Optic Nerve is a five piece punk band who operate on Gadigal land. They try to make beautiful music. Blistering live performances across Australia have culminated in their debut album, Angel Numbers.
On Angel Numbers: While still better known for its beach vistas and senate corruption, real heads know that the city of Sydney, Australia has consistently produced some of the most vital underground music of at least the last fifteen years. And amongst this fertile ground, Optic Nerve have emerged as one of its most compelling artists. Their debut album "Angel Numbers" is irrefutable proof.
So much sets this band apart that it's hard to know where to start. For one, there are Gigi De Lacy's cut-up lyrics. Delivered with a bark at turns harrowing and triumphant, they honour the nuance of complex frustrations while subverting punk's tired trend for abject and simplistic negativity. They are referential, but to a point where it becomes high-concept.
These days it takes a certain amount of self-assuredness to include both a conceptual explainer and a list of footnotes in your record's insert. But we can assure you that any pretension is earned by an intellectual rigour. And you'll have to take our word for it, because to summarise or paraphrase the lyrical approach and the concepts at work here any further, would only do them a disservice. Okay, a hint: it's locus is the heresy of a French Christian Mystic whose thought was centuries ahead of her time when she was burned at the stake. Suffice to say also, that this is the greatest punk record ever to pay homage to Madonna's "What It Feels Like For A Girl".
The ambition on display here scales the heights not of ego but of transcendent songwriting. The guitar playing is immaculate and unique, a genius melding of countrified twang and hardcore intensity. The rhythm section pound with bulletproof precision, but are smart enough to know when to cede ground to inspired flourishes of acoustic guitar, interjections of experimental noise and even a flute, which kicks off the album with such flair that love on first listen is unavoidable. And the importance of love is just one thing this record will teach those who pay it close attention....
If you are longing for a band to avoid the same old tropes of disaffection, you need it done with more bile AND more style, then you owe yourself an experience with Optic Nerve.
Great Southern Nights is a celebration of live music and will feature a taster series of performances acrossEnmore, Marrickville, Newtown, Parramatta and Penrith for ten nights from 16-25 November 2023 ahead of afull program in March 2024. NSW Government through Destination NSW and in partnership with ARIA, aims tostimulate the live music, entertainment and hospitality sectors through a line up of live gigs from householdnames, emerging talent and grassroots local acts across key NSW districts. For the latest information, visitgreatsoutherhnights.com.au.