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Drawing on Stockholm syndrome, the Bali Nine and women’s empowerment, Castlecomer’s All Of The Noise isn’t afraid of the big issues

All Of The Noise could’ve been fifty songs long. That’s how many Sydney inner westies Castlecomer wrote, complete with lyrics, in a remarkably short amount of time.

But, with the aid of Scott Horscroft and Jean Paul Fung, these were whittled down to just five – the kind of ruthless editing that, if it were a reality television show on Channel 10, would make record-breaking ratings.

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The finely distilled new EP All Of The Noise from Castlecomer preaches the value of killer hooks, light and shade, and the value of a harsh edit.

Somehow, by accident or design, all five of the remaining songs have an underlying theme of escapism. Opener Fire Alarm is a thumping tune to crank the sound up for. Edgy and energetic, the track sprung into existence from a dream lead singer Bede had on the night the band parted ways with their label, and comes driven by pulsing instrumentals and addictive hooks ushered along by Bede’s rich, distinctive vocals. It’s almost earnest in intensity, layering up restless beats into a battle cry.

Get In Line, winner of Triple J’s Unearthed NIDA competition, is similarly energetic, danceable and packed with relentless instrumentals that almost seem to tumble and overlap in their effort to rush out. It’s that perfect kind of messy chaotic, anchored by warm vocals, but the song possesses a sad core, as it’s inspired by Bali Nine member Andrew Chan, who married his wife just days before his execution, exploring the concept that while every other freedom can be taken away, love can’t.

Perhaps not so incidentally, all of the EP’s songs seem to encourage volume – to deal with the consequences and inevitable angry neighbours later. The Noise is a great example of that, pushing a high-flying chorus and dynamic guitar riffs, grounded by an addictive bass and guitar heartbeat to swell into glorious soundscapes.

Written as an ode to the power women, it embraces that hedonistic head rush that catapults happiness with the person or people you love above everything and anything in the world. Here, and on closing track Escapism too, Castlecomer just really seem to nail it on those great anthemic lyrics in the chorus.

The track that probably breaks the mold the most is Judy, which has playful, seductive, lip curling vocals and a meandering kick to the bass, but scratch through the exterior to the lyrics, and you’ve unveiled the album’s darkest track.

Recently released as a video, the song explores unrequited love and even dips into Stockholm syndrome. These may be the perfect makings of a toxic, taboo relationship, but wherever Castlecomer are looking for inspiration for their killer choruses and hooks, we hope they keep on kicking it.

All Of The Noise is out today.

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October 7, 2016