Over the last four years the Geelong group have become a burgeoning force in the Australian punk scene. Their burly, brusque yet supple songs have evolved from the garage rock of 2017’s TV Organs album into the post-punk panic attack of last year’s Company Man EP. Now they’ve sculpted their sound further, the barrage now offset with robust songwriting, their full-pelt bounce tempered with flailing guitar lines and sardonic commentary. Bringing to mind Wire tackling tracks from early 7”s by The Yummy Fur, it’s an inspired approach, both striking and effortlessly mirthful. Vintage Crop still dish-up plenty of commanding stomp, their lyrics remain as keen-eyed as ever, but now they’re unafraid to mess with the tempo and drive their point home.
Our take: Serve to Serve Again is the third LP from this group out of Geelong, Australia. It doesn’t offer any major left turns, but more of the sophisticated post-punk they’ve been serving up for several years. While Vintage Crop can get angular and Devo-ish (see “Gridlock”), most of their songs have a kind of ambling, stoned-sounding tempo that reminds me of Parquet Courts. Like Parquet Courts (to whom I’ve compared Vintage Crop before), Vintage Crop sounds nimble and light on their feet; their rhythms and melodies are as crisp as an ice cold La Croix. While there are melodies and hooks here, what sticks with me after I listen to Serve to Serve Again is that steady, insistent Krautrock-ish beat. A good soundtrack to sitting at your desk and pounding out some work.