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New War
Coin Julian Marszalek , October 24th, 2018 15:40

Melbourne's rabble rousers return with more fierce tunes for troubled times

This album from the Melbourne-based New War picks up where 2013's self-titled debut left off – a continuation of the rage directed at a world giving permission for oppression and tyranny

New War have refined their sound, sharpened up their songwriting chops and unleashed a coherent collection of controlled chaos, pace and delivery. Melissa Lock's bass and Steve Masterson's drums are at the centre of the action, and to the fore – there's keyboards but no guitars, and the increased presence of the rhythm section continually alters mood and pace while never losing the sense of menace and anguish that fuels much of the material here.

Spinning and flailing, 'It's Real Wide' is a howl of torment and rage brilliantly articulated through music. Jesse Shepherd's crazed carousel keyboards, the violence of the drums and the drive of the bass are all in place to colour singer Chris Pumire's lyrical wrath. Likewise the rallying calls of 'Get In The Boot' and 'Bluebeard Fla'.

As evidenced by 'Banana Split Wolves', New War are smart enough to know that groove is just as important as polemics, and any song that combines the simultaneous stimulation of head, hips and feet can only be a good thing. You'll also find it in the dub dynamics of 'The Work Song' while 'The Pyre Song' comes pretty close to being an actual pop song.

But it all goes back to the rage and there's plenty of it on 'The Breadline Song', which brings Coin to a tumultuous close. A sea shanty of sorts, the way it sails into gales of anger and fury serve not only to encapsulate these troubled times but also to remind how much New War have been missed. Let's hope they don't leave it so long next time.

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