Melbourne based Oldmate was initially the solo project of Pat Telfer from Australian band Bitch Prefect (what a name) but has since progressed into a band of 7-10 strong musicians including members of Wireheads and Peak Twins. Still predominantly led by Telfer, ‘It Is What It Is’ is Oldmate’s debut LP, and continues in the same melancholy and discordant vein as earlier material, summoning the spirit of Syd Barrett and Lou Reed, while also recalling Beat Happening circa 1991, not to mention a slightly distinct likeness to their fellow Aussie natives The Go Betweens. Sounds good to me!
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Oldmate is a solo guise of Adelaide/Melbourne musician Pat Telfer (of Bitch Perfect). On 'It Is What It Is', his debut solo album following a number od EP's and 7" releases, sees Telfer joined by a host of guest musicians including members of Peak Twins and Wireheads. Epic opener 'Medicine Man' sets the scene for what is to come with a tempo and atmosphere that reflects and expands on the drudgery of everyday life. It brings to mind a number of acts including but not exclusive to Television, Tom Waits, Afghan Whigs, Syd Barrett and, perhaps, Beat Happening (vocal delivery wise). There's a definite mid-70's NYC vibe to the rest of these country tinged mid-tempo janglers which justifies comparisons to the likes of Patti Smith or Tom Petty but with the lo-fi slant of Pavement or fellow Aussie indie-pop heroes Dick Diver. On first listen I prefer the more immediate tracks like the Velvets inspired 'Something' but the miserable surfy stuff like 'February' feels more representative of Telfers dour vibe. Very downtrodden but ultimately very satisfying.
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