Money For Rope - Picture Us - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Money For Rope - Picture Us

by Nathan Fidler Rating:7 Release Date:2019-03-08
Money For Rope - Picture Us
Money For Rope - Picture Us

It shouldn’t be surprising that Money For Rope are from “down under” since they’re chugging their way through surf rock riffs on their third full album Picture Us. It’s been roughly four years, but they sound tighter and slicker for the gap.

In many ways, a lot of what made their second, self-titled album enjoyable is still there. But this is not a frantic album of surf-rock in the same vein as FIDLAR, but more nuanced with woozier, slower moments and some soul dredged up from the bottom of lead singer Julian McKenzie’s vocals.

The watery, stringy riffs you’d associate with the genre are there, complements by the pulse of a bass and a blast on an organ. ‘Actually’ has all of these elements, but it also has the snarl of the vocals, swinging easily in rhythm with lines like “Have you ever slept this close to a killer?” asked with the meanest curiosity.

‘O’Chelles’ makes more use of the blurry organ, with McKenzie half talking his lyrics out, reminiscent of the gruff, but poetic approach of Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett. Sounding like it was recorded in someone’s kitchen ‘What Takes So Long?’ has a similarly simple set-up but feels rich in emotion.

Featuring a more bombastic - and bluesy - approach, ‘Trashtown’ has a winding melody growled and boomed, recalling Cold War Kids’ original sound. Double tracking the vocals and additional spirals of keyboard chords escalate this song, but it trades the momentum for a more hypnotic ending, keeping you on your toes.

In an attempt to provide a hookier type of song, we get ‘Stretched My Neck’ which has verses containing more potential than the chorus, repeating the line “I don’t mind, no I don’t mind”. This track also brings the closest thing to a solo, with a spicy lick zipping and repeating until close - but it’s the subtle little run in ‘Picture Us’ which bring the most gratification.

Money For Rope are able to swing their way through songs, often crashing on the rocks by the end, which no doubt makes for a raucous live show, but is probably the one place where you’d hope for more on an album. ‘Look’ in particular suffers from this hazy wall of sound and doesn’t seem to recover into anything meaningful.

As they add more soul and emotion into their music, they get better, so this is very much a welcome progression for a young band.

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