RECORD REVIEW: SKYDECK (AUS) – EUREKA MOMENT

RECORD REVIEW: SKYDECK (AUS) – EUREKA MOMENT

Amidst the lies and absurdities contained within the dead heart of modern neoliberal capitalist life Melbourne outfit Skydeck, the brainchild of Ciggie Witch’s Mitch Clemens and Pregnancy’s Dominic Kearton, bands they shared individually and respectively with the late Zac Denton, possess little time for pointless convention and even less for naked ambition. Their debut album, Eureka Moment is an album where truth and emotion is lyrically and vocally delivered in sincere yet wry fashion. One that’s positioned within both a vigilant and lackadaisical framework that almost speaks of self protection as much as it does to their healthy disdain for the pointlessness and soullessness of a profit driven corporately controlled system. The sad traits of an increasingly fragmented society they and we all have to suck up and live every day. Compiled from instrumental tracks put to tape by the duo three years ago, the eleven tracks possess a musical predisposition to spiky post punk and synth pop inspired melodies backed by wiry, angular bass lines and rhythms that alternately rest on motorik 808 like and insistent full blooded beats.

Laid over this minimal but heady mix comes ironic and metaphorical musings on navigating the narrow, divisive, parochial and false or non-evidentiary nature of modern Australian life. It’s almost as if they are looking down as helpless voyeurs from within the bubble that is the towering edifice that inspired both band and album title. Both on their own lives and the sprawling suburban mess that is the country’s second largest (and best) city. Tracks like ‘Live Bait’, ‘Solid State’ and ‘Never Not That’ centre on Kearton’s plaintive observations of being sold a national dud in terms of growing up in a lie which shielded him from the nightmare of cannibalistic private sector monopoly capitalism and from the xenophobic and racist nature of parts of suburban and hinterland Australia which the uncertainties of that bastardised economic system have in part further fuelled. Clemens’s signature dead pan yet anxiety ridden stream of consciousness musings on trying to find ways to comprehend and keep things together in the face of an unforgiving world where absurdity seems to trump authenticity with increasing menace comes through in different guises on ‘Tourniquet Too’ and ‘Charon’s Face’. The title track he shares with Kearton which closes proceedings is another example.

Despite their numbing disappointment at the system and melancholy concern for the society it adversely affects there is a defiant determination to find inventive ways to cut through and carry on. Apart from the aforementioned, one need look no further than ‘Cryptic Bassline Project’, with its intellectual, reasoned and observationally inspired spoken word contribution* centring on the work of Melbourne street artist Lush Sux penned and delivered in lively, almost manically humorous fashion by actor Eva Lazzaro. Kearton and Clemens demonstrate an ability to understand nuance and suitably and cannily represent dichotomy with humour when their world is seemingly teetering on the edge. Eureka Moment in that sense, faces self confessed fears with both a consequential depth and a flippant levity representing a sense of both everything and nothing in surreal simulcast.

James Stocker – 26th March 2019.

*Correction – Actor Eva Lazzaro wrote the spoken word on ‘Cryptic Bassline Project’. It was previously credited as the voice of its actual subject, Melbourne street artist Lush Sux. Whoops…


Eureka Moment is out now through Dinosaur City and Burger Records. Available on cassette and digital formats here. The album’s three singles are below.

 

Live Bait

Skydeck (AUS)

From the album, ‘Eureka Moment’, Dinosaur City/Burger Records.

Audio Stream

Tourniquet Too

Skydeck (AUS)

From the album, ‘Eureka Moment’, Dinosaur City/Burger Records.

Audio Stream

Solid State

Skydeck (AUS)

From the album, ‘Eureka Moment’, Dinosaur City/Burger Records.

Audio Stream

Live Performance