“Doing the grocery shopping on Tuesday”. “Washing your bed sheets more than every season”. “Remembering to feed the Geckos”. These are a few lines taken from the vinyl insert of Big Time, Bitch Prefect’s debut LP. Couple these laments with the languid album cover, which shows the band riding a Sydney ferry, and the foundations are laid: you may be looking at one of the most sincere pieces of Australian pop in recent memory. It’s this candid and self-deprecating approach that has carved out an identity for a new school of independent Australian artists, and on Big Time Adelaide’s Bitch Prefect are constantly complaining and yearning: projecting a sense of desperation at the hardships and tedium of pointedly monotonous, dreary reality. Everyday struggles.
Adopting a no-frills, utilitarian approach to their songwriting, the longing for cigarettes and “shoes without holes” is jovially set on a backdrop of affable, lo-fi guitar-pop, reiterating the idea that their grumbles are ultimately petty and trivial. Despite a similar sound, Big Time is a far cry from their 7 inch EP: once dreamers longing for a holiday in America, they’re now realists living in the realm of boring routine.
Album opener ‘Guess the Person’ is an ode to a loved one past or present, sung through the gloriously whiny voice of Liam Kenny, saturated in a thick Australian drawl. You could easily liken Bitch Prefect’s music to Flying Nun bands such as The Clean and The Verlaines, but Big Time suggests something deeper than any such comparison could offer; something that will cut to the core for every Australian who’s ever been hopelessly in love, strapped for cash, debilitated by a lack of motivation or beset by “bad life decisions”.
But it’s not a means of fishing for commendation or otherwise, as Scott O’Hara affirms on fourth track ‘Okay’ where he admits that despite his everyday quibbles, he’s actually okay and that a change in lifestyle is needed. “I’m gonna shave my dirty face, and clean up my dirty body.” ‘Summertime’ is perhaps the album’s standout and shares a similar sentiment to ‘Okay’, finding O’Hara pondering where life is going and where he’ll ultimately end up. It’s this winning combination of charming pop tunes, modesty and perceptiveness which makes this album so endearing.
Label: Bedroom Suck
Release Date: August 2012