After releasing their eponymous album in 2019 and follow-up Elephant Hexagon the following year, Tetsuians went through some growing pains with the loss of long-time member, Amber Craske and a health concern for main songwriter Trent Price.
The forced metamorphosis did however give Trent and drummer Andrew Jackson a renewed perspective on their song writing process and their use of space in their live set. Emerging from 2020 with a fresh batch of material, the pair were joined by bassist Luke Guan and lead-guitarist, Chris Corvetti. With a fuller sound and more hooks that would eventually form the basis for their 2022 release, Repairs & Alterations. Trent takes Hi Fi Way through the album track by track.
Punching In – This was one of the first tracks we wrote. I was listening to quite a bit of Spoon and Jason Faulkner, which I think colours the track. Lyrically though it takes a lot of cues from early Kate Bush – not those just familiar with the Stranger Things resurgence. She formed a massive part of my musical childhood, but its never really rubbed off on anything until now.
Walk it Off – Subconsciously this song is probably our love letter to Graham Coxon. Chris’s solo is really the cherry on top of this one – it really takes off and Luke’s bass is almost a solo in its own right. Ironically, during the filming of this clip I dislocated my kneecap and had to wait four hours for the paramedics. They were pretty amused when we told them the name of the track we were filming.
Cracking the Code – Probably the darkest track on the album. It came about messing around with some unconventional chord shapes and I just stumbled into a really nice chorus. The subject matter is just as convoluted, but a bit of mystery never hurt anyone. We definitely tried to funnel Janet Weiss’s drumming on Electric Band on this one. I think we came close…
So it Goes – I was trying to figure out the chords to a Nat Vazer track and as usual, got distracted and stumbled onto a different progression which seemed kind of nice. It was the last track I put words to whilst I was holed up at the Alfred during lockdown with acute pancreatitis. It was actually a little dicey for a while, so whilst it wasn’t a great time I’ve a got a little memento from the experience.
The Cash Advance – I was basically trying to channel the Greg Kihn Band as if they were covering Supersonic by Oasis. We might have failed there but I think it’s a pretty-decent track that just squeezes itself in despite being a bit of a sonic departure from the rest of the album.
Crystal Pistol – As the title suggests, this song is all about back peddling and trying to worm your way out of an embarrassing remark. We nearly left it off the album as the first mix sounded way too poppy, so we did our best to fuck it up a bit. There is still a pop song trying to get out though.
Shadow in the Sky – Is our nod to Supergrass. Oddly enough, Luke , despite having little to no knowledge of Oxford group, just instinctively knew the vibe we were after. Thematically, it references the 1952 post-war film by Fred M. Wilcox about a shell-shocked veteran trying to recover his sanity while living with his sister. The clip for this is vastly different though!
Art Dodger – This was very difficult to record as we found it almost impossible to get in tune with one another – probably due to the weird chord shapes we chose. Our engineer Brad Jackson at Supersonic Studios did an amazing job piecing it altogether.
Exorcism in a Shopping Mall – is me trying to write a Velvet Crush track and tripping over myself – quite literally at the end! We found a weird plug-in that basically sounds like we put Andrew through a washing machine, so we kept it at the end. We’ve never been one for fade-outs, but this kind of works in its own weird way.
Black Ops – Whilst relatively laid-back it’s probably the angriest track on the album. I used to work with some some nefarious individuals who put their own egos and profits above the safety of others, so this is a shout out to them. The closing track has a bit of a Wilco vibe to it with some really cool, hypnotic drumming from Andrew. Everyone on this track did a superb job.