Music Reviews

Dune Rats – The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit (Album Review)

Written by Matt Puccinelli

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Brisbane’s Dune Rats are known to be Australia’s favourite party anthem punks. After 3 years since their self titled debut album, they’re keeping the party going by releasing The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit, the first Dune Rats album to be released on their label, Ratbag Records.

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Dune Rats

Pre-order your copy by clicking above.

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While recording in Melbourne’s Head Gap Studios, the group enlisted FIDLAR’s Zac Carper to progress their poppy alt anthem rock sound with more grunge aesthetics. The influence on both sound and production technique is noticeable for those who are a fan of both bands. Those quick Carper signature moments (such as sped up voices and warpey-phasey guitars) will make FIDLAR fans feel at home. But this isn’t a FIDLAR record, this is still very much a Dune Rats album and everything you love about them is still here.
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2014’s Dune Rats self-titled had an arbitrary mix of lyrical themes, ranging from ET phoning home to Superman flying through the sky. While it may be just slightly shy of feeling like a concept album, the album ties all the songs together with a connected theme of growing up and getting old while having to deal with not only your parent’s bullshit but also your own.
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From the get go, Dune Rats hit the ground running with the in-your-face track Don’t Talk. Next up there’s 6 Pack, a song about your older brother buying you a bunch of beers and a packet of darts to share. It’s at this track that the groups improved lyrical wittiness and humour is apparent.
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Demolition Derby
follows, probably the track most similar to those found on the original LP. Braindead, a song no doubt written during the come down from one of their intense parties, has a real hook-in-mouth chorus that makes you feel okay about the existentialism moments that come with intense hangovers.
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Scott Green
, (a track that most Dune Rats fans are familiar with by now) a double entendre for asking around at a part for “Who’s Scott Green?” still sticks out as witty and no doubt another anthem you’ll be screaming at your next Dune Rats show.

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Dune Rats

Dune Rats

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At this point the grunge influence becomes a bit more obvious when Never Gonna Get High rolls in. Once again, Carper’s sped up vocal samples are a signature influence on the track, but the bass guitars almost made me feel as if Krist Novoselic had dropped by the studio for a guest appearance. The lyrics emphasise the ultimate stoner’s paradoxical dilemma, “Never Gonna Get High… Gonna Get High” and “Do it ‘cause you wanna, wanna ‘cause ya gotta”.
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Counting Sheep
kicks in with your dad screaming down the hallway “RIGHT! GET TO SLEEP NOW!”. Danny Beausa reminisces about being a kid unable to sleep, laying in bed awake with ringing in your ears and desperately counting sheep.
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Buzz-Kill
is another track where that Nirvana buzz on the instruments is obvious. It’s catchy as hell and probably stands out as the song that’s been stuck in my head for the most time since I first started to listen to the album.

Dune Rats

Dune Rats

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The album wraps itself up with Mary and Bullshit. At the risk of sounding pedantic, Bullshit just doesn’t hit me as a great closing track for the record. It is a good song, but I appreciate when an album finishes with a track that feels inherently like a finisher. Mary would have tied the ribbon up quite nicely, but Bullshit just feels a little out of place here.
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Dune Rats
certainly haven’t lost their party attitude while progressing from their repertoire of blissful partying to a little more self-reflection. The albums filled with melancholy undertones and “the grass was greener” attitudes that make this album more meaningful than the last. Strong production, hilarious lyrics (that still had me laughing on my fourth and fifth repeat) and catchy choruses mean I’ll be listening to this one for quite some time still.

 

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AMNPLIFY – JS

Matt Puccinelli

January 31st, 2017

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Matt Puccinelli

Hello World. I am an avid music fan who is passionate about a wide variety of tunes. I first became deeply interested in music after I was given my first guitar at age 12. In those early years I maintained a strict diet of Metallica, Mötley Crüe and AC/DC. Nowadays my favourite tunes range from psychedelic rock, to death metal, krautrock and right down to ambient electronica. When I'm not listening to records you can probably find me cleaning them.

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