Before swinging into this review I would like to tell a short story.
One year ago, to the day, I went to see Joyce Manor play at the Reverence Hotel in Melbourne. What I didn’t know was that this gig would start a chain of events. A chain that would quickly pull me into obsession with a new band over the next twelve months.
My friend and I arrived early, treated ourselves to a drink or two before heading in to watch the opening act: Press Club. Immediately, we were mesmerised by the stage presence of the entire band. I distinctively remember pulling my phone out between songs to follow the band on Spotify and check what music they had up. At the time, Headwreck was their only available track.
Following the set, we introduced ourselves to Natalie, the band’s vocal powerhouse. We chatted momentarily before we jet off to the merch stand, eager to be owners of their first run of shirts. I wore this shirt two days later when I went to see The Smith Street Band, where coincidentally my friend and I encountered Natalie for the second time (it’s also funny to consider this interaction given that less than a year later Press Club would support SSB on their 2018 national tour!).
For the remainder of the year, I would follow Press Club as much as I could help it. I’d never been so determined to see a band as much as I possibly could. Addicted to a sensation I’ve never experienced in the modern age: learning a band’s material purely through live performances. With the exception of Headwreck, I had only heard the band’s music in a live environment – I loved it.
Collecting setlists and buying most of their shirts, its quite reasonable to say that I went Press Club crazy. I was beyond ecstatic when they announced their debut album. I’m totally not ashamed to admit that I waited til midnight to listen to it. I had it on repeat all day, learning the songs, in anticipation of their Grace Darling Hotel show later that night and their appearance at Pool House Party the following day (you probably weren’t wondering, but yes I do have setlists from both performances).
The music was exciting, the band members are incredible people and I thought there was no better way to celebrate my Press Club anniversary than finally summing up the courage to shit all over their debut album. Not exactly, but I would love to share my thoughts on this record. Thanks for reading this far, enjoy the review!
‘Late Teens‘ is the debut album from the Brunswick four-piece Press Club. The album release follows a series of singles gifted to us over the previous twelve months. It is also completely independent, self-produced and engineered by the band’s guitarist.
Raw and absolutely oozing with energy, this record slowly but surely garners your attention and then holds it for the entire 34 minutes of running time. Natalie’s vocals are delivered with pure conviction; the emotion is evident in her voice and the unfiltered aspect demands you to listen to what she is saying.
There is an absurd amount of power conveyed in the hard hitting drums and the distorted guitars. They switch effortlessly to reset or pick up the pace and provide a nice stage to support the messages and tones provided by the vocals. The intricate basslines provide another layer of liveliness as they meld in smoothly in conjunction with the rougher characteristics of the instrumentation.
The lyrical content presented throughout the record tackles delicate themes and emotions. They’re presented in numerous lights, they hit you where it hurts and give you just enough room to mix your own interpretations alongside them. It’s evident that these ideas come from a very real place, making it so much easier to get lost in the music.
Stylistically, the record is consistent but variates enough that it’s impossible to get bored. Lots of interesting timings are scattered about, as well as plenty of catchy hooks and rhythms you can’t help but sing along or move your head and feet to.
‘Late Teens‘ is filled with ambition, emotion, energy and an overwhelming demand for you to listen to what Press Club has to say. The band has put their first foot in the door, and used their second to kick it open.
P.S. The band goes on tour in July. Definitely go and see them if you can!