Author: Philip Catley

CD Reviews for Music SA as Things I have learnt under Consulting under Catley Roberts Associates

Album Review “Cross Eyed Heart” – Keith Richards

While I like having another Keef album, and I enjoy listening to most of it, I have to say overall it’s a bit disappointing. It sounds like an album of Keef songs recorded with the Rolling Stones when I was expecting another X-Pensive Winos feast.

Keefs vocal songs on Stones albums have been on a steady decline since “Before They Make me Run” back in 1978. Their existence on a Stones album forces this as they have to sit with the overall album feel. His first solo album “Talk Is Cheap” revealed the real Keef, but his follow up “Main Offender” showed the well was running dry. The best thing about “Talk Is Cheap” was the creation of a new band, The X-Pensive Winos, with its own distinctive sound, backing an almost familiar Keef who was right on the gritty edge of his creative best. Although the Winos played on “Crosseyed Heart” it doesn’t sound like them most of the time. It sounds like Keef singing on a Stones album.

This is a missed opportunity in my opinion, with maybe one or two exceptions. “Amnesia” could be an outtake from “Main Offender”, and “Substantial Damage” has a classic Keef feel, but nothing here would have made the cut on “Talk Is Cheap”. I should also call out the acoustic blues of “Cross Eyed Heart”, which is nothing new, but is a fitting tip of the hat to the blues legends who inspired Keef to pursue his incredible career. It is also nice to hear Bobby Keys in his final foray with Keef. RIP.

Despite my criticism, I will have this album on constant rotation though. Keef is Keef after all. image

CD Review: “Nothing’s Going On” by William Street Strikers

Genre: Rock, Pop, Indie

Rating 5 out of 5 Stars

“William Street Strikers” sounds like a comic strip from a 1960’s Boys Own Magazine, but it’s really a rocked up four piece Indie rock band with plenty of experience and talent behind it.

Having listened to a few of their previous releases I got the impression that “Nothing’s Going On” is the natural progression for a band at ease with itself after years of live performance. The songs swing from the heavy rock undertone of “Seven More” to the Mexican brass intro of “Stalker”, and the delicate folk pop of “Ruby Blue”. Across the ten tracks there is sufficient variety to interest most casual listeners, and it’s all professionally performed and produced. Andrew’s vocals are smooth, melodic and always on point, and there’s plenty of interesting guitar sounds sprayed over the solid rhythm section.

My personal favorite, and this is subjective, is “Maybe”, which, at just under three minutes duration, is a driving infectious three minute pop song. There are plenty of other great tracks though, including the single “Wrong Way Home” which has a bit of Grinspoon about it.

You can digitally download this album, or stream it from Soundcloud, but buy the CD for the quintessential Australian cover photos.

Great work William Street Strikers.

CD Review: “Goddamn Anything” by Wasted Wanderers

2015 CD Review: “Goddamn Anything” by Wasted Wanderers

Genre: Rock
Reviewed by Phil Catley
5 Stars out of 5

Most followers of the Adelaide music scene would have encountered Dusty Lee at some point in their travels. For a man who is still quite young he has fronted or played in a good number of bands, but his latest line up “Wasted Wanderers” is the coalescent pinnacle of them all. Wasted Wanderers is a 3 piece band, with Benny Morris and Matt Birkin rounding out the trio. On this EP they have employed keyboards and dual female backing vocals to broaden the palate, and it works.

This EP is brilliant, captivating and deserving of wide recognition and praise. The songs eschew the repetitive hooks and pop chorus lines that resonate with adolescent listeners, but they are still infectious with a perfect line of beauty.

Across the 6 songs we encounter a maturity of lyric and musical composition that is reminiscent of the great bands of the 70’s such as the Allman Brothers or The James Gang (as an aside, the cover art work echoes “All Things Must Pass”, and Dusty resembles George Harrison on the inside sleeve). However, the music is fresh with a contemporary outlook that has simply built on a great foundation.

Easing into a rolling acoustic riff, the title track “Goddamn Anything” is the most commercial song, and is the perfect introduction to the masterful works of Wasted Wanderers.

“Goddamn Anything” has mature songs, smooth vocals, hot guitar licks, and catchy tunes delivered by a tight band; do not miss this EP!

Goddamn Anything cover art

CD Review: “Don Morrisons Raging Thirst” by Don Morrisons Raging Thirst

Genre: Brountry (Blues/Rock/Country)

6 Stars out of 5

Don Morrison is a legend of the Adelaide blues/folk music scene, known and loved for his work as the front man for “The Bodgies”, “The Lonely Cosmonauts”, “Prawnhead” and more!  If you haven’t heard of him or you don’t have any of his records there is something wrong with you, but here’s your chance to rectify that by grabbing this latest release.

Although Don has quite a back catalogue of releases this CD is his first with the “Raging Thirst” band, which includes his sons Eddie and Jake, and long time comrade and drummer and Andy Przygonski).

Don has recycled some of his older songs on this release, including The Bodgies 80’s classic “I Heard The Devil Call My Name”, which is a nice touch given the original recorded with his brothers and the re-issue with his sons. They both work. “Happy Birthday to Me” is another re-release from Dons 90’s band “The Elmores”.

Of course there is plenty of new material here as well,  including  “In Australia”, which is based on a true story about an Afghan refugee and his journey to our land.

Don has been Adelaide’s musical voice for over three decades and his music is his vehicle for social observation and storytelling (although he also has a book).

There is no-one else like Don in this town. Go out and get this CD!

Digital EP Review: “Across The Atlas” by Across The Atlas

Genre: Punk

5 Stars out of 5

“Across the Atlas” is a new 4-piece punk band who brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to this 3-track SoundCloud Digital EP.

Comprising young guns Penny on vocals, Ben on guitar, Will on bass, and Johnny on drums, they thrash out some catchy tunes about “TV Killing the Radio Star”, being “Jaded”, and please “Don’t Hate The Player, Hate The Referee”.

A bonus video of “Jaded” can be found on YouTube, complete with sing along lyrics for those who feel the need.

With Penny pushing to make her name as one of the top female rock vocalists in this town (and she is doing a great job of it) this band has a bright future in front of them.

They have done well to push out this EP so soon after forming, and that’s surely a sign that there is plenty more to come from these young punks.

Across The Atlas is a tight band. They are up tempo, in your face, and demand attention. Get behind them and have a listen to this EP which is available for digital download on SoundCloud.


Across the Atlas

Single Review: “Circles” by Squeaker

Genre: Adult Rock

Reviewed by Phil Catley
5 Stars out of 5

It’s a few years since I reviewed Squeaker’s “Fly Baby Fly” album, but I remember enjoying the week or so it spent on rotation in the car CD. When their new single “Circles” came up for review I was keen to hear how the band had progressed over the years, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Capturing the essence of the bands live sound, “Circles” is a mature rock song showcasing a band that is clearly at-ease with itself. Vocalist Georgii continues to deliver silky smooth vocals over the simple guitar/bass/drum backing that employs just enough additional effects and production without being over-engineered.

This is an infectious and enjoyable song about relationships that creeps up and grabs your attention, without resorting to obvious catchy hooks or repetitive riffs.