Maybe your demands of punk are a little too high. Maybe they’re a little too exacting – you know what you want, but you don’t know how to get it. Maybe you’ve got an itch that’s needed scratching since you first heard ‘(I’m) Stranded’ (sounds like a doctor needs to look at that, mind). Maybe all or none of these things are true and you’re just in search of three or four chords and some righteous snot. Reader, you have come to the right place. Split System came sauntering out of Melbourne back in 2022 with a self-titled 7” and a debut LP (the sensibly-titled ‘Vol. I’), and as a listener of exquisite taste, one or both of those items will have carved out their own spaces within easy access of your record player. With members of acer-than-ace garage punkas Stiff Richards and Speed Week among their number, not to mention the redoubtable Jackson Reid Briggs, they deal in a gloriously back-to-basics take on punk that’s part Undertones, part Royal Headache and part Chris Bailey – all hooks and glory, all the time. They’re so much more than the sum of their parts and they make this shit sound effortless. Well, here’s an update for you: they’re back! Second album (the equally-sensibly-titled ‘Vol. II’) is now upon us, and a thoroughly tremendous follow-up it is too. As soon as opener ‘The Wheel’ slams into your speakers, it’s clear that they’ve lost none of the pep or power that made their debut such an essential listen; if anything they’re even more raucous and revved-up than before. Yep, that’s jargon for ‘they rule hard’, and let me add here that you could listen to this album 100 times in a row or simply try inserting dynamite sticks with lit fuses into your ear canal; either way, your poor little mind is gonna blow. It’s an album made entirely of bangers (still on that explosion metaphor, are we?) – the concise questioning of ‘End of the Night’ is as pure a punk rock nugget as you could ever wish to uncover, and ‘The Drain’ is just energy distilled to a perfect series of hooks – with a passion for rock’n’roll in its most scintillating form. Just listen to it. That’s all you need to do.