Absolute Boys - Heavy Flow

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Absolute Boys are a dub band without the excess. Their focus is on quivering low-end, textural guitars, stripped percussion and drenched vocals, all moving in and out of focus beneath their signature, hazy outer. At first, the strangest thing about this record is how inviting it sounds, especially given the quietly bristling poker face of the group’s early work. The songs are quite basic – formed with minimal, repetitive cycles, they allow the focus to fall on the form of the sound itself and the interplay between discrete parts. Heavy Flow is an important album in the context of Australian pop music. It eschews both the pub rock and Krautrock trends among the band’s contemporaries, while tacitly acknowledging both. Like Angel Eyes’ Final Fare, it’s unique in the current antipodean pop landscape, and manages this without sacrificing the directness of a good, honest, cohesive pop album. Perhaps most impressively, it sounds like Absolute Boys are just being themselves on this record, which makes the extent of its grace, poise and lushness all the more breathtaking.