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Great Australian music is dropping all over like the first patters of the spring rain – but none more delicately nor so profoundly as the pending offering from Figures. From their new album Chronos, the band have dedicated single “Recoil” to the memory of long-time fan and friend Mick Mills, who lost his life to lymphoma.

Historically, the Melbourne five-piece have never been interested in subtlety and in Chronos, it’s no different, the band parting with extremely addictive melodies and harbouring ultimate authority over Australian hard rock. An expansion of their sonic spectrum, Chronos is the sophomore EP that was worth waiting for, marked by an intense period of creativity for the group. Just listening to lead singer Mark Tronson reel off Figure’s itinerary of activity this year alone is frankly, exhausting. “We’re slowly dolling up some hype for the EP,” says Tronson.

“The first half of the year for us has been super intense. We had a plan and stuck to it – recorded videos, photos, press, that all happened in the last three months of this year. By this point we’ve done a thousand times more work than we’re used to, especially the recording, the process was very intense. We’re going to have a breather while the fruits of our labour are coming out… Since the video for “Recoil” dropped, we’re getting a lot more attention.”

And what ear-blistering goodness there is to be had from “Recoil”. “We really like it,” laughs Tronson. Different things certainly figure for Figures in comparison to their self-titled debut. “I think it’s a lot more us,” says Tronson. “With this new lineup, our bass and synth player have only joined the last year-and-a-half and this is our first project with them, the solid crew. It’ a combination of old and new songs, the full thing sounds as it currently stands.

“It’s a heavy album [Chronos], tonnes of energy, and as far as production goes, it’s a lot more cohesive. With the first EP we recorded it sporadically with different locations and engineers and sonically, maybe some engineers out there can tell.

“Me personally, as a singer, not a gear head or anything, as far as being able to tell if things were recorded with a different mic or not, it’s totally lost on me,” he laughs, “I think engineers out there might hear familiar sampling but this last EP has been a well-oiled machine.

“We recorded everything in Sing Sing in Melbourne, which won’t be around for much longer, did you know that? And it’s such an iconic place, all the great artists have recorded there so we’re very thankful to slide in there as they come to their end.”

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No band ever wants to make music just so they can tinker around with the twiddly knobs in the box behind the screen, so whilst Tronson certainly has much to say about the production of the new album, he’s not left much to say except to address the elephant in the room – the heavy influences surrounding much of Chronos’ thematic material. “It’s our heaviest song, it leaves the biggest impression and we always close with it.”

There was such fluid motion in the first release and amazing harmonic changes in such songs as “Filter”. Then in the new album, songs like “Recoil” are incredibly brutal. Musically, fans can expect the rest of the release to follow suit.

“When playing it, people always comp us on it, ‘I love it, it’s so brutal, heavy and massive.’ We wanted that to be our kick-off point and make as big an impact as we can. As far as our second single that’s going to come out, ‘Alpha’, and other songs on the EP. I’d say they’re definitely full of energy but they definitely steer more towards the Filter sound, much more singing and emotion, say.

“’”Recoil” is aimed at a certain kind of demographic, very niche, then the next single will widen that circle – more for everyone, I think.”

With such an in-depth body of music already so heavily in focus, so draining in terms of the dedication and effort Figures have indulged, it’s a staggering revelation that Tronson and co. have already been at work on the follow-up to Chronos. “We are in pre-production for the next project – we don’t want to slow down! We don’t know if it will be another EP or if it’s going to be an album. We have enough material for it to be an album, we do have enough material that we’re tinkering with though, trying to find the best versions amongst demos.

“I reckon by the end of the year we’ll have a better idea of what it will be, but it will be next year, a release of something… for sure… I hope!” Tronson laughs.

Wait with baited breath, Figures fans, wait with baited breath!

Written by Anna Rose

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