AUSMUTEANTS- Order Of Operation LP
Jake Robertson and Billy Gardner started Ausmuteants in late 2011 in Geelong, Australia, after having played since teenagers in trad garage bands (The Frowning Clouds and The Living Eyes, respectively). Per the norm for good-looking rebels who play by their own rules, they cracked the shits, broke loose with just a synth and drums and, in early 2012, knocked out the Split Personalities tape. The addition of Melbourne’s loose-unit Marc Dean on bass followed, and soon after, ex-Canberran hardcore non-guitarist Shaun Connor on guitar. Their second album Amusements (note: not self-titled) comes from this fledgling time as a full band, with a heavy dose of the duo’s songs. Since the runaway international success of that record and playing every second weekend in Melbourne, they’re rocked-out full-tilt with all four members writing and singing new songs—23 of which were recorded live with vocal overdubs in the basement of an old ice cream factory by Mikey Young, then mixed and mastered in his idyllic coastal abode. Again the band and their Australian label Aarght! Records strained the friendship with song picks, agreeing on thirteen to make up Order of Operation. This record is better than Amusements any way you cut it: songs, lyrics, delivery and sound. It opens with Connor’s forehead- and thigh-slapping musical and lyrical debut, “Freedom of Information.” From there, songs range from balls-to-the-wall punkers (“Felix Tried to Kill Himself”; “Boiling Point”), well-considered workouts (“Family Time”; “Tunnel Vision”) and unguarded tenderness (“Wrong”; “Looney Bin”). Even people who couldn’t stand their earlier juvenile bullshit are now onboard. The toilet humor has been ditched, the band has gotten nasty and written songs about other people’s problems, terrible bands, fighting crime and trading sex for porn. Young was heard to say after one particular vocal take: “You deserve to be bashed for that.” The song’s on the record; you guess which one. Order of Operation is now their defining moment. If you don’t like this record, you pretty much won’t ever like Ausmuteants.