Review: SCK CHX Space-Punk Is Out Of This World On Debut ‘Downward Dog’
Launching at Botany View Friday.
Music 12m

Don’t even bother trying to put the Inner-West three-piece SCK CHX into a box.

With singles ‘Spinning Around’ and ‘Feel The Same’ already catching our attention, we have been eagerly awaiting the rest of the tracks that make up SCK CHX debut EP Downward Dog, purely just to see what they come up with. Their effortless fusion of genres is really something to behold and they haven’t let us down.

It’s rare that you hear a band experimenting with such ambitious catalogue of sounds and effects on a debut, but frankensteining motifs from music over the ages seems to be something that the guys have mastered here – there’s fuzzy punk, 80’s pop, 50’s doo-wop through to King Gizzard-esque psychedelia.

Standout track ‘Feel The Same’ is the perfect example of the way the three-piece can meld various soundscapes and pull it off, as they sandwich thrashy punk choruses between dreamy verses complete with Beach Boys like harmonies in a way that somehow feels natural and makes you wonder why nobody has done this before.

Track number four of eight (including a couple of 30 second instructive yoga tracks) ‘Monday’ seems on the surface an attempt to capture the tired slacker sentiment adopted by many prominent Australian punk groups, but singer Josh Pearson’s lyrics and delivery breath an expressiveness and curiosity into the that you just don’t see in the shoey-tainted, bong-obsessed realm of modern garage-punk.

The heart-on-sleeve ‘Love You Darling’ is an irresistible take on the classic tunes you could imagine being spun on a jukebox in an American diner in the 50’s, though guitars and vocals soaked in chorus provide a bit of a new twist to the formula, giving it more of an 80’s school dance vibe. Definitely one that we can imagine people in enjoying a little boogie to with that special someone.

In the final track ‘Stuck In The Mud’ the guys pick the pace up to that of spacey garage opener ‘Spinning Around’ and further link the two tracks lyrically as Pearson sings “The world keeps spinning round and I’m still stuck in my head.” It’s a fitting ending to an adventurous and successful debut that really hits mark (it’s many marks).

SCK CHX will be unleashing Downward Dog this Friday at The Botany View with supports from SOOK and Otis Thomas – info here.

Words by Harry Webber April 12, 2018
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