Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cape Tribulation - And When You Get To The End Is It What You Expect

Cape Tribulation
And When You Get To The End Is It What You Expect
Impedance Records

Formed a little over three years ago, you could say that northern Wollongong (Austinmer) outfit Cape Tribulation is a relatively new act on the Australian music scene. But in truth, when you take into account the members that make up this trio, it’s clear that Cape Tribulation is anything but inexperienced newcomers to the scene. Comprising of vocalist/guitarist Nik ‘Diamh-inis’ Devenish (Ex-Hateman, Lustre 4, Captain Nemo and Little Death), bassist/backing vocalist Andy Staig (Ex-Boner, Suspect Device, Superpussy and Life Adjustment Disorder) and drummer/backing vocalist Phil Lally (Ex-Fridge, Tumbleweed, El Sanchez and Little Death), the coming together of the three veteran’s of the underground Australian alternative rock movement promise much on their debut full-length effort ‘And When You Get To The End Is It What You Expect’. And sure enough, it well and truly delivers.
Cape Tribulation open up their album with the urgent and energetic ‘Down With The Sea’, which gives listeners a clear idea of the distinctive sound the band have been carefully honing and perfecting for themselves over the last couple of years. Essentially, ‘Down With The Sea’ is a mix of post-punk and alternative rock, with the minimalist approach of Devenish’s angular guitar riffs, Staig’s highly prominent bass and Lally’s driving and solid ever-present drum presence. Topping it all off is Devenish’s half sung/spoken word vocals, which reveals a slight punk edge to the band’s sound, but with an added alternative edge that really allows the band’s sound to stand out.
The follow up track ‘Arms For Oars’ isn’t too far removed from the sound and direction of the opener, with Devenish’s unique vocal delivery giving the song an air of desperation and menace, while the infectious ‘Cabin Boy’, the straight-forward rocking groove of ‘Cat’s Paw’, the strangely melodic and off-beat ‘Clear’ (Which originally appeared on the fourth volume of Helter Smelter’s ongoing Illawarra/south coast regions downloadable compilation releases from last year) and the tight rhythmic closer ‘Latch Key Kid’ are definite favourites on the album.
Elsewhere, tracks such as ‘Dance’, the quiet verses/loud choruses construction of ‘Popular’ and ‘Lift On Three’ showcase a bit more of the experimentation within the band’s song writing, which works quite well, and gives the band a slightly broader sound beyond the confines of the post-punk and alternative rock mould.
Overall, Cape Tribulation’s debut effort is an album that’s kind of hard to pin down in simple terms. But despite this, the trio have created a thoroughly enjoyable album, and one that more than meets the expectations considering the history of those involved.

For more information on Cape Tribulation, check out -

© Justin Donnelly

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