Local shoegazers Ursula release their highly anticipated debut full-length Brains, Waste, Heart
Artwork by: Lucy Martin
March 30, 2022
Album Review: Brains, Waste, Heart by Ursula (2022)
Genre: Alternative rock, shoegaze, grunge
Verdict: Four-piece deliver stunning, layered debut LP with exceptional use of harmonies and dynamics.
Top Tracks: Hot n Bothered, Brains, Waste, Heart, A Stomach Full Of Coal, Not Lovin' You
For Fans Of: Swervedriver, Pixies, The Love Junkies, Ammonia
Review By: Gavin
Local shoegazers Ursula release their long awaited and highly anticipated debut full-length Brains, Waste, Heart this Friday, April 1 on new label Sidequest Music and it is absolutely worth the wait.
Formed many years ago as something of a supergroup, Ursula features co-lead vocalists and guitarists Robbie (The Love Junkies) and Ashby (Pat Chow), backed by a rhythm section of Sara (New Talk) on bass and Tyler (Old Blood) on drums. Since truly breaking out onto the Boorloo scene in 2019 with an excellent four track EP, the four-piece have established a name as one of the most promising bands in WA’s burgeoning alternative/indie rock scene. Now, following a tumultuous couple of years, this Friday marks the release their debut LP — a versatile collection of tracks with some distinct ‘90s influences.
The album opens with the rip-roaring title track, Brains, Waste, Heart, one of the group’s darkest and heaviest recordings to date, before slowing and smoothing things down on Drink and Drive, a track which showcases their gorgeous harmonies. Familiar singles Hot n Bothered, Slip n Slide and A Stomach Full of Coal — the first of which was released just over a year ago — blend seamlessly with the rest of the unacquainted tracks. Navigating through the middle of this decidedly cohesive selection, it’s clear the track sequencing has been well thought out, with themes of anxiety, mental health and personal relationships reappearing throughout several of the tracks.
We conclude with the longest track on the album, Auckland, a somewhat stripped back tune about heartbreak, featuring a superb vocal delivery from Ashby and some emotional lyrics (It hit home/I'm about to hit home/And it me hit me whole/I'm about to be alone). At just over half an hour long, there are no dull moments throughout Brains, Waste, Heart and every track feels like it could be considered a highlight. Produced brilliantly by The Love Junkies’ Mitch McDonald at Tunafish Studios, a consistent use of reverb and chorus creates some beautiful textures on top of some airtight instrumentation, but perhaps the most impressive feature of Ursula’s work on this release is their expert use of the loud-quiet-loud dynamic, often associated with the Pixies and subsequent grunge movement.
Brains, Waste, Heart is out this Friday, 1 April, on Sidequest Music, a brand new independent label also featuring Sly Withers and Old Mervs. Super limited vinyl copies will be available from Good Vibrations from Saturday 2 April or online at https://www.sidequest.com.au/store.
The album will be launched at The Bird in Northbridge on Saturday 30 April, with support from New Nausea and The Mackerels. Tickets available on the door! Listen to the three already released tracks below.