Horror My Friend

Stay In, Do Nothing
January 19, 2016

Adelaide’s Horror My Friend have been the name on every discerning South Australian indie kids lips for the last couple of years, with their indie/shoegaze/post-punk mash up earning them a legion of followers eager to tell all of their friends about their new slacker heroes. Some of that buzz must have made it’s way east to Melbourne, as purveyors of punk perfection Poison City Records have hopped on board to deliver the band’s debut full-length Stay In, Do Nothing a gem of an indie record that makes a liar of its unambitious title.

Picking up where they left off with 2014’s acclaimed EP A Million Hands, Horror My Friend deliver an addictive collection of fuzzed up anthems that seem destined to soundtrack a hipster house party or mid-afternoon blaze-up near you soon. Death Hill and Stay In open proceedings, offering a thick wall of guitars and quiet-loud vocals that fit like an old oversized hoodie,  evoking nostalgic undertones with a 90’s influenced quiet/loud dynamic that provides the comfort of instant familiarity.

The bouncy riffs and repetitive chorus refrain of Stay In providing the perfect accompaniment to the kind of “daydream days” it sings of. To older folks it’ll conjure Pavement or Dinosaur Jnr and to younger minds on-trend Canucks PUP.  The truth is that as with much of Stay In, Do Nothing both perspectives are off-base, for while there’s definitely a number of influences being channeled, unlike some acts kicking-out-the-jams at the moment, they’re not simply being offered as a soulless rehash to cash in on a trend, but rather being lovingly paid homage to as part of something newer and significantly more exciting.

A large part of that point of difference can be found in the clever juxtaposition of passionate vocal interplay and disaffected lyricism offered by Josh Battersby, who sounds way too awake and inspired to be as unsure of himself and lazy as the words he’s belting out are trying to make out.  Laziness has never sounded so active.

Rhythmically there’s a lot to offer here to, drummer Sam Kolesnik hammers the skins meshing with bassist and co-writer Tom Gordon’s deceptively clever bass-lines to create a ballsy backdrop that gives the band an element of danger that makes even the quieter tracks seem aggressive. This also helps the record hold together as a whole, and after repeated playthroughs you’ll find it hard to think of listening to the record any other way, which combined with the warm analogue production might be the most truly nostalgic element of the whole record.

Buy it on vinyl and listen to it all the way through, then scrap your plans, Stay In, Do Nothing and listen to it again.  

‘Stay In, Do Nothing’ is out Friday, grab a copy here.