Wilt is the third album in as many years from Newcastle post-rockers, Suburban Haze.
Anchored by singer Paul Pickles compelling vocals, which see-saw between deep baritone and softly crooned melodies, the album is a profound listen, full of gloom and shadows, pierced with moments of fragile beauty and tender intricacies.
The are elements of math rock, post-punk, grunge and shoegaze that amalgamate in a way that is reminiscent of Sydney progressive post-rockers, We Lost The Sea. And rather than it being over-wrought with ideas, it’s a dynamic, extremely well balanced record.
With so much to take in, Wilt is an engrossing listen, and to help you understand the full weight of the album, we asked Suburban Haze to walk us through it, track-by-track.
From the cavernous depths of Mental Tetraplegia to the climatic finale, Song For a Funeral we asked Suburban Haze to walk us through their new album Wilt, track-by-track.
The album begins with this song, the protagonist has found themselves unable to function in the world. They feel a sense of paralysis as they are unable to create meaning for themselves and every day ‘stays the same’. As every day begins ‘dreary-eyed’ the protagonist feels increasingly isolated but at the end holds onto hope that ‘things will get better’.
Bare Teeth is the event that kicks the protagonist’s depressive thoughts into overdrive. The loss of a loved one has the protagonist feeling angry and hopeless. Knowing they would do anything to see their loved one again but knowing that it could never happen.
From here the protagonist begins to see the failings of society around him, as he witnesses people sleeping on the streets he passes a pub where people drink to remain oblivious to those outside. In most cities people live glamorous lives and ignore those who go without, the protagonist makes his way to an alley where he spends the night.
Based on a performance piece where people were instructed to pick up a rock and mentally make it representative of their frustrations. From there the audience was to make a solitary walk along a pier before casting the rock into the lake, symbolically shedding their frustrations. The protagonist does this but begins to feel more alone.
Antihistamine represents the idea that some people were simply not meant for greatness and that most people are simply mediocre. Throughout youth people are always told they can do whatever they want but the protagonist has begun to see through this. This is represented through the idea of the body rejecting allergens.
Beginner’s Guide to French
People with different ideologies often target people who are down on their luck to sway them towards their view of the world. The protagonist finds himself being targeted to follow different ideologies but doesn’t attach himself to any. The result is him feeling as though he is speaking a different language.
21st Century Depression
Younger people have been increasingly shut out of any form of security, from housing to job security. The result is people escaping into an online existence, but the joy that comes from this only acts as a band-aid to the underlying problems.
With the frustration of knowing how helpless he is in the world, the protagonist begins to embrace a more selfish nature. Something he views to be predominant throughout much of society. Yet by focusing solely on himself, he feels even further isolated.
With nothing sustainable working to make him feel better, he turns to a shallow existence of experimenting with drugs. For the first time he is able to feel happy about his place in the world and view it as beautiful but as the effects wear off he is felt feeling emptier than ever. Realising that drugs provide happiness as a loan with interest.
Song for a Funeral
The protagonist has begun to realise that there is no escape from the depressive reality he finds himself in. With that realisation comes an acceptance, and he begins to feel grateful for what he has in his life and how far he has come. It is then he attends the funeral of his loved one, and feels a relief. He begins to see that everything will be alright in the end.