All posts tagged john-steel-singers

  • The Vine album review: The John Steel Singers – ‘Tangalooma’, November 2010

    An album review for The Vine. Excerpt below.

    The John Steel SingersTangalooma

    Less a particular colour than a whole rainbow, Tangalooma is the debut album from Brisbane six-piece The John Steel Singers, whose invigorating take on indie pop is distinguished by their ample use of brass instruments. But despite their pomp and bluster, it’s the subtleties that JSS inject into their sound which makesTangalooma a truly great record – and importantly, not just a ‘great debut’.

    Check out the banjo counter-melody in ‘Once I’. The whirligig of subtle guitar effects that close out ‘Dying Tree’, and then lead into the grinding bassline of ‘Rainbow Kraut’. The unexpected percussion throughout ‘Toes And Fingers’, which sounds like drummer Ross Chandler is tapping on glasses filled with different water levels. Chandler is an integral force within the band, and not for the obvious reason that he provides the backbeat: his mind seems to work unlike the average drummer, seemingly obsessed as it is with eschewing the obvious in favour of the peculiar. His stuttering beat ushers in ‘Masochist’, while Pete Bernoth’s trombone and Damien Hammond’s bass place emphasis on a three-note flourish. Chandler isn’t beyond playing it straight, though, as in ‘You’ve Got Nothing To Be Proud Of’, a bass-heavy pop jam that sounds unlike anything the band have done before. Bernoth’s trombone and Scott Bromiley’s trumpet team-ups could easily be shrugged off as a gimmick if they weren’t interwoven into each track’s narrative, but they compute. Take, for instance, the assured trombone tones of ‘Cause Of Self’, which lends the song a regal, military vibe. (It reminds me of the Streets level in GoldenEye 007, which is awesome.)

    Full album review on The Vine. More of The John Steel Singers on MySpace. The music video for their song ‘Overpass‘ is embedded below.

  • Mess+Noise story: ‘The Go Between Bridge Opening’, July 2010

    A half-story, half-live review for Mess+Noise that discusses the opening of Brisbane’s newest river crossing, The Go Between Bridge.

    Go Between Opening: Here Comes A City

    ANDREW MCMILLEN reports on the historic opening of the Go Between Bridge on June 25, which saw artists including Robert Forster, Yves Klein Blue and The John Steel Singers pay tribute to The Go-Betweens’ legacy to Brisbane. Photos by ELLENI TOUMPAS.

    The Go Between Bridge concert in Brisbane, June 25 2010. Photo by Elleni ToumpasThere’s both beauty and irony in the fact that Brisbane residents voted to name their newest bridge after a pop band that found wider appreciation outside Australia, rather than within this city’s streets. That it’s a toll bridge, not a free crossing, is a moot point by now. Though this particular structure – which links South Brisbane to the Inner City Bypass and Riverside Expressway – won’t be open for business for a couple more weeks, today’s concert is a novel opportunity to experience the new construction alongside a soundtrack that links The Go-Betweens’ past to its present.

    Surprisingly for 4pm on a Friday afternoon, a significant early crowd has gathered to enter via gates on the western side. It soon becomes apparent that the majority in attendance are teens, presumably wooed in by the triple j-friendly fare on offer today. The John Steel Singers are in full flight atop a stage that stretches across four lanes. Their colourful music provides stark contrast to the threatening clouds overhead, and there’s a strong Forster connection too (he produced their forthcoming debut album Tangalooma). This afternoon they repay the compliment by providing a buoyant take on his ‘Too Much Of One Thing’ from the 2003 Go-Betweens album Bright Yellow, Bright Orange.

    Full story at Mess+Noise.