Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Melbourne Can Handle The Moonlight Malaise

There is something poetic about the way Melbourne Cans construct their music. It’s probably more the nostalgic quality of their sonic tapestry – the way I'm made to think of lazy afternoons, the birth of my love of The Wedding Present, the warmth of the guitar tones and keys on songs like ‘Boys’… There is a deliberate sense of wistful recognition on debut LP Moonlight Malaise (out through Lost and Lonesome) though, especially the shift in vocal duties from the dulcet croon of Ian Wallace (ex-Pageants – whatever happened to this excellent band??? - and the Edwyn Collins affectations are not missed here!) and Nina Renee. It’s like a sleepier, Merseyside-via-Northcote version of The Cannanes – with a hard crush on the Big O. With all the doo-wop pretensions that are thrown about in this day and age, you cannot get more to-the-bone than ‘Fallen Angels’ – I could feel the tears of my imagined prom date soak through my shoulder-padded suit jacket at my graduation in 1965. The fact that such ruminations come to bear, despite the fact I was born some sixteen years later, belies the power that Melbourne Cans hold in their hands. Plus the urgency that penultimate (and lengthy) track ‘Hot In The Head’ holds is the kind of incessant brooding guitar-solo-heavy slowburner that fires up the cockles in this “old” man’s heart. Melbourne Cans are a square peg/round hole proposition in this day and age – but when geniuses like Lehmann B Smith make a living out of crafting perfect melodies that happily sit far outside the common scene denominators, why shouldn’t these guys too? 

You can grab Moonlight Malaise here.

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