For all of the insanity that’s come out of the Australian rock scene as of late, at least Ground Components keep it somewhat interesting. Whereas some bands like The Vines, Wolfmother, Jet and so forth are content with keeping things direct, marketable and [more overtly] derivative, these guys at least seem to want to kill the shit out of their voices and instruments until they spit out blood and feedback. Of course, for the sake of courtesy, they should play a riveting, kind of hip-shaking set first.
The wittily titled An Eye for a Brow, A Tooth for a Pick starts off with something that, if they cared more like any other band, would be put somewhere in the murky middle. “On Your Living Room Floor” is a slow-building but frantic track with raspy, spoken vocals and arrogant organs. The angular guitars and loud-speaker screams spewing forth big, poetic words are reminiscent of the late-great At the Drive-In, this influence carries over into the second track like a scuzzy redo of something off of Relationship of Command. It’d be wrong, however, to leave comparisons at pseudo-intellectual emo rock, as after the first two tracks, things get trippy. With the assistance of some rapping babes from Macromantics, versatility becomes all the more possible for the band’s noisy assault.
What remains of the album is a mish-mash of simple melodies, vocals both uptight and sweet and straightforward rock chords shoveled under a grimy, littered topsoil. Lyrics become less wordy but still vibrant, narrative and delivered like their part of a song. They even try their hand at a tender acoustic ballad. With a tenderly strummed acoustic, repetitive drums, hung over vocals and the organ finally receding into the background, “As the Winter Months Approach” is by far their most traditional number.
Ground Component’s appeal stems from their exuberance of youthful imagination if anything else. The band members are capable, consistent musicians with the restless urge to emulate influences while play around with all the possibilities that their sound can muster within reason. They certainly pull it off. This album is nothing short of fun. If I didn’t have to write so masterfully of someone else’s art right now, I’d rather be blasting this from my car in the driveway whilst I pounded the cheapest beer my current spat of unemployment can afford and throwing rocks at things.
At the Drive-In – Relationship of Command
Drones – Gala Mill
McLusky – McLusky Do Dallas