Russian Roulettes : Physical Education
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Russian Roulettes : Physical Education

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There seems to be some serious confusion about what constitutes ‘garage’ rock these days.

Let’s take a step back and try not to associate the term ‘garage’ with the idea that a band is confined to a place we store cars because that’s the only venue which will suit their lack of talent. Instead, why not think about ‘garage’ bands for what they really are: bands with charisma, punchy tracks but the knowledge that the garage is a healthy place to be. It’s one that lacks pretension. It’s a place that, while physically limiting, allows band members to look hard at each other and begin to understand what kind of chops they really have.

On Physical Education, the second full-length from Melbourne’s Russian Roulettes, there’s certainly an understanding as to the identity of this band:  loud, tough-as-nails rock’n’roll that lacks any and all posturing.

Another quality release from Off The Hip, Melbourne’s purveyors of honest to goodness rock’n’roll, Physical Education should be played at nothing lower than 11. Opening with the relentless groove of Never Had Nothing, Russian Roulettes weave together fist-in-the-air punk and snarling stoner-ready rhythm in a seamless manner. It’s easy to hear traces of the Foo Fighters debut throughout Physical Education, not just because lead singer Sam Agostino boasts a similar sounding wail. On punishing tracks such as And That’s All and Wait And See, one can hear a band that subscribes to a similar approach that Grohl did over 15 years ago: image be damned, it’s about time that the music speaks for itself.

No one should be surprised to learn that Russian Roulettes contain members of some of Melbourne’s more pungent rock acts: Legends Of Motorsport, Kamikaze Trio and Kids Of Zoo. There’s enough grit and muscle within the 11 tracks here to overpower a group of liquored-up rugby fans. But what should be surprising is how, even while stepping away from the bands they usually call home, they manage to make turn their songs into efficient and tight balls of sonic fury.

Lock yourself in your garage, find yourself a slab of cheap, cold lager and turn this one up. You won’t want to leave anytime soon.

BY JOSHUA KLOKE

Best Track: Never Had Nothing

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In A Word: Gnarly