At its heart Growing is full of post-punk bile – terse, propulsive and coiled with venom dripping out of every pore. The debut LP from the Sydney three-piece churns stark, caustic notions of alienation, overconsumption of culture, and the dissolution of the status quo. Though, despite biting deep into a helping of barbed wire influences, they manage to make it sound pretty inviting. That’s not to say that this is a plush, hook-laden record – far from it – but the band knows how to turn their crumbled culture ethos into a dizzyingly hypnotic ripper that’s sipping from the same pot as fellow Aussies Ausmuteants, Snake & Friends, Hierophants or US contemporaries Mind Spiders.
The hotplate stynth work and housing-block vocals of the band’s Tim Colier anchor their sound in the kind of raised-hackle, defensive post-punk aesthetics that drove Chrome and Pere Ubu. They’re picking at the bones of old sounds, but curating the kill in a way that makes Growing exhale with some vitality. The band managers to make desperation feel fun – dancing it out to the crumble of culture, lit by the flames of cities run amok. There’s been no lack of dystopian punk of late, but then again it’s beginning to feel like we’re in need of a soundtrack to match the daily feelings of dread and disorientation.
This winds up a worthwhile debut sent clanging out into the ether. For those looking for escape, this might not be the best medicine, but if you’re looking for a reflection of the queasy, nihilistic dance/march we’re embarking on towards the spires of smoke in the distance, then this might be just the ticket. Tim & The Boys won’t cushion the blow, but they’ll at least make the ride entertaining.
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