Melbourne trio Cable Ties harness the unbridled intensity of their live show on their self-titled debut album, delivering eight tracks of acerbic post-punk that will leave you mouthing the words “next big thing” while trying to control your involuntarily dancing feet.
Kicking off with the dynamic rhythmic interplay and raucous vocals of ‘The Producer’, Cable Ties use their knack for songcraft to lure you into the discomforting soundscape they call home. As her angular guitar lines cut in and out, Jenny McKechnie’s powerhouse vocal fights for its place at the front of the mix, as Nick Brown’s bass provides a brooding undercurrent that feels more menacing as the slow burning track builds to a sudden but memorable end.
Shauna Boyle’s rollicking toms serve as the backdrop for the urgent ‘Cut Me Down’ a riot of a tune with an addictively defiant chorus (“I’m not crazy, I’m just not backing down”), that will sit in your head for days after it first hits your ears. As the track builds to an emphatic climax, you can feel the sweat of a crowded dive bar stage dripping from every note (producer Paul Maybury deserves a massive fistbump for this effort) leaving you with an insatiable desire to see Cable Ties live as soon as possible.
That desire is only intensified by the frantic punk rock of ‘You Can’t Hold My Hand’ – 1 minute 41 seconds of pure ‘fuck you’ attitude – and the confident swagger of straight-up rocker ‘Fish Bowl’. Home to some tasty guitar licks, the latter track would have sounded perfectly in place on any essential post-punk compilation of yesteryear, yet still manages to feel fresh, a compliment that could be paid to Cable Ties creative output as a whole so far. This timeless appeal is immediately evident within the first few notes of re-recorded 7″ favourite ‘Same For Me’ a firecracker of a track that pays tribute to the open emotional honesty of true friendship. As McKechnie belts out the words “Are you alright? Are you alright? It’s alright if you’re not” you can’t help but get swept up in the uplifting nature of it all.
Feedback drenched guitar gives way to a rockin’ groove on ‘Say What You Mean’, a captivating display of McKechnie’s insane vocal ability and an unapologetically scathing critique of the double-speaking swindlers that plagues modern existence. From spoken word to haunting croon to full-throated scream and back again, McKechnie owns the track in a dizzying display of Cable Ties’ strongest asset.
Final track ‘Wasted Time’ wraps the eight-song package up perfectly, displaying Cable Ties’ natural pop ability with a memorable chorus that loses none of its confrontational snarl. As the drums thump away, the bass grooves and McKechnie screams “have I lost my mind, have I grown, or have I wasted time”, you can’t help but think to yourself that there’d be no better way to ‘waste some time’ than by pressing play on this brilliant debut record again. Even still, you get the feeling that the best of what Cable Ties talent can muster is still yet to come. That is an exciting thought.
Cable Ties’ debut album is out Friday, May 26th. The band will head out on a string of tour dates with special guests this June and July. Head here for details.