ARTIST: PRESS CLUB
TITLE: WASTED ENERGY
LABEL: HASSLE RECORDS
WORDS: JACK MOBLEY
Australian emotional punks, Press Club have certainly burst onto the scene in the last two years. Their last album, ‘Late Teens’, was imbued with raw energy that was nothing short of infectious thanks to the production and the performance of Natalie Foster. The latest effort from the five-piece, ‘Wasted Energy’, builds on what the band have already created and expands on ideas that felt a little undercooked on the debut. The production has been slightly polished while the elements that made the first album so palpable are still there, with brutally honest lyrics that are rephrased and echoed throughout in creative ways.
While the instrumentation is varied and layered as the rhythm section has times to shine, the guitars are selective to ensure they have the maximum effect. The songwriting mixes between fast and energetic and more mid-tempo efforts, sometimes combining in one song such as the opening tune. But once more, Foster takes the gold medal in her vocal performance, her delivery is powerful, emotional and vulnerable throughout various points of the record with some of the catchiest choruses that have played through speakers.
“brutally honest lyrics that are rephrased and echoed throughout in creative ways.”
From the opening riff of ‘Separate Houses’, the listener is draw in and is instantly thrown into a Lisa-Simpson-dancing-meme boogie. As Foster opens her mouth a level of empathy strikes thanks to her longing, strained tone, not to mention the content of her words; forced isolation that anyone can relate to at some point. The song takes on multiple forms as it progresses, climaxing with a touching reprise, “I’ll keep on pretending, that I am getting better.” The galloping drums and bass licks takes the limelight as Foster gets progressively horse throughout ‘Dead or Dying’. While the low-fi feel of ‘Thinking About You’ as Foster’s longing delivery in the verses gives way to ear worm that replicates the title.
‘Chosen Ones’ takes the form a musical journey as Foster tells tales of love, frustration and missed opportunities that eventually culminates with the album title, “wasted energy”. Pausing briefly the song continues into an anger-filled breakdown, intertwining song ideas into a complete and linear track. The first half of the record is crammed with the longer form songs that combine multiple elements and rhythms with the fifth track ‘Obsessing’ showcasing that, with the slowest opening guitar line which develops into a beautiful story enveloping feelings of looking for qualities in people that aren’t really there.
“Foster’s songwriting develops songs past short punk anthems into emotional journeys that inspire empathy on every listen.”
The rest of the record races through sub-three minute tracks such as lead single, ‘Get Better’ a track that sums up the heart-string-tugging emotional aspects while being raw and ready. Blast of energy ‘New Years Eve’, while explosive, is brutally vulnerable with the energy pulling Foster through the song. ‘Same Mistakes’ delves deeper into that vulnerability in the bridge, breaking hearts as Foster reiterates in her words.
Press Club are the next wave of truly great emo bands, their 90’s-inspired production compliments the sentiments that the band so masterfully portray. This is both a window into the mind of a broken and bruised person, and a blast of tuneful energy. Foster’s songwriting develops songs past short punk anthems into emotional journeys that inspire empathy on every listen.