Young Henrys call on Hobsons Bay Coast Guard for their June edition of Best Served Loud

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Young Henrys call on Hobsons Bay Coast Guard for their June edition of Best Served Loud

Hobsons Bay Coast Guard
Words by Augustus Welby

The debut self-titled LP from freewheeling surf rockers Hobsons Bay Coast Guard arrived in March. The self-produced ten-track effort will be on full display at Young Henrys’ next Best Served Loud instalment.

The record production actually preceded the band’s live debut and arose from an urge to just enjoy themselves. “I think we were at a point where we started getting too precious with our music and needed an outlet or idea to make songs for fun and show each other,” the band says.

“The Hobsons sound we had in our mind came out naturally for us, so we ended up making a bunch of silly demos to send to each other for this band we didn’t think would actually happen.

“I remember we got asked to house sit for my parents’ place in Hobsons Bay and we just grabbed all our gear, cashed in on a few favours and got going.”

Preparing a debut LP can be a nerve-racking process. It’s a body of work that’s seen as representing who a band wants to be and lays the foundation for what comes next. For Hobsons Bay, their aims were straightforward.

“The idea was to make a surf band without the tropes of, like, a Dick Dale song,” they say. “Having a ten-minute intro song to our debut record is exactly what we want to say as a band. We are really proud that we created a band where the hooks come from being creative and not just a killer chorus or whatever. For us, the most exciting and captivating thing to do with Hobsons is to be surprising and I think we will keep doing that.”

As indicated by that ten-minute introductory song – itself named ‘Hobsons Bay Coast Guard’ – the band’s songwriting isn’t generic. It is, however, reminiscent of a lot of other garage, surf rock and neo-psych. Along with avoiding Dick Dale territory, there were a few main influences. 

“I wanted the wackiness of The Deadly Ones, the energy of an Oh Sees record and the tongue in cheek of a Kinks record. But to be honest, when we were making it we were listening to house and jazz and shit.”

Hobsons Bay Coast Guard are playing Young Henrys’ Best Served Loud event at The Retreat Hotel in late June. Beer also played a part in the album’s creation.

 “When we were recording we had a few mates come around and we got drunk and had a silly jam. We ended up recording two hours of it on our phone. The next day we listened back and skipped to somewhere in the middle of the playback and it was the riff from ‘Muso’, which we ended up completely copying note for note for the record.

The fairly ramshackle album-making method is very different from how the band members approach their live shows.

“When we play live, it’s 100 per cent all four of us working together. We do so many different versions of one section and kind of vote on what we like. I like to think we work hard.”

Beer or no beer, a typical HBCG live show is part sweaty mess and part controlled chaos.

“We have so many parts to songs and different variations of ideas that we want the audience to not know if we are ending a song, starting a new one, or joining two songs together, which needs to be well rehearsed. We also have a lot of old and weird guitars that don’t work and break almost all the time. They look cool though.

“We try to get people involved. We have a jam in ‘Dolphin Racer’ where we invite our friends who write poems to get up and perform their work. It’s always a joy to see different forms of art working together.”

Hobsons Bay Coast Guard come to The Retreat Hotel alongside BIN and Gamjee as part of Young Henrys’ Best Served Loud series on Friday June 28. It’s all free. Find out more via the Facebook event.