Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Powderfinger - Double Allergic


And I thought I didn't know any songs on this album.  But that's the thing about Powderfinger - the songs are just there, under your subconscious, ready to be sung along to.

Double Allergic isn't their best-known album but it contains some damn fine songs.  While I was listening, I was pondering what makes the Finger stand out so - and it's not just the cut-through achieved by Bernard Fanning's vocals.  The songs are polished - but not so much they lose the essential rawness that often characterises Aussie pub rock.

There's variety on the CD, too - it's not all straight edged rock - and it's this melding of hard and soft that along with You Am I makes me wonder what it is that makes one rock band an international success - Jet? - and others not. (YourZ sez: probably because most of the decision makers are SOBs whose only real taste is on the end of their fingers after they scratch their sweaty fat arses).

VERDICT: TURN IT UP (tell your friends)


Here's another band I first met as a fellow musician, playing supports with them when they visited the town I was living in at the time.  But before I get to this, I have to rant.

When we employed the pointy stick to pick out this selection, it first landed on Powderfinger's debut album, Parables For Wooden Ears.  I was stoked because, while we have a number of their albums in our collection, this one was given to me by one of the members of the band after we supported them for the first time.

Upon opening the case to put the disc in and have a listen, I discovered that, at some point in the last number of years, somebody had either stolen the disc itself, or had neglected to put it back in the right case (despite my over-protective habits, this happens when living in group houses).  I can't begin to tell you how fucking annoyed I was and still am about this.  You see, I am anal about our discs - I treat them with respect, look after them, put them away properly and most certainly don't just chuck 'em in what ever case I find handy. Unfortunately, others (particularly some friends I used to share with) don't have the same respect.  Bastards! End result: we had to pick another Powderfinger album and Double Allergic was it.

Anyway, back to this mighty fine band.  Of all the bands I played with back in those days, apart from being articulate, passionate and intelligent musicians, Powderfinger were the nicest, most down to earth blokes one could hope to meet.  The first time I played with them was in a small club when the band was still relatively unknown.

The second time, however, was a much bigger gig.  Pre-show, they invited us to sit at a long table set up back stage and share a meal with them.  They were wonderful hosts who travelled with an entourage of equally down to earth and passionate people.  I think my band were all a little bit awed by how nice and welcoming they all were.  It was almost like being accosted by a hippy sect of some sort and we were waiting for them to either get nude and jump each other or bring out a sacrificial virgin or something similar.  But they didn't do anything of the sort.

What they did is go on to be one of the most loved Australian bands of the last 20 years, playing an updated cross between grunge and pub rock coupled with sensitive and intelligent lyrics, and hook-laden choruses.  Like the men themselves, their music is smart, fun, thoughful and honest.  Yeah, this isn't their 'best' album in terms of success.  But you know anything these guys release is going to be the best they could have done at the time.  And what more can a fan ask?


For more information:

In our collection we also have Internationalist and Odyessy Number Five

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