Raucous, joyful and gritty pub rock; lyrically-ambivalent reggae jaunts; heartbreaking, soul-searching ballads; these are the bedrock of The Basics new LP The Age of Entitlement.
There’s a number of ways to identify a song by Kris Schroeder, Wally “Gotye” de Backer & Tim Heath:
- That unmistakable vocal harmony
- A dry wit, akin to the tinder in an Aussie forest
- The ability to slip in a catchy riff: either a slow burn or ball-grabber
- And an infectious love of music in its purest, most basic form (see what I did there?)
Granted, there are keyboards on two tracks, but apart from that it’s just the three rockers, their voices, instruments and hand-claps. In an era of auto-tuned computer generated “music” it’s refreshing to put the needle on the record of an album of guitar, bass and drums.
Recorded in the hallowed Abbey Road Studios, The Age of Entitlement is comprised of tracks that have been developing for years, brand new tracks written in the studio, and a fan favourite finally given studio treatment.Said studio version is Hey Rain, a cover of Bill Scott’s bittersweet recollection of Innisfail floods that the band have been playing live for years, and here it has been polished to perfection.
There’s catchy hook-laden tracks like (the current single) Roundabout, Good Times, Sunshine and finely crafted cuts like Feels Like Love and A Coward’s Prayer through to political-stab-through-the-heart tracks Whatever Happened to the Working Class and Time Poor (which is also hugely catchy and should be released as a single).
The traditional influences of The Beatles and Crowded house are still evident, but The Age of Entitlement adds whiffs of Midnight Oil, Hunters & Collectors, and even Powderfinger into the mix.
For those digitally inclined, there’s a tough decision to be made: the iTunes version features the foul-mouthed, hilarious pub rocker My Old Mate; while Waterfront digital’s exclusive is the densely rocking I’m a Woman. (Fans who preordered the vinyl were lucky enough to be treated to both on the bonus digital LP The Path To Entitlement – thanks lads – a nice reward!)
A damn fine album that should be bought on vinyl (or CD if you don’t have a turntable) and played LOUD.