'FACE OF THE FUTURE' REVIEW
NOTE: At the time of writing, Face of the Future has not actually been released as a single, but it should be….
If you are reading this and saying to yourself ‘Mini Skirt eh? Wonder who these blokes are’ then I would be questioning how this magazine came to be in your hands. The Byron Bay based quartet have been releasing catchy, intense, garage rock styled EPs and singles since 2015, as well as racking up thousands of road miles via countless gigs up and down the East Coast. I first heard Mini Skirt a couple of years ago when their cracking breakthrough single ‘Dying Majority’ was playing in the front bar at The Last Chance (just one of many musical discoveries made at the bar with THE best interstitial music in Melbourne). 'Face of the Future' is taken from their recently released (and well overdue) debut album, 'Casino'. It is an incendiary four and a half minute distillation of the fury, disenchantment and rage that has been Mini Skirt’s trademark to date.
Musically, the ubiquitous ghost of Eddy Current drives Mini Skirt’s sound. Much like many other current Melbourne bands (Tony Dork, Vintage Crop, Rayza et al) that astutely not only continue, but expand the enduring legacy that ECSR left for us all in the late 2000s. Built around a blistering, repetitive, down strummed 4 bar chord riff, 'Face of the Future' starts with a spoken word diatribe decrying pretentious dilletantes and anachronistic baby boomers in equal measure: “Can’t go to a family lunch without running into a no-voter / can’t go to an art school without running into a left wing nut / they want you to know they’re sniffing drugs from the lid of the shitter………..I’m not a fence sitter when the fence that divides is too high to climb”.
Singer Jacob Boylan then shifts his attention to our political leaders for the chorus: “Yeah good on ya Scott, we can’t wait to see you rot……….does it get you hard, spitting in the face of the future? Does it make you wet, spitting in the face of the future?”
The imagery would be hilarious were it not so utterly disturbing – Scomo chastising selfish Avocado eating millennials whilst sporting a feeble erection tenting out his pleated pelaco pants, flanked by a clearly aroused Mikala Cash, who’s drenched scarlet silkies are about to lose the battle of restraint her fingers are having with the part of her brain telling her that public masturbation is not the Liberal Party way..
It’s the sort of nightmarishly ghoulish stuff that even seasoned shock film makers like Lynch and Cronenberg would baulk at committing to celluloid.
Politically agnostic, Mini Skirt sit somewhere between the left and right in a clearly uncomfortable no-man’s-land of generational disaffection. Boylan is acutely aware of his own frailties, both as a young man and a responsible member of the human race. That disaffection and doubt has a tendency to manifest itself in lyrics that challenge the notion that the opinion of anyone aged 45 or over shall prevail, unchallenged. “Hard to know how to react, when my existence is the cause of so much pain” is a succinct summary of the confusion that the average millennial feels about where they fit into the social and ethical framework of 2020 Australia. And if the line “Some fat necked dum dum / drinking bourbon in the back of his self-financed prison / spitting racial slurs in front of his children / as he chokes on his fourth steak of the week” isn’t the best lyric to come out of any band this year then my judgment is poorer than a 19-year-old Brisbane girl, who suggests to her bestie that a global pandemic might be a good time to fly to Melbourne for a party.
The song then rounds out with an increasingly distorted (to the point of rendering it unlistenable) repetition of the aforementioned riff, to a gradual fade. A subtle allegory for the white noise that we are odiously subjected to by people with platforms to further suspiciously virtueless agendas? I like to think so.
Mini Skirt are searching for something to be proud of as young Australians. While they wait for that day of epiphanal reckoning, they should take comfort in the knowledge that 'Face of the Future' should be a source of immense pride.
Written by Mathew Rae
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