Expatriate, Damn Arms, Pip Branson Corporation, Teenagers In Tokyo
December 31, 2005
The Eve of a New Year. 2005 lay behind us, a shimmering silver stream washing westward our highlights and lowlights, our triumphs and our travesties. A year older? Of course. A year wiser? Probably not.
Teenagers in Tokyo have been on my List of Things To See about as long as Suicide Girl porn and unicorns. In my books an all-girl six-piece who list The Lost Boys, ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘Electric Blue’ as their influences are worth judging in a critical fashion. Hype or hit? Hot air or heir to the indie throne? Tonight was the decider.
9pm: Me: Sooo guys… when do you wanna head to Spectrum…
Friends: It’s too early. Get me another beer.
Me: But like, I’m supposed to be reviewing…
Friends: I said a beer bitch!
A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, but the Pip Branson Corporation wouldn’t be as funny if it was the Pip Branson Democratic Collective or Pip Branson Small Business (actually maybe it would). Mr Branson’s tight pop-rock stylings got my feet tip-tapping months ago and I was sure the days passed had been well spent getting the whole operation riffier and rockier. Right?
10pm: Me: OK kids, why don’t we…
Friends: Ohmigod we can’t find our coke!
Friends: Where is it? Help us look! Argh, drama drama!!
Me: You guys are complete fuck-ups.
Damn Arms are from Melbourne and because Australia is geographically challenged that’s a long way away. Too long to wait another few months to catch the former Rice Bubble boys in their new equally delicious line-up. Post-punk is to Sydney what high-waist jeans are to the coming winter: an essential fashion item.
11pm: Friend 1 to Friend 2: Can you just go with her to Spectrum? She’s really starting to stress me out.
Me: You know I can hear you, you’re standing right next to me.
Expatriate rule this town and not just because frontman Ben’s last name is King. 2005 has seen the band go from performing somewhat nervously to a static crowd of curious punters, to a charismatic, well-oiled rock ‘n’ roll machine. Each song smacks of dark pop genius, standout track ‘Killer Kat’ even inspiring a singalong after its powerful climax. If every band we hear in oh-six are this good, we’re all in for a very happy 2006 indeed.