The Number of the Surf Beat
Swamped – The Quick Sixes (Outtaspace)
There’s an awkward charm to the sound of The Quick Sixes that’s hard to resist. Equal parts twang, space retro blues and garage shimmy, this Geelong quartet is a cross between Brisbane’s late, lamented Hewkawis, The Modern Lovers and Shutdown66 (but with better manners.)
The Gee-troit Sound is long gone but if you think of The Quick Sixes as Barwon Heads Beat you can’t go wrong. It's surf music for the loveless and landlocked. It'll occasionally make you cry into your beer. It's sometime a little loose around the edges, but it's a load of fun. Variety is a by-word, too.
Half the album was recorded in a beachside shed during Covid lockdown, the other dates back to 2018. Vocalist-guitarist Spaceman Dave (Mergatroid, Labrat, Spacefarmers) croon-growls in brooding style and is an adept fretman. He and keyboardist Phil Honey provide the colour and movement while a solid engine room (that’d be Rick Porteous and bassist Phil Smurthwaite) provides the grooves.
Contrary to its title, “Terror Australis” is about as scary as a ride on a country fair ghost train. It’s more like tremelo twang meeting Morricone cool on the ferris wheel. “Swamped” is a reverb-laden garage groovefest with a spidery guitar-line set to love-lost lyrics that are dripping with remorse.
Spaceman Dave delivers a commanding vocal on the transcendentally spooky “Restless Hearts” that could have won a place on a ‘50s teen movie soundtrack. Likewise “Blue Caves”, which is another standout.
“Back to the Sea” delivers what’s written on the label but has a vibe that’s more trash vibe than “Blue Hawaii”. “Monster Girl” has way too many words for its own good but who cares? “Too Ghoul For School” is total schlock – like The Verntures guesting on an episode of “My Favorite Martian”.
You want pathos? “Invisible to You” flicks the switch to boy-lost-girl balladeering and sounds like it walked off a good old compilation of early ‘60s Oz punk like “It’s a Kave In”. Fuck it, the whole record reeks of “Back From the Grave” – and you just try and tell me that’s not a good thing.
It's a short run on vinyl only so click on that link below before it's too late.