Scott and Charlene’s Wedding: Para Vista Social Club
Scott and Charlene’s Wedding is a solo project by Melbourne native Craig Dermody. Calling on a revolving door of band companions from Brooklyn and beyond, Dermody has produced his first LP, Para Vista Social Club. No, this thankfully isn’t a twee Brooklyn duo named Scott and Charlene writing folk songs. Instead, Dermody’s music is rough, lo-fi punk that ranges anywhere from angry to simply forlorn. Dermody is a skilled, emotive vocalist who knows his strengths and his voice happens to work very well over these lo-fi instrumentals. There’s a strong focus on lyricism and even if Scott and Charlene’s Wedding isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel, the consistent quality across the entire record makes it worth listening to.
You know what you’re getting from this LP from the first song, “Born to Lose.” The angry tone is set from the beginning and the loose, literal lyricism, vaguely reminiscent of Ty Segall, comes through right away. “Footscray Station,” the song that has probably gained the most popular traction for the band, is classic grunge and shows Dermody at his most raw. Bucking the trend of his genre, Dermody’s songs run a bit longer than one would expect. For the most part, this works; Dermody has a lot to say, so he lets the songs develop and bring the point home. But certain songs, like “Epping Line,” linger a bit too long and make one hunger for the quicker pace of other punk albums. One instance where the longer length serves the record well is “Every Detail,” a five-minute centerpiece to the album that devolves into some really complex guitar work by the end. To call it experimental may be a stretch, but the supercharged guitar that plays over the last two minutes of the song is the type of moment that forces one to stop what they’re doing and just listen. Unfortunately these truly memorable moments are few and far between. Many songs sound fairly similar and a few could probably have been cut. Although Dermody sounds vocally similar to Bradford Cox at times, I found myself wishing he also possessed Cox’s experimental flair.
Overall, there’s a lot here that’s worth liking. The pieces ‒ vocals, instrumentals, lyricism ‒ all work well together and sound perfectly natural. One just gets the sense that Dermody is holding back a bit. As a debut, though, Para Vista Social Club is a well executed punk release that hints at bigger things to come for Scott and Charlene’s Wedding.
MP3: Scott and Charlene’s Wedding “Every Detail”
Buy: iTunes or Insound! vinyl