Chook Race - Around The House LP

(Trouble In Mind Records, 2016)

"At approximately the one-minute mark of “Hard to Clean”, the first song on Around the House, one can fairly confidently know exactly what’s in store for the album’s next 27 minutes. The band’s jangly guitar riffs and playful harmonies give the songs a lightness and a familiarity. It’s intentionally loose and rough around the edges as though these Melbourne rockers are just pals playing an impromptu set in someone’s basement.

The group sticks pretty close to the same sound and form through most of the album building driving rhythms around Matthew Liveriadis’ guitar twang. Everything is loose and every single line is blurred almost beyond recognition. The dual vocals of Liveriadis and Carolyn Hawkins often don’t match up rhythmically, other times the mix is so unstable that the low-end gets buried in muddiness while the guitar flies above and bites hard. The description may not sound appealing, but the band makes it work. They have the pop sensibility of Belle and Sebastian’s sensitive jangle-pop and the casual playing style of Parquet Courts’ unpolished punk.

Around the House isn’t Chook Race’s true first album, but for all it’s casual production and fun nature, it does sound like a work made with the intention of being something that turns heads. For fans of the lo-fi jangly sound, Chook Race should fit right in, and even for those outside of that scene, the band has something to offer in the way of accessible, fast-paced music. All they ask is that you come for a good time and don’t take anything too seriously." - Dan Kok for PopMatters