Album Focus: The Government Yard

12 April 2012 | 4:08 pm | Staff Writer

Vocalist Rob Devine gives us a rundown on the debut record from The Government Yard.

Band history in brief? We are long-term friends who have been jamming and writing songs for the past few years in Jarrah forests, '60s rental accommodation south of the river and a big beat rehearsal studio in Riverton.

Describe your sound: Our songs sound like falling Banksia limbs, land degradation and salinity lectures. Reference points for our music are The Sunnyboys, The Triffids, Midnight Oil, The Drones, Paul Kelly and Frenzal Rhomb.

Tell us about the album: Our self-titled album is our first official recording. It features nine songs that deal with themes of forgotten history, Gondwanan ancestry and short-sighted developments. We have also created five video clips for the songs, as we have specific images in mind when writing them. One of these clips was made using shadow puppets to tell the story of the naturalist Francois Peron. A major highlight for us was receiving a reply from Professor Tim Flannery saying that he very much enjoyed the clip, after we wrote to thank him for the inspiration his writing has provided us.

Recording process: The album was recorded at the Sound Factory by Wayne Smith. The songs were recorded live onto tape to capture the energy of each performance.

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Collaborations? The album features samples of Baudin's Cockatoos from the south west, and a chorus of moaning frogs from Murdoch swamp. Wayne also played electric guitar on some of the tracks.

Tell us about the launch: We will be distributing our album by leaving copies in the hollow of a large, fallen, dead Jarrah tree in the bushland of Beeliar Regional Park, North Lake. People are welcome to come to the tree and take a copy for themselves as of April 10. A map and directions to the exact location are available upon request by emailing us at The band will recover any leftover copies regularly, so as not to be dumping or creating litter. This effort is intended to represent the environment that the songs are written about and to promote awareness of the need to protect remnant bushland on the Swan Coastal Plain.

What's on the horizon? The Government Yard will be performing around Perth, making friends where we can.