In primary school, the summer holidays were the best. For three months I was able to roam the streets, roll around in the dirt and get up to whatever mischief I could with whoever I could find. It was always hot, my bike's tyres never went flat and I didn't have to worry about where life would take me. The internet was some ridiculous thing my dad hadn't yet figured out, and it was perfectly acceptable not to see your best friend until school started again.
Now in my mid-twenties, there are times where I yearn to lead such a simple and uncomplicated life, so much so that I'm willing to forego the usual responsibilities that would normally be bestowed upon an 'adult' such as myself. In their perfectly awkward manner, Bitch Prefect unite the disillusioned 90s kids of Australian suburbia, crafting a beautifully simple record that lets us all escape for its duration to somewhere else, somewhere we'd rather be. Their lo-fi aesthetic and honest lyrics capture that very particular mood a generation is slowly forgetting, and thus for the summer of 2012 I was able to go back to 1994, when I was crawling through the bush up the road from my parents' house, collecting lizards in my carefully selected ice-cream container. Some habits will never die.
Recent years have seen a variety of Australian bands exploring the lo-fi and garage genres, ranging from the weirdo vibes of The UV Race
to the unique take Perth's Golden Staph
encapsulated on their S/T LP, and Bitch Prefect sits alongside the best this country has to offer in the way that they break no boundaries yet carve out their own highly defined niche. At its core a pop album, Big Time
is void of pretension and sincere in every imaginable way. It combines youthful exuberance with the occasional sense of melancholy, telling stories of naive love in 'Guess the Person' or that of plain regret in unbelievably catchy 'Bad Decisions'. Even with the darker vibes of 'Dollar Blues' however, the trio never neglect to fill you with good feeling. The record does not at any time try to be anything that it's not; its two sides move at their own pace, jangly guitars and awkward vocal harmonies juxtaposing with the group's knack for penning almost anthemic songs.
While it is compositionally consistent, what is most appealing about Big Time
is how it remains true to itself. All of the songs and the feeling they evoke tell you to be who you are, to be yourself in every situation, and the record does that at every step. It creates its own path and walks it at its own pace, never losing touch of what's 'real'. The liner notes make it quite clear what Big Time
is all about. It's not about fame or success. It's not about bands or record labels. It's about remembering who you are, those who were around you, and the hot, dry afternoons of your youth. Making a record about something that has already begun to fade from memory will stop Bitch Prefect from ever 'hitting the big time'. It won't matter though; they just made it up themselves.