From the Backstabbers – a duo of Dick Diver’s Rupert Edwards and School of Radiant Living’s Amy Hill – comes a band that creates hypnotic investigations of simple formulas. With the absence of a drum kit or protective coat of mid-song wig-outs that usually accompanies their songwriting in their respective bands, The Backstabbers brand of folk becomes quite stark and unforgiving. Despite this, they still deal with surface humour, labelling themselves “the king and queen of dole rave,” even though the winner of those titles hasn’t been announced yet.
‘2002’ is from The Backstabbers’ recent cassette ‘SHAME,’ released on tape label Hideotic. Some of the songs seem forgettable at first, but are almost always emotionally striking by their end. That’s not to say they’re inherently emotional though. On the embedded track ‘2002,’ Edwards doesn’t get around to saying anything at all really. You tend to fill the spaces with your own experiences. Other tracks on the tape like ‘Internet Friends’ dabble in a strange ’60s lounge vibe. They could just as easily accompany a lonely shot of Peter Falk considering his feelings on an episode of Columbo.
Acoustic/folk bands don’t seem to be on the agenda of most people interested in underground music (unless it’s written by reformed punks in the case of someone like Lower Plenty). Maybe because it’s not as blatantly confrontational or enjoyable as something with intended gusto. I feel like this straight-out expression of ‘feelings’ that The Backstabbers convey here is more confronting than having someone yell in my face for half an hour though. The Backstabbers sound more likely than anyone to play unsettlingly to an empty room.