‘Old Mate’ is hands down the greatest expression of all time. Like, I mean, ever. It can be used as a genuine expression of devotion, a solidification of friendship, or it can be used as a sardonic barb to kill self-esteem. I think Old Mate (the band/solo project of Bitch Prefect member Pat Telfer) combines a little bit of both. Their single “Requesting Permission” combines both a sense of dread with the uniquely Australian emotion of being down and out, and being okay about that.
Lazy guitar strums, intergalactic alien warbles and scratched snares provide the background for Telfer’s incredibly morose lyrics. “Requesting Permission” aesthetically sits somewhere around Kitchen’s Floor and Twerps , mushing the two together for the ultimate I-feel-like-shit song.
But by far, the greatest thing about this track is its natural narrative build. “Requesting Permission” starts as a morbid mumble, grows in strength, and then bursts on the line “Every now and then I find, I am going out of my…”, before spiralling downward with the help of a shockingly good guitar solo. The mantra of “Every day I go away” is the perfect way to close the song, almost like its showing a guy that has lost complete and utter faith, but has only now come to a conclusion of hopelessness.
Just like the band name Old Mate, this song is a tale so aligned to Australian culture, of being kicked when your down, and becoming utterly used to it. The fact that Old Mate manages to take that story and turn it into something completely understandable to the average human being, makes this track something worthy of being ‘Song of the Year’.