DIARY - 19 FEBRUARY 2012 - LACHLAN BRYAN CD REVIEW
REVIEW - 2012
SHADOW OF THE GUN (CORE-SONY.)
LACHLAN BRYAN - OUT OF THE WILDES
you dancing real old fashioned like/ with the boys on the corner on Saturday
night/your dress off the shoulder, your hair in your eyes/ I guess you
were just making a scene/ you gave me nothing but throwaway lines/ I still
don't know what they mean." - Whistle And Waltz - Lachlan Bryan
Bryan emerged from the shadows of Melbourne band The Wildes he added a
little musical magic to his tableau.
So when he wrote a dozen new songs he chose production that made his eclectic
songs more accessible.
Not only did Bryan benefit from acclaimed NSW Central Coast producer Rod
McCormack's multi-instrumentation he also enjoyed the talent of his seasoned
Now that gave Bryan a duet partner - Kasey Chambers - on Whistle And
Waltz and Poppa Bill on lap steel.
The Chambers were the perfect vehicle to drive a tune rooted back in that
romantic era of B & S Balls in the sixties.
Those were halcyon days of yore at woolshed parties where rural rhythms
reigned with none of the hubris of mobile phones and facile face bookers.
Young men would traverse the diverse hard wood floors, recently cleared
of fleeces and dags, to take damsels on their arms for waltzes, two steps
and fox trots.
They might even ignite a life long love on their broad acres without the
distraction of big city broads.
But not all life beyond the city limits is idyllic bliss when drought,
floods and bushfires frequently return with or without carbon taxes and
climate change catalysts.
Take the case of Unfortunate Rose - entrée song of a disc
also featuring Bryan on acoustic guitar and harmonica.
The vanquished victim, once a late spring bloomer, is left alone on a
shelf after never finding a lover equal to her demands and great expectations.
Bryan exploits floral metaphors to detail the decline of a wasted woman
who never chose a life long partner.
It's a sibling song of sorts of Lily Of The Fields - saga of another
belle of the ball who never rang the right number.
Bryan covers most country staples as he traces the tale from rose picking
in fields to a funeral where the lilies find a home in bibles as an old
train whistle echoes by the riverside.
FOR THE GRAVE
intuition goes only so far/ it took me a day and a half to get your perfume
out of my car/ how I'd love to be with you in the morning/ but I just
don't think that there's a way/ I guess you'll be the secret I take to
the grave." - Secret I'll Take To The Grave - Lachlan Bryan.
a man who once had no ring on his finger but time on his hands, credits
the cheaters and charlatans who litter daytime TV shows as the source
of Secret I'll Take To The Grave.
You may have seen the sources as a shift worker or on sick leave.
The singer makes the most of his literary licence to explore a litany
of illicit lovers, pill poppers and other Hollyweird denizens of the
It's often easier to depict that sort of sordid tale from a distance.
But the singer reputedly had a ringside seat as a schoolboy on the
famed Frankston train for the junkie duo of As Best I Can.
their argumentative conversation about a troubled relationship into the
verses without revealing their football club allegiance.
Bryan is not afraid to draw from his own misdeeds or regrets - he credits
a lyric from his morning after lament Going Straight for his album
The singer confesses a sin or two as he utilises more biblical and funeral
references in his redemptive requiem.
Bryan also ploughs regret and then envy about an ex-lover on the verge
of marriage with a new beau in Fly By Night.
He is aided and abetted by back-up singer - Novocastrian Catherine Britt
- as his character tries to dissuade his ex from betrothal.
"There was a girl I used to know/ and you know we were such a pair/
well she was always destined for much greater things than I/ but her will
to live was questioned and at 23 she was dead." - I'd Rather Sing
In Churches (Cos I'm Tired Of Being In Bars - Lachlan Bryan
is the self-deprecation of I'd Rather Sing In Churches - another
song featuring Britt.
The singer reaches back to when he was 10 and sang in the school choir
It's a vast contrast to his more recent warbling in the inner suburban
skull orchards where bottles and egos are often smashed, hand guns drawn
and grievous bodily harm inflicted on patrons.
But the singer confesses his latter day liquid vocal font is a goal he
To temper ambition with, maybe mercy, the singer's character returns to
graves and tombstones as the hapless deceased female is transported to
new digs in the after life.
Bryan also exploits a haunted house metaphor in the regret-tinged Home
Of The Blues.
The singer wrote the song about his ghostly rented home a few months before
Bryan is well supported by session men as his character's former belle
again finds happiness with a new lover on his country shuffle The Things
You Left Behind.
And, like many good songs, there's a backdrop of trains, railway stations
and yet another rarity - a small town with a radio station playing country
Yes, the further you travel from the concrete canyons the more likely
you are to hear country music on local radio.
The singer's character is buried in the lachrymose lava of losers in love
as he bids adios to more former flames in Almost Like Saying Goodbye.
But the male lead in the apt finale The Sweet And Bitter End yearns
true love while wanting to retain the role of a philanderer.
The latter is, of course, not about a stamp collector and features another
Bill Chambers' discovery - Kaylah Anne - on backing vocals.
OK, thanks to welcome detailed song sources provided by the artist, that's
the gist of the disc.
What about the music?
Well, the Music Cellar is a fine studio in the hands of producer Rod and
bassist brother Jeff McCormack.
Guitarist Glen Hannah, drummer Hamish Stuart and Gary Steel on piano,
accordion and Hammond organ flesh out the sound.
They might be the mechanics who fire up the engine but all is for naught
if the songs don't merit the lubrication.
Bryan proves his songs have suffice depth and credibility to be shot into
the mainstream from the shadow of his gun.
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