When RVG first began writing what would become their second album, they had no idea how fitting the environment in which it would emerge would be.
Describing their album as a “catharsis, a call to arms, and a forthright indictment of contemporary complacency”, Feral comes three years after the release of their critically-acclaimed debut, A Quality of Mercy, and continues to provide an outlet for those who wish to see a change in the world around them.
While the world is in a state of crisis, with countless deaths caused due to a global pandemic (and, by extension, the lacklustre response of world leaders), with countless millions in lockdown, with the Australian music industry in dire straits, and with a need for righteous anger to be front and centre; Feral inadvertently serves as the perfect soundtrack.
The first taste that fans received of the record was, fittingly, its opening track, “Alexandra”. From its opening lyrics, it’s clear that the album’s tone is not set to be one of compromise.
Described as “a story of personal oppression at the hands of one’s community”, lyrics such as “The way you dressed/You must have really wanted to die/They set fire to people like you/Just for looking them in the eye” are an all-too familiar reminder of the vitriolic hate spewed forth by the far-too common ignorant members of modern society.
Teaming up with Berlin-based Victor Van Vugt (PJ Harvey, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Beth Orton), part of the beauty in Feral is RVG’s decision to record their instrumentals live to track. While RVG showcase the electric intensity that they bring to the live stage by way of the recording studio, Van Vugt’s insistence on spontaneity and the capturing of the group’s live essence allows for a record that provides a true snapshot of who RVG truly are as musicians.
With an consistent thread of post-punk-inspired instrumentals that feel as though they could neatly slide into the record shelves of a college rock station, RVG wear their influences on their sleeves, but allow themselves to evolve and create something so wholly unique that some tracks bear repeating just to ensure you’ve heard them correctly.
Yet at the same time, the album is so paradoxically forward-thinking that it almost feels as though it’s a product of an alternate dimension; one in which political musicians of years past received a glimpse into the matters of the future, fusing them together to create an album so vital and important that you wonder how your music taste ever formed without it.
While tracks such as “Christian Neurosurgeon” (which musically evokes memories of a lost Modern Lovers cut) and “Little Sharkie & the White Pointer Sisters” stand out as notable highlights of the record, Feral is not one that should be listened to by way of a piecemeal approach.
That’s not to say the group have done themselves a disservice by issuing singles ahead of the record’s release, but rather, Feral is an album that must be heard in its entirety and experienced to its full extent. After all, with the band self-describing the record as “a cry for help and a call to action”, it truly is a 36-minute journey that not only demands, but requires every piece of your attention.
Often, the true quality of an album can easily be seen in the initial reaction it evokes from its listener. While the opening of RVG’s Feral is enough to warrant a gasped exclamation of enthusiastic blasphemy, it is its completion that leaves you speechless, unable to do anything except listen to it again, hoping to recapture the magic of that first listen.
When RVG supported the Pixies back in March, their performance was enough for Rolling Stone to refer to them as “easily one of the most vital bands on the Aussie scene today”. In case there was any doubt, Feral drives the point home and rightfully claims its status as one of the finest Australian albums you’ll hear for quite some time.
RVG’s Feral is out now through Fire Records. The group will also be supporting Faith No More on their Australian headline tour in 2021. Read on for full details.
Faith No More Australia & New Zealand Tour February/March 2021
With special guests RVG
Monday, February 22nd, 2021
Spark Arena, Auckland, NZ (All Ages)
Tickets: Ticketmaster | Ph: 0800 111 999
Wednesday, February 24th, 2021
Horncastle Arena, Christchurch, NZ (All Ages)
Tickets: Ticketek | Ph: 0800 842 538
Friday, February 26th, 2021
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, QLD (All Ages)
Tickets: Ticketek | Ph: 13 28 49
Saturday, February 27th, 2021
Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney, NSW (All Ages)
Tickets: Ticketek| Ph: 13 38 49
Monday, March 1st, 2021
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, VIC (All Ages)
Tickets: Ticketek | Ph: 13 38 49
Thursday, March 4th, 2021
Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide, SA (All Ages)
Tickets: Ticketek| Ph: 13 48 49
Saturday, March 6th, 2021
RAC Arena, Perth, WA (All Ages)
Tickets: Ticketek | Ph: 13 48 49
Tickets on sale now via Frontier Touring