One of the sunniest tracks to pop onto high rotation on the national youth broadcaster this year, Loon Lake's rollicking In The Summer , provides enough warmth to warrant leaving your little Big W ceramic heater tucked away in the cupboard for a little while longer. We get it: Melbourne's cold. So it's an interesting move for these local lads to launch their debut EP, Not Just Friends , and its flagship summer anthem at the crack of June - when Ol' Man Winter arrives to frost over our windshields and make getting out of bed in the morn' an ever bigger pain in the arse. "Well it took a little longer than we thought to make and get it ready for release," bassist Tim laughs. "Nah man, it's just total irony," refutes drummer Nick.
Fortunately, it was one of the few sunny days this time of year has to offer when I caught up with the Loon Lake rhythm section - who, incidentally form the minority of the tri-guitar wielding outfit. It's a refreshing trait, this total jettison of guitar-inhibition. Especially in a time when almost every 'indie' outfit has tucked away the axes in favour of embracing the world of synths and a tendency to lean towards IDM (intelligent dance music).
So, with so much guitar-work in action, is it difficult for the group to delegate who plays what? "Nah, the good bits all go straight to Bully (Dan), he's a gun. So he gets all the hard bits. Then Sime usually takes rhythm. And Sam has to sing and play, so he just takes whatever he can handle, I suppose," Nick explains.
"It's pretty hard work, trying to get them all in the mix without overpowering it, there has to be that sort of difference between the licks and that sort of stuff," Tim recounts.
Loon Lake are also one of latest bands to join ranks with the likes of the Wilsons, Youngs, Gallaghers and Followills in the brethren of musical brothers. "I'm Sime and Sam's younger brother," explains Nick. "Sam met Bully, the other guitarist, when they were travelling in Turkey, I think it was. And Tim and I went to school together in The Wang'," he states.
Growing up in Wangaratta, as is the case with pretty much every country town, has certainly helped develop the boys' propensity for succinct nicknames. But it also aided their musical unity. "We all got guitar lessons in the same place," recalls Tim. "There's an institution back there, and then you have the Wangaratta Jazz Festival," Nick adds.
With so many storied brotherly feuds throughout the history of rock, it looks like the sibling dynamic doesn't play that much of a part within Loon Lake's intraband politics.
"Well I think it's a little easier for me to tell the others (Sam and Simon) to get fucked," Nick laughs. "Well I don't think I've ever had the need to tell any of the brothers to get fucked, so it doesn't matter much to me," adds Tim.
After doing a handful of shows around town, Loon Lake are gearing up for the long-awaited launch of their debut EP - the aforementioned, and very nicely titled, Not Just Friends. "First recording was December last year, then we did another session in February, I think it was. But all our shit was written pretty much…" Nick pauses to ponder. "Well since the start, really," Tim adds.
"There are a couple of songs on the EP that have been there since the start, probably two of the six that are on it," reveals Nick.
Wrapped around that disc is what can certainly be describes as one of the most striking instances of album art in recent memory. It's a strangely confronting, gaudy painting of what looks to be a golden retriever.
"Yeah, it's... controversial?" Tim grins of Not Just Friends' cover art. "Ah, I forget who the band is, but they've just released their cover art for their album and it's like the same colour dog, but I can't remember the band," Nick states as he unsuccessfully tries to look it up on his busted iPhone.
"Well our cover art is from this painting that Sam had in his house, I think he found it at a market or something. It's a pretty big painting, just this funny picture of a dog."
LOON LAKE bring their love for golden retrievers and a party to Ding Dong on Friday June 3 as they launch their debut EP Not Just Friends . They're joined by The Frowning Clouds and The Growl - and will no doubt be pulling some championship moves on stage.