gymnastics in the Seventies
Words by Hosna, with help from Ethan Cardinal
The first time I watched Gymnastics in the Seventies was at the Workers Club on a Sunday night. The back band room wasn’t as full, but that didn't matter once the boys began to play. The room was flooded with a certain emotion that radiated off the stage. They’re a young group of boys, but their musical maturity certainly isn't. Lead singer, Fraser Telfer has a voice that is simply chilling, and when accompanied by other members, Cam, Dom and Dan you understand why independent music really matters. Because you can honestly, align yourself with the sound and passion.
Since then, I got in contact with the boys because I knew straight off the bat that they were what 3029 aims to encapsulate, the upcoming talent of our generation that certainly has influence. Lead guitarist Cam answered some questions (see below) and that's when I realised that aside their musical talent, they also have some quality banter.
The second time I watched them, was at the Last Chance Rock and Roll Bar in Carlton. Monica had not seen them yet and being the singer, and music lover she is, I think it was necessary. The first song in, I turned to her and she was blown away to say the least. She had that smile you have when you realise 'woah' I've just witnessed some pretty amazing talent. And that's honestly, what you will feel when you listen to Gymnastics in the 70s.
The group of 4 Fraser (lead singer), Dom (drums), Cam (Lead guitar) and Dan (Bass) are Melbourne born and raised, and their debut EP ‘Daylessness’ certainly emulates the sensitivities you feel you're in Melbourne. Whether it's those summery spring tunes you put on during a Sunday session, or the more down to earth songs that end your roadtrip back home from the Surf coast, the boys' music manifests' everything you often feel when you are at that ripe age of 19.
Daylessness EP review
Words by Ethan Cardinal
The inevitable rise of artists such as Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals, The Kooks and others alike began within their slow ascend from the indie-rock circuit to main stream success. The thing that we most likely forget is that, the great divide between the first jam session to head lining world renowned festivals such as Glastonbury, Reading and many others is the necessary wall that differentiates the climb towards the top of the indie circuit to achieve the necessary formula to thrive within an industry that expects so much for a collective of musicians. And yet, Gymnastics in the Seventies’ leverage in the growing indie circuit in Australia is their capability to focus on the present rather than the future. While they’re new to the industry emerging in 2015, the four-piece collective proudly representing Geelong have quickly built their musical arsenal with the drop of their first EP, ‘Daylessness’ early in 2016.
It’s easy to distinguish the artistry of Gymnastics in the Seventies, their solid dependency towards the simplicity of a garage band formula; vibrant narrative through the lyrics, infectious guitar riffs and percussive backdrops with the subtlety of bass lines that polish the overall sonic journey into a thing of finesse and grace. The earthy undercurrent running through each song converges in perfect harmony with Fraser Telfer’s voice as well as the rest of the band’s nonchalant complexion manifested within their surf rock inclination. While this is nothing new; it certainly delivers on the great energy and effort the four-piece collective have effortlessly interweaved within each lyric and instruments that when placed together creates the perfect symmetry between narrative story telling and the desire to drop responsibilities and focus on the great atmosphere trapped between late night drinks and early morning repercussions.
‘Daylessness’ opens with Intro; a track laced with orchestral percussion and melancholy guitar riffs interweaved through the solemn lyrics and foals-esque pitch embodied within Telfer’s vocals. The solemnity of Intro is not only deceptive in its title (considering its 2:47 in length) but the false expectations it manifests for listeners who are expecting the slow and hard nature of Intro to progress onto the next track and so on. However, the surf rock ambience embedded within Always in My Head builds upon Gymnastics in the Seventies’ genuine sound with its buoyant riffs and fundamental beat. While it doesn’t do anything to experimental, Always in My Head satisfies the ears of listeners with its upbeat inclination and its ability to embody the ceaseless joy of summer days caught between incessant drinking and laughter. Gymnastics in the Seventies’ maintains their surf rock groove within the next track, You Heard but dulls down the energy in order to create the divide necessary for the EP to project different layers of sound.
Raspberry Rocket once again rides the momentum interweaved with high energy and the typical Gymnastics in the Seventies atmosphere. Instead of focusing towards the overall harmony between each sound and each word, the four-piece collective focuses on the guitar hooks that symmetrically co-exists with the somewhat serious narrative within the lyrics projected onto Telfer’s voice. The fifth and final song of the EP Four Eyes is the final layer that connects the first song to the last in a circular motion. Laced with the same solemnity and melodic notes as its first counterpart, Four Eyes creates the book-end finish that symbolises a sad goodbye between listeners and the band; while it’s certainly not the end, it’s goodbye for now until the next time. But for now, they leave with the harmonic convergence between earthy lyrics and melodic notes.
10 questions asked by Hosna, answered by Cam
Describe your aesthetic in 3 words?
Basic, indie, trash.
What made you realise how important music is? How did you get
Mrs Zampatti made me realise. She was a gem and made music so enjoyable, shout outs to the Zapatti family YE!
What is your writing process?
Fraser usually brings us his sad lyrics and some chords to practise and we will go through it together and create our own parts. We then modify the song a little and put it together as a band.
What were the main themes that influence the EP?
Fraser’s sad and lonely love life. Have a listen, he needs some luck by the sounds of it. Ladies, help him out here.
Biggest music inspirations?
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. You couldn’t hear it in our music but damn, that's almost all I listen to these days.
Favourite live act you’ve seen?
Snoop Dogg by a country mile.
What is your favourite driving music?
I listen to The Moldy Peaches in the car more than anything, their self titled album is full of killer tracks. ‘Don’t do what everybody tells you to do. Be yourself. Be proud of yourself. You’ll be cool. Super cool.’
If you could jump on a plane tomorrow, where you would go?
Amsterdam, for the lovely scenery of course.
What bores you?
When I'm on the toilet and I forget my phone. Although I have a Simpsons poster on the back of the door, but I can only look at that so many times.
What’s your most prized possession?
My dogs or my shoes, they both cost a lot