Chook Race, Around the House (Tenth Court/Trouble In Mind, 9/2/2016)
Chook Race are a three-piece hailing from Melbourne, Australia (fun fact: “chook” is, according to my online sources, an Aussie slang term for a hen, a woman or the sound made to call the former). Around the House is the band’s latest long-player, and it’s a fantastically catchy collection of sharp, lo-fi pop.
On Around the House, Chook Race channel the energies of 80s and early 90s purveyors of jangle pop, caustic lines delivered by vocalist/guitarist Matt Liveriadis – at times in ‘boy/girl’ harmony with drummer Carolyn Hawkins (who takes on lead vocal duties on several tracks) – ‘neath the glint of ringing guitar tones and vibrant drum and bass. Liveriadis has the kind of deadpan voice which recalls folks like David Gedge and Eugene Kelly, perfect for withering lines like “sometimes, I get tired/oh and sometimes, I get sick/…of you” (“Sometimes”). The tossed-off, charmingly ramshackle sonic touchstones are warmly familiar, and include bands like The Vaselines, The Clean, The Pastels. Album highlight, “Lost the Ghost”, has a riff that kept pinging around in my brain until I decided it sounded like early REM – or maybe something by The Only Ones – I couldn’t decide; but I was too busy bopping along to care. Standing on (sloped) shoulders they may be, but the tunes Chook Race create are undeniable and worthy of repeated listen.
Around the House is out now, courtesy of Tenth Court (in Australia, New Zealand and Japan) and Trouble In Mind (everywhere else) – or straight from the band on their Bandcamp page. Catch up with Chook Race (sorry) on fbook, on tour, and peep the indie pop aerobicise on disply in the video for lead track, “Hard to Clean”, (below).
Highlights include: “Lost the Ghost”, “Sometimes”, “At Your Door”, “Hard to Clean”