Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Mid Thirties Single Scene

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding - Mid Thirty Singles Scene

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding – Mid Thirties Single Scene

Having convincingly refocused his songwriting skills on the surprisingly fulfilling Delivered EP earlier this summer, Melbourne’s Craig Dermody returns again already leading his empathetic troupe on the first Scott & Charlene’s Wedding long-player album since 2013’s somewhat inconsistent Any Port In A Storm.  Pleasingly, Dermody seems to have finally found a way to syphon the best of his baggy charm into a substantial album-sized portion.  Whilst it would be slightly wrong to assume that he’s belatedly matured, Mid Thirties Single Scene does at least loosely broach and muse upon the concept on growing into thirtysomething life, with some idiosyncratic appeal.

Pared-down to just nine songs, the LP navigates between punchier yet still ragged power-pop, more purposefully strung-out epics and one tender curveball.  In the former respect, the album certainly excels in serving-up a strong slew of brain-burrowing earworms. Hence, we’re treated to the Lou Reed-meets-Robert Forster storytelling chug of “Maureen”; the title-track’s rallying-cry for the contentedly unhip; the self-lacerating call-and-response idler anthem “Distracted”; and the fantastically febrile reprised “Delivered”.

The more expansive passages of the collection also stretch Dermody’s talents stirringly. This means giving us the six sprawling heartfelt minutes of “Hardest Years” to happily recall Yo La Tengo’s soulful guitar-and-organ wig-outs on Painful and Electr-O-Pura; the mangled Wowee Zowee-era Pavement-isms of “End Of The Story”; and the seven or so stretched minutes of the Sonic Youth-meets-Bob Dylan marathon that is the “Bush”.  Having been taken on such a mood-swinging journey throughout most of the long-player, by the time Mid Thirties Single Scene reaches the uncharacteristically warming closure of the country-folk duet “Forever And A Day” the record is ready for its wonky bittersweet farewell hug.

Whilst Craig Dermody still has some way to go in proving himself as a near-equal to his unconcealed influences, Mid Thirties Single Scene does attest that Scott & Charlene’s Wedding are about far more than a jokey band name, with some increasingly impressive staying-power.  Moreover, it’s unquestionably the group’s first keeper collection.

Fire Records