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Straight Arrows - It's Happening lp (Juvenile & Rice Is Nice)


"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

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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 03 December, 2010.

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