Google defines tenuous as “very weak or slight; insubstantial”. While this could very well be a text book definition of my physique, there’s nothing tenuous about my next claim: Luca Brasi has absolutely crushed their new album, Everything is Tenuous. Returning with their fifth LP, the Tasmanian legends have managed to kick things up a notch and delivered an entirely satisfactory ten cuts of angst driven pop punk.
Spurned on by the relative inactivity most experienced throughout 2020 thanks to a little thing called a pandemic, the four piece tour de-force from St Helens hit the studio and reached an all-time high for a band who have always managed to churn out classy rock. Taking the chance to self produce the album, the band embraced the limitations associated with a locked down life, and took the recording process head on, and came out the other side with a victorious game changer.
While not complete novices behind the producer’s panel, there was still a level of uncertainty for the band when it came to piecing together the bits and pieces of old and new tracks when attempting to record what would become Everything is Tenuous. An obvious nod towards how fragile the world really is and how out of balance it became on the back of last year’s complete economic and social shutdown, the album is a culmination of all the stories, wins and losses the band has managed to pull together over their twelve year tenure.
Opening up with hit-in-waiting “Never the Right Time”, a track that has traditional Luca Brasi written all over it. Not straying too far from the well trodden path they’ve developed over their past few releases, there’s a strong sense of imagery the song invokes. You can effortlessly see the band open up their next tour with the track. It has all the harmonies of classic Luca Brasi, clear vocals of front man Tyler Richardson, and that unmistakeable punch of the guitars, bass and drums.
If you had to describe the band to someone who hadn’t heard of them before, you’d be foolish to not play them “Dying to Feel Alive”. With its mixture of bridge breakdowns, slightly emo lyrics and slick guitars solos, “Dying to Feel Alive” is quintessential Luca Brasi.
One thing you definitely notice about the band is how consistent they are at creating three and half minute songs that will bring out the angry fifteen year old you thought you’d well and truly left behind in Year 9. And while many people tend to outgrow what they were listening to all those years ago, every now and then they’ll find themselves going back to that safety net, and having a killer time throwing arms and rocking out as they did once upon a time. Even as a new album, Everything is Tenuous makes me want to do that.
Stand out track “The Truth” is an absolute mood from start to finish. Richardson wholeheartedly guilt trips the song’s antagonist to tell the truth, as it will evidently set them free. It’s a tale as old as time, but what a tale it is. “The Truth” is an absolute riot and gut punch, with a massive guitar solo that should not be slept on. It’s a song of regret, anger and self-reflection, but my lord, it’s emphatic and absolutely brilliant.
The reliability of the album continues on “Led Astray”, with its soaring chorus and slow-build bridge. Then the closing chorus throws it back to a Kisschasy late 2000’s feel. It’s anthemic and wholesome, but ultimately hits the spot. In a similar vein, listening to “Every Time You’re Here (I’m Gone)” you can’t help but feel like everything will be ok despite the continued themes of longing throughout its run.
The album closes out on “Sea Sick” (the only track to featuring a guest spot, in the form of Kat Edwards). It’s a downbeat slow mover tinged with an element of Ceres, before it’s timely and ultimately satisfying last minute. It’s a reassured completion to an other ways pretty reliable album.
Luca Brasi’s ability to thrive on a stready diet of melancholia disguised as anthemic rock is what makes you want to go out of your way to support the band. It’s not tenuous to say Luca Brasi are the type of band the Australian community needs for its survival and here on Everything is Tenuous it’s more noticeable than ever before.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Everything is Tenuous, the new album from Luca Brasi is out Friday February 12th. Pre-order the album HERE.
Header Image by Nick Green