Reviews

Big Supermarket
1800

(Tough Love)

6/10

Who are Big Supermarket? Short answer: we don’t really know. The long answer is pretty much the same. They are definitely Australian, working out of Victoria, and they definitely have guitars. Once upon a time their album 1800 was only available via Bandcamp in Australia, and is now coming out in a limited run from Tough Love Records. That’s it. That’s the backstory. 1800 is a record almost entirely without context.

Lo-fi and undeniably DIY, 1800 crackles and pops like worn out vinyl. In their anonymity, Big Supermarket have declared that they believe some things are better left unsaid. On 1800 even what they do say can be hard to make out, with vocals buried deep beneath the instruments and production hiss. Lyrics fans had better be prepared to work for them – at points the vocals come as if the singer is standing in the next room from the microphone. Still, this record serves up little vacations from the real world, like ‘The Kisser’ (less than one minute of sunny, ’70s Haight-Ashbury style instrumentals) and the similarly short ‘Feel the Warm Breeze’, with its woozy heat-soaked rhythm.

Elsewhere, the album skews towards alt-rock, as on ‘Personal Pronouns’, whose riff falls under the same family tree as Reef’s ‘Place Your Hands’ and is cut with a cascading synth. A less standoffish vocal could have turned the track into something sparkling. Here, true to form, Big Supermarket hold the audience arm’s length.

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