The Hard Truth - The Dunhill Blues (Off The Hip)
You think those Powderfinger guys suddenly became Australia's hardest-working band during their farewell tour? Meh, Think again. The Dunhill Blues play miniscule stages by comparison, but their work ethic makes that of those safety-first blowhards look positively non-existent.
This is the third album for The Dunnies and they played all over the country to tell people about the last one. No doubt they'll do the same this time out. The onetime trio has expanded the ranks to six in their second incarnation.
The Dunhill Blues are still playing nagging garage rock fleshed out, when needed, with punchy brass, but Tilly's keyboards have added another dimension that needs more of a place up-front. And although your grandma's record collection might have told you otherwise, banjo really is a punk rock instrument. See The Monks for supporting evidence. More please, again.
The story goes that "The Hard Truth" was meant to be a sweeping double album - until the band realised its 16 songs only came to 33 minutes. So prepare yourself (yet again) for short, sharp and wholesome doses of Rock Action, diverse in delivery but joined at the shaking hips by guitarist Dan's paint-stripping vocals.
"Like You've Never Gotten" struts around like a countryfied New York Dolls song. "Tall Jan" is Chuck Berry getting all ribald and "Drunk And Done" rages better than a two-day hangover with a migraine knocking on the door to invoke an eviction order and move its things in.
I'm temped to think of "Drunk And Done" as a theme song for a big night out but it's all too obvious. "I Hate Your Favourite Band" might even be an ode to Powderfinger.
Are these songs or fragments? Doesn't matter much; the combined effect is more important. The title tune might be the most developed "song" in terms of having a structure, and those tempo changes owe more to Beefheart than the Sonics. Whether it's a conscious nod is another issue when it's followed by the boogie woogie of "Back On The Rock 'n' Roll". Less than a minute-and-a-half later you're left in no doubt that the Dunnies know their shit better than you and me combined. So get it, already.
Tags: rock, garage, off-the-hip, blues, dunhill, the hard truth
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