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coverpic flag Australia - Full Moon 113 - 12/15/05

Perry Keyes
Meter
Laughing Outlaw Records

Perry Keyes has been playing in bands since the 80s, in and around Sydney, Australia. Though, listening through Meter, it didn't once strike me - even as an option - that this is actually his debut-album. Going on these 18 rides with Perry and Give My Love To Rose (his band) is like listening to a best-of-record that refuses to date the songs. This, in spite of the fact that he wrote these songs during the last 6-8 months before recording them.

Word has it that he's driving a cab two shifts a week (hence the title) and has no expectations about making a living out of his music. He'd better be prepared to leave the keyes to the cab quite soon.

There's such a variety, such a vast canvas being covered that none of these tunes even resembles each other, one way or the other - without stripping it from the identity of Keyes. That's really a very striking fact with a double album, anybody's double-album. And it's worth every second of each disc, going from power-pop to rock, from country to soul. Every song is significant and every story told in them says something new and different from the one before. And here's also a nod to the producer, Grant Shanahan, who's done a marvellous job in making each track stand out in its own right.

I'll try to pop up a few names that you can put in a box, shake it and listen if you get an idea of what Perry's up to. Springsteen, Rhett Miller (Old 97's), John Cougar Mellencamp and John Hiatt are names that come to mind. There's even a couple of melody-lines in there that reminds me of Prince. But there's really no need to pin many names to Perry's music, he'll make it perfectly on his own. For those of us that love a decent rock'n roll-song about down-and-out people, wicked women and troubled minds that's good enough by far.

Here's a double-decker that you can dance to (alone or with someone you'd like to get to know better), drink to (alone or with...) or keep in the car for rides around town. Better still, it's a record you can listen to while staring into space - just let Perry give you the pictures.

I'd never heard the name Perry Keyes before. I'd never heard any music Perry Keyes had made or played. Now that I know, it has made me a happier person and I truly hope he'll go on the road and play someplace near me soon. I bet it'll be a party wherever he goes.

Copyright © 2005 Anders Svendsen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Perry Keyes article/review: Last Ghost Train Home.

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