That stifling humidity and unrelenting sunlight which inherently comes hand in hand with residing in the sub-tropical climes of Brisbane can sometimes seep into the music of band’s emerging from the city’s thriving scene, and rising indie rock stars Thigh Master are no exception. Originally conceived as a project for brothers Matthew and Daniel Ford of Brisbane-via-Memphis psych-pop outfit Black Vacation, one allowing younger brother Matthew’s songwriting to shine, the band – rounded out by drummer Patrick Byron – played their first few sets of Flying Nun-inspired rock’n’roll underneath a sharehouse in Milton overshadowed by the iconic XXXX brewery, the stench of rotting hops lingering in the air.
While many guitar pop bands tend to develop more easy going tendencies, Thigh Master establish their appeal through songs of apathy and heartbreak that constantly teeter on the edge of complete breakdown, with one hand always on the pint glass.
Which isn’t to say that Thigh Master’s edgy brand of indie rock isn’t accessible, nor that the band doesn’t possess a fierce work ethic. Self-releasing their early releases on their own Tenth Court label – the highly-regarded imprint which now also serves as home for indie bands all over the country including Wireheads, Mope City, Naked, Chook Race, Tralala Blip and more – Thigh Master quickly sold out the entire run of their first two singles (2014’s Head Of The Witch and 2015’s Songs To Wipe Your Mouth To) including strong sales in the US as the result of positive blog traction. After the addition of second guitarist Dusty Anasstasiou, the band conducted a successful tour of Japan in February 2015 – seven shows including a packed Tokyo show with Japanese icons Guitar Wolf and rising US garage rockers The Coathangers, as well as two sold out headlining shows – and have a return Japanese run scheduled for November 2016. They’ve also toured extensively throughout Australia – numerous runs up and down the east coast augmented by multiple visits to Adelaide – and on home soil they’ve shared stages with acts such as The Clean, Ty Segall, Real Estate, Ariel Pink and Courtney Barnett as well as many of their peers and contemporaries from the verdant Australian underground.
Now after a few initial line-up changes before settling into the current stable line-up – which features founding members Matthew Ford (vocals/guitar) and Byron (drums) now joined by guitarist Innez Tulloch (Deafcult, Feathers, Roku Music) and bassist Hayden Knight – Thigh Master are set to release their debut album Early Times, an assured collection of urgent indie rock which expands upon the band’s thrilling early DIY bent and takes into new and exciting territories. Recorded primarily while former guitarist Dusty Anastassiou and bassist Daniel Ford were still in the ranks, Early Times was engineered and mixed by Blank Realm guitarist Luke Walsh between late-2013 and early-2016 in various Brisbane rehearsal spaces (including the much-missed Hangar) and sharehouses, the cohesive document staying true to the band’s underground Brisbane roots whilst representing a great leap forward for the exciting ensemble.
To be released locally on new Brisbane indie label Coolin’ By Sound in Australia/NZ and Bruit Disques Direct in Europe/USA, Thigh Master’s Early Times is a confident and assured opening gambit by a band who dole out frantic, hook-laden tunes with seemingly effortless abandon, which in conjunction with their energetic live show is poised to open a lot of doors for them both at home and overseas.
What critics said about Thigh Master single Company:
“…a sub-two-minute frenzy of lo-fi pop-timism wrestled down from its perch by the signature snarlingly bratty drawl of frontman Matthew Ford” Rolling Stone Australia
“Terse as it is catchy, the sub two-minute track is a relentless workout of marathoning hooks” Cereal and Sounds
“It’s urgent, it’s raw and it’s fun enough to make you want to throw yourself around like a plush monkey” Mick Rad
Thigh Master’s debut album Early Times is released on vinyl through Coolin’ By Sound 7th October, 2016.