Scott and Charlene’s Wedding ‘Any Port in a Storm’ – Album Review

“When you’ve got nothing left, you’ve still got rock n’ roll!” declares Craig Dermody on ‘Jackie Boy’.  It’s these seemingly off-the-cuff, throwaway lines that raise the goosebumps and cements the music fans love of this, the most peerless of music genres.  Some bands never manage it, for some artists it appears effortless.  Craig Dermody of Scott and Charlene’s Wedding can join these luminaries.

Dermody is the driving force behind the band.  Having up sticks from Melbourne for the city that never sleeps, the singer went about establishing himself on the international music scene.  Presumably, he thought the best way to do this was by choosing a name which references a soap opera which is not even that popular in it’s native country (Neighbours), let alone the US.

‘Any Port…’ is S&CW’s second album and follows the same blueprint as last years ‘Para Vista Social Club’.  Dermody’s Stephen Malkmus drawling examines the minutiae of life over distorted lo-fi guitars and surf riffs.

With the candid conversational style and the praise of rock n roll, S&CW bring to mind the seminal Modern Lovers albeit slightly more ‘slacker’.  In fact, the loose guitar playing does begin to grow a bit old part way into the album but then Dermody reveals the depths of his talents.  ‘Spring Street’ is a slower organ-accompanied number lamenting the singer seeing an ex-girlfriend with another man on the titular road.

With a name like Scott and Charlene’s Wedding, it may not surprise to find that such heavy moments are balanced by songs like next track ‘Gammy Leg’.  Here Dermody remembers a time when he repeatedly sustained unpleasant leg injuries.

These are songs about a life struggling to get by while doing the thing you love.  It elevates the mundane and celebrates the medium of this elevation: Rock n roll.  As Dermody says in ‘Spring Street’, “I put my faith in rock n roll, it can’t save me this time but it can cushion the blow”.  So, like Kylie and Jason in 1987 (don’t worry, I looked it up) here is the moment to pledge your vows.

Sam Turner