Australia’s Second Idol announces their raucous debut EP, Defence Mechanisms. The reflective, dynamic five-track album is a solid introduction to the Sydney alt-rock quartet, with Herculean melodies, earnest lyric writing, and skilled instrumentation. Comprised of Kate Olivia, Maxine Gillon, Theia Joyeaux, and Afeef Iqbal, the band shows impeccable promise with their first group effort.

“This record is about resilience and strength, vulnerability and authenticity, self-worth and self-determination,” lead singer Kate Olivia reflects. “The growing of armour. Defence Mechanisms explores concepts of power and control, ambition and listlessness, political frustration, queerness and gender, all fuelled with a relentless vengeance.”

The opener and lead single White Noise meshes vitality with vigour via a comprehensive mix of ominous guitars and resolute drums. Olivia’s vocals dive into shrieks similar to Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The second track, Out Of Time, commences with ethereal riffs and a resonant rhythm section, combining for an enthralling chorus that takes cues from the band’s 90’s influences – there is heavy Pixies resonance here, tipping closer to the sonic world of The Breeders. Tired Eyes follow up with arena-sized chorus, layered with richly distorted guitars and reverberated vocals. There is a heavy air of nostalgia with this track with the sluggish drums: Siouxsie filtered through the haze of PJ Harvey. Low Tides, in contrast, substitutes energy for intimacy. Finally, The Way It Is caps off the EP with a familiar mix of candidness and insolence, conveyed through fuzz and fervent vocals.

Defence Mechanisms was produced, mixed, and mastered by Nick Franklin (Peking Duk, Polish Club, CLEWS).

The band has released a new performance video for Out Of Time, directed by Maxine Gillon and “filmed on Gadigal land that was never ceded.” Watch below:

Stream the album on Spotify below or click here for your preferred service.

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Photo: Katherine Rooke

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