WHILE THERE is a noticeable 1990s' indie and shoegaze revival among Irish, British, and American bands, the Australians are looking much further back for inspiration - to the dawn of indie in '70s' post-punk and the subsequent '80s' DIY scene.
While 'Chancer', opening track of The Stevens second album Good, sounds like a more muscular Teenage Fanclub, plough deeper into this collection, and The Monochrome Set, The Pastels, The Vaselines, the more accessible side of Wire and such like, take over as the Melbourne quartet's dominant starting point.
But starting point it is, for repeated listening sees those influences fall away as the major impression, replaced instead by a realisation and a marvelling at how Good is a masterclass in indie songwriting. Here is that special ability to create songs which are melodic and deeply catchy ('King Hit' ), with choruses, refrains, and riffs ('Cruiser', 'Thirsty Eye' ) which burrow deep and keep replaying in the mind after the song is over, and which achieve a kind of haunting quality ('Rosebud', 'Dole Waivers Will' ) - all without ever submitting to commercialism, such is the group's commitment to the frantic, lo-fi, raw post-punk aesthetic.
An album to make you fall in love with core indie values all over again.