“Nothing's more boring than a bunch of the same guitar bullshit over and over again. We’ve taken the guitar bullshit, made it occasionally a little faster, and sometimes even a little slower too,” says vocalist, guitarist and chief songwriter Owen Penglis with a cheeky grin.
Clearly he and his bandmates have cast a wider sonic net this time around, largely influenced by Penglis’ love of crate digging and his vast musical knowledge of the detritus of pop culture’s past. “Over the writing of this thing I was listening to a lot of 60s and 70s private press LPs from the USA, weird bubblegum, private press 45s from Australia, and a whole heap of 60s Jamaican rocksteady singles. Al (Grigg guitar/vocals) reckons 'Gun Man' sounds a little rocksteady-ish, but I think he’s wrong and it’d be embarrassing for a bunch of Australians to attempt these sounds.”
Much like everything else they’ve done, On Top was completely created on their own terms. Produced and mixed by Penglis himself, the album seems to be more direct than the band’s previous efforts, bringing a clarity to their sound without losing any of the ramshackle charm that has earnt Straight Arrows a worldwide cult following. This aural evolution is something that has happened more by chance than by any conscious choice. “As a group of gifted amateurs it sometimes happens that through repetition and long tours we've improved at our craft, despite our best efforts to the contrary,” laughs Penglis.
On Top is the riveting next episode in the ongoing Straight Arrows saga.“The first album is It’s Happening, the second is Rising, so it only makes sense by this point that we'd eventually make it On Top!!” says Penglis. “Plus it’s WAY more flattering than 'Peaked'.”
01. Nothing To Me
02. 21st Century
03. Gun Man
04. Bound To Lose
05. Out And Down
06. The One
07. I Don't
09. Buried Again
Straight Arrows began with Owen Penglis yelling about getting dumped and kicked out of bands into a four-track cassette machine in his bedroom. Joined by friends Alex Grigg, Angela Bermuda, and Adam Williams with colourful musical pasts, the four have honed their reverb-laden, fuzzed out, DIY punk garage into scrappy perfection and, in the process gained an outstanding reputation for being "the band that will make you start your own band".
Since their inception Straight Arrows have pressed and sold out of internationally released 7”s, toured with friends Thee Oh Sees, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The Black Lips, Jay Reatard (RIP) and Ty Segall and released their debut album ‘It’s Happening’ (Agitated, 2013) to a flood of praise. Bagging Album Of The Week from the likes of Australian radio stations FBi, 2SER, RTR and 3RRR, the record also landed them an invite to perform at the hugely respected Gonerfest in Memphis, Tennessee and a few rounds of touring the USA and Europe.
Bands have been queuing up to have Owen Penglis record and produce their music – the likes of Royal Headache, Circle Pit, Living Eyes, The Frowning Clouds, The Gooch Palms have all used his bathroom and in 2012 Owen produced and recorded the who’s who of the Australian Garage scene for a 40th Anniversary tribute to the hugely influential Nuggets compilation. Rising is an exciting follow up to ‘It’s Happening’ and sees the band step things with their warm and dirty garage pop sound. For fans of: Pebbles, Nuggets, Lollipop Shoppe, Kinks, and all that Brit-Invasion sound, but also all the new slew of garage chug, Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Black Lips…
02. Fruit Of The Forest
03. Can't Stand It
05. Continental Son
06. Don't Tell Me
07. Rotten Teeth
08. Make Up Your Mind
09. Without Ya
10. Dont Call My Name
12. Changing Colours
13. Never Enough
Straight Arrows began with Owen Penglis yelling about getting dumped and kicked out of bands into a four-track cassette. He was soon joined by Alex Grigg, Angela Bermuda and Adam Williams - all friends with colourful musical pasts. Slowly the four honed their reverb-laden, fuzzed out, punk garage into scrappy perfection.
Finding it tough to get shows, Straight Arrows went down the DIY path and decided to put on their own raucous parties at New South Wales' notorious (and now abandoned) gay bar, The Newtown Hotel. Around the same time they put out their first 7" 'Something Happens/Can't Count' on their newly formed label Juvenile Records. Figuring the only way to sell these records (and make their money back) was to force them, photocopied sleeve 'n all, into the hands of drunks and connoisseurs.
Straight Arrows started driving up and down the east coast of Australia, playing parties, warehouses, bars - wherever they could - and in the process gained an outstanding reputation for being "the band that will make you start your own band". By late 2010 Straight Arrows sold out two more 7s, toured with friends Thee Oh Sees, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The Black Lips, Jay Reatard (RIP) and Ty Segall amongst others and released their debut album It's Happening to a flood of praise, landing them an invite to perform at the Goner Fest in Memphis, Tennessee playing alongside garage punk royalty The Gories. Bands began to queue-up for Owen Penglis to record and produce their music at his home studio and in 2012 Owen produced and recorded the who's who of Sydney / Brisbane Garage scene for the 40th Anniversary tribute album to the seminal Nuggets compilation, originally compiled by Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith band).
Straight Arrows will release their follow up to IT'S HAPPENING! via Agitated later in the year.
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