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If 2015 has brought us anything in Australian music it’s the rise of slacker rock and recognition of this genre in wider music community. You know the kind I’m talking about – that cathartic rock which differentiates itself on a global scale by telling stories of home grown experiences; the kind of music that you breathe in and wonder how something so simple can relate to you so deeply; the kind of music so effortlessly composed that it leaves you wondering why you didn’t think to write it first. Whilst controversial at times (think the recent Courtney Barnett J Award saga), there’s no doubting the success of Barnett and Twerps amongst many others. It’s a new breed of Australia’s future classics.
Tales of love, the ‘burbs and being shit at sports come crashing down around you thanks to the slacker rock vibes of Mount Defiance.
Joining the scrappy rock gang is Melbourne’s newly formed Mount Defiance, made up of members Ed Tripodi, Sean Watson, Luke Karlik and Will Bracks. As legend tells, the band got their name from a mountain in Victoria whose actual size severely undercuts its ambitions; lying somewhere along the Great Ocean Road, Mount Defiance would be totally unnoticeable were it not for the big sign. This is a band who believes their actual size undercuts their ambition too. Armed with heartfelt lyrics and humble honesty, Mount Defiance’s sound runs deep in this rising alt-rock arena.
The first little piece of Mount Defiance’s bigger puzzle was served up to us in September, which saw Football is a Contact Sport establish the band’s fan base, receive great reception from Australian music heavyweights Zan Rowe and Dom Alessio, and hit regular rotation on triple J Unearthed.
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Starting off with that familiar pretty-but-rough-around-the-edges sound, the song strips back to a fairly simple melody paired with a rousing chorus. Part of the charm of Mount Defiance lies in their ability to say things without directly saying things. Football is a Contact Sport makes subtle parallels between willingly engaging in a sport which will result in someone getting hurt and maybe not so willingly engaging in a one-sided relationship which will result in someone getting hurt. Topped off with Tripodi’s distinctive Australian vocals and an endlessly catchy tune, the band has produced a winning first single to showcase themselves with.
Shackler follows up with a softer side to the four-piece but still maintains the similar slow build-up formula, which saw Football is a Contact Sport received so well. Mellow chords nicely compliment the rise and fall of each verse before erupting around the 2.35 mark. Aside from the killer percussion and piercing guitars, there’s something about Ed Tripodi’s vocals that really shine in the second half of this song. It’s as if something clicks and suddenly he lets go, completely immersed in the heart of Shackler – and that’s what will captivate audiences.
At this stage Mount Defiance have not announced any upcoming shows but you can bet your bottom dollar their debut EP Learning Derby will be released sometime in the near future (hopefully).