Liver than an exposed power line and crackling like a a pocket full of cheap Chinese fireworks after someone threw in a lit match, "Main Street Brats" is the self-released debut album for the Brisbane 'burbs band that goes by the same name - and it's a revelation.
Reviews of youngish bands by old farts normally start with a smart arse observation about a revered but long defunct predecessor (hopefully hopelessly obscure) followed by resigned ambivalence about the sad state of contemporary music. Fuck that for a joke. I might be a musical snob, but I'm not a knob. These (bed wetting' bad) boys come from Sydney's inner-west where there's barely anyway to play live - and they don't sound anything like The Replacements.
If you're at The Bar I'm sure you know who Stew "Leadfinger" Cunningham is. A real legend of the Australian underground leading or taking part in such fantastic bands as The Proton Energy Pills, Brother Brick, Asteroid B-612, Challenger 7, Yes Men.
Dunno if it's a spring clearance of some spare recordings or a pause before the next long-player, but this eight-song EP from Wollongong trio Leadfinger hits the spot. My only hope is the title isn't prophetic - and of course you can make sure it isn't. More on that after I tell you why it works.
If Stewart "Leadfinger" Cunningham's metamorphosis from razor-riffing Detroit-inspired rocker to introspective alt.balladeer threw fans of his previous bands, his shift to tough-talking bluesman with glam overtones might suit them better.
The portents were there that it was going to be a very good album but Leadfinger's "We Make The Music" makes a convincing claim for greatness in the space of 49 minutes. From the Who-like title track that opens it to the Hendrix-tinged finale, "Beside Me, Against Me" (with its shades of "Castles in the Air") this is a bona fide Australian classic.
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