Velcro, 'Life at Sea'

· Wednesday June 13, 2012

Curtis Wakeling produces frighteningly honest lo-fi bedroom pop influenced by hangovers, being an inadequate lover and breaking up. Can you sense a pattern? 'Dreamboat', the opening and closing song of this C-30 tape, has him wearily repeating, “Wake up in panic in a pool of sweat.” It's brilliant in its simplicity and similar in feel to this, by relatively obscure mid-nineties band Butterglory.

Wakeling (who usually performs solo) was joined for this live recording at the Gasometer in December by fellow Ocean Party member Liam Halliwell and Ash Wyatt from Pop Singles. Unlike many live albums (where 'live' is a euphemism for 'crap') this recording captures an awkward stage presence that matches the open nature of Wakeling's songs. You can hear all the strumming of busted guitars and basic synth.

But the songs all come back to Curtis's brutal lyricis, which sit well next to the kitchen sink tales produced by current Melbourne faves Lower Plenty, Scott and Charlene's Wedding and Mad Nanna. “You need to get a life of your own, I won't help you, look for someone else,” he sings on 'Bottle Shop'. Harsh!