Album Review: Split Seconds - You'll Turn Into Me (2012 LP)

Perth-via-Melbourne band, Split Seconds’ star has continued to shine bright since they picked up five WAMI awards. They’ve toured this great land with a number of excellent acts and released an impressive debut EP. But perhaps their biggest claim to fame is that Richard Kingsmill dubbed them his “New favourite Perth band”. Naturally, the expectations surrounding their debut album, You’ll Turn Into Me were high; but these boys thankfully deliver with the goods.

Split Seconds actually began as a solo project by Sean Pollard who was originally living in London and feeling rather homesick. He soon discovered the perfect tonic in Australian albums and listening back to a lot of them. This would help shape their eponymous debut EP. And whether by osmosis or grand design it seems like the group have managed to forge their own mature and accomplished sound of timeless sounding pop-rock by paying homage to an influence or two.

“Security Light” features lots of chiming guitars and is a jaunty little pop-rock song. It’s an idea that is reprised and refashioned across the ten tracks to make it cohesive but far from old. “All You Gotta Do” is about much lighter moments insofar as it’s a commanding invitation to party, kinda like the Kaiser Chiefs but with more atmospheric guitars.

The timeless Australian sound that seems to be instilled into us all at birth is prevalent on another little baby called “Maiden Name”. On repeat listens it offers up other fresh sonic aspects so that after one spin I could hear a broodier version of INXS, but then I decided that the guitars and the effects were much similar to those by The Edge. Then I thought the beat was reminiscent of Oh Mercy circa Great Barrier Grief but then the crisp, golden production gave way to the sounds of some older, Australian classics coupled with a more contemporary slant. Either way, the song sounds great and is the kind of thing you could imagine featuring at a pivotal moment in a film.

Things get rather raunchy on the single that is simply known as “Top Floor”. This one’s about a couple that got amorous on a double-decker bus in London (the mile-not-so-high club, perhaps?) Needless to say this sounds like one helluva joyride complete with pop sounds, melody and whistles (but not catcalls, although given the circumstances these would have been rather apt!)

There is some lush orchestration to be found on “Oliver” while “She Makes Her Own Clothes” sees the kind of guitars that shine like a sunny, cloudless day in Perth. The latter also includes some multipart harmonising like those by Boy & Bear and this carries us through into “Some Of Us”. The record then draws to a close with the piano rock of the title track where a sage, old father figure offers some pearls of wisdom to his youngster.

Split Seconds apply a deft touch to their songwriting, whether they’re producing romper-stompers full of rock swagger or more gentler and softer moments. The music is literate, accessible and soars as high as their individual stars-on-the-rise. It’s the kind of observational look at suburban life we hear from our parents and is typically resigned to balmy evenings sitting on the back porch.

Split Seconds may not be pushing major boundaries per se but their music is rooted in tradition. They give us a clever snapshot of contemporary life and use their influences like: Paul Kelly, The Triffids and Crowded House as some perfect reference points in joining the dots together between the young and old. In short, You’ll Turn Into Me is a solid Australian songbook from some talented members of our current crop.

Review Score: 7.8 out of 10