Scott and Charlene's Wedding - Para Vista Social Club

by Steve Reynolds Rating:9 Release Date:2012-11-12

Craig Dermody is Scott and Charlene's Wedding. Yes, when you read it back that first sentence makes absolutely no sense whatsoever and it's definitely up there as an absolute stinker of a band name but, having read a bit about the boy, his latest moniker is one thing he doesn't give a flying fuck about.

Para Vista Social Club, his new long-player, documents his downtrodden woes and paths whether it be in love, work or just general day-to-day ups, downs or mishaps. Now living in NYC, Para..., named after the Adelaide suburb where Dermody grew up, is a reflective committed collection of music. 'Back in Town' points a bitter finger at a lost love returning to town hoping that all is forgiven. Dermody's laconic drawl delivers cold-hearted words - "Heard you were back in town/ Do you think that it will be alright?" - over some grainy and gritty guitar work.

The music is pretty loose, the vocals a slacker drawl, but on 'Born to Lose' Dermody wobbles, his voice reminiscent of Malkmus and Mascis. It's a heady brew, with the lyrics depicting a particularly dark day: "But I'm done with all that inspiration/ and if you wanna help me now find me a good hard drink". He continues his dank thoughts on 'Epping line', painting his pretty grouchy trip to and from the office: "Hey lady on the train/ how's it going? How was your day?/ Did you sell everything that you needed to sell or did the boss come around and give you hell?" You have to humour him with his self-deprecating bitter mumble of "It's a sad, sad in my heart", like a downcast view on the modern world 30 years on from Ththe jaunty but deep misery of nine-to-five life on The Specials' 'Rat Race'. 'Footscray Station' is delivered with vitriol. Dermody's languid piece of anarchic poetry is twisted and abrasively charming: "I'm still driving trucks/ I'm making no bucks/ I gotta go back to school/ I feel like a fool down at footscray station/ I'm always running late". It's a classic tale of a shitty job which most people can relate to.

Para... was recorded on a budget. The distinctly lo-fi production mediates throughout, but the cheap, scratchy recording is beguiling and rather heart-warming all the same. 'Every Detail' chugs away incessantly and Dermody isn't afraid to cut loose with the axe, while his incoherent and angsty vocal drools lazily, evoking early Velvet Underground counter-culture guitar jams and crunching riffs. This is a charming album about a man with his back up against the wall, with nothing but his visceral outlook telling a story of his life. Cryptic it aint. Bloody good? Yes it is.

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