Music Reviews

Cool Sounds Bystander

(Nice Guys) Rating - 8/10

If Cool Sounds comes off more like the title of a boomer’s latest playlist than a Melbourne-based indie guitar band than so be it. If the songs from Bystander were shuffled in with tracks from The Velvet Underground’s Loaded, The Feelies The Good Earth, and Alex Chilton’s Feudalist Tarts, no one would be none the wiser. Led by vocalist and lead guitarist Dainis Lacey, album opener Plains has an undulating guitar line that does anything but mirror the flatness of the song’s title. The opening four tracks here are about as solid as they come, culminating in the syncopated vocals of Crimson Mask. Elsewhere on the title track and Church Bells, Lacey doesn’t let a brisker pace get in the way of a laconic delivery. Bystander makes for one hell of a varied and propulsive listen on its surface, but if you dig deeper, Lacey also has a lot on his mind in support of standing up for the marginalized. Whether you are looking to be entertained or educated, then by all means put this in your rotation post haste.