When a home-turf legend like The Butterfly Effect reforms after a 13-year hiatus between albums, everyone should take notice.
Last Sunday (14 November), vocalist Clint Boge, drummer Ben Hall, and lead guitar Kurt Goedhart invited select fans to a listening party in Brisbane to debut three of the songs on their upcoming album (bassist Glenn Edmond was in Sydney and sadly couldn't attend).
A lot can change in the course of a decade, and if you think you know what The Butterfly Effect has in store, think again. Their songs are at once familiar and alien.
TBE's new songs 'So Tired' (released today), 'Nil By Mouth' and 'Waves Of Tides' (plus 2019 single 'Unbroken') signal a new sound and direction for the band.
'So Tired' is a song of excess, not just of greed but also of emotions. The heavy, angry guitar riffs, the kick drum you can feel in your chest, and the piercing yet familiar vocals evoke the imagery of a boxer getting back in the ring after a long absence.
While the song proclaims "it's not over now", the haunting line can be taken in a different way: it's not over, it's just beginning.
"This song is about excess; this song is about us," Kurt says of 'So Tired'. "We started this band, then before we knew it, it became 'hold on for your dear lives!'.
"We were in a cycle of writing, touring, recording, touring – and above all else, we were partying NON-STOP. If you wanna know what it is like to live that life, there is no better explanation than this song."
'Nil By Mouth' was described by Clint as "the fattest riff Kurt's ever written". It's true metal: rock & roll guitar work with a thrashing bass riff and booming drums.
The song starts more upbeat than 'So Tired' before it tears you a near one. The bassline rips right through you before the ending of the song brings mournful guitar riffs that sound like barbed wire scraped over an electric fence. It's a wounded animal: tearing, ripping, shredding.
In comparison, 'Waves Of Tides' (a song about the wash of depression) is pure intensity. Even when the haunting, chant-like refrain of guitars and vocals washes over you, it doesn't let up. The dichotomy of the song is in watching waves thrash on a rocky cliff, and the peace and horror of drowning in them.
The last song played has already been released online (back in 2019). 'Unbroken' is a call back to their '00s roots, when they were chewing up the gravel of the touring circuit, playing in dive bars with undiscovered greats to tweens with greasy hair and Converse sneakers.
The thinner, more melodic, but still beautiful vocals lay out the path they've been following to get here, their very own yellow brick road, complete with the magic and horror of what the last two years have wrought.
There are seven more tracks coming, and the band have set their sights on festivals, tours and live shows, so expect these legends to once again take their place in Australia's music scene – as though they never left.
"We've got a new album coming in 2022, the next single is also ready to go, it's a savage tune and will be dropping in February," enthuses Ben. "Phattest riff Puddles [Kurt] has written in 20 years.
"We're hoping COVID restrictions will ease and Glenn can join us for the next studio sessions, making the experience more of a traditional recording scenario, minimal internet, lots of noise kind of thing."