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Wet Lips

Wet Lips.jpg
Other Places.jpg

by Wet Lips

Feature Records for the week beginning Mon 26 Jun 2017

Wet Lips Wet Lips (PBS Feature Record)
If you’ve seen Wet Lips play live before you know how vital a band they are. With more than five years of consistently gobsmacking shows, it’s little surprise the Melbourne three-piece have developed a cult following. Rooted in ’77 punk rock, the classic harmonies of the Shangri-Las and both the politics and sound of riot grrrl, Wet Lips write anthemic garage punk burners, and pull no punches in doing so.

Their self-titled debut LP has been a long time coming, forgivable as the band has been busy establishing their own festival in Wetfest, and more recently launching their own label Hysterical Records with Future Popes’ Amanda Vitartas. Wet Lips captures the intensity of the band’s live show, and is as assured a debut as you’d expect from a band who has as much to say as this one does. Vocalist Grace Kindellan puts the patriarchy on notice at every possible juncture; the band’s uncompromising DIY ethics send a similar message to the gatekeepers of the music industrial complex as it does to the cooler-than-thou scenester whose ethics are just as problematic.

There have been some long-overdue changes around participation and representation in music in the last few years, and Wet Lips are a band that have been very much part of that change. Their debut LP is in a lot of ways a document of this period, that just happens to be a collection of exceptionally good songs, loaded with wit, social critique and sing-along choruses.

Other Places Lost in the Sea of Paradise (featured on The Breakfast Spread)
Lost in the Sea of Paradise, the third solo record from Mat Watson, is bursting with joy and heartbreak. Other Places takes diverse artistic and musical influences and braids them together before running them through his fastidious drum machine and synth programming. The dedication to the crafting and layering of textures is awe-inspiring, yet never detracts from the emotional immediacy that drives the record. Every burble and thump contributes to a mosaic that is much lager than can be glimpsed from a single listen. The meditative push (a hallmark of his drumming in Taipan Tiger Girls and many other projects) nods to german minimalism and classic techno but Watson's compositions are so much more than yearnings to join the clubs of Berlin or Detroit. This music is as human and vulnerable as the work of a singer-songwriter and hints at the solitude that working alone entails.
It's not all heady dreamscapes though, as Watson effortlessly runs rings around classic dance tropes to move body as well as mind – singles "While Drifting" and "T.R.N" are designed for big soundsystems and sweaty rooms. Put simply, there's just so much to love on this album. It's been four years since the last Other Places record and wait has been so worthwhile. Pack your bags and go on a journey – music lovers of so many persuasions will adore getting Lost in the Sea of Paradise.

Review by Nick Brown (The Breakfast Spread)

This week's Top 10: 
Wet Lips - Wet Lips
Other Places - Lost In The Sea of Paradise
Lapalux - Ruinism
Voigt/465 - Slights Still Unspoken
Gaby Hernandez - Spirit Reflection
Rancid -Trouble Maker
Yazmin Lacey - Black Moon
Sonny Landreth - Recorded Live in Lafayette
Bonnie Prince Billy - Best Troubador
Various Artists - Mavis Staples: I'll Take You There - An All-Star Concert Celebration

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