I first discovered The Nation Blue by way of their track ‘Idiot‘. That song in itself was a piece of brutal Australian punk music that took me by surprise. I’d heard of the group before, but to finally put a sound to their name, while satisfying, was somewhat confusing. I hadn’t expected the group to sound like this, in fact, I’d expected something somewhat more conventional.
Their rough approach to the music, quiet/loud dynamics, and shouted vocals intrigued me, but overall, I felt like they wouldn’t be a group I would spend too much time listening to. It isn’t that they weren’t my style, I listened to plenty of punk and hardcore records and I certainly enjoyed what they did, but it felt somewhat too rough for my liking. Plus, I couldn’t quite get around the fact that the vocals were taking a back seat to the music, they were too lost in the mix, and I couldn’t enjoy it too much.
In the recent years though, I decided to revisit the group to see if my initial judgement was valid. While I always had a weird habit of not liking a song on its first listen back when I was a child, I figured I’d grown out of that and that my initial judgement of the group was correct. So I had a listen to ‘Idiot’ once again, and… yeah, it still wasn’t for me. Not content to write them off just yet though, I had another look at the music they had on offer, in this case, I checked out their Bandcamp page and streamed a few songs. While looking around, I stumbled upon their 2007 album Protest Songs, and gave a few of those tracks a listen.
Even before listening to it, I was particularly drawn to the track ‘We Lost Everything’. The title seemed to be so definite and all-encompassing, it wasn’t saying ‘we lost a few things’, it was bluntly stating ‘We Lost Everything’, and its simplicity and upfront nature completely drew me in. I listened to it, and my attitude the group changed completely. This was exactly the sort of music I felt that they should be making. The song felt bleak and depressing, yet there was a feeling of hope within it that made me want to listen again in hopes that they may have found what was lost.
As it turned out, the group released a rarities compilation in 2016 called We Found Everything. A satisfying end to a mystery that never was.