The difficult fifth album(and second for Sub Pop) from this no-frills Melbourne band is an unrestrained blast of thinking man's (and woman's) punk energy.
The eleven tracks are delivered in an admirably economical 37 minutes. benefiting from a democratic division of labour with all four members sharing vocal duties, even drummer Daniel Twomey.
Making an impression in concert is high on their list of priorities. To do so they are not overly concerned with subtlety; guitarist Jensen Tjhung says “I’ve started pouring a can of beer on my head every show. If that ain’t worth five bucks then I’m quitting show biz for good”.
Fortunately, their music isn't brainless as this comment. Their chief inspirations are drawn from the likes of Sonic Youth and Husker Dü.
In other words, this is garage rock performed by a band who have actually learned to play their instruments. The fact that they have made use of a recording studio for the first time in their career is a definite bonus.
They are at their best when not going for the jugular such as on FFS and Afraid For You, both sung with suitably bored disdain by guitarist Sarah Hardiman.
There's also a welcome place for the sweaty adrenalin rush of the title track and Deep Blue Cheated and the track title Metal Carnage sums up the overall effect pretty well.
Listen to Lithium Zion on Bandcamp