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Eddy Current Suppression Ring: Reality, Checked

Since 2003, Australia's Eddy Current Suppression Ring has released three albums of emotionally damaged garage-rock. The emotions expressed range from anxious to upset with little to nothing in between; plus, reading into frontman Brendan Suppression's verbose lyrics can be like listening to a book on tape.

In "Gentleman," most of the tension melts away in favor of something honest and heartfelt. The tinny guitars that back the group's more aggressive songs set the stage for love's long-awaited reality check, while Suppression's words fit the profile of a pragmatist's wedding vows. They're less than pretty but satisfyingly level-headed as he sings, "I'll try to be the first to apologize when we have a fight / Even if you're wrong, but mostly when you're right."

The track is devoid of flagrant promises and notions of eternity, but there's undeniable sweetness throughout -- even in the strict and rigid drumming. Music can provide a much-needed break from life's harsh moments, but Eddy Current Suppression Ring has no interest in creating a sonic fire escape for the distraught. Instead, the band embraces the real world, wrapping its arms around the beautiful and the ugly alike.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Anthony Fantano