Album Review: Luke Seymoup’s ‘Tales of Suburban Angst’ is an effervescent collection of power pop punk gems.

The Breakdown

'Tales of Suburban Angst' is a collection of danceable, anthemic pop gems that glisten and sparkle with a self-deprecating sense of humour and indelible sense of melody.
Smash Mouse Records 8.3

We met Luke Seymoup with the release of the single ‘Paint’ – a gloriously hyperactive piece of power pop – and he has now released the album ‘Tales of Suburban Angst’. Seymoup has continued with what he started out with: a collection of danceable, anthemic pop gems that glisten and sparkle with a self-deprecating sense of humour and indelible sense of melody.

There is a knowing shimmer and bounce that recalls classic late seventies early eighties post punk: from Wreckless Eric to the Undertones and beyond, and an ability to capture the vicissitudes of normal existence and make them glow.

The album is a snapshot of urban life beyond the glamour and vibrancy of the inner city. Seymoup says:

Countless musicians move to Melbourne with dreams of making it big, but if you’ve moved to Melbourne and never visited the outer suburbs, do you really live here?

Recorded under the lockdowns that hit Melbourne, he goes on to say ‘Tales of Suburban Angst’…

…was an album that the universe didn’t want us to make, but we persevered. It seemed that every time we set to work on it, we would be hit by a new lockdown or my computer hard drive would explode…

Songs like ‘Average’ are a paean to the normal people living normal mundane lives and yet are the lifeblood of a city. Seymoup can in a blink of an eye move from an expansive world view of life to the deeply intimate close and personal – witness ‘Unreliable’ – a poignant reflective recollection of a distant friend/ex-lover, unreliability being both a personal failing and the veracity of messages you get about people.

‘St Kilda’ has a pogoing, punky bounce while ‘Serengeti’ dials down the pace to a reflective and quiet tale about dispelling demons.

Of the final track, uplifting track ‘Paint’, Seymoup says:

‘Paint’ is the album’s closer – the emotional peak of the album. It is about the struggle to find an identity in your 20s, where everyone expects you to have everything worked out when you’ve been thrown in the deep end of adulthood. You just pull your socks up and continue on though, no matter what the cost to you own wellbeing and mental health.

The song canters along at an effervescent pace with joyous intent and who-hoo backing vocals from the beginning. The guitars scythe and slice massive riffs under Seymoup’s dry and direct delivery, carried on mountain-high melodies. The lyrics are self-deprecating and wry:

I’m dripping with paint/Trying to change who I am/But it still shows on my face/And I’m trying to create a perfect person/It doesn’t run in my veins

There’s an ineffable charm to the single – an undercurrent of melancholy that is turned around by the contrapuntal backing chorus which brightly sparkles.

‘Tales of Suburban Angst’ is available to download and stream here and through the link below, as well as through Smash Mouse Records in the UK/Europe here.

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