Photo: Seshanka Samarajiwa
Fuck off John. Seriously, stop terrorising Max Quinn’s neighbourhood. Actually after listening to ‘Waterloo’ (named after the inner-Sydney suburb) I think I’ll be just fine here in Brisbane, thanks. Max Quinn has artfully turned his ‘povo urban youth’ experience into a neat slice of alt-pop punk on the first track from his forthcoming EP Carpool Tunnel Syndrome (a disease which I actually thought existed after many years of sympathising with Sharon Strezlecki because I thought she was heaps stressed from driving Kim around everywhere until someone corrected me: “car-pal tunnel, idiot”).
‘Waterloo’ wastes no time with bells, whistles or indie BS. It’s straight up story-telling, backed by a very listenable band. Perhaps Quinn’s hinting at a more direct approach to this EP, with his 2014 self-titled mini album (which was actually recorded in the residence that provided the inspiration for ‘Waterloo’) a pretty playful release full of offbeat quirks. Quinn is a witty song-writer – his lyrics move at a stream-of-consciousness pace without disappearing up their own butt in metaphors or becoming one-dimensional cliches.
It’s no surprise that the narrative is the real hook in this track, and the instrumentation gives Quinn’s story plenty of space to move. The vocal harmonies and layered guitar lines nail their job – you barely notice them at all because you’ve been swept up in all the hubbub and are busy screaming “fuck awff Jooohhhhhnn.” I love a good reverb soaked psych-wank as much as the next 22 year old, but Quinn’s sound is refreshingly earnest and I eagerly await Carpool Tunnel Syndrome.