Review Summary: Great, genuine garage rock
For the uninitiated, Eddy Current Suppression Ring are a much loved rock band from Melbourne, Australia. Formed in 2003 when some friends who worked at a vinyl pressing plant started jamming, they have released three full length albums to widespread critical acclaim. They rose unexpectedly to prominence in Australia, primarily on the back of popular albums Primary Colours and its follow up, Rush To Relax.
Primary Colours is probably their best album, just edging out Rush To Relax. They are a remarkably consistent band so it is hard to rank their releases but for mind, the strength of the singles on Primary Colours, particularly “Colour Television” and “Wrapped Up” give it a slight edge.
The first thing you notice about Primary Colours is that it immediately sounds like it was conceived entirely in a garage. It is a deliberately raw and simple album marked by unorthodox vocals, distorted guitars and roomy bass grooves. It is a quirky piece of work, but then ECSR are a quirky band.
There is a great, relaxed vibe and high degree of authenticity that just seems to waft lazily through the album. The songs are not complex in structure and they feel very light hearted and natural to the listener. The music, while competent and very enjoyable is far from pitch perfect, but that’s not the point of Primary Colours or of ECSR. The album is simply four guys making good, chilled out rock songs and having fun making them. To read much further into their music is, in my humble opinion, completely missing the point.
Despite its relative simplicity, it is hard music to describe. The odd vocal style and garage rock/pop/punk sound would make it appeal to some Pixies fans, but, especially given that they are a four piece rock band, they have a very unique sound.
For a band that just enjoyed jamming and gigging locally, they have come a long way. That their unique style of laid back, garage rock was able to shoot to such prominence so quickly is a little astonishing, but the consistent quality and energy their presence has brought to the Australian music charts has been welcome and frankly, badly needed. I just wish there were more bands like Eddy Current Suppression Ring out there.