Superlatives are in short supply where Springtime, the Australian collaboration featuring Gareth Liddiard (Tropical Fuck Storm, The Drones), Jim White (Dirty Three, Xylouris White) and Chris Abrahams (The Necks, The Still), are concerned.
Like a tidal surge, their debut self-titled album arrived last November and the result was devastating; so much so that Springtime took out our Album of the Year. To use an Australian idiom, they pissed it in.
In a short turnaround, Springtime deliver the Night Raver EP, featuring two new cuts and an astonishing reworking of Liddiard’s The Radicalisation of D, which was the closing track on his fantastic 2010 solo album, Strange Tourist.
Clocking in at over 40 minutes, Night Raver EP starts with Names of the Plague. A song featuring the lyrics of British poet and Liddiard’s uncle, Ian Duhig, Names of the Plague is a malevolent improv’-rock hurricane of noise.
White’s percussion, akin to a nuclear blast, while Liddiard’s Drones bandmate, Dan Luscombe, features on baritone guitar and together they conjure up schizophrenic guitar squelches that rise above Abrahams’ inflections from behind the piano. Liddiard delivers the sermon with lung shattering power in what is a post-apocalyptic fever dream and something as wild as anything the band produced on Springtime.
The Radicalisation of D is imparted with a new kind of poignant force. Arguably the finest song Liddiard has ever written, which – in turn – makes it the finest song from the Australian shores in a generation, because, well… Liddiard is the country’s finest songwriter.
The three-pronged attack ends with Penumbra. Originally released as a live recording taken from Springtime’s second live show last year, Penumbra sees Liddiard once again using history and conflict to spin the kind of yarn only he knows how. With more rabid guitar screeches, Liddard’s glorious noise is eventually swallowed up by Abrahams bourgeoning keys and White’s panoramic percussion.
Not that we needed it, but Night Raver EP will mollify those of us who await the next chapter in the book of Springtime. Dovetailing nicely with their self-titled debut, Night Raver EP confirms that Springtime are one of the finest bands out there right now, and during these tumultuous times Lord do we fucking need them.
Night Raver EP is out now via Joyful Noise Recordings. Purchase from Bandcamp.