Indie invention born out of Brunswick`s DIY scene, and at least in part, necessity, Hydroplane`s self-titled debut album is poised to be reissued on Melbourne’s marvelous, Efficient Space. Forced by the departure of their drummer to experiment with tape loops and samples, the fourteen tracks take classic “shambling band” strumming and post-rock picking and push them through lo-fi, bedsit, 4-track treatments. Certainly not hung-up about commercial expectations or crossover, the hazy, dusted, shorts include sinister soundscapes, abstract environments of oscillating drones, shimmering sustained tones, and phased guitar-derived frequencies. Hymn-like hums that sometimes drift into distortion. But there are also some proper, cleverly written, songs. Song For The Meek vamps on “cult” `60 stuff, like the Velvet Underground’s Pale Blue Eyes. A countrified twang, ringing with reverb, scoring a lyric that tries to make sense of love, relationships, and heartbreak. It`s something that wouldn’t have been out of place alongside the “outsider art” collected on Efficient Space`s celebrated Sky Girl compilation.
My personal favourites, though, are Wurlitzer Jukebox, and New Monotonic FM where the trio borrow Clyde Stubblefield`s Funky Drummer break. Faded and distant, the JB`s groove reduced to a tinny rattle, its here that Hydroplane`s dream pop is at its most ethereal, fragile, and even My Bloody Valentine-esque. An introspective shot of sublime second summer of love-era shoegaze, the sweet sonic crash that inevitably followed ecstasy’s rush.
Hydroplane is reissued, released for the first time on vinyl, on May 6th. You can preorder a copy directly from Efficient Space.