Front End Loader are, without a doubt, one of the best live bands in Australia, even though they don't play so much anymore. But when they do, it's a guaranteed sellout show. It's their no-bullshit attitude coupled with some of the best rock musicians in the country that give them this status. I've seen them on small pub stages, at larger venues and at huge festivals - it doesn't matter where, they're always on their game.
I also think both Davis Claymore and Bow Campbell's vocals are not only on the money but some of the best in this wide brown land. And the rhythm section of Rich Corey on bass and Pete Kostic on drums (who also plays the skins for Regurgitator and The Hard Ons) are so tight, they're waterproof.
The biggest mystery is why FEL haven't taken off both in Australia and around the world. They write smart, articulate rock that moves from punk-ish styling to melodic alt-rock and everything in between. Each of their albums has seen the band stretch themselves but remain resolutely original. Maybe it's this uncompromising attitude that has held them at odds with the generally narrow-minded music industry in Australia. And more's the pity because this is a band that deserves wider fame.
VERDICT: TURN IT UP
It was better than I expected, but there were no Pavement-style moments here for me. The songs are well-written and performed, plus the production didn't suck, but I'm afraid I don't think their lead singer's got enough of a voice to carry them.
Apart from that, it's pretty standard rock. So while I wouldn't make a face if YourZ put it on, it's not an album I'd reach for myself.
VERDICT: TURN IT DOWN
For more information: http://www.myspace.com/frontendloader
In our collection we also have Front End Loader (self-titled) and Last Of The V8 Interceptors