Fundamental Illness Records is a Sydney based label and distro that is hoisting the DIY banner proudly in their inked and calloused hands.
Puritans from Vancouver belie the myth of the sedate Canadian with these seven inches of Autonomy. Four razor sharp tracks that effortlessly ground their way onto my shortlist for songs of the year.
The evolution from their previous ‘Swerving Lines EP’ is apparent from the first bars of opening screed ‘Perimeter’ with its staggered bossa nova beat and crispy tones recalling Savages and a plaintive introspective vocal that then rises to reek of the unique drawl of Rowland S Howard, boding menacingly for an eruption we can feel surely swelling.
Then the throat gets caustic and the guitars start stabbing like Altamont.
It does a lot in its four and half minutes.
Straight into Nausea and I can hear Joe Strummer duelling with Daniel Ash. It’s a three count bout done and dusted in two minutes atop a sprightly bass that bounces insistent like a space hopper. You’ll be humming it with a grimace.
Flip it quickly cos the title track is all hi-hats and beautiful bluster, Rowland fronting the Savages again. You know if you’ll love this.
These Puritans rise above many of their contemporary revivalists on the strength of their hooks. They’re sharp and plentiful. Songwriting is not sacrificed to texture and bombast but sits as a triptych. Now fucking pogo.
Weaker Weapons is weaker in name alone, all rack toms and sneers it rattles into half time and that fucking sinister bass leads them home until till the tone arm resets.
Flip it again.
Autonomy is available now.