The dedicated Love As Fiction Records is continuing with its valuable project of reissuing classic antipodean albums on vinyl – albums that more often than not were only released on CD in the nineties and early two thousands. Following up on their reissue of Big Heavy Stuff’s ‘Size of the Ocean’ last year, it is now the turn of Perth band The Panics and their 2003 seminal debut album ‘A House on a Street in a Town I’m From’.
The album is slated for release on 19 April 2024.
It is beautiful atmospheric album filled with the bright jingle jangly sound of Western Australia, sparkling, shimmering pop of the highest order which will sound brilliant on vinyl.
From the band, singer Jae Laffer, reflecting on the album and those times, states:
‘A House on a Street in a Town I’m From’ is a bright snapshot of the soaring ambition of The Panics’
early years. We were young dreamers reaching for a great height, and with reaching so far
sometimes it was hard to focus, other times we were in awe as we realised we’d taken flight and
were living the dream. Like our live shows, there was a burning nervous energy, which could implode
in on itself or sometimes help us be transcendent. It suited us, consistency was for others, the Panics
were harder to predict.
We were still finding a sound, but you can hear the times, and we wanted in. We willed ourselves to
England and back during the making, and one thing did remain consistent; we wrote good songs and
continued to do so. Forget second records, the first was the hardest – but such is the nature of
endeavouring to meet your heroes up on their level. A House on a Street in a Town I’m From was us
leaving home and wasn’t as easy as we thought, but we proceeded. Creatively, it was our first big
stroke of the brush—bright and bold and messy, which, in a more and more filtered, uniform world,
can feel like the human touch that’s sorely missed.
A recent resurgence of interest in the band and the album as a result of a recent program on ABC’s The J Files has put them back in the spotlight, and this is a timely reissue.
You can pre-order the album through Love As Fiction Records here.
The majority of the songs were recorded in Manchester during The Panics’ UK 2002 tour. Laffer said
Well the studio we were in most of the time was this old bunker under a block of terraced houses and it was really old and dusty and we squeezed in and just tried our best to rock out. I thought back to the studios we’d bummed around in Perth and how people are always talking about the gear and how they want to upgrade to an international standard and they’ve got these pristine clean places. They’re great I guess if you’re making TV commercials but if you’re capturing a song it’s about standing around and playing it and getting that one take which is fantastic and you can’t do that in those environments. That’s why most of the records we did here we rented a house and just stood in the bedrooms and plugged in and we can’t do it any other way. When you sing it’s kind of easier if you’ve got a beer and if you want to have a cigarette while you’re doing it, you don’t want to be in some hospital atmosphere with the dollar signs clicking over in your head. That’s one thing I hate about commercial studios but people get different results in different ways. Ours has been to take our time and do it with friends a lot of the time in our own space.
The woman who features on the album cover is Laffer’s grandmother. Laffer said:
We just had a cool photo and we thought one day we’d just like to make that into a record cover… People will talk about our ‘sun-drenched sound’ and you know they’ve been looking at the covers which is fine but most importantly we wanted to have that really cool Australiana-type feel to it and be proud of that.
Here’s a delectable little taste of the opening track: