"More garage rock from Sydney - what else do you need to know?
These songs sound like they were written in the ’60s but laid to tape
squarely in 2010, replete with that highly sought after bass-free,
AM-through-an-old-car-stereo fidelity. Live, Straight Arrows have always
hit the rawest nerve in your pleasure centre (wherever that may be) and
their long awaited debut LP It's Happening does that and very
little else. The vocals are reverberated, often-harmonised and distorted
into oblivion so you needn't worry about whatever Owen Penglis and co.
are good humouredly singing about, and over the course of this 25-minute
record there's not one song you couldn't sing along to (and happily
mishear the lyrics to) during the first listen.
It's definitely among the least cerebral records you'll encounter
this summer, but there's something very poised and handsome about
Straight Arrows: even if they make a fine and proper mess of their
production the songs are never unkempt. They're determinedly “mid-fi”,
in that they wish to betray scruffiness but don't want to do a
disservice to their tunes, and it works well for them. A bit more bass,
some grunt, would bring these songs further to life though,
because with the treble regions right up in your ear the whole time
there's often the sense that this is incidental music in some hip ’60s
costume comedy, emitting unceremoniously from a distant corner of the
room. It's like a visitation that hasn't properly materialised.
To their credit, Straight Arrows inhabit a very current flavour that,
attitude-wise, they seem at odds with. There's nothing calculatedly
“accidental” about their music: these are cleverly written pop songs
with fiery, attention- deficient verve, devised to strike immediately,
to take effect before you can take stock. There's no attempt to weigh
this simple, retrospective sound with some sense of import. Which makes
Straight Arrows a band very difficult to have an opinion about, and very
easy to enjoy. It's garage rock from Sydney, it's pleasant to listen
to, it doesn't break any rules, and that's all you really need to know."
by Shaun Prescott/MESS + NOISE