Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Two Weeks EP

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding - Two Weeks EP

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Two Weeks EP

At a time where there seems to be a bumper crop of relatively new Australian artists (like Tame Impala, Lower Plenty and Blank Realm, to name but a few) swerving away from unflattering cultural stereotypes to earn oft-deserved critical plaudits, it’s somewhat perplexing that Craig Dermody has opted to both ship himself from Melbourne to New York and still insist on trading under one of the most baffling and off-putting soap opera-referencing band names in history.  Yet Dermody’s less than logical routes to his artistry – under the Scott & Charlene’s Wedding alias – are also part of the charm, which this newly-cut 10” EP shows more clearly than on last year’s Para Vista Social Club debut LP.

Although wrapped in a sleeve that is distractingly deranged, this 5-track extended player highlights a strong sense of purpose that its full-length prequel sometimes buried beneath its fuzzy toppings.  Not that Two Weeks is markedly less lo-fi, it’s just that the songs are noticeably more melodic and distinctive, so that the deliberately murky production values are a secondary – rather than a defining – aspect to proceedings.

The opening title-track is a simply joyous warped-pop nugget, taking the chiming folk-rock shapes of The Go-Betweens and adding a more infectious VU-flavoured chug.  In its wake, the heavier “I Wanna Die” adds an early-Pavement slacker stomp and the somewhat lighter “My World” imagines Dinosaur Jr. with a rippling Kurt Vile undertow.  More fun ensues with the wonderfully macabre “Gammy Leg” an insanely catchy – and gory – tale of a recurring lower-limb wound set to a driving Feelies-style groove.  The collection closes lysergically with the initially more laidback “Hazy Morning,” with washes of Isn’t Anything feedback gradually building up around Dermody’s sneered-out almost Mark E. Smith-like vocal.

Ultimately, there’s still some way to go before Scott & Charlene’s Wedding can truly transcend both influences and acts of self-sabotage but on the evidence of this healthily contagious EP it seems that there’s potential to still keep moving in the right direction, albeit via ingenuously idiosyncratic lateral routes.

Critical Heights