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Phil sees the word ‘Australian’ and the word ‘pop’ on the same page and immediately sounds the Clinton klaxon. I was hoping to dislike this just to prove him wrong but nah...he’s right.
The first main track here (there’s a little intro piece that precedes it) is a wonderfully technicolour slice of pop music. Its full of stacked 70’s harmonies, fizzy synths, funky bass and choppy guitar. One half Cowtown, one half Tame Impala. Its going along quite nicely thank you but then your ear really catches light when it bursts into a brilliantly descending chorus, all soft and playful like, the track building crazily, drums akimbo. ‘Happy Before’ has the same trick up its sleeve, its full of busy post punk arrangements but the slithers of melody when they come are great. They are certainly Devo ish but there’s a soft rock element at play too with lots of juicy harmonies. They can play a straight bat too, ‘Everything’s a Thread’ has alternative radio hit written all over it, the production is great throughout with lots of compressed drums and stereo-panned slightly distorted vocals.
In short these are people who know exactly what they are doing. Which takes me all the way back to Tame Impala. There are certain obvious similarities between the two bands, a love of tuneful psych pop and a keen ear for Jeff Lynne/Dave Fridmann-influenced production. John Steele Singers are a little less obviously psych-rock and have more new wave thing going on. The album comes with a bonus CD of a live performance featuring the handsome and talented Robert Forster and the marginally less handsome and certainly less talented Everett True.
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