumble. They tune down and they don't mind a grating or shouty vocal. They're certainly not woossy which must confound the programmers on the national yoof radio network (that'd be Triple J) no end. More jacked up than jangly. When you're dictating a structly-by-the-numbers playlist, these are the choices that confront so-called entertainment industry professionals.

The twin guitar attack is more deft than might be apparent on first listen. Ben and Joe (you must know them on first name basis) have a nice tension happening in their playing, opener "Devotion" being a prime example. On "Sally" they sound like the Stones or one of hundreds of bands influenced by them - except for the distinctly un-Jaggerlike vocal. The guitar patterns on "Wait And See" run rings around most other bands of this ilk while one of the players briefly channels Angus Young's tone on "Keep It From You". Surely a reminder that there's a little bit of Oz Rock in everyone.

If you hear a touch of Eddy Current Suppression Ring in the BWNB sound you might be clever enough to check the credits and find Mikey Young's name. A word of caution - he didn't produce this baby, he mastered it. So give a thumbs up for having a part in the final product but don't get jumping to any premature conclusions.

These are not fast songs that go for the throat. "Bite My Tongue" might unconsciously mirror the melody line in "Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" but it motors along fairly milldy in comparison to some of the bastard offspring of the first wave of punk rock. INdulge me with an "old" comparison for a moment but the Pistols didn't actually play that fast. It was all in Paul Cook's ability to make it seem so. BWNB apply the same principle.

"Call" is a pop song, no doubt at all. It's just dressed in abrasive sonic clothes.

This is the sort of record to wake up to after a hard Friday's night. In a share house. It doesn't shake you into submission, the guitars take a firm grasp of your shoulders and point you in the direction of a hair of the dog. Records like "Ready For Boredom" make perfect sense. Even to an old fart. - The Barman



 

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