Tugboat – All Day

Tugboat
All Day

I have long maintained, to the point of almost starting fights, that Brisbane-born The Go-Betweens were the best band Australia ever let loose on the unsuspecting world. Their knack for subtle lyric twists, hummable pop melodies, and songs that would infiltrate your existence made them tower over others, their closest rivals only being The Church and fellow Brisbanites The Saints.
That said, any band that lays down the law with a similar (yet not overly similar) mix of harmonic singing, seductive guitar strumming, and a lo-fi attitude that puts total structure over perfection of elements was bound to grab my attention. Tugboat are a Melbourne trio who manage to make a pop puree that, whilst hearkening back to the hey days of The Hummingbirds and The Bats, also seems to push forward. It’s warm and embracing with undercurrents of winter winds – like a Melbourne autumn really – and track four, “Don’t Care Really,” is short and punchy enough to be a sucker of a single.
Most of the songs see multi-instrumentalist James Dean (?!) join drummer Bek Varcoe on vocals, their voices chiming sweetly but regret never more than two beats away. What Tugboat offer on All Day is 14 tracks of sublime music, music to travel to, as referenced in “The Sky Is Falling” and music to sit and listen to. In an age of disposablity, Tugboat provide welcome relief.