Eddy Current Suppression Ring

All in Good Time

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After almost a decade away, the mighty Eddy Current Suppression Ring snuck out an album in late 2019 with almost no fanfare or warning. Apparently the quartet had never really broken up, and despite their members doing numerous other projects -- especially guitarist Mikey Young, aka Eddy Current, who cornered the market on mastering interesting bands from Australia and around the world -- they found time to lay down some tracks. The resulting record, All in Good Time, is classic thudding ECSR-style punk served up with jagged guitar riffs, sneering vocals, and tons of wire-sharp energy. Current slashes at the guitar strings with unhinged, fiery abandon, singer Brendan Suppression alternates between caustic howling and delivering cutting asides, and the rhythm section of bassist Rob Solid and drummer Danny Current lash the maelstrom down to the deck with precision and power. They come across tighter and tougher than ever before, while also opting for a fuller, more clearly recorded sound that gives the songs more punch. A large chunk of the album is made up of noise-damaged rockers that would wake even the doziest listener. "All in Good Time" kicks the album off like a kick to the head, making it clear that the band still believe in making a racket, "Vicariously Living" is a couple minutes of inspirational punk, and "Like a Comet" lives up to is name as it catches fire and lights up the album. Along with these amped-up tracks, the group also dial it back on a series of songs that show some restraint and melodic depth. "Shoulders" almost jangles a little and Suppression croons the lyrics in near-sensitive fashion; the minor-key, melancholy dirge "Reoccurring Dream" cuts out the drums entirely; and "Human Race" is a mid-tempo, stripped-back ballad that proves the band don't have to peel the paint off the walls to make an impact. The song that displays their expanded range to greatest effect is "Our Quiet Whisper." The verses are tightly coiled and tension-filled, Current's guitar playing is tuneful and sparse, and the choruses explode quickly into shards of noise and power. It's one of their best songs and a definite highlight here. The album itself also stands with their best work, and thanks to the slight bit of musical progression, it's their most accessible and enjoyable record yet. Others may have been noisier and more explosive, but All in Good Time is well-rounded and balanced perfectly between punk energy and poppy songcraft. Though Eddy Current Suppression Ring may not have wanted people to make a fuss about their return, it's kind of a big deal and this record is proof of that fact.

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