Time to get the stockings and Christmas wish list settled for Santa Claus to see if you want to get ready for an adventure into the world of Post-Rock. Alongside bands from that genre I admired from Joy Division, Magazine, and The Fierce and the Dead, who I championed years ago, this next one is going to take me by surprise. Australasia is one of the most up-and-coming bands from Italy that is led by multi-instrumentalist Gian Spalluto.
The sound of their debut album, Vertebra, is almost a trip down memory into the underground scene in a time machine heading back into the late ‘70s/early ‘80s with a touch of electronica, ominous chord tones, and a futuristic world gone from beautiful into a dystopian universe as if they were doing the score for Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic, Blade Runner. The band had also released an EP called, Sin4tr4 last year and while this is their debut album, it is a stunning, powerful, and eruptive debut, like you’ve never expected before in your wildest dreams.
So how is it? Well, let’s get down to business and fasten your seatbelts and prepare to hurtle through the cosmos by sublight speed: Aura and Apnea have these sounds resurrecting the new wave genre between melancholic vocals, electronic drum patterns, soothing guitar melodies, and atmospheric synth patterns while Deficit, which is a reprise to the opener, Aorta, goes into the touches of Fugazi meets Joy Division’s guitar haywire effect of post-punk before settling into the voyages of Krautrock at the last couple of seconds by paying homage to NEU!
The rumbling drum patterns and pinging noises that make it almost sound like a lullaby which is evidential on Zero. It’s a driven composition that goes from soft into a driven rocking adventure that Gian creates to get the tempos flowing and vibrated, but Volume goes back into the post-punk techniques before heading into the synths as the title track has a peaceful guitar line between a classical and distinctive surround sound that is a perfect instrumental composition of walking into the woods by getting away from the pain and suffering by listening to the birds chirping to make you feel at home.
Everything starts to calm down on the closing track, Cinema. You can always imagine the soundtrack to your movie with an independent background as seeing the couple starting a new life and a new beginning by going off into the sunset and seeing where the next piece of the puzzle will take them into a new direction as the credits start to roll. And I could imagine this during Sofia Coppola’s 1999 classic, The Virgin Suicides.
After listening to this about three times already, I have to say, I am impressed of what I was hearing from beginning, middle, and end. Even though this is their debut album, Australasia has a long way to go. Ambient, Atmospheric, Shoegazing, and Poignant, Vertebra, is an experience you’ll never forget.