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The Shiralee – theredsunband

By Aidan Roberts

The Shiralee comes from the Aboriginal word meaning ‘burden’. With this in mind, the tone of theredsunband’s sophomore record is easily understood. Here are ten songs that communicate from a place of rememberance and discomfort, past feelings and dirty laundry eulogised in the smoky narrative. More of a sit-down listen than an all-out rock record, these songs are carried along in an unexpected and rather satisfying curve. The opening two tracks hark back to their first full-length record Peapod, with strident, dirty guitars and Sarah Kelly’s soulful melodic whispers. Soon after with the sublime I Won’t See You, we’re taken down the central tablelands of the album, with a collection of curious and lonely tracks, laden with the clang of spring tanks and the two girls’ ghostly harmonies. Then, with Bathysphere (written by Bill Callaghan), we’re taken to a new place; a raunchy drone forces Sarah’s delivery into a tense higher plane, chorused by filthy electric guitars and exhausted pants from the backing vocals. There is a distinct air of decay about this material, which is quite refreshing and well offset by the dark lyrics and floating melodics; this material firmly defines this chapter in the band’s sound, lifting them out of the dangerously inane world of garage rock, and delivering something far more mature and interesting.

***1/2