If you’ve ever come across Outblinker – Jason Costello, Graham Costello, Luigi Pasquini, Chris Cusack, David Ian Warner – before (and if you visit this site with any sort of regularity you probably have) you’ll know that they’re a band who don’t do things by the book. Their first EP ‘Pink/Blue’ was a challenging, but ultimately very rewarding two songs, each of over ten minutes, which ebbed and flowed with an entire labyrinth of competing ideas.
Their new EP ‘The Remains of Walter Peck’ continues in a similar vein, which is understandable on one side as this a band that sound like they have very much found “their” sound. On the other hand, when reading their press release it sounds like the band have been through a life altering experience in the lead up to producing the EP, though one that has affected their life outlook more than their music. The EP is named after a real life Walter Peck, an almost mythical figure whose world view left a profound impression on the band, before, in a turn that tragically adds to his myth-like story, he sadly passed away.
Somehow, despite the absence of lyrics on the record the band manage to convey aspects of their reflective mind-set on their music. Opener ‘Walter Peck’ demonstrates this early on as it simmers pensively for the first minute and a half before finally breaking into a flow as the drums move into a consistent beat. The rest of the track feels much more determined, with the bands characteristic krautrock style used much more aggressively, an almost angry sound develops towards the end of the song. All of which is bulked out by a heavily fuzzed guitar, taking on a distinctive influence from the EP’s producer Ben Power of the Fuck Buttons, an interesting addition to the bands sound. Second track ‘Farrokh Bulsara’ has a more threatening opening to it, kind of like a boxer bouncing back and forth figuring out where they’re going to clock you one. Upon bubbling over the tension is released the band drops in with a driving rhythm. The buzzing guitars continue to moan and provide a nice contrast with the pace of the drums and lead line that develops on top. The free track from the collection is available to download and I would certainly recommend doing so as a kind of test drive for the EP as a whole as it demonstrates well the best aspects of the bands talents.
The first two minutes of final track ‘Ernest Becker’ feels like the soundtrack to the final scene of ‘Bladerunner’, a sinister yet bleak sound juxtaposed with an erratic synth which almost sounds like raindrops leaking through a broken roof. It eventually gives way to the synth riff which will provide the backbone of the song, slowly fading in it continues all the way through as other instruments and ideas join, develop and fall away before being replaced by others. As the tension rises then falls away in waves many of these ideas becoming increasingly dissonant, as if there is a desperation to the initial feeling of threat that underpins the song.
‘The Remains of Water Peck’ by Outblinker is out now via Stabbed In The Back Records.