Satellites wear their hearts on their sleeves with their new EP Black Dog - which includes their hit song ‘Home Sweet Home’, first released in October 2016. They’ve built an album that not only fits its name-sake, which refers to an intense feeling of melancholy or depression, but one that is infused with a unique mix of anger and heart that blends it all together effortlessly.
The album ventures several times into hardcore territory, with moments that in a live setting would be just incredible to witness. ‘Thank You’ in particular stands out in this sense, with its tone that draws on punk rock energy with a bit of that hardcore vibe, including lyrics like: “The fistful of friends that hold us second to none / Have been our backbone since day one / Satellites fam ain't nothin to fuck with”. You can almost imagine screaming these words from the pit while frontman Mitch Chamberlain controls the proceedings with ease.
With the tumultuous energy that radiates from the tracks - that angry, unrestrained, almost compassionate feeling underscoring much of the album; it’s nice to see the final track has a more different vibe closing out the sixteen minutes with a song that comes across as almost vulnerable in a sense. ‘Johnny Ray’ is a requiem to someone the writer used to be, which is evidenced with the line “‘Misery loves company’ as Johnny Ray would say, / and I can attest to that, because I used to be the same”. The track also features Brock Conry, the lead singer for another Brisbane Punk Rock band, Stepson. His lamenting screams and vocals really push the message of the track home and just make it that much more extraordinary.
Overall, Black Dog is a Hardcore Punk fan’s dream, it measures up against some of the best records in the genre and manages to almost perfectly contain and balance the rhythm and energy in Punk Rock while remaining unique, incorporating lyrics and melodies that remain a staple of Hardcore. Black Dog is an EP that really sticks to the wall of the genre. It’s everything a you never knew you needed - passionate, sincere, and unguarded in a way that almost drives you to get stuck into it, to relate to it like you can with so few records.