Review Summary: dePressed Club
Natalie Foster never asked for any of this and I’m not sure we’re supposed to be listening in on her live commentary. There’s no time removed on Late Teens
, no sagacious tangents or wisdom to be mined from the desperate rasp of Foster’s vocal delivery. There’s nowt but the real-time reaction to growing pains and the ambush of the spotlight.
So she’s a spokesperson without a speech prepared, representing a subset of people (Melbourne’s inner-city youths) who’re forced to catch their breath as the suburbs move on without them. The city is in a constant “state of flux”, and so too is this record. It’s a mosaic of personal problems filtered through an energy that is so typically Melbourne. Catch the breathlessness of Angry Wil Wagner in the vocals, the attitude of the diametrically opposed Georgia Maq, the forward momentum of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (though less subsumed by a psychedelic haze). Stop me from being reductive: Press Club is a unique and electrifying new member of the Pool House family -- the vagrant teen with a heart of gold. This young-adult angst (“My body’s changing”? there’s your tagline for adolescent discontent) is boiled down into its essence. Simple sentiments, easy to relate to, even easier to appropriate as captions for your next Instagram post.
Neatly engendered by overdriven power chords, this illustration of emotional unrest isn’t dressed up, sugar-coated, or mollified by polished production or poetic metaphor. Foster writes like she’s speaking without thinking, leading to brief outbursts, sudden bleary-eyed realisations (“I left my heart in the suburbs”
) that are, from different angles, relatable insofar as we all need someone to vent to re: break-ups, issues with identity, juggling responsibility. If nothing else, we can roast our popcorn kernels in the fires of Foster’s car crashing over and over and over. Though Rietwyk’s guitar may blister, and Macrae’s bass does more than most in the scene, Foster pulls it all into her orbit, all emotional impact siphoned through an impassioned performance that’s as much a Fuck You as it is a Please Help Me.
Through all the changes that this record does its best to document, home is the only constant: the suburbs, the inner circle gathered around a transparent backyard table. It’s not the place itself Press Club are concerned with, I don’t think, but the imprint it leaves. Home is the people who'll pick you up from the gutter – disregard the potential for metaphor – I mean the literal gutter at the end of a spaced-out Saturday night. Home is your quintessentially middle-class upbringing. Home is a panic room, and if Late Teens
is anything to go by, it’s there no matter how far from the beaten path you think you've strayed.