It may seem like Brisbane alt-rockers Mexico City have been quiet for the past few years, but behind the scenes they’ve been busy working on their third album When The Day Goes Dark. Last month fans got a taste of the band’s new music with the release of their single Down At The Beach.

Down At The Beach features the band’s signature surf guitar tones, and takes an unflinching look at the key events from the infamous 2005 Cronulla Riots.

“We had the tune for Down At The Beach from years ago but with different lyrics. It’s kind of a heavy song so I figured it needed lyrics to match. I was studying the riots at university at the time, which seemed to fit the bill. From there the song kind of wrote itself,” said guitarist Simon Radich.

The song isn’t a political statement but more a reflection on the striking images from that day that many will never forget.

“I prefer to write about the personal rather than the political. I don’t consider Neil Young a protest singer in the traditional sense but he wrote Ohio, one of the most visceral protest songs of all time. I was trying to do something similar with Down At The Beach. Just trying to present the facts as plainly as I could in a journalistic-style.”

This honest and meaningful approach to song-writing continues on the band’s forthcoming album, which drummer Ben Carstens says is generally a more acoustic and quieter record than their previous efforts.

“This album took longer to make than the first two. Work on the album began in 2010 when we did a batch of songs with Jeff Lovejoy. Later we did another set of songs, this time with Jamie Trevaskis that had more of an acoustic vibe,” he said.

“Listeners may notice the contrast between the two recording styles on the album – Jeff’s having lots of layering and vocal processing and Jamie’s being more or less live to tape and therefore warm and earthy.”

Fans will soon be able to hear the new album for themselves with When The Day Goes Dark due for release early this year. It may have been six years in the making, but we have a feeling this record will be worth the wait!

Catch Mexico City at The Bearded Lady on Saturday, 23 January and follow them on Facebook to make sure you don’t miss the arrival of their new album When The Day Goes Dark.