Operator Please- Cement Cement

The Gold Coast’s Operator Please aren’t a very conventional band. Three-fifths of the band is female. One-fifth of the band plays a violin. Every member of the band is under the age of 21. However, it’s these factors that make the band so intriguing, and what makes their music sound so fresh, and what made me enjoy this CD so much.

This is the band’s second release, following up 2005’s EP On The Prowl, and has seen them work on the sound they’ve already created for themselves- highly quirky indie-pop with 70s and 90s influences shining through strongest. They’re here for you to party, and you’ll know that the minute that opener Get What You Want kicks in.

It’s an obvious single- and why not? It’s fun and danceable, with a big shout-along chorus and some very hooky guitar and synth parts. All in all, a fantastic way to kick off this EP.

Next up, we have the frantic “pop-core” sound of  Crash Tragic. You can just imagine the whole band jumping around like red cordial addicted six-year-olds to this track. While the track is notable for its vocal stylings (lead singer Amandah Wilkinson’s use of shushing, the whole band yelling the chorus of “OH NO! OH NO! CRASH TRAGIC! OH NO!”), it’s also notable for exposing the band’s diverse range of influences: there’s The Grates, a rather obvious one; there’s Electric Light Orchestra (mainly in the mix of guitar pop and orchestral sounds), a bit of At The Drive-In, a bit of Kaiser Chiefs…it’s all over the place, and stands out as the poppiest song on the record.

We now approach the piece de resistance; the best song on the EP, Two For My Second. Opening with Ben Folds-esque piano and leading into a musical departure for the band, abandoning the bouncy pop and bringing in a catchy, tempo-changing and lyrically thought-provoking track. The song deals with how people change, and interpersonal matters. The lyrics are introspective and powerful; and you can certainly tell it means a lot to the band in the way it’s performed. It’s not only the best song on this EP, it’s the best song the band have ever done.

Maybe it’s the fact that Two For My Seconds is so good that it makes closer Waiting By The Car look bad. While it’s a pleasant, fun song, making great use of multilayered vocals in the verses, but overall you feel it would be better off elsewhere on the EP, with Seconds wrapping it up.Operator Please’s sophomore EP has delivered the goods for fans old and new. It’s catchy, it’s fresh, it’s thoroughly enjoyable. It’s a musical party…however, at just under fifteen minutes, you can’t help but feel the party doesn’t even get a chance to start before it’s all over.