The Peep Tempel : Joy
At first glance, The Peep Tempel’s decision to name their new record Joy seems like a sick joke. After all, this is a band famous for writing the world’s least glamorous love song; a band who tell tales of pathetic gangsters, and the slow, sad dance of divorce.
But quite quickly Joy reveals itself to be a distinctly hopeful record. Sure, it’s still full of old drunks, as on Kalgoorie, and semi-veiled, semi-slurred threats, as on the exemplary Constable, but there’s a kind of manic brilliance to the piece too.
It’s an adrenaline rush of an album, full of the sticky rush you get after doing something ever-so-slightly illegal, and the punch-a-wall chorus of Totality has an ear-hooky brilliance solely of its own. Indeed, even when songs wade knee-deep into human filth and stupidity, as on Rayguns, there’s still a grit-yer-teeth dignity about the piece – something that defies evil and comes bloodily birthed into the world with its mangy head held high.
After all, the lyric on the record that lingers most is the clenched fist chorus of Neuroplasticity, a song that features the closest thing the Peep Tempel have ever offered to life advice: “Don’t stress / Think about it less.” One of the records of the year? You betcha.
BY JOSEPH EARP