For our regular Future Is Now column we profile the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos.
SOUNDS LIKE: Bruising riot grrrl anthems extended and intensified
FOR FANS OF: Sleater-Kinney, the Peep Tempel, X-Ray Spex
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: Cable Ties are one of the fiercest and most respected bands in Melbourne right now. Formed to play a backyard festival hosted by singer/guitarist Jenny McKechnie's other band, Wet Lips, the trio cut their teeth playing small rooms like Melbourne's the Old Bar. But in the past year they've suddenly found themselves supporting the Kills, kicking off the rite-of-passage Meredith festival and even landing Triple J rotation for their acidic six-minute single "The Producer".
It's easy to credit their raw power to the fire-breathing force of McKechnie's voice, which can casually jump from sustained growl to blaring scream, but just as crucial is the band's growing emphasis on gnashing repetition and pointed social commentary. Released through reliable indie label Poison City, their self-titled debut album confidently takes down corporate culture ("Say What You Mean") and claustrophobic peer groups ("Fish Bowl") over the course of eight marathon rhythmic workouts nodding to both flinty post-punk and churning krautrock.
THEY SAY: "It's a product of us learning to play together," says bassist Nick Brown of intense epics like the 10-minute "Paradise". When he first convened with McKechnie and drummer Shauna Boyle, those two hadn't played those instruments before – and he hadn't been in a band in years. "So we spent a lot of time just jamming on the same riffs," he says. "When we locked into something, it felt nice to push it out." He credits producer Paul Maybury with knowing their live sound and making sure the album reflects that. As for kicking goals like Meredith and the Kills support, Brown beams: "It makes you think you're doing something that translates to people that aren't in your immediate community of friends. It felt like we were bigger than three people having a jam."
HEAR FOR YOURSELF: "Cut Me Down" typifies Cable Ties' tense, unrelenting drive as well as McKechnie's barnstorming presence and defiant lyrics like "I'm not crazy/I'm just not backing down".