How to describe Let’s Not (And Say We Did), the new album from Australian noise rockers Zeahorse? It is hellish yet rapturous, corrosive but seductive and as thick a trespass upon the senses as it is a bewitchment. There are so many facets to the body and character of the quartet’s third full-length and they all unite to join the growing list of seriously striking encounters already lighting up 2021.
Sydney hailing and formed in 2010, Zeahorse have bred and earned a rich following and reputation within the Australian underground scene with their voracious fusion of noise, fuzz, punk and psychedelic rock. It is a proposition which regularly expands beyond those tags as shown by their well-received 2016 album Torana Dreamin and now with real relish within its heavier, more voracious ear ravaging successor.
A sonic lure breaks the silence as Let’s Not (And Say We Did) opens up with Designer Smile, it’s almost portentous beckoning soon immersed in the gripping claws of angular grooves. Heavy rhythmic jabbing accompanies the persistent nagging they offer, an incursion relaxing a touch as wiry hooks join kinder but no less irritable vocals but one soon in full invasive swing. With a post punk tinge to the bassline, the track instantly was under the skin gnawing away with a matching manipulation of the imagination. As suggested earlier, for all its infernal aspects there is rapture like essences to the bands incessant sound which sublimely seduces within the opener.
The following Panic Laps instantly erupts from the speakers, vocals and sonic threads uniting in another compelling trespass. Their insistence never relents even as melodic twining bounds their delicious nagging though every aspect evolves and twists in enterprise and with increasing fertility as the song manages to eclipse the addictiveness of its predecessor though Guilty straight after does the same with its feral almost carnal incursion upon the senses. The track is glorious, spiteful and devious but equally euphoric in its raw psych lit beauty which disguises its hell.
The Ladder is an ear worm of pleasure from its first breath, niggling away in post punk nurtured temptation as it too burrowed deep under the skin and into the psyche. Like a seriously toxic pop song, the catchiness it yields is pure addiction but in no way defuses the enmity and despise in its heart epitomised in the cathartically tenebrific swing of the bass while Cut The Slack straight after with a similarly knowing virulence consumes the listener with a noxiously radiant serenade. Like a siren, the song lures its victims upon its fuzz felted rocks, all the while grooving in sound and voice inviting eager compliance until too late the trap is sprung.
From one mesmeric pleasure to another as 20 Nothing draws all attention upon its heavier, more intense but no less compelling body. In some ways it did not spark the same addiction fuelled reaction as its predecessors but leaves a longer lingering scent of captivation as Zeahorse share another shade to their creativity before ravaging the senses through the also highly viral One Of Everything. From the snarly riffs and gnarly bassline and vocals, the track devoured attention and addiction, its metal lined noise punk pure manna to these ears.
The album closes out with Don’t Laugh, a track bound in psychedelic winds and drama as rhythms with great agitation shape the manipulation at the heart of the esurient craft and creative theatre of Max Foskett, Ben Howell, Julien Crendal and Morgan Anthony. An edge of danger and intrigue only added to the melodic tempest and overall fascination of the song and indeed its compulsive enticements.
If Zeahorse was a secret pretty much outside of their homeland surely Let’s Not (And Say We Did) will open up the borders of major attention, at the very least it will cement the band as one of music’s most riveting and exciting propositions for a great number of new lustful fans.
Let’s Not (And Say We Did) is out now via Copper Feast Records; available @ https://zeahorse.bandcamp.com
Pete RingMaster 05/02/2021
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