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Two For One

15 January 2013 | 5:16 am | Michael Smith

“I think we were so relieved that the record was sort of finished – the music side of things – that we forgot to do the rest of the business-related things to do with releasing an album.”

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"It was a long time coming,” admits the Melbourne six-piece's singer, guitarist and principal songwriter of the band's eponymous debut album. “The band's been around for about three years and we'd planned to be releasing something a year and a half before this – maybe even two years. We had a line-up change early on the piece, a couple of days before we went in to start work on the album – that was a bit of a setback – but hopefully it won't take us this long to get the second one out.”

It was the loss of a drummer that initially slowed things down for the band, and when you consider that the core of the Money For Rope sound is built around having two drummers, that was no small thing. In the event, they got a guy who guitarist Rick Parnaby reckons with a laugh “is a bit more of a musician than us.” The album only took four days to record but as an indie band, but Money For Rope hadn't thought through the practical side of releasing an album and that's what caused the delay. Not that that's really an excuse after they'd already released four singles. But McKenzie admits, “I think we were so relieved that the record was sort of finished – the music side of things – that we forgot to do the rest of the business-related things to do with releasing an album.”

As it happens, there was a small boutique label in Spain – Grabiciones de Impacto (Records With Impact) – paying attention, having picked up on a clip for one of the singles and asked Money For Rope if they could put together a compilation of the A- and B-sides of those four singles for a European vinyl release.

“Yeah, it was sort of like having two albums come out at the same time,” chirps an obviously pleased McKenzie with a laugh. “Maybe it's making up for running a little late with the first.”

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Two drummers, three guitarists, a bassist and a keyboard player pretty much guarantees Money For Rope are going to have a big fat rock sound, but that doesn't mean they're interested in over-complicating things. A lot of their songs are based around the classic two-chord bounce of early rock'n'roll, though they're drawing inspiration from artists from a later period.

“You know that song on [feature film] Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels?” Here, McKenzie sings the two-note bass line to E-Z Rollers Walk This Land. “I always just think that's got the most amazing amount of emotion connected to it, and I've always sort of felt like that was enough to get the point across. The Stooges did it a lot, the two-chord thing, and they'd be one of my favourite acts to listen to. I've got a few friends that have been in bands that were great bands and then sort of fell off when they tried to something too technical and write a song that showed off their prowess on their instruments or whatever, and I've always particularly liked really simple bass lines that are the force of the track and not to overcomplicate things and have tricky chords – it just sort of seems to work for us. I mean, we've got other stuff going on with the drums and everything too, so it's working so far,” McKenzie chuckles.

It's certainly working for the Spaniards as much as we Australians, and while Money For Rope will be spending the first few months of 2013 touring the debut album round the nation, come May they're off to Spain to tour their “other” debut album, before spreading out across Europe from there.