Track: Under Your Bed
1 Track, Track (2010, Dew Process)
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The best thing about ‘Under Your Bed’ is that it sounds like Jebediah circa 1997’s *Slightly Odway. The weirdest thing about ‘Under Your Bed’ is that it sounds like Jebediah circa Slightly Odway. The newly-revived Perth quartet - whose last release was 2004’s Braxton Hicks - are all now surely in their mid-30s, yet here they are, all piss and vinegar, thrashing out a breakneck two-minute punk jam like they’ve just picked up their instruments for the first time.
This is powerful musical juju whose potency shouldn’t be underestimated. Scores of Australians - likely also approaching their mid-30s - look back fondly on Jebediah, who rose to prominence during the heyday of triple j’s alternative rock obsession. The last thing they want is for their fond memories to be tainted by another ill-advised reformation. You know the drill: band releases and tours new album, audience stifle yawns during new material. ‘Under Your Bed’ seeks to buck the trend through sheer volume and speed. Incredibly, it succeeds. Barring the bizarre electronic intro - what’s the story there? - the track represents everything great about the band: Kevin Mitchell’s frantically-strummed power chords and partially-distorted vocals, Chris Daymond’s penetrating lead guitar licks, Vanessa Thornton’s hyperactive basslines, and Brett Mitchell’s nimble drumming.
“Workin’ up a cold sweat/Dreamin’ of the war,” begins Mitchell ahead of an urgent chorus (“Reds are under your bed”). Has he been reading history books, or Wikipedia entries? The phrase refers to the Menzies government’s political scare-mongering and media manipulation during the rise of Communism in the 1950s. While a Jebediah song paralleling Cold War events seems a long bow to draw - Mitchell’s chorus vocals are so obscured by distortion as to be unintelligible, so it’s difficult to ascertain - it’s a solid hook, and above all, a searing comeback.
by Andrew McMillen