Following up their debut Modern Convenience with a quick shuffle in the abbreviation department to Modern Condition, Aussie trio Mod Con continues to bite down on the bare wire of punk to elicit an album of frayed angles and sharp edges. With the elastic vocals of Erica Dunn taking center stage in the band’s storm, the band back her ably as she swings from danger to delicacy within a matter of minutes. Drawing a line from Wire to Kleenex, on through Sleater-Kinney and their own labemates Cable Ties, the band excels in a brand of brooding, coiled cuts that glint in the sun even as their acid attack begins to corrode the protective coating from the inside.
Drawing on 2021’s more prevalent themes of ecological collapse, surveillance shivers, and personal (as a result of political) turmoil, the band is barely able to bind the explosive emotion within the speakers. Every song on Modern Convenience is a caffeinated bout of chaos pulling at the soul like an infected tooth. Dunn pleads with the listener, toys with them, then pushes them aside with a sneer while guitar and bass prowl around one another with menace in their hearts. This is another one of those Aussie albums that feels like its not going to make it overseas easily, causing the bulk of the stateside contingent to miss out on the band’s bruised and bleeding bouts, which is a damn shame. Don’t miss out, though. This is a vital jolt of life in a 2021 packed with favorites.
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