prehistoricscoverIt's a brave band that bandies around the tag "Detroit Rock" these days - especially when they come from Sydney. Most Michigan music types have not the faintest idea that their state capital's name was commandeered by one of their own expats Downunder in the '70s and has since been applied to any Aussie rock and roll band with the slightest hint of guitar aggression and Motor City attitude. On the other hand, many Sydney music types now treat the whole thing with disdain and say it's all in the past.

Sydneysiders The Prehistorics have plenty of attitude but not the requisite songs to shape up to the likes of Birdman et al, front-on. Which is to say this ain't a bad record; it just doesn't sound like it vaguely hits its mark until halfway through.

The current Prehistorics are Brendan Sequeira (vocals and guitar), Martin Fletcher (drums) and Kane Futler (bass). Fletcher over-dubbed lead guitar for most of these songs. While the playing's pretty good, "Petrified" was recorded by Sydney pop alchemist Michael Carpenter and suffers from polite production.

If you're looking for the meat on these bones, fast-forward to the album's mid-point. "More Than You Can Chew" gnaws away determinedly on a monster riff that rises above mundane lyrics. "Just Another Girl" sounds like it fell off the Younger-Thorne production line circa 1988 with a strong melody and thorny guitar from guest Paul Hopwood.

"Bad News Walking" sounds uncannily like The Angels - which would normally make me mark it down but somehow it works, although the song needed some sort of hook or resolution to make it truly stick. Closer "Hang 'Em High" is a cut above the rest - a cross between Buffalo and Grand Funk Railroad that kicks up a storm. Maybe it should have been at the start.