Making a good punk rock album is hard. Harder than most people give it credit for. You think ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ or ‘Damaged’ didn’t have blood, sweat and tears ingrained in the very vinyl grooves of the record? Now, in a modern age dominated by auto-tune and grillz, that real punk rock spirit is that much harder to find and maintain, even for the small task of a whole record. Right now, there’s more of a likely chance for you to find the next big thing in crunkcore (who gives a fuck?) than a half-decent punk band. Well, that’s all about to change when you chuck a geez at the mind-obliterating debut album from Melbourne’s The Summervilles.
Now, this record brings up all the right sorts of feelings in me, because it was bands like Rancid, The Bouncing Souls and Green Day’s magnum opus ‘Dookie’ that first got me into punk, and led to my discovery of the underground greats.I’m sure the same sort of story holds true for fuck tonne after fuck tonne of people, and I almost guarantee the opening chords of ‘Can’t Count on Me’, for example, will bring about a similar sort of nostalgia. But don’t believe, even for one second, that The Summervilles are solely riding high on the coattails of the bands of a bygone era. No, The Summervilles may nod their heads to Oi! punk and acoustic anarchy (‘I Will Hold it True), but what they’re doing is definitely pushing forward in the right direction.
A nice unique factor of The Summervilles, something that I haven’t seen in recent punk music for a long time (with the noted exception of The Smith Street Band) is a concentrated effort going into songcraft. Despite the scruffy, rough-n-tumble nature that the songs on ‘Twelve Ways to Fuck Up Before Breakfast’ are bellowed out as, a closer inspection shows a lot of care and attention has gone into each song. The melodies sound fucking great, the howls have a realness behind them and the mohawk atmosphere behind each track is at an all time high not heard since ‘No Future for You’ first poisoned our innocent ears. There’s some absolutely stunner tracks on this album that will definitely go above and beyond the average moshpit filler, such as ‘Sudden Death Casino’ with it’s gaping guitar, ‘Going Steady?’ with it’s unashamed relationship themes and stompy riffs and the simply awesome ‘Moving Under’. Fuck, I could go on and on about ‘Moving Under’, but it’ll be suffice to say that this…this…this thing of majestic punk greatness can never be understated as one of the best fucking things to happen to Australian punk in a long fucking time.
‘Twelve Ways to Fuck Up Before Breakfast’ is a real punk record, with real working class grit running the whole way through it. There’s no trendy bullshit polluting it, no glitter or glamourous shit artificially heaved on like the hordes of make-up toting punks that put more effort into their hairstyles than their music. This record is fucking brilliant from start to finish, a hurricane of brilliance. Do whatever you can to get your hands on this record. Use sandpaper to wipe your ass, eat nothing but Cheetos for a year, commit to buying only second hand clothes (yes, even your undies)….do whatever is necessary to clasp your chubby fingers around this disk of awesome.
You can buy the record at The Summervilles Bandcamp right here for $7, or the price of Tony Abbott’s soul.