Sunday 4 November 2018



Conversational lyricism weaves through the sunny strumming jangle of Rally Club's 'Twelve Tattoos', the effect basically feels like climbing inside the head of its female protagonist. Her observations and thoughts sprinkle the lyrics, whilst she's also described her in third person from the point of view of the singer.

The chorus, with its hook-laden far-off broken radio vocals, mentions this explicitly: "I gotta feeling that I’m seeing what she’s looking through / cause she talks in her sleep, she talks about being with you."

The sparkle of its chords feel like starfish washed up on the beach, the breeze shunting clouds across a cool blue sky, the tinny bump of the drums skittering in coastal somersaults. There's this surf feel, with these effortless vocal harmonies that feel Beach Boys crossed with beat poet – or West Coast Weapon-era Brand New – as you can see from Rally Club's opening gambit:

"She looked pretty even keeled if you looked from afar. Her makeup barely covered up her blatant reactions to songs as she mumbled the words if she knew them at all.

She looked pretty damn full from all the meals in her car; the times she spent driving chasing constant attractions added up and the math in her head was getting harder to solve."

There is this delicious wordy detail in the strings of words that whirl around, rhythmically solid and pulsing with the bounce easy scansion. Even the ABCABC (bones, palate, remind her / known, mallet, behind her) rhyme scheme feels poetically sound.

Next to the detail, the words remain methodically cryptic; lines like "Twelve tattoos in the entire home, the perfect situation to display on the surface" and "A polished reputation, could it really be worthless? she thought as she filled in all the cracks in the living room wall" – as well as the sad "nobody found the letters she was leaving behind her" – mix everyday minutiae with mystery.

And then besides the airy detached jangle, there's this angular guitar riff that jumps in loaded with chorus; the sort of glitzy, towering thing you'd expect from some early metal band, but with a lovely lack of distortion. Besides the superficial everyday of the protagonist, the light strumming, there's the inner turmoil of what she's actually going through, displayed in the mild aggression of the thumping riff sections: clutching at reality and trying to make sense of it.

  • 🔔 Feel free to stream or purchase this Rally Club track on their Bandcamp or the single release it appears on, Space / Twelve Tattoos'.
  • 🔔 The fun hand-drawn video is by Nathan Henning.

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