Hard-rock power-pop from Australia by way of North Carolina, with absolutely ridiculous lyrics and a lead voice that kind of sounds like, geez, I don’t know WHO the hell John Rooney sounds like, except that Aussie critics who say “Ian Astbury” aren’t too far wrong, except that that ignores Coronet Blue’s whole early-’80s jangle-pop vibe. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself…except to say right here in the first graf that I really like this album for some reason and I just don’t know why but it kind of roxx.
Sydneyites Rooney and Anthony Bautovich hooked up with U.S. cult hero Mitch Easter (Let’s Active, producer of early R.E.M., etc.) to make this record, but only Rooney was able to come to NC to record with Easter, who played the stinging indie-metal guitar leads. Rooney then took the tapes back to Bautovich, who helped flesh out the songs with various Aussie musicians, and then they sent it all back to Easter for mixing. Some backstory, huh?
That’s maybe why this record sounds so gloriously disjointed and deliriously misguided and so freakin’ fun with its chunky hooks. “Particular Kind of Girl” could pass for Thin Lizzy if you were drunk enough, and that’s a pretty accurate summation of the vibe (if not the sound) of Coronet Blue: pop music with Big Fat Rawk Guitars. Which is so WRONG in the year 2003 that it can only end up being ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, because these hooks could catch fish.
And then you have to throw in the whole ’80s-pop thing: the chorus of “Givin’ You All the Love” has a nice little Let’s Active chug thing happening. “Fool In Love” proves that there was always almost no difference between Cheap Trick and Green Day, and Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ rears its ugly/cute head on bonus track “The Spell.” Yeah, there are five bonus tracks, and they’re all as good as the “real” album cuts, which you would never have heard unless you were in Australia, in which case you wouldn’t be reading this because you’d be too busy looking over your shoulder to make sure that Russell Crowe wasn’t going to hit you with a brick or some shit. That dude’z crazee.
Listen: this is a silly fun record that shouldn’t resonate at all with my cynical-ass tastes, but it does. Rock and roll, baby.
Laughing Outlaw Records: http://www.laughingoutlaw.com.au