Post Punk. Trust the Australians show the rest of us how to do this too. After less than inspiring, but much touted records from Dry Cleaning, IDLES, Squid and Black Country, New Road in recent weeks and months, and with a new Black Midi album coming up that's highly anticipated by many but which I suspect I won't be able to listen through to in its entirity, it was sheer pleasure and relief to hear Future Forecast, the debut album by Melbourne's CIVIC a couple of days back .
From the opening notes,this comes on like Proto and Post Punk Bingo, something that might not be so far off given how long ago those days are now. During the three minutes of opener Radiant Eye alone I caught unmistakeable snatches of Magazine's Shot By Both Sides, The MC5's The Human Being Lawnmower and The Saints Know Your Product and none of this remotely irritated me. The reminders were thrilling, encouraging me to go back and reaquaint myself with the source material and their use was plainly motivated primarily not to ape the past, or strip CIVIC's heroes of their key assets, but to adrenalise their own listening experience.
Having laid down its Mission Statement, Future Forecast proceeds to itemise it again and again with only the most basic amendment on its prototype. This is hardly an album that builds or maps out a band's vision with any variation. nuamce or subtlety. CIVIC are clearly not a band with the remotest interest in nuance and subtlety. Only full on sonic assault. The resulting record is all the better for this absolutely basic, stripped down approach.
The immediate and obvious sources for what CIVIC do are five fold. Primarily, The Stooges, the band that first demonstrated this full on primal squall, way back when. Then The Saints and Radio Birdman who came up with the original Australian Punk statements of that sort. Future Forecast has guitars that sound exactly, self-consciously like that. CIVIC also probably also owe some debt to younger compatriates Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Total Control who have shown so fluently in more recent years how this kind of thing can still be done with quite admirable urgency and intent..
So this is a record that takes you right back without any unecessary nostalgic or maudlin edge. CIVIC's stated purpose on forming apparently was to 'do good Rock and Roll and not to stuff about with it.' Mission accomplished I'd say. Does what it says on the tin.