Arm wrestling according to the Oxford dictionary is, “A trial of strength in which two people sit opposite each other with one elbow resting on a table, clasp each other’s hands, and try to force each other’s arm down on to the table.”
Arm wrestling is a primal contest of strength and dominance. An intimate moment between two individuals essentially holding hands in a struggle to show superiority. It’s also an excellent analogy for the daily inner conflict between our rational minds and the emotional psyches as Australian band The Buoys demonstrate in the lead off single to their upcoming new EP. Initially titled “Mud Wrestle” singer Zoe changed the lyrics to better illustrate the intensity of the ongoing battle we all face between what is real and what is an illusion we long to see.
The arm wrestling metaphor resonates over the simple chord structure and melody of the song. Zoe’s strong voice conveys conflicted vulnerability beautifully as the chorus lifts and she asks the question, “I don’t know why I insist on believing I’m not good enough for you”. She balances in the fragile space between how we see ourselves in relationships and the choices we make to ignore glaring facts. Eventually, that weight of the truth becomes unbearable to shoulder and as Zoe is well aware that’s when all the best songs are written.
The Buoys have been playing together for under a year but they have immediate and undeniable chemistry. Drummer Tess and bassist Ros are locked in tightly behind the beat providing the necessary groove to carry the simplicity of the song. Guitarist Anthea’s sparse and atmospheric notes counter the tension of the lyrics and illuminate the beauty in a difficult truth. There are brilliant glimmers of L7 and The Muffs on this track but to make direct comparisons would be an injustice to a band that is quickly finding its own unique voice.
The Buoys newest offering ‘Make It Clear’ was released on October 23rd and can be heard below in all its glory.