Beef Jerk have been keeping a low profile on the fringes of the Sydney, Australia underground for some time now, quietly lurking about since their formation in 2012 - finding time here and there to practice and sometimes record some tunes. The band's self-released "Schooners" single popped up in 2013, a (very literal) ode to drinking beers & mucking about, but greater things were afoot. The band set about polishing up old demos into what would become their debut LP Tragic, self-released in a small run by the band in 2015 and re-released for a deservedly wider audience by Trouble In Mind in 2016.
The band often get lumped in with the Australian "dolewave" scene - a joke title referring to bands of the jangling pop variety whose lyrics often touch on the more mundane aspects of modern life in Australia. Beef Jerk's principal songwriter's Jack Lee and Mikey Branson certainly write tunes that seem to fit that mold, but upon further investigation and attention, reveal an intelligent, deeper, and poetic understanding of working class culture in Australia. On the surface, many of the songs might seem like jokey throwaways, but the lyrical content of tunes like "Footy" tackles rising gentrification in Sydney, "Train" examines the self-loathing and endless mundanity of the futile workday commute. "Stay At Home Dads" might be the most immediate and jarring of all the album's 15 tunes, with its chorus of "don't touch kids..." it's an affecting short story about an alcoholic father who's lost his kids in a divorce, rather than a smirking joke about pedophilia.
Tragic revels in these odes; simultaneously championing and critiquing the seedier side of Australian culture & the human condition, stacking them on top of ramshackle riff after riff. Beef Jerk have created an album for those bruised and battered by life, but who carry on, despite the sting of broken dreams. Tragic is re-released by Trouble In Mind with all-new artwork, and includes a download code.