The Unknowns ‘East Coast Low’
Brisbane four-piece, The Unknowns, are far from unknown. The band features two members of the very well know The Chats – Eamon Sandwith on guitar and Tom Hardy on the drums. Vocalist/guitarist Josh Hardy and bassist Nathan Montgomery complete the quartet.
Formed in 2014, the band finally drop their second album East Coast Low after a three year wait on The Chats run label, Bargain Bin Records. There’s been a resurgence of the pub rock scene the last few years with the likes of Amyl and the Sniffers, CIVIC, Stiff Richards and The Chats and they’re letting the world know that rock music is definitely not dead, and the Aussies are leading the charge – or is that REcharge?!
East Coast Low is the anticipated follow up to their debut album, Nothing Will Ever Stop, from 2020. Just like their debut, East Coast Low is a rollicking riot of ten songs coming it a quick fire twenty-three-and-a-half-minutes. It might be lo-fi and sound like it was recorded in a tin shed through beer soaked microphones, but it works and gives it the charm it deserves.
They open the album with Shot Down; a riotous rocker that sets the album up to exactly what to expect. Without having a chance to catch your breath, track two Dianne, kicks in and should have you jumping around your bedroom with energy to burn. A highlight, Crying, gave me a vision of pints being held aloft with punters shouting the chorus ,“But now I’m Cryyyyyying”, back at the band in a sweaty pub.
Halfway through the album and it feels like I have been transported back to an updated version of the pub rock scene of the late 70s/early 80s, that the likes of Rose Tattoo and The Cosmic Psychos paved the way. When guitars, bass and drums ruled the Oz rock scene and here they are again, thanks to The Unknowns. There is also an element of punk rock energy of The Ramones in their sound, but while The Ramones wore ripped jeans, The Unknowns wear flannel shirts. Take Rid Of You for example, where Sandwith and Hardy exchange riffs throughout the entire 87 seconds the song lasts – there’s no fat to trim here.
Some bands find it hard to replicate their fiery live energy in the studio, but The Unknowns have given the middle finger to this and recorded an explosively energetic album. It honestly sounds like the band recorded it live in the studio – no overdubs, no nothing. Hell, you can tell they had a lot of fun.
The album finishes strong with Deleted and Supersonic Love. Deleted, while it rocks hard, it features heartfelt lyrics about being deleted from a former partners heart. A side of the band we don’t often hear. Supersonic Love is the perfect song to finish the album, it has a catchy groove and riffs till Tuesday, and should conclude their gigs for years to come.
The album doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but who bloody cares when it’s this fun!
Album Review By Darren Bevington Leach