THE END OF THE EARTH SHOW - Walrus (Fuzztone/Shock)
It took a while for the EP by this youngish Sydney band this to stick (after one of the other reviewers passed it up) but there's all sort of familiar reference points along the way to make it an enjoyable enough ride for these old ears. Those reference points are probably coincidental and so far wide of the mark that'll throw anyone who knows the band's real tastes but this won't be the first (or last) time we've been shot with a ball of our own shit, so press on....

The sound of opening track "War" comes straight out of the Evening Star Hotel in Sydney in the late '80s. That's not to say they're a smack band or a bunch of Goths; it's just an indication that there's a dark post-punk undertone in the song and the delivery isn't as straight-forward as some of the would-be countperarts occupying opening spots in this town (and others.) So there. There's also social commentary ("No one gives a fuck about the war anymore".) Big lashings of Tall Tales But True and Toys Went Berserk abound in "Only Son". Just like those bands, Walrus marry (sometimes deeply buried) acoustic beds to sharp guitarwork.

A 6/8 time signature and a Died Pretty keyboard line dominate "Lips" and it's the bastard son of the litter, a strange tune that's slightly out of place but works well for that reason.

"Corn Coloured Vomit" is the worst song title here but once you get over it and the slightly twee vocal (not sure who's up front here as the credits are shared) it's the best song. It's the sort of swelling tune Decline Of The Reptiles used to employ to great effect. Actually, the vocal gets snottier and more out there as the song progresses and emerges as a strong point, along with the repeating guitar riff.

I was going to categorically state that, contrary to what's being said elsewhere, Walrus are not a retro rock rifferama band and then I heard "Armageddon With You" which shuts the EP down. It sounds like a Rose Tattoo outtake with Wellsy on va-ca and doesn't really move me much, I'm sorry to say. That shouldn't be the case after a force-fed diet of Oz Rock lately, but maybe therein lies the reason. Anyway, I dips me lid to the boys for not wanting to be confined.

All up, worth tracking down a copy and worth keeping an eye on the band live. I intend to if I drag my sorry arse to a venue at which they're playing. Now if I could work out how they won one of those Triple J Unearthed talent-spotting contests, which usually dig up abominably lame indie pop crap acts... – The Barman

3/4




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