Album Review: You Beauty-Jersey Flegg

You Beauty are the sort of band that can get every true Aussie on board. And by that, I don’t mean some bullshit ‘Nulla Riots definition of ‘True Aussie’ (white, bogan, accent that sounds like a koala being put through a tree-shredder), but rather the things that embody the Australian spirit. To be specific, I’m speaking about footy. Yep, footy. Football, rugby, ruggers, fisting-for-amateurs. Call it what you want, footy is an integral part of Australian culture and life. Indeed, sometimes it seems like people get more vicious about an upset loss than any sort of “democratic’ decisions that get passed.

You Beauty embody the Australian spirit so thoroughly because their songs are almost all based around the aforementioned sport. Like, it’s not even subtle. The songs on their debut album all revolve around the titular game. At first glance, this might seem a bit strange, even limiting. How can you make an album all about footy? Some music fans might even get on their high horse about how footy has no place in music. “Leave it to the Spiderbaits and AC/DC’s!”, they’ll (I’ll) cry, “for footy has no place in the regal realm of indie rock music! How dare thee desecrate such a holy structure!”

But You Beauty have done more than just talk about how everyone gets dirty, and the occasional finger is slipped in your arse during the scrum. Indeed, they Sigmuend Freud the shit out of this genre (footy rock? indie rugby?) and add a bunch of conceptual analysis that elevate You Beauty from a bunch of guys who love to romanticise about their favourite sport into philosophers of urban normality.

Think I’m stretching the truth? Fuck you. But listen to the album for yourself you prick, and try to quit the swooning. Opener and title track ‘Jersey Flegg’ starts off at a crackin’ pace, capturing Sunday afternoon in its most picturesque form. Try to not imagine yourself as a bright-eyed, naive teenager, bouncing out of bed and darting off to play and consequently watch your heroes bounce a ball around on a field, as well as crunch each other into balls of semi-deranged anger. I can actually remember that point in my life, and you probably can too.

There’s also ‘Ann-Maree’, a song about, you guessed it, a girl. Tightly coiled guitar plods along whilst the ‘Strayan accent comes down hard. Longing and lusting, and boasting with the confidence that only playing on a local footy team with your mates can bring. It gives you the balls to send over a dashing waterboy to give your beloved a drink, and silently promise yourself that you won’t let her go home with anyone else  but you.

But things don’t stay so bright and cheery as ‘Jersey Flegg’ and ‘Ann-Maree’ makes it seem. ‘Mennal Mondays’ grunts about the fucking shitty experience that is Monday and the lording, overcast bitch that is a personified work week. Pouring your heart, soul and energy to fund your passions and only having the faint hope of weekend enjoyment keeping you going. And ‘Drop Me Now’ screams our hero’s greatest fears right in his face: you’re getting dropped from the team mate, go fuck yourself.

The point You Beauty are making, through the elaborate and beautiful love of footy, is that life sucks, and it probably won’t get better. And worst of all, it applies to all but the Rupert Murdoch’s and Tony Abbot’s of this world. Unless you’re a raging dickhead, packed with millions and you even narcissism thinks you’re self-obssessed, you’re destined to be the average punter who battles on. There’s no Ann-Maree, work isn’t getting better, and there’s no game to look forward to on the weekend. As the closer of ‘Off the Bench’ puts it: ‘No hunger for a woman, a game, or a fight/It’s a dud feeling, all right.’ And although it stings with the truth of a thousand bluebottles, it’s heartwarming to know that You Beauty pulled it off with such a fantastic album, packed to the brim with amazing songs and squirming with genius.

You can grab ‘Jersey Flegg’ from the link right above this sentence, you drollop. Enjoy it with the passion of a thousand Christ’s.

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