Tangled Shoelaces Turn My Dial: M Squared Recordings and more, 1981-1984

Chapter Music
10th January 2022

Format Info

LP - Cyan Blue Vinyl
LP - Monorail Exclusive Clear Vinyl

What if we told you there was a life force that touches few people, a kind of effortless spark that shines briefly and then moves on? It’s a feeling, an energy somewhere between young daring, a self-belief that you can do anything you want because rules aren’t made for you, they’re a grown up thing. It’s an energy that all the best art has and that we all try to preserve, a wide-eyed wonder at the world that you can’t wait to re-build once you have a chance. Between 1981-1984, Brisbane group Tangled Shoelaces had that in buckets and we’re overjoyed to collaborate with Australian label Chapter on this exclusive clear vinyl of a retrospective of this vital, vital music.

This music is so perfect in its imperfection, so full of life and energy, tunes for days, joyful insouciance, you’d be forgiven for thinking these guys were in their early teens. But wait, they were. Honestly, uncovering the songs on this compilation feel like revealing a treasure that should have been yours the whole time, a gift from the past that belongs to everyone. When we first heard this compilation it gave us a big jolt of that feeling, that life force, that we had to try and share it with you as best we can.

In 1980 three baby-faced siblings Stephen, Lucy and Martin Mackerras, with neighbour Leigh Nelson on drums were inspired by the early punks to start their own group. Lucy and Martin were musical prodigies and Stephen a precociously talented songwriter. Their music sits easily among the greats of the Flying Nun, early indie pop soundworld and to these ears has a beautiful simplicity that actually outshines all these guys twice or three times their age. The music on Turn My Dial veers from solid, solid, solid platinum pop gems like World to pre-pubescent political rants that turn out to be more catchy and fun than I don’t know, Crass AND they manage to get their point across much more succinctly.

Some of these songs are so great, recorded by kids so young that you think how are these not covers!? But they’re not. Listen to Oceans Away. I’med V getting so excited just typing these words out listening to the music that I’m beginning to worry that no amount of writing can get this feeling across to you. Maybe just listen, check out these incredible photos of the band playing in their hometown, a sun-blasted Brisbane in the early 80s, their schoolmates out for the laughs and Tangled Shoelaces casually, effervescently being the best band on the planet that not many got to hear about at the time.

Cannot stress how much most of you are going to fall in love with this.