The earliest Arctic Monkeys tracks were brimming with a fast-paced, frenetic energy that’s hard to match. Their later efforts Suck It And See and AM were a different beast; mature, considered and wholly held together by Alex Turner’s commanding baritone.
Somewhere in between the two, sprinkled with a smattering of church organs and and an even more palpable vigour is the latest EP from The Byzantines, You Pull It.
Brimming in Brit pop influence and underpinned with a dark and debaucherous knowing, The Byzantines are dangerously addictive on You Pull It.
Michael, David, Jose and Johnny are the lads from Adelaide who have pulled together this thrumming release. Listening to the EP, you have to wonder exactly what this foursome have been getting up to on tour, but that pervasive, pitch-black and often perverted underbelly gives You Pull It character beyond the band’s years.
Lyrically The Byzantines adopt the adept philosophy of the practised hedonist. Brutally honest, provocative and even spine-chilling at times, the EP is a murky swamp of vice from start to finish. But if musical history has taught us anything, a little high-end degeneracy goes a long way. The band sculpts their wickedness for the better on You Pull It, employing their character as a draw-in rather than any sort of repellent.
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The music is uniformly interesting, a consistent metamorphosis that keeps you on edge. The way the Byzantines employ fills, key changes or the introduction of a new layer is unswerving in their effectiveness – it’s the furthest you’ll possibly get from boring instrumentation.
Closing track Before I Go Under demonstrates this consideration. At times a dancehall, Brit pop singalong, this track reaches into the abyss of psych rock raunchiness for an almost out-of-place breakdown. The singing, tremolo chords come out of nowhere, but rip the song and EP into a different state of mind with their introduction.
The British influence is worn on The Byzantines’ sleeve, Arctic Monkeys have been mentioned but the sonics of Kasabian consistently rear their head. That being said, the heavily employed organ, adaptive musicality and lyrical impurity of this record carve out something unique for this four-piece from Adelaide.
With You Pull It The Byzantines have carved their names into their genre-scape and the Aussie scene. No longer a simple of imitation of music which has come before, this EP speaks volumes to whatever will follow.
You Pull It is out now.
The Byzantines are on tour right now. Catch the dates below, and head to their Facebook page for the details.
Fri Feb 24 – The Karova Lounge – Ballarat, VIC
Sat Feb 25 – The Workers Club – Geelong, VIC
Sun Feb 26 – The Workers Club – Melbourne, VIC
Wed Mar 1 – Rad Bar – Wollongong, NSW
Thur Mar 2 – Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT
Fri Mar 3 – The Brighton Up Bar – Sydney, NSW
Sat Mar 4 – Clipsal 500 – Adelaide, SA
Fri Mar 10 – The Currumbin Creek Tavern – Gold Coast, QLD
Sat Mar 11 – The Milk Factory – Brisbane, QLD