Gruntbucket : Songs From An Empty Room
About 150km north of Melbourne lies the regional Victorian town of Nagambie. Like most Australian towns, Nagambie has weathered its share of slings and arrows of outrageous modern economic and social fortune: reduction in community services, fatuous political promises, skewed demographic migration patterns.
Nagambie, however, has punched above its weight in one key, and frequently ignored indicator: recording of independent music. James McCann, Kim Salmon, Roller One, Spencer Jones and even the shabby chic French garage duo Destination Cervo have cut great records at Andrew McGree’s Empty Room studio.
The latest offering comes from Gruntbucket, who returned to the Empty Room to record the band’s second album, appropriately titled Songs From An Empty Room. This is a record conceived, reared and matured in a healthy atmosphere of rock: in Regrets flashes of '60s stovepipe garage dovetail with blue denim '70s rock; on the spirit of protagonist Mikey Madden’s former band The Vandas can be discerned on Didn’t Leave A Trace with a serious injection of southern rock attitude. Cry, Cry, Cry is as heavy as any deep and meaningful conversation of yore, and when the darkness of Anchor breaks into psychedelic freak-out, everybody’s got a smile on their face.
From then on, it’s all plain sailing with the winds of serious rock’n’roll filling the sheets: I Could Wait is the song everyone wants to hear at 1am to kick the party back into gear, I Want is as moody as some bloke trying to wrestle his juvenile emotional existence into a state worth poking a stick at and Wasting Time is so tender it’ll sweep you off your feet, massage your tired shoulders and stick its tongue in your ear all in the one swift move. Next time you’re looking for the future of rock’n’roll, check out the songs coming from the Empty Room.
BY MICHAEL HUNT
Best Track: Anchor
If You Like These, You'll Like This: HUMBLE PIE
In A Word: Rock