Never meet your heroes, they say, and Melbourne five-piece Civic seemed aware that they were taking a gamble when they tracked down Radio Birdman’s Rob Younger – one of Australian punk’s elder statesmen – and asked him to produce their second album. “I told Rob that we were going to be recording in a mate’s house in the country,” frontman Jim McCullough recalls in international punk magazine Vive Le Rock!, “and that he was going to have to sleep in a child’s bed for a week and live on baked beans. And he was still keen.”
Initially conceptualised by McCullough and a friend in a bowling alley in Japan in 2017 as a more melodic take on the 70s urtexts of Radio Birdman and the Saints, Civic. whose lineup also features guitarists Lewis Hodgson and Jackson Harry, bassist Roland Hlavka and drummer Matt Blach, have been slowly gathering momentum ever since. Their latest record, Taken By Force, marks a new high, the likes of the title track and Time Girl having greater muscle and urgency, reflecting the band members’ roots in the local hardcore punk scene.
But they’re not getting carried away by praise from the likes of Henry Rollins – they will soon be back in the studio again, writing their next record. “We’re still doing day jobs,” McCullough says. “Image and hype last to a certain point, but if you’ve got songs there’s longevity in it.”
Taken By Force is out now on ATO. Civic play UK dates in May