Bushwalking : First Time
Bushwalking are a jangly guitar band with a band name lifted from the Australian vernacular containing members who are more well-known for appearing in other bands and their record is produced by Mikey Young/Jack Farley. Despite adhering to the definitive local garage-rock archetype, Bushwalking offer something beyond the bleary dole-core that defines our modern musical landscape.
Opening track guitar/piano (it’s tonally difficult to distinguish) barroom ballad Doona is a minimalist, affecting movement. The repetitive one-two of chiming chords restrains itself until escalating into a deft crescendo.
No two songs on First Time really sound the same. The are gnarly guitar licks, there are subdued guitar riffs, there are abrasive, stuttering guitar chords. Alluding to, but not aligning with, the sum of their parts (Songs, Fabulous Diamonds, Kes Band), the album achieves that elusive mix of eclectic and cohesive.
The ballads are consistently brilliant, showcasing delicate beauty with an uneasy undercurrent – an uneasiness generated by subtle drone or a gentle knife-twist of a jarring chord.
Visual Jam Donut is as tasty as it sounds, an unhinged instrumental jam that manages to scale a series of perpetual heights.
It’s over all to brief, but never outstays its welcome. First Time is full of very good songs with very good song names.
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK
Key Track: Visual Jam Donut
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Fabulous Diamonds FABULOUS DIAMONDS, Fifteen SUPER WILD HORSES
In A Word: Splendid