Words from the label:
"Finally! Reissue of extremely hard to find 2010 debut from the legendary Scott & Charlene’s Wedding. Now every kid with a (dis)interest in good music can own this record, and we couldn’t be happier." - Bedroom Suck
1. Born To Lose
2. Footscray Station
3. Epping Line
5. Every Detail
1. Back In Town
2. Wiseman At The Station
3. Foreign Lands
5. Find A Way
Format: Vinyl reissue. 12" LP. 33 RPM. Includes an MP3 download of the album.
Year of release: 2012
Label: Bedroom Suck (BSR 025)
City / Country: Melbourne, Australia
"Paying bills, selling paintings, going to work, smoking cigarettes, thinking rationally – Craig Dermody’s difficulty performing these mundane actions is well documented on Para Vista Social Club, the debut album from his revolving-cast band Scott & Charlene’s Wedding.
It’s an off-the-cuff collection of real-life woes, each song spilling out like a soused diary entry. Dermody wrote the songs faithfully about his experiences and from there enlisted a backing band that knew not to overcomplicate the rusty, grunge-damaged appeal of the songs. And so we have guitarist Luke Horton (Love of Diagrams), bassist Jarrod Quarrel (St Helens, Lost Animal), and drummer Dion Nania (Panel of Judges) channeling the Velvet Underground and The Wipers against Dermody’s slurred singing and name-checking of specific Melbourne transit lines, often the site of his melancholic self-reflection.
‘Footscray Station’ is the album’s breakout track, a shuddering feat of shaggy-dog jangle and perfectly bruised lyrics. Musically it’s busy and raw, flailing melodies contrasting beautifully with the noisier elements. It’s also one of the most upbeat of these 10 songs, which generally unfold as slowly and thickly as sludge. ‘Footscray Station’ leads directly to another train-themed song, ‘Epping Line’, a crawl of a song documenting Dermody’s own crawl to work as well as a demoralising phone conversation with his father. A lot of the themes are well trodden to say the least – heartbreak, working shitty jobs to survive, and the loneliness of public transit in a city – but the delivery is so wincing and unpolished that it socks you in the gut before you can call it cliche.
It’s hard to pick apart such a personal album, especially one with such a sustained chug to it. (It was recorded live in a warehouse by Northcote producer Jack Farley with everyone playing together.) Despite Dermody’s relative inexperience playing guitar and writing songs – his musical CV consists of sharing lead vocals in Spider Vomit and playing bass in the scrappy Lindsey Low Hand – these songs aren’t short and simple. They’re long, knotty jams, often digging into a single idea and not looking up for the next few minutes. Dermody’s voice ranges from a rough moan on ‘Born To Lose’ and speech-like drawl on ‘Every Detail’ to a bummed flatness on ‘Foreign Lands’ and a surprisingly clean presence on the poppy ‘Wiseman At The Station’. The songs are very much of a piece, although there’s a swinging range of moods that distinguishes them from one another. The darkest is ‘Back In Town’, which wields keyboards to bleary effect.
As much as this is Dermody’s baby, part of the joy of Para Vista Social Club (named for the Adelaide suburb in which Dermody grew up) is hearing familiar musicians veer into something new: Horton doing a mean Velvets guitar; Quarrel pumping away at melodic bass lines in lieu of his usual guitar or keys; and Nania keeping the drums earthy, but not without wobbly fills. The downside of the album is that it’s limited to 200 vinyl copies, at least half of which are already gone. And Dermody is headed to America indefinitely, putting this particular incarnation of the band on ice. (He’s played with various people as Scott & Charlene’s Wedding over the past two years.) It’s understandable Dermody making it so limited: he’s self-releasing it and he needs some pocket money for the States. He’s even painted 200 unique sleeves for the album.
Still, a hell of a lot more than 200 people ought to hear this record. It’s sludgy and hypnotic and true; an undisguised catalogue of the licks we take in our youth. When Dermody sings, “I think I lost my soul/But I found it again in rock’n’roll,” it’s not just an easy rhyme we’ve all heard before. It’s something closer to the salvation provided by cheap beer, good music and even better friends." - Doug Wallen, Mess & Noise