Floodlights: Backyard (Spunk Records)

Newly available on vinyl, Aussie quartet's 2019 EP is a superb jolt of unbridled indie rock

Released Feb 20th, 2020 / By Erick Mertz
Floodlights: Backyard (Spunk Records) Going down the rabbit hole deep enough and recorded music is simply an orchestration of dead moments, stolen from the past. Ghosts of lives no longer lived. That voice singing there? It’s disembodied. The singer has moved on.

On Backyard a four-track EP from Australian quartet Floodlights, the ghost is a sense of place. It is where the singer was both physically and spiritually for a fleeting moment.

The first track Uncle Bunny Lawrie is a spoken word snippet performed by a shaman and elder. He is specifically talking about Nullaboor. For those unfamiliar this is a location on Australia’s southern coast, a type of healing, an axis mundi for those in need. On Small Town Pub I really identify with the “bring the house down” simplicity in driving guitars. It’s urgent and edgy and ultimately a little chaotic. Similarly, the deep strumming bass line and vocal harmonies give the title track and closer all of the warm feels. I didn’t know anything about the Nullaboor before. But after listening to this EP (over and over) I want to go there right now and heal wounds I haven’t located yet.

The EPs jewel track is Nullaboor however. It is a full bore, show-stopping stomper that grabs hold of a Springsteen ethos and takes it for a top down drive on the open road to nowhere. The lines are shouted out enthusiastically with a gritty sense of honesty. The shackle-breaking feeling is visceral and the result is gut wrenching. The choral refrain, “I’ve got time to kill” gets my hair up in ways that make me fall into a trance.

This little EP was such a wonderful discovery. It is filled with new and familiar voices. It echoes with aches and pains. On the deepest level, this is rock at it’s unbridled best 4/5