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Thick Specs "Old Friends"

Remember when Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy – an album laden with crazy, sprawling tracks like No Quarter and The Rain Song?

‘Old Friends’ is Plaskett’s No Quarter. The ebb and flow of the track is a little wobbly and loose at times and it takes a few listens to really absorb the layers. Starting out with a chimey piano and loungey rhythm track, JP’s distant and subdued vocal track calls us in for a closer listen. This song is definitely not my favourite single thus far – but I don’t hate it, either. It plods along as Joel continues his memoir-centric stream of consciousness that seems to be pervading this album. But in true JPE fashion, the song gets almost dead quiet on a contemplative verse before the volume explodes.

‘Old Friends with a new guitar
So much whiskey at the bar’

Much like No Quarter, when the song picks up, and when the brooding moodiness drops, and when the toms and snare build, and when the grinder, laser-beam electric guitar kicks in, we know that we are in for a tumultuous, sonic ride. A fuzz-gun guitar solo rips into the ear of the listener as Joel lets loose on the fretboard – something he is innately skilled at but often strays from in his more popular songs. A little weird and dark at times, Old Friends is JP showing that he cannot be pinned down into any one musical genre and an indication that Scrappy Happiness is his most unpredictable project yet.

Matt McKechnie