‘Defence Mechanisms’, the powerful EP by Sydney band Second Idol, is a solid, grounded guitar-driven indie rock’n’roll gem filled with memorable riffs, a hard unapologetic rough hewn edge and scintillating melodies that reach for the sky. Singer Kate Olivia’s strong uncompromising vocals and lyrics add an indelible sheen to the driving force of the instruments. She says of the EP:
This record is about resilience and strength, vulnerability and authenticity, self-worth and self-determination. The growing of armour. ‘Defence Mechanisms’ explores concepts of power and control, ambition and listlessness, political frustration, queerness and gender, all fuelled with a relentless vengeance.
This iron spine is evident through the EP where we see the hints of bands like The Pretenders or follow Australians The Divinyls – a tough exterior cloaking sensitivities and intelligence beneath the thundering rhythms.
Opening track ‘White Noise’ is a driving, explosive track and Olivia’s voice a menacing growl punctuated by a huge range. There is a scuzzy, fuzzy injection of grit that satisfies. ‘Out of Time’ has a repeating riff that worms its way into your head and grounded, organic guitars that strut and rumble.
Slower track ‘Low Tides’ burns with a slower intensity: brooding and restrained with Olivia’s voice strong yet with a brittle exposed rawness. While ‘The Way It Is’ cranks up to an eviscerating denouement.
Utterly cathartic and a joy to listen to, ‘Defence Mechanisms’ can be downloaded/streamed here or direct from the band below:
Second Idol hit the road to promote the album, full details here:
SUN 23 MAY | KELLY’S ON KING, SYDNEY NSW
SAT 29 MAY | THE TOTE, MELBOURNE VIC
SAT 19 JUN | CHIPPO HOTEL, SYDNEY NSW
SAT 31 JUL | DICEY’S SATURDAYS, WOLLONGONG NSW
SUN 1 AUG | SIDEWAY BAR, CANBERRA ACT
Feature Photograph: Katherine Rooke