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The best thing that’ll be said for the latter part of this decade is that we’ve found ourselves circling back around to the late 80’s and early 90’s – we’ve found ourselves in a generation where DIY was alive and well. Those 80’s and 90’s kids have grown up and they’ve brought their lo fi sound with them. And, when, it comes to that sound and scene, Melbourne-based trio Chook Race, are as DIY as they come. So DIY in fact, that I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that they brew their own beer in a bathtub and have homemade tattoos.
The imperfections of hasty, DIY rock n’ roll are what make the genre so good. Chook Race are masters of the DIY and At Your Door proves that not everything has to be perfect to be wonderful.
The first single off their second album – which was completely recorded in a single day by Tom Hardisty (NUN, Woollen Kits) – is urgent, gritty and catchier than a case of the crabs. There’s two things that stand out straight away; their brilliantly simple songwriting and their properly awesome band name. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve heard a more Australian, more defining band name…maybe ever. Say it out loud, you’ll see what I mean.
Musically there are more garage, lo fi and punk influences beneath the Chook Race hood than you can possibly imagine, but it’s their unique approach to those sounds that makes this band so special. There’s something so honest about a sound that’s captured in such a raw state that makes it difficult to dismiss and almost impossible to dislike. Pieced together in various parts of their house, the imperfections of the recording stand out as pure and authentic and, ironically, perfect.
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You couldn’t possibly capture this sound and general feeling by spending days or weeks in a studio. There truly is a skill or a ‘knack’ to recording an album so quickly and so well. Maybe it’s just reckless abandon, but really it feels more like acceptance. A sort of ‘life’s not perfect so why should our record be?’ acceptance.
From those spindly, breakneck guitar lines to the cymbals that almost dissipate before they get to you and the the chorus harmonies echoing the title of the song, Chook Race have put something out that everyone should and will be all over.
Keep an eye out for their forthcoming full length LP, which they’ve promised will drop mid 2016 via Tenth Court Records. In the meantime, keep spinning this banger and revel in its urgent simplicty, plus that band name.