Scott and Charlene's Wedding - Two Weeks EP

by Steve Reynolds Rating:9 Release Date:2013-03-11

Last year's Para Vista Social Club was a contagious slice of guitar angst for Scott & Charlene's Wedding and, as a pre cursor to a full-length Spring release in 2013, Craig Dermody has tickled our musical taste buds again with the Two Weeks EP. The five tracks on Two Weeks once again story-tell the daily ups and downs and kitchen sink melodramas of his own colourful life, but this time the production and sound is much more beefed- up and cleaner.

This isn't a negative, more a reflection of an artist growing in confidence. Once Dermody puts his laconic, off-key drawl across his songs, they remain captivating and warming. He continues with clever use of lyrics, torturing himself with some blunt visuals and heart-on-the-sleeve honesty.

Opening with 'Two Weeks', his strain of jangly C86 works effortlessly over his lyrics. Anticipating a meet up with his girl in NYC, "I'm buying sausages at Northcote plaza while/ your catching cabs across the Williamsburg Bridge", he affirms he will get there eventually with, "I'll be over when I finish the record even though it's been taking forever and I'd give up all my songs just for a scratch behind my ear". An ode to a love unrequited possibly?

On the brutally funny 'Gammy Leg', Dermody's is happily working on a building site in Melbourne, Oz, then ends up three months later in a similar set up in New York. Meanwhile, he's fallen down a hole and busted up his leg: "All I did was fall straight into a hole/ Blood was pissing everywhere". The story gets worse as it opens up again on a basketball court, all set to a catchy chorus: "Wonder if it's gonna heal? My zombie leg. My gammy leg". The tune is a hedonistic bunch of Talking Heads jerky riffs and tumbling drum beats.

The slacker gene is pretty endemic throughout, as personified on 'I Wanna Die', where Dermody slots himself between Malkmus and Mark E Smith with an unnerving ease. He asks the question: "Would you die for me? 'Cause I I wanna die for you". Not your typical ballad, for sure, but he is head over heels here and is expecting the girl to reciprocate. 'My World' is the non-reciprocating knee-jerk reaction, sticking his fingers down the throat of love and searching for escape not redemption.

'Hazy Morning' is set to a hypnotic swirl of MBV guitars and soaring rhythms. It's a step outside the rest of the album musically, as it climbs and climbs seamlessly with a maelstrom of white noise and pounding, while Dermody's off-kilter drawl bellows with a smidgen of vitriol: "I never cared/ how I looked but I never had nobody lookin at me the way/ that you do". It's a bittersweet finale with a theme which will probably be continued on his new long-player.

Two Weeks continues where Para Vista left us but with a sharpening of sound. Scott & Charlene's Wedding continues to shine like a diamond in a sea of guitar rough, where languid, no-mark solo artists fail to make the impression Dermody manages both musically and lyrically.

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