So what’s the deal with all the CD’s from Australian bands hitting my desk lately? Are they trying to stage another British invasion from another hemisphere? If so, these guys are going to have to put up the surfboards and Foster’s and try just a little harder. With the exception of The Sleepy Jackson, I have been underwhelmed with what I have heard. I have a theory that good music, with some exceptions, has to come from shitty places (i.e. England) and Australia just seems too damn nice. So Sam Joole from Sydney, Australia, do you have what it takes?
The young Sam started playing in and around Sydney at the tender age of 14, with various bands. In 1999, he headed off to the UK and kicked around for a while playing with even more musicians. He particularly seemed to enjoy rocking with people who played music of the Celtic stripe. After a couple of years he headed back home to set up shop and record his EP, Biography.
The reason I’m indisposed towards these poor Aussie musicians is the sameness of their sound. Power Pop, Power Pop, Power Pop, I just want to scream. Maybe I will, and maybe I’m doing it right now. Sam takes it a little lighter on the power, but is all about the pop. In all fairness it is hard to judge a man on a mere four song EP, and it is not that it is bad, ’cause it ain’t. Had this been the first CD of this stripe that I had reviewed I would have probably been very kind to it. The first two songs are pretty forgettable, though not bad if you like the whole power pop thing. It’s somewhat distorted, yet simple guitar chords over a simple drum beat. There are a few changes in the songs to keep it lively, but still not that interesting. It’s got Tom Petty simplicity, without the catchiness. “Man Overboard” is a more raucous rock-based song, which was actually my favorite of the four. It was a little more raw, and what can I say, I like it raw.
In the end, I remain unimpressed with the Aussie rock thing. It’s too bad, because I think that they are talented, they just aren’t working to make anything unique. Perhaps my theory presented earlier just reflects a personal deficiency and these up-tempo Australians are just too goddamned cheery for me. Personally, I just feel that it would be good to jump around in a show to; just not something I want on my iPod.