tavistockstreetIt's the Festive Season and everyone's meant to be full of the spirit of good cheer, with peace on Earth and goodwill to all men part in evidence all over the place. There's no place for cranky editorialising, just happy thoughts. Yeah, right. So here we go.

It's 2008, we (Australians) have a well-established, national new music network (Triple Jay) whose mission is to bring sounds to your ears that you'd normally not hear outside the big label-dominated syndicated commercial stations, yet there's no place to play music like Green Circles? You know what they'd say: They're too '60s. Their sound is too "noisy across the boards" (a phrase some gormless bottom-feeder actually used on me in a previous life). You don't have some hired hand "presenting" your album to the people who "program" the "playlists" at our station. No-one would like it. Pull the other leg, it plays Jingle Bells...

Sad fact that it has to be hip hop or the spawn of indie hipster tools barely capable of plugging in let alone writing a song to make the grade, but that's reality. Rock and Roll gets short shrift at most commercial radio stations. So how's anyone going to find out that a band like Green Circles (and scores others of their ilk even exist), let alone produce albums as fine as this? Hang around low-life websites like ours, I suppose. But you already do. So you have to tell a friend. Better still, play this album to one. Or two even. Here are some reasons:

  • Green Circles are a four-piece.
  • They have three albums to their credit.
  • They play poppy rock and roll that's fresh and catchy.
  • This is the toughest these still melodic Adelaide boys have sounded and these are the best songs they've recorded.
  • They still have pop hearts that used to beat inside the chest cavities of bands like The Creation, the Small Faces and the Who but they've crystalized their sound nicely.

Someone who plays in punk bands once told me a certain sound was "too '60s" - despite the roots of his own bands' sounds lying squarely in those parts. He wouldn't like Green Circles. They have that vibe that makes you think you're stumbling down Carnaby Street circa 1965 with a headful of bennies and a heartful of hope, but the songs are deft and dynamic enough to lift them well clear of accusations of mere revisionism. So if you liked the second Rhino "Nuggets" box set, you'll love this.

Nine originals here and for mine the roughhouse "21st Century Blues" and driving pop smarts of "Five Blue Moons" are the pick. "Don't Start" is a R & B monster with Pretty Things swing. "Long Live Sivananda" is a cover but a damn fine one (you may have heard this 1969 Aussie psych classic by The Inside Looking Out on the "Forest of Goldtops" complie) and shuts down proceedings stylishly.

It's a fragmented musical world with lots of diversity and a dizzying range of acts and genres to wrestle with. So it's a shame that anyone not operating in community radio or on the zine/website fringes doesn't seem to give a fig about anything not falling within their own narrow field of perception. The only thing for bands like Green Circles to do is play on and all you and I can do is spread the word. Some things - like "Tavistock Street" - are worth the effort.