Eddy Current Suppression Ring – So Many Things

For those not yet plugged into the Eddy Current Suppression Ring, consider this a wake-up call. The Melbourne four-piece has been churning out prime garage rock for several years, to sporadic stateside acclaim. The quartet’s second (and best) album, Primary Colours won 2008’s Australian Music Prize, the regional equivalent of Mercury/Polaris/Shortlist honors. This feat is striking because 1) the ECSR’s brand of music rarely earns such plaudits; and 2) the $30,000 prize was twenty times the album’s supposed recording budget.

The band has also amassed enough singles and stray compilation tracks to populate a double album. So Many Things captures the ECSR in slightly more ragged form – not that they’re ever slick, but many of these tracks showcase a primitive cavestomp that fits more naturally within the Goner Records roster. There are no shortage of highlights to call out – the title track showcases Brandon Suppression’s stream-of-consciousness and often hilarious ramblings. “Noise in My Head” sounds like the Standells’ bratty younger brothers bashing away, and “Demon’s Demands” demonstrates their ability to weave a spell and build to a climax over six minutes. Overall, it’s a no-nonsense 1967-meets-1979 garage kegger.

At 22 songs and well over an hour, So Many Things can be too much of a good – and mostly similar – thing, but there are very few clunkers (I’m not sure we needed a scuffed-up cover of “We Got the Beat” with tuneless vocals) and it’s a quality meal given a bit of portion control. As an entry point I’d still opt for Primary Colours’ martial insistence, but with minimal overlap to the proper albums this compilation justifies the shelf space of fans and newcomers alike.

Eddy Current Suppression Ring
So Many Things
[Goner]