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Channeling darkened roads on empty highways using blues as a vehicle is Melbourne’s Naked Bodies. Featuring Quang Dinh of the former Little Red, the group has been going strong on their live sound for years and now they’ve finally put out a fantastically reminiscent ten track record fittingly called Piranha. I say it’s fitting cause it’s got bite to it.
Quang Dinh is making magic again with Naked Bodies. Their debut Piranha is packed with theatrics, questions of isolation and identity.
At times the bunch channel the shadowy, emotive vocals of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the frivolous, tainted guitar of The Peep Tempel. All this and yet they seem to have an air that is so unique and potent, embodied in Quang’s highly poetic lyricism.
Ugly Morning is the first track on the release and it kicks things off with an ominous crescendo of reverb and dissonance. Stripped back layers reveal an almost Latin sounding guitar lick before Quang’s uncompromising vocals enter with “I found myself awake this morning, and there’s sunshine in my room”. The lighthearted and untroubled mood created by these lyrics stands in stark contrast with his remark “I started up my drinking again”. It’s almost a diorama of the whole album – a frenzied journey between the jovial and brooding fragments of the human mind.
Rounding off the record is Circus Song, and like Ugly Morning, the track begins on a lighter note. The wailing and warm harmonica over lavish drums, coupled with applause and cheering might make you feel like the number should be a track from The Band’s farewell concert, The Last Waltz. It tells the story of a person longing to be in the circus; “Oh I want to join the circus, where no one can bother me”.
Complete with a full band, violin, horns, Jew Harp, ragtime piano as well as a freaking choir, the group makes you feel like you’re listening to the stuff your parents listened to when you were a kid. However, the change of tone halfway through the song leaves you feeling somewhat uneasy with the clashing lyrics “They chopped off my ears, my fingers and nose… now that I joined the circus, they really got a hold on me” and finally Quang’s sobbing noises.
Overall, Pirhana is a theatrical commotion of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, covering a plethora of areas like growing up, ghosts, individualism and that feeling of longing for something that isn’t quite what you expected it to be. With shows planned around Melbourne, Naked Bodies are destined to kill it.
They also have a tour on the horizon, check out all the details below:
FRI JUNE 5 Gasometer, Collingwood VIC
SAT JUNE 6 Sooki Lounge w/The Starks, Belgrave VIC
SUN JUNE 7 Barwon Club, Geelong VIC
FRI JUNE 12 Miami Marketta, Gold coast QLD
SAT JUNE 13 Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane QLD
FRI JUNE 19 Rad Bar, Wollongong NSW
SAT JUNE 20 Brighton Up Bar, Sydney NSW
SUN JUNE 21 Front Bar and Gallery, Canberra ACT
SAT JUN 27 Brisbane Hotel, Hobart TAS
SAT JULY 4 Bridge Hotel, Castlemaine VIC
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