Music / Premieres
Tug - To Burn Oneself
Words by James Lynch
Friday 13th May, 2022
Today we’ve got the pleasure of premiering the sophomore album from psychedelic powerhouse Tug - full to the brim with left-of-centre garage-pysch paired with moments of imaginative prog-rock and tender 70s-eqsue balladry, To Burn Oneself is a exhilarating re-immersion into Tug’s shapeshifting sonic world.
It’s no secret that Australia has been enjoying a bit of a boom in modern psych-rock over recent years, yet few bands seem to hark back to the golden era of psychedelia as easily as Tug do. With their lineup recently expanded from five to seven, and with a heap of additional projects to each member’s names, there’s a joyously freewheeling sense to the group. Now add on the fact that their latest record was recorded in a warehouse that doubled as the band’s home, it’s easy to understand why To Burn Oneself sounds so thrillingly eclectic, yet just as effortless and natural.

Refusing to sit still for too long at any moment across its nine-track runtime, the album bursts open with early single ‘Droid Party’, a groove-heavy 70’s funk trip that warps between playful jams and a volatile psych blitz. It’s a little bit of a tasting plate of what’s to come, because following tracks ‘Arms of Pleasure’ and ‘Fading Light’ similarly meld moods and styles together, luring us into a space that sounds equally disorientating and addictive.

As the album expands open, things get a little more chaotic. ‘Toxoplazma’ builds around a fiery middle-eastern scale that makes the track’s pulsating grooves feel all the more electrifying, ‘Rhythm’ sees the group toying with (you guessed it) off-kilter rhythmic tricks as if attempting to buck listeners off the pulse as the track unravels, and album closer ‘Bamboo’ is perhaps the album’s most surreal moment, loaded with a fair share of Beatles-esque absurdity, heaving guitar riffs and mischievous charisma.

Lead songwriter Mitchell Peters tell us “this is an introspective album exploring themes of self-destructive behaviour, regret and longing”, and although it doesn’t take too long to dig beneath the surface to begin uncovering these layers, there’s so much going here that you could just as easily be hypnotised with To Burn Oneself studying it on headphones as you would in a bustling bandroom. All that we can really recommend is clutching on tightly and enjoying the wild ride.

To Burn Oneself is out now via Side Stare Music. Catch Tug launching the new album on Friday May 20th at Bar Open - grab a ticket here.