We’ve met The Night Packers before when they played a dazzling live set captured by our intrepid Live Editor Deb Pelser just before Christmas (see gallery here). They have now just released their debut EP entitled ‘Loose Carry’ and it’s a thoroughly enjoyable collection of energetic post punk jewels that glitter with a sense of urgency and joy.
Another example of what I call The Marrickville Sound (older musicians with prior form, getting together new and creative musical projects in later years), the band have individually a long history of involvement in the dynamic Sydney music scene, and collectively have brought this breadth of experience to fruition in the band.
‘Loose Change’ exhibits an element of raw veracity, melodic buzzsaw rock that at times recalls the vibrancy of The Clash or The Jam, with an antipodean flavour redolent of The Saints. Opening track ‘Right Head, Right Now’ captures that dynamism perfectly with just over two minutes of driving, jangling guitars, liquid ambulant bass and a laconic, shouty delivery. The repetition of the phrase I got over anxious perfectly suits the jittery explosive canter of the pace.
‘Homesick’ begins with a tongue-in-cheek sample (Margaret Thatcher?) about the right of everyone to be unequal, before launching into another fast paced jingle jangle track with the urgent vocals inflected with a degree of humour. ‘Old Sydney Town’ is a more muscular track with its rampant bass and the shouty vocal delivery over a hyperactive vibe with a cynical take of the less pleasant aspects of their hometown. The band channels The Sunny Boys with the choppy guitars and Spy vs Spy with its acerbic take on corporate corruption: it’s a sparky up tempo pure post punk blast.
‘Yeah No Yeah’ canters along with slightly off-kilter guitars with the same level of punky cynicism in the lyrics – a snotty and sneering delivery that is delivered with a bag full of swagger and attitude and a hint of humour.
‘Loose Carry’ is a vibrant and enthusiastically presented slice of post punk pie – there are serious messages, but delivered with a glint in the eye and a little raw unadorned instrumentation providing a satisfying barbed-wire spine.
‘Loose Carry’ is out today and available through the link above and through all the usual download and streaming sites. You can catch the band live at Marrickville’s legendary Gasoline Pony supported by Josh Morris from another favourite, The Electorate, in solo mode – details below.
There must be something in genetics too – two of the members have kids in another favourite Backseat Mafia band, The Nagging Doubts.
The Night Packers formed in 2022, and played their first gig at the Petersham Bowling Club in July of that year. Since then, the band have played at least a dozen more shows in Sydney and have played gigs with The Cannanes, Knievel, The Electorate, Tilmouth Oxley & Marsalis and even performance art band, Shammgods.
The Night Packers are:
Michael O’Rourke – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Dave Wilks – Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
David ‘Snajik’ Miller – Bass Guitar
Rob Brennan – Drums
Feature Photograph: Deb Pelser