Stop the press!
Press Club release their debut album, Late Teens, tomorrow!
In a short year, the Melbourne rockers have established themselves in regular rotation as a hot commodity on Australia’s live music scene; from festivals (The Grampians Music Festival, Festival of the Sun, Fairgrounds Festival, Falls Festival, and NYE on the Hill), international support (Cloud Nothings, USA; Iron Chic, USA; Dream Wife, UK) and their own slots at some of the nation’s best venues (think Melbourne’s Howler, Sydney’s The Lansdowne, Adelaide’s Fat Controller), they’ve earned themselves quite a reputation.
Moody, edgy, and with guts beyond measure Late Teens is an LP that does not disappoint.
Opening with Crash, a punchy guitar solo introduces you to a rhythmic, climactic and powerful rock ballad. From the opening bars energy oozes. Lead singer Natalie’s voice is seemingly draped over the track as the guitar is the undeniable star of this show.
“I can get a little bit hard to take” chants Natalie, the track serving as an apologetic introduction to perhaps the songwriter, perhaps the band.
Headwreck, Press Club’s debut single, continues to impress. This song sees the band bring their A-game; it’s a song about relationships, female power, and persistence – it’s not your traditional love song. As Natalie reminds you, “don’t be that guy”, the alt-rock track has you singing along before you know it. What’s the saying… hell hath no fury like a woman scorned? Consider yourself warned.
“Did you really think that you could get away from me tonight / Did you really think you could make it out of here alive?”
Suburbia, the most recent single to be released, marks a change of pace on the album and highlights Press Club’s repertoire – it’s not all rock’n’roll. On this more gentle track, Natalie shows her vocal range, and the musicality of the band stands strong.
Thematically, Late Teens is true rock. It plays with a variety of sub-genres; alternative, indie, punk and garage, but it is hard to pinpoint one that stands out as an influence. Tracks like My Body’s Changing resonates with natural sounds, creating the feel of a raw live recording – static layered on the track, feedback from the amps flaring at crucial moments. It’s the sort of LP you want to own on vinyl to give you a true grasp of the sonic depth.
It’s these nuances that create energy throughout the album. There is rarely stillness, but a seemingly constant crescendo into the next moment, the next track. Side B provides a musical interlude, the only moment on the album where you could possibly stop and pause – but this doesn’t last long. Ignorance is almost shocking following the previous track. Here, Press Club have played with their layers as the track echoes upon itself, and you are left with the guitar riff ringing in your ears. It’s like leaving a live gig.
Late Teens, the title track (obviously) is a summation of the album and is adventurous as the title foreshadows, revealing an accumulation of different motifs from the album. With Stay Low, Press Club have finished their debut in true rock style, but never compromising on musical value.
Late Teens packs a punch. Or two. It’s a true triumph for an independent album, and truly reflects the love, dedication and time that Press Club have poured into it. They are unashamed of where they come from and have a clear vision of where they’re going, as this album suggests. If this is the result of one year, I look forward to their next.
Released: 16 March, 2018 via Independent