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Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Eddy Current Supression Ring / Primary Colors

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Artist: Eddy Current Suppression Ring

Album: Eddy Current Supression Ring / Primary Colors

Label: Melodic

Review date: Aug. 18, 2009

I’d prefer not to know too much about Eddy Current Supression Ring’s backstory. They sound for all the world like four guys who showed up in a Melbourne garage and started making rock music without any particular ambition – not even to be a garage rock band. It’s hard to think of a contemporary band doing the guitar-bass-drums-singer thing as effortlessly as these guys. Strictly whacked chords jump around while the bass slips in the opposite direction. I detect a few guidelines – no blues licks, no heavy distortion. But they’re absent the doctrines and constraints that their peers use to make great roughed-up music, be it the Dirtbombs’ double-heavy rhythm section, Jay Reatard’s insistence on self-recording, or the one-man band tricks of Mark Sultan. Eddy Current adhere to the motto of that fine purveyor of Australian cuisine: no rules, just right.

This double disc from Melodic joins their 2006 album with last year’s follow-up, Primary Colors, which got international attention and appeared on a lot of year-end lists. "Which Way to Go," from Colors may be their peak so far, a perfect storm of post-punk drone and regular guy lyrics. The self-titled debut reveals that they’ve been top rank right from the start. Their first two singles, "Get Up Morning" and "It’s All Square," have all the chemistry of their later tracks. On the former, the changes never hit where they’re supposed to on a four-chord rock song, like toast that keeps popping out of the toaster before it’s done. The swamp of bass and cymbal crashes that make up "It’s All Square" are ominous, but there’s nothing otherworldly about Brendon Suppression’s voice. As ever, he sounds like a guy who’s stumbled into the song, and had to make up his lines on the spot.

The verses of "Precious Rose" are so close to Wire’s "Mannequin" that it would make Elastica blush. But as much as it recalls the metronome beats and raw production of Pink Flag, Wire would have never gone near a song that compares a girl to a rose. They wouldn’t have let the song go on for three and a half minutes, either, nor come up with anything as lusty as "Want to kiss you all over / don’t know where to begin." If there was some more reverb, it could be the Troggs. But the Troggs would have tried some harmonies and bent some notes. And included a lot more filler.

By Ben Donnelly

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