Saturday, August 16, 2008

Somethin' Somewhere Better

After what must have been a favourable review I wrote of a recent gig, I was lucky enough to be offered a pre-release copy of the debut album from Pinky Beecroft's latest project; The White Russians. Earlier this week, as promised, I received my very own copy of Somethin' Somewhere Better in the mail!

Listening to the album all the way through for the first time brought back a lot of great memories from the gig. Despite only having heard most of the songs for the first time that night, I was surprised at just how many I recalled when listening to the album. It certainly says something for the catchyness of the lyrics & music. The second listen gave me a feeling of being at an intimate show - such is the way the songs are recorded and produced on this album.

Lyrically, Beecroft tends to fall on the story-telling side of the song writing fence, capturing tales in the likes of Scarlett, Floor, and Someone For Everyone. There's also quirkiness in the words, not unlike David McCormack and early Whitlams, with gems such as:

'Woke up with nothing to do/thought that I'd try shoplifting' (Scarlett)
'I might not be so good in bed/but I'm alright on the floor' (Floor)
'This hangover brings the sunshine to the Goths' (This Hangover)

The album is nicely balanced out with the more serious/melancholy stylings of Sunflowers, Unsent Letter, and the beautiful Fabulous Driving.

Just as it was live, Nick Stewart's guitar sound is quite distinctive and recognisable throughout the album, while Christian McBride and Ben T provide a solid framework of drums and bass that the rest of the sound is built upon. The keyboards on the album add presence, even though they don't feature as much as I thought they might. However, if I'm not mistaken, I think that's guest keyboardist Cameron Bruce adding his flair to This Song Has Only Got Happy Words. There are also great full band jam outs at the end of Sunflowers and My Haircut Will Come Back Around.

It was great to hear Bernie Hayes again after such a long time. He and Athron and sing backing vocals on I Will Tear It Down To Make You Happy, with Hayes also featuring on Someone For Everyone, and Unsent Letter. Other guest appearances include Marc Malouf (guitar), Ken Folan (bass), and James Thornhill on bagpipes at the end of This Song Has Only Got Happy Words.

The album is due out in a week (August 23rd) on Gigpiglet Recordings, distributed by Inertia. There's also a south-east coast tour to support it, which sees the guys return to Brisbane on September 19th. Thanks to Will from heapsaflash for the CD!

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