As soon as I heard the term scuzz rock / dark shoegaze, I automatically thought of Melbourne. Maybe its the city’s severe weather or its affinity for left-field culture, but the city seems to ooze music that bristles with garage intensity and is dark as night. Claws & Organs perpetuate this notion with their name alone – they sound like a satanic cult who summon their master by belting it out on an old Hammond. But no, guitars are the name of the game for this Melbourne three-piece, and man do they know how to abuse them.
With choppy, snarling guitars, restless drumming and apathetic vocals, Claws & Organs claw their way from the depths of 90s rock to deliver Alphabetti Spaghetti.
Alphabetti Spaghetti is the first single since the band’s 2014 EP I Am Scum and Nobody Should Love Me. The EP was a brawl of jagged guitars and gloomy vocals that saw the band enter the umbrella of ‘grunge’. It’s easy to see why; the record was as downtrodden as can be, with sludgy fuzz riffs and melancholy themes of death and destruction weaving their way through the six tracks.
Alphabetti Spaghetti continues in this fashion, but it takes queue from the experimental, shoegazey side of bands like Sonic Youth and Jesus and Mary Chain rather than the stoner rock sludge that they had previous worked with. David Crowe’s guitar is like a viscous row of teeth, sharp and choppy, as they snap around Heather Thomas’ glum vocals. When the guitars stop in the verses, the void is filled by Nick Hart’s relentless, belting snare drum.
The track saw the band head back into Head Gap Studios with their trusted producer Neil Thomason (Crayon Fields, Augie March) who seems to know how to siphon every drop of angst from the band. The lyrics are typical 90s rock; isolation and dissatisfaction seep through Thomas’ teeth, but they are delivered through infectious melody that is as contagious as it is toxic.
The band have played with DZ Deathrays in the past, and they seem the perfect fit. While Claws & Organs edge on the darker side of rock ‘n’ roll, they maintain a house party vibes, writing snappy, ballistic guitar-driven tunes that are covered head-to-toe in hooks that stick in your head until they drive you into madness. I’m almost scared to listen to the rest of the EP.
Alphabetti Spaghetti is being launched on September 4th at The Old Bar in Melbourne. The track is also getting the vinyl treatment, released as a 7″ double A-side via LISTEN Records.