ARTIST: PRESS CLUB

TITLE: LATE TEENS

LABEL: HASSLE RECORDS

RATING: 8/10 

WORDS: KEVIN FLINN

Press Club is infectious. The meld of classic punk with their modern flair highlights the band’s sound. They’ve been hard at work, quickly growing out of their humble underground punk scene in Brunswick, Australia, to playing countless shows all across the country. Their hussle has paid off, however. With the release of their debut album, ‘Late Teens’, expect Press Club to keep pressing on.

No doubt attributed to the bands chemistry, the four piece writes songs that are well constructed but sound effortless. Every track has a notable element to it that separates it from the other pieces on this record. Whether it be a slow crescendo into an intense finale (opening track ‘Crash’), or an in-your-face drum groove mixed with a classic garage punk sound (lead single ‘Headwreck’), Press Club has it all.

“the four piece writes songs that are well constructed but sound effortless.”

One of the more notable tracks from this collection is ‘Side B’. A relatively simple tune in theory, the song lives up to its name. Acting as the “interlude” of the record, it allows the listener to take a break and process the first half of the album. The instrumentation shines through here as well, with a simple alternative rock flair consisting of light distortion and delayed guitar and an airy bass sound. The drums also take a back seat, providing just enough of a beat to drive the song along. Soon enough however, we’re thrusted back into the mix, head banging along.

All of the songs are so cleverly built around lead singer, Natalie Foster’s vocals. Her intensity and unrestrained flair highlights every track. Assisted with a lo-fi stereo effect, her vocals pierce through the energetic instrumentation. The effect definitely has a place on this record and aids to the overall tone, but it would have been a welcome addition to a more clean tone for a track or two. If only to add a bit more variety and show off Foster’s beautifully raw timbre.

It’s with those very vocals that help tell a story. Every song, with the exception of ‘Side B’, paints a picture with the deeply personal lyrics. Ranging from heartbreak, a nostalgic love, taking a stand against someone who doesn’t respect you; whatever it may be, each song has a message to share. You become a fan from the initial listening. However, once you peel back the layers and take a deeper dive, the listener truly gets the full picture. A clever writing tactic to keep you coming back for more.

“A band who was built with friends just wanting to make music and do what they love, and this record shows that.”

Press Club has created a solid debut effort. Every song has an appeal that keeps the listener intrigued and coming back for more. The guitar maintains the classic crunch and drive that has come to be the staple of garage punk, while the bass acts as more than the standard fare punk groove. And of course the drums, providing the necessary attack and intensity all fans of punk have come to love. All of it blends together seamlessly. Every member of the band aren’t just musicians playing together, they’re good friends. A band who was built with friends just wanting to make music and do what they love, and this record shows that.

2019 is shaping up to be a great year for this band. After conquering the Australian underground punk scene, Press Club has its eyes set on the UK, with a tour coming later this spring. Of course that’s attributed to UK based Hassle Records who they signed to late last year. Giving them the support they need but allowing the band to maintain its soul, Hassle has proven to be a great asset, again, with this record being a prime example of that. If the past few months have been any inclination for Press Club, it’s going to be a very busy, and successful year. Keep them on your radar.

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