Custard Respect All Lifeforms album coverCustard’s eighth album concludes with a contemplative track called Come Tuesday. “Stay the course and you’ll be right,” David McCormack advises as the record ends. “Stay the course and you’ll survive.”

Not only has this Brisbane band survived – after a hiatus at the start of the 2000s – but they have thrived. Likeable but not lightweight, Respect All Lifeforms is as good as anything they’ve done during their 30-year career.

The album successfully blends three voices – McCormack, drummer Glenn Thompson and bass player Paul Medew – and showcases a range of styles.

A cover of Camper Van Beethoven’s Take The Skinheads Bowling – an absurdist dream – sounds like a Custard song, while McCormack‘s wistful Harlequin Records is a Beatle-esque piece of pop perfection that looks longingly at the days of “buying a cassette from a record bar.” Thompson’s Talkative Town is a psychedelic jumble of musings on modern life, while Medew’s Wishing is a blistering 1.47-minute slice of space-age punk.

And Custard’s trademark self-deprecation is on show in the penultimate track, Watcha Waiting For, which starts, “And there is no way that anybody’s still here.”

But make sure you stick around for the duration. Respect All Lifeforms is a triumphant pop treat.

Respect All Lifeforms by Custard is out May 22 via ABC/Universal.

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