Does the name Wally De Backer seem familiar to you? You might be more familiar with his moniker Gotye. Well, long before he was somebody that you used to know (pun intended), he was a part of a little Melbourne band called The Basics. He's given up the international spotlight to keep playing music with mates Tim Heath and Kris Schroeder, and they're set to release their latest album upon us.
It's probably not a huge surprise that an album named 'The Age Of Entitlement' contains a mashup of hard-line, in-your-face political songs and catchy, pop-driven tunes. In the former category is the opening track 'Whatever Happened To The Working Class'. In something of a morose introduction, the trio laments the loss of activism in Australia, complaining the country's politicians are plotting to widen the gap between the wealthy and the working class. Further in, 'Time Poor' continues in the same vein, claiming we've been blinded by material possessions while the things that should be important to us are left by the wayside. 'Tunomba Saidia' specifically details the Abbott government's treatment of asylum seekers, telling one very grim tale set to a deceptively cheerful tune.
'ROUNDABOUT' - THE BASICS
In contrast, there is a lighter side to the album. The effervescent 'Roundabout' bobs along in a familiar Gotye style; it's one of the few tracks for which De Backer takes the lead vocally. 'Good Times, Sunshine' follows suit, its bright piano and lively drums making for a joyful tune. Both songs are fun, addictive and easily recognisable. 'Hey Rain' is reminiscent of an Australian anthem, delivering an account of one of the country's weather extremes.
It's highly possible that this album will, largely, fall on deaf ears. Delivering such strong messages, and with many people unwilling to have an opinion shoved down their throats, my fear is that this won't infiltrate much of mainstream Australia. Which is a shame, because it has some important things to say; unfortunately I fear its execution will also be its downfall.
'The Age Of Entitlement' is everything you should expect from The Basics. While there's plenty of upsides to this album, I feel the biggest downside is its lack of congruency. Jumping from hard-hitting political ballads to mindless pop tunes isn't easy, and in this instance just doesn't have the desired impact. There are some spectacular standalone tracks, but as a whole, the album is unfortunately missing some much-needed consistency.
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