Mess+Noise album review: The Gin Club – ‘Deathwish’, June 2010

My first ‘On Rotation’ album review for Mess+Noise, where I discuss The Gin Club’s new album in some depth. Excerpt below.

The Gin Club - Deathwish album coverThe Gin Club – Deathwish

On their fourth album, Brisbane rock/folk/country/ whatever-goes collective The Gin Club sprint out of the blocks. ‘Pennies’ grabs you firmly by the ears and doesn’t let up throughout two minutes of bluesy guitar licks and hair-raising vocals that aren’t so much sung as yelled. Its brevity speaks of the confident swagger that abounds on Deathwish. Multi-instrumentalist Ola Karlsson knew he was onto a good thing when he wrote this song, and while he could easily have stuck around for a final verse-chorus-coda, he chose to smother it prematurely. That, ladies and gentlemen, is confidence.

Unlike their previous release – the 26-song, double-disc Junk – this album’s liner notes are sparse: no songwriting credits, no lyrics, and little to suggest that the album’s 13 songs belong to 10 individuals. (In case you were wondering, I’m only able to comment on who wrote what because I have a cheat-sheet in front of me). This is a new look for The Gin Club. Whether conscious or not, they’re obscuring facts and leaving some things to our imagination. On stage, one of the band’s most striking visual elements is the constant swapping of musical instruments and stage positions between songs. On this album, there’s a greater sense of that comfortable barroom feel than ever before.

Full review at Mess+Noise, where you can also stream a couple of tracks (‘Pennies’ and ‘Milli Vanilli’). I can’t recommend this release highly enough. Check out The Gin Club on MySpace.

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