News: Underground Lovers release remastered vinyl version of stunning classic ‘Cold Feeling’ for Record Store Day in Australia.

Record Store Day (RSD) arrives this Saturday and a coterie of Australian releases provide a fascinating collection of remixes, reissues, limited editions and collaborations. One gem that stands out is a release of an old favourite. Melbourne giants Underground Lovers are releasing their sixth album ‘Cold Feeling’ on vinyl for the first time, remastered by Don Bartley and freshly packaged and available only through participating RSD stores. It’s one of those albums released at at time when only CD were being issued and it is a welcome addition to the Undies growing catalogue of vinyl. ‘Cold Feelings’ was released in 1998 and was a deeper exploration of dreamy pop that floated ethereally throughout the album.

Founding members Glenn Bennie and Vincent Giarrusso say of the new version:

We have been releasing a lot of our early albums on vinyl over the last couple of years and ‘Cold Feeling’ was next in line. It has never been released on vinyl before so this is such a thrill. We are so grateful that it can be part of Record Store Day in 2023.

Absent many of the band’s regulars, ‘Cold Feeling’ was essentially an album that marked the end of an era for the band and preceded an extended pause.

After its original release, singer Vince Giarrusso concentrated mainly on finalising his feature film debut Mallboy, which he wrote and directed, and starred Kane McNay of SeaChange fame. The film premiered at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival where it was selected for the highly prestigious Director’s Fortnight (at the time only the fifth Australian film to have been selected).

Giarrusso and Bennie composed and recorded the score for Mallboy, which came out as the unofficial seventh Underground Lovers album in 2001. Further live activity was undertaken that year, to preview newer material – none of which has been recorded or released.

The album represented a subtle shift to electronica and featured minor contributions from The Paradise Motel’s Mérida Sussex, and ex-Triffids pedal steel guitarist Graham Lee, among other Melburnian indie musicians. Drum machines and synths feature strongly, adding a delicate and subtlety to the sound.

The vinyl version omits two of the more experimental tracks from the CD release – the seven minute long ‘Pauline in the City’ and the brief ‘Luck Strike’.

The opening title track on Side One sets the standard – an enigmatic frosty track that drifted mesmerisingly on a synth bed with minimal guitars and a bucket load of atmospherics laden with a pop sensibility. The synth riff is stately and enigmatic, the vocals distant and observant, melodic and ghostly.

‘You Put Me In Your Movie’ saw the trademark glacial female vocals that typified the band’s sound coming from Sussex, replacing regular Philippa Nihill. A chugging guitar over drum machine thrum creates a motorik clatter that sends shivers down your spine.

Songs were on the whole a little more reflective and less dance-oriented than earlier albums but the unerring ear for melody remained at the fore. ‘A Fool’s Song’ is a brief and stately interlude with an almost folk-like flow over an acoustic rippling base and haunting backing vocals.

‘Excerpt From A Winter’s Day’ remains one of my favourite Undies tracks ever – never a single and rarely played live (as far as I know) but haunting, atmospheric and with the most vivid heartwrenching lyrics about the drifting apart of lovers:

To stay the same, she said things have to change, but the weight of memories, on a winter’s day, I don’t want to change, I don’t want things the same…

Sussex appears again in ‘Towards the Skies’ – a frail and fragile track that trembles and glows across the firmament with gentle spoken word underpinnings and a soaring operatic backing. This track has been shifted earlier than in the CD version and seems to shimmer and glow far more brightly in this mix.

Side Two begins with ‘Infinite Finite’ – a floating seven minute journey resting on indelible melodies and sparse instrumentation that is circular and hypnotic, until a psychedelic beatle esque break down at the end before a resolution fringed by Lee’s pedal guitar etchings. It’s a heady immersive journey.

‘Feels So Good To Be Free’ is one track that brings back the pop, fuzz and rumble with its onslaught of guitars under the chanting layered vocals and bubbling synths. A shoegaze blur slowly takes over as the sound builds up to a crescendo.

Final track ‘Worrier God’ is magnificent – a quicker paced trot and a haunting synth refrain with a humorous half spoken verse referring to undies being tucked in to a toga and a soaring chorus that is celestial and euphoric.

This is a brilliant album – one of their best – and the reproduction on vinyl is spectacular – crisp and sharp and capturing all the delicacy and atmospherics of the album. The slightly reduced song list distills and concentrates the pop content admirably and perfectly. It will be available both as a normal disc and a white version.

Underground Lovers will be showcasing the album in Sydney and Melbourne along with an electronic spectacular in Moda Discoteca – tickets here and details below. With selected tracks from Cold Feeling, as well as the best of the electro-tinged songs from Underground Lovers’ back catalogue, this will be a non-stop, krautrock, post punk, disco party not to be missed.

The full release list for RSD in Australia is as follows:

Ball Park Music 
It’s Nice To Be Alive – 7″ Vinyl

Bluey Dance Mode! (Zoetrope Picture Disc) – LP Vinyl

Close Counters
Soulacosta II Sampler EP – 12″ Vinyl –  Sampler Album

Confidence Man
Re-Tilt EP – Vinyl EO

Ella Thompson 
A Side ‘Cool Down My Heart’ – B Side ‘Lost’ – 7″ Vinyl

Forest Claudette
The Year Of February – 12″ Vinyl

Gum / Ambrose Kenny-Smith 
Minor Setback –  7″ Vinyl

Hugo Basclain
Nostalgia Is A Liar – 12″ White Vinyl

Ocean Alley
Chiaroscuro – 2 LP 12″ Translucent Orange Vinyl

Peking Duk 
7” Vinyl Single
Side A – ‘Spend It’ feat. Circa Waves
Side B – ‘I Want You’ feat. Darren Hayes

Penny Ikinger 
Travels and Travails – Format TBA

Polish Club 
Nye_2020_megamix.Exe – Transparent Pink LP

Underground Lovers
Cold Feeling (1999) – White And Clear Vinyl Editions

All But The Sun – Bone LP

Record Store Day
Saturday 22 April 2023

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