Hard Rubbish by Lower Plenty (Album)

26 April, 2013 in Music Reviews

Lower Plenty

Lower Plenty: even their press shots are lo-fi!

Australian four-piece Lower Plenty call to mind the looseness of Flying Nun records releases on the superbly lo-fi ‘Hard Rubbish’

Lower Plenty Hard Rubbish Fire Recordsaking their name from a local Melbourne suburb, this Australian four-piece have produced one of the most distinctive records of the year so far. With the aid of little more than an eight-track tape recorder, a few acoustic guitars, a basic drum kit, a kitchen table and maybe a little red wine, Hard Rubbish’s nine tracks have a definite Antipodean feel, recalling the looseness of many early Flying Nun releases, Moe Tucker’s Velvet Underground and Olympia’s Beat Happening. There’s also an echo of The Go-Betweens’ puzzlingly spooky debut album Send Me A Lullaby floating around in there somewhere. Highlights include the opening 93 seconds of Work In The Morning and the closing Close Enough, which wouldn’t sound out of place on Big Star’s Third/Sister Lovers.

Originally released in their native land in 2012, this expanded UK reissue on Fire Records also features their debut cassette release Mean, itself an even more primitive recording than Hard Rubbish and sounding more like a late-night field recording than a deliberate attempt to make a record.

Lower Plenty’s lo-fi charms will probably not be for everyone. On a cursory listen, the songs may appear to be wafer-thin, but there’s a steely melodicism there which more than stands the test of repeated plays.

Verdict: Lo-Fi charm that excels in its low-key approach to songwriting

Alun Jones