Bendigo Victoria’s Brodie Roberts has just released the first batch of material from his latest project Porcine Assembly Line. Roberts got his start playing in several noise rock bands in the last half of this decade. He took a mental health break for a few years and then began to write and record again. As Porcine Assembly Line his new EP The Darkest Place grapples with art house rock and funky sometimes oddball lyrics and changes that zig and zag and then shatter like finely broken glass. And like glass there is often a sharpness and a jarring effect taking place with both his guitar as well as his lyrics.
The first song “Mellified Man” goes to a pretty dark place. Mellification is an ancient practice of steeping a dead body in honey and then eating it for medicinal purposes. To this theme Roberts pairs haunted house style synths with a sharp, almost chain saw like shots of electric guitar. His vocals are those of a man crazed, but with the wonderment of circus ringmaster. Look upon this.
Next on “Ignorance” a scant and jumpy bit of guitar pairs well with a simplistic beat as Roberts waxes poetic about the simpler times when he was young and the larger world and all life brings to the table wasn’t front and center.
On the “Darkest Place” he creates a childish and spooky melody that sounds like its origins are in line with the pre-set tunings of a Casio Keyboard. His lyrics are a haunting yet friendly chat, and it seems here he is begging for the listeners attention, as so many poets do as they read their work, thinking their excitement will make their words sound more proselytizing than they really are.
The final track is a bit of a laugh, sounding somewhere between a stripped-down version of Primus and Modest Mouse. It’s thin and a bit boring and after awhile one simply thinks perhaps the tape went on a little too long.
There is not much meat in this project, just a bare bones outline. I'm looking forward to where he goes from here.
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