Review Summary: future employers please look elsewhere, turn back, nothing to see here,
At this point it's not a stretch to conclude that the word, right up there on the box, mocking my good Christian upbringing, is an aggressively Australian articulation. The word is so deeply woven into the fabric of working class Australian culture that hearing it uttered in public here is about as shocking as spotting a junkie in North Richmond. Which, I guess, is why I'm surprised Cuntz ever made it out of the country to begin with.
Here Come the Real Boys
, a haphazard collection of songs performed across the US in 2013, is hilariously Antipodean. There's a song called Hoonin'
, paying homage to the distinctly bogan pastime of speeding recklessly around suburban streets (modified exhausts mimicking gunshots at 2am), and there's a song called Bin Day
, which is prefaced by a healthy dose of snark: "this song's called Bin Day. I dunno if you have bins in America".
All this to say that the band seem delightfully self-aware. By touring the states, the good cuntz in Cuntz make a point of forcing a spotlight on the most unpalatable aspects of working class Australia just to make a foreigner or two squirm. In the context of these recordings, the word itself feels like a distillation, an unflinching taboo intentionally used to drive a wedge between the obnoxiously Australian """"musicians"""", and their American audience.
But only upon initial inspection. Noise and punk and indeed noise-punk are often dark, macabre, self-serious disciplines; vituperative and slipshod in order to make some sort of anarchist statement, or otherwise reject social norms. With this record, it's the inverse: Cuntz take pride in the stereotype, somehow playing off these gnarled and atonal punk guitars as humorous. The lyrics are, typically, wailed and shouted, but there's a touch of irony imbued in the delivery, as though vocalist Ben Mackie (if his mates don't call him 'Benno' I'll give away my Highway to Hell vinyls) is having the time of his life mocking the customs that shaped him -- being the snotty reprobate and derelict punk that he is. The stage banter, too ("this one's called Never Felt Better and it's about babiezzzz") contributes to this drunken portrait of carelessness, and when the droning feedback shatters the frame for the 100th time, i assume that whichever audience they're playing to finally has a grasp on Australian traditions, colloquialisms, behavioural patterns. Basically what I'm getting at is that it's educational.
...Educational in the same way walking in on your parents as a kid is educational; it's weird/repugnant, you didn't ask for it and you'd rather forget about it as soon as possible, but now at least you know how they get things done.