Band of the Day

2012.04.17

Bleeding Knees Club

Wild and reckless garage punk from Australia's Golden Coast
I got nothing to do with you, with you, with you. And you’re always the same, you never got much to say.
lyrics from Nothing To Do

Garage-punk duo Bleeding Knees Club come from the Gold Coast of Australia. Alex Wall (Drums, Vocals) and Jordan Malane (Bass, Guitar) have been making raw and in-your-face surf punk since the 2010 release of their debut EP, Virginity, on IAMSOUND Records. The EP was a fast-paced party soundtrack which was recorded in the back of a shoe store and led to a surge in popularity for the pair. Their debut full-length album Nothing to Do (this time recorded in a traditional music studio) dropped in early 2012 and was produced by Dev Hynes of Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange fame. The Oz couple has played shows across their native Australia in addition to New York, L.A., and South by Southwest in the United States.

Virginity. When you choose this title for your debut EP, as Bleeding Knees Club has done, it doesn't take too long for someone to figure out what your music is all about. This is deliberately bratty, lo-fi garage punk that's meant for soundtracking reckless nights—the kind that start with drinking in empty parking lots, and end with bleary eyes and a pounding head. On “Have Fun,” for example, frontman (or backman, really, as he's also the drummer) Alex Wall plainly states: “I just wanna have fun! I just wanna have fun!” Wall, alongside bassist Jordan Malane, has been making straightforward, hard-partying punk rock since 2010. Though the duo comes from Australia's Gold Coast, 60s surf rock influences on songs like “Camp Out” might have you mistake them for coming from the golden coast of California instead. Following their Virginity EP, which was recorded in the back of a shoe shop, Bleeding Knees Club have blossomed into more of a proper band with the 2012 release of their debut album, Nothing To Do. They've surrounded themselves with speakers, instead of sneakers, at a proper New York City studio with producer Dev Hynes (Lightspeed Champion, Blood Orange) at the helm. Though their set-up has matured, songs like “Hate Me” continue their earlier themes of getting wasted and having fun: “we stay out too late/I can't see straight/something has messed with my head,” sings Wall. Most of the album's songs settle around the two minute mark, supercharged bursts of energy and aggression. “Problem Child” is a notable example of this, simple power chords furiously played while Wall describes a kid with anger issues who's always doing things like getting drunk in the park, or throwing rocks at cars. While songs like “Problem Child” are more influenced by mall-punk sounds of the 90s, Bleeding Knees Club look to the 50s for “Girls Can Do Anything.” It's a cutesy, tongue-in-cheek surf rocker that has a call-and-response section between Wall and a small chorus of girly voices declaring, “girls can do anything!” The longest track on the album (just past three minutes), “Lipstick,” also has an early 50s doo wop feel, especially with the way Wall opens by telling a story, instead of singing: “Me and Betty were hanging out by the bleachers/It was a Saturday night, and the stars were out.” Nothing about Bleeding Knees Club seems meant to be taken seriously, from their juvenile lyrics to their frantic, lo-fi sounds—and that's OK. Sometimes you just need an opportunity to let your reckless side come out. Even if you're too old to get away with getting high and loitering outside of convenience stores, you can compensate by listening to Bleeding Knees Club.