I’ve always felt some affinity for the Holden Caulfield, sticking-two-fingers-up to the world types. For me, It’s been a high-school curiosity that borders on the scientific. Who are these dangerous kids that the nice girls are warned to stay well away from? Why is the pull towards pure recklessness so heavenly? cleopatrick stir up these juvenile thoughts and take me back to those days spent perfecting my death stare and avoiding the world in oversized headphones.
Over the last year, cleopatrick have been drip-feeding singles from their debut record ‘BUMMER’ with the kind of carelessness that outlives reputation. No matter how old they get, Luke Gruntz (vocals, guitar) and Ian Fraser (drums) will forever be just two kids in a basement, making the most out of bass, drums and lyrics.
With one hand on a Les Paul and the other on a laptop, ‘BUMMER’ was forged out of blood and steel. It’s alchemy is put-your-money-where-your-mouth-is rock and roll, with tracks ‘VICTORIA PARK’, ‘THE DRAKE’ and ‘GOOD GRIEF’ channeling the kind of dirty rock that makes you want to grit your teeth and slam your fists (or enemies) against a locker. Of the ten-track record, each title is stylized in upper-case letters – a somewhat unnecessary aggression – that speaks to a primal, rabid impulse.
Brief interlude ‘YA’ comes at a welcome moment. It’s a slow and sullen reprieve from the apocalyptic sound of ‘WHY JULY’ and a peppery introduction to ‘2008,’ a moody track which to some ears, may sound incongruous to the record as a complete project. With stripped-back vocals that could well be in slow motion, it’s a raging, soul-bearing track that says something of the vulnerability of creating music.
‘BUMMER’ is a record made to be played hard and loud, heard blaring out of car windows and making cavalcades in faceless crowds. I’ve heard rumours of their live performances. In those crowds, boys are made into men. No one leaves without a black eye, a bruised knuckle, or stinking of a brewery (or all three, if you’re really lucky).
Let me make a prediction: when cleopatrick play this record live, some will remember it as the best night of their lives and some will remember it as the worst.
Words: Jessica Fynn
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