Posts Tagged ‘Far Enough’

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Cable Ties, a trio from Melbourne, blasts a coruscating onslaught of punk mayhem, guitar scrambling madly in a scrubby, discordant fury, drums banging, bass pumping pick-driven clangor into the mix and, above it all, Jennie McKechnie wailing in an exposed nerve kind of way about apathy, sexism, LGBTQ acceptance, income inequality and activist politics. The sound is supercharged, ear-ringing, tight; the fast chug of the bass line in stellar “Tell Them Where to Go,” has a nearly tactile force, while the guitar howls like careening sirens. The easy thing would be to compare McKechnie’s vibrato-zinging vocals with those of Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker or her verbal agility to Courtney Barnett, but the blunt force and agile violence of the music, brings to mind post-punk bands like the Wipers, Protomartyr and Eddy Current.

Cable Ties formed in the mid-teens and has one self-titled and a clutch of singles and splits in its catalogue so far. Far Enough is the first of this band’s albums to get a wide U.S. release, and it’s a doozy, no question. McKechnie may be the band’s focal point, but bassist Nick Brown defines Cable Ties’ ragged power. The rough-sawed churn of “Lani” starts and finishes with his abrasive, insistent bass playing that boils like magma under urgent, trilling vocals. Drummer Shauna Boyle is pretty great, too, banging out aggressive beats, that are passionate not sloppy, trance-like but never tuned out.

Band members are active advocates for women’s and LGBTQ rights. McKechnie co-founded Wet Lips, a Melbourne festival focused on inclusion of female, gay and non-binary musicians, and both she and Boyle volunteer for Girls Rock, an organization that promotes opportunity for women, trans and gender diverse musicians. Far Enough engages in these issues through the lyrics, especially in “Tell Them Where to Go,” where between murderous bass and clanging guitar chords, McKechnie sings about empowerment. “Are you stuck in your bedroom? With your stereo on? Thinking you’ll never play that way cos you’re too weird or too young/Why don’t you walk out your bedroom/and steal your brother’s guitar/ Go see the folks who took rock back from blokes and who get who you really are,” she wails, and you can see a hundred kids squaring their shoulders and heading out there.

Later, “Self-Made Man” launches an incendiary blow at the rich, skewering people who “work hard and don’t share,” in a hard bumping, intricately lyric’d song that vibrates with rage, and elsewhere “Sandcastles” pokes a rusty nailed prod at the politics that strangle otherwise well-meaning activist organizations. (“You don’t do anything because you know that people like you they just don’t do anything but tear each other down”). And right at the beginning in “Hope,” the band addresses boomer complacency on climate change, as McKechnie warbles, “My uncle Pete’s he’s complaining about the greenies, he says they’ve gone too far, I say Pete, they don’t go far enough.”

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And yet while not a moment on this album fails to engage in issues, the vibe is brash, celebratory, undeniably a gas. This is no over-earnest diatribe. It’s a series of party anthems about stuff that matters. One drum flattening call to arms insists that “Anger’s Not Enough,” and that’s right, there’s a lot more here. But it’s a really good place to start.

Released March 27th, 2020

Fronted by the ferocious Jenny McKechnie, Cable Ties are a three-piece from Melbourne who have built themselves a reputation as the saviours of contemporary Australian punk.

With a razor-sharp edge, they deconstruct the ragged aggression of stadium rock bands like AC/DC, the minimalism of post-punk pioneers Au Pairs, and synthesise them into bellowing anthems of discontent that are distinctly their own. Jenny screeches like a bogan banshee (or Siouxsie), Shauna pounds the drums like they owe her money (they do), and the Verlaine-thin bassist Nick Brown boogies like he’s hearing Blondie for the first time.

This simultaneously bright-eyed and jadedly anti-capitalist approach is the first thing you’ll notice on their new record Far Enough. From the way early single ‘Tell Them Where to Go’ harkens back to the cover of Sonic Youth’s Goo: ‘Are you stuck in your bedroom with your stereo on? Why don’t walk out your bedroom? And steal your brother’s guitar!?’ To the way ‘Sandcastles’ jumps back and forth like a fever dream, Far Enough is a stunning sophomore effort.

‘Sandcastles’ is the most concise song I’ve heard from you guys. Given you’re mainly known for stretching out punk songs beyond their limits, that’s a pretty big deal. How come it’s so much more concise?

Cable Ties are preparing to unleash their towering wall of ’70s hard rock and proto-punk to the world with the release of their second album (and Merge debut!) Far Enough on March 27th. As a final preview to the record, the Melbourne trio recently shared “Hope,” the opening song and lyrical centerpiece of Far Enough.

Singer-guitarist Jenny McKechnie says “Hope” serves as the record’s mission statement of sorts, touching on environmental, feminist, and anti-colonist themes explored in greater depth on “Sandcastles,” “Self-Made Man,” “Tell Them Where to Go,” and the rest of Far Enough.

We wrote that song when we had a weekend away writing, and we spent the whole time doing something which never ended up on the album. It was one of those weekends where it got too convoluted, and we had to start again. And right at the end of the weekend, we had two hours where we wrote ‘Sandcastles’ pretty much in one go. We just had a really good crack at it where… it felt like it was what it needed to be. It was straight to the point. Focussed. Like, when we write a song we start with a riff and if we can’t play that same riff over and over again for like half an hour, and enjoy it and really sink into it, sort of like feel it in our bodies in this cathartic way, we don’t think it’s worth making into a song.

On ‘Pillow’ you sing about feeling like you’ve fucked up and can’t go back. How do you cope with that feeling?

That feeling is something that I struggle with in music a lot, to be honest. Like, I did my undergrad arts degree in politics, and then I tried to go to Law School like, ‘I better do something that’ll get me a job,’ and I dropped out. Then I tried to do honours, and dropped that too. That feeling is me being like, ‘Why do I think that I’m so special that I can spend all my time playing music?’ And really beating myself up about it, which I would never do to anyone else, but for some reason, I still do it to myself. It’s still in my head that art’s a waste of time and that I should do something useful. So, that song was me convincing myself that it’s ok, what I’m doing. And that the voices in my head telling me that I’ve fucked up aren’t actually mine, in a way.

On ‘Tell Them Where to Go’ you sing about the aspirational component of being in a band. Is that your narrative? Are you singing to yourself?

That song was actually written when we were going to play at Girls Rock in Melbourne. It’s this program that gets young girls between 12 and 18 and puts them in bands. And they have to write an original song in one week and then perform it, and we were like ‘that is amazing.’ We were thinking about our own writing process like, it takes us months, we would never be able to do that! So we were like, ‘righto, we’re playing girls rock, let’s write a song for it. If they can do it then we should be able to.’ So that song is written for those kids. And also thinking about myself, and how much I would’ve loved to have something like that when I was growing up.

You sing very unapologetically. Was there any insecurity involved in finding your voice when you first started singing?

I first started playing music in [giggles] folk bands! So the stuff that I used to do was really quiet and sweet and I didn’t think that I could project my voice at all. But then when we started rehearsing we were really loud and I couldn’t get my voice over the sound of the amp. So the way that I’m singing was just a result of me really trying to be heard over the sound of everything. By the time that we were playing in venues where I could actually hear myself, I realised that I was doing this thing with my voice that I’d never thought I could do. Actually projecting and singing loud and high and just going for it. Cutting loose

At the end of ‘Anger’s not enough’ there’s a sound that sounds like a rooster. Is it a rooster?

Ha! I wish it was. But no, it’s not. I’m very glad that you can hear that though. The sound at the end of ‘Anger’s Not Enough’ is me with two guitar amps, and – I hate to get all spinal tap on this – they’re both turned all the way up to 10 and just pushed into overdrive. I also had this pedal from Newcastle called ‘when the sun explodes’—it’s like a reverb pedal where you can also get some really interesting feedback things going on. So its that looped over and over—I guess about three different tracks of me just messing with the guitar making crazy sounds. So if you can hear a rooster in there, I’m happy.

Cable Ties Origins Lisa Businovski Hope

Cable Ties are just weeks away from the release of their sophomore album, “Far Enough”. Arriving March 27th via Merge Records, the record came together amidst a struggle to reclaim that essential element of enduring life’s countless hardships:

“In the past, I thought I could change things,” singer Jenny McKechnie said in a press release. “I thought if I pointed out how messed up everything is, then people would see a clear path to fixing these problems. By the time I started writing this album, I had lost this hope. But it’s about the importance of getting hope back, even when you can see no logical reason to have it. Without hope, anger becomes despair or bitterness.”

If that quest to keep a level of optimistic faith is the core of the album, then new single “Hope” is its molten center. Opening with just a reverberating guitar and McKechnie’s voice, that sense of despondency seems to be the overarching feeling. But as she’s joined by her bandmates to sing, “It might be hopeless, but if I lose hope/ I’ll bring on that ending,” the song begins to take off. In come the drums, the guitar tightens, and the propellent bass kicks everything into gear. It’s an energy that reminds you hope isn’t just about resilience, but adamance.

Brand new single Hope is out in the universe today. It’s a song to hold on to in turbulent times. Speaking of which, we are gutted to announce that with the cancellation of SXSW our US tour has had to be postponed. We are all so disappointed to have to wait to play the states but we promise that we’ll be there soon. So much work, energy and anticipation has gone into this trip and we’re gonna make it happen – just not right now. UK, Europe and Australian tours are still full steam ahead so there are still riffs on the horizon. See ya out there soon x

From the album “Far Enough,” out March 27th, 2020

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Australian trio Cable Ties recently shared “Self-Made Man,” another thrilling preview from their second album and Merge Records debut, “Far Enough”, out March 27th. The track arrived alongside an Oscar O’Shea-directed music video featuring performances from the band and their community.

Cable Ties are a fierce, tense rock’n’roll trio. They take the three-minute punk burner and stretch it past breaking point to deliver smouldering feminist anthems. Post-punk and garage rock hammered together by a relentless rhythmic pulse. Jenny McKechnie channels her struggles into songs that resonate deeply, giving voice to feelings often buried in modern life. Shauna Boyle and Nick Brown are a rhythm section anchored in Stooges primitivism—relentlessly hammering out a bedrock for McKechnie’s guitar pyrotechnics and vocal wallop. Three friends summoning a rhythmic tide to deliver anthems that turn latent anxieties into a rallying cry.

Renowned for their incendiary live shows, Cable Ties make their American debut next month with dates in LA (including the recently announced Burgerama 2020), NYC, and at South by Southwest, followed by a European tour in April. Stay tuned for the band’s full SXSW schedule.

In case you missed it, watch Cable Ties’ previous equally potent Far Enough single “Sandcastles” and order the album today on CD, LP, and translucent amber and black swirl Peak Vinyl in the Merge Records store,

Cable Ties, photo by Spike Vincent

Melbourne trio Cable Ties have announced their second album, ‘Far Enough’, will be released on March 27th through Merge Records and follows their excellent 2017 debut.

They precede it with the record’s lead single ‘Sandcastles’, debuted via the Danny Cohen-directed visuals below.

“‘Sandcastles’ is a criticism of the idea that an effective activist community can be created by shouting down and casting out anyone who doesn’t abide by the social norms or language of an exclusive community or group,” explains vocalist Jenny McKechnie.

“The song is aimed at a figurative individual who doesn’t have any interest in making positive changes in society or participating in open and productive discussions about political and social issues. Rather, they set themselves up as the gatekeepers of progressive groups by aggressively policing language and immediately casting out anyone who doesn’t abide by the codes of behaviour they have created. This turns purportedly inter-sectional, progressive groups into exclusive clubs only accessible to people with homogeneous opinions, social and economic backgrounds, and ways of speaking.”

Jenny McKechnie, Shauna Boyle, and Nick Brown will release the album “Far Enough,” out March 27th, 2020.