Whilst the UK and Australia share an abundance of cultural similarities in every day life, there are some major contrasts to take into account. One of which is the stature of the boozy skate and surf punks Dune Rats. Forming in 2010, the Brisbane punk trio have since become juggernauts on their respective home turf, with their 2017 sophomore record The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit debuting at the top spot on the Australian album chart upon releasee. Whilst Dune Rats might be the intoxicated lords of drunken pub punk on their home turf, they’re a relatively fresh proposition on our more dismal and perpetually grey shores. However, this may change in their favour with the release of their forthcoming record Hurry Up And Wait.
A reference to the start-stop lurch of touring, Hurry Up And Wait, as expected, is another stone cold slab of outrageous and intoxicated punk fun. However, when compared to it’s predecessors, it’s a lot more refined, focused and to a certain extent, musically mature. If the aforementioned The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit was fun in the way that shotgunning a six-pack and spewing is, Hurry Up And Wait is fun in a fashion that’s more focused on the company being kept rather than the intoxicants being consumed. It’s a still a record that’s best enjoyed alongside good company and a few brews, something that clearly was crucial in the creation of this record, but Hurry Up And Wait see’s Dune Rats self aware and refined whilst simultaneously never losing a trace of their persona.
This new found maturity isn’t immediately evident however. Opening with the boozy skit intro prior to collapsing into the musical pub chant of ‘Bobby D’, Dune Rats certainly have not settled into adult monotony with the passing of age. As the record spews forth into the instant classic that is set to be ‘Rubber Arm’ Hurry Up And Wait still see’s the Aussie punks retaining the scuzzed teenage aesthetic and sound, ensuring their craft is still loyal to the tinnie littered streets and skate parks in which they emerged forth. There’s polish and considered revision present in this record, something that wasn’t obvious within the group’s earlier work, but at the same time, Hurry Up And Wait still feels spontaneous and wildly carefree.
The aforementioned shift to focusing on melody and structure only becomes slightly clear as the record progresses into it’s second half, with ‘Patience’ and ‘Bad Habits’ seeing the crew subduing their recklessly hedonistic craft to focus on delivering some haplessly snaring hooks that are free of the grime and teenage slime that coated material from The Kids Will Know It’s Bullshit. If this is a concern for those who relish Dune Rats for their riotous charm and carefree nature, don’t be alarmed. ‘Stupid Is As Stupid Does’, as expected, is a powerpop punk anthem to debauchery and the aptly named ‘If My Bong Called Talk’ see’s Dude Rats document their narcotic consumption joviality with wicked humour.
Despite such differences between it’s relative predecessors, one of the biggest similarities between this record and the ones that came before it is how this is a summer record. As evident on the pop punk overindulgence of ‘Crazy’ and the gangs-all-here-and-all-pissed vocals of ‘No Plans’, Hurry Up And Wait is a record tailored for those long summer evenings spent wasting away in the warmth with your fellow loved reprobates. It’s the sound of a hazy and intoxicated teenage summer full of misadventures that’s been condescend and packaged in record form.
In all, whilst Dune Rats are now a band capable of selling out 3000 cap venues on their home soil, they’ve successfully managed to retain the persona and skate punk attitudes that originally made them so alluring. However, what they do showcase despite their adolescence humour is a more focused and refined take on structure and melody. A crate of shaken up punk lager that’s destined to go down a treat with everyone who fancies their skate punk free of adult responsibility.
Hurry Up And Wait is released January 31st via BMG Records