Surrender b/w Down Around The Corner - The Lonelyhearts (Buttercup Records)
The Lonelyhearts popped out of Sydney’s western suburbs in 1979 and burned, briefly and brightly, before slipping away. Their their first 45, “Last Kiss” b/w “Ambition” is as one of the great lost Oz power-pop gems of its time.
They had two lives, resurfacing towards the end of the decade, but The Lonelyhearts’ recorded legacy (three full singles) was scant for a band of their quality. And that’s why Melbourne’s canny boutique label, Buttercup Records, is seeking to make amends.
This single is a taster of a full-length LP, due in early 2017. You’ll need to get your skates on - the 45 is a run of 200 copies (half on red vinyl, the balance on white) - and the B side won’t be on the long-player.
The A side, “Surrender”, is a sweet and slightly restrained piece of mid-paced, guitar pop that sounds remarkably well rounded for a band still probably finding its feet back then. It grows with each listen and underlines John Rooney’s credentials as a top-flight pop vocalist. Dave Guest’s subtle piano and a tasty Tom Watson lead break are the icing.
Flip side “Down Around The Corner” is a contrast and probably more in line with most peoples’ memories of what the band was like live. It’s a more direct and infectious pop song and has a lyrical twist - It’s about street gangs. Rooney’s vocal is again to the fore. He might be an orthopaedic surgeon but he’d still make a great singer.
Don’t let your fingers do the walking; make them figuratively run to click the link below and order. Only a handful remain.