Spik & Span

Bloody Hell The Consultation EP

Eerie and unnerving warble from Australia. Art-punk, certainly, but without firmly planted feet, allowing for these cool and unexpected shifts that enrich each tune. Their use of keys/synths informs the uneasiness permeating the release, but it’s when pop creeps through the cracks, particularly in “Sex Dot Com,” that I am fully on board. Oddly enough, it’s all got me thinkin’ ’bout off-center shite like YEAH YEAH NOH and the ilk. Bloody good, this BLOODY HELL.

Opposite Sex High Drama LP

OPPOSITE SEX from Dunedin, New Zealand has this fuzzed-out guitar sound that reminds me of the first GRINDERMAN LP. Without it these tunes could fall into conventional indie rock, but the noise, paired with an idiosyncratic delivery, eradicates any sentimentality or sweetness that would undermine the whole thing. My favourites are the tunes with a more hectic pace like the killer opener “Shoots Me Like a Knife,” or “Combine Harvester,” both songs featuring twisted, extended choruses in which Lucy Hunter’s vocals chant with an equal amount of joy and malice. I love how messy this record gets at times. Longer tunes like the “Dick on a Throne” (“Don’t call me a girl, I’m an adult!”) and “Owls Do Cry” show a willingness to have songs that space out and don’t adhere to normal song structures. Less-than-polished drums and slightly off-kilter vocals make it sound more legit and reckless rather than amateur hour. I understand their earlier stuff is less heavy, but High Drama is more KILLDOZER than Flying Nun.