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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Belt

ALBUM REVIEW: Body Type - Expired Candy

A baker’s dozen of catchy rock songs

Some artists wow you with their studio material, others appear best suited to the live setting. On the evidence of Expired Candy – Body Type’s second album, the Sydney all-female, four-piece hint at a riotous live experience.

Playing unshowy rock numbers, which touch upon punk and indie too, Body Type’s output on Expired Candy is raw yet cohesive. The lyrics are largely built around desire and romance, with singalong choruses and Courtney Barnett imitations in some verses.

Following a year on from debut, Everything Is Dangerous But Nothing's Surprising, Expired Candy contains hidden depths in the lyrical content not quite obvious on first plays, with its press release stating its about ‘not being so certain that confinement and desolation leads to a dead end’. Written over a two-year period, the summary refers to the confinement brought about by pandemic lockdowns and having to construct the album online at times.

Fortunately, this patchwork construction isn’t clear in its production with Jonathan Boulet’s mastering of the record conveying a live band recording. The heart of the record, musically, are the high-pitched lead guitar pulsing through most of the songs which is reminiscent of the latest EP by Lazy Queen. Cecil Coleman’s drumming is a crucial component without ever really standing out and the haphazard vocal contribution by guitar and bass trio, Sophie McComish, Annabel Blackman and Georgia Wilkinson-Derums, range from soothing harmonies to decent singing and deliberately punky shouting.

Body Type band shot courtesy of Toni Wilkinson

The highlight of the 13-track record, which calls in at just over 40 minutes long, is ‘Creation of Man’ – a wry take on the fascination with male artists prevalent in many a rock star story. The bridge to the chorus is about as Courtney Barnett as the band get on the album before leading into a catchy chorus and dreamy ‘ahh’s over muscular guitar.

‘Holding On’ is about friends and family keeping the narrator on an even keel as their emotions threaten to envelop them, ‘Summer Forever’ has enjoyable, scuzzy vocals for its chorus refrain and lead single, ‘Miss the World’ sees the band crank up the pace for a punk number observing the compliance of the public as tyrants ascend to power. Other standouts are ‘Tread Overhead’ – a slower song on the narrator’s comfort in being close to her mother – and ‘Sha La La’ – a reminder of the place honesty has in relationships.

All the songs would stand up well at a gig but the one-dimensionality and unoriginality grates a little during the second half of the record. Musically speaking, there’s nothing outstanding in these tracks. The lyrics are well crafted and the punk collective nature of the band is endearing.

While it might be nothing new, Body Type on Expired Candy have produced an album full of vim and vigour in their catchy rock songs which deserve an attentive audience when they hit the road. Ones to watch, for sure.

Rating: 7.6/10

Expired Candy is out this Friday (2 June) via Poison City Records


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