by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Earlier this year when I was doing a deep dive into the Anti Fade Records catalog, I stumbled across Constant Mongrel and life was enriched (though I was also bummed to have not heard them earlier). The Australian band from Melbourne have been making records for nearly a decade, each album a blend of post-punk, art rock, and noise punk with a political bent at times, but always something to say. Their sound is darker and heavier than your run of the mill post-punk band, but it’s undeniably got the spirit of Wire, Swell Maps, and even Dow Jones & The Industrials within their core make-up. Following last year’s essential Living In Excellence LP, Constant Mongrel are set to release Experts In Skin, a new 7” single via Upset The Rhythm (Terry, Trash Kit, Sauna Youth). While the single’s title track seems to continue down the same path as the band’s last full length, “Shnuki” is most definitely a departure into something new.
Tempering aggression for something sweeter (but no less biting), “Shnuki” moves bassist Amy Hill (also of Terry) over to lead vocals, with Tom Ridgewell’s vocals closely snapped into place just beneath. The song opens with a razor sharp guitar line, still distorted and tightly wound, but it’s the vocals’ introduction that dives headfirst into uncharted pop-territory. The sing-song lyrics are catchy and the band jangle into the hook, while the guitars dig venomously beyond the pleasantries. It’s a song about avoiding those who present themselves as fake nice, seeing past their exterior, and the band achieve the feeling in a variety of manners.
Check out “Shnuki” and the band’s European and UK tour dates, happening now, below.
10 June - Brussels, BE @ Bidules
11 June - Groningen, NL @ VERA
12 June - Amsterdam, NL @ Skatepark NOORD
13 June - Rotterdam, NL @ Herman
14 June - Eindhoven, NL @ Stroomhuis
15 June - Antwerp, BE @ Cabron
17 June - Brighton, UK @ The Pipeline
18 June - Bristol, UK @ The Exchange w/ Hank Wood and the Hammerheads
19 June - Leeds, UK @ Hyde Park Book Club
20 June - Glasgow, UK @ The Doublet
21 June - Manchester, UK @ YES
22 June - London, UK @ New River Studios