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coverpic flag Australia - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 3 - 01/23/97

Smudge
You Me Carpark... Now
Half A Cow (PO Box 1100 Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012, AU)

Brilliant album title, heralding forty minutes of laudable indie rock. There is a certain attraction to local bands, in that they are more reachable, more accessible, there is already something established that says "we have things in common" even if it's just the city we live in. It is perhaps a paradox of entertainment that in listening to music, we want to recognise in the tunes a little bit about ourselves and our lives, seeking to relate to it in some way, yet at the same time craving something different, something unfamiliar and new. For me local bands like Smudge, You Am I, and Custard hold this strange fascination, an idea of community brought about not by patriotism, but possibly voyeurism - an interest in seeing how others perceive the environment we share.

But I digress. Recorded in two weeks by the Sydney three piece, this album has some punchy packaging and a cute title to boot. Muddied guitars, whimsical melodies, and some very accessible girl-next-door vocals from drummer Alison Galloway make for a well-rounded package. It's comforting in a suburban kind of way. A touchable, reachable sound, yet discordant enough not to be mainstream. Which is not to say that it is mind-blowing, but it certainly has its moments. Want song titles? Need Lighten Up Hank (a poke at Rollins), Buddy Love, and Skateboard Trickery. They have the best melodies, but like the rest of the album bear no big surprises, no big impressions. Regardless, You Me Carpark... Now is an above-average release from an above-average band.

Copyright © 1997 Eugene Chew e-mail address

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