Album #27: Dune Rats – Hurry Up and Wait

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Brisbane, Australia
  • Label: Ratbag/BMG
  • Best Track: Crazy

Australia is without doubt the punkest country on Earth. Down there it’s pretty blunt, unpretentious and not afraid to do its own thing without caring what anyone else thinks about it. That basic, no-nonsense mentality has spawned the country’s fine pub rock scene, the punk arm of which perhaps rose through veterans Cosmic Psychos and continues today thanks to the likes of the Chats. It’s often yobby and vulgar, but very real.

Dovetailing into this movement with a more poppy, surfy side are Brisbane’s Dune Rats, who have just hit us with their third album, Hurry Up and Wait. This three-piece show that there’s even something about the Aussie accent that can accentuate punk. It can sound confident, self-assured and even belligerent, qualities that do no harm in making punk rock that grabs attention.

I’d have to say though this band, and this record, is one I could take or leave. I mean, it’s not bad – you could whack any track on and enjoy nodding along to the riffs, picking up enough of the lyrics to yell along with the dumb-and-proud-of-it choruses, but it doesn’t offer a great deal more than that.

There are some highlights, like the punchy, quickfire verse and catchy-as-hell chorus of ‘Stupid is as Stupid Does’, and ‘The Skids’ is a likeably downbeat offering. Those two tracks stand out because elsewhere it’s pretty samey. The chorus on ‘Rubber Arm’ and pre-chorus on ‘Bad Habits’ are all but identical, and ‘Rock Bottom’ isn’t much different. And while ‘Crazy’ is a decent anthem of disillusionment and probably the high point of the album, I’m not sure we need two tracks on one record about people being crazy (‘Bobby D’ being the other). It all comes across as a bit short on ideas.

I feel like yesterday I heard a great example of how to do pop-punk from Sløtface, and this is a not so good example. Still, it’s fun, doesn’t take itself too seriously and is sure to be the soundtrack to some wild Aussie parties, and if you take that approach to it, it’s enjoyable enough.

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