Record Reviews

Loneliness is a Dirty Mattress

This is the sound of getting smashed at noon on a lazy summer day; the sun shining through slats in closed Venetians, transient couch surfers strewn across the stinking carpet, ashtrays overflowing and beer in your hair. If Matthew Kennedy’s former band Look!Pond was the type of scream laced punk-pop that roared from bedroom doors deep in the suburbs, Kitchen’s Floor is what happens when the kids are kicked out: eager but lethargic, naive but self-assured, living on their own terms and at war with the neighbours.

This debut isn’t powered by juvenile passion alone, however. The Brisbane three-piece sound like they know exactly what they’ve set out to achieve, landing squarely in the current punk zeitgeist where high fidelity is crime and virtuosity means playing very badly very well. Kennedy’s vocals shift between bored monotone drawls and deadpan shouting, his words a tribute to the inertia of lethargy and aimlessness. You could dismiss the vocals as stream-of-consciousness guff if the mostly impressionistic phrases weren’t often punctured by vivid anxieties, such as during album closer ?Twenty-Two?, where some apparently heavy shit is happening with a girl in her room. The tension is frighteningly palpable.

At just under 20 minutes, the album risks becoming a series of vague ideas that are never taken to their logical conclusion – riffs, melodies, textures left to bake together in the Queensland sun. It’s not all confection though. Male/female vocal harmonies collide with mulched guitar distortion during the Vaselines-esque ?Back Home?, and ?Lander? sounds like an A-list Bob Pollard song played at half speed. There’s a bracing arrogance to these songs too, a self-assuredness that would grate in less capable hands. That’s the great thing about being young though, isn’t it? You’re good at fucking everything, as long as you do it like you couldn’t give a damn. Thing is, anyone could pull that shtick off with songs as good as this.