Bluejuice : Company
Don't you just love it when bands take all of their favourite records and frisbee them at a sonic canvas - seeing which interesting ways they rush and flutter? It's like that listening to Bluejuice's third record Company.
Evoking the feeling of all great '80s bands like Hall and Oates, Men At Work, Chic and many more, the loveable Sydney lads have improved immensely from their spirited, fun-loving Head of the Hawk. The vocal melodies are sharp and honed on songs like Can't Keep Up, You Haven't Changed. Lead single, Act Yr Age (co-written with Sparkadia's Alex Burnett) is an amazing slice of pop, with gem lyrics like "I've been down so long/I got comfortable on my knees", elevate it from the mundane, lowest common denomination pop that ARIA has graciously fed us 98% of the time for the past 25 years (and many more to come). And what about that seedy as hell film-clip where co-front-man Jake Stone makes out with my grandma, like she's Kate Bush and he's Peter Gabriel in the Don't Give Up video. Oddly arousing. Lyrically, Bluejuice are geniuses, they have a really interesting way of expressing everyday problems - it's evident in all of their work, from Vitriol to Broken Leg to this latest record.
Highlights on Company include the Presets-inflected, rave-tastic Cheap Trix and the synth-laden On My Own, (co-written with The Presets Julian Hamilton) and the '70s disco funk-nasty The Recession. Aspen... New York is a real hip-shaker, whilst I'll Put You On has all the sonic makings of a cereal jingle - but with more substance.
Finally, it's great to hear an Australian band unashamedly making high-concept pop, while addressing first world problems. The only low? A bit too much "duh dunna dah, duh dunna dah" piano riffs. But that's my only first world problem with it - the album is too goddamn infectious to be nitpicky. Mainstream radio is going to eat this up. It'll be the album that prepares the breakthrough, just like Siamese Dream did before Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness for the Smashing Pumpkins (that's not a sonic comparison). PS. I'm not making any damn Company puns to finish this analogy, but it's definitely a party starter of an album and a wingman for any broken heart that wants to let loose. Now if only the '80s station I work at will put this rotation, I'll be sweet for 2011.
Best Track: Act Yr Age
If You Like These, You'll Like This: Big Bam Boom HALL AND OATES, Beams THE PRESETS
In A Word: Infectious.