In the current trend of brutally honest and undoubtedly Australian artists, Adelaide quartet BAD//DREEMS have surely nestled themselves firmly in the hearts of their country compadres. Their firm airplay on the trend-setting airwaves of Triple J has already built a wealth of anticipation for more of the raw lyrics, maniacal guitar and all round sing-along thrashings.
And Dogs At Bay gives all this and more.
From the opening words of initial brooding track New Boys, the Johnny Rotton-esque quality of lead vocalist Ben Mawre’s rasp means you’d be forgiven for forgetting exactly where you are. But then comes that instantly recognisable Aussie twang in radio favourite Cuffed and Collared, catchy chorus and explosive punkish instrumental in tow.
Whether you feel the urge to chuckle or roll your eyes at the title of the third track, leave all pre-judgements aside. Bogan Pride is a raw and blatant look into the psyche and sexual orientation from the perspective of a young, pill-popping Australian male. The desperation dripping from the guitar, the off-centre vocal performance – this song brings a still fairly taboo subject to life perfectly.
Forth track My Only Friend holds a sound that feels privy to indie-rock vibes with a punk sensibility, and Hiding To Nothing holds a steady bluesy vibe with the glamorous lyrics “Stand there with your cock in your hand/piss your days on the wall/We had it all”.
Naden’s driving bass line is the only thing that carries us through a combination of genuine spoken and sung lyrics. Seventh track Hume is an ode to the Hume Highway, with a pleasant acoustic guitar twang and slight psychedelic electric guitar. Radio favourite and bonafide anthem Dumb Ideas sits boldly and proud while ninth track Ghost Gums is a lighter venture that feels reminiscent of a dreamy guitar line likely to be found within The Cure’s back catalogue.
Paradise is a rock ‘n’ roll ode to a suburb of their hometown, and eleventh track Blood In My Eyes is a gentle emotion-filled track with a glacial strum. Leaving us with album closer Sacred Ground, another great combination of narration and sing-alongs that gives you the ghost feeling of the sun on your skin.
Throughout the 12 tracks on this album, stories and anecdotes from a mostly typical Australian upbringing are rife. But it’s a welcome slice through the heavy imports that are shoved down our ears daily.
Watch: BAD//DREEMS – Dumb Ideas