Red Red Krovvy is Ash Wyatt (vocals), Ben Warnock (guitar) and Adam Ritchie (drums). Their self-titled album out on Helta Skelta Records is a thirteen track companion to a shitty, frigid Winter day in Melbourne.
Image courtesy of Glen Shenau
If Dolewave—a term stuck like a pig with questions of class, confusion and nationalism—is a genre popularised by Melbourne’s music scene (think bands like Dick Diver and Boomgates) grappling with tensions surrounding a definition of an Australian cultural identity from the perspective of the now struggling-yet-still-surviving working class, this album is the punk equivalent. Only Red Red Krovvy are free of semi-poetic and nostalgic jangly guitars glorifying and retelling the mundanity of Australian pastimes, like taking out the bins. While unpacking similar themes of ‘everyday-ness’, it’s the opposite; this is defeated music, played defiantly.
The album opens with ‘Square man’, a song on the cusp of two minutes, listing convenient-but-capitalist-comforts like the Sumo Salad shopping centre food chain, instant coffee and the bestselling book that makes you want to jam your fingers down your throat: Eat, Pray, Love.
It’s an album half anxious, half apathetic. Guitarist Warnock talks to Noisey about their song ‘Rembrandt tourist’—commenting on current trends of ‘songs about nothing’.
‘If you’re not really going to say anything, have a song about a man walking through an art gallery looking for one particular painting when there’s a whole gallery of incredible shit[…]Or it’s about narrow-mindedness. The song is based on a true story of a person walking through MONA in New York looking for one Rembrandt. Like, maybe if you slow down and just stop thinking so much, you might enjoy shit a bit better.’
Image courtesy of Helta Skelta Records
It’s the ultimate bad mood banger for when you’ve lost your keys or missed the tram
Riffs are uncomplicated, but mean. Ritchie’s drumming is reminiscent of late 70s D-beat songs like ‘You tear me up‘ by the Buzzcocks and Discharge’s ‘I don’t care‘. But the sting comes from the lyrics, even in the sing-song sarcastic chant on ‘Holiday’ by Wyatt, (‘Life is worth so much/ Life is oh so grand/At least that’s what I’m told/ At least that’s what I’ll say’). Ash Wyatt belts out lines about cities crumbling and disappointment in seeing the same shit in a different place, but the album gradually gets darker with ‘Real life II’ lyrics, (‘There is organised structure/ But structures break down/ You cannot have it today and you better get used to it’).
Video courtesy of Red Red Krovvy
The album isn’t entirely punishing throughout, and tracks ‘My friends got a dog’ and ‘Streamline’ offer a moment of reprieve at about a neat minute each.
‘Sick of being late’ seethes ‘fuck it’. It’s the ultimate bad mood banger for when you’ve lost your keys or missed the tram—especially fitting at a time when Melbourne’s weather forces everyone to stay indoors, or proves the bravest ones are those fighting frostbite having a ciggie in the beer garden at the Tote.
WANT A BIT MORE?
You can listen to the full album here.
Check out members of Red Red Krovvy’s other projects: