Australian music seems to be going two ways these days – at the same time as an explosion of electronic producers, we’ve got these old-school garage bands with plenty of attitude and high energy music. Damn Terran is one such post-punk arrangement – especially known for their loud live shows.
The Melbourne group is fresh from performances at the annual Bigsound conference in Brisbane and has also just released their self-titled debut LP. You may have heard their single “Lost” from triple j Unearthed.
Damn Terran kicks off in full force – the track names and cover conjure up dark metal niches but this band has a good sense of rhythm. The twin vocals from Lachlan Ewbank (also guitarist) and Ali Edmonds (also on bass) create jarring male-female harmony. Ali E almost channels Blondie in the fierce vocals (or even the more contemporary Lindsey from Deap Vally).
It’s not all singing though – with shouting, chanting, and heavy drumming – we can only imagine the amount of sweat produced in the recording process. Damn Terran take the time to indulge in instrumental breaks rich in guitar, thumping bass and strong drumming (that’s Leigh Ewbank), which drives most of the tracks.
As the album progresses, it begins to sound more punk. The guitar is harder and subject matter veers towards drugs, drinks and relationships. In fact, some of their lyrics are almost soundtrack-worthy: “You are in a dark place/You are losing what is left of your mind/and I know that you’re leaving alone tonight.”
It’s not going to be for everyone but fans of Dune Rats, Violent Soho and DZ Deathrays will dig the upbeat messy aesthetics and “fuck it” lyrics.