Tearjerker is the new EP unleashed by Melbourne post-punk rockers Hug Therapist, and it’s a mosh-inducing yet measured work. It represents a sharp, punchy offering that will not only please their existing fans, but that deserves to win them plenty of new ones.

A rapid-fire drumbeat introduces Tone Kings, the opener on this four-track selection. And what a fine opener it is: a pace-changing burst of punk that shouts for your attention, before putting its arm around your shoulders all mate-like, while you sing along to its chorus.

An atmospheric beginning announces Plain Cheese, a reflective contemplation of bygone, better days. Transforming into a melodic offering of solid drumming and simple, effective bass—and mixing with a guitar that screeches sporadically to life—the track is a catchy one. And it contrasts to the previous track, but in a pleasing way; I’m already intrigued as to what direction the next song will take.

21cc fires off some heavy, stop-start guitar riffs that will inevitably have you bobbing your head along in time, before the Tearjerker journey ends with the final, anthemic American M.O.M. It’s a fist-pumping, head-banger of a track that will seize a hold of your body and jerk your limbs around like they’re being controlled by a maniacal puppeteer. I felt let down by this last track—just a little—in the sense that it was the last track, already; by this stage I’d been whipped into body-flailing frenzy and then…it all just ended. It was like I was being left hanging.

And that, of course, is testament to the quality of this EP. It is a powerful offering by a relative newcomer that would seem to have an assured future. It hits hard, and assaults the senses, while remaining accessible and highly-listenable. At fleeting moments I was reminded of how I felt when I first listened to Offspring’s earlier work; well-pleased with inventive, catchy scores that frequently change pace, yet manage to stick to a coherent, overall feel and tone. I am sure we will be hearing more from Hug Therapist, and I for one look forward to that.

Tearjerker is out now through the band

Hug Therapist on Facebook

Rating: 26/28 Days





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