It’s finally here! We’ve been looking forward to the release of ‘Whoosh!’ since the excellent Maddest Moments/Architectural Charades single dropped back in May. The Stroppies, from Melbourne, are at the forefront of an Australian indie scene that is currently booming and has produced some quite fantastic albums over the last couple of years.
Nothing at all is a lively opener, beginning with handclaps before kicking into a Pastels-esque groove. The incidental guitar parts in between verses give the song a classic The Cure feel.
Present Tense, perhaps our favourite track on the record, opens on a very 90s slacker bassline, the song has an oddball stop start quality, at times worthy of The Shaggs (only more musically competent!). There is some wonderful interplay between the musicians, sometimes reminiscent of Pavement, even ending with a strange keyboard interlude, a la J vs. S or the beginning segment of We Are Underused.
Although sharing musical similarities to Pavement, The Pastels and The Cure, the vocals do not quite have the same impact as the aforementioned.
Not that this is a bad thing, it just means there is less sense of there being a leader. They are more subtle.
Think along the lines of Real Estate and you will not be too far off. Amidst all the wonk there are moments of genuine beauty here – My Style, My Substance, in particular, is gorgeous. Pen Name is, for the most part a simple Velvet Underground style three chord ditty, broken up by little guitar runs and what sounds like a bottle smashing half way through.
Cellophane Car introduces Jonathan Richman style organ chords and sprightly beat in the vain of Roadrunner. Clocking in at over 5 minutes they seem to know this song is a joy. Better than Before echoes Belle and Sebastian, before they started messing with the formula that made them great. The Stroppies ramp up the keyboards on Entropy, before Switched On closes in the same vein as the album started.
There really is a lot to love here.
You may enjoy this if you like: Pavement, The Pastels, Primo, Real Estate, Jonathan Richman, Belle and Sebastian