2010 Album Review :: Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush To Relax
August 26th 2013
On August 29, FBi hits double digits. To celebrate, the Flog is taking a trip down memory lane: we’re counting down 10 years of albums in 10 days. In 2010 Matt Vierboom joined the established cult of Eddy Current Suppression Ring fans…
2010 :: Eddy Current Suppression Ring – Rush To Relax
I arrived late to Eddy Current Suppression Ring – far too late to feel like I had any real ownership over liking the band.
I wasn’t there for their first Sydney shows and I don’t own the originals of their first 7” or 12” releases (the kind that now attract ridiculous prices $$LIKE THIS$$ on eBay). The point of this confession is that by 2010 when ECSR released Rush To Relax there was already an established history of fanatics ready to heap praise and/or criticism on the band, based on how good/bad the new album was. I was not one of them.
In 2009, ECSR won the $30,000 Australian Music Prize for their second album, Primary Colours. That kind of money can change bands, especially when the album you won it for cost just $1500 to make.
Listening to Rush To Relax, you realise quite quickly that the Australian Music Prize didn’t change dick about Eddy Current Suppression Ring.
Album opener ‘Anxiety’ feels right at home on any Eddy Current Suppression Ring release. The fast rhythm and loose guitars are a hallmark of ECSR songs and they back up the lyrical content. Singer Brendan Suppression (no doubt pacing back and forth across the studio during recording) churns out socially awkward feeling after feeling.
“ANXIETY! – had me biting my nails
ANXIETY! – little scared I might fail”
It’s self-referential and devoid of subtlety.
Elsewhere, ‘Tuning Out’ takes the formula of ‘Anxiety‘ and simply expands it. It pulsates through from start to finish, complete with a krautrock-style breakdown.
“I don’t care if you give or receive
I don’t care if you stay or leave
I don’t care if your heart’s on your sleeve
I’m tuning out I’m tuning out I’m tuning out.”
There’s no deeper meaning to be gleaned from this, it is what it is. Reading further into it would be pointless.
And that’s one of the great things about Rush to Relax (and, frankly, about every ECSR album). Eddy Current Suppression Ring don’t wrap their music in mystery. If there’s a need to say something, they just say it.
It’s a big “fuck you” to subtlety.
It’s clear to see on almost every track on Rush to Relax, but most poignant on I Can Be A Jerk and Burn.
Eddy Current Suppression Ring haven’t released another album since Rush to Relax and they may not, but their stamp can be found all over the independent music scene. Pick up a record by Woollen Kits, Royal Headache or Dick Diver (among many others) and chances are guitarist Mikey Young had a hand in it. Young also plays in powerhouse Australian bands Lace Curtain, Ooga Boogas and Total Control while Brendan Suppression fronts Boomgates.
Rush to Relax might not be Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s best album, but when it took just six hours to record and cost nothing to make it’s still great.
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