Saskwatch ‘Leave It All Behind’ Album Review and Tour Announcement
It’s no secret the Vulture has a thing for nine-piece Melbourne icon Saskwatch. We’ve reported on their skillful, soulful, have-it-by-the-bowlful musical stylings on numerous occasions – and we’ve sung their praises every time. In fact, Saskwatch are as much a part of the Melbourne music scene as Carlton Draught in plastic schooners. Today, the band are proud to drop their debut album Leave It All Behind, an ill-fitting name for an album which leaves absolutely nothing behind.
The album was recorded at Woodstock Studios in Melbourne straight to analogue tape, culminating in a sound that makes you query whether the record wasn’t actually recorded 40 years ago. It comes from an apposite collaboration with Northside Records, who saw talent and snatched it right up.
The opening instrumental track, ‘Delinquent’ sets the tone of the album. It’s fast-paced, sexy, and sounds like it belongs on a Bond soundtrack. Then enter the band’s lead singer, Nkechi Anele, with the second track, ‘Don’t Wanna Try’. She’s blow your socks-off good. It’s a little Amy Winehouse, a little Aretha, and ultimately a whole lot of fun to listen to. Nkechi sounds like she was born with eight good-looking, talented musicians coming right out of the womb after her – ready to back her up at any moment with huge crescendos of brass.
The band’s first-released single, ‘Your Love’, is the unequivocal standout. It’s been flogged on Triple J for many a month now and we still haven’t got sick of it. Along with the band’s originals are two covers which offer a sound of the familiar. The first, a tribute to the recently disbanded Melbourne group Little Red with a reworking of ‘Coca-Cola’ – a cover as refreshing as the beverage itself. The second, reminding us that Robbie Williams should never be taken seriously, is a cover of ‘Kids’. Thought you hated that song? Think again, you don’t. That hideous song you once knew actually provides these lovely little interludes where you hear each individual instrument shine. All in all, it’s an album so good it stagnated the writing of this very article – at every turn, the album calls for impromptu dancing and air-saxophone. That’s a thing, right?
The band popped their proverbial at Cherry Bar in Melbourne three years ago, institutionalising Thursday nights’ ‘Soul in the Basement’ at the venue – nights which always promised to leave you covered in cheap shiraz and dancing like you invented Motown. But this year has seen the Saskwatch success-story rise to dizzying heights – they started the year at the Falls Festival and they’re ending it at Meredith. They’ve supported soul-legends Earth, Wind & Fire, Maceo Parker and The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble on their respective Australian tours. But it would be remiss to view Saskwatch as merely a support act – they stand proudly on their own feet – making music which has currently taken them all the way to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for fourteen shows.
So quickly, run down to Northside Records in Gertrude St and pick yourself up a copy of the LP and a Trippy Taco while you’re at it. If Leave It All Behind is a sign of the band’s future, we should all sask-watch this space.
In fact, do so on their recently announced tour. Coming atcha’ right here:
Saskwatch Tour Dates:
September 13 – Bigsound, Brisbane
September 14 – Sol Bar, Maroochydore with Jeremy Neale (BandCamp)
September 15 – Qpac, Brisbane (Free Show)
September 16 – Beach Hotel, Byron Bay (Free Show)
September 20 – Goodgod Small Club, Sydney with Royal Headache DJs (Moshtix)
September 21 – Stoke Factory, Wollongong (BandCamp)
September 22 – Transit Bar, Canberra (Moshtix)
September 28 – Jive Bar, Adelaide (Moshtix)
September 29 – Wave Rock Festival, Haden WA (Oztix)
October 5 – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne with The Harpoons, The Bluebottles (Corner Box Office)
October 6 – Karova Lounge, Ballarat (BandCamp)
October 7 – The Palais, Hepburn Springs (BandCamp)