The world of music and the musician can be a lonely and isolated one. The idea that music is made for an ‘industry’ and not as an artistic outlet can confuse the audience it is aimed at.
I sit here with three new local CD releases. One of them is the completion of a project that also includes a cassette and soon vinyl. The band doesn't exist anymore, but the project needed to be completed. The next is a singer/songwriter whose CD is an outlet for him to receive feedback on where he’s going and give his friends and family a taste of his talent. The third is a bunch of mates who have been playing in bands around Newcastle for over 30 years. They’ve formulated their sound to make sure the people they play to have a great time, and go home with a souvenir of that great time to live again on the boring car journey into work on Monday.
ADELINE PINES are a band out of time. Their place should have been in the burgeoning Omaha, Nebraska scene of the early 2000s, and the Saddle Creek label. Ex-Like Alaska man Corey has been influenced by (but not copied) artists like Bright Eyes, Tim Kasher and Cursive/The Good Life – who themselves were influenced by the punk/alternative scenes of the 90s – as well as the classic American songwriting of Dylan, Springsteen and Paul Westerberg. While the word ‘country’ is slung around, they’re not really country except in the classic sense that Dylan can record Nashville Skyline and he's suddenly country. Good solid recording and a fine testament to the life that these guys led. The art and packaging are also very impressive – really brings a good sense to the recordings.
BOFOLK BALLICO sounds like a Serbian hitman, but no, he’s a Newcastle solo artist. Just a man and an acoustic guitar. His distinct Australian vocals remind one of the 80s acts Redgum, Goanna and Weddings Parties. Anything but the structures show that emo has been a part of his life, as have the acoustic albums of post-2000 punk/emo singers who needed to release their soft side. It’s the sound of the campfire party and a few beers, except this guy also has something to say. The songs are still a little rough around the edges, but show immense promise once Bofolk Ballico works out the true direction he wants to take.
THE HURRICANES have it all. They’re a band who, when you want a great night out without it being predictable, can totally satisfy that itch. No bad covers, all original and a great rocking sound. Definite rockabilly influence but then there's some surf guitar and great power-pop hooks – even some country influence. In some ways they’re the perfect Newcastle bar band, and with this CD release you can get that in the comfort of your lounge room or man cave!
I'm still on the lookout for some Newcastle electronica – I know it’s out there. Perhaps next month.