OK, so you’ve released your debut album earlier in the year, to critical applause, what do you do next? Tour for a bit, and then take a few months off to write new songs? Maybe. But not if you are Press Club. Instead of resting on their laurels, the Melbourne-based rock outfit wrote and recorded a new album before their debut was even released. It’s this level of pragmatism that separates them from their peers.
The resulting album, ‘Wasted Energy’, was recorded over a week, with the band mimicking the live setup and recording Natalie Foster’s vocals live. Guitarist and producer Greg Rietwyk said: “It was 100% integral to the songs that we cut Natalie’s vocals live, there was just no way to elicit the same emotional response she has with the lyrics by overdubbing.” And this feeling definitely comes across. The songs have a rawness to them that only comes from everyone being in the same room and playing at once.
The two tracks that exemplify this are ‘Obsessing’ and ‘Separate Houses’. The album opens with ‘Separate Houses’ at a breakneck speed before things slow down a bit when Foster starts growling. But this visceral discharge is subterfuge as it contains some of the most tender, and honest, lyrics on the album. It is a song about peeling back the layers and showing yourself for what you are. “I keep on pretending, that I am getting better” ends ‘Separate Houses’ like a mantra for the broken. If ‘Separate Houses’ was the foot-to-the-floor rocker ying, then ‘Obsessing’ is its melodic yang. On it Press Club take their time to build those peaks, until it reaches its glorious zenith. Lyrically it’s introspective again, but unlike ‘Separate Houses’ the music backs their vulnerability.
Where ‘Wasted Energy’ excels is when Press Club act as one fluid being, and get locked in that groove and just go for it, especially when vocalist Foster just goes for it and belts it out. ‘Wasted Energy’ lives up to its name, kind of, as it focuses on the ever-increasing negative behaviours that exist in society, be that online or IRL. It asks questions of how to navigate that minefield and come out morally unscathed.
The answers are unclear, but this is part of the album’s charm. Ultimately ‘Wasted Energy’ is about change and flux and how we adapt to those changes. Some of these changes are personal, others are massive seismic socio-political, but changes they are.
Words: Nick Roseblade
- - -
- - -
Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.