[Ed: In the first in what we hope to be a continuing series of local album,gig and event reviews; we present Riot’s very own Riot Records with an album review of local Canberra band Super Best Friends.]
Band: Super Best Friends
Album: Seditious Material (2007 Initiate Records)
In August last year, that band you’d been hearing about all over town, the one you’d wish would finally put out a goddamn recording did so to a rapturous applause at the ANU bar, releasing Seditious Material to the general public. The band began playing together in late 2004, when John Barrington, Matt Roberts and Adam Bridges all made their way to Canberra for separate work and Uni opportunities. They played their first show in Johhny’s hometown of Bateman’s Bay for his 21st birthday, and I’d been seeing Super Best Friends live ever since they completely upstaged my old band at their second ever show at the old Pete’s bar in late 2006. In the ensuing year that it took them to finally put out Seditious Material, I saw the band grow tighter as a hard rock act and start to branch out by incorporating sporadic jams and distracting television static into their eye-glueing live set.
Seditious Material collates the best parts of an SBF setlist, throws in a whole bunch of bizarre samples, and finally establishes all those lefty jokes and political grandstanding that you’ve struggled to hear during their sets. EP opener ‘Spy-Where?’ handles the issue of internet privacy, and Sound Off deals potently with army enlistment and military protocol (‘Small town boy never need no education, barely made my year ten graduation, don’t wanna learn but I’d really like to shoot ya, gonna join the army for a well paid future.’).
The layout of the EP is spectacular, copying a genuine government document down to the letter. You can tell that at least one of these guys has attachments to Parliament House in one way or another. One may wonder if they may get in a spot of bother at some point for using the Coat Of Arms on the cover, but they’d have to get Young & Restless huge for that to happen…
The sound of Seditious Material is a large one. Large, hammering riffs followed up by fiddly licks and drum fills spaced out by bizarre transitions and creative arrangement. The guitar and drum sounds are lacking in some places, but that’s really not something you can complain about on a first release, especially when all the instruments are played so well. The only thing I would really change about the EP is making the vocals a little clearer, as it’s sometimes hard to make out what Captain Johnny B is saying (but I guess that’s why they included the lyrics in the inlay).
The Super Best Friends have lived up to expectations with their debut release, a rollicking, hard-rocking good time for anyone with a penchant for distorted guitars, original songwriting and a political edge.
Next Super Best Freakshows:
11 Jan – Oxford Tavern, w/ Epic Flagon & Against All Odds – Wollongong, New South Wales
12 Jan – Vic On The Park, w/ Epic Flagon & Sniperival – Sydney, New South Wales
19 Jan – Sydney St Cafe, w/ Super Zombie & Epic Flagon – Mogo, South Coast, New South Wales
1 Feb – Greenroom’s 5th Birthday and Grand Re-Opening – Woden, Australian Capital Territory
Buy Seditious Material right here!