Album Review: Dead Farmers – Wasteland

From the opening chords of “Love”, it becomes bleedingly obvious that you’re going to lose some capacity of your hearing in engaging with the latest record from Dead Farmers. One of Sydney’s most beloved punk rock bands, a maelstrom of exciting riff punches to the gut both on record and onstage, Dead Farmers return from the FUCKING DEAD to unleash some of the most basic and brutal rock ‘n’ roll this side of Motorhead.

The most striking thing that has occurred between the release of Dead Farmers’ debut, and their follow up in ‘Wasteland’, is that Dead Farmers seem to have slowed down. Not in a tired way, or in a concentrated effort, but in a fashion that accentuates their ability to bludgeon. On  ‘Go Home’, things were possessed by a youthful energy that was like the Energiser Bunny being fed pure Columbian coke at his first Big Day Out. ‘Wasteland’ swarms with a hugeness that is belying, layering bolted riff upon bolted riff with an intention of building up the sort of temple to garage rock you wouldn’t mind praying at. And then, it all comes crashing down with the fell swoop of jaw dropping solos. Every single fucking song on ‘Wasteland’ has a guitar solo, and each one makes you break you the air guitar with terrifying consistency.

‘Wasteland’ isn’t really a record that ebbs and flows, or moves around much, but this works as a positive for Dead Farmers. It allows them to concentrate on their no-bullshit approach. There’s not studio trickery, no warping of material. There’s no GLOSS, nor polish. What you see is what you get, deal with it. Frills are for the weak, Dead Farmers is for the legends. They’re happy to maintain at a squalling pace, a gutter from where they can thrash and wail. The trio of Daniel, David and Daniel are the punter’s punter, tirelessly punching and bleeding away, the audio equivalent of Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston.

The MC5 seems like such an obvious reference point for Dead Farmers, but it’s also the truest. Both are loud, suffocatingly so. When a Dead Farmers song comes on, it has the exact same effect as hearing “Kick Out the Jams” for the first time. You become enthralled with the sheer avalanche of guitars, rolling bludgeons of pure buzzsaw guitar slicing you apart at the seams. Your sanity wanes, you become more focused than you ever have in your entire goddamn life, and you punch a hole in the nearest fucking wall, whilst unleashing a warcry the world shrivels in fear from: “CAN’T GO! CAN’T GO! CAN’T GO ALONE!”. The only way to describe this album is solid. Just really, really fucking solid.

Dead Farmers have organised one hell of a launch – Friday 20th March at The Valve Bar on Broadway. Red Red Krovvy are making the rare trip to Sydney as well for a 7″ launch, and Roamin’ Catholics and Aloha Units are playing as well. $10. See ya there.


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