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Party Dozen

Sydney based duo Party Dozen announce new album 'Crime in Australia' due Sept 6th via Temporary Residence Ltd & share new single and video "The Big Man Upstairs".

Sydney based duo, made up of saxophonist Kirsty Tickle and percussionist Jonathan BouletParty Dozen announce their new album 'Crime in Australia' set for release Sept 6th via Temporary Residence Ltd. The band are sharing their new single & video from the record "The Big Man Upstairs".

“The Big Man Upstairs” is a striking return. With a looping nod to vintage shoegaze, the band describes it as “a softer, sweeter side to Party Dozen; an antidote to the swash tubbery and sax honkery”.

The single is accompanied by a video which uses documentary footage to tell the story of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, the “hillbilly dictator” who ruled Queensland for two decades, using corruption and police power to stifle dissent, arguably inadvertently creating the conditions for a punk underground to flourish.

“It’s a story full of such unbelievable corruption and thirst for power that feels sadly relevant to the state of the world at the moment. A government rife with corruption and an inevitable explosive response of punk rock, activism and counter-culture.

There were some very important movements happening at the time but of course we had to focus our scope more on the music side of things. It just doesn’t seem real. A special police task force waging war on music??”


Party Dozen are back with a new album, Crime In Australia – the follow-up to their international breakthrough album, The Real Work (2022). That album included many new developments in the band’s evolution that earned them significant praise – most notably the Nick-Cave-featured “Macca The Mutt”, the surprisingly radio-friendly skronk of “Fruits Of Labour,” and the epic string-drenched beauty of “Risky Behaviour.”


As with its predecessor, Crime In Australia was written, recorded, produced and mixed by the duo themselves in their studio in Marrickville, Sydney. This time, the location was more of an influence than on previous occasions, as Boulet explains: 

“Marrickville in the 1960s-70s was a notorious crime hot spot. If a car was stolen, or someone was missing, they’d look for them in Marrickville. Since then, the area has been highly gentrified and slowly the once grimy industrial warehouse lined streets are being swapped for monstrous apartment blocks with palm trees.

We began without any theme in mind, just the beginnings of some song ideas. As we were discovering the songs for this album, each song felt more and more at home in an old cop tv series soundtrack. The Crime theme quickly became apparent. 

The record feels split into two contrasting sides: The first half is ‘order’, being as listenable as Party Dozen has ever been.

Each song is law abiding and dignified in its own place. The second half is ‘disorder,’ becoming more unlawful, unhinged, louder and noisier.”


While plenty of people all over the world have found Party Dozen to be perfectly listenable, even at their loudest and wildest, the first side does feature some of their least abrasive moments to date. Certainly, album opener “Coup De Gronk” – described by the band as both “as catchy and danceable as we’ve ever been” and “one of Jono’s many dumb ideas” – is a lower barrier-to-entry than what introduced any of their first three albums.


Closing side one (for those of you following along on vinyl) is “The Big Man Upstairs”, a song arguably as conventional in structure as anything to bear the Party Dozen name. Obviously by the time Kirsty’s words have left her mouth, travelled through her sax bell and bank of pedals, and hit your ears they’ve lost all literal meaning and any right to be referred to as “lyrics”, but her intention is no less clear. With a looping nod to vintage shoegaze, the band describes it as “a softer, sweeter side to Party Dozen; an antidote to the swash tubbery and sax honkery”.


All that said, Crime In Australia contains more than enough moments of classic early Party Dozen mayhem. “Money & The Drugs” is “a frenzy... inspired by a sound that we heard at the airport pick-up zone in Sydney. A small aircraft coming in to land low would project this low bending rumble into the cement car park filling it with resonant frequencies”. Les Crimes” occupies a space not too far from “Fruits Of Labour”, or as the band put it: “a pocket of music we find ourselves accessing that is just so silly but at the same time irresistible. Yes, we are serious about our craft, but yes, we are also exceedingly immature.”

And Wednesday Adams is going to need to learn a new dance for “Bad News Department”. The verse of “Piss On Earth” feels like one of the dirtiest, nastiest, sludgiest things ever committed to vinyl until you realise it’s the calm before the chorus’ storm.


Across its ten tracks, Crime In Australia showcases a group absolutely unafraid to explore their “many dumb ideas” and as a result going places that are thrilling, visceral, face-melting, surprisingly danceable, and frequently ridiculous (often all at the same time).


The Real Work is Party Dozen’s third album following their 2017 debut The Living Man and 2020’s Pray For Party Dozen. It was Album of the Week in Stereogum, Bandcamp and Brooklyn Vegan amongst others. It was Feature album at 5 Australian community radio stations and received support globally from 6 Music, KCRW and KEXP, who filmed a live session in Seattle. Party Dozen toured Europe twice, as well as North America, China and Japan, playing with the likes of The Bad Seeds, Spiritualized, Tropical Fuck Storm and Algiers.

They released a 7” on Sub Pop’s Singles Club and signed with the legendary Temporary Residence Ltd. The album was a finalist for the Australian Music Prize (Mercury Equivalent) and the Sydney Music And Creative Awards Best Album. “Macca The Mutt ft. Nick Cave” was nominated for the Triple J Award for Best Video while Kirsty won the National Live Music Awards Instrumentalist Of The Year. Album track “Earthly Times” was re-recorded with guest vocals from billy woods.

Photo by : Roger Deckker


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