The Sleepy Jackson
our score: 4.0 out of 5.0
buy it: here
just the right mix of craziness and familiarity on Lovers
to make it a glorious debut album. The Sleepy Jackson is a relatively
unknown four-piece experimental rock band from Perth, Australia,
but if this CD is anything to go by their anonymity will be short-lived.
Sleepy Jackson’s only UK release to date has been a self-titled
EP which housed country, rock and avant-garde experimental music.
Lovers is an extension of this EP, introducing us to
some of the finest and inspirational tunes I have heard in a while.
The opener, "Good Dancers," is a throwback track to
the heady days of the 70s, a style which would not go unwelcome
on The Thrills’ debut album. But the George Harrison-esque
guitars of "Good Dancers" is made even more incredible
when placed in the diverse context of the rest of the album, which
features pop tunes, country rambles, children’s vocals and
even a Radiohead mimic.
single, "Vampire Racecourse," follows "Good Dancers"
and steps things up a gear in a delightful pop-rock context, paving
way for more mellow gems such as "This Day." And so
the melodies continue, until we reach track six, a curious poetic
reading "Fill Me With Apples, "with vocals handled in
such a dead-pan manner as to parady Radiohead’s OK Computer
interlude, "Fitter Happier." But this is done in such
a delightful way that its craziness is at ease with the wilder
moments of the more “normal” songs on Lovers,
creating a unique mix which is a breath of fresh air in a world
of play-it-safe debuts.
hold on, because more is to come. "Morning Bird" is
a genuinely touching ballad, made even more tearful and poignant
by the vocals of young Gemma Burnside. Yes, at times they are
out of tune, but that is the point. The hymm-like lyrical content
and way Burnside delivers it makes it the most startling and noticeable
track on the whole album.
Dirt Farmer" is another stand-out track, opening with a Bob
Dylan feel before exploding into a tasty country-pop extravaganza.
difficult to spot the inspiration behind this Sleepy Jackson effort,
the form it takes is so very diverse. There is certainly a wide
range of musical interests inside the head of songwriter Luke
Steele, whose dynamic stage persona has ensured a rising fan base
on the back of tours in Europe and Australia. In front of a crowd,
Steele becomes a being cloned of Lennon and Hendrix genes, ensuring
that he becomes noticed as an artist with a lot of depth and talent.
And for him, this is just the beginning, saying: “It’s
going to get bigger, broader, and maybe a little bit more screwed
was by no means the greatest album released in 2003, either in
charisma, depth or musical talent. But you will have to go a long
way to find a band that has released a more energetic and inspiring
opening to what will hopefully be a long and emphatic catalogue.
2. Vampire Racecourse
3. Rain Falls for Wind
4. This Day
5. Acid in My Heart
6. Fill Me With Apples
7. Tell the Girls That I'm Not Hangin Out
8. Come to This
9. Miniskirt [*]
10. Morning Bird
11. Don't You Know
12. Old Dirt Farmer
13. Mourning Rain