It’s been less than a year since Gut Health shared Electric Party Chrome Girl, one of the best debuts to come out of Melbourne in a long time, a record that announced to a wider audience that a genuinely thrilling new post-punk band was here.
Melbourne had known for a while, of course. Gut Health got their start supporting Private Function, Cash Savage and the Last Drinks, Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice, and many more around the city, selling out a string of hometown shows before even dropping an official release.
The underground hype bubbled to the surface on their debut EP: Gut Health were excitable and exciting, enchantingly untamed, and their post-punk base contained curious flecks of No Wave and art-pop, like Lydia Lunch lunching at The Corner.
Songs like “Inner Norm” were acutely self-aware, and in singer Athina Uh Oh, Gut Health possessed a frontperson as magnetic as Amy Taylor or Chris Penney.
All of this made 2023 feel like a defining year for the band, and they’ve duly delivered on “The Recipe”.
Their first release since Electric Party Chrome Girl is concerned with the many masks we wear as humans, pondering where the line falls between our real and performative selves (similar thematic territory to the wry “Inner Norm”).
Gut Health have always endeavoured to bring an LGBTQI+, femme and non-binary lens to their music, and “The Recipe” is also a celebration of the support these communities provide each other.
Over crooked guitar lines and skidding drums, Athina Uh Oh howls her appreciation for the “high femmes” of our world – the drag queens, artists, sex workers, and many others who try to express themselves while making a living.
“You don’t know the recipe / There’s no rule book,” she chides repeatedly, and this lyric could become the official slogan of Gut Health’s sound. Long may the chaos and contention continue.
If you want to see how the band initially built their reputation, Gut Health will be performing with Pinch Points, Cash Savage and the Last Drinks, Full Flower Moon Band & The Unknowns over the next few months (more information here).
Gut Health’s “The Recipe” is out now via Marthouse Records.