RACHEL MARIA COX
There’s comfort in catharsis: sometimes, the best sense of closure is secured by taking an emotional weight and wringing it out over some truly ripping guitars.
UntidyLines is pillared on that ethos, misty tales of heartache and self-doubt set ablaze via scorching lyrical quips and equally driving riffs. Though it’s hard not to feel cheated by the album’s size (at seven cuts just shy of 30 minutes, it’s more of an EP), every song is weighty, dynamic and shows a wealth of musical depth. Cox and their backing band cover a wide stretch of sonic ground – punky digs clash beautifully with potent tinges of indie and pop – and though Cox doesn’t play guitar on the record, their signature jangly spark is splattered all over it. Highlights are abundant: “Constellation” packs a sharp, somber punch in its slow-burning six minutes; “No Chill” is a pure belter from start to end, and peaking with harmonic verses and a jammy payoff, album closer “Stronger Lines” is outright goosebump-inducing. In a sentence, UntidyLines is the emo-rock masterpiece Australia has been clamouring for. MATT DORIA