Regular Boys - Have a Go [EP Review]

Photo: George Foster

Photo: George Foster

Words: Axel Carrington

The perilous lineage of the expression, 'Have a Go', a British import shed of all bombast and meat in modern Australia culture, ruined my opening gag: I was going to quote the Macquarie, not the Oxford. Have a Go is the second salvo by strange Perth men, Regular Boys, striving to sound uniquely Australian in outlook, which it achieves. The most exciting thing about their previous release, Newcastle St Deli, besides the treats promised within, was the sheer thickness in sound, those chorused guitars bouncing off each other and outlining an experience of being a twenty-something in city share-house life, something that for me is of course, easily relatable – it had all the right ingredients, but needed the right recipe to make it a four-course meal. Have a Go certainly lives up to its name in intent and it mostly succeeds, with a few caveats.

These boys, all hand-picked from other notable local acts start with the single Hunt, a bite-sized delicacy that is basically the band in microcosm: yes, the guitars weave and dance, the vocals are laconic and laid back, the lyrics ‘we don't fight them any more’ is the truest sentiment of denial and defeat delivered with a smirk that is so easily felt in this city and then a rave-up, complete with horns courtesy of the Koi Child men – it's a structure so solid it'll hold up another four tunes and then some. The inclusion of the horns in this and a few other songs later on recalls the scream in blue of the Oils, something I've mentioned (drunkenly and without tact every single time, sorry fellas) to them frequently – it's a good thing. We need bands to combine these sorts of touchstones, for to do so, results in a new place to gather inspiration.

Candy works on a similar tip, for its sweet title betrays the lyrics of ‘hey man/get me out of the ditch/there's so much shit.’ Like their previous work, Have a Go was mastered by Aussie rock royalty, Mikey Young, his influence coming through strong in this track - in particular - making those organ stabs next to the warbly, watery chords harken back to a warehouse party of the mid-00's, while again paving a new path. It's this constant dichotomy that excites me about this band in the future.

The same dynamic material presents itself in the next three songs: stake a claim with a catchy riff, double it with another guitar or two that'll move in and out like the proverbial quiet and intense yet oddly likeable house mate, triple the bet with a vocal that'll subtly echo the previous riffs, then go all in with a big time outro – it's like a pasta meal you cook on Monday night that'll last the rest of the working week. While this is perfectly fine now, it's going to be wonderful when this group realizes how they can stretch and bend form to their own will – there's little dips in volume sure, but to completely cut out would be the same as when the dust met the diesel. Bad Behaviour hints at this, starting with the least amount of urgency so far, a paean to making shitty life choices but being at peace with them (‘always late night snoring/you find talking boring/I don't regret it’) and the little fuzzy slides and shakes give the track a different feel – definitely worth pursuing.

Have a Go is a success, but even more so than the material within, it’s the chance, the opportunity to increase the strike rate, to get off the dolewave (sorry everybody, sorry university, sorry Mum) and make a real stab at their sound. So listen, absorb, learn the words so you can spill beer on yourself at their shows while they play on – because soon you will not be alone in this endeavour.