Get Help – The End of the New Country
When a friend of mine at Evilsponge magazine played me some tracks by Get Help I thought I was hearing some lost Go-Betweens classic. (What a band they were. The late Grant McLennan is sorely missed around these offices. Note to self – put Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express into ‘Classic revisited’ section). Like the Australians, Get Help’s two songwriters share lead vocal duties and their quirky, lo-fi melodies will slip easily through your defenses. ‘Fall-in-love-to song’ certainly put me in mind of The Go-Betweens as did the superb ‘I don’t have the stomach’. Listen to the latter’s climactic line “A lonely lunatic tells an accidental truth, In finding you I have reclaimed my wasted youth” and tell me I’m wrong.
Would the full meal match up to the appetizer? I was determined to find out. The End of the New Country displays a slightly broader pallet than those initial songs hinted. This isn’t another Tallulah or 16 Lovers Lane. I get hints of Guided By Voices, Death Cab For Cutie and Yo La Tengo from Mike Ingenthron’s songs. Even Badly Drawn Boy is conjured during ‘The town fires’. By way of contrast, Tony Skalicky’s vocal timbre edges more towards Paul Banks or Matt Berninger territory. I might even venture to mention REM or a gentle Sugar. (That’d be Hüsker Dü then!) Fine reference points indeed. Add the McLennan and Forster factor and you’re onto a real winner.
Get Help employ witty and intelligent lyrics to complement their songcraft. Tongues are planted firmly in cheeks when you visit their website also. This gentle compendium of music (15 tracks over 45 minutes) is rendered utterly charming by the two contrasting, yet complementary talents. I gather this is only a side project of the two bands The Beatings (Boston) and Strikes Again (New York). I confess to having heard neither but on the strength of The End of the New Country, they may be a side-project but I can assure everyone there’s nothing only about Get Help.
Female drummer required. Must be into Television, Velvets… etc