mama fruitBrisbane institution Screamin' Stevie announces the opening title track of his fourth album in as many years with a trademark "Heeyyyy." There's a blues-rock vibe running through this album that'll hit the spot with old fans and pique the interest of the curious potential new ones.

Going out under his own name after his old band jumped ship midway through recording, the cape-wearying, keyboard playing Stevie's mixing it with an expanded mix of a stellar local players and sounding remarkably fresh.

Stevie's yowling vocal and keyboards rightly occupy centre-stage in Brian Mann's mighty production. The chunky bottom end gives a solid foundation, especially on the rumbling male-female blues duet "I Don't Want You No More" where roaring harmonica punches through the middle.

(The female backing vocals are a feature of "Mamma Didn't Want Any Fruit" and the album credits aren't clear, but presumably Brodie-Ann Wright from Brisbane band Felinedown is one of them.)

Stevie plants his flag as a committed old-time rocker (a familiar theme) on "Dynosaur" and "Playing Rock 'n' Roll", while "Parking Lot" references the "Exile" Stones in the guitar department while telling a story about parents abandoning their offspring. As a great man once said: You gotta write about something.

"Funny Feeling" is a good song in search of an ending. Spoiler: It doesn't find one. "Clean" is heart-felt pop, simple and effective.

"You Can Run" switches the mood to tripped-out lounge rock in a way that'd do Dave Graney proud. Obviously committed to tape live, there's a call-and-response "hey", with soulful chick vocals wrapping themselves around wandering keyboards. The song shudders to a stop before being resurrected to feature a guitar part worth bottling. It all falls apart again. Oddly, it all makes perfect sense.


TurkeyNeck Records