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SCREENSAVER

Screensaver

Decent Shapes

    Melbourne/Naarm synth-punk five-piece screensaver return with ‘Decent Shapes’, their second album. ‘Decent Shapes’ is loaded with bubbling tension, a low grade but growing fever, a rising rage. The frustration is so tangible you can taste it. Detachment and dissociation become survivalist coping mechanisms.

    Thematically, screensaver's latest offering finds them exploring existence on an ever-growing trash heap where we’re desperate for the new, the nice and the shiny. A world where materialism reigns supreme and corporate niceties litter the public dialogue but behind closed doors the sentiment is warlike, total domination is the only answer to the bottom line. All of which is underpinned by the band's sonic sense of urgency and a commitment to creating a sound that taps into the mood and spirit of post-punk whilst also allowing space for new wave elements and electronic experiments to shine through.

    ‘Decent Shapes’ was recorded and mixed by Julian Cue, who was also the recording engineer for Expressions of Interest. Defined by a kinetic energy, dynamic range and brooding atmosphere, the 10-track release comprises some tracks that were mainstays within the band's live shows - featuring in their US tour set-list - alongside others which were written later in the recording process. During the creation of ‘Decent Shapes’, the band also experimented with swapping instruments, allowing for different playing styles and song-writing approaches.

    screensaver was formed in 2016 as a trans-Pacific project between Krystal Maynard (Bad Vision/ex Polo) and Christopher Stephenson (Spray Paint/Exek). Their debut album Expressions of Interest received support from the likes of Brooklyn Vegan, Beats Per Minute, DIY and Post-Trash and last September the band played a 12-date tour across the US.

    TRACK LISTING

    01. Red Lines
    02. The Guilt
    03. Party Interest
    04. Future Trash
    05. Drainer
    06. Severance Pay
    07. Direct Debit
    08. Cancellation Notice
    09. No Vacation
    10. Signals

    Screensaver

    Clean Current / Repeats

      Naarm/Melbourne 4-piece screensaver is back with a double A-side 7-inch single just 6-months after delivering their 10-track debut album Expressions of Interest on Upset the Rhythm (UK) and Heavy Machinery (AU) to positive international response.

      The band return with two distinctly different tracks that extend upon the blend of post-punk, new wave and synth-punk on their debut.

      Side A, Clean Current is a burst of high-energy: nervy guitars and groovy bass underpinned with krautrock drums and cosmic synth noise, overlayed with delay heavy vocals. Repeats is the flipside of the coin, a moody post-punk stomper, led by gritty sawtooth synth, chorus-soaked guitar, textural percussion and soaring vocals. Lyrically Clean Current spits out retorts aimed at the engulfing nature of anxiety whilst Repeats critiques the repetition of modern life, languishing human existence.


      TRACK LISTING

      01. Clean Current
      02. Repeats

      Screensaver

      Expressions Of Interest

        ‘Expressions of Interest’ is the debut album from Melbourne/Naarm post-punk group screensaver.

        Sonically, the 10 track album is rich and detailed, and pays homage to its era of inspiration (late 70s-mid 80s post-punk and new wave) with gripping vocals, dissonant guitar, melodic basslines, washes of synths and motorik drumming. Engineered by Julian Cue alongside band member Chris Stephenson and recorded over multiple studio sessions between 2020-2021

        The album opens with the ominously titled ‘Body Parts’, an immediately arresting song that showcases the bands penchant for blending classic post-punk elements, leaning into a sound somewhere between the Banshees and Protomartyr.

        Maynard doubles down on these themes in the frenetic second track, ‘No Movement’. Guttural organ tones swim under overdriven guitar, jagged and intense. Additional textures and sound effects are used percussively to embellish the dynamics, creating a feverish atmosphere with some Martin Hannett like flourishes.

        The album takes a surprising turn into electronic driven krautrock on track three with 'Buy, Sell, Trade' - a rollicking piece of danceable ephemera, dominated by swirling synth sounds and punctuated with electronics reminiscent of Sparks/Moroder collaborations. Chris Stephenson's masterful guitar work begins with Greg Sage-esque determination before a crescendo into a lush Frippertronics outro.

        'MEDS' transports us back to the foundation established on 'Body Parts', a gothy piece, full of tribal toms and dirge-y synths. Industrial punk rock nearly swallowed whole by the keys in the middle and slowly building back to complimentary guitar and vocal hooks.

        It's from this point in the album that the band let's their other influences rise to the surface, as they explore touches of EDM on 'Static State' - a brutal, death-disco style track, Krystal Maynard's lead synth and gloomy vocal complimenting the pounding drums and dub-esque bass line culminating in a track worthy of the dancefloor.

        Opening side two we have 'Skin', beginning with a solid and simple backbeat, James Beck’s post-punk percussion provides a steady and minimal framework for the rest of the band to colour in with great depth and detail. Giles Fielke’s bass guitar wobbles brilliantly leading the verse melody, whilst Chris Stephenson’s guitar drives the chorus that folds neatly in on itself.

        In ‘Attention Economy’, Krystal Maynard is flexible with her lyrical style, and knows how and when to lend her voice to the greater backdrop of the composition. ‘Attention Economy’ has an almost Kraftwerkian structure - repetitious, but engaging with its constant tom driven beat, lush synth lines and minimal bass tones.

        Just when you thought things had slowed down, screensaver ramp things right back up again with ‘Overnight Low’ - a no holds barred thumper. Giles Fielke underpins the hard-edged sound with his bassline, keeping things smooth and tight. It brings to mind a hybrid of PiL’s ‘Annalisa’ and Wire’s ‘Two People In a Room.’

        Before you can catch your breath, we have ‘Regular Hours’ - another industrial track, and perhaps the sister song to ‘Static State’ heard earlier on side one. Seething electronic drum samples cut through an abyss of growling synths, Giles Fielke hanging up the bass temporarily to accompany Krystal Maynard on synth duties.

        The album closes with the fittingly titled ‘Soft Landing’, literally bringing the listener back down...softly. The song is heavy on atmos, and resembles the aesthetics previously encountered on ‘Attention Economy’ a few tracks earlier.

        ‘Expressions of Interest” was recorded at various locations across Melbourne, with a handful of songs being captured before the start of the Covid pandemic in January 2020. With the recording timeline being drastically altered, the band shifted focus to work on what would become their first single ‘Strange Anxiety’, throughout the first months of the Melbourne 2020 lockdown. 


        TRACK LISTING

        SIDE A
        01. Body Parts
        02. No Movement
        03. Buy, Sell, Trade
        04. MEDS
        05. Static State

        SIDE B
        06. Skin
        07. Attention Economy
        08. Overnight Low
        09. Regular Hours
        10. Soft Landing


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