Aza’s 2 Line Review – What You Kill (2014) – Gersey

Gersey’s 4th Album Showcases The Confidence, Intimacy & Disarming Personality Of A Band At The Height Of Their Creative Prowess. A Showcase Of All The Elements That Make Gersey One Of Australia’s Finest Musical Exports.

From their beginnings in 1997 in ye Olde Melbourne, Gersey have amassed a reputation as one of the most respected and melodic musical outfits this country has ever produced. From their celebrated, critically acclaimed debut album Hope Springs (2000), through to the atmospheric wonder of Storms Dressed As Stars (2002) and the rocking roar of No Satellites (2006), Gersey have cemented a back catalogue of emotionally fuelled songs that springboard into multi layered musical explorations. From fan favourites such as Crashing, The Beautiful Look City Today, Look To The Sun, Baby, You’re A Strange Girl, Roll Out The Heartbreakers, Small Change and A  Day To Be Certain there’s so much about their work to admire and be impressed about.

Flash forward 8 years, several marriages, babies, new ventures, side projects and multi continental movements within the band and finally we have their 4th outing – What You Kill. The anticipation of this new album has always been feverous since the boys announced they were heading back into the studio over a year ago. Well, they say patience is a virtue and in this case it certainly is. What You Kill embraces everything that makes Gersey great and enhances them with some of the most confident and sincere songs they’ve ever written.

From the opening interlude of This Is Just The Beginning (an atmosphere setter) that dives straight into When You Hollow Out (an instant anthem), you’re instantly struck by the confidence of Gersey’s sound and it’s lost none of its potency. See Lucienne echoes the warmth of Baby, You’re A Strange Girl and Endlessness comes to you as a nod to Hope Springs. Curtaincall‘s knowing nod to Aimee Mann is a welcome change of pace before you’re greeted with Summer Days, a 3 minute epic Gersey beauty and from there highlights include Killers Of EdenFor As Long As We Remain, It Means Nothing, She Knows & the 9 minute epic closer There Are Things That You & I Could Never Be.

Jackson’s lyrics and vocal are as disarming and personable as ever. There’s a striking honesty to his singing, he doesn’t use any effects or digital tuning, what you hear is his voice from quiet murmur to full bodied front man. Whereas No Satellites was a more bombastic big band experience in terms of lyric & voice, What You Kill brings its story telling in close with a much more personal, stripped back approach and it works. Not to sound too over the top, but in songs like Killers Of Eden as an illustration, it’s as though he’s having a one on one song with you.

Bradie’s exploratory lead guitar is ever present and, along with Davis’ assured rhythm, the synchronicity between the pair drive the songs along with Tulen’s considered work on the skins. Case in point For As Long As We Remain‘s stunningly emotive outro is a total nod to this and they instantly illicit a reaction out of the listener. These guys are more interested exploring these songs than just playing them and you can hear it in softer presence of drums in certain tracks, the measured use of effects on guitars and the humble approach to Jackson’s bass work – check out She Knows and how it musically lulls in and out for a perfect example of this.

What You Kill is an intimate, disarmingly dynamic album, brimming with confidence, musical integrity and heart. For Gersey, this is another major feather in their cap and for Australia this is a must have album. When I listen to Gersey I feel it in my chest and What You Kill is no exception – this is honest music, this is passionate music, this is real music.