Stream early one of the best Australian hardcore albums of 2018.
Fusing aggressively-paced hardcore with melodic guitar work and passionate vocals, ‘Terra Nullius‘ aims to inform listeners as well as create a thrilling, emotive listening experience. Whether it be the Sydney band’s historical and political commentary or the sharing of painful personal experiences regarding the loss of loved ones and mental illnesses, Homesick do not pull any of their punches in either respect. Which is the key to why this record is such a great and gripping release: it perfectly balances both matters of the internal and the external. I’ve always felt that hardcore music is as it’s best when there’s this duality and also something genuine being offered in terms of heart and intent. Criteria that absolutely applies to ‘Terra Nullius‘!
‘Free‘ is a short, pissed-off and yet volcanically eruptive album opener, self-reflecting on being lost within one’s self. ‘Manipulated‘ then builds off that energetic pace, as it lyrically talks of education and the need for cultural traumas not be covered up and swept under the rug; rather, that they’re placed in the open for real acknowledgment and understanding to grow. ‘You Can Never Take Me‘ is perhaps the most politically outspoken Homesick have ever been on a track. Seeing the group take aim at any and all government bodies and institutions that rarely serve the very people that they leach off of. Likewise, ‘Never Ceded‘ pays deep respect to the Indigenous land and peoples that were stolen in the wake of European’s colonizing Australia. All. written about how so much of that side of our nation’s history is white-washed and skimmed over.
On the other side of the band’s thematic duality, ‘Reality‘ is a musically thrashing and harrowing open-letter about drowning in one’s own anxiety. It’s about trying to claw out of a self-created rabbit hole, with frontman Peter Jackson declaring “what the fuck is wrong with me?” Both back-to-back parts of ‘Epitaph‘ (‘Pain‘ and ‘Solace‘) put forth some of the most dynamic and emotional content seen from Homesick thus far; encapsulating thoughts of suicide and inner-struggles in the hope of clarity. Another indeed personal song that hits damned hard here is ‘Burdens‘. It’s a heavy and solemn reminder of the crippling impact and life-long marks that domestic violence can leave upon a person.
Just as how ‘Uninhabited‘ and closer ‘Edith‘ paint words of tribute and express mournful feelings to passed-on family members, ‘Nura‘ (one of the best songs the band has written thus far) pays tribute to a resistive Indigenous Australia warrior of the same name. In either sense, it sees the band hoping that the people they talk about here – whether loves ones or spiritually strong Aboriginal figures from generations past – are never forgotten about. That something can be learned from their experiences and that their suffering isn’t ever just over-looked or an after-thought. ‘Edith‘ also ends with a quick little sample of the chorus from The Platters‘ ‘The Great Pretender‘. The 1955 doo-wop tune fittingly and quite eerily fading out the record as lead singer Tony Williams announces: “Oh-oh yes, I’m the great pretender/pretending that I’m doing well“.
In short, ‘Terra Nullius‘ is a powerful record. In a couple more words, it’s another important release for Australian hardcore too. It has genuine, searing conviction flowing through each of the 11 songs and every moment of its stride. I cannot recommend it enough, honestly. Hear their new record in full below with our early stream before it drops tomorrow via the folks over at Resist Records! (You can also check out our recent track-by-track with Homesick about this solid new LP right over here).