Album Review: Bleeding Knees Club

nothing to do (i oh you/liberation)

Hailing from Queensland Australia, Bleeding Knees Club play a mixture of explosive, two-minute garage-rock anthems oozing bucket loads of raw energy, teen angst and pubescent punk petulance.

In their own words, Bleeding Knees Club have described their music as "raw, fun. It's about getting girls, getting high and sticking it to the man". Need I say any more? Nothing To Do, the band's high-octane, somewhat shambolic debut LP is comprised of 12 songs; each one a short, sweet burst of sun-soaked, sixties surf-punk melded with good old fashioned Rock n Roll.

Despite sounding like they recorded it in a toilet (on purpose, obviously. Duh!) the album playfully transports the listener through the various incarnations of American 50's and 60's Pop and Rock n Roll, focusing on the sentiment and phenomenon that was the emergence of youth culture. The trials and tribulations of teenage angst play heavily on this album, with sing-along hooks like, "Teenage Girls, you're my world", very much at the forefront.

Drummer and singer, Alex and guitarist, Jordan, collaborated with producer, Dev Hynes, (Blood Orange/Lightspeed Champion) on the record, perfectly encapsulating the 'whatever, man' attitudes of the era; Long hot summers, beach parties, chasing girls and causing trouble. The lyrics are simple and direct, with the occasional obnoxious air creeping in (Nothing To Do, Beach Slut, Same Game). Crackly, lo-fi guitars and frantic percussion help to cement the real surf-groove and infuriatingly catchy hooks, chant-like choruses and doo-wop/oooh ahhh backing vocals.

The album does feature one, more laid-back track, the slightly melancholy Let It Go, with calmer drumming, and more focus on backing vocals. However, the record's stand-out songs have to be Lipstick with its real Beach Boys doo-wop vibe, American twang guitar solo (the only one on the record!) and spoken word intro:

"So, uh, me and Betty were hanging out by the bleachers and, uh, it was a Saturday night, the stars were out. I reached for her hand and I, I held it tight. Oh boy, I held her hand with all my might. I looked at her, and I, I couldn't help but smile. I knew I could hang out with her for a little while. So I moved in close and I took a chance, and I asked this girl, 'Can I have this dance?'"

The other more memorable track on the record is Boy In Lust, which cites a typically teenage dilemma with a chorus that bellows out "I want you to stay the night with me". This song displays some more mature songwriting with lines like: "a boy in lust, a man to be, but she would never go for me". That familiar feeling of unrequited love and heartbreak is captured with a sweet naivety - "the careless girl that doesn't care". But let's not get too bogged down in the underlying meanings...it's all just a bit of fun isn't it?

I came across an amusing quote whilst doing my research on this album that read, "Either Bleeding Knees Club have written 12 two-minute songs, or one 26-minute song; I can’t decide". While this is partly true, it doesn't really matter. These songs will wriggle their way into your head whether you like it or not. The blend of frenzied garage riffs and simple, but endearing lyricism will get you sooner or later...so why not just embrace it now?!

  • Teenage Girls
  • Hate Me
  • Beach Slut
  • Problem Child
  • Girls Can Do Anything
  • Lipstick
  • Boy In Lust
  • Brain Waves
  • Let It Go
  • Nothing To Do
  • Who Are You
  • Same Game