You’d think Jake Robertson would already have his hands full playing in the likes of Ausmuteants, Leather Towel, School Damage, Drug Sweat et al. But no, evidently there’s always time for one more thoroughly wracked project, and Alien Nose Job’s focus is as kaleidoscopically scattershot as you’d expect from a man with such a short attention span. Just to confirm: yes, that’s a good thing.
From the off, we glide through the Coneheads-style Devocore of Television Sets before romping through the jangling lo-fi pop of Weight of the World, which skips and mopes while making like The Clean setting light to their parents’ carpet with a magnifying glass. There’s also charmingly scruffy soul-pop, chugging sci-fi slop-punk, straight-up college rock balladry and much, much more. But these aren’t sketches or tossed-off genre exercises. They’re bona fide works of consummate skill that resonate sincerely and effortlessly. Essentially, each song sounds like a challenge to the one that follows, a cry of ‘step the fuck up’; Suddenly Everything is Twice as Loud is a treasure trove of mini-masterpieces. Rough as fuck mini-masterpieces, sure, recorded with a cheap drum machine and guitars that sound like rusty drills cutting through power cables, but mini-masterpieces nonetheless.
When venerable doyens of the pop establishment make albums of such eclectic scope and genuine songwriting talent, they get called geniuses. When punk as fuck wiseguys like Robertson pull it off, words like ‘maverick’ get tossed around. Rest assured, his Alien Nose Job project covers both angles. This second album is an instant classic that deserves to be heard far beyond the underground – but if it isn’t, who cares? He’s probably playing in another seven bands already by the time you read this. I’ve not heard them yet either, but I can tell you they’re all fucking amazing. Just buy this record and join the cult.
Our take: New LP (their second) from this Australian project helmed by Jake from Ausmuteants. Jake seems like one of those gifted musicians who always has a ton of projects going (he’s also in Heirophants, my personal favorites Leather Towel, and a bunch of others). While most of those have a particular style, Alien Nosejob seems to have no boundaries, with genre, style, and instrumentation often changing drastically from track to track, though most everything on Suddenly Everything Is Twice as Loud falls more or less under the punk umbrella. Several songs recall different eras of another eclectic group, the Television Personalities, with the plonky bass tone of “Blending In” reminding me of that band’s earlier stuff and the darker, more baroque “Rainbow Road” evoking their Painted Word album. Then there’s the Hardcore Devo-ish “Spin Cycle,” the Heartbreakers / Johnny Thunders-esque riff to “Emotional Rep,” and the New Order / Total Control-style closer, “Alien Island.” That’s already an eclectic list of comparisons, but it barely scratches the surface of what’s going on with this LP. Jake’s instantly identifiable voice and melodic sensibility holds everything together, so if you’re a fan of his other projects, odds are you’ll like at least a big chunk of Suddenly Everything Is Twice as Loud.