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ARTIST
TITLE
Kibitzer (Sky Blue Vinyl)
FORMAT
LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
UTR 147S-LP UTR 147S-LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
7/29/2022

LP version. Sky blue vinyl. Geelong, Melbourne's favorite sons Vintage Crop return with their much-anticipated fourth album, Kibitzer. Running with the ball that 2020's Serve To Serve Again (UTR 131B-LP/LP) punted forward, this album marks another energetic break towards the goal for Vintage Crop. Kibitzer sees the band define their field of play, more melodic at times, still bruising, forever droll. These ten tracks of "snappy as elastic" Australian punk are packed with tensile riffage, hefty beats and witty refrains of everyman curiosity. Kibitzer was written in quick response to their critically lauded Serve To Serve Again album. Harsh guitars, a brutish rhythm section and a knack for always having the right words at hand are still abundant, but this time Vintage Crop's songs expand upon their forceful nature with greater harmonic arrangement. Kibitzer delves into themes of identity, resilience and acceptance; some of the more upbeat notions that the band have dealt with to date. "Casting Calls" opens the record, slamming through the speakers with gusto and setting the tone for the following 30 minutes. Accepting your limitations and taking pride in your work are key themes on Kibitzer. In fact ideas around learning, growing and being able to take things in your stride are strongly felt through their entire body of work. These themes hit home with the album's title too, with Cherry feeling that 'Kibitzer' is an apt way to describe a lot of the band's focus. Musically the band have expanded their palette on this album; exploring a world of rhythmic harmony and a newfound vocal melodicism. There's also greater lyrical elaboration and considered song structures at play. "The Duke" is a mob of rollicking chants and heavy hitting, catchy to the core. "The Bloody War" is a more sanguine reflection of tumbling drums, struck chords and shrill keyboard warble. "Hold The Line" turns the wry amusement of dealing with cold callers into a fidgety anthem of knowing frustration. Whilst "Switched Of" even welcomes the introduction of horns (courtesy of Heidi Peel) to the group's repertoire, ushering in an unexpected serenity into their tough sound. Mixed and mastered by Mikey Young.