It was late August 2014; I was a no good high school kid lurking around with a close mate in search for something eventful to do. Ah the typical yawn of the underage lifestyle, boring as fuck. But this one night was different. On this night one of the utmost wild and noisy band’s Zeahorse were set to rock out at a secret warehouse party in Sydney’s inner west, as a farewell show before they commenced their first ever tour of the United States. On the bill were Okay Cocaine, Reckless Vagina and the one and only The Nuclear Family.
A top contender for Sydney’s loudest act, punk band The Nuclear Family uphold all the traditional family values; furious riffs and ear splitting drums.
At the time the only act I was aware of was Zeahorse, but little did I know the drastic impact this night would leave on my life. One band after the other my mind was gradually blown into overload, each and every band slayed the stage; it was truly a sight to behold. However it was when The Nuclear Family graced the stage that I was utterly blown away. The energy they radiated was immensely refreshing for a band so young, I immediately felt as though I had been transported back to a 90’s underground punk show. Due to that fateful encounter, even if I were diagnosed with dementia 50 years down the track, I would still retain a fond memory of The Nuclear Family from that night.
Started in high school by a group of juvenile teens The Nuclear Family bore nothing but noisy visions and pockets filled with ambitions. Originally hailing from Wollongong the band have since been moving back and forth between their home town and Sydney, along with numerous line up changes to date. In fact out of the current line up only one original member remains; front man Jai La-Pan, the music nerd who’s dabbled in everything from home recording to running his own indie record label, URGE Records.
The rest of the lineup includes the newest family addition Penny Dreadful on bass, Coco McCross on lead guitar, and initially Nuclear Family’s biggest fan girl Jason Kirrane behind the drum kit. No matter the line up The Nuclear Family unquestionably deliver some of the hardest hitting, bare bone punk jams, drawing clear influence from the likes of The Melvins, Flipper, Nirvana, Fang and Sonic Youth.
Thus far the group have dropped a highly regarded debut self titled EP in March of last year, and boy oh boy does the thing entice the senses. This EP is 20 minutes of hard thrashing punk rock, perfect to spruce up everyday walks through the park into everyday walks through the park in the midst of an Armageddon. Right from the blistering guitar riff on Disposable Razor, to the intense vocal contrasts between the male and female roles in Radiator, excellent song writing is irrefutably nailed throughout each and every aspect of this EP.
Additionally Grace Pogonoski (Nuclear Family’s original bassist) deserves a huge credit for her contribution to the EP, delivering one of the most memorable moments with the minute long track I Wanna Be A Dog In The Sun. She boasts her relentless energy which personally displays an uncanny resemblance with the great Kim Gordan of Sonic Youth. Overall The Nuclear Family is a balls to the wall experience teeming with urgency and suspense. They are simply impeccable and I recommend all of you angsty juvenile delinquents to check out one of the greatest acts Sydney has to offer.
We are still yet to hear a release from The Nuclear Family’s current line-up, however stay tuned as the band is bound to drop some surprises in the near future. Likewise be on alert for any of their upcoming shows if you are from the Sydney/Wollongong region, because these guys are certainly a killer live band. You can catch them live with Vaporized at the Oxford Arts Factory on June 11 for a mere $5.