Saturday, July 25, 2009

We All Want To

This is another review I've sent to Faster Louder as a taste of my work. Not sure what's going to become of this, but it could be an interesting side-note back into writing for a bit.

If a rose by any other name is still a rose, according to the saying, is Screamfeeder by any other name still Screamfeeder? Well, yes - but as Brisbane band We All Want To's first EP Back To The Car is evident, this may not be an altogether good thing.

First a bit of back-story. Screamfeeder was one of these darling little indie bands which popped up in the booming post-grunge era Brisbane. They shared stages with the likes of Powderfinger, Custard and Regurgitator during those band's formative (and some still claim, best) years. Their music was always lauded as an intelligent post-grunge dirge which won them a solid following, but never mainstream success.

Fast forward 10 or so years, and the band never really faded away. Vocalist-guitarist Tim Steward and bassist Kellie Lloyd have always been main-stays of the Brisbane indie crowd, with solo shows and the odd "reunion" gig. In fact, just this year they did a quick run of gigs highlighting their career peak album Kitten Licks. Tim maintained the solo path, eventually settling on a 5-piece collective to back his live efforts. This band has now been christened with the devilishly vague moniker of We All Want To and the 4-track EP is a taste of what's to come.

On its own, the songs hold up superbly. Title track Back To The Car is delicious pop irony, telling various latter-years coming of age yarns. Second song I've Been Listening To You For Too Long continues the achingly gorgeous hook-based songwriting, with new female foil Skye providing the perfect antidote to the spiralling vocals. A reprieve from Tim's nasally flat delivery is given as one of the other male members takes on vox with Two Way. This song also marks the only significant departure from the tell-tale soft-loud-soft guitar-driven late 90s feel of the rest of the teaser disc, as keys and an alternating rhythm drive a maudlin feel. This Ship Has Sailed pushes back to 1996, with escalating driving drums and bass allowing the melody to creep up under the radar to a peaked finale.

There's hardly anything to fault with this short insight into a longer effort promised later this year. While the dirge has definitely been turned below 11 and the songs have a much fuller sound than the previous incarnations, it fails, however, at being significantly different from the lead man's inescapable past. And that may lead to accusations of lack of originality and creativity by some.


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