Album Review :: Scott & Charlene’s Wedding ‘Any Port In A Storm’
November 21st 2013
Scott & Charlene’s Wedding is such an undeniably Australian affair that it’s entertaining to see the international comparisons roll in.
Singer/songwriter/guitarist, Craig Dermody appears like the kooky Aussie beachbum we all know too well, and his band name refers to a particularly 80s moment in Neighbours (see photo, yep that’s Kylie). But throw this Adelaide man and all his quirks into New York City and he becomes an exotic mystery for the yanks, who struggle with his Aussie accent, let alone his Aussie influences.
Much like a season of Flight Of The Concords, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding’s second album Any Port In A Storm, deals with the comedy & isolation of trying to make it big in NYC, except this time it’s the real deal.
Like those two kiwis, the Americans love Scott & Charlene’s Wedding because he embraces where he has come from, or at least his vernacular makes it impossible to hide it.
To us in Australia, Dermody’s DIY slacker rock shtick is a familiar face among the likes of Twerps, Bitch Prefect and Dick Diver. The difference is the delinquent character of Scott & Charlene’s Wedding forged by honest and unpretentious lyrics all sung in Dermody’s vocally wandering glory. Every track is matched with the perfect amount of jangly guitar, and satisfying mess of a backing band to steal you away to a cold and rainy New York City.
Dermody places himself at odds with the clash between his dreams of the big city, basketball fandom, homesickness and the realities of working as a labourer (‘Gammy Leg’) and as a doorman (‘Fakin’ it NYC’). In the track that seems to sum up Dermody’s departure from Adelaide to the big apple via Melbourne, ‘Fakin’ it NYC’, he sings in his defiantly downtrodden tone:
“I do anything for coin.
I’ve got the wolves knockin’ at my door.
Fakin’ it New York City.
I’ll let you in on a secret of mine.
I don’t know what I’m doing any of the time.”
In tracks like ‘Jackie Boy’, he’s more positive about his circumstances, singing, “The last thing that I am is done. Yeah I’m only getting started,” along to a racing beat and a rapidfire of lead guitar. The filmclip simulates his rise from the bottom in the fashion of another American, Rocky Balboa:
Watch Scott & Charlene’s Wedding demonstrate all the egg-drinking, meat punching, chicken chasing required to make it big like ‘Jackie Boy’.
The more serious lyrics and neat guitar work in tracks like ‘Junk Yard’ and ‘Wild Heat’ place Scott & Charlene’s Wedding as Australia’s answer to Kurt Vile. This is DIY rock at its finest, with simple musical ideas matched with simple lyrics in such a masterful way that it effectively becomes anything but simple. Any Port In A Storm is a record that demonstrates the overlooked value of embracing Australian music and culture in the face of a dominating American influence.
Any Port In A Storm is out now. FBi’s album of the week: 15.11.13 – 22.11.13