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coverpic flag Australia - Full Moon 85 - 09/10/03

The Beautiful Few
Metal for Melbourne....and other stories
Big Rig Records

The shadow of Augie March extends through Melbourne with AM guitarist Adam Donovan producing The Beautiful Few's third album and AM bassist Edmond Ammendola firmly ensconced in the lineup for recent live shows.

The bio references Orange Juice, The La's, Crow, Tactics and The Moles among others. Can certainly hear similarities to The Moles, especially in the beautifully shambolic "She Finally Gets to Travel" and strong shades of Go-Betweens in the simple and gorgeous "Leanora". Not to say it's just a clinical trip through someone's record collection, there's certainly a lot of warmth and compassion gone into the making of Metal for Melbourne.

Try as I might I just can't hear any Tactics as referred to in the bio. A truly unique band formed in Canberra in the 70s to showcase the jerky rhythms and songwriting genius of Dave Studdert. There is in existence a very good compilation entitled "The History of the Sky" that does an adequate job of covering all chapters of their intriguing career. Why someone hasn't released the classic My Houdini album in its entirety is beyond me! A definite gem to preserve on CD for the future if ever there was one.

"The Steeples of Martinville" has a wistful strum 'bout it and yes it's all rather bookish here and there chumps, but this is Melbourne and "City Song" gets all tongue in cheek: "Now I sit in my flat with a busted stereo / So I lay in bed with my Bakelite radio".

There's a wild swerve taken toward the West Coast maaan on Metal for Melbourne which proceeds to 'rock out' in an amusing way to bring the day's play to an end. A fine mix of pop n' rock n' something arty lurking in the shadows - an album that would go down well on a sunny afternoon of backyard and beer.

Copyright © 2003 Brian Stradbrook e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Beautiful Few article/review: If You Can Change Your City You're Sure To Change Your Style.

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