Sydney based seven-piece Little Bastard have just released their self-title debut album –Little Bastard. They are a band who have steadily made a name for themselves, cutting their teeth by dealing themselves all-in to their raucous, energetic and by all means sweaty nights on the stage. Performances with such gusto could lead one to believe the confines of a recording studio may be an uncomfortable place for Little Bastard, however upon listening to their brand new self-titled release, one couldn’t be much further from the truth.
The album is refined, well structured and well groomed – something of a triumph when you consider how many things are going on here. Throughout, the album is choc-a-bloc with guitars, drums, banjos, fiddles, mandolins, harmonicas and an assortment of other instrumentation. The band have managed to coerce all these sounds and put them into something not short of orderly.
Lead single and album opener High For You is packed full of energy and stomps along with vocalist Johnny Took who barks at us in a manner very reminiscent of The Pogues one and only Shane MacGowan. After this frenetic start the album shifts genres from time to time. Tracks such as I Just want You Home and Good Explosions continue along the rootsy-punk tradition, whereas Just Wont Do moves towards the Blues scale and Desert Roller takes us entirely to country town. Its nice to see a band not conforming to one set route and just putting out whatever they feel sounds good. We move territory again in numbers such as Crosses On The Highway and In the Summer, both this time taking an almost Smith’s meets Paul Kelly blend of folk-pop. The band are able to breathe emotion into their tunes with ease, especially seen on album closer Where Did My Love Go? It’s a mix of great songwriting and good production at work here.
Little Bastard’s debut really is an interesting listen. It’s full of variety, cleverly put together and delivered with a definite punch. It is entirely refreshing and keeps you on your toes – much like their live shows. It shifts in dynamics when it needs to and brings you back up to speed when you clearly haven’t had enough. Thoroughly enjoyable, go and check them out now.