Thirteen Seventy is a noise rock band from Brisbane, Australia. They combine unruly rock & roll, searing guitar noise and delicate atmospherics, with strong songwriting sensibilities indebted to early 90's Seattle as well as Australia’s rich underground music history.
Born from the ashes of The Soundcasters, the band is the musical equivalent of a collision of seemingly disparate sounds. Imagine the noise of a high-speed urban noise rock colliding with the angst fuelled post-grunge lorry, being driven by a shoegazer. You’re getting close to the sound of Thirteen Seventy’s debut album “Arrest The Slide”.
Recorded throughout 2011-2012, “Arrest The Slide” (produced by Jeff Lovejoy & the band) is a collection of songs that draw influences from all the usual sources (The Velvet Underground, The Rolling Stones, My Bloody Valentine et al), each song encapsulating a different mood in this band’s expanding sonic palette. Kicking off with the double A-side releases of Labour In Vain and Fuck Up Again, listeners are immediately introduced to the two extremes this band traverses. The straight up rock of Labour In Vain is a stark contrast to the melodic, verse/chorus of Fuck Up Again’s fuzzed out melodies and haunting chorus. A thoughtful, and dynamic cover of Everything But The Girl’s 90s hit Missing displays Thirteen Seventy’s ability to take an existing song, and breathe fresh life into it. In this case, taking a 90s dance track and turning it into a tender, almost unplugged ballad. Breathe features the sultry, expressive vocals of Lucinda Shaw, who is usually found in front of the microphone for Silver Sircus, and her contribution here lends yet another tonal dynamic.
“Arrest The Slide” was, according to front man Clint Morrow, “inspired by life, relationships, and the inner darkness that everyone has within, but that most choose to ignore”. There is an undercurrent of darkness, a stark mood that pins the songs together, yet it’s not a joyless experience. Like its inspiration, there is the light along with the dark, and it’s how we decide to deal with these elements that determine how we get by. For example, the album’s title comes from a lyric in the song What You Know and deals with “coming to grips with a self-destructive mental state and trying to pull back from the edge”. Heavy stuff, but it’s a theme that we all can relate to.
Live, Thirteen Seventy is essentially a rock n’ roll power trio, a dynamic explosion of sound, where immediately influences from Lou Reed, Temple Of The Dog and Sonic Youth are recognizable. The band plays honestly, never taking themselves too seriously, and with a sense of humour, characteristics which make their material all the more enjoyable.