Squint your eyes, and the stage could resemble a rundown record store. A salesman is doing brisk, friendly trade selling vinyl out of boxes as eager customers navigate broken glass, guitar cases and mike stands. Eddy Current Suppression Ring wrapped up thirty minutes ago.
The salesman is guitarist Mikey Young, aka Eddy Current, and he shuts up shop as I hop up on the stage. I hear him say, “Sorry, mate. That was the last record.” The disappointed fan asks “If I give you money will you send me a cassette?” Mikey takes down his address and drops the money in his guitar case.
Vinyl? Cassettes? What year is this? A year where Eddy Current Suppression Ring take on the future by taking us all back in time?
In 2008 Melbourne’s Eddy Current Suppression Ring have rekindled the raw vibrancy of the 70’s garage-punk pioneers by writing sharp, clever songs that rattle around in your head for days. Nevertheless, they have still managed to carve their own place in this well-trampled turf and put on a live show that well, quickly empties boxes of vinyl.
Speaking of which … why flog records and cassette? I didn’t get a self-conscious retro vibe from these guys, so there’s got to be more to it. But according to Young, there ain’t.
“I’m selfish,” he confesses.” I like to play and sell what I like and what I’m used to. I work in a vinyl printing shop and I like old school shit. At home in my living room I’ve got a cassette deck and a turntable. It’s what I’m used to.”
Most bands never consider selling vinyl, let alone cassettes, but for Eddy Current Suppression Ring it’s just another reflection of their unbending punk rock philosophy. They recorded their recent album in three hours, have made four 7 inch records and sell cassettes of live gigs. In the age of digital downloads this seems like a great way to remain anonymous but the buzz surrounding Eddy Current Suppression Ring has caught some big ears. Tonight they played a tiny sold-out inner-city pub but last night they shared a massive stage with none other than Devo at the Hordern.
“Devo was amazing. They’ve been my favourite band since I was eight years old. I would definitely pay 100 dollars to see them. They had suits on that they ripped off and were wearing boxers and kneepads. They’re old, but awesome.”
Eddy Current Suppression Ring seemed right at home on The Excelsior’s undersized, crowded stage in a hot little venue and navigated the smashed glass, spilled drinks and press of people with ease.
“It’s good to play a venue like this because we’ve been playing much bigger venues in Melbourne,” says Young. “There’s no way you can replace this.”
By showing the music scene that the ways of the past are the way of the future it looks like everything for Eddy Current Suppression Ring is just going to get bigger.