“An authentic expression of something,” is an apt turn of phrase when viewing TNSW, the album, more widely, which finds them honing in on These New South Whales – the serious punk band – more closely than ever before. It’s a far cry from the band’s more tongue-in-cheek work across both their series as well as their talk show-style comedy TNSW Tonight! and exalted podcast, What a Great Punk, which has seen them chat to guests including Tame Impala, Adrian Grenier, Shame, Amyl and The Sniffers, and King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard.
Over the years, the band’s music has developed rapidly, evolving out of the realm of distinctly Aussie basement punk into a more sprawling, international space. Following the trajectories of bands like Ceremony and Turnstile from nuts and bolts basement punk to a more genre-defying sound, TNSW encompasses a broader range of influences. Blending the dark energy of their debut album You Work For Us and the CBGB’s heyday of its follow-up I Just Do What God Tells Me To Do, TNSW is both downtrodden and uptempo.
It’s still a post-punk record at heart, full of sonic depth and dejected storytelling but equally, it embraces their 90s alternative, hardcore and metal influences. Guitarist Todd Andrews found himself using references for certain guitar parts that he would never have touched on in the past (among them: Pixies, The Cure and Placebo), while Timony’s lyrics take a turn towards the poetic. ”I feel like they’re honest songs,” says Timony, who sees TNSW as the band’s most definitive album to date. “I feel very connected to them, and that’s probably a result of not trying too hard to force the album’s hand.”
TNSW marks a refined new era for the band and is comfortably their most sophisticated body of work yet: a 14-track tome of barrelling punk rock that polishes its heavier moments – heavier than ever – with sing-along choruses, sharp arrangements, and plenty of trademark irony and self-awareness. For every ’90s alternative reference, there’s a blast beat; for every big radio moment, a cursed instrumental aside.
‘Under the Pressure‘ follows on from the album’s two singles so far: the existential anthem ‘Rotten Sun’, which was inspired by a poem of the same name written by Ceremony‘s Ross. J. Farrar, and ‘Bending at the Knee‘, an art-punk masterclass that found them pulling from the darker half of their palette. Between them, the singles have received acclaim and support from the likes of The Fader, NME, DIY, The Line of Best Fit and more. With the album due out in November, season three of their Comedy Central series in the works and tours in Australia, the UK and the EU lined up for early 2023, These New South Whales look set to continue confirming themselves as a once-in-a-generation Australian punk proposition.
Nov 18 via Damaged Records
‘Under The Pressure‘ is out now, buy/stream it here.
Bending at the Knee
That’s the Life
Under the Pressure
Back To You
Tartan & Chrome
Signal is Strong
Going Outta My Mind
Wherever I Am, There I Am
Best of the Night
Reset of the World