The spirit of punk isn’t about studded leather jackets, mohawks, safety pins or being an obnoxious little shit. It’s about telling people exactly what’s going on, sharing your opinion and not giving a fuck what people have to say about it. It’s the truth, no matter how bad it is.
Sydney gutter-rockers Neighbourhood Void’s debut album, Childhood Trauma, oozes with this same spirit.
Take a poisonous injection of biting reality with Neighbourhood Void, who have concocted brutal punk perfection on Childhood Trauma.
It’s a brilliantly raw story of life on the streets of Sydney, told by a guy who’s seen too much, too young. Filled with paranoia, helplessness, frustration and doubt, frontman Giovanni Alexander’s lyrics are so simple yet incredibly effective.
He paints a bleak picture of what happens when life deals you a shitty hand… over and over again.
It’s been a tough ride for Alexander, who describes the album as the result of being fed up with dealing with vast repressed emotions stemming from a troubled up-bringing.
“The album mostly consists of songs that delve into my personal experiences with growing up in a dysfunctional family and, as a result, expresses feelings of being helpless, lost and often at times self-deprecative.”
It’s a tremendously honest album that, in only nine tracks and just over 20 minutes, manages to say everything it needed to say without pulling any punches or sugar coating a thing. By the time the last note rings out, you’re bleary-eyed, strung-out, sore all over and ready to do it all over again.
Even though every song tells a grim tale of woe and misery, the catchy hooks, clever changes of pace and choruses you can’t help but sing along make this album fun as hell.
The opening track, Chemical Imbalance, lets the listener know exactly what’s to come. It’s a hazy tune that drones along, telling the story of the crippling effects of drugs.
Don’t Know Where To Go (Again) is a startlingly gentle song which gives a heartbreaking insight into the life of someone stuck in a lifestyle they don’t really want to be a part of.
The album closes on both an optimistic and depressing note with 7 Day Weekend, which paints the picture of a life spent relaxing in the backyard with a goon sack, listening to rock and blues.
Although Neighbourhood Void’s influences are obvious, the band manages to find their own style in a genre that relies more on passion and honesty than changing the face of music with sheer technical prowess.
Equal parts FIDLAR and Wavves with the same wall-of-sound style reminiscent of The Jesus & Mary Chain, Childhood Trauma should be played loud with a car full of friends, driving through suburban streets and waving your middle fingers out the windows.
You can listen to Childhood Trauma above. Neighbourhood Void is already hard at work recording their follow up EP, due out later this year.