Cabin Fever – Tough On Fridays (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Music, and the scenes that surround them, might often seem to be about revolution but bands are without doubt more about evolution. Watching Tough On Fridays grow has been a fantastic experience. People may have come and gone but the music always seemed to play out to a solid vision, one built of strands of alt-rock cool, grungy edge, punky swagger and a dark yet melodic contagion.

And if Caleigh was always found at the eye of this sonic storm, the steady hand which kept the musical ship on course, she seems to have found the perfect creative partner in recent recruit and bassist Carly. The product of this new relationship are just starting to bear fruit and Cabin Fever is a track that perhaps underlines the end of the previous chapter so that a new one can begin, given that it was written B.C. (Before Carly.)

But as an indication of where the band are at these days, it is perfect. It oozes dark charm, brooding, spacious atmospheres and, once it gets going, bruising riffs and bombastic beats. Although the title might suggest a reflection on the pandemic, it predates the lockdowns and isolation in a way that is both slightly prophetic and poignantly relevant. The song tells of real-life experience of late-night panic attacks, but like all great songs, the listener can read into it anything relevant to their own lives.

It is easy to see why the two principal players have been picked up by Sydney AU Golden Robot Records, which means that they get to rub shoulders with the likes of LA Guns and The Crooks, and with a new album in the works they can perhaps finally settle into a groove, open up the Tough On Fridays throttle and see how fast (and productive) this thing can go.

I suspect that the answer will lie in a cloud of smoke, the smell of burnt rubber, a line of tire marks left on the road and the neighbours complaining about the noise. Time to hitch a lift with the band before you are just a distant speck in their rearview mirror. Go on, get in, what’s the worst that could happen?

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