Tropical Strength have but one song so we need not sift through any dense back catalogue or acclimatize ourselves with lengthy context to appreciate this track for what it is. The only reference worth drawing out is the connection with recent Spunk signees Shining Bird whose six strong lineup includes brothers Alastair and Russell Webster, the very same gentleman who happen to comprise Tropical Strength. While we’re talking Shining Bird though, can I mention that this forthcoming Spunk release feels kind of… weird? Purely in terms of release strategy, that is. All we’ve heard from the debut record (Leisure Coast, due out in exactly a month today) is the same single that’s been floating around the internet for nigh on eight months now.
They started working it properly when the band signed to Spunk and knocked together a very well received video, but even the video was two months ago now. Why haven’t we heard another track? Pre-order the record and you’ll get an instant download of the band’s first EP and, no surprises a download of (same single again) Distant Dreaming… but nothing else from the record. It’s starting to feel conspicuously like there might not be another strong single from the record. Not to take away from what could be a cracking album when it comes, but it may well be that Spunk are sitting there wondering what to do on the back of such a strong first single.
Anyway, I digress! Tropical Strength. The dudes are from South Coast NSW and by the heavens they’ve found a way to sonically articulate that. I could draw a dot on a map of NSW that would accurately pinpoint the individual locations of their homes just from having listened to this jam. It grounds itself in the chatter of birds before building through layers of synth and throaty vocals before launching into the reverb soaked ‘Open Your Eyes’ refrain. It’s a patient piece of art that might actually take you somewhere you weren't expecting to go on an average Tuesday afternoon. Very promising indeed. More please!
Here’s that earlier mentioned Shining Bird single too: