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A IS FOR ALPINE
(IVY LEAGUE) (POP)
Previously named The Swiss, renamed
Melbourne outfit, Alpine, appear
Scandinavian in both name and
sound thanks to the ethereal dual vocal
frontline of Lou James and Phoebe
Their presentation is as precise and
efficient as a Swiss clock, with elegantly
understated, clipped guitar chops and
WRECK AND RUIN
KASEY CHAMBERS AND SHANE
Recorded in the Hunter Valley,
Wreck And Ruin's creators are
well and truly Australian but you'd
be forgiven for thinking they come from
the Black Hills of Dakota.
As a follow up to the multi-award
winning Rattlin' Bones, Kasey Chambers
and Shane Nicholson's latest offering
takes off from where they previously
pressed the stop button as they reel off
a string of back porch toe tappers
simple, unswerving drums and bass.
Which could, if not combined with
such enchanting melodies, come across
as a bit too cold for comfort.
Add to this a pair of voices floating
over the top that could charm the grump-
iest of ears, and you end up with an album
of rippling little numbers that actually
sound lush in their simplicity.
The band is relatively young and will
no doubt expand on their sound and
future releases may see more of the
musicians' personalities come to the fore.
As it is, though, the individuals seem
to live by the ethic of doing it for the
team, limiting their input to what's
required for the sound they're aiming to
And this philosophy, for the time
being, works a treat.
Quirky, light and breezy with the hint
of an ominous dark cloud on the
marked by hillbilly harmonies and plucked
The duo borrow elements of blue-
grass, folk and roots to produce their
sound but their blueprint remains their
warm, cosied up by the fire harmonies.
High spots include the stomping title
track, the frantic Dustbowl which man-
ages to keep the brakes on slightly enough
to not let it get away from itself, the sixth
sense vocal intertwining on the soulful
and melancholy Your Sweet Love, and
the delightful Sick As A Dog.
Supported by a new backing band, the
playing is tight and energetic, sounding
as if they've been together as a family,
and the songs themselves are simple,
catchy and heartfelt.
Topped off with a wonderful cover
portrait by Kerry Evans done in Mexican
Day of the Dead style, Wreck And Ruin
is a delightful collection that should keep
the awards rolling in.
Homemade and homespun while
sounding as if it's from the other side of
the world, it's an absolute blinder.
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