|Label:||Liquor Giants (USA)
East Side Digital Records
|Highlights:||67 East 2nd Street
An Arm Around You Too
Everybody's A Genius
Here's To You
The Liquor Giants may well be America's equivalent to You Am I. Indeed lead singer and songwriter Ward Dotson is credited on You Am I's #4 Record. Here is the Liqour Giants second album and is a fine collection of pop songs and upbeat mid-tempo rock 'n' roll that brings to mind such bands as the Replacements and the Kinks. Ward Dotson's nasal voice may not appeal to everyone and at first listen Here may not seem to be anything extra special. However, several listens later hooks begin appearing and the timeless nature of many of the songs becomes evident. Unlike many American power pop bands, The Liquor Giants don't need layers of studio production and they sound all the better for it.
I Could BeYou
Jubilee Park, the third album by Sydney's Love Me, sees the band moving away from the predominant
alt. country sounds of their previous albums to a broader mix of acoustic pop, folk rock and country
influences that is distinctly Australian without being cliched. Although the lap and peddle steel
guitars are still prominent, other instruments such as piano, organ and harmonica play a more
active role in the band's sound, as heard in the hypnotic opening track, Still Within.
The overall mood of Jubilee Park tends to be downbeat and sad, which by the albums end becomes too
much to take in one sitting. The album would have greatly benefited by having one or two more upbeat
tracks. Luckily for Love Me, however, they have the advantage of having three distinct singers, which
adds variation and stops Jubilee Park from becoming too monotonous. Madeleine King has a lovely high
pitch, which contrasts greatly with Mandy Pearson's really deep, distinct and smoky voice. Then
there is songwriter Tom Kristensen who sings a couple of songs on his own although unfortunately
his voice tends to be the weakest of the three, although his duet with Madeleine King on I Could
Be You is one of the album's highlights.
I find myself trying really hard to like Jubilee Park but too often I find myself thinking that the
arrangements and harmonies could have been stronger. Subsequently, although Jubilee Park is a strong
album from start to finish, it lacks that something special to be a great album.