Sydney four piece RACKETT are back with a vivacious, accessible punk rock track – Tried to Quit. The band has received a reputation as one of Australia’s best current live acts, having put on over 150 shows. Their presence, dynamism and tenacity has been written about widely. And listening to Tried to Quit it is easy to see why – it’s a song with big guitar chords, high energy, lush harmonies and a beguiling chorus, resulting in a sound that is both technically proficient and spirited. What more could you want from a live band?
In Tried to Quit, there is a kind of perfect tension between the distorted base and chugging guitar that intensely operate within and bounce off each other. This is reminiscent of trying to kick a habit but being unable to, that toing and froing. But it’s also the poise of the song; doing everything but completely letting go and being considered and sophisticated, beautifully echoing the songs sentiment and lyrics. As lead singer and writer of Tried to Quit, Bec Callander, explains: “It’s about trying to lose yourself and not care, but not being able to … I was immersed in the punk scene there [Melbourne] and all its debaucherous indulgences: drinking, smoking, generally not giving a fuck. I was a rebel without a cause, except that of my own destruction. I guess in a way, I tried to quit on myself and I just couldn’t do it.”
Unfortunately Trying to Quit doesn’t quite conjure the energy that comes from RACKETT‘s live shows, it sounds a little too rehearsed and perfected for that. Whilst the production is superb and sharp, it just doesn’t quite capture that feral, charismatic, attitude-loaded form the band epitomises. In saying that, it’s still a successful punk tune and it’s easy to see how and why RACKETT are a band to watch. Harking back to 70s and 80s punk rock, its unapologetic, femme punk done very well and most importantly, done authentically.