We caught up with Sordid Ordeal to talk new music, ex-girlfriends and urban cabin fever
14.02.2020

We caught up with Sordid Ordeal to talk new music, ex-girlfriends and urban cabin fever

Words by Tammy Walters

Melbourne rockers Sordid Ordeal opt for a change of scenery with their third EP, heading west on a road trip down the Great Ocean Road.

Recorded in Melbourne’s Studio One.Be, the EP consists of title track, ‘Great Ocean Road’ and two B-Sides: one 28 second advert of “horrific madness” for podcast Worst First Dates and a second piece titled ‘Processed Meat and Rotten Fish’ which explores toxic masculinity.

The EP is true to the Aussie pub rock bands’ sound, giving nods to their fellow unapologetic rockers, Violent Soho, Dune Rats, Pist Idiots and Amyl & The Sniffers on the way.

‘Great Ocean Road’ is the showcase piece, captivating from the opening drunken wails of “Put your foot down/I wanna get the fuck out of Melbourne”, navigating the all-encompassing claustrophobia and traffic jams of Melbourne inner city living, and finding an escape on the winding Great Ocean Road.

“Going through the drudgery of it every day with trams breaking down and trains being cancelled, it’s just that urban cabin fever – you just go, ‘Ah fuck! I need to go’,” explains unmistakable front man, Laurence Hewson.

“I find Melbourne super accessible to different areas and one of my favourite spots that I discovered when I moved down to Victoria 11 years ago was blasting down the Great Ocean Road.

“After breakups, I would jump in the car and head down there. If I was about to start a new job I would steal a weekend away, and it just became this signature getaway spot for me, but it really is like that for so many Victorians.”

The accompanying video clip reflects the erratic rock‘n’roll nature of the band, narrating a kidnapping of Hewson by an ex-girlfriend, taking him along the Great Ocean Road to torture and dispose of him.

“It was almost a deliberate gift to some of my ex-girlfriends, providing them a chance to vicariously live through this video clip,” Hewson laughs.

But it’s not all hostile. The video itself, as shot and directed by Moonhouse Productions featuring drone footage by Wendyhouse Productions, pays homage to and captures the picturesque landscapes of the iconic drive and the tourist spots along the way, including the welcome sign and the legendary Salty Dog Fish and Chippery.

However, notably missing is the historic landmark of the 12 Apostles.

“A third of the people in the state have gotten fish and chips from there and the only reason they went to the spot next door is because there was a line out the door at the time. It’s nice to produce something that connects with people from where you live and it’s something that everyone identifies with,” he says.

“Originally we wanted to film it at the 12 Apostles and that was the most naïve, dumb thing I’ve ever tried to do because it was Easter weekend, like there weren’t going to be 9,500 tourists crowded around there at the time. There were drones and helicopters and about 18 tourist buses there, it was a traffic jam there and we were like, ‘Fuck, we’re not going to get this shot’.”

Cue Max from Moonhouse Productions coming to the rescue with a memory like a wizard, remembering a secluded spot that he had once stumbled upon with friends on a drunken evening nine years prior for the final disposing scene. As the sun fell over the stunning location, the crew attempted multiple times to kick the mannequin off the cliff. The final shot came down to the final second.

“With about 15 seconds of sunlight to go, she boots the mannequin off of the cliff and that was the shot we got, on the very last take we had to do it. It was jaw-gnashing,” Hewson laughs.

Great Ocean Road will be launched at Stay Gold on Saturday February 29 with support The Ugly Kings and Zenith Gold, get all the details here.