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Melodic Records

Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush to Relax

Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush to Relax

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In summer 2009, we Brits were finally given a chance to catch up with the finest proto-punk band south of the equator when the first two albums by Melbourne quartet Eddy Current Suppression Ring (Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Primary Colours) were released in one unbeatable double-disc set. With hints of Wire, The Pixies, Violent Femmes and The Fall, Brit critics fawned over the foursome’s unreconstructed garage rock, with The Guardian even awarding a rare five star review.

But, just as we’re getting up to speed with them, the band are set to unleash their third album, Rush To Relax. And it’s a very good thing. Like those first two albums, Rush To Relax was recorded in a matter of hours in the band’s humble practice room. And as such, it perfectly captures their primal spirit, naivety and love of improvisation.

“We wanted to take away the feeling of recording an album and just practice,” says guitarist Mikey Young, aka Eddy Current. “I pressed record, we played well, and five hours later we had no more songs. I took the tapes home and listened and was pleasantly surprised how good it sounded. I think its great that we can spend zero dollars and finish a record that sounds like this one does.”

There’s lots to love in this album, not least vocalist Brendan’s real Aussie accent, which rings through in every track (the brilliant I Can Be A Jerk just wouldn’t work any other way). The sound is rough, unpolished, primal and fresher than tomorrow’s milk.

“We have always made a habit of not over-rehearsing or over-gigging as we never want music to feel like a chore,” says Mikey. “If we don’t feel excited about it, it comes across on tape. The songs were also quite new, so there is a nervous energy in there just from hoping we make it through them without messing it up!”

Comprising guitarist Mikey ‘Eddy Current’ Young, drummer Danny ‘Danny Current’ Young, vocalist Brendan ‘Brendan Suppression’ Huntley and bassist Brad ‘Rob Solid’ Barry, the four members of ECSR met working for a vinyl pressing plant outside Melbourne. As their 2003 company Christmas party wound down, the four began jamming drunkenly together into a tape recorder, and the germ of the band was born. Their name – and what a name – was taken from a mechanical component used by engineers at the plant. Though they refuse to operate music as a full-time career, the band have tasted great success down under, with Primary Colours winning the Mercury-equivalent Australian Music Prize.

“We have done pretty well in maintaining things at the level we want,” says Mikey. “We don’t have managers or labels to pressure us in any direction and we do things when we all feel like it at our own pace. We all have other interests in life and we don’t do this as a career, so it’s managed to maintain that fun, between-mates vibe. We’re all super stoked about where we have got to in this band and that people like us and that we can make some money, but that’s not the aim. Its just a nice li’l bonus.”

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