THE SUSPECT WAY - Mo Trowell & The Delivery (Stanley Records)
A famous guy (Ian Underwood of the Kryptonics, actually) once said on a mailing list that man can't live by Detroit rock alone. That doyen of all things hard and heavy Down Under, Dave Laing, ex-Dogmeat Records owner and Savage Beat supremo, loves country music. They both have a point.

The origins of rock and roll are entwined with, and informed by, country and blues in their many permutations. So you can easily make the case that you're missing out on something if you exclude country from your listening options. Provided you filter out the obviously rancid shit with no heart or soul, of course

Those qualities are both abundant in this seven-track EP by a Sydney quintet with membership drawn from (the Detroit-inspired) Brother Brick and ska-punkers Gilgamesh. Most had been going around in a Johnny Cash tribute band when they spotted vocalist Imogen Trowell playing on an off-night in a Sydney pub.

Imogen's sultry and dark vocals are the focus but by no means the only feature. The bluesy guitar sound is part Bad Seeds, part Stones or early Beasts of Bourbon. All popular reference points. Brother P's double bass is the anchor.

The semi-acoustic "Left Out Alone" is a pleasant enough opener but things turn a shade darker in "On The Three" and that's the way they stay. There's a steely-edged cover of Neil Young's "Fuckin' Up" where Imogen duets with second guitarist/harmonica player Favours that'll get repeat plays. "You Had It Comin' " is a lighter shuffle that puts me in mind of Melburnians The Double Agents (who may be distant cousins) with some nice harp to the fore.

"Wastin' Your Time" and "The Suspect Way" are brooding songs that show off Imogen's vocal a treat. Closer "What I've Done" might be the strongest song of the lot, a shimmering guitar figure laying down the base for an aching apology.

These guys (and gal) bear watching. Album in the works. - The Barman

3/4

 

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