Here at Heavy & Weird, we feel there’s not enough nepotism in the Brisbane music scene. With that in mind, we’ve decided that Clint should review Dan’s band’s latest album, ‘Feel Or Suffer’. We also recognise that the rating’s system we’ve employed over the last year has mostly given bands we like ’10’ and bands we don’t like ‘1’, therefore we’ll be dispensing with ratings this year and telling you to either buy the album or save your money.
Of course, if you couldn’t tell that was sarcasm, you should be reading Rolling Stone.
Nonetheless, Clint will be reviewing the latest Galapogos release, not because he wants to give the band a leg up, or an unfair advantage, but because he genuinely likes their music and feels compelled to write about it. Take that as you will. And now the disclaimer is out of the way, onto the review itself:
Do I think this album is good? Yes. Do I think it’s perfect? No. But perfection is not what this record is about.
‘Feel Or Suffer’ is the most interesting artistic statement made by a Brisbane band in 2013. It is a bold step away from the alt-pop of Galapogos’ first album ‘Established Ghosts’ into ambient jammy weirdness. That they never fall into wankery is a miracle in itself, but this album is stunningly good on its own merits. Just listen to the epic ‘Parakeet Parachute’, or first single ‘Lisbon’:
What makes this even more of an achievement is that the entirety of ‘Feel Or Suffer’ was improvised live in the band room, with Dan Newton ad-libbing lyrics over the top; all recorded & mixed by guitarist Luke Koster. The result is one continuous movement of music, wholly unique, and utterly beautiful. I don’t know what the fuck Dan is singing about most of the time, but by god I believe it, and perhaps that’s what communication via music is all about? There is nothing plastic, no imitation, and no fakery involved, it stands up and forces you to listen intently and take a journey with the band.
This record is Jim Morrison saying ‘fuck you’ to his sex-symbol status, losing the leather pants and getting off on Patti Smith poetry, with backing from Slowdive. It is a singular vision from 5 guys on the periphery of a music scene they don’t fit in to, unable to be categorized, and uniquely compelling.
It won’t be a hit and it won’t make you cool, but it will change your life. Go and find a copy.
Rating: 9 parakeets out of 10 parachutes
(I would have given it a 10, but I think this band is only going to get better)
By Clint Morrow