Sounding like the bastard progeny of Suicidal Tendencies and Devo, with Jay Reatard for an uncle, Ausmuteants are as novel as they are utterly derivative. The Australian four-piece are at least honest enough to wear their early-eighties new wave and LA punk rock influences on their sleeves; one particularly raucous track is even called ‘1982’ for goodness’ sake.

As on last year’s debut, proceedings here are heavily pivoted on the overbearing synth stabs and inscrutable yelps of front man Jake Robertson, who seems to revel in purposeful juvenility with tales of botched suicides (‘Felix Tried to Kill Himself’) and police brutality (‘We’re Cops’). Look beyond the ostensible mindlessness, though, and the degenerate aesthetic of ‘Order of Operation’ is an artful construction, with a lockstep rhythm section and studiously scuzzy production. Paradoxically this actually makes the record a bit less listenable than it might have been, coming across slightly straitjacketed rather than carelessly freewheeling. Still, there’s enough going on here to make this bastard worth a listen.


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