Bushwalking is yet another local supergroup, this time a Sydney-Melbourne cross-border operation. They originally got together to record some tracks for the solo project of Songs‘ Ela Stiles, but the combination of Stiles, Karl Scullin from Kes Trio and Fabulous Diamonds‘ Nisa Venerosa worked so well that they decided to just get it over with and form a band already.
At first they called themselves Zsa Zsa, after the serial monogamist (she had nine husbands) and one-time Miss Hungary Zsa Zsa Gabor, but I guess that didn’t quite sum it up, because they quickly switched to the more true blue Bushwalking. Their first album came out on US label Army of Bad Luck, which is run by none other than former Deerhunter bassist Josh Fauver. It featured a bunch of engrossing psych jams that were heavy on the innuendo, with names like ‘Natural Vagina’, ‘Bath Sex’ and ‘First Time’.
Now they’re back, with second album No Enter coming out on 6 September (this Friday!) through Chapter. ‘High Hogs’ is the lead single, and it’s off the flipping chain. Driven in equal measure by Stiles’ grubby bass line, Scullin’s angular, twisting guitar and the girls’ meditative harmonising, it’s got a wild, almost primitive feel – which is very much enhanced by Venerosa’s pensive drumming and the animal ‘whoop’ that punctuates the verses. ‘Verse’ isn’t really the right word though; ‘High Hogs’ unfolds in the spiralling structure of a drone, closer to the experiments of Fabulous Diamonds and Kes Trio than to any traditional rock song. But it’s still tight as hell – for all its proggy impulses, this track is visceral, direct and very loud.
You can catch Bushwalking in their respective home towns on these dates:
Friday, 11 Oct – Red Rattler, Sydney (tickets via Moshtix)
Saturday, 12 Oct – John Curtin Hotel, Melbourne (tickets available through the John Curtin website)