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One to watch: Cable Ties | Music


A self-released 2017 debut, Say What You Mean, caused ripples in feminist punk three-piece Cable Ties’ native Australia, thanks in large part to the title track’s furious broadside against late-stage capitalism, specifically the way it reduces people to commodities. It also brought them to the attention of Superchunk’s Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance, who signed them to their label, Merge, for the follow-up, Far Enough.

The switch to such a renowned label coincides with a more nuanced approach to their songwriting. As singer/guitarist Jenny McKechnie explains: “I’m no longer righteously angry, looking out and shouting at the world. I’m looking at myself, and sometimes I don’t like what I see.”

To that end, her lyrics on Far Enough are more reflective, complex, and slightly less prescriptive. Which isn’t to say that they are any less angry than before – Self-Made Man is unafraid to take on the Trumps of this world. Musically, meanwhile, McKechnie and bandmates Nick Brown (bass) and Shauna Boyle (drums) conjure up darkly rumbling punk soundscapes, but aren’t afraid to explore, via lengthy, but compelling, instrumental passages.

McKechnie’s voice is the focal point, however, and makes comparisons to Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker inevitable (Not My Story in particular could fit seamlessly on to that band’s magnificent Call the Doctor album). “Hope is a really important theme on the album,” she says. “It’s about the importance of getting hope back, even when you can see no logical reason to have it. Without hope, anger becomes despair or bitterness.”

Far Enough (Merge) is out on 27 March

Watch the video for Sandcastles by Cable Ties

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