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coverpic flag Australia - Full Moon 83 - 07/13/03

Dom Mariani & The Majestic Kelp
Underwater Casino
Head Records / MGM

Tremeloe reigns supreme at the Underwater Casino, as Stems mainman Dom Mariani indulges his love of all things surf, pop, psychedelic and spag western. Mariani has unashamedly delved into his collection and has emerged from the depths to provide a tasty, enjoyable, predominantly instrumental side to his musical self.

The laid back beauty of "The Golden Ones" and "Lisa Marie" jangle and shimmer in their unhurried way - while "Indian n' Ocean" heaves to the rich sound of sitar and Hammond organ chiming away in unison. Initial impressions suggest the whole release has a throwaway joke tone about it. Although after repeated spins comes the realisation of how damn well recorded and executed Casino is - all the while retaining the sense of glee and abandon inherent in the style of the music covered on the album.

It's just so damn fun you'd love to have been present in the studio to witness the construction of the Casino and to feel the viiiibe, man! The water laps at your toes in the lazy strum and drum roll of Underwater Casino, while it's a squint through the dusty heat haze to view the guitar twangin' through "Sergio Leone" (as Jack Palance and Eli Wallach cast a moodily dirty glance in your direction!). The vibes and acetone organ allow "Cherry Red" to shine very brightly indeed. The obligatory sound of welcoming waves usher in "Starline" (and again, how 'bout that twang!!) and "Oriana" closes the Casino in a very romantic fashion.

A thoroughly enjoyable aside from Mariani and yet another impressive addition to a CV that includes The Stems, The Someloves and DM3 releases - ie; all absolutely top shelf pop. Highly recommended for fans of anything Mariani and definitely one for the "fat sweaty guy in a loud Hawaiian shirt" in all of us!!

Copyright © 2003 Brian Stradbrook e-mail address

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