Australian bands like Cut Copy and Tame Impala have a habit of throwing me into a slightly over excited wobbly mess but I think you'd struggle to peg Lower Plenty as Australian despite their Melbourne origins. Their sound, as highlighted back in January, is a bluesy urban-influenced take on country with hints of garage punk, a sound more American in origin than anything.
A range of influences are packed in to Hard Rubbish's short set though. It may be just 9 songs and only 24-minutes long but there is still much to hear, from the punky male-female Moldy Peaches-esque duets to grimey dischordent melodies.
Lower Plenty are at their best when their music sounds its most improvised or melancholic. It shows, in a good way, that much of this album was recorded in a single take.
The cluttered and ill-timed lyrics of opener Work In The Morning or the lilting How Low Can A Punk Get are both perfect examples of Lower Plenty's freewheeling style, words seemingly spilling out of the singer's guts whilst the band play through the haze of a few too many days on the downers. Strange Beast and final track Close Enough both feel considerably more serious, the latter capturing vocalist Sarah Heyward's disconcerting attempt at self-assurance and post-rationalisation.
With such short length it is hard to class Hard Rubbish as more than a mini-album, and priced as a full album it feels stingy. Yet there is no denying the band's honesty and attitude. This is very much the welcome appetiser, and a proof of concept.