Last week saw Melbourne post punk quartet No Sister drop their first record in two years in the form of four track EP Influence. Innovative, hypnotic, unsettling. With ideas fully explored and not a second wasted. It’s a thrilling affair both musically and lyrically with disparate sonic and literary influences, approaches and references welded together to form a most unlikely cohesive whole, a whole with pop stylings to boot. The intellectual character of the EP is unsurprising given band founders/guitarists/vocalists Tiarney Miekus and Mino Peris are also an art writer and film composer respectively. The band round on the patriarchy, explore DIY feminism, the paucity of the press and the disconnect between the predilections of society, its systems and the environment in this current state of flux. The painstaking writing process where all four members are involved and material is re-visited time and again gives each track a sense of artistic closure albeit all leave provocative questions for the listener to ponder.
Unlike their previous two albums, their self titled debut and 2017’s The Second Floor, application as much as form takes centre stage. An uneasy wire-like twang, atonal metallic chimes and drips of reverb emanate from the guitars, which at times sound like like they’re being tortured to within an inch of their lives, the queasiness aided by the warped sounds of their trusty Prophet 5 analog synth. Both are watchfully guarded by Gemma Helms’s barely there yet omnipresent fretless bass, a sound that lurks in the shadows, oscillating across its winding journey from a sparse rumble and a slightly enveloping hum. The drums are played by Murray Coggan with a canny sort of aloof insistence, loose yet restrained, then dramatic in his appropriate interjections. The vocals, delivered with a mixture of wry disdain and urgency by Miekus and Peris perfectly capture the pent up frustration and crushing resignation at the yet untold damage being done to humanity by corporate dominated and paternalistic systems of power; their behaviour increasingly unowned and unchecked by an increasingly individualistic society made asleep at the ethical wheel.
The excellent bookends of Influence have been shared in the lead up to its release, the reminiscent of Women like opener ‘My New Career’ (video below) which best encapsulates all of the above and the industrial, noise and pop derived closer ‘Burning News’, an appropriate dig at the growing irrelevance of the media and its inability or unwillingness to do the job it claims to do, if it ever did. Out of the other two we’ve plumped for the pacy, spacious, bell ringer ‘Something (All At Once) to share with you below which you can also find with the stellar ‘Pacific’ here in our Post Punk /Wave /Shoegaze /Post Rock Playlist on Spotify. Influence is self released in Australia and is available on 7″ vinyl here. Same deal here through Opposite Number for UK/EUR. It is without doubt one of the releases of the year.
Something (All At Once)
No Sister (AUS)
From the EP, ‘Influence’, Self Released/Opposite Number
My New Career
No Sister (AUS)
From the EP, ‘Influence’, Self Released/Opposite Number.