Rock

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - So­phie Ben­jamin

Good Cit­i­zens Cash Sav­age and the Last Drinks Mistle­tone Cash Sav­age and the Last Drinks is a band that de­serves to be big­ger. It reg­u­larly sells out 1000-per­son venues in its home town and has a strong fol­low­ing in Europe as a re­sult of years of dogged tour­ing, but hasn’t been boosted by the Aus­tralian mu­sic me­dia be­yond com­mu­nity ra­dio and Dou­ble J. Good Cit­i­zens, the Mel­bourne band’s fifth al­bum, was writ­ten in the lead-up to the mar­riage equal­ity plebiscite and is about the pain of be­ing ex­cluded from a con­ver­sa­tion where your right to ex­ist is the topic un­der dis­cus­sion. Front­woman Cash Sav­age — who mar­ried her wife in 2015 and wel­comed a child with her ear­lier this year — comes out swing­ing in opener Hu­man, I Am, sar­cas­ti­cally re­peat­ing “It’s OK, you’re not one of them”, re­flect­ing the sen­ti­ments of wellmean­ing big­ots back in their faces. The rage and con­tempt bub­bles down to mourn­ful dis­ap­point­ment on Bet­ter Than That and the chill­ing ti­tle track, where Sav­age ob­serves that “ev­ery­body’s got a f..ked-up way of be­ing good cit­i­zens”. Whether it’s mar­riage equal­ity, deaths in cus­tody or ig­nor­ing cli­mate change, no other lyric I’ve heard sums up Aus­tralia’s cur­rent po­lit­i­cal sta­sis quite so el­e­gantly. Mu­si­cally, the tight band moves from mourn­ful blues to some­thing closer to post-punk. There’s been some dis­cus­sion re­cently about whether Aus­tralian song­writ­ers should be look­ing out­ward to the world and its prob­lems for in­spi­ra­tion, rather than draw­ing from a deep well of their own feel­ings. For Cash Sav­age and the Last Drinks, the po­lit­i­cal is deeply per­sonal, which makes Good Cit­i­zens the Aussie protest al­bum of 2018.

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