Dr. Sure’s Unusual Practice


Bench Press / Dr. Sure’s Unusual Practice A Split 7″ Between Friends split EP

Here’s a split of two Aussie post-punk bands fighting the good fight. DR. SURE’S UNUSUAL PRACTICE starts the A-side with their wiry, buzzy guitars, haunted house synths, call-and-response vocals, and metronome-tight drums.  “Great Pacific Garbage Island” brings the tension of our human impact to home, with the line “As the great Pacific garbage island moves in on Hawaii, you’re on my mind.” You’ve probably heard at least something from this lot, they’ve released a lot and are a big name in Melbourne, rightly so! I hadn’t heard anything from BENCH PRESS, but I can see why this “split 7″ between friends” makes sense, as they too are politically engaged in a world that needs youth advocacy. “What you are doing is all wrapped up in politics” is the opening line of “More Than That,” and they do not relent.  Excited to check out BENCH PRESS’s two LPs. The anger on these tracks reminds me of contemporaries MINI SKIRT, but with a more minimal structure. I also read that this is the first record Fellaheen, home of bands like PAVEMENT and BEASTIE BOYS, has put out since the late ’90s, so that might give you an idea of the worth within. Enjoy.

Dr. Sure’s Unusual Practice Scomo Goes to Hawaii / While Aus Burns LP

Most of the songs on this Australian group’s record straddles the Present Day Post-Punk Partyline of minimalism, herky-jerky guitar parts, and thumpy ruled-out basslines keeping the erector set rhythms together, but the transistorized burble of synths gives this record character. The closer “10 Million Acres” is the standout track on this, a downcast but moving meditation on the cataclysmic bushfires of 2019, and the layers of loss involved. That song is an absolute must-listen if you want to hear anything from this.

Dr. Sure’s Unusual Practice Remember the Future? Vol. 2 & 1 LP

It appears as though this Melbourne act has been kicking around for a few years now, but this is certainly the first I’m hearing of them. But given this project’s name and song titles like “Super Speedy Zippy Wipper,” I had a sinking feeling that getting through this was going to be an uphill battle. And I wasn’t wrong. To be fair, the ten tracks on this LP are impressively crafted songs that are a bit post-hardcore and a bit post-punk, and the production comes off as very professional. But this sounds like the KILLERS playing DISMEMBERMENT PLAN songs to me. And I know that punk lyrics aren’t generally the most subtle, but lines like “Chasing infinite growth in dirty energy / But there’s no infinite growth if it’s clean and free” are really hard to take when presented in such a clever-rock context (even if I totally agree with the sentiment). I get the impression that others would like this stuff a lot more than me. So, maybe give it a go—you’ll probably be able to tell within a song or two whether or not this is for you.

Dr. Sure’s Unusual Practice Remember the Future? Vol. 1 EP

Solid EP from this group of Melbourne nerds. This four-song EP has two distinct sounds: two songs sound like DEVO-inspired new wave pop hits, and two sound like math-y post-punk jams. It doesn’t seem like they would fit together, but they do. “Super Speedy Zippy Whipper” has buzzing synths, call-and-response vocals, and slightly wacky lyrics that combine into a fun, breezy jammer. Third track “Stitch Up” has a similar energy with keyboard lines and background “la-la-la-las.” The other two songs sound like FUGAZI with David Byrne doing vocals. “Collapse” has some slightly atonal guitar work with a bobbing bass line, while “Temperature Talk” has intertwining guitars dueling skewered arpeggios. Combine these elements with the aforementioned vocal style, and you get an odd mix. Synth-laden egg-punk with minor key noodling seems like a terrible combination, like ketchup and gravy, but it sounds good here. The band has the songwriting and personality to pull it off. They sound like PARQUET COURTS in parts, but they are unique enough to stand on their own. Worth checking out!