Something’s changed, I thought, on hearing the third record from Melbourne band Witch Hats. Frozen in time since their 2009 debut Cellulite Soul (2011’s Pleasure Syndrome passed me by), their music was still personified as the combative neighbourhood punk with a point to prove. Deliverance, I realised, was Witch Hats gone dad-bod: paunchier but far better at knowing which buttons to push. Still got the swing, still got the swagger.
Kris Buscombe’s voice embodies the disconsolate sneer of late-70s UK punk, especially with uppercuts such as “Fuck your mother, fuck your father too/They’ve both got tickets on you” on Weekend Holocauster. The ska influence is stronger now and the spectres of several of post punk bands float by – The Stranglers, Magazine – but Witch Hats’ guitars have more meat on their bones. Ludicrous that the 3:37-minute title track has only been played once on Triple J. Just as one chorus ends, another one hits.