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The Gooch Palms – Novo's

bushwalking

The Gooch Palms are a punk band. They’re self-loathing, half-naked, noisy and proud of it, which makes writing a review/opinion piece/rant/dissertation on them a difficult task. When a band describes its music as ‘shit-pop’, names their debut album after a derogatory term aimed at themselves and proudly perform with a testicle hanging out (obvi NSFW), where does that leave me when it turns out their album could be a little on the shit side? What value does my appraisal have? Will I succeed in an accurate affirmation of their almost shit status or perhaps shit-pop defies evaluation?

gooch palms - novo's

An ironic twist to this story is that I actually don’t think Gooch Palms’ debut Novo’s is all that shit. Like most albums, it’s the lo-fi anthems that speak to anyone whose ever been told to get off their asses and get a job that redeem it. Leroy MacQueen lets loose beautiful one liners and vignettes of slacker romance in a unique punk croon, ranging from the beautiful love letter that is We Get By to the imaginatively cinematic Hunter Street Mall. Ever wondered what it would have been like if Clerks was set in Newcastle? Give Novo’s a listen, shut your eyes and let your imagination wander.

It’s not all balls-out scuzz punk though. The album culminates in the tear-jerking slow dance Don’t Cry, which showcases the raw beauty in MacQueen’s voice that had been lurking beneath the surface, only to be shattered by headphone destroying falsetto spikes. This finale ends on a jarring upstroke, as if to jerk you out of the hypnotic, head bobbing state that you suddenly find yourself in after listening to Novo’s. It’s not hypnotic in the same way drone or Krautrock or dance music can be. Rather, it’s an album notable for it’s musical vacancy and lyrical heedlessness and this sheer vibe of apathy makes you want to do nothing at all, and be proud of it.

At the moment, Gooch Palms are on their first ever headline national tour. Literally, right now as you’re reading this. Catch their acclaimed live show at any of the venues below and download Novo’s, which is available now through Anti-Fade Records.

Tour dates are as follows:

Friday, 11th October
Hotel Street, Sydney
Tix: At the door

Saturday, 19th October
Greenslopes Bowls, Brisbane
Tix: At the door

Thursday, 24th October
The Bird, Perth
Tix: At the door

Thursday, 14th November
White’s Records, Newcastle
Tix: At the door

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October 10, 2013

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