Nope, the band should call it ‘Spent Energy’…nothing is wasted here. The best things about the bands debut ‘Late Teens’ are all here only this time everything is rigged to a higher setting.
‘Separate Houses’ is the opening banger that feels similar to the way they opened their first album. This track has that gorgeous lull and eruption of ‘almost punk but very much rock’ and solid hooks that stand out immediately ‘we both sleep in separate houses’ lands instantly in your head. Great choice for an opener.
‘Dead Or Dying’ is an urgent and instantly enjoyable follow up tune. A short jam packed with vibes and this awesome line that always catches my ear every time it comes around ‘I don’t believe you when you say it’s nothing’. I think lyrically this is showing itself as some of Natalie’s best work.
‘Thinking About You’ – yep single material. Fun video. Nuff said.
‘Chosen Ones’ is another up tempo jaunt (which by now you should be used to). I love the space and breathing room in the verses. The pace stays up but the dynamics shift. The guitars are a question-mark for me: past overdrive and almost fuzzy. This track features the hook ‘wasted time and wasted energy’ which I think suggests where the album title came from. In a way..moving on, hindsight, learning and growing seem to be the themes which re-emerge throughout the album.
‘Get Better’ is a belter. The juice is higher, the attitude is pissed off, the pace rips. Then..something unexpected happens (no spoilers). I like the generally straight forward delivery of this band and admit to getting a little comfortable with that. Until this song that is. Watch and enjoy.
I’ll cut the track by track breakdown cos nobody has time for that.
So wrapping up: mix > great. A little neater and punchier than the previous album. Guitars are more defined but less ‘wild’ despite the choices regarding tones, gain and noise all fitting. In the moment it’s great but something feels a little non-committal about it. Like…it’s not thick grungey fuzz or a tight punk distortion sound. Personal taste I guess. Performances > Solid. Not a lot of surprises or out-there moments though, just heaps of attack, dynamics and rock attitude. It’s all just ‘more and better’. Heaps of hooks, memorable moments and frequently head moving. This album is a jam from start to finish.
I really enjoy this band and the new album has satisfied me for now. ‘Late Teens’ was a brilliant start, ‘Wasted Energy’ is the maturation and completion of that sound. Whatever comes next either has to go one of two ways… all-the-way hard or chill out and take try something new. They’ve worn out the post-Magic Dirt/grunge-punk thing and I guess the song writing needs to develop beyond the ‘growing-up’ rebellious attitude that has been a lot of fun so far.
Basically this was really great ..but I don’t want to hear ‘Late Teens pt.3’ next time. ‘Wasted Energy’ makes me look forward to the next installment because I want to hear else they can do whilst acknowledging that they do in fact have what it takes to be one of our big stage favourites!