Beef Jerk, Tragic

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Australia’s Beef Jerk has an announcement to make. Founded in 2012, the band has kept a relatively low profile in the Sydney underground scene, self-releasing just one debut single, “Schooners”, in 2013. They took some old demos and spiffed them up, and self-released their debut LP Tragic on a small run in Australia last year. Beef Jerk has perfected it, and is finally set to release that album to a wider, international audience on Friday. We’ve got the goods now, and are down to party. (And by “party,” we mean stream.)

From the start, this album is on fire. It’s 15 songs of pure melodious joy. The guitar riffs are rock, accompanied by vocals that are presented with disinterested clarity. There is a 60s-meets-grunge sound, complete with thick, heavy accents.

“Rhythm Infection” is just that, conquering our ears with instrumentals that don’t seem to want to go away. The second track–“Train”–goes about at a tempo that actually feels like it could be the background music to a scene on a train. Beef Jerk’s disinterested flair is palpable here, with lyrics such as “going to the same old place”. “French Dish” almost feels like a declaration track, exaggerated with lyrics like “I’m sicker than you’ll ever know / I don’t want the doctor’s pill.” Is it just us, or does “Move Into the Ocean” feel more Beach Boys than their other stuff? And “Soup of The Onion” might seem like a questionable title, but they do fit the phrase in to the song, while simultaneously talking about living by the sea and working “at the fishery.”

We imagined “Beef Jerk Story” to encapsulate the slow, steady saga of the band. While it is steady, we don’t think what we had in mind holds true. (But you can tell us what you think later.) “Aisle Ten” slows the pace down considerably, a pace that carries through the next track, “Stay at Home Dads”. “Reissue” brings it back up, a decided contender for best dance track on the album. And the fun doesn’t end there, as “Another Drop” and “Footy” continue in the same, toe-tapping vein.

Lead it to Beef Jerk to throw a curveball with “Stayin In” and “Last Chiko Roll”, which are the only songs that sound like the band may have engaged in a little recreational green pre-recording. And that’s the fun part about it… Take a song, sing it in slow motion. These tracks stands out to us for a reason, and remind us that the men of Beef Jerk have many facets to their talent.

“Caravan Park” brings that tempo back up, and is an absolute road trip song, if ever there was one. “Cotton” rounds out the album, more of a droning song than its predecessors. The vocals are executed at an interesting rhythm, much faster than the instrumentals. It almost sounds like they’re sing/speaking in fast motion, but the words are clear and audible. It’s the perfect blend of sound, and a great wrap up to a sporadic and fun album.

Big album. Big fun. That’s the best way to sum it up. Can’t wait to nab ourselves a copy on Friday!

Tragic is out Friday via Trouble in Mind Records. Beef Jerk will tour The U.S. in the fall.