Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Rush to Relax
Loose, laconic and easy-to-love - Eddy Current make shambling a virtue
The third album from this Melbourne band was recorded in just six hours, in their rehearsal room, on borrowed analog tape. In other words, Eddy Current Suppression Ring makes garage punk with a working-class ethos. This places them in a rare subset, one that contains both Ye Olde Punks like the Angry Samoans and Feedtime as well as, more recently, Dan Melchior and Tyvek. Singer Brendan Suppression's vocals tread a strange line between deadpan and nasal — think Mike Hudson from the Pagans, except with an Australian accent and less of a snarl. His lyrics are simple/smart in that Lou Reed/Dean Wareham way: "I got up/ And went to the door," and so on.
It should be noted that Relax operates at a slightly lower level of fidelity than their second album, Primary Colours. That album was cut in a downright excessive two days — and in a proper studio, no less, and it earned the group the $30,000 Australian Music Prize.
Then again, if we are to extol a band for their shambolic grace, it doesn't make much sense to nitpick. Also, who could make a perfect album in six hours? And who would want to? The loose recording style works, given the band's ramshackle songs. They build tension slowly, and the joy comes in waiting for the release — which may or may not arrive (a build-up/deflation reflected in the album's title). Mikey Young, the principal songwriter, guitarist and recording engineer for the band, turns out insistent terraplane lines that are the best part of every song. They're slow and pretty on the apology mix tape gem "I Can Be A Jerk," and suitably revved-up and restless on "Anxiety." They cast a loose cord around the band's terrifically slipshod songs, binding the affair together.