In the lead up to the release of their debut album later this month, Sydney’s fuzzed-out post-punk trio, oWo have offered-up the first single (and title track), ‘Super Role Model’.
‘Super Role Model’ is a scuzzy, fuzzed-out swagger, with a bass line that sounds like it’s looking for a fight. The drums have a slacker feel, but aggressively so, and the panned, delayed guitar adds plenty of eerie menace to the track. It’s the vocals, with hardly any effort, that give ‘Super Role Model’ the who-gives-a-fuck vibe. It’s a sound that used to be at the forefront of Australian Alt Rock in the 90s, and it deserves a comeback to the fold.
oWo have blended post-punk and post-hardcore to push out a sound that lovers of Fugazi or Jesus Lizard would froth over.
It’s a dark and supremely catchy sound that casts a familiar shadow back to the 90s heyday of alternative Australian rock music while still sounding like a pure product of the bars and pubs of Sydney’s Inner West in 2022.
Never ones to be pigeon-holed, oWo take an elusive and elliptical approach when asked about the meaning behind the single. “In a dark room at the back of the pub, silent, but for the digital feedback of the machines, their muted voices urgent yet complacent. They’ve got to be fed, they need what I’ve got. I don’t have much, I never do, but everything that’s mine must be theirs. The promises they give me are always there, but always just off the map, alluringly out of reach. One day, someday, they’ll give me the rewards I deserve.”
Self described as “A three-wheeled garage hotrod that once cruised the byways of the 70’s AM band, now doing burnouts in the carpark of the post-rock supermarket,” oWo are a perfectly balanced rock ‘n’ roll unit, with all three members contributing to the songwriting and vocals. Right across their debut album (due on February 25th), that shared experience and stability is a core feature of their music. Riffs that sound primitive and raw give way to post-rock textures with dexterity and subtlety before, more often than not, a swinging distorted sledgehammer re-enters the fray. That friction and contrast is the spark running through these eight songs that draw a line back through the likes of Mudhoney, Rollins Band, Fu Manchu, Red Kross and more.
Choruses often resemble slogans or headlines, chanted invocations amid the fascinating sonic landscapes the band forge from just two guitars and a drum kit. Opener ‘Civic Video‘ builds an exotic atmosphere before a melodic strain of jangly indie rock emerges, like a lost gem from the Flying Nun catalogue. Elsewhere, both ‘Dilemmatry‘ and ‘Ivory Sand‘ possess a glam stomp and hard-charging stoner strut, ‘The Shepherd‘ harnesses a METZ-styled noise rock and ‘Domesticated‘ is a unadorned garage/grunge rock gem.
In the immortal words of oWo, “Rock’s not dead. It’s just inherently unstable.”
Keep an eye out for oWo’s debut album at the end of this month, but in the meantime, ‘Super Role Model’ is out now on all streaming platforms.