Gut Health have returned in style.

On “Separate States”, their first release of 2024, one of Melbourne’s finest current post-punk bands try something different, noting this is them “at our most experimental thus far.”

“We really wanted to channel early electronic music from the 1950s/60s and b-grade sci-fi movies of the time like Forbidden Planet. One thing I really enjoy about the track are the ‘church bell’ sounds, an accidental discovery built from stacking layers of dissonant guitar harmonics at once,” the band share.

Starting with a squirrelly riff that bassist Adam McKay (not that one) fleshed out alongside his friend, Romero’s Fergus Sinclair, “Separate States” quickly spiralled into one of Gut Health’s favourite songs.

Ever an appealing punk vocalist, Athina Uh Oh demands something of the older generation, who have done untold damage with their short-sighted actions in recent times: “Please recommend your favourite ways to reprimand this situation.”

There’s also a nice turn from fellow Melbourne artist Yang Chen on saxophone, which makes the song recall Glasgow’s chaotic post-punk collective Kaputt.

“Separate States” is angular post-punk of the highest order, and sublimely follows Gut Health’s string of 2023 singles, “The Recipe”, “Uh oh”, and “Juvenile Retention”.

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Before that trio of releases, Gut Health produced one of the best debuts of 2022 with their EP Electric Party Chrome Girl, which premiered on Tone Deaf at the time.

“Over four tracks, Gut Health produce danceable post punk that overflows with energy. Aiming to bring an LGBTQI+, femme and non-binary lineup to the fore, frontperson Athina Uh Oh is a magnetic performer, recalling the freewheeling enthusiasm and intoxicating vocals of Life Without Buildings’ Sue Tompkins.

Lead single ‘Inner Norm’ is one of the best punk songs of the year, a wry look at Melbourne’s Inner North, the area that may have birthed Gut Health but that they are acutely aware is filled with people perennially struggling between individuality and conformity,” we wrote.

Fresh from a 14-date run across the UK and Europe, Gut Health have some big shows lined up in the coming months, including support slots with Queens of the Stone Age and Hiatus Kaiyote. And in a perfect match of philosophies, they’ll play a set at Health Bells Festival hosted by Germany’s socialist anarchist football club FC St. Pauli

Gut Health’s “Separate States” is out now. 

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