A lamenting love song to a defunct local bus service, Australian teenage indie rockers Figurehead’s “106” is an infectious invocation into the original youthful spirit of rock ‘n’ roll.
There was a time when picking up some instruments with a few friends and making noise was the only way that young people had the opportunity to air their many grievances and frustrations, whether it was being out of luck in love, hating school, or more serious, politically-charged topics such as lack of job opportunities or impending nuclear annihilation. The modern world of social-media of course means that there are vastly more outlets for mass-communication, meaning music has largely lost its ability as a politically motivating force.
It’s lucky, then, that Figurehead don’t seem to take themselves too seriously. “106” is a tongue-in-cheek protest song with the main compliant being that the protagonist has been robbed of his best outlet for meeting girls. That’s not to belittle the issue however; there’s been a genuine outcry and even protests in Perth over the cancelling of the service. But the band manage to find that all-important balance, remaining candid in their message but tempering it with a great sense of fun and exuberance.
Despite their youth, the band already boast a remarkable adeptness in their song-writing and musicianship, with a ridiculously catchy chorus underlaid with some really nice guitar work reminiscent of Pavement and The Strokes. They’ve been receiving numerous plaudits back home in Australia, and considering the calibre of tracks they’ve already put out, I wouldn’t be surprised to see more soon to follow further afield.