Album Review: The Peep Tempel - Joy

11 October 2016 | 2:07 pm | Matt O'Neill

"It's a little bit sharper. A little bit more accessible. A little bit (read: marginally) shinier."

More The Peep Tempel More The Peep Tempel

It's easy to over-simplify when it comes to The Peep Tempel.

Often, their work is discussed in terms of bracing, noisy punk-rock. This isn't an unfair categorisation. However, it does somewhat sell them short. Without deviating too much from the economical craftsmanship that's been the foundation of the band's career, third album Joy makes it a little bit harder for casual listeners to ignore the intellect and idiosyncrasies that have always sat at the heart of the band's work.

It's a little bit sharper. A little bit more accessible. A little bit (read: marginally) shinier. Frontman Blake Scott's exceptional lyrics and character-driven vocal delivery have been pushed a bit further into the spotlight - making it easier for newcomers to appreciate the torrent of minutiae-driven poetry and gnarled humour that is his lyrical stock-in-trade. Rumbling opener Kalgoorlie is a viscous ooze of storytelling. "I've been breaking boulders older than the dark of night itself/The red earth is cracked and jagged/Sunburnt, blistered and ragged... I'm salt of the earth assaulting the earth/I'm often tired/And I'm often drunk/And I am broken marriage/Hardship."

But, rather than simply shove Scott forward, the band as a whole have tightened their style and songwriting. Rayguns and Don't Race boast some of the best earworms that the band have ever produced. Throughout, there's more light and shade in the band's dynamics. It is, all in all, a decisive improvement on an already-outstanding formula.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter