Hardly anything about this album makes sense – The Rangoons are entirely unpredictable in the truest sense of the word. Absolutely anything can appear, popping up like a gopher to look around quizzically, only to replaced just as quickly with another furry monstrosity. This quality, along with the fact that all three members have put in the hard yards in a few of Sydney’s most unique projects, has made The Rangoons a group worthy of rabid adoration.
Formed between Emma Ramsay (Holy Balm), Ela Stiles (Roamin’ Catholics, Songs, Bushwalking) and Jay Cruikshank (Home Run), The Rangoons resemble something far different than the aforementioned projects. There’s no real ‘thing’ that overlaps the recordings on this tape – it jumps around, a schizophrenic pogostick of ideas being mashed together in a blender of mushy genres.
The opening six minutes of “The Bath of Rangoon Island” utilises spindly guitars, perky flutes and riffs upon a stream-of-conscious that recalls a forgotten TV adventure show from the 60’s, albeit one more in lieu with the delirious strangeness Danger 5 or Saul of the Mole Men.
“Two Minds” and “Crimewave” follow – more traditional rock affairs, although the word ‘traditional’ fits in the same way that ‘family man’ would be used to describe Charles Manson. Throttling disortion, tribal chants, and lyrical ridiculousness are all par for the course. The tape finishes with the two-for-one deal of “Lunatic/Shadow”, which transforms from tickling, ambivalent pop to a speedy, crunchy thwack of amateur adrenaline. Best of all, there’s some truly disturbing words recited here (“Ela said she’d get me a gun/She knows I’m not well/Then I’ll shoot that boy in the leg/When he comes to ring your bell DING DONG!”) but they’re delivered with such joyful ambivalence, it inspires the urge to giggle rather than call a mental health line. For a band who have only been around a short time, and played a handful of shows, The Rangoons debut material is surprisingly well-rounded, exotic, and most importantly, interesting as hell.
Buy the tape from Paradise Daily Bandcamp here…