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STRANGE TIMES

Covøids
Covøids

Covøids’ debut single, ‘Plan B’ jumps out of the blocks like a snarling hellhound snapping at the heels of some wannabe political dictator who’s had their snout in the trough for far too long.  Coming in at a bone jarring 1:14 minutes and accompanied by a video that features, among others, former US president, Donald Trump, and our very own national marketing manager, Scott Morrison, ‘Plan B’ has all the muscularity and production values of today and the punk sensibilities of such late 20th Century US punk bands as The Dead Kennedys and Black Flag.  It’s also a fucking great song.

I suggested at this point that Covøids might just be responsible for starting the revolution we so desperately need right now.

Covøids and ‘Plan B’ are an interesting progression of the punk trope.  In one way it’s surprising that the band’s first single is so punchy and direct in a world that’s awash with complexity and endless self-absorption.  Are the youth of today ready for such brutality?  From another perspective, perhaps ‘Plan B’ and Covøids are the reset we all so badly need. 

Whatever might be the case, having had an early squiz at the video, Around The Sound needed to know more.  Which proved to be a bit more difficult than we’d initially expected.  Having made first contact with Covøids’ drummer, Nathan Sproule, we were then passed on to guitarist, Mike Wafer, who handballed us to vocalist, Benny Ward.  Worried that we might then get passed on to, god forbid, the bass player (Shane Rosher, in case you’re at all interested), we quickly lined up a time to speak with Ward, who in spite of the band’s healthy and very punk-like distrust of the media, proved to be quite affable.

He began by schooling us on the error of our ways, saying, “Never speak to the drummer, nothing they say ever makes sense.”  We both then chuckled wisely at the even worse prospect of speaking to the bass player, which would have inevitably resulted in a lot of white space.

If you know anything about the Australian music scene, Perth in particular, the names of the Covøids’ members would have instantly given away that this outfit isn’t made up of musos riding in their first rodeo.  Each of the band’s line up has history and more pedigree than a Crufts champion.  They may not be young, but they sure sound like it.  This instantly explains how they could pull off the 80s punk schtick so authentically, something that Ward explained like this:

“It wasn’t like we necessarily sat down and had a conversation about this is exactly how it has to be, it was just you know every time an idea would come up at that sort of strayed from the path other than direct and brutal and straight to the point it was kind of like no, fuck that you know, scrap that, let’s just keep it keep it really straight, really simple and easy for people to understand what is being said as well.  It’s half the musicality of it all and half what is being said, and I think it helps when it’s a bit quicker and more concise and direct.”

Though Covøids’ sound may be rooted in the 80s, their concerns are those of today.  Speaking about the music they’re currently producing and the themes they’re plumbing, Ward said, “A lot of it is unashamedly clichéd as shit.  I mean how many punk bands do you need to see being angry about the government or whatever?  That’s been done and everything, but there’s also honesty in that, you know, in the directness of it.  I think it’s way more therapeutic, especially when you’re a musician, to be able to write these things down and turn them into some sort of an art form that you can share with your friends and others, and that really connects with people.  If you’re coming from an honest place, I think that really connects with people and that seems more therapeutic to me than just being a fucking keyboard warrior.  I can’t stand a lot of the shit that goes on with social media.  You get people that sit back and take pot-shots at others for not speaking up and not saying anything and they ram their shit down other people’s throats.  To be able to think about it and deliver it in your own way through music is a really fucking cool feeling.”

I suggested at this point that Covøids might just be responsible for starting the revolution we so desperately need right now.

“I don’t know that we are going to be the ones to be responsible for a revolution,” Ward replied.  “It’s already happening, people are doing way braver things that what we’re doing, but I guess we’re just trying to contribute towards that.  It’s us offering our donation, you know.  It’s just it’s crazy, it’s very fucking strange times we’re living in.”

Strange days, indeed.

Given their pedigree and the Perth music scene’s legendary pop will eat itself approach to being in a band, with each band member playing it at least 50 other bands simultaneously, you might be forgiven for thinking that Covøids could just be a flash in the pan.  Not so, according to Ward.

“We’ve got like 10 songs recorded now,” Ward said, “enough for a small album or whatnot and they’re all much the same. Some are 45 seconds long, they’re all topical and they’re all straight to the point.  There’s no space for any anything else with what we’re doing, it’s all very much direct.

“We’re planning on releasing a clip with every song. There’s 10 songs that are already recorded and we’re going to release them one by one every couple of months or whenever the clips happen, because we think the visuals are just as important as the audio.  Over this coming year they should all be out and about in one form or another, and then we’ve got a tonne of other things that we’re writing at the moment.  I think it’s going to happen pretty quickly and pretty often.”

So, watch for more from Covøids, the elder children of the pandemic.  Get into them and they will bloody your nose and stir you to righteous anger.  They might just get you away from your keyboard for a few moments, too.

********************

Covøids launch ‘Plan B’ on Saturday 27 February at Dirtymerkin studio in Morley with support from The Critics, False Cobra, Desert Dogs and Cryot Girl.  For more information and tickets check their Facebook page here.

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