Share IN TRANSIT - At Sea (Independent)
"At Sea" is an expression from the days of sail when accurate navigational aids weren't available. Any ship that was out of sight of land was in an uncertain position and in danger of becoming lost. I begin my review of this self released EP with that definition because it is an incredibly apt description of the band and their work.
Hailing from Brisbane, the band is tight and competent. Their singer, Lauren Walker, has a strong voice that hints somewhere between the Cowboy Junkies' Margo Timmins and Patti Smith. Unfortunately, she lacks both the emotional warmth of the former and the latter's ability to spin off into wild flights of abandon. And there is the problem. The band pummels nicely through a kind of Stooges "Dirt"/later-day Birthday Party wilderness of desolation. But these are moves that have been learnt in an overly tidy fashion. No-one in the band is telling me how they really feel. No-one is baring their soul. They have sighted the abyss but are yet to see it stare back at them. These are notes from the edge of a nervous breakdown. I don't need them to tell me that they are lost and drowning. I need them to tell me what that feels like.
I wouldn't discount this band though. Whilst their MySpace page is a little thin on the biographical ground, I suspect they are quite young. It is undeniable that there is an abundance of raw talent here. Whilst they may perform commercially well at the level they are currently at, true greatness will only emerge once they open up and bleed. The EP's closing song, "Zero X Zero", is sung by lead guitarist Chester Wiltshire. It hints at a more ferocious string to the band's bow and whilst he is not half the vocalist his lead singer is, she could still learn something from his attack. I think we should stick around and see what happens next. - Bob Short
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