EP Review – Face The World, Again by The Great Divides (2020) (Spoilsport Records)

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The Great Divides are a duo from Castlemaine, consisting of co-songwriters Gussie Bandelli and Tina D’Onghia. They appear determined to take everything that was the best about The Dunedin sound, strip it down, and re-engineer it with just enough modernity to make it almost theirs.

As such, the best of this brilliant EP sees tracks like Face The World and Life Isn’t Here  (see both below) take the chunkier bass of acts like The Verlaines and The Able Tasmans, divest them of  any unnecessary extra curricular niceties and just leave a darker almost post-punk / Flying Nun style jangle, that is coursed through the coolest of Blue Aeroplanes style semi spoken word.

Occasionally they break free of themselves, seemingly almost despite themselves. This is typified in the EP’s true stand out, 4, which adds just that extra sense of isolated riff melody to proceedings and steps firmly into Vehicle era The Clean. It’s a more expansive sound, but still retaining that undercurrent of all things ‘darker’, that they do so well.

There are a lot of bands who have attempted the whole Dunedin thing and a lot of bands that have failed miserably. However, The Great Divides manage to be twisted enough to add something divergent to the genre, rather than merely being content to assume the mantle of parody.

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