Today marks the official release of A.B. Original‘s debut album, the not-so-subtly titled Reclaim Australia. The combination of Briggs and Trials, also of Funkoars, is unbelievably powerful. Apart, the two create excellent music, but together, they’re unstoppable. Kind of like an Australian Run The Jewels.
Reclaim Australia is by far the most vital, relevant and necessary Australian album of 2016. It speaks with anger, with adamance, with extremely powerful conviction, all set to ridiculously big beats, and vocal hooks from Gurrumul, Dan Sultan, Thelma Plum, Detroit’s Guilty Simpson and more.
The record has been celebrated throughout the last few days as album of the week over at Triple J, and today the pair took part in Like A Version. They performed one song of their own, the confronting and heavy January 26, which features Dan Sultan both on the record and Like A Version. The track addresses the major problems with celebrating Australia Day on January 26 head-on. Ironically, its heavy rotation on Triple J had a huge role in spotlighting the issue with hosting the Hottest 100 on January 26; although the station has not rescheduled the event this year, this track will hopefully make its way to the very top.
Following their original track came an unbelievable cover of Paul Kelly‘s 1992 classic Dumb Things, one of Australian rock’s most iconic songs ever. Joining Briggs and Trials was Dan Sultan once more, along with an extra special guest – the man himself, Paul Kelly. The heavy beats inject a feverish energy to the song we all know so well, and both Briggs and Trials deliver spitfire verses, showing off their hard-hitting lyricism and tremendous stronghold over rhythm and rhyme. From discussing black face to being complacent towards racism, there’s a lot of dumb things highlighted.
The internal relevance of choosing this song for their LAV has not gone unnoticed either; the lyric “Paul Kelly with the belly did them Dumb Things” appears on Reclaim Australia’s second last track I C U.
This will no doubt go down as one of the year’s best Like A Versions, and there’s been a lot of ’em. Certainly it’s the most relevant and important LAV – much like their album.