Tone Deaf is happy to be premiering the debut EP of Melbourne’s excitable post-punk outfit Gut Health, which comes out tomorrow.
Sometimes the assured touch a band displays on a debut release is confounding or confronting – how did The Strokes produce something like Is This It at the first attempt? – but with Gut Health, everything was primed for them to so audibly impress on their debut EP, Electric Party Chrome Girl.
The rising five-piece honed fine-tuned their sound by supporting some of Melbourne’s finest DIY punk bands, including Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice and Private Function, learning from those bands’ commitment to unbridled energy and powerful songwriting.
Gut Health then built up a growing reputation in the city’s underground scene for their own live performances, and their rawness luckily isn’t diminished on record. Electric Party Chrome Girl has a propounding immediacy, probably helped by the fact the EP was self-recorded inside a storage facility in the heart of Brunswick; when it came time to have it mixed and mastered, they simply headed a few storage units down to let Simon Maisch (Bitumen, OV Pain) enhance the sound.
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.
Angular guitars abound, doing battle with bouncing synths and propelling drums; in many ways, Gut Health seem to pay homage to the unrestrained self-expression of the No Wave movement, a potentially chaotic approach that eventually all pulls together over the four tracks. It’s theatrical and ferocious, but impressive in its precocity. 2023 and beyond could be a big few years for Gut Health.
Get the latest Indie news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
To celebrate the release of Electric Party Chrome Girl – which you can listen to below – tomorrow, the band will be launching it with a show at The Curtin on Friday night (tickets here).
Gut Health’s Electric Party Chrome Girl is out tomorrow via Marthouse Records.