Album Review: Scott & Charlene’s Wedding-Any Port in a Storm

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AWWWWWWWWWW YISSSSSSSS! Mutha. Fuckin. Jangle. Pop. Jesus Christ, could Scott & Charlene’s Wedding be any more Australian? Firstly, you’ve got the band’s name, which besides being really fucking hard to say, and not sounding anything like a normal band’s name but a rather average event, is an all too subtle reference to  Neigbours. Then there’s the fact that frontman Craig Dermody (who started Scott & Charlene’s wedding all on his lonesome, and has also played participation in Lindsay Low Hand and Spider Vomit) is a beach bum babe. And the vocals are not dissimilar to that of Twerps, Dick Diver, Day Ravies, or Boomgates. All fantastic bands with all fantastic records to their names, but I’m going out on a limb here and claiming ‘Any Port in a Storm’ to be my favourite of the average Aussie narrative albums. It was a tough decision, almost as tough a decision as when Butch debates going  back to his apartment to get his father’s watch that was shoved up his ass, from Pulp Fiction.

‘Any Port in a Storm’ gets it’s bonus points for it’s casual warmth, and wears it’s amateur tendencies on it’s sleeve, displaying them proudly instead of shoving them in the corner like the incest cyclops son in Harold & Kumar. In fact, the opening track ‘Junk Shop’ makes it’s catchy chorus from ‘Yeah, you see my insides/they sing out of tune/ they go WAAAA-AHHH-AHHH-AH, They go WOAAHH-WOAAAHH-WOAAHHH’. Those big swoops of sound towards the end of the phrase are delivered in painful yet unabashedly bad singing, something you can’t help but admire and smile to. ‘Junk Shop’ is just the one-two punch out, followed swiftly by ‘Lesbian Wife’, a song I reviewed a couple of days, or weeks ago (memory of a goldfish). Be careful, as ‘Lesbian Wife’ is dangerously catchy, and you do not want to be caught singing that at the top of your lungs outside a lesbian bar. Just trust me on this one.

Besides the super down-to-earth, dude with a guitar and some pot vibes, another major point of the album is Craig Dermody’s residency in New York City. This comes up on tracks like ‘Fakin’ NYC’, ‘Gammy Leg’ and ‘Spring St’. It’s like Sonic Youth all over again, except completely different, and devoid of any arty 15 minute noise-feedback solos. Anyway, back to the topic of New York songs, ‘Spring St’ in particular inspires a longing and sadness song not felt  in a twee pop since the last Belle & Sebastian. When listening to it for the first time, it’s so subtle and nuanced, it almost seems like filler, but on closer inspection, it’s the standout of the album. It’s heartfelt and swoopingly beautiful and sort of acts as a general map of the entire album. In fact, it’s so goddamn heartbreaking, if you’re not blowing your nose and dabbing your eyes with tissues like the sullen twelvie you are, you are not a human being. And that’s a fact.

Simplicity works in favour in the album. Oh yes, it does. It works in favour of the album like a boner works in favour during a porn shoot. It almost seems like a given, but you’d be surprised at how often the vital element has disappeared. ‘Any Port in a Storm’ is so laidback, it makes Laidback Luke feel like a dickhead for even attempting to utilise the adjective. It’s so normal and average, yet heartfelt and warm, that it’s damn nigh impossible not to fall in love with every song on the album. Every description, every theme, every story, it all seems so random and trivial. However, these are the things that make Scott & Charlene’s Wedding a human and accessible band, a band that’s relatable to every Average Joe that’s had a shit day, wants to get the attention of a special lady, or can’t decide whether to spend the last of their rent money on booze or weed. Scott & Charlene’s Wedding have released such a great album in ‘Any Port in a Storm’, I feel like I might cry with happiness and how saved I feel right now. Wait, too late, Niagra Falls has proceeded in my bedroom, and the Sonic Youth poster is already mildly soaked. I need to stop listening to this fantazeballs album before I’m swimming in a water-protein solution.

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