Refreshingly honest and punchy to a fault, The Big One’s gritty and catchy songs suit to lift up those railing against convention – the wage slaves, the back-alley brawlers, the riotous punks and the lovers of anything loud. Dumb Punts aren’t here to terrorise – they just wanted to blast out the cobwebs and bullshit through pure (albeit noisy) expression. Ain’t nothing to fault with that. The Big One is a fine addition to Australia’s garage and pub rock lineage – proof that good things never die.
Less thuggish and belligerent and more irreverent and malleable by nature, The Big One catches the Punts at a crucial juncture, where diesel-powered riffs and snotty choruses are melded with lyrical scrutiny and an overall sonic spit-shine. This churning collection of quick-hitting jams has been imbued with enough mongrelised energy to sway even the most stone-footed individuals towards a hearty stomp, but with each fist pump comes a wink and a nod to what lies underneath.
Up the Punts!
Our take: Debut LP from this band out of Melbourne, Australia. One thing I like about contemporary Australian punk is that a lot of it seems to exist outside the scene dynamics that keep comparable American groups boxed into their respective subgenres. At least in my experience, there’s a strong separation between punk and indie rock in the current US scene, and bands tend to fall on one side of that line or the other. Indie bands focus on melody and rarely sound tough or powerful while many punk rock groups fear letting melody into their sound at all. However, a band like Dumb Punts can sound breathy and gentle one second (like the beginning of “Heating Up”) and like a bunch of heavy-handed, drunken oafs the next. They remind me of their countrymen Deaf Wish in that their sound pulls from 80s American indie/college rock, muscular Australian garage (think Cosmic Psychos), and the best 70s pub rock (Slaughter & the Dogs, the Stranglers) in equal measure. Those influences don’t sound like they’d be compatible on paper, but they work here, and keep The Big One sounding fresh and exciting from track to track. It’s a shame that the one-two punch of an unfavorable exchange rate and high postage costs makes this LP an expensive proposition for Americans, but if you’re following the latest and greatest from down under you’re already used to that.