The Winnie Coopers : Surface Parasites
Back in the early '90s the ABC showed a documentary on the nouveau riche underbelly of Sydney suburban life. Sylvannia Waters captured the zeitgeist of the cashed-bogan world of peroxide hair, pastel cotton clothing and vowels treated with the tender loving care of a mediaeval torture ceremony.
Sylvannia Waters, however, could barely hold a candle to the repugnant demographic drama that is Surfers Paradise. As holistic as a cosmetic boob job, and as edifying as a carton of Crown Lager, Surfers Paradise exists as an ongoing source of cultural criticism, derision and parody.
It’s a perspective the Gold Coast’s The Winnie Coopers understand only too well. The band’s latest record, Surface Parasites does exactly what you’d expect a hip-hop record to do when training a focus on the specious whims of the modern surf-coast suburban world. Ends Meet is simultaneously caustic commentary and pragmatic observation on the less glamorous side of the bright and shiny coast demographic; Get What You Got tells the tale a life suffocating under the weight of professional expectation. Lost City is the sociological critique; Fare Thee Well (featuring Kate Miller-Heidke) features arguably the finest sporting-romantic metaphor ever (“So this is it/You walking out/Like Gilchrist even when he’s not caught out”).
The Winnie Coopers’ reggae edge comes to the fore in Little Girl and Love Terrorist; the characterisation in Hoodie is rich enough to be the inspiration for a gritty independent film. Pretend takes aim at gratuitous self-promotion in the music industry, while Sleep Tonight wallows in self-pity.
The sad thing is that The Winnie Coopers’ scathing social commentary would fly unnoticed over the head of the average Surfers Paradise resident like a stealth bomber surveying the barren lands of enemy territory far and wide. But that probably doesn’t worry these guys – they’re just happy working their fertile narrative territory.
BY PATRICK EMERY
Best Track: Fare Thee Well
If You Like This, You'll Like: Taking the piss out of cashed up bogans. Oh, and you’ll understand where EMINEM is coming from
In A Word: Harsh-but-fair