Sympathetic Stupid

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's the Vibe

So Sean at A Reminder's doing his second annual Top 25 Australian Artists list. Got me thinking, anyway. Fair bet my list will be from:

Art of Fighting
Augie March
Because of Ghosts
The Drones (my hot tip for number 1 overall)
Faux Pas
Grand Salvo
My Disco
Holly Throsby

But the process of listing all the Oz bands on my mp3 player brought up four variously old-school names - The Go-Betweens, Smudge, The Someloves and The Triffids.

None of these are going concerns so they're not eligible for Sean's big list - it's not an all-time list. But all have had reissues this year and I've been listening to them more than many of the artists which will finally make my list. And, also, they're great. So here's some tracks:

[mp3 - ysi - 6MB] The Go-Betweens - Five Words [from Spring Hill Fair]

Well, OK, so no Go-Betweens albums were actually reissued but I hadn't heard much at all before the last couple of months. This album's a corker, containing not only the classic Bachelor Kisses but also at least another four or five really good tracks. Five Words is one of them.

[mp3 - ysi - 2MB] Smudge - Scary Cassettes [from Manilow]

Smudge are fun. This album not only has two fully-formed four second power-pop tracks but also a cover of Charles in Charge. Don't just write it off as novelty because it's better than ninety percent of the "alternative" stuff of the mid-90s, and still stands up on its own through the low-fi-ness. This track's an ode to Lou Barlow.

[mp3 - ysi - 8MB] The Someloves - Melt [from Something or Other - reissued in Don't Talk About Us]

This album, though, is one of the power-pop releases Manilow is not better than. Neat production, great tunes, hooks galore. I can't believe I'd never heard of this album or The Someloves themselves.

[mp3 - ysi - 6MB] The Triffids - Chicken Killer [from Born Sandy Devotional]

Lastly but not leastly, The Triffids finally being reissued. Everyone knows Wide Open Road but there is plenty of other good work on this album - not to mention the title track which sits amongst the extras after missing the original cut. But I like Chicken Killer best - the anthemic chorus foreshadowing Nick Cave's last album, but about twenty years earlier.

[buy Don't Talk About Us and Manilow from Half a Cow Records]
[buy Born Sandy Devotional from Liberation Music]
[buy Spring Hill Fair from amazon]