Back up, back up; Shag Rock isn’t what it sounds like. I know, I was excited too. Instead, it seems that cormorants (also known as ‘shags’) like to sit on rocks, and people who get to name things like to name those rocks on which cormorants sit, ‘Shag Rock’. That’s where this Brisbane five-piece get their name, not from some geological formation that is a booming frat house home to the best of times (it’s probably the right time to also point out that Brisbane gets called ‘Brisvegas’ ironically).
Like surfing? Like booze? Like good times? Get shagadelic with Shag Rock and their new single Champagne. Yeah baby yeah!
However, there is some relation between the band’s name and their music, as the boys coax a very soothing lozenge of refreshing, acoustic music that passively destroys every embitterment you might have about the world, like how a wave wears down a rock. It’s that sort of lackadaisical attitude that has the band listing their interests as “surfing, beers, (and) good times” that drives their songs; like Champagne, which Happy has the privilege of premiering! Radical.
Over the last six to eight months, the lads have been putting together a release with the help of Ian Haug, the lead guitarist of Australian rock heavyweights Powderfinger. Originally planning on making an EP, eight songs (twice more than anticipated) were written, turning that EP into an debut album, Little Primitive. Champagne is the first glimpse we have into that upcoming release.
The track opens up with guitar finger-picking its way towards palm trees, before another guitar begins to harmonise and vocalist Alex Wilson then begins to put his silver-coated layrnx into action. A swirling “no, no, no” ushers in the chorus, which slices through a melody much like the katana in Fruit Ninja slices through watermelons.
Quiet piano chords surreptitiously begin to shout during the middle verse, as the song’s progression slowly cements the evidence of Shag Rock’s excellent capture of the chilled-out, beach pub atmosphere. The track builds towards a finely crafted crescendo as the additional guitars and piano reveal that they’d be planning something big all along as they add that classy, subtle oomph that’s renowned of timpani worldwide.
As Buddha probably once said, less is indeed more and Shag Rock show this mantra to be true; Champagne never strikes out at the eardrums or falls into the parody. You can tell the lads truly love just being chilled and loose, and their midi-chlorians aligned with this utterly unforceful tune.
Play this song, take off those pants and whack on some floral shorts and let the breeze roll in for Shag Rock and their deftly-crafted Champagne. The lads are hosting an album launch party at The Flying Cock in Brisbane, so if you’re up that way, check them out.
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