ONE WAY TICKET TO SNORESVILLE - The Snoozefests (self released)
It's not often you stumble across an instant garage classic that you can't afford to be without, "Snoresville" feels like getting on the elevator at the the ground floor with no idea where it might end up. Thirteen originals and one cover (the Masters' "War Or Hands Of Time") recorded by a trio of 20-somethings from the Central Coast of NSW, a few hours north of Sydney and they nary put a foot wrong.

The Snoozefests might be unassuming in person but this record overflows with confidence. Live, they cut to the chase with no airs or graces and spit their songs out. On record, it's much the same.

The band revolves around the tastes and talent of singer-guitarist Jake Robertson, who's as deft a six-string strummer as he is an off-the-hook vocaliser of genuine character. The songs are band collaborations but the influences are from the singer's own record collection for the most part. I'm guessing that most of it (at at least the IMPORTANT part) stops around 1965.

Crudely but perfectly produced on the cheap and burned to CDR for sale at shows, you'd swear this album was fruit from the Toe Rag Studios loom. No-nonsense and Childish-like in its sonic values, but you'd worry if a producer with big ideas had gotten in the way.

"Seven Day Weekend" isn't the Thunders slacker anthem but a hot rod-powered original rocker with rolling, nimble guitar-work. "Bounty Killer Shuffle" languidly strolls around the block with an undulating riff, nimble beat and unhinged vocal. "Hang 'em High" ventures further into cowpunk land, staying with the shuffle feel. You can visualise the carrion circling as the rope's thrown over the tree.

"Psoriasis Blues" is a ho-hum 12-bar for the most part, before Robertson's guitar leads the band into freakbeat territory. "Weight Off My Mind" rides a weaving guitar figure and wailing vocal. It's a keeper but the killer app is definitely "Who's That Girl", a nerve-jangling bag of Kinks hooks and down-home melody that Little Steven needs to adopt and promote on one of his World's Greatest Songs collections. That one and the hyperactively fret-happy "Weight Off My Mind" could hold their own in any company.

"Psoriasis Blues" shapes as a routine 12-bar blues and devolves into some frenzied guitar-work. "No Count" is left-of-centre beat-pop, admirably catchy and equally rough.

Any band that has the impeccable sense to cover the early Masters merits your support. Carrie from the Booby Traps lends hers with backing vocals and collectively they've nailed a nice version of "War Or Hands Of Time". The vocals are buried but flaws often add to an album.

Garage bands come and go and when they're young and feeling their way they often fall off the radar, sometimes to resurface in a different configuration. The Snoozefests may have not the faintest idea what they want to do with their music but half the fun is guessing. - The Barman



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