Australian indie punksters Further have been garnering the sort of press you'd sell your gran for, both in this hemisphere and especially the other, where they're revered by seemingly every disenfranchised Antipodean youth with a chip on his or her backpacked shoulder. Thankfully, Further don't pander to the all-too-easy 'I hate my parents' brigade: part introspective and mellow, part balls-out and in yer face, this is a more intelligent take on punk n roll that should get the British crowds foaming like a flaggon of Fosters.
Opening track Romance! is a Sonic Youth/Pixies-esque singalong with a top catchy chorus. The angular guitars set the pace and mood for the rest of the album, comparable to perhaps Idlewild with a twist of raging At the Drive In, yet somehow more laid back whilst still retaining the vitality and intensity of both. Some is a prelude to the likes of early emo contenders Kids Near Water or Boy Sets Fire, but it has its own sound and its own definition. This isn't teenagers pissing about copying their heroes.
Lead track Punkrockvampires rocks along steadily with cooler than thou lyrics (We'll make the devil's music... A fuckin' suicide of punk music/We'll take the long ride to come and kill ya!) with a neat dynamic and jangly bits alongside the heavyweight slabs of riffage.
It's not all angular emo-by-numbers though - there's Dinosaur Jr, Shellac, Pixies, Cave In, Sunny Day Real Estate and even Stranglers enough to get your teeth into most of the way through. A couple of slightly self-indulgent instrumental bits (including the largely vocal-less final track - there's no melody to speak of, just a careful ebb and flow) and some lush piano-led balladry add to the sonic texture of the album as a piece, and at times the album is guilty of becoming background music too easily. It's like a pleasant Fugazi at times - shouty and snarly punk yet still mellow. It's a good mix, and cleverly put together, and will be well worth checking out live to see if they can pull it off.